Updated: May 2
Gunite Jobsite Tips & Tricks | Part 1
In this series on the GSW gunite blog, we're exploring improvised improvements that gunite crews make on their jobsites to somehow make a positive impact on the overall gunite operation. Gunite contractors and pool builders often invent or "spontaneously engineer" new ways to stay safe, prolong the life of their gunite equipment or simply improve the usability of gunite machinery beyond what has been provided to them. As a gunite parts manufacturer and supplier, GSW has to often admit that the gunite contractor took our gunite product and somehow made it better!
First up, let's explore a method to prolong gunite hose life. Now if you didn't know better, you might think by looking at the photo below that something was wrong or even broken, which caused the gunite crew to build this apparatus to prop the gunite hose up or lay the hose on top of this THING.
Most gunite machine operators or gunite crew members alike would look at this photo and immediately understand the benefit or the goal the crew is trying to achieve. Spoiler alert: hose life. But how does this apparatus, which seems so homemade, possibly have an impact on the life of the gunite hose? Well, it starts at the gunite machine discharge. In this case, the gunite crew or ownership has chosen a straight "goosneck" ie discharge to achieve the highest production. As opposed to a curved gunite machine discharge, the straight discharge allows material to flow from the gunite machine feed system straight up into the gunite discharge with the least amount of friction or obstructions so that nothing is limiting the flow of material as it enters the gunite hose. But what then? Yes, the straight gunite discharge is great but that does position the hose in a way that it will naturally angle down in a fairly sharp angle from the gooseneck to the ground, simply because of the force of gravity. But "we have a way around that" says the gunite crew. So why not make the transition from the gunite discharge to the ground much more gradual? That will allow the least amount of wear on the interior of the hose as the abrasive gunite (sand/cement) material travels dry (or damp) through the hose. Pretty smart right?
The gunite "hose proper" (sorry but doesn't have a name yet) solves the problem! A gunite crew likely pieced it together from whatever available parts they could come up with but we have seen this technique used in similar ways on several jobsites. The hose proper consists of 3 main components: 1. a cross beam base for stability, made of metal angle or channel, 2. a metal pole to provide the needed height and 3. a cradle or saddle style component to allow the hose to rest without slipping or rolling off. Brilliant.
We mentioned above that this apparatus saves the gunite hose from being worn out as quickly as it would be if the hose were left to lay in a sharper curvature. The gunite company realizes an added benefit to the gradual curvature of the hose. Just as the straight discharge allows the greatest efficiency in gunite material flow from the gunite machine feed system to the gunite material hose, the gradual curvature of the gunite hose keeps that material flow at its optimal level as the gunite material continues its course through the total length of the hose until the trained nozzleman shoots material to create the shapes of their customer's dream gunite swimming pool, spa, water feature or even other structural gunite, of which the shapes, sizes and gunite creations are only limited by the imagination!