by Mark Garcia August 12, 2014
How to Install a Safety Pool Cover
A safety pool cover is one that is secured into the deck via straps, springs and anchors. The brass anchors thread up to install the cover, and thread down flush into the deck when to cover is removed.
Installing your own safety pool cover is an easy DIY project, and takes only a few hours to complete.
But before you can install a safety cover, you need to prepare by measuring and ordering the cover, and assembling some tools and a good helper.
Let's assume that you've already taken careful measurements of your swimming pool, and ordered your safety pool cover. Most rectangular pools can use a 'stock cover', which are ready made and ready to ship.
If your pool has curves or radius, obstructions, varying deck levels, planters, rocks or water features - you'll need to measure your pool using triangulation, or the A-B method, and wait about 3 weeks after measurement approval, to receive your custom pool cover.
- Rented heavy duty rotary hammer drill, with 3/4" x 18" long masonry drill bit.
- Extension cords to power the hammer drill.
- Garden hose and nozzle, to rinse away drilling dust.
- Hammer to tamp in the deck anchors.
INSTALLING A RECTANGULAR POOL SAFETY COVER
STEP 1: Remove ladders and other obstructions. It's easier to "float" the Loop-Loc cover on the water surface if water level is normal or higher. Measure the cover & measure the pool. Lay Loop-Loc cover over pool and adjust for equal overlap at all 4 corners of the pool. Example: a 20' X 40' rect. pool takes a 22' X 42' cover. Overlap on each side may vary 11" to 14". Pull cover tightly to remove packing wrinkles and help cover to float on pool surface. Install springs onto straps with equal adjustment. Center the cover perfectly over the pool. Measure to be sure.
STEP 2: To determine anchor points for the 2 anchors at each corner of the pool, measure 18" back from the outside edge of the cover corners (NOT the edge of the pool). Measure at right angles (90 degrees) to the Loop-Loc covers' edge. Placing the anchor inward a bit more is a good idea. I usually "skew" the straps somewhat in corners so that the anchor is drilled at approximately 120 degrees from covers' edge. (the edge perpendicular to the strap)
STEP 3: Install the 8 anchors at the 4 corners of the pool by drilling into the concrete with a 3/4" masonry bit in a rotary hammer drill. Drill 2-3" deep, then hose away the dust with water. Using the tamping tool, hammer the brass anchor into the hole, until it is flush with the concrete surface.
STEP 4: After ALL 8 corner anchors are installed, attach springs to anchors using installation rod. Re-check to insure equal overlap; adjust strap length on one side or end if cover needs to be shifted to center it over the pool equally. Adjust tension on straps so that springs are 1/3-2/3 compressed.
STEP 5: Install the remaining cover anchors, adjust tension as needed to re-center and/or tighten the cover. If you have a chalk line, it's easy to snap a line between corner anchors and use this as a guide for placement of the rest, or just measure 18" straight back from the covers' edge, at every strap/spring.
Here's a video of Rob showing how to install a rectangular safety pool cover.
INSTALLING A FREEFORM POOL SAFETY COVER
STEP 1: Raise the water level to the top of the tiles, to help support the cover. Remove ladders and other obstructions. Lay the cover over pool and adjust for equal overlap on all sides. Use buckets full of water or water tubes to anchor the cover around the edge in 4 - 8 areas. Another strategy for centering the cover is to use 8 ropes attached to 16 stakes, running across the pool, and laying the cover on top of the tightly pulled ropes. In any case, pull cover tightly to remove packing wrinkles and help cover to lay flat, with equal overlap and very few edge wrinkles. Install all of the cover springs onto the straps with equal adjustment.
STEP 2: Drill the first holes 3- 6 inches behind the two straps that run the length of the pool. Move to the other end of the pool and drill the anchors opposite, on the same seam, also 3-6" behind where the spring ends. When all four anchors are tamped into place, connect all four springs using the installation rod. Adjust tension to equalize overlap and tension on the springs.
STEP 3: Now move to the side of the pool, and find the two centermost seams running across the cover. Drill holes 3-6" behind the end of the springs on the centermost seams, and then move to the opposite side and drill the two anchors on the other side. Tamp in the anchors and attach all 4 springs. Adjust tension to equalize overlap and tension on the springs.
STEP 4: Now move back to the end of the pool and drill the holes for the two straps on either side of the first two holes you have drilled. Again, wait until you have drilled all 4 anchors, on both sides of the pool, before you connect the springs to the anchors.
STEP 5: Move back to the sides of the pool and drill the two holes on either side of the holes drilled before. Continue in this way - working from the inside out, until you complete drilling all of the anchors. Adjust the cover straps after each set of straps are connected, for equal overlap, equal tension and straight running seams.
Here's another video of Rob installing a custom or freeform safety pool cover.
Installing a safety pool cover doesn't take more than a few hours.
- To get the best fit, take your time and proceed slowly.
- Keep the cover centered, and with each new hole drilled, pull the cover against the previously drilled holes, to pull out any slack.
- If you mis-drill some holes by several inches, work the anchor out of the hole, fill it with drilling dust, and you can drill a new hole.
Thanks fror Reading!