Post Tension Cable Problem


I am in the process of purchasing a new home. It is a townhouse - 5 in the group, mine is the second house in. I don’t know if this matters, but I’m putting it out there.

The slab is 8 inches thick and it has post tension cables that run both directions.
In the process of framing the house one of the subs drilled into a post tension cable and broke it.

No one notified me of this. And I only discovered it because I dropped by and found the hole in the floor.

Here’s what I see right now.

The hole sits between the kitchen wall and the den wall. On the kitchen side, a gas line comes down for a cook top about two feet to the left. Cabinets will sit on top of the hole after it is filled and the floor will be tiled. On the Den side of the wall will be carpet.
I’m told the cable was fixed with a coupler, then a pvc sleeve was put around it. Then tension was applied to the cable, but not to the original extent.

What are the chances of something going wrong with this cable fix down the road? Is it more likely to fail because it has been repaired? I’m just asking for advice.
I am in a position to walk away from this house, but I don’t know if it’s necessary to do so because of this problem.
My biggest concern is that this is a structural issue - and I know going in that it is already flawed. Will my floors crack? etc. Is this something I will have to disclose later if I want to sell?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Forget cabinets setting over hole when done … Not relevant.

Call your structural engineer to evaluate and city code dept. BEFORE it all gets covered.

The builder told me a structural engineer will inspect it prior to refilling the hole. I am concerned about later. As I understand it the tension will now meet minimal standards, not optimal standards. Also - I can’t see under the slab. When that cable broke there must be damage under there, right?

Thank you.

IMO: The repair should have been specified, inspected and signed off by the Engineer of Record for the foundation. Request a copy of the engineer’s report with license, signature and seal. You want documentation of the repair.

Don’t settle for anything less than a signoff by a qualified, licensed, Professional Engineer or contractor who is PTI certified. I see a post-tensioning wedge laying on the floor. That may be a good sign. If in doubt, hire your own engineer. you can see an example of a repair for a severed tendon at about 18:30 in this video.

Mr. Evans,

Thank you for your reply. I will take your advice and check out the video. The builder did provide me a copy of the instructions from an engineer on how they were to repair the break. I’m hoping to have a meeting with that engineer myself. I will ask for a copy of the signed off inspection or I won’t move forward.

But I still wonder if this issue will make it more likely that my floor will crack and become uneven in the future.

Thank you,

IMO the above in bold is what you should be obtaining from the builder and ensure you receive a copy of the tensioning and repair report for the cable For your records you may also want to obtain a full copy of the slab design along with the inspection reports from the Engineer of record for all inspections performed relating to the foundation as well as the tensioning records of all other cables.

I have seen PT Cables repaired under similar circumstances AFTER being specified by a licensed Engineer. At that point there is not much you can do about it except maintain all of your records for future use if needed.

I would not expect it to make a material difference if repaired properly, but that is a question best posed to the Engineer.

Good luck with it.

A) Please be informed that many, many licensed engineers ARE NOT structural engineers, and although licensed as PE’s (professional engineers) structural is not their strength.

B) Think in terms of YOUR engineer NOT the builders.

I have frequently opposed engineers on inspections, in expert witness testimony, etc … At this point my testimony has come out on top each time AND … I’m not a licensed engineer … YOUR engineer / NOT theirs.