Since grouting is often completed by crew members who aren’t educated in best practices, there seems to be a lot of common misinformation about grout pumping. To many, it seems like common sense that pumping grout is better than pouring. However, just because pumping can initially save lots of time and money, it’s not always best.
Today we’re talking about some commonly held myths you should consider before ordering a pump. We are here to help, because simply knowing the truth can save a lot of time and unnecessary headaches.
Myth #1: “If you pump the grout, you’re guaranteed a successful grout job.”
Truth: Pumping gets the grout closer to where it will end up. However, without the right technique, you’re still not guaranteed the best bearing percentage.
Myth #2: “Any old pump will work for getting the job done.”
Truth: Not every pump can handle grouts used in today’s construction market. Epoxy grouts, for example, are very tough to pump. The same characteristics that make them desirable under equipment make them bad for pumping. You need a pump with power and minimal exposure of moving parts to the epoxy. Even many cement grouts are tough to pump. The desire for fast strength gain, high temperature resistance, and high compressive strength can make cement grouts too unruly to pump consistently.
Myth #3: “Pumping always makes grouting faster.”
Truth: For cement grouts, pumping does help put the grout into place quicker, but usually the step that holds up the process and causes grouting to drag out is the mixing. Unless you invest in mixing equipment or a lot of additional manpower for mixing, a pump can only put out grout as fast as the mixers, which means that the pump will often sit idle waiting on grout to finish mixing.
Now for epoxy grouts, pumping isn’t faster than pouring. You are just not asking the grout to do much to get in place. However, pumping does increase the accuracy of the overall job, as it helps ensure the grouting area is truly full.