If you’ve been around the industry for any time at all, you’ve seen the mounds of grout slapped on a pipe and stuffed in voids to “seal” the connection.

So why do we still do it? Cost? Time? Or is it because that’s the way it’s always been done?

Here are 10 reasons why grouting pipe doesn’t work.

10.) Mother Nature Is In Charge

The finished product can be very dependent on the weather. If it’s raining out, your grout is going to be runny and have little ability to adhere to the pipe or the structure.

If it’s too hot out, the mix is going to be drier than it should and crumble instead of having that perfect glue like feel to it.

9.) Johnny Is Having a Bad Day

Look, we all have bad days. It’s part of life. But when little Johnny is having a bad day down in the ditch, he’s not going to be in the right mood to be mixing grout and slapping it on a stick of pipe. So now you have to rely on the mindset and skill of this worker caring whether or not your connections are sealed.

You might as well just ask Johnny when you should expect to come back and fix the leak because it’s going to happen.

8.) The Grouting Recipe Is a Mystery

Grouts are different. It’s really that simple.

They have different temperature applications, surface prep, mixing instructions and even expiration dates.

Even if little Johnny above is in a great mood, does he know the requirements for mixing the grout so it will adhere to the pipe properly?

7.)  A Ticking Time Bomb

Time and time again streets collapse because of degradation. When you grout pipes it’s nothing more than a waiting game for the street to collapse into a hole from infiltration.

Do you personally want to dodge potholes created by degradation for the rest of your life because you wanted to grout pipes instead of using flexible connectors?

If so, we suggest investing in stock with your tire and shock absorber mechanic.

6.) You Know It’s Not Good

Deep down you know grouting pipes is not good. Don’t take the cheap dirty route.

Sealing pipe connections into structures with flexible connectors is the only proven method to limit infiltration and exfiltration of structures.

5.) It Sucks

It literally sucks because when the grout fails and leaks into the structure, it sucks the street right into the ground creating a sinkhole.

4.) Grouting Costs More

Tick tock. Tick tock. Where’s the mix truck? Where’s little Johnny with his grout and shovel? You are wasting all sorts of time either waiting on someone else or taking a worker off the job to slap together a grouting mix

Even if you have your grout on the pipe now, you have to wait for it to dry before you can backfill.

Grouting is costing you more time and money every minute.

3.) Its Like Oil & Water

When you try to mix oil with water it separates, doesn’t it? Well the same thing happens when grouting pipes that are made of plastic.

The ASTM Standard D2321 Section 7.10; Manhole Connections, even states that “…for underground installation of thermoplastic pipe… flexible water stops, resilient connectors, or other flexible systems…” should be used.

So isn’t having a standard going to give you better results? We think so.

2.) The Great Unknown

If you’ve seen Tom Hanks in Castaway get onto his raft heading out into the ocean to try and save his life, then you know what the great unknown might look like. And when it comes to grouting pipes, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Heading off into the wild blue yonder with no idea of what’s going to happen in the future.

1.) Stupid Human Tricks

Most people would love to be on David Letterman’s talk show. But don’t let yourself end up on his show for the 10 Things Stupid Humans do with Grout episode.