On a project that I am working on, the dowels in the concrete foundation do not line up with the center of the block cells. Should I cut off the dowels and set new dowels into epoxy or can I use the existing dowels? If I can use them, should I position a reinforcing bar next to the dowel and wire them together, which in some cases may be at one side of the cell? Or should I just allow the dowel to extend along one edge of the cell and position the bar in the center of the cell?
You needn't wire the vertical reinforcing to the dowels. Tensile stresses will be transmitted through the grout, even if the dowel and the reinforcing rod are not wired together. In all cases, however, the reinforcing rod must be positioned as shown on the drawings to be effective structurally. In many cases, the best way would be to bend the dowel over to meet the reinforcing bar. The reinforcing bar and the dowel can be wired together along the top where the dowel is bent. This method is described in the Reinforced Concrete Masonry Construction Inspectors Handbook, published by the Masonry Institute of America in cooperation with the International Conference of Building Officials. In some cases, installing new dowels may be necessary. New dowels can be installed by drilling into the concrete and setting the dowels into epoxy. Dowels also can be set into grout. New dowels should be installed only with approval by the engineer of record on the project.