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Tips for measuring and installing covers on challenging pools

Installing anchors into the landscape

Sometimes it is necessary to install an anchor into the ground. In these cases, depending on the soil, Knapp installs a thin wall pipe 152 to 305 mm (0.5 to 1 ft) into the ground. The anchor is then cemented in place and covered with mulch.

On another hand, Tripp has sometimes secured deck anchors on post holes in the ground with concrete, roughly 457 mm (18 in.) deep to create anchor points when dealing with landscaping close to the pool’s perimeter.

Although Olson tries to avoid anchoring straps into the landscape altogether, when other options are not present, he will drive a 12.7 mm (0.5 in.) piece of rebar 610 mm (2 ft) into the ground and fasten a 305-mm (1-ft) extension to it.

“A stake in the ground will still ‘flex’ over time,” he says, “so you can’t get the tightness around that particular anchor, making the other anchors more critical.”

A few final tips

It is important the cover’s fastening springs are not fully or under compressed. If pulled too tight, the springs are not able to expand and contract with the elements, such as additional weight for snow loads and ice. However, if they are not tight enough, safety can be compromised, as it may not prevent access to the pool, as pets and/or children may be able to get under the cover.

Before heading out to the job site to measure for a safety cover, be sure to have the correct tools on hand. Here is a list of items found in the tool bags of some seasoned professionals:
• Plumb bobs;
• Levels (several);
• Surveying stakes;
• Measuring tapes (30 m [100 ft], 7.62 m [25 ft] and 4.87 m [16 ft] lengths);
• Bag of pins;
• Chalk;
• Chalk line; and
• Painter’s tape.
• Good pair of waders (for shallow water);
• Inflatable, one-man raft (for deeper water);
• Drill (with extra bits);
• Hammer;
• Rope;
• Fastening equipment (e.g. compression springs, eyebolts, D-rings, cable, etc.); and
• Big ‘weight’ (e.g. sand bags, cinder blocks or water pails, etc.).


Shea_HeadshotJ. Kevin Shea is the senior vice president and chief marketing officer (CMO) for Vyn-All Pool Products, a manufacturer of inground and above-ground safety covers and vinyl liners in Newmarket, NH. With more than 30 years of pool industry experience, Shea has conducted seminars on measuring and installing safety covers for the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) at local, regional and international levels. He can be reached via e-mail at

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