measuring up a freeform pool for a loop-loc cover

in-two

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2011
51
Sabina, Italy
It's closing time and I'd like to spend the big money and fit a loop-loc ultra, only available here in Italy (AFAIK) from an Internet supply house, so I have to measure up and install myself.
The pool has no straight edges and is not symmetrical about either horizontal axis, it's 53 x 23 feet so a bit big (and wet, and cold...) for tape measures etc. I have a laser measure so I'm thinking that setting up a datum down the middle of the pool (stretched tape or rope) to act as a laser target, then measuring from the edge every 20 inches or so could be the way. My question is : how do the pros do it? It can't be a new problem, so if there are any architect/engineers/surveyors or pool pros out there that can help, I'd be very grateful.

ciao,
In-Two
 

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in-two

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2011
51
Sabina, Italy
Fantastic! thanks, exactly what I needed to know!
I spent hours searching the net for this info. and came up empty so I really appreciate the heads up.
cheers
In-Two
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,531
Tucson
It's really pretty easy. In my last pool, I measured it up and ordered my cover on-line. The cover was a perfect fit.
 

in-two

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2011
51
Sabina, Italy
Thanks again, I might just be ahead, or at least alongside you guys for once!
I just finished explaining the "A-B-" measuring method to one of my friends here in Italy when he started laughing long and loud. I quote " that's great for the ancient Sumerians who probably invented it in 2000 BC but watch this..." out comes his ipad, in goes a pic of the pool, out comes a fully dimensioned ,scaled, .dwg drawing of the pool... duh!
He's an architect, and it's cost me most of a bottle of good single malt this evening, but :cheers: well worth it! We are going to repeat the process tomorrow (when sober) with a much better photo and four carefully measured datum points just to make sure the late and lamented Steve jobs is not having one final joke at our expense.
Thanks again for your input.
 

X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
Don't forget to take measurements of the amount of available decking as well as anything that is not removable (IE your diving board)
 

in-two

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2011
51
Sabina, Italy
kevin, thanks for the advice, I have now taken some pics of the pool and measured between the skimmer covers, both across and diagonal. I have been unable to access the "Image- Loc" pages on loop-Loc's site as I imagine they keep this for their re-sellers and pool professionals. I can't therefore find any instructions on what exactly they need. I have emailed Loop loc customer services but as they are on long Island I expect they are busy dealing with the after effects of hurricane sandy, and quite rightly so. Here's an example of the pics I've managed to take on a wet and windy day. The datum points are the skimmer covers. Do you think this is enough?
 

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X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
Yeah, they probably won't do the image loc thing since that gets sent directly to them and they figure it out and they don't deal directly with the pool owners. You might have to find a pool guy to measure it just to have access, but that really doesn't help you there. Now that I think of it to order a custom cover from loop loc you will need to be a dealer since it's not a stock cover you can order through the web. Unless you can find an online dealer that will take AB measurements, but it won't work for image loc as the dealer isn't the one that designs the cover.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,531
Tucson
It was several years ago, but I bought a custom Loop-Loc cover online. I used the A-B measurement and it fit perfect. So it maybe easier to use a photo image, but A-B method produces just as good result if done carefully. From your picture you don't have any tricky areas. No waterfalls, rocks, etc. and I would assume you remove the ladder when installing the cover. So it should be a snap to get a proper fit.
 

Qwaxalot

In The Industry
Jun 20, 2012
439
I find it hard to believe that there are no safety cover vendors in Italy. That said, you will have to make provisions for the front legs on your diving board fulcrum.
 

X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
If you can find a vendor that will take AB measurements then you might be able to find someone that will give you instructions on the image-loc method and they'll just send it in.
 

in-two

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2011
51
Sabina, Italy
Thanks again for the input. I am able to do the A-B measuring myself if needed and as I mentioned my architect friend is helping me generate a proper dimensioned drawing from photographs using a CAD program that, at least in theory, 'undistorts' a photo taken from an angle converting it to a plan view if certain dimensions are known, in my case the distance between the skimmer covers. I've yet to see the results of this (my friend is on a plane) but will share them when I get them. I'm sure that the 'Image-loc' is a similiar (possibly the same) program, but I would be keen to use that, just because Loop-Loc are used to using it, and presumably they guarantee the results.
There are, of course, lots of cover vendors here in Italy but I have yet to find one local enough to actually measure up, supply and install, and I have kind of bought into the loop loc marketing hype. I expect the cover materials are all much the same, but the compression spring fixing system looks to me like 'the right answer' as opposed to most of the stuff here which is bungee based, never seen one yet that can withstand both chlorine and sunlight. Please comment if you disagree or have other suggestions/ experiences.
I havn't yet received a response directly from Loop-Loc, although I expect they are busy shovelling sand(y) out of their factory on Long island, Pool&Spa Supply is where I got the A-B measuring forms from and they have responded very quickly with an offer to supply and ship on receipt of measurements, but did not mention 'Image Loc'. The local (Italian) supplier, the unfortunately named 'B S Village' will also quote when measurements are received and sent on to Loop Loc. I'd much rather deal direct as in both cases the suppliers are really just acting as shipping agents, although that in itself could be a worthwhile service, knowing Italian customs. In the meantime I'll just keep shovelling leaves out of the pool...
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,552
For that deck, you might want to consider using a core drill, as a hammer drill might crack the deck or stones.

