View Full Version : Aluminum Survey Caps
05-03-2011, 10:55 AM
Our firm is contemplating switching from setting plastic survey caps to aluminum ones. We set 30" long, 3/4" I.D. galvanized iron pipes for our corners. Does anyone have any experience with Berntsen's 2" flat top aluminum caps that have a plastic insulator wedge and attach around the outside of the pipe, or Surv-Kap's 2" flat top aluminum caps that fit inside the 3/4" pipe? Surv-Kap's cap requires the inner edge of the pipe to be chamfered to be secure and a company rep has stated the mushrooming of the pipe that sometimes occurs upon driving it in the ground will need to be "re-chamfered", while Bertsen's rep says mushrooming is rarely a problem, but their caps are over 50% more expensive.
How's setting these caps in extra soft ground? Do you set the cap on the pipe before driving it in the ground with the rubber hammer also?
Dave Karoly, PLS
05-03-2011, 05:01 PM
We use 2-1/4" aluminum caps with plastic inserts on 3/4" rebar with no rebar driver. I don't know where they came from but I bet they did not come from Berntsen. They go on fine. I dress up the top with a hammer a little before driving but that is all. I've never had a problem getting the cap on there.
05-03-2011, 09:19 PM
I tried using the caps on 3/4" aluminum pipes (fitting on the outside of the pipe) and was very frustrated. The most minor mushrooming of the pipe makes it almost impossible to use that cap. I reluctantly switched to 3/4" rebars and use SurvKap which is less expensive (and I think the stamping is better on the cap than Bernstens).
I did not want to use rebar because I think pipe seats itself better in the soil, but I really dislike plastic plugs/caps for monuments.
05-04-2011, 05:52 AM
Thanks. btaylor, any reason you didn't try the Surv-Kaps that fit inside 3/4" pipe?
05-04-2011, 06:06 PM
Aesthetics basically. I did not like the look of them. I prefer a capped pipe on the outside. Those others simply wedge into the pipe.
05-05-2011, 09:07 AM
I prefer tags inside the pipe. Many caps get destroyed by someone removing them whether by accident or on purpose (kids). When it's inside the pipe just below the top it's very well protected. Requires a 3/4id min pipe.
Dave Karoly, PLS
05-05-2011, 11:05 AM
I confirmed that we have Surv-Kap aluminum caps yesterday. I haven't had a problem getting them to go onto a 3/4" rebar simply hammered into the ground (no driver). I dress up the top with a hammer before driving. I use a lath between the cap and the hammer when driving the cap onto the rebar.
Lo Ink sells rebar and pipe drivers that work well. I have the pipe driver for 3/4 and 1 inch pipe. The only thing about rebar drivers is it is a good idea to check it every third blow or so to make sure it isn't stuck on the rebar. We had one at my previous job; it made a nice beveled and round top on the rebar as long as you could get it off.
Do not use a pipe driver with threaded pipe. The threads will crush down and the driver gets stuck in there.
05-09-2011, 12:12 PM
I have set 3/4" galvanized iron pipes with aluminum caps (with the plastic insert) before. I stick a large bolt inside the pipe before driving it into the ground. Then I dress up the top with a small file. Now I prefer to use 1" pipes with 2" brass caps set in concrete. That way I do not have to worry about the top of the pipe deforming and I think brass holds up better over the long run especially if it is under the surface of the soil.
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