Retaining Wall Question

Yard_Man52June 30, 2013

I am building a retaining wall of 6 sided concrete stacking blocks with the lip on the back. The wall will be about 2 1/2 ft tall. Because this wall will be sandwiched between the property line and the existing 4x4 wooden posts of the fence, which is 1 ft inside the property line, I am forced to build this wall vertical by chipping off the lip from each block. I am squirting copious amounts of landscaping caulk / glue between each course of blocks virtually gluing each block to another as I build higher. Behind the wall will be a 4 in diameter perforated drainpipe at the bottom and every 1 foot of height. I am filling the space directly behind the wall with crushed limestone gravel, sized 1/2 to 3/4 inches. This layer of limestone will be about 3 ft wide and 2 ft high behind the wall. The entire side of the backyard drops down about 3 feet and I am trying to level that side of the back yard. The fence planks will be replaced higher behind the top course of blocks. The question is: Will this wall be stable with the drains and this amount of crushed gravel or do I still need some type of anchors inside the wall? If anchors are needed how far apart should they be? I live in SE Tennessee; winter freezes are not excessive or long lived, so frost heave should not be a problem. The wall will be on a footing of 4 inches of packed limestone crushed run. The wall will be a straight wall about 60 ft long.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions!

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I suggest you illustrate the written explanation with a sketch of the scheme and a photo of the site since there's a lot of information to be processed.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 10:29PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

These kinds of blocks have specific instructions for correct installation that can be found online. However, because you are modifying the materials, all that is out the window. I am no structural engineer, but feel very dubious about your use of caulking and glue. My intuition tells me those are not structural, and won't bear a load. Because the wall is under 3 feet, maybe you'll be okay, but don't take my word for it.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 2:32PM
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The lip is generally to ensure that you're getting proper batter (in other words, the wall block is designed so that each block sits [x] inches back from the one below it). If you're popping the lip off and going straight vertical you may be asking the wall to do something it wasn't designed for.

What manufacturer made these blocks? Please tell me you're not using the 4" garden wall blocks from the box stores.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 9:44PM
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"Will this wall be stable ...."


    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 7:25PM
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