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Pylex adjustable screw pile...anyone have experience with this product?

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  • Oct 14th, 2017 2:56 pm
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Deal Fanatic
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Oct 19, 2008
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Whitby
What I don't understand with the piles at Home Depot-how do you know the bearing capacity of each pile? Or are you guys not concerned with that because the decks are low to ground/no permit? I'd still be concerned, not fun if your 20" high deck sinks on 1 pier.
nomdesplumes:

"I wonder if adding extra electrical outlets is considered an electrical installation?"
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Oct 16, 2001
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Zamboni wrote:
Mar 25th, 2015 12:59 pm
What I don't understand with the piles at Home Depot-how do you know the bearing capacity of each pile? Or are you guys not concerned with that because the decks are low to ground/no permit? I'd still be concerned, not fun if your 20" high deck sinks on 1 pier.
I went with deck pier blocks with mine. Double what was needed, I have a thread on here about it here from last April. Will it turn around and bite me, time will tell. I got everything on RFD that it was good to a bad idea, worried about frost heave, clay holding watter, sinkage, etc, etc. Yet many deck builder for ground decks will do it the way I did, and other forums about it said its a good way to do it as well.. I put my deck blocks just below the ground, and since my yard was on an angle, some 4 x 4s are longer than others. I prepped and researched and decided to go this route. But to go below the frost line here I would have to go beyond 9 feet.

NOt sure if these screws would of been a better or worse idea.
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Jan 2, 2007
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I live in a new subdivision too and I've seen a mixture as well...How big of a deck are you building? What percentage of the cost will that $600 be of your total deck?
[OP]
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Oct 17, 2010
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Edmonton
The Pylex ones support 3500-5000 lbs depending on the type of soil they are installed in which is the one of the initial reasons I looked into them. I'm building a 20 x 10 deck. The permit thing isn't really why I'm looking at these, my deck physically can't be higher than 2" otherwise it will be higher than my back door.

As for the cost as a percentage of my deck, I'll be stopping in at a few places this weekend to get a cost on the lumber and hardware so I won't know until then. By the time I rent machines and buy concrete and tubes I will be more than halfway to that $600 and that doesn't include my time to do the work not to mention loading and unloading my truck/trailer with the materials and equipment. I could save a few bucks by mixing by hand but I have zero interest in that. I won't have to get rid of dirt and I won't have to wait for it to cure either.

If you're looking to do a bunch of footings, say 6 or more, then the cost of helical piles becomes a factor, but for 2 or 3 I think it's definitely worth it. From what I've found the price drops under $200 per when you do 3 or more.
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Oct 19, 2008
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8008135 wrote:
Mar 26th, 2015 12:10 am
The Pylex ones support 3500-5000 lbs depending on the type of soil they are installed in which is the one of the initial reasons I looked into them. I'm building a 20 x 10 deck. The permit thing isn't really why I'm looking at these, my deck physically can't be higher than 2" otherwise it will be higher than my back door.
Depending on the type of soil is the key-its good you are going with better helical piles. The installer will know the soils bearing capacity by how much torque is required to turn the pile, if its not enough at a 4" depth he will add an extension. I don't see any mention of sledge hammer test on Pylex installation literature?....so HO's are just sinking these piles and hoping the soil can support the decks load?

The Pylex screw might support 5,000 lbs, the soil its bearing on might not offer that support at 6". Granted, most people won't have an issue.
nomdesplumes:

"I wonder if adding extra electrical outlets is considered an electrical installation?"
[OP]
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Oct 17, 2010
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Edmonton
You're right, there is no mention of the sledge test on their installation literature however on the few installation videos I've seen, the guys did sledge rest it just before they got to their desired height.
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2007
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Just finished my deck with 6 of these screws on 2 beams. My thoughts are, they do work but they do seem kind of flimsy. It was not hard to screw them in but it was very hard to keep them straight. As soon as you hit a rock the whole thing will shift and now your screw is no longer straight. I ended up pulling them out and digging out the 2 rocks that I found, each about 1.5 ft wide. One benefit that I found was I can easily take them back out and redo the footing if I wanted to, I had to move them around a couple times to get it right where I wanted them. A tip that the video on the pylex site provided was to plant a rebar (I used 3') first and put the screw through that and use the rebar as a guide and to reinforce it. I did that and still it wasn't perfectly straight. I didn't like how you can only use 4x4 post with these, I would've like it if I could use a 6x6 post instead. Overall I would use them again but only on low hanging small decks. Hope this helps.
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Dec 14, 2011
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London
Just checking to see if anyone can update on the success/failure of using these. I'm planning a 19'x12 foot deck and the Lowes deck designer program says I need 9 piles. That is an awful lot of digging and lots of concrete to hump to the backyard. These seem like a good option as long as I keep them out of the backfill area of my house (new build) foundation.
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Jul 23, 2004
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They are a good solution, they are not hard to install. It's true that if you hit rocks it can stop them from going further, but sometimes just tapping them with a sledgehammer (with a piece of wood) displaces the rock just enough for the pylex to move.
Also another option is to hire a company that comes with a machine to put in pyles. I've heard good things about that solution. From what a gathered it works out to about 100$ per pyle.
Sr. Member
Dec 14, 2011
794 posts
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London
Thanks for the reply. I just discovered them this morning so my research is very basic at this point. My deck will be pretty much ground level. I was thinking I could sit my 2x10 beams right in the screw bracket but the bracket is made to fit a 4X4 post, so it is a 3.5 inch opening and my beam would be 3" probably not a huge issue to have a half inch gap since the weight would be pushing down with minimal lateral movement.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 17, 2010
507 posts
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Edmonton
One year and more importantly 4 season changes later my deck is holding up with these pyles. I didn't have to adjust anything and didn't notice any shifting. As for the 1/2" gap when making your beam, just use a piece of plywood or some composite shims to fill in the gap. I did this then drilled through and used some lag bolts to hold it in place.
Sr. Member
Aug 6, 2014
696 posts
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Ottawa, ON
good thread!

i'm also going to be building a low-level deck soon, but i think i'm going to go with deck blocks. i'm not attaching the deck to the house, so i'm not too worried about frost heave. it's a small deck, and if it shifts a bit during winter/spring thaw, i'll just re-adjust it a bit or shim it or something.
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Aug 6, 2014
696 posts
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Ottawa, ON
oh - also OP - how close to the house is your deck? i keep reading that the backfilled soil next to a foundation is often not stable enough for screws/sonotubes.
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Dec 14, 2011
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London
This is also my dilemma since the house was only backfilled in January. I heard you can do sonotubes but the hole has to be really deep (like 8'). So I'm thinking of a ledger board attached to the top of my foundation (seems common, but not sure I want to put holes in it) and then some pylex screws or dig holes further out. My deck is 19' wide by 12 or 14 feet deep. So much confusion out there. I'm leery about the blocks, they just seem so temporary. If the deck shifts, it'll be way to heavy to move back to the original place.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 17, 2010
507 posts
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Edmonton
fisher44 wrote:
Jul 6th, 2016 2:21 pm
oh - also OP - how close to the house is your deck? i keep reading that the backfilled soil next to a foundation is often not stable enough for screws/sonotubes.
My deck is connected to my house. The soil backfilled around your foundation cutout is always less stable than something say 6-8 feet out. We built our house but waited 3 full years to do the deck. We had a ton of settling around the house so I backfilled and regraded before screwing the piles in. I put a proper ledger board against the house then two rows of 4 pylex screws.

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