The use of a flexible rubber hose in a concrete pump usually makes concrete pours in difficult-to-reach areas easy. And when compared to using a wheelbarrow, it is also a relatively spill-free method that reduces waste. Add this to the fact that it is not labor-intensive – no heavy lifting is necessary since the pump's motor provides all the power needed – and you end up with a concrete-moving technique that is irresistible to use when working on a concrete project.
However, frequent pump blockages can wipe out most of these advantages. They can make for a bumpy delivery process. The delays that result from such blockages can lead to unnecessary delays that may increase the risks of a concrete project going over-budget.
Knowing how to get rid of these blockages as soon as they happen is something that can help keep these inconveniences to a minimum. Here are tips that will come in handy in helping you do so.
Use the reverse and resume method
Reversing the pump for a couple of cycles and then resuming normal pumping is an effective way of unclogging a pump's piping system. This is usually effective in cases where the blockage is caused by a loose rock. In such cases, the reversal of the pumping cycle usually forces the rock to shift. This shifting then allows the rock to adjust to the diameter of the pump. It may then allow the rock to pass through the pipe.
It is important to note that this only works in cases where the rock jam is minor. In cases where the rock's adjustment isn't enough to cause it to go through the pipe or where sharp bends have caused extensive concrete setting, repeatedly using this method can make the blockage worse. The use of this unblocking method should therefore be kept to a minimum.
Manually clear the pipe
If the reverse-and-resume method doesn't unblock your concrete pump, you will have to clear it yourself. To do this, you have to start by locating the blockage. The simplest method of doing this is tapping on the piping system. Unblocked areas should produce a ringing sound. If tapping produces a thud, then you have found the area of blockage.
The first step in the unblocking process is removing the coupling that is next to the blockage. The second step is to lift the pipe to remove any loose particles. After emptying the pipe of the free-flowing stuff, tap the area of the blockage while shaking it at intervals to clear it out. Do this until the blockage clears. Contact a concrete supplier to learn more.