One of the best pool products you can buy to protect your investment is a pool cover. Pool covers look great. They protect the pool when not in operation as well as help keep small children and pets safe. A pool cover typically has a lifespan of 10-12 years so should provide at least a decade of use before needing to be replaced.
In addition, a pool safety cover is easy to care for. Safety covers require very little maintenance. The only thing that may be difficult for some pool owners is the actual installation of their pool safety cover anchors. Most do-it-yourself enthusiasts should be able to successfully install their own pool safety cover. If you are pretty handy, you too can install your own pool cover using this helpful how-to article.
Installing a pool cover does necessitate the use of some heavier tools, such as a small hammer drill for simpler installations, and sledgehammers, grinders, and a much larger hammer drill for more complex installations. You can easily install your own cover if you are not afraid of a little labor and have the ability to take fairly precise measurements.
3 Types of Pool Covers #
- Mesh Safety Pool Covers
Light weight, easy to store. Easy to install and remove. Snow and ice will melt into the pool. Debris and leaves will not get in the pool.
- Heavy Duty Mesh Covers
Exactly the same as mesh covers, however only 1% of sunlight can get in. Thicker, more durable, more expensive.
- Solid Safety Pool Covers
Prevents 100% of light from reaching the pool, less evaporation. Most expensive and most durable option.
How To Measure Your Pool Cover #
Measuring an A – B plot for a new pool cover entails measuring to specific points around your pool from two different reference points known as “A” and “B.” These two reference points must be at least 10′ apart and at least 3′ away from the pool wall’s edge. These are the minimum values; there are no maximum values other than what each individual manufacturer is capable of working with. A 3-D rendering of your pool can be created by having two fixed points that are an exact, known distance apart. Consider it a large-scale game of connect the dots. They lay the “dots” from two reference points on top of one another. The true shape and orientation of your pool can be found where these two drawings overlap.
On most average-sized inground swimming pools, you’ll need to mark and measure 25 to 50 points around the pool. These marks should always be marked with something temporary, such as tape or chalk, and you will measure to each of them from both the A and B reference points. The number of points you measure around your pool, as well as their location, will be determined by the shape of your pool.
Securing the reference points to a wooden deck is simple, as a discretely placed screw for each tape measurer leaves no visible permanent marks. If your entire deck area is concrete, you should try to work with any grass, garden, or soil areas near the pool, as well as cracks or expansion joints in the concrete where a screw or nail could be inserted.
Step 1. Construct a “A-B” line parallel to the pool. The line should be at least 4 feet away from the water’s edge and run at least two-thirds the length of the pool. “A” must be on the left side of “B.” Measure and record the length of your “A-B” line on your A-B Log Sheet. The “A-B” line in the example is 20′ long. Your “A-B” line should be at the bottom of the page.
Step 2. Mark the deck at the water’s edge with chalk. The marks do not have to be spaced evenly. Marks should be spaced about 2′ or 3′ apart where the shape of the pool changes directions on moderate curves and 1′ apart on tight curves. Mark intersecting corners in areas where there are no curves (see red circle).
Step 3. Beginning near the center of your “A-B” line (see red circle), count all the chalk marks on your pool deck clockwise. Continue to count all of the points around the pool.
Step 4a. Delegate someone to hold the end of the tape measure at point “A.” Make sure to work in a clockwise direction. Measure to each numbered point and record your findings.
Step 4b. Have someone hold the end of the tape measure at point “B.” Make sure to work clockwise. Measure to each numbered point and record their location.
Step 5. Log the position of two or three diagonal “cross check” dimensions. If there are any other items on the deck that are within 2 feet of the water’s edge and could interfere with the cover, please let us know and we can usually accommodate them.
Installing Pool Cover Anchors #
Installing a pool safety cover? Drilling brass anchors into the pool deck is required for safety covers and can be notoriously difficult to do without prior experience. In this how-to article we walk you through the various types of inground pool cover anchors. This is a how to guide for install installing pool safety cover anchors into your wood, concrete, or paver deck as well as methods to sink anchors directly into the ground.
