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#1 of 21 Old 08-05-2010, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night we were telling our MW that we've decided to have the pool in our bedroom on the second floor of our house. She started to tell us how heavy the filled pool is and added weight of the people in our bedroom and now my DH is worried about the floor (ceiling) caving in. MW says the pool will weigh about 1000lbs and then the weight of me, my DH, doula, photographer, and MW....

Does anyone have experience with this? Is this something we should really be worried about? Or not really?

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#2 of 21 Old 08-05-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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Well, we had the pool on a 2nd floor apartment for 1 of our births and all was fine.

What kind of pool are you using?

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#3 of 21 Old 08-05-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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I have NEVER heard of a problem with this! people have waterbirths in apts all the time, why would the 2nd floor of a home be any dif't?-
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#4 of 21 Old 08-05-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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My husband the engineer is also worried about this and has contacted our home builder to see what the load bearing capacity of the second floor is. If they don't tell us what we want to know I don't know where to put the pool...grrr.

I think the second floor of a house may be different than apartments, as the construction method is different.
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#5 of 21 Old 08-05-2010, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The second floor of a house IS constructed differently then an apartment. Apartments are concrete with steel beams in the floors/ceilings. Houses do not have steel beams in the floors/ceilings.

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#6 of 21 Old 08-05-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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We are planning a water birth - but we are on the second floor of an apartment. My DH is still very concerned! its true that a filled water tub is about 1000lbs .....1 gallon = 8 lbs. My DH and I are on the very large side - so that is another 600lbs - thank goodness our MW is slender! lol
Anyway, I researched and asked around and i no one i know has heard of any tub coming through the ceiling based on its weight alone. There was an instance of a transfer, extended time away from the home, a leak ...and THEN a collapse - but that is very unlikely of course.
NorthernPixie I would love to hear what the home builder comes back with!

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#7 of 21 Old 08-05-2010, 01:33 PM
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of course this is anecdotal, but we had our pool (an aquadoula - don't know how many gallons) on the second floor in our 100 year old house, and it was me, my DH, and 3-5 other people in the room with us at any given time. Plus a very full dresser, a very full bookcase, a double bed with a heavy headboard, etc. We did that twice with no issues!

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#8 of 21 Old 08-05-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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My waterbed has been fine in the upstairs bedrooms of the 2 story houses we have lived in.
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#9 of 21 Old 08-06-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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The basic rule of thumb that I've hear is that where you can put a waterbed, you can put a birth pool. Would you hesitate to put a waterbed in your bedroom?

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#10 of 21 Old 08-06-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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hmm, I've never actually considered this...it was definitely our plan to have the tub on our second floor...but we live in a very poorly made 25 yo home. I wonder if we need to change the plans...

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#11 of 21 Old 08-06-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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The reason my engineer husband (and contractor Dad) are so into figuring out the math on this, is that my Dad has heard of waterbeds coming through the floor (in his line of work, he'd be the one fixing the damage I suppose).

I'm waiting to hear back from our home builder about the load bearing capacity of my bedroom floor. The pool in the basement is really unappealing, ugh.
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#12 of 21 Old 08-07-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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I see this topic come up from time to time, and it's always fine. This is from Aquadoula:
"Weight: This unit holds approximately 150 gallons of water and will therefore weight about 1500 lbs. This sounds like a lot, but if you can imagine 12 grown men standing on this area on your floor you should be fine. If weight is a concern, consider placing this unit near a load bearing wall and preferably on the main floor."

Also, you may enjoy the aptly-titled thread "Science Nerds and Bath Tubs". They conclude that it's fine, unless your house has serious structural issues.

One thing that can be an issue, though -- I have heard stories about a family that had to transfer during the birth, and they came home a few days later to discover that the tub had deflated and spilled water everywhere, causing a huge amount of damage. So it's smart to designate a person to come over and empty the tub if you have to transfer.
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#13 of 21 Old 08-08-2010, 07:24 PM
 
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I have also heard that about having grown men standing where the pool would be. I was told that if I would be comfortable with 8 large football players gathered there, then it wouldn't be much different.

We had our pool (Aquadoula) set up on the second floor of our 60 year old rowhome for ds2's birth, and the floor didn't cave in. Granted, my labor was so fast that it was only set up for about 3 hours, lol.

Good luck with your decision!

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#14 of 21 Old 08-08-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NorthernPixie View Post
I'm waiting to hear back from our home builder about the load bearing capacity of my bedroom floor. The pool in the basement is really unappealing, ugh.
So, are you actually saying the pool would be on the main level of your home w/ the basement under you? If so, then this was my last birth and will be the case for my upcoming birth.

We have a split foyer home, so a full basement below and the main level above. We put the pool over in the living room over the main structural center beam of the house (the one that runs horizontally along the house). AND, I might add, we later found we put it over the weakest point of the beam b/c a vertical support beam had been CUT out prior to us owning the home and the main beam of the house had been cut into to remove the support. We've since had another vertical beam put in and shored up the floor.

Even WITH all that, the pool was fine and did NOT go through the floor. We used the fishy pool, both DH and I were in it and my MW was immediately next to the pool.

