Diving Board Replacement - Need Advice

jobondur

Well-known member
Dec 13, 2009
160
Virginia Beach, VA
This weekend we had an issue when an adult (~225 lbs) did a big bounce on our diving board and sheared off some extremely rusty anchor bolts, sending the diving board and base into the pool. These are the three bolts that mount the base to the concrete. Truthfully it looks like all three nuts just blew up and two of the three bolts are now sharp rusty points sticking out of the concrete. The diving board is an 8' Interfab (looks like a La Mesa), so I reached out to that company and they asked for pictures of the base so they could look to see if the fiberglass of the base had become compromised. I sent them pictures and here is their reply...

After sharing your information with our quality manager, we have the following concerns:

1. Based on the photo, it looks the diving board is over 25 years old – this makes us wonder if the deck is up to the current code
2. Once you have confirmed the deck is up to the current county code, you would want to replace the entire diving system
3. To replace the diving system after you've confirmed your deck is up to current code, you could either tear up the deck and pour concrete per code or you could order a new diving system and install using an epoxy kit.

I wish I had another option but thinking to ensure everybody’s safety, you will want to replace the entire diving system.


Soooo, they never say the base or board is compromised (which the fiberglass looks good to me). They just say the board is over 25 years old and they're not sure if the concrete is up to code (and I'm not pouring a new pad). That being the case, I'm looking for advice here. To replace the entire diving board system myself would be roughly $1100 if I go with a new La Mesa and their epoxy kit. If I go with my current unit, use AC100+ Gold epoxy with 5/8" stainless hardware (from Fastenal), then I can be sitting pretty at about $50. Maybe tack on some SS backing plates to distribute the load more across the fiberglass (another $50).

What would you all do?
 

jobondur

Well-known member
Dec 13, 2009
160
Virginia Beach, VA
And can someone explain to me the purpose of bonding the diving board? Is it because it has the wiring for the light concealed inside the base (which it does)? And how would I bond it? I haven't cut the bolts yet so I could likely attach to one of those (one in the back didn't "blow up").

Also, I'd be using 316 Stainless if that matters.
 

Geebot

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
892
Not entirely following your proposed solution. If your base is anything like mine, the bolts are part of a welded steel assembly that's embedded in the concrete. Mine is a steel triangle with bolts welded at the angles. All but the threaded ends of the bolts are buried in concrete (see link below, Fig. 2):


If all you're doing is adding new bolts I'm not sure what you'd need to anchor them to the deck, especially with a dynamic load focused at the cantilevered end of the board (hate to see the same thing happen a second time).
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,682
Damascus, MD
It has to be bonded because it has metal parts. If your diving frame is compromised (the part embedded in the concrete), you should rip up the concrete and replace all of it. More accidents happen with diving boards than any other pool accessory. Diving board accidents can be very serious. Other options are lose the board and put in a diving rock. I would not attempt a repair of that board, but post pics of what you have perhaps someone here has another opinion.
 
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Arizonarob

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TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
2,758
Chandler Arizona
The reason the company is questioning the integrity of the board, and the current code requirements, is simply because your board is 25 years old. There is no way I would reinstall that diving board, it needs to be replaced. $1100 bucks is nothing compared to a lifetime of guilt from someone getting seriously hurt.
Do the right thing and give your family and friends a safe environment to swim in.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
477
Columbus, Ohio
Your $50 repair would leave you open to a $1,000,000 lawsuit if your fix fails. You asked for and received advice from the manufacturer. If you choose to ignore that advice and something happens you don't have a leg to stand on. The term "willful negligence" will bury you in court. It might also give your insurance company a out to deny your homeowners claim as well.
 

Geebot

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
892
The reason the company is questioning the integrity of the board, and the current code requirements, is simply because your board is 25 years old. There is no way I would reinstall that diving board, it needs to be replaced. $1100 bucks is nothing compared to a lifetime of guilt from someone getting seriously hurt.
Do the right thing and give your family and friends a safe environment to swim in.
The wiser response. When I replaced my board & platform a few years ago, it was easily 25 years old. After a particularly vigorous jump the board split at the far (diving) end about 1/3 of the way in and about 12" of split. Your board gave way at the then-weakest point, the rusted bolts. If you succeed in replacing the bolts the next failure that occurs (and it will, with 25 years of exposure to the elements) will likely happen in the board itself.
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,300
Chapel Hill, NC
Your Interfab La Mesa diving board looks like an SR Smith Flyte II (all-fiberglass base and wood/fiberglass board). Fastening the base/board to a secure deck won't be the issue (one SR Smith recommended method is to drill 3 holes in the concrete and epoxy bolt studs to attach the base, similar to your proposal). The problem comes with bonding, although if there is no metal in the board (I don't think there is), this may not be an issue.
 

jobondur

Well-known member
Dec 13, 2009
160
Virginia Beach, VA
One of the bolts connecting the board to the base was seized and I finally got around to cutting it off. Upon seeing the underside of the board I discovered a 14" crack originating from that bolt hole. That definitely seals the deal on that board going to the dump.

Found a new Interfab La Mesa base and 8' Duro-beam board that I'm going to pick up today after work. Now I just have some work to figure out how thick my concrete pad is and finalize what epoxy I want to use. I'll call SR Smith (who apparently owns Interfab) and find out if I need to bond it.