How to Avoid and Troubleshoot Blockages When Using a Concrete Pump
When you're using a concrete pump, you want the concrete mix to move smoothly through your setup, but unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. If you're experiencing slow movement or unwanted blockages, you may have one of the following issues. These troubleshooting tips can help you find the best solution.
1. Check the Mixture
Look at the mixture and make sure that you're putting in the right amount of concrete mix and water. If you think you may have made a mistake whilst mixing the concrete, clear out the concrete pump. Then, carefully remake your mixture and try again.
2. Mix for Longer
You may need to turn the mixture longer before you run it through the pump. When concrete is mixed inadequately, the cement grout can't lubricate the mix, and as a result, you can't pump efficiently.
3. Make Sure You're Not Losing Water
If the mixture is right but it's still getting stuck, you may be losing water somewhere in the process. For example, the mixture may lose water if it's sitting out in overly dry climates. If you suspect that's happening, you may need to reassess your entire workflow so that mixed concrete isn't forced to sit unused for too long.
In other cases, water may be seeping out of parts of the concrete pump or the pipes connected to the pump.
4. Check for Issues With the Setup
To ensure that water isn't seeping out, look over your setup. In particular, check for missing grout around couplings, loose gaskets, or other issues that may be allowing water to seep out. If possible, detach pipes and make sure that they are clean. Sometimes, concrete can build up and harden around the edges of the pipes, and you will struggle to pump fresh concrete through there. In other cases, flexible pipes get kinked and rocks get stuck in them, stopping other concrete from moving past.
Beyond that, you also need to ensure that your pump has the right capacity and that any motors you're using are running at full power.
5. Consider Hiring a Professional
You can hire all the items you need to pump concrete, but working with concrete can be challenging. You need a lot of experience. In addition to just following the directions on the side of the concrete mix, you also need to take into account the weather and timing factors. Concrete professionals know how to do that and they can help to ensure that the project runs smoothly.
If you'd like to learn more, search out a concrete contractor near you such as Hunter Concrete Pump Hire.