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#15 of 21 Old 08-08-2010, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies!

I am totally fine having the pool in our bedroom, it's my DH that's has concerns... I'll just push to have it up there and, well, I usually get what I want, especially in these cases.

SAH Mama to Cooper (3-9-08) and Sawyer (9-3-10).   
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#16 of 21 Old 08-09-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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So, are you actually saying the pool would be on the main level of your home w/ the basement under you? If so, then this was my last birth and will be the case for my upcoming birth.
I wish it was just that. My house is I think called a side-split, where you come in the front door and can go down to the basement, or up to the kitchen level, and then up a half-storey to the family room (which is over the ground level garage), and then up another half-level to the bedrooms. So my bedroom is actually two full floors above the basement. Which is cold. And unfinished.

We did hear back from the home builder, and they said no. My husband (knowing I would not accept that!) actually went elsewhere in his building at work to talk to a structural engineer to ask him to explain their reasoning. The structural engineer said they weren't really answering the questions properly, as they gave the average rating for the whole house (40 p/sf) rather than the load spreading (?) capacity of the floor, or something like that. So I've sent him back to figure out how to re-ask the homebuilder rather than just tell them they're wrong. Because I refuse to believe that my house (from a supposedly excellent and well-known builder) is the only house in the history of birth pools that can not withstand the weight of a pool. That's crap.

And on top of that, one average sized-person - heck even me - standing still in one spot on the floor is far more than 40 lbs per square foot, so that doesn't make any sense. Any structural engineers reading this who would care to chime in? Please? In my head I'm sure it's fine. But I don't want it to cross my mind during labour that the pool could potentially crash through the floor. I'd just like the math to work out for this.
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#17 of 21 Old 08-09-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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OMG! Has anyone seen William and Mary? It's a British TV show about a midwife falling in love with a mortician. In one of the earlier episodes, the mw is attending a home birth. The husband goes upstairs and is too proud to admit that he's overfilling the birth tub. You later see them all bonding with the baby downstairs, and the tub suddenly crashes through the ceiling. Sorry, OP! NOT what you wanted to hear. Don't worry, it's just TV.

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#18 of 21 Old 08-09-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NorthernPixie View Post
And on top of that, one average sized-person - heck even me - standing still in one spot on the floor is far more than 40 lbs per square foot, so that doesn't make any sense. Any structural engineers reading this who would care to chime in? Please? In my head I'm sure it's fine. But I don't want it to cross my mind during labour that the pool could potentially crash through the floor. I'd just like the math to work out for this.
That isn't making any sense. I have a lot of furniture that weighs way more than that.

Your pool isn't a permanent install, so watch out for recommendations related to permanent installation.

I learned from another midwife who had a reputable (architect) source that all recent (about 1980 or later) construction is going to be able to handle a pool on the second floor. Older construction (prior to about 1920) is also going to be able to handle a pool because of a tendency to overbuild and a relative unavailability of pressed-wood subflooring. It's those houses built in the 40s-60s where you have a potential for the floor not being strong enough.

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#19 of 21 Old 08-09-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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No, you shouldn't worry about this at all. Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon, so around 800 pounds for the pool if it's full. The weight is spread over a large surface area, though, around 80 square feet if it's a 5' diameter pool. So that's only 10 pounds per square foot. Hardly anything. You have more weight per square foot in a bookcase. 800 pounds is 4-6 adults. If your room can fit 10 adults in it without you worrying about the floor caving, you're fine. Really.

We had a birth pool on the second floor of our 90 year old house, with not even a creak. Your bathroom floor isn't specially reinforced, is it? With a heavy bathtub, that's probably more weight per square foot just in a full bath in the tub.

Also, homes are built with structural redundancy. If the load capacity of a floor is 40 psf, that doesn't mean it will collapse at 41 psf. It means multiply the 40 pounds per square foot times the area of the room, and that's the weight that entire room is rated to carry, but it can carry more, probably at least double that.

I'm not a structural engineer, but I was an architect and aced my engineering classes, for what it's worth.
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#20 of 21 Old 08-12-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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The weight is spread over a large surface area, though, around 80 square feet if it's a 5' diameter pool. So that's only 10 pounds per square foot.
A 5' diameter pool will have an approximate footprint of 19.5 square feet.

At 800lb, this is 40lb/ft^2.

I have a bookshelf standing next to me that probably weighs around 400lb and is on a 3 square foot footprint. I think your tub will be ok

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#21 of 21 Old 10-28-2010, 04:44 AM
 
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I know this is old but I wanted to post for future people who come looking for answers to the same question.

The following is from Waterbirth Internationals website and was written about the Birth Pool in a Box

"Is there any danger of the pool falling through my floor?
In over 6,000 pool rentals, we have never had a pool fall through the floor. The weight of the pool is equivalent to 4 large adults sitting around a table. Water weighs 8.2 pounds per gallon, so once filled, the pool weights approximately 840 pounds."

An AquaBorn is a little large capacity at 170 gallons so 6 large adults sitting at a table is probably a great visualization.
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