Need Advice for Inground Ladder

mickey4paws

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2009
610
S.E. MI
We have a standard inground stainless steel ladder with 3 steps. I am guessing the ladder is at least 10 years old, if not more. I have noticed that there is a lot of rust around the bolts that attach to the ladder's steps. There is also rust where the bumper caps are. There are no bolts for the bumper cap area, so on further inspection, it looks like some of the "stainless steel" is peeling off in the area of where the bumpers fit onto the ladder.

Also of note is that we replaced a bad heater last year (maybe cast iron headers?) that was very old and rusty. We also installed a SWG last year. I don't recall if the rust on the ladder was there before the SWG was installed.

Any advice? Would you replace the ladder and if so, what kind of inground ladder? I came across this ladder that is supposed to be "rust proof" but who knows:

http://www.innovativepoolproducts.com/index.php?cPath=45&gclid=CKWbsaDJnaICFZ5O5wodLyIlxA

Thanks!
 

mickey4paws

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2009
610
S.E. MI
Thanks, yeah it says it's composite with a steel core so looks pretty good. I just don't want to buy another stainless steel one and have it rust like the one I have now.
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
Hey, Mickey - how're things other than a little rust?

You've stumbled across a dirty little secret in the pool industry :oops: A lot of the 'stainless steel' used in pool equipment isn't stainless steel - or is very poor quality. This went virtually unnoticed for years, until SWCGs became more popular. The ~3000 ppm salt in the water apparently exacerbates the rusting of the non-stainless.

I've got a couple customers with the plastic ladders and have seen no problems with them to date :cool:
 

mickey4paws

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2009
610
S.E. MI
Hi Ted! The pool has never looked better and is crystal clear thanks to TFP for all the support :)

So, I think I'll get the plastic ladder. Thanks so much for your input. When we were using Baquacil the water was always so cloudy it was hard to tell if the ladder was rusty then or after the SWG. Maybe it was a little but now it's really rusty! I've also noticed the screws on the skimmer plate are a little rusty, nothing too bad though. Heard "maritime grease" (I think that's what it was called) on the screws help them from rusting. Now just to figure out where one would get maritime grease.

I just found another one. This one says it's "sealed steel" which I guess is the same as the one in my first post. Decisions, decisions....

http://www.aquanet.net/pool-ladders-inground-sealed-steel.htm
 

mickey4paws

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2009
610
S.E. MI
Thanks, Coloeb. You would think they would make them with brass bolts/screws/etc. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get the Saftron ladder, just waiting for them to send me color samples. I asked them what kind of screws they use and they said they were "Marine Grade 316SS Step Hardware". I'm assuming the SS means stainless steel?

Edit: So I was doing some more reading and now I'm wondering by leaving the bolts off the ladder anchors in the cement deck, does this make the ladder not tied into the ground, and therefore more suspectible to the electrolysis of the SWG? We never put the bolts in because we are always taking the ladder out when we throw the pool cleaner in. So are those bolts necessary other than securing the ladder better?
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
As a safety issue, the wedges must be fully tightened so that the ladder won't come dislodged while someone is climbing out of the pool (I know, it's highly unlikely, but if it could conceivably happen, they write a law - and I, as a pool dude, have to follow it or my boss could be liable :blah: )
 

mickey4paws

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2009
610
S.E. MI
Thanks, Ted. Now if I could find those darn bolts, I'm going to put them back in :) Another question for you - do these bolts have anything to do with grounding the ladder? I'm just wondering if the reason the ladder is rusting is because it's not properly grounded, or do you think it's just from the SWG and poor quality stainless steel?
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
The bolts have nothng to do with bondong the ladder. The bonding lug is located on the outside of the fitting itself. The bond wire is slipped under a little mounting flange, for lack of a better term, and screwed down against the fitting. The wire then connects to the main wire that goes around the pool.
 
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