How Do Push Piers Work (Definition, Components, & Utilization)

You probably never heard about the great Dalinghaus Construction Inc. controversy of 2016 shortly following Harambe’s untimely death at the Cincinnati Zoo.

An internal memo was released stating that we do, in fact, wholeheartedly support push peers.

We push them into the dirt. We bury them under houses. We push piers on our peers. Now, you might be impervious about how this homonym got through our editors. Well, it did, for thirty glorious minutes.

This memo was quickly recalled and immediately addressed. We here at Dalinghaus believe there is absolutely no place for workplace violence and/or bullying. We. Are. Woke.

So, let’s get this straight once and for all: we support push piers not pushing peers.

*Note – this was almost our slogan until we never settle beat it out by popular vote. Punny puns always win out here at Dalinghaus.

But, in all seriousness, this article will push the perfection of Push Piers, covering:             

  1. Push Pier Definition
  2. Push Pier Components
  3. How Push Piers are Utilized/Installed
The Ultimate Guide To Foundation Repair
The Five Steps to Push Pier Foundation Repair

Push Pier Definition

What is a Push Pier? 

A Push Pier is a steel pipe utilized in foundation repair that is hydraulically driven into competent, load-bearing soil and anchored to a foundation’s manicured footing via a remedial bracket to secure, stabilize and/or lift the structure. 

Push Piers have reduced skin friction thanks to their sleek design and choke collars that provide some extra initial width.

The Push Piers we utilize here at Dalinghaus Construction Inc. are 100% American-made steel and hot-dipped-galvanized to withstand corrosion.

These bad boys boast a maximum load capacity of 68 thousand pounds and are built to last.

That’s why we offer a lifetime warranty on all Steel Pier Systems.  

Push Piers are utilized with the goal of stabilizing and/or lifting a foundation that is suffering from foundation settlement back to maximum practical recovery.

These Push Piers are hydraulically driven deep into competent, load-bearing soil and/or bedrock.

Generally, these are installed every six feet around the perimeter of your home and/or the affected area.

Fun Facts with Brian: Push Piers utilize the inherent weight of your home to help drive the pipe down to bedrock or competent load-bearing strata. Some homes are too light to use this method, which is where helical piers can come into play. 

Occasionally, certain conditions require us to install push piers on the interior of your home, but this is very rare.

A few examples of these conditions include if we don’t have direct access from the outside or external equipment (such as pool pumps or air conditioning units) are in the way.

Read about similar issues in 3 Common Problems with Foundation Repair.

The average general contracting cost per Push Pier in Southern California and Arizona ranges from $2,100 to $2,500.  

Push Pier Components

Push Piers are comprised of three main components:

1. Remedial Bracket

The remedial bracket is what attaches the steel pipes of the push pier to the structure’s footing. They have an inherent L shape so that the bottom of the 90-degree angle of the L fits smoothly with the manicured footing. This hefty boy weighs 70 pounds.  

2. Starter (with skin friction collar)

The metal tubing fitted with a skin friction collar.

3. Extensions

Metal pipes that are fit together until the desired depth, load-bearing stratum has been reached.

How Push Piers are Utilized/Installed

As far as underpinning goes, Push Piers is one of the more complex forms of underpinning. Here are the basic steps that go into Push Pier Installation:

Step 1 –

Once we have determined we will not affect any primary utilities (electricity, gas, and water), we place painter’s tape at six-foot intervals around the exterior of your home to designate where, exactly, the push piers will be utilized.

Step 2 –

3×3 foot excavations are dug at every pier location, typically going deeper than 18 to 24 inches to expose, get underneath the concrete footing where the remedial bracket will be attached.

Note – If a pier should need to be installed where there is a sidewalk or patio – we utilize a concrete saw to cut the 3×3 square to expose the footing. This concrete will be replaced later during our Concrete R&R Process.   

Step 3 –

The footing is then chipped down via a jackhammer to create a clean, snug fit for the remedial bracket. The bracket (big-bad-steel with a maximum capacity of 40 thousand pounds) is then mounted against the footing.

Step 4 –

The piers are hydraulically driven through the bracket to bedrock and/or competent, load-bearing stratum.

The depth varies depending on the quality of the soil, but the piers are driven down to an average of 25 feet.

The piers are driven into the soil with a hydraulic ram.

A hydraulic ram is a portable piece of equipment with the capabilities of driving the pier to 10,000 PSI (pounds-per-square-inch).

This. Is. A. Slow. Process.   

Fun Facts with Brian: Did you know that you do not have to move out during the entire lifting/stabilization process of foundation repair?

Step 5 –

After the foundation is lifted to maximum practical recovery, there is a void underneath your home’s foundation.

This void is filled with Polyurethane Foam. This foam is capable of supporting your foundation and helps keep the critters out.

Step 6 –

Once the pier is installed and the lift is complete, the area can be backfilled, and the concrete replaced if needed.

Step 7 –

Sit back, relax, and allow Dalinghaus’ lifelong Steel Pier warranty to give you peace of mind.

All of your foundation problems are solved for life – no, not your life. The life of your home!

Pushed Piers on Peers

So, there you have it – the definition, anatomy, and utilization of a Push Pier Foundation Repair System.

You should also check out the Push Pier’s brother, the Helical Pier.

If you live in Southern California or Central Arizona and have foundation settlement issues, click the link below for a FREE inspection – 


Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *