If you happen to buy your pool a safety cover, then you are on your way to care for your swimming pool properly. Safety covers look great, and it protects your pool while keeping all the outside forces safe like your kids and little pets.
In addition to that, they are deficient maintenance, but there is one exception, the installation where it requires drilling brass anchors into the pool deck.
What are pool anchors? Pool anchors are responsible for fastening the straps of a pool cover to the ground or your pool deck. It can vary depending on the base that you have in your pool area.
This article will give you an idea of the purpose of pool anchors and how they are being used in a safety cover installation.
Pool Cover Anchors
Pool cover anchors are known to be used in fastening the straps of pool covers to the ground or on your deck. The anchors are typically brass, and they are screwed down to the ground for the pool season.
These pool anchors will be screwed out to provide anchor points for springs attached to their respective cover straps. There are many anchors to choose from, but some older versions of them are pop-up types.
The brass anchors have different housing that will be dependent if they are going to different kinds of grounds or deck. There are anchors available if they are going into concrete, pavers, grass, or dirt.
Many concrete deck anchor casings are held in place by friction or tension. For instance, a ¾” hole 2 ¼ inches deep is made in the concrete but the top rim of the casing is somehow slightly larger.
When the casing is tamped in, it will then be squeezed and held correctly in its place. 9, 15, or 18 inches pipes with a 1″ OD will then be used to secure anchors to pavers, bricks, stone, or even grass.
Many anchor brands have 16″ lawn spikes for planter areas, and there are 18″ lawn pins to go into the soil.
Installing Pool Cover Anchors
When installing a safety cover, you need to understand the different aspects that are around it. One thing to look into is the finer details in installing new deck anchors in different scenarios.
It can be in wood, concrete, paver pool decks, and into the ground. Here are some ways on how to install your pool cover anchors, and take note of each base you will use:
Wood Pool Deck Anchors
Since wood is a natural material, there’s a high chance that it can rot and soften through the years. It is why a wood deck anchor is perfect to use.
It has a wide flange on top of the anchor to protect the deck and hold the cover securely, having more lateral strength. Having to install flange-type anchors needs more involvement than other anchor types.
For this reason, it is ideal to use 2 or 3 power drills, so you do not have to change the bits often.
The first step is for you to drill a counter-sink hole. Usually, it should be 3/16″ deep using a Forstner bit of the correct diameter. This way, the anchor flange will strip flush into the wood and won’t be a toe-stubbing hazard.
Next is using a ¾” wood drill bit, drill a hole right at the center and all the way through the wood. You need to drop the wood anchor into the hole and then screw in the brass flange screws.
Concrete Pool Deck Anchors
This type is the most common pin used in many safety covers for brass concrete anchors. The standard cover anchor usually is threaded, but some brands offer a pop-up anchor which only requires a ½ turn to raise or lower the anchor properly.
Brass anchors usually are 1/16″ wider at the top, and when it is tapped into the hole, it press-fits right into place. It can hold the anchor body stationary as you turn the threaded insert regardless if it is inserted up or down.
To install a brass cover anchor, you need to have a rotary hammer drill with a ¾” masonry bit. Having a sharp new bit will cut a clean hole, and then dull drill bits will cause more chipping of the concrete around the hole.
Then you can place a piece of sturdy tape around the bit at 2-¼” so you know when to stop drilling.
Also, hold on tightly to the drill, which may jump if you hit some large piece of aggregate or steel mesh. Remember to hold the drill perpendicular to the deck so you can end up drilling a vertical hole.
After drilling, remove the dust using a blower, wet-dry vac, or simple garden hose. Then quickly tamp the anchor into the hole using a tamping tool so you won’t damage the hex keyhole.
Paver Pool Deck Anchors
You might not know what a Pavel pool deck is, but it is basically made up of interlocking bricks, pavers, stone, and ceramic tiles.
They are typically placed over a concrete sub-deck or on a bed of crushed stone or sand. Pavers can be mortared right in their place and often placed tightly together with a steel band on the outer edge.
If you want to have very tight pavers or mortared joints, you need to drill into the joint between 3 pavers. Then you can place the anchor in the same way as for the concrete decks.
Just make sure that you always place the anchors into a joint, adjusting the strap length as necessary to reach the anchor properly.
Drilling directly into your paver can risk the paver cracking, so it might not be advisable unless you have a core drill.
The anchor-in-pipe method can be used for pavers who have some movement or more secure installation. Using a ¾” by 15″ aluminum tube available in many pool essential stores can be inserted through the deck and the earth below.
Using an extra-long drill bit will open up the earth to the full depth of the tube. Then you can quickly pound the tube into the hole with a piece of wood on the tube.
Planter & Grass Cover Anchors
You can install a safety cover on an inground pool without a deck, as there can be grass surrounding the pool. There is a method called anchor-in-pipe where you sink the pipes very low so the lawnmower would not hit them.
Many pool services recommend not more than 30% anchor-in-pipe, but the cover held up fine over the years.
Another option you can use is to get a 6″ drill to dig into a 15″ hole. You can insert a PVC pipe into the ground and fill it with concrete.
Then you can slide the brass anchor into the wet concrete and let it set up for 48 hours. This is possible because many inground pools have planter areas on edge.
In these cases, the anchor-in-pipe method will then be used, and also available are 18″ safety cover stakes that are suitable when you have a few straps that could run off a short deck. The stakes can be easily removed during pool season if you want to.
Pool Cover Anchor Problems
Pool cover anchors do encounter problems as they can wear and tear through time. It can happen to you every year, and there are possibilities where 1 or 2 of your brass safety cover anchors won’t come up or won’t go down.
Struggling with pool cover anchors is not fun, and it can lead to different accidents.
Anchor Hex Hole Is Stripped Smooth
When the hole where you put the Allen Hex key is rounded smoothly, you will have trouble turning it in either direction.
First, you should check that your Hex Key is not rounded, smooth, or even stripped, and then check that the hole is not half full of grit.
Pool Cover Anchor Won’t Turn
If you encounter issues with your pool cover anchors, this can be caused by hardened grit in the threads. If your cover anchor key is twisting and bedding with force, try a tee-handle type ¼” Hex Key, which can provide you more leverage or torque.
Lubrication usually helps, oil or any lightweight and penetrating oil applied between the body and the insert. Let a few minutes for it to soak in properly, and then try to turn it again. Repeat the process when needed until you can make a few turns before getting stuck again.
Overall, pool anchors are essential as they are the foundation in making sure your pool covers are working efficiently. It’s essential to know how they work and the possible options you can pick depending on your pool deck or swimming pool area.
Consult your pool essentials provider on which one will work best for you and hire a professional to do it so you won’t resort to doing it by yourself.