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Old 03-31-2017, 07:07 PM   #16
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


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Originally Posted by Shopguy View Post
I don't know what wash out of open hole for frost lift means.. Our frost line is 42 inches, I'm going 60 down.. I can't imagine frost would have any effect.

I will be installing rebar but it wasn't specified in the original engineered drawings from IronRidge. I'm probably going to go with 1/2" rebar and put four or five vertical in each column that extend down at least 2 feet below grade and up to within three inches or so of the top.

Going to rent or purchase one of those vibrators too..


Normally you only need to go 6 inches below the frost line, which in your case would be 48 in., your going an extra 10 feet down that you really don't need to do?

Be careful with that vibrator also, improper use can do more harm than good.
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:39 PM   #17
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


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Normally you only need to go 6 inches below the frost line, which in your case would be 48 in., your going an extra 10 feet down that you really don't need to do?

Be careful with that vibrator also, improper use can do more harm than good.
My project is the installation of solar panels.. We are more concerned with ground shear forces and uplift than we are most other things.

I think you meant I was going an extra 10 inches not feet right?

As for the vibrator.. Never used one before but from watching youtube, it would seem its quite easy.. Straight up, straight down, never keep it in one spot for more than 5 to 7 seconds or it could cause the concrete mix to stratify. Did I miss anything?
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:46 PM   #18
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


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It may not be an engineering consideration in your application....

but wash out is when the hole caves in places, allowing concrete to sort of hump out or shelf out, and when ground freezes, those humps can create a vertical or disstabilizing lift up on the column over time.

Just out of curiosity, what is the project...???
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Originally Posted by Shopguy View Post
My project is the installation of solar panels.. We are more concerned with ground shear forces and uplift than we are most other things.

I think you meant I was going an extra 10 inches not feet right?

As for the vibrator.. Never used one before but from watching youtube, it would seem its quite easy.. Straight up, straight down, never keep it in one spot for more than 5 to 7 seconds or it could cause the concrete mix to stratify. Did I miss anything?
Did the engineer spec/call out sonotubes to the bottom..... that may be why.
Maybe not....
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:54 AM   #19
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


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Originally Posted by Shopguy View Post
My project is the installation of solar panels.. We are more concerned with ground shear forces and uplift than we are most other things.

I think you meant I was going an extra 10 inches not feet right?

As for the vibrator.. Never used one before but from watching youtube, it would seem its quite easy.. Straight up, straight down, never keep it in one spot for more than 5 to 7 seconds or it could cause the concrete mix to stratify. Did I miss anything?

No 10 ft.is what i said, your going an extra 12 inches in each pier, that's 10 feet in 10 piers.


As to the vibrator, it depends on what slump the concrete is when it's placed.

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Old 04-01-2017, 01:18 PM   #20
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


The frost dept for a free-standing deck is only a personal guide, but some municipalities have prescriptive details for all structures that does not make sense from an engineering standpoint.

Obviously, no one would go with footings not down below frost since the heaving will direct all rain and snow melt back toward the house. Any damage to the connection is already been done and will stay that way until corrected.

Frost heave effects do not always go go away after a melt.

Once you attach a deck to the house everything is different.

Sonotubes full depth are far superior to having a rough outer surface of the poured concrete. The ground freezes from the top down and it can raise a deck upward by pulling it upward, so the smooth sonotube surface minimizes and upward pull.

Dick
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:03 PM   #21
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


ShopGuy.... No insult is intended here at all... and you mentioned you are an engineer, and I have no idea how critically demanding the specs are on this...

BUT, have you ever done this work before.???

On the one hand you mention that you are concerned with stability and uplift, but on the other hand you seem sort of uncerned with frost heave and even rebar,,, that your engineer apparently left out of specs....

and 1K of sonotubes seems unsettling to you, but I would imagine a project requiring 20" sonos @60" depth is relatively an important structural issue and 1K of sonos should be a relatively minor issue.

