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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    156

    Size of margin of concrete condenser pad?

    I'm having my concrete guy make a pad today for the new Trane XL20i condenser (37.25" x 34.25"). I told him to make it 38" x 35" - I want it to be as small as possible so people don't trip over the edges, it's right near the walkway. Is it OK to make the pad with less than an inch of extra margin? Or do I need to tell him to make it bigger (for anchoring or building code reasons)?

    p.s. if I ever get a different condenser in the future that is larger, then I would just have the pad demolished and re-built. Also I don't like plastic pads, I have a psychological issue against plastic used for structural building materials since I've never seen plastic last for any length of time in my 1949 house.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    4,327
    You should be fine with the dimensions you gave him. The foot pads on the bottom will be less than the overall footprint of the CU
    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what will never be. (Thomas Jefferson 1816)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Beach
    Posts
    731
    I make the pads at least 2 inches larger all the way around. if I have room I make it 4 inches larger. This help keep grass, weeds away from the unit. Also helps keep dirt or sand from splashing up on the unit when it rains. And durning defrost the water can run away from the unit. You can make the pad match up against the side walk so no one will stumble on it.
    Blue Fox

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    2,272
    You didn't say if this was a heat pump or not. We usually make our pad 36x42 which gives plenty of room for the unit to set and for a heat pump it also gives room for the snow legs, drainage, keeping things away, etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Galveston Texas
    Posts
    530
    need to find out what your building codes are. some cities require a specific size/depth of pad.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dacula, GA
    Posts
    12,723
    Quote Originally Posted by cuchulain View Post
    need to find out what your building codes are. some cities require a specific size/depth of pad.
    Can't give you Galveston but I haven't heard of any local codes for a residential condenser pad. Probably don't have one. The bigger the better and the further away from your house the better also for ease of maintenance and fouling of the side of your coil closest to your house.

    I put in a 8' x 8' x 5" pad for a retired HVAC friend of mine. Didn't want grass clippings getting to his coil and wanted plenty of room to tinker with his dual fuel heat pump and outside adjustable thermostat. That was a yard of concrete $140. which was the minimum load on a truck about 5 years ago. Thank you very much
    "I could have ended the war in a month. I could have made North Vietnam look like a mud puddle."
    "I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution."
    Barry Goldwater

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,295
    5" lol. Were you planning on driving a car over it :P

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dacula, GA
    Posts
    12,723
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroTolerance View Post
    5" lol. Were you planning on driving a car over it :P
    Hey a 8 x8 x 5" pad makes a cubic yard. What am I going to do with the rest of the concrete if I made it a 4"? Anyhow that is what Hue wanted. Had to use 6x6s to forum it up and he wanted an got a 1/4" slope away from the house (condenser level of course) and finished not with a broom but with a steel trowel. Even used a vibrator I borrowed from a friend.

    Not your ordinary pad that's for sure. The condensor was put in the middle of the pad. You could sit down in a nice chair to work on the controls located on the house side of the unit. It was sweet if not a little extravagant.

    The customer Hue was a HVAC genuis and my mentor in the HVAC field. Never forgot a thing he learned in the field or in training. Died of cancer 6 months ago. Thank you very much
    Last edited by glennac; 05-07-2011 at 05:20 PM.
    "I could have ended the war in a month. I could have made North Vietnam look like a mud puddle."
    "I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution."
    Barry Goldwater

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,295
    3"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dacula, GA
    Posts
    12,723
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroTolerance View Post
    3"
    Say what? A 3" pad for an 8'x8' would give you just a little more than a half a yard of concrete. As I stated earlier the smallest load you could get delivered on a concrete truck is one (1) yard and he wanted it 8x8 so that meant a 5" pad. Do the math. If you meant what would be sufficient for a "normal" pad then I will agree with 3" although 4" would be fine also. However on a large 8x8 I would want at least 4" to discourage cracking. Thank you, thank you very much.
    "I could have ended the war in a month. I could have made North Vietnam look like a mud puddle."
    "I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution."
    Barry Goldwater

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    N.E. Ok.
    Posts
    1,370
    Quote Originally Posted by glennac View Post
    The bigger the better and the further away from your house the better also for ease of maintenance and fouling of the side of your coil closest to your house.
    That would be my description of a perfect pad also.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    156
    Quote Originally Posted by glennac View Post
    The bigger the better and the further away from your house the better also for ease of maintenance and fouling of the side of your coil closest to your house.
    That makes me curious, how does being close to the house increase the chance of fouling the coil? Do you mean the coil getting dirty or not getting a good airstream? Mine will be 1 foot away from the wall.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Denver/Boulder
    Posts
    2,392
    nobody, and I mean NOBODY pours pads anymore for condensers around here.

    BTW, I believe that ICC requires 3" clearance above the ground.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.


    Two pressures, four temperatures = SUCCESS!


    Boulder Heating Contractor


    For Consumers:

    For HVACR Professionals:


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