Owners can normally see the signs when their safety cover needs to be replaced. Signs like tears in the fabric, straps that have frayed or general brittleness due to age will make installing the cover for another off-season impossible. But the specter of buying a new safety cover comes with the fear of, “What about these existing anchor holes?” When you are installing a safety cover, you must secure brass anchors on your deck every 3 – 5 feet around the perimeter of the pool. This could leave up to 40 holes in your pool deck and if you replace it with a new cover, that deck anchor count just doubled.
Well, you could buy a new cover and redrill all new anchor points. It is not the prettiest solution but it could be done. However, the discerning homeowner prefers his/her pool deck not to resemble Swiss cheese. Our focus today will be on how a homeowner with an existing safety cover and anchor array can get a brand new cover to match existing anchor points, keeping his/her poolscape magnificient and homeowner happy.
There are the following ways we can attempt to match anchor points of an existing safety cover: a drawing consisting of A-B measurements of the pool’s edge including each anchor point and strap grid or a template measurement of the existing cover.
Easy as A-B(-C)
The A-B measurements are the more work intensive of the two options as you will have to make 100 or more individual measurements to plot the pool’s edge and anchor points. In the diagram to my left you can see an example of an A-B plot sheet of an anchor point on a free-form pool. For in-depth instruction on setting up an A-B measurement, refer to the third and fourth page of our Safety Cover Measuring Form.
The downside of A-B measurements is that the manufacturer will not guarantee that strap points will match. Their reasoning is that they would be relying solely on the homeowner’s measurements which may not be completely accurate through no fault of their own.
Staying on My Grid
A similar method to A-B measurements is plotting the strap grid of your cover, shown in the example. Unfortunately like the A-B method, the strap grid method does not carry a guarantee from manufacturers to match anchor points on your deck.
Cover Cloning! … I Mean Replication
The most reliable strap matching option is sending the original cover to the manufacturer for a template measurement and replication. A template measurement allows the manufacturer’s designers and fabricators to measure your cover strap-by-strap by hand to ensure a bespoke fit to your anchor points. This option has the least amount of work for the homeowner and is the most accurate. The manufacturer guarantees strap placement will match current anchor points or they will do it again free of charge.
The downside of cover replication is shipping the original cover to the manufacturer, which can be costly. When a homeowner is estimating the cost of freight, I suggest they fold up the cover as neatly and tightly as possible (without the buckles or springs) and measure the package dimensions. The weight of the cover, sans hardware, is usually 40-50 pounds. Once the box size is known the homeowner can call shipping services like UPS, FedEx or USPS to determine the cost of shipping that package to the manufacturer. Also be aware that the template measurement requires a $100 security deposit that we put on hold while the cover is being measured and quoted. The security deposit is only refunded after the order for the cover replicate has been placed.
If you wish to go through any of these routes, please contact our Safety Cover representative directly and he will be more than happy to walk you through the process.