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 10-11-2003, 19:57 Post: 66052
DeTwang



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 Wrong Concrete (any concrete experts out there?)

I'm getting ready to pour a pad for a customer to be used for a 16x24 aluminum enclosed patio/rec room. I built some forms for a 3 to 10 inch high by 8 inch wide stem wall to form the perimeter of the pad. (It's being built on top of an existing sloped 3" slab).

So I get my rebar pins in place, build in the sump pump well, and drain lines to reroute water around the slab. I order 65 60lb bags of ready mix concrete from home depot and when I open a few of them up to pour in around the sump pump drain, I realize that they gave me post hole cement instead of regular readymix (jerks!).

So now I'm faced with carrying the 65 bags 150' back to my truck and hauling them back to Home Depot, getting the right kind, and manually hauling them 150' back to where the mixer/forms are. ...... or?

Is it possible to somehow turn this stuff into structural cement? Can I add 1/2" or 3/4" aggregate and some cement to this stuff and get it to behave like real cement? The load this wall is to support is a 3" slab of concrete (from a truck and pump) and the lightweight room. The area under inside the form (under the slab will be filled with peagravel). It's in Southern Ca. so freezing isn't an issue if that matters.

Anyone around who really understands concrete mixture and wants to lend their expert opinion on this? I really don't wnat to haul all that concrete back out there and it's replacement back if I don't have to.






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 10-12-2003, 06:56 Post: 66067
TomG

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 Wrong Concrete (any concrete experts out there?)

Before you get into recipe re-jigging, which strikes me as a lot of work too, there'd be an assumption that the fine aggregate in concrete mix is the same as in post hole mix. I don't know myself but I'd check that assumption out carefully because fine aggregate for structural concrete is specific stuff. Saudi Arabia imports sand from Australia because desert sand isn't suitable for structural concrete.

I suppose somebody who knows this stuff could come up with a formula for adding large aggregate and likely more Portland to the mix and come up with concrete but it could lead to interesting arguments if the work failed. I don't think I'd do it for a paying customer myself and if I did I'd document what was done very carefully.

It strikes me that the real problem is a mistaken order from the Mac-materials place and they should straighten it out at their cost. It'd be quite a bit of work to remix the stuff and then you're going to have a bunch of post-hole mix left over. It is a little tough to deal with these box store places though. Once you're out of the store you tend to be on your own and dealing with CS is more painful then just straightening problems out yourself. I can sure see why you wouldn't want to load and unload 65 bags six times though and I'd sure complain long an loud and maybe threaten too if the order says concrete mix and the yard guys brought out the wrong mix. It shouldn't be your job to read the bags before driving away with them.






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 10-12-2003, 07:27 Post: 66070
DennisCTB

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 Wrong Concrete (any concrete experts out there?)

Just wondering why you would want to mix that much concrete instead of just geting a concrete truck in to pour it.

I once did something like this (many,many years ago) and regretted ever going the bag route.

One of the key differences on Post Hole concrete is that it is faster setting than regular concrete. The stuff I got from home depot for my basketball post had a very high Psi rating (strength) of over 4000 Psi and had plenty of pea gravel in it. Some of the things that make a strong concrete wall is the Psi of the concrete and the reinforcement approach, ribar, wire ...etc. I did not hear you say what you were doing for reinforce the wall. You should check the psi rating on your bags and see whether you have stone in the mix

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 10-12-2003, 08:35 Post: 66073
Peters

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 Wrong Concrete (any concrete experts out there?)

A typical mix is 3000 psi. You normally have sharp sand and agregate. The post hole mix has the sharp sand, additional cement and no agregate. Basically fast acting mortar.
You need to add agregate to the mix or at least more sharp sand to slow down the reaction. I would phone the manufacture to find the differences and then add accordingly. You should end up with extra bags.






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 10-12-2003, 10:44 Post: 66078
DeTwang



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 Wrong Concrete (any concrete experts out there?)

Quote from TomG:
_____________________________

It is a little tough to deal with these box store places though. Once you're out of the store you tend to be on your own and dealing with CS is more painful then just straightening problems out yourself.
_____________________________

Yeah, if I exchange it, I know from experience with Home Depot, it's just easier to load it up return it and buy the new stuff than to try and them right their wrong.




Quote from DennisCTB:
_____________________________

Just wondering why you would want to mix that much concrete instead of just geting a concrete truck in to pour it.
_____________________________

Short Load penalties around here are expensive. I need less tan a yard for the stem wall which averages about 10 inches high. I have to pur in two stages. First the stem wall, then remove the inner forms and fill with peagravel. Then pur the slab. The slab itself will take about 3.6 yards and that I will use a truck and pump for.




Quote from DennisCTB:
_____________________________

Some of the things that make a strong concrete wall is the Psi of the concrete and the reinforcement approach, ribar, wire ...etc. I did not hear you say what you were doing for reinforce the wall.
_____________________________

I've got rebar pins drilled into the existing slab every three feet, After the first pour these will be bent over and then tied across prior to the slab pour.



Quote from TomG:
_____________________________

You need to add agregate to the mix or at least more sharp sand to slow down the reaction. I would phone the manufacture to find the differences and then add accordingly.
_____________________________

Yeah, I thought there might be a difference with accelerant involved. I also thought about calling the manufacturer. Maybe I'll try that monday morning before I load the stuff back in the truck.

