How to Avoid Concrete Pump Blockages

Most construction projects require the pouring of liquid concrete. A concrete pump, including the pipes, can block due to various reasons, such as operator mistakes, cold weather conditions, pipeline issues and problems with a liquid concrete mix. Therefore, beginners must be aware of such issues, which could lead to costly delays. Here are different ways of avoiding concrete pump blockages. 

Obstructions Caused by Concrete Mix Problems

A concrete pump is an essential piece of equipment for pushing liquid concrete. However, one common problem that might arise is the obstruction of a pump, which might put a project behind schedule. If you want project timelines to remain on track, make sure that no concrete blockages occur. One of the common causes of equipment obstructions is concrete mix issues. For example, poorly-graded sand leads to the formation of tiny channels in a concrete mix, which causes water and concrete to penetrate. Another problem associated with concrete mix is the delay in pumping, causing a mixture to sit for too long. As a result, the mix stiffens and becomes difficult to pump. 

Pipeline Problems

Another critical issue that can cause pump blockage is pipeline problems. A mismatch between pumping task requirements and a pump's power and capacity can lead to pump obstruction. For example, a small motor might yield insufficient power that cannot propel concrete mix through a pipeline, causing a blockage. Another piping issue that could lead to obstruction arises when you couple a large pipe to a narrow one. A concrete mix flows slowly in the smaller pipe compared to the large unit, leading to obstruction. Therefore, correct sizing of a pump, in terms of horsepower and capacity, relative to the pumping task at hand can help avoid pipeline blockages. Besides, use the same pipe diameter throughout a pumping system to avoid the inconsistent flow of liquid concrete and subsequent blockage of a pipeline. 

Pump Operator Issues

The task of pumping concrete calls for an experienced operator who has the skills and knowledge to avoid errors that might cause blockages. An operator must prepare and set up a concrete pouring task correctly to avoid adding more pipes during pumping. Notably, adding more pipe can affect the velocity and flow of a mix, which can cause blockage. Also, the operator should ensure that a pipe remains relatively straight without kinks to avoid jamming up the line. Similarly, the formation of kinks can cause a pipe to tear, which can delay a project. 

Contact a commercial concrete pumping service for more information.