What is a Wacker

Definition of Wacker in Construction

The term wacker is a slang expression used in the construction and building industry, especially when involved with underground pipework. Wacker refers to the equipment that is used to compact the soil under a pipe or foundation installation. On construction projects the specifications will determine the extent of compaction that is required for each type of construction element, that will bear or rest on soil, sand, gravel, etc. If the item is located on the ground, there will be a required level of compaction that will be required. When the term wacker is used, it references many different pieces of equipment that are designed to consolidate the sand, soil, gravel or whatever material is being compacted. The wacker will basically provide a hammering or pounding force on the material, to consolidate and pack the material. The consolidation as well as packing of the particles of material will allow the compaction to increase. The compaction is tested and determined by the percentage of air spaces that remain in the product. If the air spaces are diminished, the ability of the material to withstand downward forces increases. The less air, the less settlement will occur. The wacker is the equipment that will maximize this compaction. The term, wacker, can reference a jumping jack, a vibratory roller, a plate compactor, or almost any type of equipment even a heavy plate, manually operated by the up and down motion of a laborer, compacting the soil. Wacker is a very popular slang expression on the jobsite.