What are hydraulic pushed piers and how do they work?

Sunday, April 7th, 2019 by Maintenance Blizzard

hydraulic pushed piers

Hydraulic pushed piers are steel tubes pushed in the ground until refusal and attached to a structure to stabilize or lift it. Steel pipes vary in size and thickness according to the use.

They usually come in a section of 36 ‘’ and are made of prime quality steel. To drive those piers in the ground, the specialized contractor will use a hydraulic system that consists of rams, brackets, hydraulic hoses, and hydraulic pumps. From one contractor to the other the system may vary, but the principle stays the same.

How does it work? How is it installed?

Most of the piers are installed on the outside foundation but can also be installed on the foundation inside the building if the headspace allows it. There is also an individual piers system for floor jacking. The first step is to install a heavy-duty bracket on the foundation to receive the hydraulic ram and connect the piers to the foundation. Brackets come in many different sizes and shapes according to the engineer's specification. The choice of the bracket depends on the foundation condition and many other factors.

steel brackets

Steel Brackets

For exterior installation, it is necessary to excavate to expose the foundation where the piers need to be installed. Once the excavation is done, the next step is to cut a section of the existing footing, flush to the foundation and install the bracket under the foundation and secure it with concrete bolts to the foundation. The positioning of the piers, the spacing between them, the type of brackets and the size of the piers have to be planed by an engineer. The cost for an engineer plan vary according to the size of the project but generally speaking you could expect a cost between $1500 to $2500 for a regular size residential home.

Pier Installation Drawing

Pier Installation Drawing

Once the bracket is solidly installed, the ram is attached to it with all the hydraulic hose and pump. The rams can be connected in series with multiple hoses to operate them all at once or individually according to what is needed to be achieved.

Hydraulic ram attached in series

Hydraulic ram attached in series

At this point, the piers (steel pipes) are inserted into the bracket and pushed down into the ground by the ram until refusal or bedrock. The depth to reach bedrock or refusal vary considerably from one area to the other and sometimes from one corner of a building to the other. The contractor will specify a maximum depth for the price they quoted on and will charge a fee per foot exceeding that depth.

steel pipes

Piers sections (steel pipes)

After all the piers are installed and pushed down to bedrock or refusal the operator lift the structure to level and secure in place the piers to the bracket.

piping beneath foundation

Additional repair may also be needed on the foundation such as crack repair, steel belt reinforcement, and waterproofing. As the foundation is excavated and open you might want to use this opportunity to insulate the foundation as well. A foundation well repaired will give you many years worries free and is as good as new. This kind of work has to be done by specializing contractor that has the knowledge and experience to make the repair successful. Trying saving money hiring anybody that comes around might be deceptive in the long run and cost you more money than it would at the first time having to redo it properly.

Aspen Foundation Repair LLC has 20 plus years experience in foundation repair and offers you the peace of mind of a job done right the first time. We are serving Grand Junction area, Montrose, Delta, Paonia, Silt, Rifle, Glenwood, Vail, Avon and Aspen Area.

our service area

We serve the following areas

  • Almont
  • Aspen
  • Avon
  • Basalt
  • Bond
  • Burns
  • Carbondale
  • Chromo
  • Cimarron
  • Clark
  • Collbran
  • Craig
  • Crawford
  • Creede
  • Crested Butte
  • Eagle
  • Edwards
  • Frisco
  • Glenwood Springs
  • Gunnison
  • Gypsum
  • Hamilton
  • Hayden
  • Hotchkiss
  • Lake City
  • Mc Coy
  • Meeker
  • Meredith
  • Minturn
  • New Castle
  • Oak Creek
  • Ohio City
  • Pagosa Springs
  • Paonia
  • Parlin
  • Phippsburg
  • Pitkin
  • Powderhorn
  • Red Cliff
  • Silt
  • Slater
  • Snowmass
  • Snowmass Village
  • Somerset
  • Steamboat Springs
  • Toponas
  • Vail
  • Wolcott
  • Woody Creek
  • Yampa
Our Locations:

Aspen Foundation Repairs
732 Buckhorn Dr Unit B
Rifle, CO 81650
Aspen Foundation Repairs service area
Service Area
Free Estimate