Hairline Cracks Require High-Pressure Injections

LESSONS LEARNED – Wisdom from 24/7 Tech Support

As the frontline point of contact for most incoming support calls, I’ve helped many customers face a wide variety of challenges. During my years as a contractor, I probably made every mistake there is to make with chemical grouts. I tell our customers to learn from my mistakes and save themselves the time and money. Every challenge is a learning experience.

I will share some of these lessons learned so you don’t have to learn them on the job. This anecdote is an example of one of the most common problems that customers call me about.

I received a call from a basement waterproofing contractor on the east coast. He uses our 900 XLV Quick Mix cartridge system with surface mount ports and a pneumatic gun to repair leaks in foundation walls. His call was about the trouble he was having injecting an 8’ long vertical hairline crack in a customer’s basement. He was unable to get the material to travel vertically in the crack. So he cranked up the pressure to the gun and had a cartridge blow out, which created a mess. He was frustrated because he had a lot more time in the job than he anticipated.

Know the limitations of your options

Over the years, I had discussed with him the difficulties of injecting hairline cracks with cartridges. They are designed for low-pressure applications and typically can generate between 30 and 50 psi of pressure at the tip. With tight cracks –  1/8″ or less – the pressure required to drive the material into the crack is usually much greater. In this case, the solution was to use our manual Prime Star pump and mechanical packers, which allows for installation of grout at much higher pressures. But sometimes the job requires installing chemicals from a pail using a small electrical pump such as the Titan 540. Cartridges are wonderfully convenient, but they are not always the right option for the job.

The point is, save yourself the wasted time, effort and money. Use the proper equipment. If you’re not sure, call Prime!

~ Adam Goldstone, customer support: 678-750-4903

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