Also, that brick wall on the left might be a bit close by the time you account for cover overlap and spring/strap length. Make sure to document the decking and wall information.
 

in-two

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2011
51
Sabina, Italy
[attachment=0:2wnaxs7p]pool cover comp.JPG[/attachment:2wnaxs7p]I'm back after nearly three months and guess what, my Loop-Loc Ultra is fitted and looking good as of this afternoon!
It wasn't quite as easy as I had hoped, but I guess its the result that counts, here's a quick description of what happened which might help anybody in Europe trying to do the same thing.
Firstly I ended up actually ordering the cover from poolandspa.com of Las Vegas, who were fantastic throughout the whole process, immediate response from 'Tim' to emails, and tons of really useful 'how to' info. on their site which is why I chose them as a vendor. Loop-Loc themselves resolutely refused to respond to any emails despite my special situation, not a great example of customer relations. However poolandspa very pragmatically forwarded all the necessary Loop-Loc forms and information to do A-B measuring and specify and order the cover from the other side of the planet.[attachment=2:2wnaxs7p]fixing comp.JPG[/attachment:2wnaxs7p]
A-B measuring was relatively easy if time consuming, I armed myself with a proper surveyors 50m tape measure, a lump of chalk, two bits of re-bar drilled into the deck as the A and B markers and a lot of patience. The most difficult and boring part was converting metric to feet and inches, it's easy to get feet and a decimal of inches, but not so easy when you want proper feet, inches and fractions of an inch. The computer generated drawing from loop-Loc of the pool line eventually returned to me, requiring many signatures that it was correct. How was I to know? There were just two suspect dimensions 'outliers' out of 63 so I re-checked those and corrected them, I think it was a conversion error, sent the money and waited. In the meantime 'Madame' decided that the standard green colour of the cover was too dull and wanted a blue one, women! Again Tim of pooland spa managed to get the order changed and even discounted some of the upgrade, full marks.
Christmas came an went and then I got all excited, in my first and only direct communication from Loop-Loc I got a TNT tracking number indicating that the cover was shipped, it quickly made it over the Atlantic, but then got stuck in Milan airport. I thought it was a customs problem and indeed there was 600 euros duty to pay, but that was picked up by the courier on delivery . The real problem was that somewhere along the line my address had just two letters transposed in the name of our province (county) should be Rieti, was Reiti. Of course, since everything is machine- read nowadays it got sent all the way to the tiny town of Reitano, in Sicily, 800 miles south of me. Oh Well.
When the cover eventually turned up I was in another country and could only get to it this weekend. Fitting was quite hard work,
I had 57 anchor holes to drill, and was dismayed to discover that nobody in Italy carried 19mm (3/4 inch)hammer drill bits, 18 yes, 20 yes, 19 no, so I had to wait another few days before one arrived from Germany. There are several 'how to fit videos' on you tube including loop-locs own ( I wish they would stick to the process and ditch the stupid play acting, depicting your customer, or even worse your re-seller as an idiot is always a huge marketing mistake, not funny, not useful.) The supplied written instruction are quite good however but they don't tell you the whole story. Firstly the 20 inch spacing back from the cover edge for the anchors is fine if the cover is stretched and tight, but not when you start and it is sagging slightly on your rope support grid. I ended up with a distance of 55 cm, 22 inches. The second thing is particular to my deck which is hard, natural stone in a random pattern with cement mortar in the joins. The brass anchors were a perfect fit into the cement but really didn't want to go into the stone, even when struck as hard as the alloy tamping tool could take. The knurled band would
just splinter and chip the top surface of the stone. Luckily I had a 20 mm drill bit to hand so just counter bored the top 1/4 inch of the 19 mm hole, perfect tight fit every time.
Fitting issues aside, the cover is a real quality, solid piece of work, when I finally pulled it drum tight with all the straps square it looks exactly right, I don't have an elephant to walk on it, but i'm sure one could!
Here is the works supervisor [attachment=1:2wnaxs7p]dog.JPG[/attachment:2wnaxs7p]
 

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X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
Looks good! Don't forget to register that cover with loop-loc. They should have also supplied you with a plastic business card with your serial number on it. Hide that somewhere safe. That way if something were to happen to your cover or you need a replacement you don't have to worry about remeasuring. They have been trying to put the serial numbers on the cover in the past and they usually fade to the point where they are unreadable when it comes time to replace the cover.
 

in-two

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2011
51
Sabina, Italy
Thanks for the heads up about registering the cover, beats the **** out of measuring up again in years (hopefully many) to come.
For once things seem to be going my way with the pool, Loop Loc recommend 'simulating a rainstorm' with a hose to make sure the cover drains properly before it can be certified safe. Ten minutes after finishing fitting a real storm came along complete with thunder, lightning and 40 mph winds, the cover drained perfectly, shrugged off the odd flying branch and hardly moved in the wind, Job done!