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Why are manhole covers round?

Why are manhole covers round?

  • 2020-08-31

If you look at it carefully and really count it, you'll find the quantity of round manhole covers and square manhole covers are quite equivalent.

Because there has always been "because round manhole cover will not fall off, so we make out of manhole cover round", so most people put more focus on round manhole covers on roads. However, if you take notice of the road, sidewalk, residence and community, if you can count all manhole covers in the entire area, then the number is similar.

The basic starting point for the shape of the manhole cover is the shape of the well, not to prevent the manhole cover from falling down, nor to facilitate handling. So it's not that the manhole top  is round then it won't fall, it's round because the well is round. If the well is square, the wellhead will not normally be changed to a round one (there are also circular covers in square frames for inspection requirements).


A round manhole cover is usually made in one piece because the basic function of a manhole cover is to open it. The strength of the manhole cover should be ensured for its load-bearing capacity, and the manual way to lift and remove it should also be considered, so that the manhole cover will not be made too large size. The material of the manhole cover is also being updated from the original cast iron material to the current composite/FRP/SMC manhole covers, the lightweight design and advanced lifting device make it possible for one man operation.

At present, when considering the use of a round or square manhole cover, the main point is functional requirement, since the manhole serves its internal equipment. Meanwhile, the square manhole covers can be designed with hinges to prevent falling and round manhole covers may fall if they are cracked or broken.

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