Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When I Am King Of The World

architects will not be allowed to put pipes under three inches of cement.

What looks like half a donut at the lower left of the upper right quarter is water from a broken hot water pipe.

Took two of us seven hours to break through the cement and stop the leak, and I still have to restore the floor and the wall.


Anonymous DRJ said...

There is little worse than a leak under cement so you definitely have my sympathy. But having lived in a pier and beam home where the pipes freeze at the drop of a hat and tree roots grow into the pipes when it's not freezing, I'm grateful to live in a cement pad home.

Wed Jul 21, 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger EW1(SG) said...

Ugh. That sucked even worse than me replacing my kitchen sink this week.

Wed Jul 21, 10:54:00 PM  
Anonymous The concrete plant manager Dana said...

sigh! Cement is a fine, grey powder, which, when mixed with sand, stone, water and chemicals comprises concrete! You chipped through concrete to get to your broken water pipe.

And if your slab was only three inches thick, then you should check your local building codes; in most places, the code for a house slab, even in the basement, is four inches.

Sat Jul 24, 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger nk said...

I know what you mean, Dana, but that's not a slab, it's a floor. It looks like three inches to me. The foundation is twelve inches wide. At the upper part of the picture?

As for cement vs. concrete, there was no gravel. It looks like only cement (and sand?). Can't see the sand, darn thing was a rock. May I be forgiven for that?

Sat Jul 24, 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Dana said...

A floor is a slab. If there was no coarse aggregate in the mix, then it was a grout. In many cases, when a slab is to be poured over plumbing work, there is a box-out left for the plumber and access to the work. If the building is fairly high above the water table and historical flood levels, the box will then be filled with sand, and a thin layer of grout or brick mortar put over the sand to seal it up, but one through which you should be able to easily break with a sledge hammer. If you're in a bad area for water, then such a plug won't work, and you'll get water in the house. But in those areas, a house without a basement should be built over a crawl space, and not on a slab.

Sun Jul 25, 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger nk said...

We had about eight inches of hollow space under the floor where the pipes seemed to bedded in either gravel or dirt. There was concrete on the pipe that was cut -- I guess they had not bothered to protect it enough, and the concrete was still "hot" after forty years.

In any case, we used sand, PVC over the pipes, more sand, anchored chicken wire on, to repair the floor floor, yesterday. I'm going back in two hours to spray down the new concrete with water.

Sun Jul 25, 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger nk said...

My father's opinion was that new concrete (see, I'm learning) should be wettted down for days. What do you think, Dana?

Sun Jul 25, 07:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Dana said...

Concrete always cures better in the presence of moisture, but the easier way is to wet the surface, and then put some polyethylene film over it; that will prevent moisture loss from evaporation, so you won't have to wet it as frequently.

The better you cure it, the greater compressive and flexural strength it develops.

Sun Jul 25, 07:01:00 PM  

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