How to Drain Water from the Concrete Pump in Winter

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Do you want to know how to drain water in winter and overcome these problems in the winter season?

Construction activity can span over many seasons, and working in severe cold or hot weather is not an easy job. Climate changes have a significant impact on the performance and properties of concrete. But with proper management and planning, you can overcome this problem. There are some tips and methods for pumping concrete in the winter season.

Cold weather drainage can create two main issues. One issue is concrete freezes before it gains strength and it breaks up. The other problem is hard concrete sets very slowly, and below 40 to 50° F, the process of reaction stops and can’t gain strength.

Keeping the concrete pump working and safe from freezing is a challenging task at below 40, so some suggestions and planning tips list below can help drain water in winter.

 Mixing concrete with hot water is an excellent method to prevent the concrete from freezing. During the preparation, slurry should also blend with hot water. Otherwise, it can freeze and become a cause of restriction. This restriction further becomes the cause of blockage for the concrete flow.

  1. Ready-mixed concrete with hot water can use during the mixing of slurry. Most of the ready mixed concrete companies try to keep the concrete at least 65 °F, and it is a good idea and depends on the concrete thickness and air temperature.
  2. Cover yourself completely to keep yourself warm, and the machine should not be outside or in an open area. It will freeze due to mist in the air. Don’t put water into the water box or hopper until the starting of the pump.
  3. Preheating a boom using an engine’s exhaust stake can prove effective in preventing the freezing of concrete. An exhaust hose that can stand against high temperatures can use for preheating purposes. Airflow should have an open pathway of exiting. Otherwise, hot air will force back and produce excessive back pressure on the truck engine.
  4. In the case of concrete freezing in the boom, the pumping can stop. You need to warm up the machine and allow it to thaw the machine. All the material should clean out before resuming pumping and settling the fresh concrete into the machine.
  5. Cold weather leads to cold concrete, and it ultimately can delay the set time. You can add accelerators to concrete. It will keep it on schedule. At least 2% of calcium chloride by the weight of concrete can accelerate the hydration reaction. Although it is a cost-effective and traditional way for acceleration, it becomes a reason for steel corrosion and concrete discoloration. It should not use in an excessive amount. 
  6. Pumping concrete in winter can also become a reason for mixture bleeding, and air-entrained concrete can reduce bleeding.
  7. Slang cement and fly ash don’t recommend for winter season usage as they create less internal heat and set up more slowly than other materials.
  8. Another way to drain water from the concrete pump in winter is to wrap the boom pump line in insulation. Foam tubes after cutting can place around the pipeline, and it taps tightly. It holds in concrete heat and makes sure its normal flow.   
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