Foundation Push Piers 101: Eccentric and Concentric

Foundation Repair and Push Piers

There are several decisions that need to be made when considering foundation solutions. These decisions include choosing which piers to use, and whether your problem is foundation-related or water-related. However, no matter the issue at hand, the method of underpinning utilizes either eccentric or concentric piers. Also, there are a variety of opinions as to which push pier will work better for any particular project. Filtering through all of this information is the key to finding the right method and means of repairing your home. This is why it is important to contact an experienced and reliable foundation contractor such as Midwest Structural Solutions.

Pier Systems Defined

There is a lot to compare and contrast between eccentric piers and concentric piers. But first, let’s define eccentric and concentric. An eccentric pier system is one whose pile axis is not in line with its applied load. On the other hand, a concentric pier is a pier bracket and pile whose axis is in line with the applied load. For a more comprehension look, check out these underpinning piers and their compatible type:

Eccentric Piers

eccentric piers

Concentric Piers

concentric pier

Breakdown of Concentric and Eccentric Piers

Which pier should I use in my foundation project: eccentric or concentric? This is an important question. However, there is no real answer because both - if designed and applied properly - will work well. For starters, the eccentric pier design requires more engineering and tighter quality control which the industry has worked well to improve for over 30 years. Ultimately, eccentric piers have good engineering behind them, but many are manufactured around cost constraints as opposed to good engineering. Either way, with the right manufacturer, these piers will do wonders with the right contractor.

In contrast, concentric steel piers are a lower-tech product that has some application advantages over the eccentric pier. For instance, they can be installed with less footing modification and in lower headroom areas, and they require less installation equipment.

In addition to foundation failure solutions, concentric piers are an excellent option for crawl spaces.  This is due to not needing a tall drive stand to drive the pier sections. With this said, for eccentric piers to be used in a crawl space, it will need a fairly deep crawl space or the contractor will have to cut through the flooring to make room for the drive stand. Another benefit? Concentric piers are also not affected by deep brick ledges or other protruding obstacles.

Finding a Contractor

Now that you know a bit more about push piers, how do you choose the one that is right for your commercial or home project? To put it simply, hire an engineer and let him or her help determine your foundation repair needs. This is why it is important that you work with an experienced contractor that uses a quality industry manufacturer. In this case, Midwest Structural Solutions uses Earth Contact Products. ECP has successfully designed and engineered both types of systems for residential use and our contractors are trained in using these quality products. Call Us Today to learn more about our foundation and waterproofing solutions!