Dead­man or thrust block, what’s the dif­fer­ence?

The Signal - - BUSINESS - Robert LAMOUREUX Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a gen­eral con­trac­tor, with sep­a­rate li­censes in elec­tri­cal and plumb­ing con­tract­ing. He owns IMS Con­struc­tion Inc. in Va­len­cia. His opin­ions are his own, not nec­es­sar­ily those of The Sig­nal

Ques­tion No. 1

What is the dif­fer­ence be­tween a Dead­man and thrust block or are they the same?

— Gary M.

An­swer No. 1

A Dead­man is put un­der a piece of hor­i­zon­tal pipe and is molded to­gether with all thread and Unistrut, from the bot­tom. You dig a hole un­der a piece of pipe that you’ve re­paired and put a large block of con­crete, could be as much as 1500 lbs, into the hole with all threads stick­ing out of the con­crete above the pipe. We then put Unistrut, (metal bar) two pieces which is 4 bolts, and we bolt that down so that the pipe is se­cured in place and un­able to rise in an up­wards mo­tion.

A thrust block is for hor­i­zon­tal move­ment, of­ten used with do­mes­tic and ir­ri­ga­tion pipes. This also, is a block of con­crete that is put at a 90 de­gree turn, where the end could pos­si­bly blow off. A per­fect ex­am­ple is a main fire line; there should be a thrust block at any turn, to pre­vent the pres­sure from al­low­ing the pipe to come apart. If the thrust block is not in­stalled, the pres­sure can even­tu­ally al­low the pipe to come apart and leak. The leak erodes the soil, leav­ing a cav­ity which then al­lows the pipe to move more and cause the con­nec­tion to come apart, cre­at­ing in some cases, cat­a­strophic dam­ages.

Ques­tion No. 2

We have a con­crete walk­way that needs power wash­ing and re-paint­ing (stain­ing?). Pic­ture at­tached. In your last col­umn you men­tioned that you have a ref­er­ence for a rep­utable com­pany that sounds like the kind of com­pany we need. Would you send us the name? Thank you. We ap­pre­ci­ate your help.

— Kathy S.

An­swer No. 2

Kathy, from the pho­tos it ap­pears that the paint is spalling and now can­not be stained. You’ll need to go back with sur­face ex­te­rior con­crete paint. I will send you the ref­er­ence I have, he’ll take good care of this for you. Good luck.

Ques­tion No. 3

Hi Robert, I am a Prop­erty Man­ager here in Santa Clarita. One of my com­mu­ni­ties in­stalled clus­ter mail­boxes, but I need to know if there is a way to re­duce the height of a mail­box pedestal. I have an el­derly lady who is un­able to stand up straight, lim­it­ing her reach, and she can’t ac­cess her mail­box. Please let me know if this is pos­si­ble, and if you have any ideas.

— Lisa H.

An­swer No. 3

Lisa, great ques­tion, thank you for writ­ing in. Un­for­tu­nately, you can­not al­ter the height of the mail­boxes, per USPS re­quire­ments. They have very strict stan­dards for the height. The best thing might be to ask her to switch with some­one who has a lower box than hers. Good luck.

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