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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just received the birth pool we rented and the directions say the thing weighs 1500 lbs when full of water. We live in an 80-year-old house, and now dh and I are debating whether our floor will hold the pool. Does anyone know where I can get more information on this? I'd be happy with anecdotal evidence from people who have used this model (called spa n a box) in an old house without problems, but I know dh wants hard evidence of the "weight threshold" of floors and such and such. It's a big pool, 5' across at 3' deep. It would be totally awesome to birth in, but I want to stay in the pool, not shoot through the floor as I'm giving birth and wind up dead in the basement. KWIM?
 

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I don't know how to do the mathmatical equations to figure this out, but I will share that we rented an Aqua Doula, and cracked a main support beam! I have 90 year old home, and we set it up in the dining room on the first floor. I was literally in labor, in the water and we heard a VERY LOUD CRAAACCCKKKK! Dh went to check it out, and fortunately had the good sense not to mention anything until after the baby was born though!

If I were you, I'd set it up directly over the most supported areas on the floor, and I'd stick to the lower levels of your home.
 

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I was told to put it in the corner of ar oom for more support. We have a while yet before we plan that. I'm wondering if it's a good or bad idea to put it next to the tub in our bedroom (w/ the wall in between, of course. Tub in bathroom on other side of wall).
 

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We discussed this at my homebirth support group recently. One person suggested thinking of it this way: Could your floor withstand having 13 of your friends standing on it in the spot where the tub will be for several hours? If so, you're okay.

One couple went through this whole thing of adding reinforcing planks/beams/joists (I forget what term they used) underneath the floor where the pool would be (I got the impression they did this from the basement). They said that they ended up inadvertantly making some parts of the floor raise up. I got the impression they wished they hadn't done this.

If you are really worried about it, I wonder how expensive it would be to have a contractor or one of those people that does home inspections when you buy a house come out and give an opinion about what kind of load your floor can carry?
 

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I rent the spa-in-a-box (as a business) and it's weight load is 80 lbs. per square foot. Don't know if it helps to think of it like that. Anyway, there have been lots of threads here about this same issue and people always say to set the tub up in the corner of the room. Of course, if you have the option to put it on the first floor then that might make you more comfortable, but if there's a basement under there I don't see any difference.
 

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As I understand it, basements have stronger load bearing beams.

I'd also heard about the 13 people standing in a room thing. But ususally, 13 people aren't standing in a 3 foot circumference.

I think the suggestion to get a contractor or home inspection person in to look is a really good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I emailed the waterbirth international website, and Barbara Harper herself emailed me back! She said they've never had anyone hurt their floor with a birth pool in 20 years. She also recommended the corner business. I have a friend who was a high school shop teacher and built houses with his advanced students. I'm thinking of giving him a call to see what he says about it. Thanks for all the advice!
 

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LOL! I'm going to have to email Barbara Harper and let her know that we "hurt" our floor then! Of course, the house didn't cave, but who needs a crack in their main support beam?

PS - I just switched screen names, I'm jbmom!
 

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Maybe you could find a structural engineer rather than a contractor or inspector. I would trust a structural engineer's opinion more because it's their job, while a contractor usually repairs things and an inspector can be any Joe Shmoe off the street (at least around here).
 
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