I'm all for saving needless costs, just something here I don't understand.

Good luck
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Old 04-02-2017, 01:04 AM   #22
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


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Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
ShopGuy.... No insult is intended here at all... and you mentioned you are an engineer, and I have no idea how critically demanding the specs are on this...

BUT, have you ever done this work before.???

On the one hand you mention that you are concerned with stability and uplift, but on the other hand you seem sort of uncerned with frost heave and even rebar,,, that your engineer apparently left out of specs....

and 1K of sonotubes seems unsettling to you, but I would imagine a project requiring 20" sonos @60" depth is relatively an important structural issue and 1K of sonos should be a relatively minor issue.

I'm all for saving needless costs, just something here I don't understand.

Good luck
The original quasi -"one size fits all" engineering calls for a specific depth and diameter of the columns which is 5ft deep x 20 inches diameter. The columns are also to be flush with the grade and the 3 inch pipe embedded into the columns to rise a maximum of 30 inches above grade.

I am extending this 30 inches of 3 inch pipe to 60 inches above grade because my project sits on a slope.
To compensate for the extra height, and thus the extra wind loading, I am making the following changes:
1) Increase the diameter of the column below grade from 20 to 22 inches
2) Increase the depth of the column below grade from 60 to 72 inches
3) Extend the column above the grade to a point where only 30 inches of the 3 inch pipe is showing.
This is done because too lengthy of a pipe between the supported structure and the concrete, could allow too much deflection of the pipe. So by extending the 20 inch column up above grade with the pipe, we remove the concern for the pipe bending.

4) We have added an extra pier support. If I built it to the engineering specs, I could have gotten away with just 6 piers.. I'm using 10.

The original specs did not call for rebar.. Certainly can't hurt to add it as I'm all for exceeding requirements.

I've worked with concrete before but not this type of work. I've even made short (20 inch) columns, but they were just fancy raised pads to put a cargo container on, not a solar system support structure.

This is a solar panel system.. Going to look almost identical to the one in the photo below. The difference is that mine is mounted on a slope.. While the solar array will remain level, the supporting pipes will extend down further to keep it that way. To stay within engineering specs for the exposed piping coming up out of the concrete, I plan to use sonotubes above grade.
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Help with Sonotube and Piers-solar1.jpg  
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Old 04-02-2017, 01:24 AM   #23
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


If it were me doing this, and I had access to those drums, I think I would be cutting them down to about a foot tall and adding a length of sono tube material to the balance of the height in order to reduce concrete costs. You might be able to get away with an 8 inch sonotube, but I am not an Engineer. Check with the manufacturer to see if this would fit the specs for the solar panel installation. They really don't weight that much.

Here is a calculator to assist with the concrete costs for the project. You need to know the price per cubic yard of concrete and the heights and diameter of the different sections, but If I was a betting man, I would bet there is a savings by reducing the concrete volumes and using sonotubes, IF the specs would allow for smaller sonotubes, it would be a bonus.

http://www.calculatorsoup.com/calcul...calculator.php

Calculate the costs for the full height of the 20 inch drum versus a stepped design including the cost of the smaller diameter sonotubes.

Also, aren't the panels more effective if they are tilted according to the distance from the equator somehow? I would think there is a specific angle according to the latitude they are installed at. Laying them flat just doesn't sound like a good thing. They would collect debris and may not be as efficient in terms of solar collection.
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:37 AM   #24
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


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Originally Posted by jlhaslip View Post
If it were me doing this, and I had access to those drums, I think I would be cutting them down to about a foot tall and adding a length of sono tube material to the balance of the height in order to reduce concrete costs. You might be able to get away with an 8 inch sonotube, but I am not an Engineer. Check with the manufacturer to see if this would fit the specs for the solar panel installation. They really don't weight that much.
The engineering calls for a 20 inch diameter post hole. they do not specifically call for sonotubes but I'm going to use them anyhow.

