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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I followed the directions on the quickrete site (http://www.quikrete.com/AtHome/SettingPostsInstructions.asp


  1. I placed the posts in the hold, leveled and lined the pole then poured dry mix around it.
  2. I poured about 1/2 gallon of water (using about 3/4 80lb bag...instructions call for 3/4 gallon for whole bag).
  3. Has set for about 48 hours now.
The concrete doesn't appear to be setting properly (not appearing like "normal" concrete). The concrete is fairly easily depressed by my finger, tends to flake, and one hole is cracking some.

I currently only have the corner posts set in addition to a couple more. I quit b/c I was concerned the concrete will not set and decided to ask here.

Another site suggests to only moisten the hole before pouring the dry mix and let moisture in the ground set the concrete (http://www.packagepavement.com/setting_post_qk.html). This site is referring to the fast setting variety however, which is not what I'm using, so it may not apply.

Questions:


  1. Is this normal, will the concrete properly set w/time.
  2. Am I ok to go ahead and hang the panels w/the concrete in this state?
  3. Should I be using the normal amount of water w/this method?
Thanks for any input!

*Edit*
I just realized the quickrete site is also using fast setting quickrete. Is the dry pour method not recommended for the normal type?
 

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I don’t believe in that method, you need to mix the concrete. I’d redo the corners and use at least 1 full sack. I use 1 ½ - 2 sacks per post.

Is this a wood fence? How deep are your holes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, its a wood fence. The holes are 3' deep. I had used this method before but can't for certain recall if I used the fast drying variety. The 3' holes only take up about 3/4 of an 80lb bag...perhaps I should widen them a bit.

I appreciate your input, I will fill the rest with premixed concrete, but I understandably don't want to redo the corners unless its absolutely necessary. I'm assuming the current posts will set properly but just may take longer before they're ready to support the panels?
 

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Tileguy
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You should mix the corners and let them set, then you can dry-hole the line posts. When you dry-hole a post be sure to tamp the mix down tightly while it is dry. We used a three pound sledge hammer to tamp with. The procedure works fine and in fact it is an acceptable government standard. In fact you don't have to ad any water and everything will still set up and harden over time.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Bud. Do you know if the "flaky" feeling is normal? It appears the rocks at the top settled down below the surface (they are not visible...concrete is smooth) due to pouring all that water on top...maybe that is why the top is flaky and perhaps the concrete below is normal?

If you premix and then pour, do you need to tamp the concrete after pouring?
 

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Tileguy
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I'm sure the flaky stuff is just at the top and yes, from too much water sitting there while it perks down.

If you premix and then pour, do you need to tamp the concrete after pouring?
Not "tamp" per se, but we always used a piece of rebar or pipe to rod the hole to encourage air bubbles to come to the top. It's the same as vibrating concrete basically. You can also shake the posts a little before you plumb them.

So...."rod" the mixed holes and "tamp" the dry holes.:)

Don't over-think this, I think I am beginning to smell smoke.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Huge help Bud, and yes I was starting to freak out a little bit. I spent 3 days digging 40 holes w/a post hole digger and was about to blow a gasket at the though of my corner posts possibly being structurally toast ( I can't think of any other way to address a corner post other than digging the sucker out...not my idea of fun). Thanks for the rebar tip...I just happen to have one lying around.
 

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I have always poured in a bit of dry mix, then water and then tamped. A bit more mix, etc,etc.
This has always worked for me.
Cement will set even if completely covered with water, so if you get too much water it will pool on top and eventually evaporate into the environment.
Its very difficult to screw up a post fill with concrete. :)
 

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also mix concrete and fill near the top every 4th post if you have a very long property line and also on either side of a gate. i fill up to 6" below grade and soil the rest for these critical posts.

i have never used the dry method.. mixing concrete in a wheel barrow is not very difficult, just have to avoid breathing the crap in.

Knucklez
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys. I decided to just premix everything and have been filling each hole to the top and crowning off to hopefully keep water away from the post. Now only 12 more posts to go :)
 

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Thanks guys. I decided to just premix everything and have been filling each hole to the top and crowning off to hopefully keep water away from the post. Now only 12 more posts to go :)
Glad to hear it.
 

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I followed the directions on the quickrete site (http://www.quikrete.com/AtHome/SettingPostsInstructions.asp


  1. I placed the posts in the hold, leveled and lined the pole then poured dry mix around it.
  2. I poured about 1/2 gallon of water (using about 3/4 80lb bag...instructions call for 3/4 gallon for whole bag).
  3. Has set for about 48 hours now.
The concrete doesn't appear to be setting properly (not appearing like "normal" concrete). The concrete is fairly easily depressed by my finger, tends to flake, and one hole is cracking some.

I currently only have the corner posts set in addition to a couple more. I quit b/c I was concerned the concrete will not set and decided to ask here.

Another site suggests to only moisten the hole before pouring the dry mix and let moisture in the ground set the concrete (http://www.packagepavement.com/setting_post_qk.html). This site is referring to the fast setting variety however, which is not what I'm using, so it may not apply.

Questions:


  1. Is this normal, will the concrete properly set w/time.
  2. Am I ok to go ahead and hang the panels w/the concrete in this state?
  3. Should I be using the normal amount of water w/this method?
Thanks for any input!

*Edit*
I just realized the quickrete site is also using fast setting quickrete. Is the dry pour method not recommended for the normal type?

Usually dry mix method its done with 60lb red bag fast setting stuff...dunno is it ok to use yellow but i will find out :thumbsup:
 

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Well, my take as a lay person is that concrete will wick moisture anyway, so if water didn't get to it when poured, it's going to happen eventually anyway.

When we had our house in Indiana, I dry set all of my posts with the yellow bags of quickcrete. I had to reconfigure the fence, which is a long story involving HOA rants, so I had 2 posts from the original build that were unused. One of them I was able to get out of the ground with a solid hunk of concrete on it, the other I wasn't able to pull out and just had to cut off at the ground. I attempted pulling the posts out with 2x4's attached to the post and a floor jack.
 

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Tileguy
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Don't confuse fence posts with "post footings".

It IS NOT necessary to use only fast-setting mix for dry-holing and any size bag of mix will work it doesn't have to be a 60 pound bag. Good Lord !!!.
 

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