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Thread: Thinset expiration dates

  1. #1
    DIY Member SH140's Avatar
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    Default Thinset expiration dates

    I've seen posts saying not to use thinsets that are more than a year old (date on container). Why is this, and what would happen if you did use older material? I recently purchased 4 bags of Laticrete (3 of 255, & 1 of 272) and couldn't find the date until I got home. The date marked on bags is April 2011.......Now what?
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  2. #2
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Checking date codes on Laticrete bags

    That thin-set is garbage. Do not use it at all.

    We try and not use any thin-set older than 3-6 months.

    I to recently bought an expired bag of Laticrete thin-set. It's in the truck ready to return to the place I bought it from.

    Laticrete makes the best packaging in the business but two year old thin-set will be nothing more than sand once mixed.

    Send it back.

    If you get any grief over it call up LAticrete Customer Service and they will set the seller straight.

    Often product gets poorly shuffled in a warehouse and this could be the result of this. Or a savy warehouse manager was trying to pass off dated product on you.

    Either way your out the trouble to go back and switch it.

    Sorry.

    ALWAY CHECK THE DATE CODES BEFORE LEAVING A STORE!!!!

    This is one of my own rules and I broke it just three weeks ago. And read the bags - often there are primers or other liquids these products detail for slurry coats or unique installs.


    You can find the local Laticrete offices here and look up their phone number. http://www.laticrete.com/contact_us.aspx

    JW

    Quote Originally Posted by SH140 View Post
    I've seen posts saying not to use thinsets that are more than a year old (date on container). Why is this, and what would happen if you did use older material? I recently purchased 4 bags of Laticrete (3 of 255, & 1 of 272) and couldn't find the date until I got home. The date marked on bags is April 2011.......Now what?
    __________________
    Steve


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  3. #3
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Saving a failed installation

    If it helps any - the simple fact you checked this out most likely saved the installation from failure or from being less than perfect.

    The portland cement in thin-set absorbs moisture from the air causing it to set up before mixing. This results in a thin-set with little to no strength.

    Good on you for checking.

    TWO THUMBS WAY UP!!!

    JW


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  4. #4
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default

    The bags of Laticrete setting materials are clearly marked on the top. Easy to read and follow.

    Now checking Mapei and Ardex bags can be a nightmare. I have decoded much of the Mapei code and have it outline here.

    The Ardex codes I'm still working on.

    Always ask this question and always check.

    If you see a Mapei Code that looks like this D14H204 503

    To figure out the code you need to do this;


    D = Vancouver
    14 = Day of month
    H = August
    2 = 2012
    04 = Batch number

    503 = Still not sure. Not even the help desk at Mapei knew what that meant.

    Mapei produces product all around Canada and the US. You can clearly see in the picture that this was made in Canada. Personally I would have used a "V" for Vancouver but there must be some other system going on at Mapei head office.

    Example: If this was made at Mapei's Brampton plant on the same day it would have had an "I" instead of a "D" so the date code would have been I14H2** --- (** = what batch number they are working on)

    Example: If this was made at Mapei's Laval plant on the same day it would have had an "L" instead of a "D" so the date code would have been L14H2** --- (** = what batch number they are working on)


    Mapei - Canadian Letter Codes for manufacturing plants

    D = Vancouver
    I = Brampton
    L = Laval

    Mapei - American Letter Codes for manufacturing plants

    J = Chicago


    The "H" code is for August. The letters are in ascending order so the month codes are as follows

    A = JANUARY
    B = FEBRUARY
    C = MARCH
    D = APRIL
    E = MAY
    F = JUNE
    G = JULY
    H = AUGUST
    I = SEPTEMBER
    J = OCTOBER
    K = NOVEMBER
    L = DECEMBER

    the digit after the month is the last digit in the year. "2" for 2012.


    Mapei - Canadian Letter Codes for manufacturing plants

    D = Vancouver (Delta), B.C.
    I = Toronto (Brampton), Ontario
    ? = Calgary, Alberta
    A = Laval, Quebec

    Mapei - American Letter Codes for manufacturing plants

    L = Fredericksburg, Virginia
    S = San Bernardino, California
    E = South River, New Jersey
    F = Ft. Lauderdale - (Deerfield Beach), Florida
    G = Garland, Texas
    C = Tempe, Arizona
    J = West Chicago, Illinois
    ? = Caracas, Venezuela
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 06-21-2013 at 07:50 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  5. #5
    DIY Member SH140's Avatar
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    Default

    The portland cement in thin-set absorbs moisture from the air causing it to set up before mixing. This results in a thin-set with little to no strength.

    I'm wondering, would you be able to feel a difference in the bag (like it's one solid block) if it's expired? The one's I bought seem to feel like I imagine they should ( loose and soft).

  6. #6
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Default

    I like to think of it like expired food in the refrigerator. It might still be good, or it might tear your guts out for the next week or so.
    I'd rather throw it away and not take the chance.

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    Unfortunately, old thinset often doesn't look much of any different. Because moisture comes in so slowly, often what you end up with is grains of cured cement. Because they didn't get fully wet, they don't bond together, but once cement has cured, it's basically inert. If there's enough left that's uncured, it might hold together, but it will not have anywhere near the stated strength.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Unfortunately, old thinset often doesn't look much of any different. Because moisture comes in so slowly, often what you end up with is grains of cured cement. Because they didn't get fully wet, they don't bond together, but once cement has cured, it's basically inert. If there's enough left that's uncured, it might hold together, but it will not have anywhere near the stated strength.
    The data or info on the subject of how much a thin-set weakens over time is yet another interesting thing that could be tested. Our worst failure was from some old self levelling product about 8 years ago. Complete failure. Had to rip out the entire floor and do it over (After we set and grouted the floor).

    It's rare that I see any thin-sets that are past their good to go date - next time I find a bag I'll bring it home and test it side by side with a fresh package. I think this will interesting observation.

    I'll use the same procedure for testing the thin-set as I'm using for the Spider Web testing.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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