Retaining wall Pushing Out. How to Reinforce/Fix?

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Old 04-16-17, 06:19 PM
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Retaining wall Pushing Out. How to Reinforce/Fix?

I have a retaining wall that has been slowly pushing out. I don't necessarily have to have it perfect, but I want to reinforce/fix it to prevent it from getting worse. Any ideas on what to do? Please see attached picture.

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Old 04-16-17, 07:04 PM
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Welcome to the forums! How was this wall built? Does the CMU go all the way up to the top of the first section? What is that stuff between the two sections? Is there any drainage to take away the hydraulic pressure from behind once water gets in there? With the locking stone, I guess there are no deadmen installed, right?
 
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Old 04-16-17, 08:22 PM
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This is my first time dealing with a retaining wall so unfortunately, I don't know the answers to those questions.

I do know that there are a few cinderblocks with concrete and rebar under the locking bricks.

Pretty sure there is no drainage at the top to divert water. How should that be done?
 
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Old 04-17-17, 08:30 AM
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That is very unusual construction. Do you see any drain pipes exposed at the ends of the wall? It appears you have mortared CMU blocks with dry stacked retaining wall blocks on top. All engineered retaining wall blocks I've ever seen specifically do NOT get placed on a hard footing like concrete or a CMU block wall so that might be a problem you can't overcome.

Unfortunately there are rarely(never) quick easy fixes with retaining walls. You are dealing with tons and tons of material that can exert tons of side force on the wall. Without knowing how it's constructed it's hard/impossible to know exactly what to do.

As Chandler mentioned hydrostatic pressure behind the wall is often a culprit. If water behind the wall is not freely drained away is can exert tremendous pressure to push the wall over. Ordinarily it's not much a problem with a dry stack retaining wall as the water can weep out between the blocks. In your case it's possible you have a solid CMU wall buried in there somewhere.

First and easiest is to grade whatever is on the top side of the wall so water quickly drains away. It's also possible to drill drain holes through the CMU block spaced about 2' apart. After that my only suggestion is to excavate on the back side of the wall. That will allow you to see it's construction and fix any back fill and drainage issues on the back side of the wall.
 
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Old 04-17-17, 12:43 PM
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I suggest you look at the depth and type of the possible footing/foundation under the plain gray CMU units before you go much further.

That is certainly a collection of concrete units you have - Different lengths and top/bottom projections. It is possible that your gray units have modular dimensions (like 15/-5/8") to accommodate a mortar joint, while many retaining wall units (known as SRW units) have "full" dimension like 8" or 16" as common for many retaining wall units.

The crack in the gray units indicates a lack of soil support and potential future movement.

Dick
 
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Old 04-17-17, 06:29 PM
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May I ask what is behind that retaining wall? Is it a water reservoir? If so could it be drained and somehow reinforced (thickened?) inside? If its not a reservoir, what's the application that requies the pump? And why the 2nd hose which I assume is a overflow back to blue tank?
 
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Old 04-17-17, 09:48 PM
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The purpose of the holding tank and pump is that when I bought the house, I didn't want to put more stress on the well pump in the well as I was told that running landscape and the house water use drained the other holding tank in the garage every day. So essentially that tank in the picture is for irrigation.

Behind the wall, is just dirt and gravel but pretty sure no drainage.
 
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