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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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Sr. Member
Dec 14, 2011
794 posts
220 upvotes
London
I really didn't want to screw into my foundation, but like you the backfill area is concerning so it may be the only option. Problem is the surface of the deck may be lower than we would like. I'm thinking ledger with joist hangers and then two rows to Pyrex at 6 feet and 13 feet with a 2x10 beam sitting right in them.

Wonder if the ledger can cover the cover the bottom layer of brick as long as the rest of the ledger is screwed in the foundation.

How deep can you screw these? I.e. Can I put an extension on them and screw them down 9 feet to stable ground near my foundation?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 17, 2010
507 posts
129 upvotes
Edmonton
Drakestar wrote:
Jul 16th, 2016 8:07 am
I really didn't want to screw into my foundation, but like you the backfill area is concerning so it may be the only option. Problem is the surface of the deck may be lower than we would like. I'm thinking ledger with joist hangers and then two rows to Pyrex at 6 feet and 13 feet with a 2x10 beam sitting right in them.

Wonder if the ledger can cover the cover the bottom layer of brick as long as the rest of the ledger is screwed in the foundation.

How deep can you screw these? I.e. Can I put an extension on them and screw them down 9 feet to stable ground near my foundation?
They have extensions that you can use to drive the piles deeper but after looking at your pics I'm not sure a deck will be is even possible for you. It might just be the photos but your surrounding ground looks pretty flat and you're already close to the bottom of your house door. There's no way you're getting a beam and joists to fit under that doorway. You should look into something like a poured concrete pad or some nice stone (flagstone) for your patio area.
Sr. Member
Feb 25, 2007
887 posts
350 upvotes
Ottawa
Smaller scale than you guys are considering, but I used two of the Pylex screws to anchor one end of a 5' run of stairs at the cottage last year. Didn't want to dig or schlep concrete there.
Worked well for that purpose. Putting them in wasn't too hard (pebbly and somewhat sandy earth). Can be a challenge to keep them plumb vertical, so was happy I bought the slightly more expensive adjustable ones which allow you to compensate. One place ended up having tree roots, so moved it by 8 inches (not a problem with stairs, could be with a full deck!).

So far so good, after one year no problem with frost heave.
Personally, not sure I'd risk it for a home deck but for something lighter or where you have access challenges might be worth it.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 19, 2008
5007 posts
923 upvotes
Whitby
Drakestar wrote:
Jul 16th, 2016 8:07 am
Wonder if the ledger can cover the cover the bottom layer of brick as long as the rest of the ledger is screwed in the foundation.
The ledger would be covering bottom 3 rows of brick on your deck. The rim joist will be sitting on top of the foundation on top of the sill plate. Drill holes in brick and 1/2" lag screws attach the ledger board to the rim joist.

That's the best method-there are a few builders who don't put a rim joist if using engineered joists...not common but seeing it in new townhomes going up in Durham.
nomdesplumes:

"I wonder if adding extra electrical outlets is considered an electrical installation?"
Sr. Member
Dec 14, 2011
794 posts
220 upvotes
London
Well three frustrating hours later and we got one in. The first went in pretty easy. The second was brutal and still not in. Hit a rock at about the three quarter mark, tried to power through it and the bottom blade bent. Had to dig a hole to get it out. Moved over 8inches and got to about the same level and it jammed. Hand to hand dig that one out as well. I will be returning these to Rona. What a waste of time. Not sure what to do with the first one now. Going to the pub for a beer and need to put some ice on my shin where I whacked it with the stupid 2x4.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 26, 2008
848 posts
284 upvotes
Oakville
After watching a professional helical pile company struggle driving my piles with a Kubota mini excavator, there is no way in hell I would attempt to drive my own. FWIW.
Sr. Member
Dec 14, 2011
794 posts
220 upvotes
London
Well, I finally got the last pylex pile in. I was going to return them but didn't want to take out the ones I did get in. The first one was pretty easy and then it went downhill from there. Of the eight that I did I had to hand dig three of them. One went in quite crooked and deviated from my beam line. It is not a critical beam so hopefully I can fudge with some added 2x8s for support. We'll see.

Overall if I were to do it again I would dig and use concrete. If anyone is thinking about using them I would suggest that you dig a full depth test hole to see how rocky your soil is. Any rocks over about an inch in diameter really messed things up. I also read somewhere that driving a length of rebar into the soil to help keep them straight is a good idea. I would agree.

Oh well, it's done. Can't wait to actually start using wood and put this thing together. Fun weekend ahead.
Sr. Member
Nov 20, 2008
622 posts
118 upvotes
Markham
Drakestar wrote:
Aug 30th, 2016 12:45 pm
Well, I finally got the last pylex pile in. I was going to return them but didn't want to take out the ones I did get in. The first one was pretty easy and then it went downhill from there. Of the eight that I did I had to hand dig three of them. One went in quite crooked and deviated from my beam line. It is not a critical beam so hopefully I can fudge with some added 2x8s for support. We'll see.

Overall if I were to do it again I would dig and use concrete. If anyone is thinking about using them I would suggest that you dig a full depth test hole to see how rocky your soil is. Any rocks over about an inch in diameter really messed things up. I also read somewhere that driving a length of rebar into the soil to help keep them straight is a good idea. I would agree.

Oh well, it's done. Can't wait to actually start using wood and put this thing together. Fun weekend ahead.
Sorry to say this, but digging in rocky soil is just as difficult as pylex. Pylex/helical piles are only straightforward if you are certain your soil is free of construction debris or large rocks.
Sr. Member
Dec 14, 2011
794 posts
220 upvotes
London
cyberspyder wrote:
Aug 30th, 2016 11:19 pm


Sorry to say this, but digging in rocky soil is just as difficult as pylex. Pylex/helical piles are only straightforward if you are certain your soil is free of construction debris or large rocks.
This is true, I have done that before as well. I was surprised at the rocks though since I had just finished hand digging some fence posts fairly nearby and they weren't that difficult.
Newbie
Apr 10, 2013
1 posts
1 upvote
hey long time creeper, but i thought id offer something i saw yesterday. thinking about using 2 of these this weekend to fix a problem my deck contractor refuses to fix. i read on the home depot website that someone reviewed the adjustable pylex and they said they used a 1/2 to 3/4 then 3/4 to 1 inch socket adapter to drive the adjustable one in the ground with an impact gun, as the top of the adjustable is exactly 1 inch. ill try this and let you know how it goes
Newbie
Oct 8, 2017
8 posts
1 upvote

Built a whole deck using pylex. Used a few more than necessary to be safe but worked perfectly.
Way better than using sonitubes and will last forever. Watch the video. Shows every step of the way.
Sr. Member
Dec 14, 2011
794 posts
220 upvotes
London
MattyS036804 wrote:
Oct 9th, 2017 6:29 pm

Built a whole deck using pylex. Used a few more than necessary to be safe but worked perfectly.
Way better than using sonitubes and will last forever. Watch the video. Shows every step of the way.
is that electrical tape at 3:45? Looks good...nice bird :)
Newbie
Oct 8, 2017
8 posts
1 upvote
Its deck joist tape to protect the tops. This deck will last 40 years!

Drakestar wrote:
Oct 11th, 2017 9:02 am
is that electrical tape at 3:45? Looks good...nice bird :)
Sr. Member
Dec 14, 2011
794 posts
220 upvotes
London
MattyS036804 wrote:
Oct 11th, 2017 9:10 am
Its deck joist tape to protect the tops. This deck will last 40 years!




ahhh, I thought it was tape to stop it from creaking. My deck creaks when it is hot. It probably just needs the screws tightened down now that the wood has dried out.

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