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Thread: Concrete block

  1. #1
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    Default Concrete block

    Anyone seen these before. They are set improperly as far as I am concerned but they were set in 1920 and I was wondering if it could be possible that they were designed to be used this way.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    Wayne,

    Why do you think they are set wrong?


  3. #3
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    Question Re: Concrete block

    If you can see through it's wrong. Looks like concrete flue pipe?

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    Mike,

    Not familar with cement flue blocks myself. I knew that they didn't appear to be typical CMU's.

    As far as the openings, what if they had been sealed off on the ends with mortar, would they then be acceptable.

    Just being cement flue blocks as you mentioned, they are probably not designed for such use on a foundation wall to begin with. (?)

    Rick


  5. #5
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    Exclamation Re: Concrete block

    Rick,
    I was just guessing. Pure speculation. It looks similar to the flues used many moons ago for oil furnaces around here. It was installed from the crawl space ground through the home and out of the roof. By the looks of the scribe marks on the sides it is some type of decorative block. It is possible they where used for columns. Just guessing though.

    As far as the blocks layout you would have to fill completely. But if the home hasn't had any issues and there is not some large load above I would probably explain what it should be and explain how it use to be with "use anything" that is laying around and if they don't feel comfortable they should seek professional consultation on a remedy.

    I bet Bob would know if they where flue's.

    Sorry probably just confused it more!

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    If they are for support, they are wrong.

    The cells need to face up, with the solid walls (faces) being vertical. Those, with a little bit of load, especially at or near the center, will collapse at the center thin point.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    wow, what i was referring to is the fact that a concrete block should be set with the holes verticle not horizontal as they have no structural integrity set horizontally. Now with that said. Does anyone think these blocks are OK?


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    Default Re: Concrete block

    Oh , thankyou Jerry, I just missed your comment. Yes thats correct. Yet they have been sitting there for 70 odd years. I was just trying to see if anyone had seen this particular block before as it is quite unusual.
    To be set properly they would be taller than they are wide, which is also a defect as far as I'm concerned so which is right.
    Bad design, bad install, typical day in the trenches. Thanks again, wayne


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    Wayne,

    My first comment was to find out if you were aware the "eyes" should be facing up. You just sounded as if you were questioning yourself.

    I'd say these blocks should have not been used in the first place. CMU's would be installed facing vertically as JP said.

    The problem with the blocks in your picture would be if placed with the openings in a upwards position, the side of the block does not appear to be sized to support a load on them. This is probably why they were installed as they are.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    Heyyyyyyyyyyy that's what I said. Just didn't say it Like Jerry!

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    thanks to you all, yes I did know they were installed improperly. Can't believe they lasted this long but then again a plane or car has not crashed through the house yet and that's what they expect us to contemplate as we do our reports isn't it.
    Just like to throw the ball into the court now and then to see what happens.
    Got some unexpected comments.
    Unusual block also. Somehow can't picture it being used for a flue though.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    hey rick, can that kid fly? haha looks like my brother. Nice wings


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    I think that it would be better to refer to these are "cored" units. I probably would not get too concerned with the installation at this point considering the passage of time. However I would mention to the client that if they were planning any remodeling that would change the load paths then consideration may be needed for upgrading current installation.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  14. #14
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    Question Re: Concrete block

    I think that it would be better to refer to these are "cored" units.
    Eric,
    Good reply, Do you know what those blocks would of been used for?

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    Mike, The only thing that I can think of is for furnace chimney. But what I had in mind is more like the attached which is not quite the same.

    The attached, BTW, was in a cape cod that was moved. They just forgot to get a foundation under the chimney when they were done. How those 2x4s are holding it place I have no idea.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    I thought that was what it was. I see it occasionally in old homes that had oil heat furnace in the crawl space.

    Eric, Nice picture, Thats' a catastrophe waiting to happen

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Concrete block

    Thanks guys, Exactly as I suspected but still improper and even though it hasn't failed YET, If and when it does,My report will indicate that they were installed improperly.
    Now about the material aspect of using concrete for flue liners. I would think that heat from combustion would crack the blocks, That is why clay flue liners are used. They have been fired to 850 some odd degrees higher than the heat that would ever go through them so cracking woould not be an issue.
    So were these blocks a failed design or are they still used and do they hold up to the heat?


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