In accordance with TMS 602-11, cleanouts are not required for grout pours less than or equal to 5 ft-4 in. For grout pours exceeding 5 ft 4 in., can cleanouts be eliminated through a grout demonstration panel?

ANSWER: 

TMS 602, Article 1.6E, requires a grout demonstration panel if the applicable requirements of Article 3.5C Grout Pour Height, 3.5D Grout Lift Height, or 3.5 E Consolidation are not met.  According to TMS 602, Article 3.5G, alternate grout procedures (those that differ from TMS 602 Article 3.5C, 3.5D, and 3.5E) may be employed when the grout demonstration panel is accepted by the Architect/Engineer1.  The requirements for cleanouts are given in TMS 602 Article 3.2F and are, therefore, independent of the requirements that may be waived through an accepted grout demonstration panel.

Consequently, a grout demonstration panel cannot be relied upon by the Architect/Engineer to eliminate the need for cleanouts when the grout pour height exceeds 5’-4”.  The only recourse for a contractor who wants to avoid cleanouts and still construct masonry to a pour height that exceeds 5’-4” is to obtain approval of the building official for a “special system of construction”, as permitted by TMS 402, Section 1.32 or IBC Section 104.113.  Whether or not a grout demonstration panel would be sufficient proof for such approval depends upon the building official from whom the approval is being sought.

Resources:

  1. Specification for Masonry Structures, TMS 602-11/ACI 530.1-11/ASCE 6-11, Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC)
  2. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, TMS 402-11/ACI 530-11/ASCE 5-11, Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC)
  3. 2012 International Building Code (IBC), International Code Council

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