Understanding Blockages When Pumping Concrete
During construction projects, concrete is prepared in liquid before being set in areas where it cures and hardens to form a tough, hard structure. Proper distribution of concrete is essential for ensuring that the structure you are setting up has adequate tensile strength so that it won't collapse at any stage of the construction phase and during occupancy. Concrete pumps are designed to help you achieve a proper distribution of concrete when putting up a structure. They rely on articulated boom arms and pipe systems to pour concrete accurately even in hard to reach areas. When working with these pumps, however, blockages are something you should expect. They can be caused by different things. Take a look at what you must know regarding blockages and concrete pumps when you opt for concrete pump hire:
What Causes Blockage When Using Concrete Pumps?
Blockages can be caused by a variety of things when you are pumping concrete. Here are the most common ones:
- Errors from operators: when working with guys who are new on the job, operator errors are very common. For instance, they should set up the pumping system in a way that the hoses only need to be removed instead of being added onto system. Adding new pipes when the pouring is in progress elevates the risk of a blockage because of the dry conditions inside the new hose. To add on that, rubber hoses attached to the pump can also kink if operators don't handle them well.
- Pipeline problems: blockages can also occur because of localised problems on the conduit pipes. For instance, choosing a pipeline with a capacity that doesn't match the pump leads to blockage. Additionally, lack of insulation along the walls of the conduit pipes can cause freezing when pumping concrete at very low temperatures (happens in locations with extremely low winter temperatures).
How Do You Locate a Blockage When Pumping Concrete?
Troubleshooting a blockage when pumping concrete is a key factor in preventing severe damage to the equipment you have just hired. Look out for an increase in the resistance of the conduit line. This is often indicated by the pressure gauge on the pump. If the pressure rises gradually, then the blockage is located further down the conduit system. A rapid increase in the pressure level is indicative of a blockage very close to the pump itself.
What's the Easiest Way to Clear a Blockage?
The easiest remedy on site is to reverse the pumping cycle and push the material in the opposite direction. Thereafter, resume pumping in the desired direction, putting lesser amounts of concrete in the system in the first few cycles. If this doesn't work, call in a professional to clear the conduits.