Concrete Pumping: Understanding the Common Causes of Blockages

Concrete pumps will increase the efficiency of your construction processes, ensuring higher productivity and faster completion of the project. Unfortunately, your success can be compromised by blockages in the equipment. In general, concrete pumps are designed to promote proper flow of concrete mix without inconsistencies. Also, these machines are durable and invulnerable to damage due to mechanical stress. However, human errors are quite common and often result in pump line blockages. This type of problem can set your project back considerably. Therefore, if you are planning on acquiring a concrete pump hire, consider these common causes of blockages and how to prevent them.

Mixture Design Deficiency

One of the common problems which cause blockage in concrete pumps is poor mixing. If the concrete does not retain the mixing water as expected, there might be blockages in the pump line. For example, if poorly-graded sand is used in the mix, the concrete will bleed water because of the channels formed by the grains. Also, you should note that insufficient mixing of the concrete will cause segregation of the material. 

The resulting material will not have evenly distributed cement grout which provides lubrication. Consequently, there will be no smooth flow of the concrete in the pump lines. You should also watch out for premature hardening of the concrete. Delay in releasing the mixture and hot weather can cause the quick setting of the mix. You should plan your mixes with care and prepare a pouring schedule to avoid design deficiencies. 

Poor Equipment Choice

When choosing your concrete pump, you must consider all the parameters of the project. Simply speaking, if you acquire the wrong equipment for the job, you might experience unforeseen blockages. For example, each machine has ratings such as motor horsepower and pump capacity. If you attempt to perform tasks which exceed the maximum ratings, the equipment is likely to fail. Therefore, evaluate all your pumping needs and speak to your supplier before selecting a pump.

Inefficient Pump Setup

Finally, the poor setup of the concrete pump will promote blockages in the lines. Operators must know how to select and install the right hoses before the beginning of the pouring process. Making change during the pour will cause delays and inefficiencies, which often cause clumping of the mixture. Also, poor handling of the flexible discharge hoses can cause kinking and subsequent poor mixture floe.

If you are uncertain about the operation of a concrete pump, you should inquire about the availability of experienced operators for hire when renting the equipment.