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Thread: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

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    Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Hi, folks. I have a Confer Plastics 7200 series ladder. It is rated at 300lbs max. I'm about 270 and when I climb the thing, the rungs bend considerably, particularly the ones outside the pool. I'm sure the sun isn't helping, though I don't think it's making a drastic difference. I make it a point to step as close to the outsides as possible, but still they flex as if the ladder was rated for 200lbs.

    Now, I realize this thing is just molded plastic, but there's gotta be a way to improve it. I'd like to try and fill the hollow rungs with something. My first thought was structural expanding closed cell polyurethane foam, however, the foam kits are very expensive. It's not available in a can like you'd find at Lowes. Second, I thought of concrete or some sort of high strength grout, but wasn't sure if I could get such a viscous product into the cavity without considerable surgery. Third, was Bondo body filler, but I run into the same issue as concrete.

    Yes, a wood ladder/stairs w/platform would be the best solution (maybe someday) but I really like the ladder in general, particularly the roll-guard feature. It's lightweight and maintenance free. It's also the least visually obtrusive option, IMO. Now, if I could just stiffen the rungs.......

    I understand this may not be the best place to ask this question, but I'll give it a shot.

    Any suggestions/experience?
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
    Gorilla Pad
    Foam cove
    Confer 7200 ladder
    TF-100
    Use DE for your filter? DO NOT use anything but POOL GRADE DE!

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    I don't really know how the fix the rungs but I wondered if you could add something to the rungs or under the rungs to improve them.

    I am not a little guy and used my Integrity ladder for year without incident. I never remember it felling too flexy or anything and I have jumped off the ladder. I now have a wood/composite deck with a wood ladder. I converted my Integrity to a deck ladder for inside section.

    I have two decks, a low deck (36 inches below rails) that surrounds about 50% of the pool and I high deck (almost at top rail height) that's only about 8 feet across and 3 feet deep.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    OK... i give up. Old wood ladders used to be made with a wire that went under the rung and supported the rung. You could do something like this but I don't know if the outside of the ladder would support this or if this is even a economical solution (parts + time + effort cost more than new ladder?)

    I just noticed, the Confer ladder is built of pieces, the Integrity is molded with essentially one part for the exterior ladder plus an extension.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Thanks, Guy. Ya, I doubt the outside of the ladder would support something like that. I went to the hardware store today and saw Quickrete anchoring cement. Comes in 1 gal tubs. The picture on the display showed the product mixed in and poured from a Pyrex measuring cup. With the aid of a funnel, it looks like it would be very easy to pour in in through a couple access holes. The hardest part would be dismantling the ladder to remove the rungs. I'm gonna look into it a bit further.

    Thanks for describing your deck! I never even thought of building a lower section of deck, with stairs up to the top ledge. If I can't mod these rungs, I'm gonna do something like that. As long as the deck is not higher than "X" off the ground, I can avoid railings and balusters. My particular pool/fence/yard layout wouldn't look good with a deck at top ledge height and code approved railings. I'm only looking for a 4'x6' deck area and something with a relatively small footprint and that height would look like a watchtower of some sort...in my yard anyway.
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
    Gorilla Pad
    Foam cove
    Confer 7200 ladder
    TF-100
    Use DE for your filter? DO NOT use anything but POOL GRADE DE!

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Adding the weight of the concrete to the ladder rungs may not work as well as you think. Concrete is strong but brittle.

    This is my little high deck.



    This is my main deck. It's about 2 feet off the patio level and its about a foot off the ground in the main yard. I have made a few changes since these photos but you can see the main idea. I didn't want a deck floating in my yard at fence level but I did want a play deck and a better ladder experience.



    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Its not the weight I'm looking for. I'm looking to fill the void in the hollow rung. The plastic is deforming way too much. I think even if I filled it and it cracked, as long as I filled it completely initially, it would still be WAY stronger than it is now. Of course, at this point, I have no idea if there is internal cross bracing in the rungs. If so, its a no go, and I'll have to live with it til I can construct something out of wood.

    Your decks look great! I'd do something like that if I could.
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
    Gorilla Pad
    Foam cove
    Confer 7200 ladder
    TF-100
    Use DE for your filter? DO NOT use anything but POOL GRADE DE!