Quote:
Here is a calculator to assist with the concrete costs for the project. You need to know the price per cubic yard of concrete and the heights and diameter of the different sections, but If I was a betting man, I would bet there is a savings by reducing the concrete volumes and using sonotubes, IF the specs would allow for smaller sonotubes, it would be a bonus.

http://www.calculatorsoup.com/calcul...calculator.php

Calculate the costs for the full height of the 20 inch drum versus a stepped design including the cost of the smaller diameter sonotubes.
To find the volume of any column, calculate pressure within a hydraulic system, or any other function involving cylinders, its real easy.
Just multiply the radius x the radius x Pi.. So a 12 inch column would be 6 x 6 x 3.1415 which gives you the area of the circle.. then just add the length of the column to get the volume.

Quote:
Also, aren't the panels more effective if they are tilted according to the distance from the equator somehow? I would think there is a specific angle according to the latitude they are installed at. Laying them flat just doesn't sound like a good thing. They would collect debris and may not be as efficient in terms of solar collection.
Yes.. In our area, the panels need to tilt 33 degrees to effectively split the difference between winter and summer radiance.
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:37 PM   #25
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


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Originally Posted by jlhaslip View Post
If it were me doing this, and I had access to those drums, I think I would be cutting them down to about a foot tall and adding a length of sono tube material to the balance of the height in order to reduce concrete costs. You might be able to get away with an 8 inch sonotube, but I am not an Engineer. Check with the manufacturer to see if this would fit the specs for the solar panel installation. They really don't weight that much.
Oops.. I missed this part..

We aren't worried about weight.. your right that solar panels don't weigh much.. in fact, the pipes holding the panels will weigh more than the panels themselves.. each panel is only 50 lbs.

With solar, they apparently worry far more about uplift and shear.. Uplift being the obvious where the wind hitting the back of the panels wants to turn them into air born sails.

But I think more importantly is wind shear.. the ability of a strong wind to push on the panels and cause the concrete columns to shift around in the soil.. much like the wind pushing over a tree, I believe the concern is more centered on the wind shifting the foundation or just folding over the pipe structure like bending a drinking straw.
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Old 04-03-2017, 02:02 PM   #26
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
The frost dept for a free-standing deck is only a personal guide, but some municipalities have prescriptive details for all structures that does not make sense from an engineering standpoint.

Obviously, no one would go with footings not down below frost since the heaving will direct all rain and snow melt back toward the house. Any damage to the connection is already been done and will stay that way until corrected.

Frost heave effects do not always go go away after a melt.

Once you attach a deck to the house everything is different.

Sonotubes full depth are far superior to having a rough outer surface of the poured concrete. The ground freezes from the top down and it can raise a deck upward by pulling it upward, so the smooth sonotube surface minimizes and upward pull.

Dick
Just read a short tip on another web sight, where you wrap thick plastic sheeting, around the outside of the tube, so there is slippage, and the freezing ground will not pull the tube up. Sounds good to me.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:12 PM   #27
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Re: Help with Sonotube and Piers


Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
The frost dept for a free-standing deck is only a personal guide, but some municipalities have prescriptive details for all structures that does not make sense from an engineering standpoint.

Obviously, no one would go with footings not down below frost since the heaving will direct all rain and snow melt back toward the house. Any damage to the connection is already been done and will stay that way until corrected.

Frost heave effects do not always go go away after a melt.

Once you attach a deck to the house everything is different.

Sonotubes full depth are far superior to having a rough outer surface of the poured concrete. The ground freezes from the top down and it can raise a deck upward by pulling it upward, so the smooth sonotube surface minimizes and upward pull.

Dick
Dick hit the nail on the head here. Sonotubes give a smooth, uniform surface that is resistant to frost heave, unlike a 55 gallon drum that has ribs to it. Personally, I'd shop around for the sonotubes. I've found pretty extreme prices variances (and quality) between various ready-mix plants.
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