Tips For Using A Rented Concrete Pump Truck In Cold Weather

If you are interested in building your own home from the foundation up, then you should understand that you will need a great deal of concrete to form the foundation. Renting a concrete pump truck is one good way to mix and place all of the concrete you need within a single day. But if you want to start the building process during the fall or winter months, then the outside temperatures probably are not going to be warm. In fact, you may work for a few days when the temperatures are able to freeze the concrete. The concrete will set when the temperatures rise. However, you may have some issues using the rented pump truck when concrete starts to freeze. To avoid this issue, follow the tips below.

Use Hot Water

If you mix concrete in the boom of the pump truck, then the water in the mixture will have the opportunity to freeze. Thankfully, this will not ruin the boom truck since concrete will not harden or cure once the water in the concrete mix freezes. However, the concrete will need to be thawed before the pumping truck can be utilized again. This will take some time and involve placing the truck in a warm environment for several hours. 

To avoid freezing issues, you should mix the concrete with hot water. While you can heat the substrate materials as well, the rock will not hold nearly as much heat as water. This means that the rocks will not help much in warming the concrete. However, the rocks should be kept at a moderate temperature of around 60 degrees, because cold rocks will contribute to the freezing of the concrete.

When you start adding water to the boom, you will want to make sure that water is heated but not boiled. Boiling water will create a good deal of condensation that may move to the interior of the boom and the pipeline. This is a more serious issue when it comes to the pipeline, since ice can completely block the pipe and prevent concrete from moving to the pour site. To prevent this issue, try to keep water at around 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hot water probably will not be available at the site of your new home. You can create hot water if you invest in a portable point of use water heater. These heaters are typically used for camping purposes, and they create hot water by using propane to fuel the burner. Attach the heater to an outdoor water source and secure your water hose to the hot water outlet for easy use. If a water line has not been installed yet, then you will need to fill a portable water container off site and place it on the property. Connect the tank to the heater and then secure your spray hose to the hot water outlet. 

Warm The Pipeline

Concrete can cool quite quickly as it moves through the pipeline. This is especially true if concrete needs to sit for some time before it is used. This can cause the material to solidify within the pipe. To prevent this issue, make sure to keep the pipe as warm as possible. One easy solution is to place foam pipe insulation across the entire outside of the pipeline. If you do this, then just make sure to close the insulation slit with duct tape. If temperatures are too cold and the insulation does not prevent a freezing issue, then use insulating blankets to cover the pipeline. If this does not work, then blanket heaters can be used. Industrial blankets used to keep barrels and tanks warm are a good choice.

The concrete pump motor itself will create heat, and this heat is released through an exhaust system. You can use this heat to warm the pump. Connect a hose to the exhaust outlet and place the end of the house in the pipeline opening. The heated air will move through the pipeline and into the hopper. Just make sure to prop open the hopper a small amount so the air can escape. This process is best used to preheat the pipeline before concrete is mixed. 

For more information, or if you feel you cannot do this on your own, contact a professional concrete trucking company, such as Masterlink Concrete Pumping, that  can advise you or operate the truck for you.