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Remember those old(ish) school plastic dumbbell/barbell weights. Some brands were filled with concrete. Virtually indestructible.
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
    Gorilla Pad
    Foam cove
    Confer 7200 ladder
    TF-100
    Use DE for your filter? DO NOT use anything but POOL GRADE DE!

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Relatively low cost epoxy, along with 3/4" or 1" aluminum angle, 1/8" thick would go quite a ways towards strengthening the rungs.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Could you drill holes in the end of the rungs and slide a piece of rebar through, cap both ends with something to prevent injures. One or two might provide more support.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R
    Relatively low cost epoxy, along with 3/4" or 1" aluminum angle, 1/8" thick would go quite a ways towards strengthening the rungs.
    I was thinking that as well, but I'd have to figure out a way to get the bar inside the rung without completely cannibalizing it. I can't see a functional way of fastening it to the bottom.
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
    Gorilla Pad
    Foam cove
    Confer 7200 ladder
    TF-100
    Use DE for your filter? DO NOT use anything but POOL GRADE DE!

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Quote Originally Posted by msgtdan
    Could you drill holes in the end of the rungs and slide a piece of rebar through, cap both ends with something to prevent injures. One or two might provide more support.
    That could work but I believe there would be too much play inside. The rung would still get cowed out until it hit the rebar, IMO.
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
    Gorilla Pad
    Foam cove
    Confer 7200 ladder
    TF-100
    Use DE for your filter? DO NOT use anything but POOL GRADE DE!

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Ok, combine the two ideas. A piece of rebar just a bit shorter than the rung, pushed into the hole that you've already started to fill with epoxy, then finish filling. The epoxy would then take up the space around the rebar, and close the hole.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    The more I look at it, the more I think it isn't worth the hassle....idk. I'm getting "analysis paralysis". It's starting to become the inspiration for a small wood platform/ladder. Confer sells a conversion kit to allow the inside ladder section to be used with a custom built outside. I think it's time to draft something up.

    Thanks for all the replies, folks.
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
    Gorilla Pad
    Foam cove
    Confer 7200 ladder
    TF-100
    Use DE for your filter? DO NOT use anything but POOL GRADE DE!

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    If you used a threaded rod material or could thread the ends of a standard material, you could run it across the width of the rung, just below the step's top interior. Add a big fender washer, a standard nut and an acorn nut to the outside.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    I did something like this on my wood ladder
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    I think the epoxy/rebar idea could work but to do all 5 rungs would get very expensive. If you're thinking about the same epoxy I am, that would take a LOT of tubes and there would be no way to mix it properly before it started setting up. I bet each rung would take at least a quart of epoxy.

    I'm gonna see if Confer will send me a couple new rungs to get me through whats left of this season. Only 2 of them are really bad, as if the plastic casting is too thin. Wood is the only sure bet here. It's too bad because the roll-guard is a really slick idea. If the treads were more solid, it would be a great ladder for $200.
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
    Gorilla Pad
    Foam cove
    Confer 7200 ladder
    TF-100
    Use DE for your filter? DO NOT use anything but POOL GRADE DE!

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Guy, I know what your saying but I don't think that would work either. I think the minute downward pressure was on the threaded rod, the plastic would just tear or deform on the ends where the holes are, washers or not.

    I also thought about putting a piece of 3/16 flat steel stock under the treads but the bottoms are arched.

    Wish I could find someplace nearby that could fill them with urethane foam. The stuff I'm thinking about is extremely strong and light. Problem solved. Makes the Lowes stuff in the can seem soft like a Nerf ball.
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
    Gorilla Pad
    Foam cove
    Confer 7200 ladder
    TF-100
    Use DE for your filter? DO NOT use anything but POOL GRADE DE!

  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Could you make wood rungs to replace the plastic ones? Take a 2x6 and some creative cutting?
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    Could you make wood rungs to replace the plastic ones? Take a 2x6 and some creative cutting?
    Hmmmm, that sounds like a VERY good idea! Might even be able to trace out a piece of 1" PT stock and liquid nails it right on top. I'll keep you posted. I have a 19 month old that wants her daddy right now. You know how that goes
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
    Gorilla Pad
    Foam cove
    Confer 7200 ladder
    TF-100
    Use DE for your filter? DO NOT use anything but POOL GRADE DE!

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    Re: Product to fill/stiffen Confer plastic ladder rungs?

    Yes, 10 year DD wanted me to finish our deck this weekend... Done!
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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