- Anchors for Concrete Pool Decks
- Anchors for Paver Pool Decks
- Anchors for Wood Decks
- Anchoring directly into the Ground
Anchors for Concrete Pool Decks #
For homeowners with a concrete pool deck, the anchoring method for installing a pool safety cover is fairly straight forward. The most common type of safety cover pin is the brass concrete anchor. The standard cover anchor is threaded, but Meyco offers a pop-up anchor that only requires 1/2 turn to raise or lower.
Brass anchors are 1/16′′ wider at the top and press-fit into the hole, holding the anchor body stationary as you turn the threaded insert up or down. A rotary hammer drill with a 3/4′′ masonry bit is required to install a brass cover anchor. A sharp, new bit will cut a clean hole; dull drill bits will cause more chipping of the concrete around the hole and may take twice as long to drill.
Wrap a piece of strong tape around the bit at 2-1/4′′ to indicate when to stop drilling. Make sure to keep a tight grip on the drill, which may jump if you come into contact with some steel mesh or a large piece of aggregate in the deck. To create a vertical hole, keep the drill perpendicular while drilling into the deck.
After you have successfully drilled the hole, blow or wash away the dust left over from drilling. At this stage you’re almost done. All that remains is to tamp the anchor into the hole so that you don’t damage the hex key hole or bend the top rim of the anchor.
Anchors for Paver Pool Decks #
Many pool owners have a paver deck. Installing a pool safety cover into paver decks is nearly as easy as installing them into a concrete deck. However, there are a few differences in the installation methods. For mortared joints or very tight pavers, make sure to drill into the joint between three pavers. Place the anchor just as you normally would for a concrete deck.It’s important to insert anchors into the joint, adjusting the strap length as needed in order to reach the anchor. It’s not advised to drill directly into your pavers. This increases the potential risk of your pavers cracking.
Some pool contractors will use the anchor-in-pipe method as well for pavers that move. They will also use this method to rely on a more secure installation. A 3/4′′ x 15′′ aluminum tube, available from your safety cover dealer, is inserted through the deck and into the soil underneath it. Open the earth up to the full depth of the tube (aka Lawn Tube) with an extra long drill bit, and pound the tube into the hole with a piece of wood on the tube to protect it from damage from the hammer.
When the tube is flush with the deck, insert a brass anchor into the top of the tube and you have successfully completed the installation of your pool safety cover anchors.
Installing Pool Safety Cover Anchors into a Wood Deck #
Many pool owners have a wood deck instead of using concrete or pavers. Because wood decks can often rot or swell with age, it’s advised to use a Wood Deck Anchor with a wide flange on the top. This type of anchor is used to protect the deck and securely hold the cover with greater lateral strength.
Wood deck pool safety cover anchors are easy to install. To begin, drill a 3/16′′ deep counter-sink hole with a Forstner bit of the appropriate diameter. Ideally, the anchor flange should sit flush into the wood and should not pose a toe-stubbing hazard. Then, using a 3/4′′ wood drill bit to drill a hole all the way through the wood right in the center. Insert the Wood Anchor into the hole, and then screw in the brass flange screws with a #2 Phillips screw driver.
Can I use concrete anchors instead on a wooden pool deck?
Theoretically, yes you can. It is quicker and easier; however, your safety cover may not be as safe, and doing so probably will wind up voiding the manufacturer’s warranty.
Anchoring Directly Into the Ground #
Many pool owners don’t have a deck area around their pool. Utilize this installation method if you do not have a pool deck and want to anchor your safety cover directly into the ground. This is the anchor-in-pipe method which is done around the entire perimeter of the pool. Sinking the pipes very low so the lawn mower wouldn’t destroy them.
Another option is to dig a 15-inch hole with a 6-inch auger, insert a PVC pipe into the ground, and fill it with concrete. Insert the brass anchor into the wet concrete and wait 48 hours for it to set.