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Concrete cellar

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  1. #1
    Golden Member manofaus's Avatar
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    Default Concrete cellar

    I have in the past free formed a pit (only 900mm deep) for machinery, where we attached the internal floating formwork to the steel work. once poured (bottom and sides) and set we then removed the formwork and then we cut back and filled the holes were the steel came into the form work. I am just wondering how you would go about doing a cellar. Do they do them in one pour? I can get a prefab one but they are very expensive and find the size too restrictive. Any ideas?
    sorry for the ramble.

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    3K Club Member johnc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofaus View Post
    I have in the past free formed a pit (only 900mm deep) for machinery, where we attached the internal floating formwork to the steel work. once poured (bottom and sides) and set we then removed the formwork and then we cut back and filled the holes were the steel came into the form work. I am just wondering how you would go about doing a cellar. Do they do them in one pour? I can get a prefab one but they are very expensive and find the size too restrictive. Any ideas?
    On smaller spaces (2400 x 2400 x 1900 high) I have used formply made into a box and braced with the lot suspended from above, then poured floor and walls in one run. Worked OK, you have to brace well and make sure your internal corners don't cause any grief when getting formwork out. Probably more thought goes into how you build something you can disemble without complications.

  3. #3
    Golden Member manofaus's Avatar
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    i would imagine you would need to climb in to finish the floor? would this make it water tight or would I need to do some sort of external water proofing. I was looking at a room 3.0 x 4.2 x 2.4 h.
    sorry for the ramble.

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    Hammer Head - 1K Club Member
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    maybe use ICF blocks as form work, no way you can free from pour a room that big, you need a smooth wall to waterproof

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    3K Club Member johnc's Avatar
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    On that size you would be best to wrap the external in plastic if using concrete, pour floor first and walls on a second poor. They will most likely be rough unless vibrated properly as you go which means most likely applying a render with waterproofing in the mix. You would also probably best to have a slight fall on the floor towards a sump with a pump to clear the pit from time to time. Good luck, I'd be keener to do concrete floor and those ICF walls, seems like a smart alternative to timber formply formwork.

  6. #6
    Old Chippy 6K
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    For this purpose look at using pre-formed drain sections from Humes Australia - Humes TM - Box culverts - the U-shape with lid.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  7. #7
    Golden Member manofaus's Avatar
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    well something aligned in the cosmos today after asking this question.
    First quote for a precast cellar was 24k, second was about 12k for a water tank. I got a quote today for 7200+gst. 2.4x4.4x2.6h Precast drop in hole job with lid and engineering. Add I think about 1k for the crane and 1k for the concrete skirt. (stops uplift apparently) Might be lucky and walk away with a job less then 10K. I will get the hole done when I do the house pad with my digger.
    Water tight to boot.
    What do you think doing it the other way would come out in price?
    sorry for the ramble.

  8. #8
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    Back in the days when cars were simple enough for me to understand them and work on them I put a car length pit in the shed. The only time I have wished I was shorter! After weeks of digging I lined it with plastic, poured the floor with starter bars and a rebate for the walls, boxed it up then hung the steel and used star pickets either side of steel to keep it centred, removed them during the pour. Anyway it wasn't water tight after the drought so I later cut a small sump and installed a $200 auto sump pump with float arm. Works well. Moral of the story is that water is very sneaky stuff - it might be easier to plan to deal with it rather than hope for the best and have to retrofit a solution later. Half my pit is now a very good wine cellar. Cheers.

  9. #9
    Old Chippy 6K
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    I would always go the precast - and they are waterproof (in both directions . . . )
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pulpo's Avatar
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    hmm any suggestions I can think of lots.

    The better ones have been mentioned.

    I think precast sounds like a goer I'd be surprised if you could beat that price.

    I did a cellar and used ICF it was a mistake, all good now.

    My mate has just started his massive cellar 35m2.

    He formed up the sides walls and braced extremely well and poured.

    Only one side of wall formed the other the dirt.

    I think it was bit light on steel but most importantly he used 40mpa concrete and added xypex or Kryton, waterproof concrete.

    Still to do the floor.

    I personally would have done the floor then the walls.

    You could used shotcrete with barchip fibres and xypex or kryton added to the mix and just spray straight onto the wall.

    But precast sounds like a lot less hassle, transport and crane will not be cheap.

    Just make sure you put in a low point with a drain inspection point so you can pump out the water.

    So I had a pipe going through the slab then ag pipe (see if water under slab be carefull) with an inspection point top level with the floor concrete slab.

    Good luck

    Pulpo

  11. #11
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    So design the sump and pump first?/
    Sounds reasonable
    Float valve operated pump or manual and I suppose the pump needs to be mounted up higher and self priming.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pulpo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    So design the sump and pump first?/
    Sounds reasonable
    Float valve operated pump or manual and I suppose the pump needs to be mounted up higher and self priming.
    Yes certainly design a sump and pump at the start.

    Pumps can be sub merged, such as bilge pumps.

    However unless the water table is an issue or the block of land is against a cellar I would not really need a permanent pump.

    Water coming into the cellar if I built it will not happen, but if there is allot of water under the cellar floor then a sump pump maybe a good idea.

    The water around the outside of the cellar has to go somewhere, where will it drain to?

    But the sump is also very use full if the cellar fills with water from the inside for some reason.

    My cellar sits on I think 150mm of aggregate so when I open the three bolt inspection port in the middle of the cellar it goes through the concrete (200mm) with 100mm PVC (mistake should have been 150mm) then joins agg pipe going down a further 300mm.

    Because the slab is sitting on agg anywhere under the slab the water will be level if any water.

    I check the sump after a really rainy month and it was slightly moist on the bottom, no water.

    A float valve may not be the best idea as it may switch on and off quicker than the water can fill the sump, you can get water sensors that can switch the pump on and off.

    Small slow bilge pumps are the go, I blew up a few, as no water being pumped.

    Good Luck

    Pulpo

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