By carefully assessing your needs, planning each job, and training your crews, you can maximize your productivity and profits while properly pumping grout into cavities, cells, and bond beams. HOW A PUMP WORKS Grout pumps made by different manufacturers vary considerably, but they all consist of a feeding hopper, inlet and outlet valves, dual-cylinder pistons, and a gas, diesel, or electric power source. SELECTING A PUMP Grout pumps typically range in output capacity from 20 to 60 cubic yards per hour. As job conditions vary, so do line pressure requirements. So select a pump that's flexible in project application and in pumping different mixes. A mechanical ball valve grout pump costs roughly $15,000 to $18,000; and a hydraulic grout pump, $22,000 to $30,000. SCHEDULING SUPPLIES Nearly all grout for pumping is delivered to the jobsite by ready mix trucks rather than mixed onsite. So masonry contractors must coordinate the arrival of ready-mixed grout suppliers, in addition to independent pump operators, if subcontractors do the pumping. PLANNING IS ESSENTIAL An efficient grout pumping operation depends on thorough planning. Call a prepumping meeting to determine pump locations; the amount of grout, hose, and pipeline needed; and the placement sequence. Also, make sure masons have something else to do while grout is being poured. SMOOTH FLOWING OPERATION Before grout is discharged into the hopper, make sure the mix is the right consistency; then condition the pump and pipeline. Lubricate the hopper and line just before the grout is added, so they don't dry out before pumping begins. Try to maintain continuous pump operation, especially when pumping vertically.