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How to use injection packers for foundation crack repair

December 18, 2012

Injecting into a crack that has been previously repaired by hydraulic cement.

 

The vast majority of concrete foundation crack repairs using polyurethane or epoxy injection materials can be easily done using surface mounted injection ports. These are attached with a surface sealing paste. They have the advantage of being fast, easy to use, inexpensive and not needing a drill. There are times however, when surface mounted ports are not suitable and injection packers are needed.

What is an Injection Packer?

An injection packer or mechanical packer is a made of metal or plastic and has a collapsible rubber or plastic sleeve. Materials flow through a Zerk fitting at the tip and into a crack. The packers are used in conjunction with a grease gun filled with injection materials or a high pressure pump. The Zerk fitting stops materials from flowing out of the packer after injection and during the curing period. Packers are placed in holes drilled into the concrete and tightened with a wrench to collapse the rubber or plastic sleeve. This seals the opening to prevent any injection materials from leaking out. Because the seal is tight around the packer, much higher injection pressures are possible.

When to Use an Injection Packer

Hairline cracks that are smaller than the thickness of a fingernail are good candidates for using an injection packer. Cracks this narrow can require higher pressures to get the injection materials all the way through a foundation crack. Concrete walls that are over 10" in thickness and have cracks narrower than 1/16" may also require an injection packer.

Cracks that have been previously repaired with epoxy, urethane foam or hydraulic cement should be repaired using an injection packer. Higher pressures are needed to force the materials through defective or damaged foam than is possible with a surface mounted port. Hydraulic cement is installed by chiseling a "Vee" in the wall. It is necessary to leave this cement in place and inject behind it.

Actively leaking cracks can be repaired with urethane foams and injection packers. Surface mounted ports will not adhere to a wet wall, so drill in place mechanical packers are the solution.

How to Install Injection Packers

A hammer drill and appropriate size drill bit that is 12" long is required to make the holes for the packer. Never drill directly into the face of a crack. You are not able to tell from the surface if the crack goes straight through the wall or if it goes at an angle.

Measure 6 inches to the side of the crack and drill at a 45 degree angle towards the crack. Drill until the drill bit intersects with foundation crack. This ensures that the materials will flow into the crack. After drilling, wash the dust out of the hole with water using a bottle.

Insert the injection packer and tighten with a wrench to collapse the sleeve. Be sure not to over tighten as this may result in a leak around it.

Space the packers 18-24 inches apart.

After installing the packers, cover the face of the crack with a surface sealing paste. Allow the paste to cure and then inject the repair materials.

 

Here is more information on them.

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