When it comes to priming your pump there are a lot of different ways to go about it and a lot of different products. There is no right or wrong way of it, but certain situations may call for a little bit more lubrication than others and that is where mortar clay, also known as fire clay, does a fantastic job of priming out your hose for those long distances pushes. 90% of the time we prime with fireclay, it is just a no brainer. Especially if you are pumping in an area that uses a lot of crushed aggregates like here in California. You really need that extra lubrication.
Where to Prime
Where do you prime on your pump? Do you prime via the hopper? Or do you prime through your reducer? There is only one right answer here. Or at least there is an answer that will, without fail, work a whole lot better than the other. We recommend priming your hose starting at your reducer. We know the book tells you to prime in the hopper, but for a line pump, break the reducer off and pour your prime directly into the hose through the reducer. This maximizes coverage on the inside of your hose, and it goes directly to where it is needed most.
What do you need to prime with fire clay?
There are a few tools that we like to keep on hand to make preparing your fireclay mixture easier. Firstly you need a 5 gallon bucket, secondly you will need a cone of some sort. We use an orange caution cone and thirdly something to stir the mixture up. A mini shovel, a stick, whatever. You will also need water. Our trucks are equipped with water pumps and 300 gallon water tanks. Which is always helpful. If you don’t have water on your truck, hopefully your job site has water on site for you to use.
How to mix your fire clay prime.
You are going to use about half a bag of fire clay per mix. Fill your bucket half way with water, then add some fire clay and give it a good mix. Keep on adding fire clay to the water and mixing until the consistency is between pancake batter and chocolate milk. Add clay and water until you get that consistency. Not to thick, not to thin.
Where to pour your prime.
We recommend pouring your bucket of freshly mixed primer into your reducer. You’ll see in that very first picture at the beginning of this article, Diz, our operator is pouring his prime through that orange safety cone we were talking about right into his reducer. Once you have poured your prime down your hose you can reconnect your system to the back of your pump. You can blow your prime into a contractor bag, or whatever else it is that you prefer to do.
Where can I get fire clay?
Fireclay really does provide a superior priming experience. If you haven’t tried it before, give it a shot we would love to hear how it worked for you! Fireclay can be found at most hardware stores. Fire Clay is a less common term, you will most likely be able to ask a clerk for mortar clay and they will know what you are talking about. Be sure once you have gotten your fireclay that you have some place to keep it out of the elements.
Thanks for reading, good luck on your next prime! Need some more pointers? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1(800)585-1206.