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Thread: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

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    BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    This past weekend we had our pool closed and I had asked for our pool installer to install a safety cover. For reference, our pool is an 18x36 kidney.

    This is what happened with the install:

    • There isn't an equal overlap of cover around the perimiter of the pool. It varies, but at the extreme, there is 18" overlap on one side while the other side is low as 5". You can actually see the coping stone. This concerns me because when snow and ice pile build up on the cover, I'm worried about a gap existing between the coping and the cover. From what I read, it looks like there should be a minimum uniform overlap of 12" around the entire pool perimeter. What should I do?[/*:m:1zxwm67a]
    • The installer really messed up with the anchor install. Our pool deck consists of 1-1/2" natural stone pavers (dry lay, not mortared) placed on a crushed limestone bed. Below that is nominal 4" thick x 3' concrete perimeter slab. The installer simply drilled a 3/4" diameter hole and popped in the 1-3/4" brass anchors. So far, 10 flagstones are completeley cracked. One anchor actually popped out. From what I've read, to properly install these anchors, they should be inserted in a 15" aluminum sleeve and drilled into the joints to prevent cracking the flagstone. [/*:m:1zxwm67a]


    I will be meeting with the installer tomorrow morning and he will be bringing in the pool cover manufacturer. This is my planned approach:

    • I will explain that I have researched this matter and that I believe that the cover should have been placed so that there would be a uniform overlap around the perimiter. I expect this to be corrected by realigning the safety cover and redrilling the anchor points.[/*:m:1zxwm67a]
    • All anchors should be the 15" sleeve type and drilled into the joints, not through the middle of the sandstone flagstone.[/*:m:1zxwm67a]
    • All stonework to be replaced as required.[/*:m:1zxwm67a]


    Since I haven't paid for anything yet, I feel I have the upper hand, but I don't want to be completely unreasonable. Is my approach rational, fair, etc? I am also prepared to tell him to take his cover and leave the property because I am not ruling out getting another cover made and installed by someone else.

    Please feel free to chime in and offer any advice. I am extremely upset (Edit) over this.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
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    3,192

    Re: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    Most manufacturers design a 12 to 18 inch overlap.

    Paver installations REQUIRE anchor in pipe. Best practice is to go between pavers unless the paver is bigger than 9" square, then a core drill should be used.

    Any snow load on this cover, as installed will cause pavers to lift out and potentially cause the cover to fall in the pool. Not much SAFETY in that. The main purpose of a safety cover is SAFETY. It trumps everything.

    ASTM-ANSI spec is a minimum of a 9 inch overlap on one side of a flat pool.

    Inside curves often have/need a little less overlap. Yours is way off.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    I agree with PoolGuyNJ.

    The cover should have an equal overlap all around of about 12 to 18 inches. There can be an inch or two difference, but not 13 inches. Where the straps cross the edge of the pool there should be reinforcing plastic wear strips to protect the straps from abrasion.

    I would have used a diamond core drill to cut a clean hole in the pavers without cracking them and used the pipe from the manufacturer to insert the anchor into.

    In my opinion, there are too many installers who rush to get done as fast as possible and the customer ends up unhappy. To do the job correctly takes substantially more time and effort, but I think that it is worth it.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
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    3,192

    Re: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    When drilling between normal pavers, a good sized hammer drill with a 1" SDS Max bit is fine. Core drills are used when the pavers are too large to go between. I also use a rebar driver to push the anchor in pipe in. Its a lot better than a 4 lb lump hammer in both the results and ease of use. My hammer drill has a hammer only setting. I figure that has saved an hour per 50 anchor paver cover. After over 500 cover installs in 10 years, I've got it down to an art.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    Sandstone pavers are usually at least 18" X 18". Even with smaller pavers, the edges are not always in the best place for the anchors.

    Dry laid pavers will tend to separate and chip as a hammer drill goes in, especially sandstone or limestone.

    djem, what are the dimensions of your pavers?

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    Re: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW
    Sandstone pavers are usually at least 18" X 18". Even with smaller pavers, the edges are not always in the best place for the anchors.

    Dry laid pavers will tend to separate and chip as a hammer drill goes in, especially sandstone or limestone.

    djem, what are the dimensions of your pavers?

    James,

    My pavers range in size from 1'x1', 1'x2', 12"x18" and 2'x2'. Where would you (or anyone else) recommend drilling through?

    I witnessed the final few holes being drilled and what bothered my was that the installer did not use a pilot bit - he went full bore with the 3/4" on hammer. I was actually surprised more didn't crack.



    PoolGuyNJ - thanks for your input as well!

    I'll lt you know how the meeting tomorrow AM went.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by djem
    Where would you (or anyone else) recommend drilling through?
    If you use a diamond core drill, then you can go directly into the pavers without damaging them. I would not use a hammer drill on sandstone pavers.

    With different sized pavers, it is not possible to drill only in the joints without making the anchor placement seem awkward.

    What is the size and shape of the pool?

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW
    Quote Originally Posted by djem
    Where would you (or anyone else) recommend drilling through?
    If you use a diamond core drill, then you can go directly into the pavers without damaging them. I would not use a hammer drill on sandstone pavers.

    With different sized pavers, it is not possible to drill only in the joints without making the anchor placement seem awkward.

    What is the size and shape of the pool?
    18x36 and it's a humpback kidney



    And yes, I agree with using a diamond core drill with water to slowly cut through the soft sandstone and not pound it to oblivion. I can't help but think *** was the installer thinking.

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    Re: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    That's a complicated shape to get the cover measured and installed right. It takes an experienced installer to do it right.

    With the irregular pool shape and different sized pavers, I don't see any way to make sure that the anchors go between the pavers. I wouldn't go between the pavers even if I could do it and have the anchors look properly spaced.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    UPDATE: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    Just thought about making an update post. Work was completed last week.

    Everything went well. All sandstone pavers were replaced and a diamond core drill was used to drill through the sandstone and into the concrete deck below. A 9" sleeve anchor was used.

    The builder had the cover manufacturer come out and coordinate/inspect the cover placement prior to drilling. The cover fit perfectly well with an even overlap around the pool perimeter.

    Thanks for all your input!

    dj

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
    Posts
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    Re: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    FWIW, an inside radius curve wil often have less of an overlap than it's opposite. This is normal. A snow load will pull on more of the outside radius curve because the inside has more support.

    Did they cut the pipes down? Nearly ever pipe I have seen come 15" long. There are times when cutting the pipe shorter is fine, especially when concrete is under the pavers, as your are.

    Who was the manufacturer?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    Thanks for the update. It's always helpful to know how things worked out.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: BIG problems with Safety Cover installation - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    FWIW, an inside radius curve wil often have less of an overlap than it's opposite. This is normal. A snow load will pull on more of the outside radius curve because the inside has more support.

    Did they cut the pipes down? Nearly ever pipe I have seen come 15" long. There are times when cutting the pipe shorter is fine, especially when concrete is under the pavers, as your are.

    Who was the manufacturer?

    Scott
    You are correct and the manufacturer did mention that's why there was more material to account for that.

    The pipes came all 9".

    Forgot to get the manufacturer's name, but the made a good product frmo what I researched. 3' x 3' panels, all straps had a ribbed wear strip stitched to their underside.

    When I get a chance, I'll post a pic.

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