Deck Piling Q

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Nov 9, 2008
I have 8" diam pilings; they cracked and are in need of replacing. 4x4 post on them. Am guessing an 8" is fine, but with rebar in them this time. Question: any good reason to go up a size? I'm concerned that there is some sort of shearing going on in the ground.

Also: can I / should I backfill with rock around the piling? I dug down to remove the old ones, and it's mostly clay with relatively poor drainage. I'm thinking if I drop crushed stone around it that it might help with shear issues.
No footers? Been building in S. Fla for 34 years now almost everything is concrete hear, pilings with out rebar a no no. you need rebar in those at least 4 # 5 with bands, i am no engineer. JMO.
No footer. One of them had a piece of rebar in it, want to say 1" diam, but just a single piece in the middle. But otherwise, no rebar. Just a 4' piling with the plate thing for the post.
Suspect that in NH, you need footings about 4' down, to get below the frost line. And yeah, most decks are built with complete disregard to code...nailed to the ledger instead of wouldn't believe what "professionals" do when building decks...
Yep, they are 4' down. I have one that is moving, but when I dug down to verify, I measured 4' down. Stil moves. The other four piles snapped, and the joist hangers are pretty distressed looking, due to all the heaving. My plan is to replace at least two of the broken ones and then leave the one that is moving disconnected.
There is a Fine Homebuilding video where Mike Guertin builds a deck from scratch and does it right. His footer trick using a trash bag taped to Sonotube is outstanding. So is the way he protects the header bolted to the house and his method for protecting the joists. His construction method puts lesser carpenters (and hackers) to shame. Very educational to watch the entire series.
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