Using a concrete pump on a construction project usually makes it easier and faster to move concrete from one site to the next. There is also the advantage of having more accurate pours since you can regulate the rate at which the pump releases the concrete. However, if your pump keeps getting blocked, using the pump can get frustrating. Here are tips that will help you avoid frequent concrete pump blockages.
Change the piping system
How well a concrete pump delivers concrete usually depends on the design of the pipes through which the concrete flows. Generally, pipes that offer the least resistance to the flow of concrete make for a stress-free pumping experience.
If your pump's piping system has pipes that feature drastic changes in diameter, you are likely to have blockage problems because of sudden pressure changes that occur in such pipes. Piping systems that have sharp bends also create unnecessary resistance that messes with the smooth flow of concrete. To reduce the frequency of blockages, you have to replace your existing system with one that has pipes with almost-uniform diameters and which don't have multiple sharp bends.
Replace the motor
Concrete is heavy. It also has a habit of settling and solidifying when left to sit still. For it to flow smoothly through the concrete pump's pipes, the pump has to ensure that it is not only in constant motion, but also that it moves at a rate that does not allow it time to settle when still in transit. This requires a lot of force.
If your concrete pump has an underpowered motor, it won't be able to push the concrete through the system at a rate that doesn't allow it time to settle. This may then cause blockages. To keep this from happening, you have to replace the existing motor with one which has enough horsepower to push the concrete through the system at the right rate. Doing so will save you from construction headaches that usually accompany blocked concrete pumps.
Check the concrete mix ratios
Concrete contains abrasive parts such as hard rocks and less abrasive parts such as cement grout and water. Proper mixing of concrete usually allows the less abrasive parts to line the abrasive parts in such a way that the friction the mixture generates from movement within the piping system is reduced. This usually allows the mixture to move smoothly through the system and thus not give the concrete a chance to settle and harden. This reduces the chances of blockages.
However, if the concrete being pumped through the system is of a poor mix, parts of the mix won't have the benefits of the lubricating effect of the less abrasive parts. The resulting friction will then slow down the movement of the mixture through the system. This will increase the frequencies of blockages. This is something that proper mixing will prevent.
For more information and assistance with your concrete pump, contact professional concrete contractors, such as those at Loflin Materials Inc.