OT: Question about post setting cement mix

The high winds that we recently experienced cause my post lamp to break. I'm sure that it was marginal and with the flags that I attach to it, it gets an unusually heavy wind load.
I dug out the old post yesterday and prepared the hole as instructed on the box that contained the new metal lamp post: Dug down 24 inches, put in about 6 inches of gravel, positioned the post, leveled it, braced it with a couple of studs, and put in a bag of Quikrete fence post mix. The instructions said to add 1 gallon of water per bag. This is the mix that you just pour into the hole and add water.
The cement mix was several years old and had a few big lumps in it which easily broke into a powder with the tap of a mallet. The problem is that the mix never set-up. It was suppose to reach an initial set in 20 minutes and a final set in about 4 hours. The temperatures here have been between about 48F with an overnight low around 30F.
Is this stuff ever going to set? Are the temperatures too low or the mix too old?
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If you want it to get stiff you need to add about 500 mg of sildenafil citrate per bag.
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"Floyd L. Davidson" <`> wrote in message

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There's a sexist joke lurking, but I'm not going there :)!
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What does an old bag like you know about sex?
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"Floyd L. Davidson" <`> wrote in message

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It seems that the discussion about setting posts into holes has you all hot and bothered!
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On Thu, 2 Dec 2004 16:03:35 -0500, "Floyd L. Davidson" <`> wrote:

Evidently some of the mix was already getting hard in the bag, as it was clumped. "Stale" or old cement will cure, but it willnot be as strong as fresh stuff is..........lower temps make for longer cure times. Just putting the dry mix in the hole and having sufficient ground moisture will work as well, if you do not feel like mixing it up in a tub or wheel barrow..........but the general run of the mill sakrete or quickcrete is pretty weak stuff anyhow..as they have the bare minimum needed to legally call it concrete mix........
Buy a bag of the high strength mix and a bag of the regular cheap stuff, you will see there is quite a bit of difference in them when it comes to getting some slup worked up for a smooth finish and overall set time. More cement in mix means a hotter mix and quicker set... Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wife, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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I checked it a few minutes ago and it seems like it might be setting a little - maybe it's just wishful thinking. I will give it another day and then dig it out and start over again if it isn't set. I called the QuikKrete company and talked to someone who wasn't too helpful. He kept telling me that I would have to warm the area. How you warm the great outdoors is beyond me. I asked if using hot water with a new bag of mix would help and he didn't have any idea.
Surely it is possible to pour cement in the fall in Ohio? If I have to do this again, do you have any recommendations? What is a good brand of "high strength mix?"
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Concrete will set up under water, or in sub zero weather if you can keep it from freezing. They make an additive or they use calcium chloride in concrete in winter time to keep it from freezing until it sets up..........During the reaction of the cement and water it makes its own heat.......and this is what starts the cure..........even if it is cool or cold out it will still setup, and a lot has to do with the strength of the mix used.......Sakrete makes a high strength mix in 80 pound bags.........Usually its kept inside on a pallet rack in the big box stores and not in stacks out under the canopy of the stores.....Cost is perhaps 3.50 a bag as compared to $2.00 for the cheap stuff, but then again its a stonger mix with lots more cement, so it will set quicker as it can generate more heat in the process...
If you have freezing weather and yor ground is not froze, just cover the top with some boards or some old plastic and rags and let the warmth of the ground keep it from freezing until its cured.......just really need to keep a draft off it...... Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wife, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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I had this problem too. According to several internet experts, the cement (meaning the actual lime compound that forms the chemical bonds) will wick moisture from the air and slowly become useless (I forget the actual term). I was using ordinary (non-quick set) that was several years old in an unopened bag. Never set.
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Quickrete will cure more slowly the lower the air temperature. Presuming the mix is not too wet, give it a day or two longer and see if you're getting any set-up.
Dave

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Thanks!
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