An inground pool can be a great addition to any home, especially during the hot summer. However, safety should always be a top priority for swimming pools. One important safety feature that many people overlook is an inground pool handrail.
In this article, I will discuss the importance of having a handrail for your inground pool and provide some tips on choosing the right one for your needs.
Why You Need an Inground Pool Handrail
If you own a swimming pool or spa, it’s essential to prioritize safety and accessibility for all users. Handrails are a practical and necessary feature that can make a significant difference in the security of your pool or spa.
They provide physical support when entering and exiting your pool and offer additional benefits, such as assisting with aquatic joint therapy treatments, fitness regimens, physical rehabilitation, and helping those with physical disabilities.
Types of Inground Pool Handrail
There are several types of inground pool handrails, each with unique benefits and features. Let’s explore some of the most popular types of inground pool handrails so that you can choose the perfect one for your pool.
1. Aluminum Handrails
This is a great option due to their lightweight yet sturdy construction. A study published in the Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance found that aluminum alloys have excellent rust resistance and can withstand harsh weather conditions.
2. Plastic Handrails
While more affordable, may not be as durable as stainless steel or aluminum handrails. Research has shown that plastic materials have lower tensile strength and may be more susceptible to damage over time.
3. Brass Handrails
Although more expensive than other handrails, are an elegant and stylish option for inground pool owners. Research has shown that brass has excellent corrosion resistance and is ideal for use in outdoor environments.
4. Glass Handrails
Unique and modern option for inground pools, but they may be more expensive than other types of handrails and require professional installation. However, research has shown that glass has high durability and can withstand harsh weather conditions.
How to Install Inground Pool Handrail
There are various ways to install a handrail on an existing pool deck. The options range from simple and inexpensive to labor-intensive and expensive.
When a handrail is installed on a new pool, anchors are poured into the deck for the handrails or ladder to sit in. These pre-installed anchors allow the handrail to be easily removable and quickly grounded. If they did not install a handrail when building the pool, there is still hope of having a handrail.
Option 1: Handrail-Anchor
One method is to cut a small section of the deck in the middle of the ladder cup placement and the pool wall’s edge. This creates a space to install the anchor cups and a bonding wire that attaches to the pool structure.
Next, place the handrail anchor cups in the cut section, connect the #8 copper wire bonding to the anchor cups, and attach it to the bonding wire that runs around the pool’s perimeter at the edge or grid.
Finally, re-pour that section of the deck.
Although homeowners can tackle this option themselves, I recommend you hire a licensed electrician to bond the handrail to the pool structure according to local codes and regulations.
Option 2: Core Drill
Another approach is to rent a “core drill” to create anchor holes in the deck. Once the holes are made, you can put pea gravel at the bottom to keep the handrail from going too deep and to provide extra support. Another variation is to insert a PVC sleeve in the hole in addition to the pea gravel.
Finally, pour quickly create into the bottom of the drilled hole to provide a base for the handrail. It’s essential only to use quick enough create for a base and let it set completely before inserting the handrail into the hole.
Again, while homeowners can handle this option on their own, it’s advisable to have a licensed electrician bond the handrail to the pool structure according to local codes and regulations.
Option 3: Handrail Anchor Drilling
For a non-intrusive option, consider using an “On-Deck Mounted Anchor.” Properly mark the location of the handrail and drill the appropriate holes for the anchor bolts.
Then, install the anchors to the deck and put the handrail in place.
This option can be used with either a concrete or wood deck. Choose the right drill bit and anchors for your specific deck type.
Factors to Consider When Installing Inground Pool Handrail
Choosing a suitable inground pool handrail is essential for safety and accessibility. Here are some factors to look at when selecting an inground pool handrail:
- Material: Consider the material used in the handrail’s construction, such as stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, brass, or glass. Stainless steel handrails are durable, easy to clean, and corrosion-resistant.
- Style: Choose a handrail style that complements your pool’s design aesthetic, whether modern or traditional.
- Safety features: Ensure they installed the handrail in areas that require extra support, have a non-slip surface, and are easy to grip.
- Maintenance: Different materials require different maintenance levels, so consider the upkeep needed for each option.
- Budget: Handrails can vary in price, so choose one that fits within your budget while still meeting your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about inground pool handrails:
- Why do I need a handrail for my inground pool?
Handrails provide support when entering and exiting the pool, making it easier and safer for users. They are also helpful for individuals with mobility issues and can assist with aquatic therapy.
- What materials are inground pool handrails made of?
In-ground pool handrails can be made of stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, brass, or glass, among other materials. Each material has unique benefits and features to consider when selecting a handrail.
- What type of handrail is best for my pool?
The best handrail for your pool depends on factors such as your pool’s design aesthetic, specific needs, and budget. Stainless steel and aluminum handrails are durable and low maintenance, while plastic handrails are more affordable. Glass and brass handrails provide a unique look but may be more expensive.
- How do I install an inground pool handrail?
Installation methods can vary depending on the type of handrail and the pool’s construction. Some handrails require anchor bolts installed in the deck or pool wall, while others can be mounted on the deck or secured with a base plate. Following the manufacturer’s instructions or seeking professional installation is essential.
- How do I maintain my inground pool handrail?
Maintaining your handrail can depend on the material used. Stainless steel and aluminum handrails are generally low maintenance and easily cleaned with soap and water. Plastic handrails may require more upkeep. Inspecting your handrail regularly and repairing or replacing damaged or worn parts is essential.
By understanding the benefits and features of inground pool handrails and considering factors such as material, style, installation, and maintenance, you can select the perfect handrail for your pool that enhances safety, accessibility, and overall aesthetics.
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