Equipment pad questions - Hurricane and Ultralite?

ckinchen

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2019
223
Orlando, FL
Hi! When I had my meeting with the construction supervisor I assumed they would pour concrete for the equipment pad, especially since the designer/sales person told me it is concrete. The super said no, it is a pad that is made up of Styrofoam and concrete material. Did some more digging because I recall the equipment pad is pretty important here on the forum. I called their supplier and there are two pads. One is called a ultralite pad and made of a lightweight concrete over Styrofoam and the other is called hurricane that is heavier and more expensive. I believe both are made by Diversitech. The one that was included in my pool quote is the ultralite (concrete and Styrofoam). Anyone use this product and recommend for the equipment pad? Any issues? It will be on a shaded area of by back yard in Central Florida. I am already experiencing unexpected expenses $$ (electrical and removing a portion of my foundation) so don't want to incur anymore unless it is really necessary. Any advice is appreciated!!
Also I am attaching a picture of what my pool sales guy says it looks like, this is from a client they installed this week. I assume this is the ultralite.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20201215_113942.jpg
    IMG_20201215_113942.jpg
    390.3 KB · Views: 44

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,989
NY
Hey ckinchen !! I had 2 of the ultralight pads and although the original price was great ($100 each), they didn’t hold up long term. By year 7 I could poke my fingers through them and the weight of the equipment caused them to crack and sink in. I sold my house but it would have been time to replace them and it would have been a super pain to install new ones at the exact height to match the equipment plumbing. Or it would have been easy to install and a pain to redo all the plumbing for the new pads. You won’t have the freeze/thaw cycles as bad as me, but your heat index will be much worse than mine so you have some harsh elements to withstand also.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ckinchen

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,985
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
They don’t last and by the time they break down it is your problem not the Pool Builders.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ckinchen

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,518
Sebring, Florida
I have had (6 years now) one of the "synthetic" pads just like you were quoted. They work just fine if the substrate underneath is prepared. They need to be placed on a non-settling, level surface and you will not have issues.

I don't understand what others are saying about them "breaking down"...........UV? I don't know what else.....mine shows no sign of any UV damage.

Anyway, I was careful not to leave ANY voids under the pad and it looks like it did the day the equipment was installed
 
  • Like
Reactions: ckinchen

ckinchen

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2019
223
Orlando, FL
@duraleigh I wonder if they do not last in cold weather but are fine in Florida since its rare we get any cold. The place it is going is next to where my AC units are. My house is 18 years old and I think that part has settled a long time ago so I doubt any issues with settling. I assume the people who will install will level it, but I guess I can go out there too to make sure it is level. I would like to hear from others in FL if they have any issues, maybe they are fine in FL.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,989
NY
I don't understand what others are saying about them "breaking down
The cement coating became brittle and the styrofoam inside can’t support any weight on its own. I had perfect stamped indents where the equipment touched. Those led to large cracks across the whole pad.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,518
Sebring, Florida
I guess it could be an issue with cold weather but I cant imagine what is cold-susceptible in them. I do know there are probably hundreds of thousand of these pads underneath HVAC exterior units all over the united states and they seem to work OK. I have one under an irrigation pump and plumbing and two more for my HVAC units.....no problems to date
 
  • Like
Reactions: ckinchen

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,989
NY
They only have a very thin layer of cement on them. About 1/4 inch. The rest is industrial strength high density foam, but it’s still ultimately styrofoam like. Once they started to weather I could poke holes in them with just my finger. I’m not sure if it’s only the snow/ice that made them fail, or any combination of all the elements, but they failed nonetheless. For 5 years they were great and then POOF, they weren’t. If yours are holding up in FL, that’s a much better gague for OP to factor into his decision.

With my next build I’ll have them pour a pad while the cement truck is already on-site. It would have cost me a lot more to have them come now just for the equipment pad. If the budget at the time is already blown I will at the very least get the solid concrete pads to buy more time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ckinchen

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,873
Stuart/FL
Pool Size
12800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-30 Plus
I'm a little south of you on the east coast in Stuart. I have a traditional poured pad for the pool equipment and light-weight for my whole house standby generator. I did excavate down a couple inches for the generator and then filled in with pea graveal and leveled prior to setting the generator. Almost 8 years in place now with no deterioration of either. Don't know if it's weather or solid and level base or both but they are holding up fine here.

I hope this helps.

Chris
 
  • Like
Reactions: ckinchen

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,989
NY
The not solid or level base would create a different problem. Mine crumbled from the top while staying level.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ckinchen

ckinchen

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2019
223
Orlando, FL
Ok, great info all! I am going to push it back onto the builder since they did tell me it was concrete, he just did not realize it was not solid concrete. They will be putting the concrete right next to where the equipment pad is as we extended our patio with concrete so maybe it wont be a big deal to add more concrete to the pad, not sure. If its an additional expense I will just pass but also verify it is level. I checked with my neighbor who had a pool built about 10 years ago and had multiple pools built. They said they never had a choice but theirs looks fine, not really sure if it is solid concrete or not. It sank in a little into the ground but otherwise fine. So most likely it is a pad and fine. It sounds like it is very common to use those pads.
Thank you too @setsailsoon . You have the perfect experiment with both, and in FL! I might be worrying about nothing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
2,028
Chapel Hill, NC
Considering, at most, the poured concrete pad would be $100 (less the cost of the proposed pad), I'd definitely go that way. You should also have tie-down codes in Florida(?)
 

ckinchen

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2019
223
Orlando, FL
@sktn77a I just got the quote from pool builder. He said that they would need to send to county again to revise the permit and it would be an extra $518 for the 3x8 pad. If it were 100 I would have done it but since I don't know what the electrical will cost me (turns out the electrical panel by the equipment does not have a breaker) but guessing 2500, plus the concrete sidewalk that turns out to be attached to my foundation (I am guessing builder made foundation too big and fixed it by making it a walkway 20 years ago when built). I am going to have to just hope the pad will last.
 
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.