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Unread 09-15-2007, 03:29 PM   #1
ScottM
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Mixing Quikrete

This may be off the tile topic, but I'm sure someone here knows the answer. Can someone tell me how much water to use when mixing Quikrete Quick-Setting (No. 1240) cement? The instructions says to mix 5.5 parts powder to 1 part water. What's a part? Is a "part" a unit of weight or volume? I need something I can measure, like quarts, pints etc. All I know is, I've got 10 lbs of this stuff, the label says "just add water!" and I have no idea how much to add.

Why can't these cement manufacturers (and this goes for thinset mfrs too) just say "for every lb of powder, add X quarts (or pints, gallons, etc) of water?"

Scott
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Unread 09-15-2007, 04:01 PM   #2
Mike2
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Scott:

For Quikrete Quick-Set, it works out to 13 ounces (volume) water for 10 lbs of mix or 2 quarts water for a full 50 lb. sack.
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Unread 09-15-2007, 06:01 PM   #3
ckl111
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A part is usually a volume measurement.

5.5 cups of powder to one cup water or 5.5 scoops of powder (any size you want) to 1 scoop water. Makes it easier to prepared smaller batches.

I make that assumption because it's easy to find a cup lying around but it would be unusual for the manufacturer to expect you to lug a scale around if mixing by weight.

I'm surprised it doesn't say how much water for the whole bag though.
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Unread 09-15-2007, 11:43 PM   #4
ScottM
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Thanks, guys.

Mike, I arrived at that same number (slightly less than .5 quart) too. But when I tried to mix it, before I could even get half the powder in, the mixture was so dry, I could hardly continue mixing it. So I gave up and dumped the batch, thinking I had done something wrong. Is it supposed to be this dry? This is nothing like thinset.

Colin, I agree with you that no one would be lugging a scale around. But having a measuring cup is pretty reasonable, especially for a DIYer. If by "parts" they mean volume, it seems strange to me that they don't sell the stuff by volume. Or at least tell you the volume in the pail, as well as the weight. And yes, for a DIYer aimed product that this is (I believe, since it is a 10 lb pail), they should say what volume of water to use for the whole pail.

Sorry to keep bitchin'. Thanks again for the help.

Scott
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Unread 09-18-2007, 07:42 PM   #5
ScottM
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OK, so I tried an experiment on a small sample. I used about 5.5 scoops (small) of powder to 1 scoop of water. The mix was so dry, there is no way this could be correct. So I threw in another scoop of water. This helped a lot, and I was able to get the mix to a smooth paste consistency. I probably could have used only another half scoop of water, and it would have worked.

So, the question is: can Quikrete really be this far off in their instructions? (BTW, I have not been able to get a hold of their tech support people, either by phone or email.) Or should one expect this much "slop" in a concrete mix ratio? Is it possible to mix too much water in a concrete mix? Does the water percentage in the mix affect strength?

Scott
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Unread 09-18-2007, 08:12 PM   #6
ckl111
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Quote:
can Quikrete really be this far off in their instructions?
YES

Quote:
Or should one expect this much "slop" in a concrete mix ratio?
No you shouldn't expect it but it can happen.

Quote:
Is it possible to mix too much water in a concrete mix? Does the water percentage in the mix affect strength?
Absolutely. But you seem to be able to use some judgment in determining how much is too much.

What exactly are you using the Quickcrete for? Unless you are mixing for a nuclear containment chamber ( or nuclear wessel as Chekov would say) or a load bearing wall, etc... I think you are over analyzing the process. If the mix is too thick to work with you can add a bit more water to it without affecting the strength too much. Just don't add so much that it becomes self leveling cement:

Mixing cement or concrete is not an exact science. Even when I order concrete from a concrete company that does it everyday, the concrete can vary from batch to batch. That is why on critical jobs like high rises and bridges, test cylinders are taken from each batch to test their strength. That is WAY more than the average Joe has to be concerned about though.

If you are doing something like repairing the slab after installing a new drain, just mix up a batch that is close to what the bag says and pour her in.
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