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Re: Look at What an Ex-Tenant Left Behind [Re: electure] #215345 04/11/15 02:37 AM
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gfretwell Offline
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Concrete is extremely vulnerable to SUGAR. I don't know the chemistry, but even during WWII the French underground was encouraged to add sugar to German concrete fortifications -- the Atlantic Wall. It turns out that a tiny amount of sugar makes concrete stronger -- anything beyond tiny makes concrete weaker -- to the point of crumbling if hit by a hammer.


It takes quite a bit of sugar to hurt concrete and I doubt the French resistance had that much sugar in a war ravaged Europe. The biggest problem for the Germans was salt, on the Atlantic wall. They had to wash the beach sand before they could use it.

Both of these cause the problem because they are water soluble and after the concrete cures, the salt or sugar washes away in the rain, leaving small voids throughout the matrix.

I doubt pouring a liter or two of soda pop in a concrete entombed drain will do much. My wife had this problem building houses, just from the tile guys washing out their grout tools in the sink and not chasing it with enough water. Usually they were chipping concrete and replacing pipe. You might have better luck with a gallon of muriatic acid, as long as all of the pipe is PVC. Just don't pour it in through the porcelain fixtures. Pull the crapper and pour it in the hole. It is heavier than water so it will go to the bottom.


Greg Fretwell
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Look at What an Ex-Tenant Left Behind [Re: gfretwell] #215346 04/11/15 08:00 AM
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Texas_Ranger Offline
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The only time I've heard of sugar being used on fresh concrete was during the catastrophic London Underground pour last year. Forms were leaky or something and they flooded an entire signalling room with concrete! The engineers ended up buying any sugar they could find locally in order to keep the concrete from setting.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukn...sugar-used-to-slow-concrete-setting.html

Re: Look at What an Ex-Tenant Left Behind [Re: electure] #215347 04/11/15 09:56 AM
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Tesla Offline
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Greg,

Due to domestic tariffs, Europe had quite a sugar beet 'empire.' The amount of sugar beets grown in Poland and Germany -- especially back then -- would surprise you.

[ The alternative was to import sugar from cane -- something that mercantilist politicians did not favor.

It's a strange, but true, fact: the Nazis obtained their poison gas as a byproduct of sugar beet refining (and does it ever stink, the refinery, that is)... and many other chemicals.]

I never read of the French underground being encouraged to use salt. I would think that salt would stop the concrete from even setting up properly in the first place -- resulting in prompt detection.

The soda pop cure only works on FRESH concrete -- much less than one day old -- so I've been told. From time to time, I've read of fellows pulling such cures off. I've never actually seen it done on any job myself.

Let's hope that concrete in PVC is a rare thing indeed.

In the case mentioned, the slab was jack hammered for days on end. The fouled up pour delayed the completion of the store by three full weeks. (!) The perp was thrown off the job and another outfit was brought in on a panic basis.

No grocery store for miles around ever had the troubles that particular build had. It cost the superintendent his career, multiple foremen lost their jobs or ended their careers,... Ages afterward, that stinko job was still the talk of the local trades. The word had really gotten around. Everyone involved lost their shirt.

Most of the blame properly belonged on the superintendent and the GC that put him in charge. He couldn't handle the pressure or the work flow.

From the Telegraph cited above:

"Sucrose, which is mainly found in cane and beet sugar available in supermarkets, is probably the most effective cement retardant. This is the sugar that most people will put in their cup of tea or their breakfast cereal.

Depending on the kind of cement being used, even small amounts of sugar can double the amount of time it takes to set.

Tests have shown that adding just 0.04% of cane sugar can cause a cement that normally takes 1 hour 18 minutes to set to increase to one two hours 36 minutes.

At concentrations of more than one per cent in a cement mix, sucrose can delay complete hardening almost indefinitely. "

As for the war: there are countless tales of sabotage successfully pulled off.

Tank restoration buffs that went entirely through salvaged German tanks have found that every single one of them had been sabotaged over and over -- in subtle ways -- usually in the lubrication system. No wonder wartime accounts constantly reported German tanks being tied up in the shops being repaired -- one more time. (!)

The slaves/ forced labor were unhappy in their work!

Last edited by Tesla; 04/11/15 10:04 AM.

Tesla
Re: Look at What an Ex-Tenant Left Behind [Re: electure] #215353 04/12/15 01:33 PM
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mbhydro Offline
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First time I heard of the sugar trick was when the teamsters union was on strike against a local cement plant. They would randomly figure out a way to toss a bag in a ready mix truck driven by management between the plant and the delivery point.

At least they only did it to trucks doing street paving jobs and not any doing structural building pours.

Major paving contractor had to rip up a few sections of pavement on a major road project and re-pour as the concrete did not meet the lab tests due to the sugar.

Re: Look at What an Ex-Tenant Left Behind [Re: electure] #215356 04/13/15 01:09 AM
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gfretwell Offline
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First time I heard of the sugar trick was when the teamsters union was on strike against a local cement plant.


That is how I know about it. My mom worked for the Teamsters International in DC and I spent a lot of time with the boys talking about the "old days".
It must be something the Teamster organizers learn early in their career.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Look at What an Ex-Tenant Left Behind [Re: electure] #215357 04/13/15 01:43 AM
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sparkyinak Offline
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How about a tray of eggs left in an air duct?.....

Last edited by sparkyinak; 04/13/15 01:43 AM.

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
Re: Look at What an Ex-Tenant Left Behind [Re: sparkyinak] #215358 04/13/15 03:44 PM
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wa2ise Offline
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Originally Posted by sparkyinak
How about a tray of eggs left in an air duct?


Reminds me of an old joke Dan Ingram of Musicradio 77 WABC used to say to announce a record: "Love is in the air, or maybe it's just a dead rat in the air conditioning ducts..." laugh

Re: Look at What an Ex-Tenant Left Behind [Re: electure] #215359 04/13/15 09:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
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HotLine1 Online Content
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Talk about walking down memory lane......

"Reminds me of an old joke Dan Ingram of Musicradio 77 WABC"



John
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