Concentric Vs. Eccentric Piers

When it comes to foundation repair work on your home, there are several choices that need to be made. These choices include choosing which piers you will use, whether you need solutions to your waterproofing or foundation needs. No matter the issue at hand, the method of underpinning using either eccentric vs. concentric piers will come up.  Additionally, you may also hear different opinions as to why some steel push piers are better than other steel push piers. Filtering through all of this information is the key to finding the right method and means of repairing your home.

Defining Underpinning Piering Systems

There are several differences between eccentric piers and concentric piers. First, we must define the terms eccentric and concentric. An eccentric piering system is one whose pile axis is not in line with its applied load. On the other hand, a concentric pier is a pier bracket and pile whose axis is in line with the applied load. Here is a list of underpinning piers and their corresponding type:

Eccentric Piers

ecconcentric piers

Concentric Piers

concentric pier

  • Steel Push Piers
  • Segmented Concrete Piers
  • Hybrid Piers

Concentric vs Eccentric Piers Breakdown

What is better, eccentric or concentric? Well, that is the $64,000 question. There is no real answer because both if designed properly and applied properly, will work well. While the eccentric pier design requires more engineering and tighter quality control, they have worked well for over 30 years. This is not to say all eccentric piers have good engineering behind them. Many are manufactured around cost constraints as opposed to good engineering. However, with the right manufacturer, these piers will do wonders with the right contractor.

In contrast, concentric steel piers are a lower-tech solution that has many application advantages over its rival, the eccentric pier. They can be installed with less footing modification, they can be installed in lower headroom areas and they require less installation equipment to use.

Furthermore, Concentric piers are great for crawl spaces because a tall drive stand is not needed to drive the pier sections. On the other hand, for eccentric piers to be used in a crawl space, you will need either a fairly deep crawl space or you will have to cut through the flooring to make room for the drive stand. Concentric piers are also not affected by deep brick ledges or other obstacles like their competition.

pier installed and underground

Summing It Up

Now that you know a bit more about concentric vs eccentric piers, how do you choose the one that is right for your home? This is the easy part. First, hire an engineer and let him help determine your foundation repair needs. Each manufacturer generally determines which design best fits their manufacturing and design capabilities and sticks with that style. Lucky for you, Earth Contact Products has successfully designed and engineered both types of systems for residential use. And our foundation repair companies are trained and certified in all things related to piers!