Safety Cover with pavers

DanoD11September 12, 2012

We have a new 20x40 free-form inground pool surrounded by pavers. I have had 4 companies come out for estimates. Here is the summary:

Meyco 9" pipes installed in joints

Lite Mesh $4030

Rugged Mesh $5000

Merlin 18" pipes installed in paver

Standard Mesh $3600

Smart Mesh $4380

LoopLoc 15" pipes installed in joints

?Mesh $4570

So as you can see, they are all varying in price, material and method. Can anyone, from experience (owning or installing) recommend the best method for securing a cover? I'm in Massachusetts, there is no concrete under the pavers. We have pavers from same installer that are 3 years old and have not moved. There is polymeric sand that hardens between the pavers. We also have about 25' of the pool wall that has a lower deck to it, one foot lower than rest of deck. At this area, the cover will go over the coping and then the straps will go down at an angle to the lower pavers.

The Merlin guy who wants to drill through the paver says he's never had a paver crack. The Meyco guy said some of the corners may chip when he drills 9" but it won't look bad.

Ready for help!

Dano.

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poolguynj

First, I admit I am a Loop Loc dealer so my answer can be construed as skewed but it isn't. With hundreds of cover installs under my belt I think my response is accurate and fair.

The fellow who says he's never cracked a paver drilling a one inch hole for the pipe that holds the anchor is full of it unless he core drills every hole or has little experience. The hole needs to be between two or three pavers (two is preferred and keeps the corners intact) to prevent this. A rubber mallet may be needed to keep the pavers flat where the hole is. Slightly skewed pavers can bind the pipe as its driven down but this isn't a frequent event and the mallet straightens the paver. I use an electric hammer to drive the anchor and pipe but many just do it by hand with a lump hammer. Some installers also add a 2' section of #5 rebar for added strength and holding power.

Meyco's 9" pipes are too short.

Paver anchors should have masonry collars. It protects the paver from the steel pipe used when attaching or removing the springs on the cover. It also covers any chips that can happen when drilling.

All pools with waterline tile need a step pump. Even if the pool has the water level dropped to just below the tile, when a snow load presses the cover in the pool, some water in the pool will be displaced. There water needs to be pumped out or its level will rise. If the water then freezes, it can expand against the waterline tile, cracking them or causing them to pop off. I didn't see that mentioned by any of the dealers. Even a solid cover needs this. Mesh covers will simply let any precipitation through and that can and will raise the water level too.

The bottom side of the cover may not be more than 18" from the pool's water. Up and Over installs for raised spas need to consider this. The water is needed to support a snow load. If the cover is too high over most of the pool surface, it can be too much for the straps and springs. The loss of water under a cover will cause it to collapse when a snow load hits it otherwise. If one had a raised spa roughly in the center of pool and not near an end, this exact situation happens. A two cover solution would be needed. The pool cover would need special wall anchors in the spa's wall and a cable and the spa would have it's own cover.

You may need extended straps to reduce the angle from the cover edge to the 25' of wall that has the drop. This reduces tangled foot trip hazards on the straps. I would use the 2' rebar inside the pipe here for the cross straps that have opposing springs or raised wall anchors.

A paver pool deck is different than the existing decking you had installed earlier. Pools have splash out. That can put moisture in the base and sub-base. If this isn't deep enough, the moisture can freeze and expand and melt and contract, causing heaves. If the soil below the sub-base is rich in clay and the sub-base is only 6" thick, heaves can happen since the moisture would be trapped.

The skill and experience of the installer are just as critical as the cover itself.

The Smart Mesh and Rough Mesh are comparable. They block more light than the other mesh cover materials but aren't quite as strong the Loop Loc's Mesh II material which can let a little light in. Loop Loc's Ultra Loc II solid covers aren't that much more. The ones with the mesh drains will keep you from having to have a cover pump to remove rain water and snow melt. They all still need a pump under the cover to keep the water from rising. The less light let in, the less likely algae can form. Nothing like opening up to green pool in the Spring.

Hope this helps.

Scott

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 7:08AM
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robstandard

Just curious what pavers are they?

Here is a link that might be useful: pavers

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 10:12AM
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