How close should ladder be to wall?

doncaruana

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 25, 2011
337
Northville, Mi
On the side of my pool, I have a ladder like this one: http://www.poolsupplyworld.com/Inter-Fab-L3E049-3-Step-Economy-Ladder-with-Three-Tread-Choices-and-Optional-Color-Powdercoat/L3E049.htm

The thing is that the lower caps sit about 3 or 4 inches from the liner wall and my dolphin frequently knocks the bumpers of them. Then, if we don't realize the bumper is off and someone uses the ladder, it bangs into the liner, where we have numerous little round 'cuts' that thankfully haven't gone all the way through.

So, three questions:
1) Should the ladder have been installed so that the bumpers were much closer to the wall? It would appear from looking at the data sheets from both SR Smith and Inter-Fab that they are meant for the bumpers to rest as close to the wall as possible, but I don't know anything about installing a pool ladder.
2) Is this a matter of the builder putting the wrong ladder in for the anchor location I have? I've seen 17" and 10" from center of anchor to bumpers, but haven't measure my exact distance or seen anything around 14" so far.
3) If I'm just stuck, any suggestion on what I can do about the dolphin knocking the bumpers off?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2009
23,681
SouthWest Alabama
The ladder should be a lot closer to the wall than 3 or 4 inches. I would try to find a plastic hand rail or fence post and a couple of pvc pipe caps that will fit over the ladder rails and make something that will go between the ladder and the liner. Even a couple of pvc flanges, short piece of pipe and couplings would work.

Measure the setback and see if they make a ladder that would work. If they don't then the above suggestion will work, or you could have a custom ladder built.
 

doncaruana

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 25, 2011
337
Northville, Mi
Finally pulled a measuring tape out. One anchor is 15 inches from the wall, the other 15.5. So not only is it an odd size, the ladder doesn't even line up with the pool right so, if I make the ladder perpendicular to the pool, like it should be, the steps are crooked. And I don't even know where you would have a custom ladder built and out of what.

The list of stuff this builder did wrong is sooo long I'm just disgusted. Especially since there's nothing I can do about it now - the anchors are bonded and in concrete - no moving those without beaucoup bucks.
 

Charlie_R

TFP Expert
May 8, 2013
2,156
Mexico, MO
If you are comfortable with using construction tools, you can rent a coring drill from your local rental yard, and drill new ladder mount holes where you need them at much lower cost than hiring the job out. Coring drill = rotary hammer and coring bit of the appropriate size. At my local rental yard, this goes for about $30 for 4 hours, and you would have it back to them in about 2, depending on travel time.

I'd be willing to bet that they would also have the correct epoxy to glue the sleeves in, as well.

You can then fill the old holes with hydraulic cement or leave them open, your choice.
 

doncaruana

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 25, 2011
337
Northville, Mi
Charlie_R said:
If you are comfortable with using construction tools, you can rent a coring drill from your local rental yard, and drill new ladder mount holes where you need them at much lower cost than hiring the job out. Coring drill = rotary hammer and coring bit of the appropriate size. At my local rental yard, this goes for about $30 for 4 hours, and you would have it back to them in about 2, depending on travel time.

I'd be willing to bet that they would also have the correct epoxy to glue the sleeves in, as well.

You can then fill the old holes with hydraulic cement or leave them open, your choice.
I have a nice rotary hammer actually, but I'd then have the issue of the bonding - I'd have no way of rehooking those wires up.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2009
23,681
SouthWest Alabama
Unless it looks really bad, I think I'd go to a marine builder or repair place and see if they could make a couple of standoff's to fit over the existing tubing out of stainless steel to fit each side. Just get a measurement of the tubing diameter and the distance from the end of the tubing (without the plastic cap on) to the pool wall on each side.