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Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?

 
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:36 PM   #1
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Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


I recently installed 3 sonutubes in holes the night before a heavy rain. The holes filled up with water which then destroyed the sonotubes over night.

We had an inspection scheduled for that morning arriving to the site to find all the holes totally caved in from the soaking wet worthless sonotubes

We had to redig the holes, pump out the water, put in new tubes and backfill in time for the inspection.

I dont use sonotubes much.

Does anyone have a suggestion what I could use instead of sonotubes that will hold up to quite aa bit of moisture until the inspector stops by and we can place the concrete and backfill the post holes?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:39 PM   #2
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


I don't use them for the entire hole. I just place a short section at the top of the hole. I've had it happen to me before by an unexpected thunderstorm and I stopped putting them in the hole to the bottom.
I don't think there is a way to stop them from getting wet and caving in.

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Old 07-13-2010, 04:55 PM   #3
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


I just square off my holes and use plywood forms until inspection is complete.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:59 PM   #4
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


I’m at the same cross road, Started a deck today but with rain expected today & tomorrow there’s no sense taking a chance destroying $400. In sono tubs. So we staked it out and now are waiting.
I have considered coating the tubs with epoxy of some sort, maybe sacrifice 8 tubes. Then swap out the epoxy coated tubes on inspection day.
I have a few extra floating around, I’ll give it a shot and post results
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:05 PM   #5
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


you could try those round cardboard post forms they use in highrise. I don't think they're cheap though and you would still want the sonotubes above grade or you'll have to strip them. The easiest way is to just cover the holes with ply if you think it's gonna rain and the soil looks dodgy.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:14 PM   #6
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


buy 12" thinwall PVC pipe. keep it in there overnight, then stick real tubes in there for the inspection. keep the pipe for the next job. that's another option but expensive.
I think making a form for the top of the hole is the best solution and saves you a lot in sonotubes.

the concrete gets a better grab on the walls of the hole and easier to bell the bottom.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:25 PM   #7
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


I know it sounds simple, but a small piece of plywood, a plastic trash can lid, etc. all work great and keep most of the water out of the hole. I've used in the past with great results.

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Old 07-13-2010, 05:51 PM   #8
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


I'm surprised that sonotubes are not coated with wax or something similar, for their cost.

Where my footings are not highly visable, I often use a thin cardboard form that is waxed. I buy them by the box (probably a 100 to the box @ less then a dollar each. They are 12" round and 9" high. They are segmented and are flat in the box. Often times they are reusable as well. Downside of them is that you have to go easy placing the concrete in them, they can blow out. They are also harder to plumb up, since they are so flexible.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:24 PM   #9
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


I saw some one using galv metal duct in place of sono.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:34 PM   #10
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


sonotubes are coated with something just not enough to keep them from soaking up water. the plywood works if it's not a ground water issue. if you are digging where the ground water can be a problem during a rain, then plywood is not going to help. don't let the sonotube touch the bottom of the hole.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:55 PM   #11
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


The soil mostly clay around here, so, like Apgar, I don't use full tubes very often. But when I need to, I double-bag them with contractor bags. Put one bag over the outside of the tube, put it in the hole. Put the other bag inside the tube (like it's a garbage can). Then put a few inches of gravel in the bottom of the bag. This keeps any ground water from raising the inside bag out of the hole.

I did have one inspector bitch about not being able to see the dirt at the bottom of the hole. But all the other ones were fine with it.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:13 PM   #12
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


The better sonotubes are wax coated and will take a fair amount of water before they get ruined. One rain storm won't kill them.

The HD tubes are regular cardboard and suck. We don't use them unless it's an emergency, plus they are more per LF than the WAXED 12' tubes we get at a real supplier.

All our holes get plywood over the top until the concrete comes.

We used to use full height tubes on all jobs. Now, not so much. We only use a 1' piece to form the top. You get a larger footing that is much easier to make look "good" at the end of the day. Not using a tube generally means more concrete and with the 15" auger we use use, it means the real size of the footing goes up to 16" while the HO can only see 12" from the top due to tube form.

I cannot figure out the inspectors on this. We routinely pass footing inspection with no tubes set for the inspection, then the adjacent town's inspector will fail for not having tubes. It's like "HELLO...it's a friggin' hole...how much more complicated must you make this?"
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:43 PM   #13
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


have you failed for not belling out the bottom? I've yet to see a deck ripped out of the ground with non-belled footings.

to me, there is no need for tubes the whole way. I think it's a better and stronger footing if the concrete forms to the ground, greg does it just like I do, 1' at the top.


Deck pros, where are you in NJ. We have all CLAY and ROCK where I live in kingwood township, NJ
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:52 PM   #14
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


If they say "Sonotube" you
don't have that problem.
Greg's got it.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:17 PM   #15
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


Quote:
Deck pros, where are you in NJ.
I mostly work in Morris, Somerset and Hunterdon counties. All shale, rock and clay. Gas powered augers? Forget it. Not a chance.

Smaller jobs (10 footings or less) we usually use a few jack hammers and shale bars. On larger jobs, I'll rent or borrow a big machine.

I've used my buddy's L45 Kubota. As far as "compact" backhoes go, that's a pretty big one (45 HP). And I've broken the pin on his 3-point post hole digger more than once (it's designed to shear when too much force is placed on the auger). And I'm CAREFUL with it. Sometimes I just have to put the backhoe back on, dig a large hole, put in the tubes and backfill...
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:25 PM   #16
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Di View Post
I cannot figure out the inspectors on this. We routinely pass footing inspection with no tubes set for the inspection, then the adjacent town's inspector will fail for not having tubes. It's like "HELLO...it's a friggin' hole...how much more complicated must you make this?"
I don’t know for sure why townships require sonotubes but I have a theory.
UP lift: if the concrete is poured in a hole and the sides are gagged or uneven the footing my lift when the ground area around it rises in the winter?
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:58 PM   #17
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


Quote:
Originally Posted by festerized View Post
I don’t know for sure why townships require sonotubes but I have a theory.
UP lift: if the concrete is poured in a hole and the sides are gagged or uneven the footing my lift when the ground area around it rises in the winter?
We dig to 36". The actual frost only gets about 12" deep in the WORST circumstances in nature.

If you have even the slightest bell at the base of the footing it's a non-issue. Even without a bell, it's a non-issue.

So much of code is interpretive and common sense, yet the amount of overkill designed into the codes that eliminate the application of common sense baffles me.

I've seen 30 year old decks with NO footings (4x4s buried in 3" of dirt) that have lasted just fine!!!
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:02 PM   #18
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


12" of frost in NJ may be max but not other locations. I've dug in winter before here and on occasion have seen more than 12" of frost, not common but happens.

36-42 is great.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:14 PM   #19
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


I've used the black plastic culvert pipe. smooth walled on the interior. I think it was 16" stuff. But it was free to me and I didn't have to buy it. stuff was sweet. Could back fill and then cut the top exactly level where i wanted it. I think I used a sawzall to cut off whatever was sticking above rough grade. It probably isn't a good alternative. But, the stuff is not going to cave in ever.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:54 PM   #20
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Re: Any Solution For Sonotubes Getting Wet And Caving In Waiting For Inspection?


We use sonotube for light pole bases. We auger the hole, usually 2' diameter, then just use tube for the 2' above grade. Drop in rebar cage, add plywood template for pole anchor bolts with 3" hole in the middle, bring conduit in and up thru the hole in the template, ground rod, then call the electrical inspector, and hope he gets there before too many rains, one shower doesnt hurt, as long as there is no water in the hole.

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