I have to get a few yards of peagravel for filling under the slab, so having them add a half a yard of aggregate would be no sweat compared to loading all these bags two more times.






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 10-13-2003, 07:00 Post: 66104
TomG

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 Wrong Concrete (any concrete experts out there?)

Tough call either way and I wouldn't be fit to be around for weeks if it was me. I'd probably do the return thing. At least I could take pallets of the bags on and off a truck at my end with my 3ph forklift and maybe the box store has a forklift at their end. I'd probably invoice their corporate headquarters for my time just to see what happens but mostly so a CS type would end up absorbing some of my bad disposition.

Also tough to keep track of names when writing these things but Peters really contributed to this one as well as many others. A re-jigging recipe from the manufacture is a good idea. It would be good documentation that the mix should be OK for the job and they might know typical setting times of a re-jigged recipe as well.

I'm not sure if aggregate for concrete mix has to be specified as 'clean' or not but that's something to check. I find that the low prices from box stores sure have high costs most times and I try to stay out of them as much as possible. Gook luck with this one and I hope you remain fit to be around.






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 10-13-2003, 07:32 Post: 66105
DeTwang



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 Wrong Concrete (any concrete experts out there?)

Yeah, who in their right mind would think you want post hole cement if you asked for cement? You'd think that if I wanted post hole cement I'd have asked for 'post hole cement'.


I know better than to spend too much time trying to get them to pay for my troubles. Recently, I ordered a bunch of windows and a couple of pairs of french doors from the home depot. When they finally came in, they called me to say they were in and ready to be picked up. I said okay, I'll be in to pick them up in a couple of days. they called me twice the next day, then again the next day asking when I'd be in to pick them up. Finally I got mad and said leave me alone, I'll be in first thing in the morning to pick them up.

So I show up at 8am with my paid help to pick them up.

Guess what, they're not ready to be picked up! They hadn't pulled the in stock parts of my order yet from the shelves. It took them "7" hours" to fill my order. I was furious! They offered me $200 for my time, which didn't leave much for my time after covering the wages for my help (who was to spend the day helping me install them, not standing around waiting to help me load them in the truck). Needless to say, I never order anything from them again. If it's not in stock forget it.

They put all the mom and pop operations and 80 percent of the wholesale houses out of business when they first came into town. Now that all their competition is gone, their service has gone to the dogs. They're always out of stock on things you should never be out of stock on, (like 1/2 inch EMT, or sand), and continually understaffed by less and less knowledgeable personnel.

Both the customer and employee satisfaction is very low as a result, and my advice would be to dump their stock. Those are both very bad signs IMO. Not a healthy company right now.

I've found some local suppliers that I am buying from more and more (even if it means I have to go to multiple places I still save time due to eliminating the 'idiot' factor).

Unfortunatley, the place where I would go for building supplies only had 90lb bags of concrete and I didn't want to lug those out of the truck, but in hind sight seems like a lot less work than what I have to go through now. They were also quite a bit more expensive, but that also is offset by the bad service I recieved from Home depot.






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 10-13-2003, 08:23 Post: 66114
TomG

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 Wrong Concrete (any concrete experts out there?)

Well now here's an attitude I can relate to in the circumstances. Probably a little more restrained than I'd be but maybe it's just consideration for all us readers who aren't in the situation.

Doesn't happen too often anymore but I trapped myself in a typical auto box-store situation last week. I want relocate the ground cable position on my tractor. It's just a short cable that connects to the battery box and likely isn't the best ground location. I figured I try to run a length of heavy cable to a mounting bolt on the starter motor. I found myself walking out with a 56" 1-gauge cable that probably is heavy enough and maybe isn't long enough. It's not what I wanted but with all the narrow aisles, tall shelves of junk, people wondering around in dazes (staff included) and crapy music mixed with crapy announcements I guess I couldn't wait to get out of there and just grabbed something so I could leave. Merchandising is a sophisticated buz and I believe the environments are intentional 'cause I sure wouldn't have bought that cable if I hadn't been approaching a state of shock. Of course, I'm 'country compensated' now and even parking meters dazzle me.






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 10-13-2003, 08:41 Post: 66115
DeTwang



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 Wrong Concrete (any concrete experts out there?)

quote from TomG:
___________________________

Of course, I'm 'country compensated' now and even parking meters dazzle me.
___________________________

Now I'm jealous! Smile






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 10-13-2003, 08:57 Post: 66118
Peters

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 Wrong Concrete (any concrete experts out there?)

I am not sure that Lowes is any better.

I ordered garage doors from them one day and the insulated style came with installation. I told them the garage was ICF so they would not likely know how to install them. I am told their people are prepared for anything.
A three weeks later the doors show up with the installers. They want 1/2 the price for the doors extra to install. I say thats not in the contract. Well I can get my money back. Fine they return my money.
Now I have to go somewhere else and wait the weeks to get them. By the time I have them the snow is flying and I am left out in the cold so to speak. I have to drive an hour either way to pick up and order.
When I ordered the main door I ordered on line. It was delivered to the house and 300$ cheaper than the matching door from the Home Depot. I had the door ordered there and then cancelled the order.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Contractors Forum

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