Helical Anchors Used to Support Pools

For use in pools, helical anchors, when compared to either drilled piers or driven piles, not only greatly reduce cost, but are also superior in terms of performance. For example, every anchor installed is 1) observed by a geotechnical engineer, and 2) monitored to ensure load-bearing capacity is attained -- tasks never done with drilled piers and/or driven piles. These practices are just some of the reasons we've never, ever, had a reported failure in 20 years and thousands of anchors installed.

(Click here to see a two-page write up of our helical anchors in a large pool, and the cost comparison to the drilled piers the contractor was going to use.)

(Then, click here to see a photo sequence of the installation. Note the ease of installation, lack of off haul, and fact the entire install took 5 hours, and compare that to drilling holes for concrete piers, off-hauling yards of soils, installing rebar cages, capping and uncapping the holes before the concrete pour to prevent accidents, and taking 2 - 3 days to do it. We vote for the anchors every time . . .)

Some common questions center on the connection between our helical anchors and the pool. In short, it can be any design. Over the past 15 years, we've installed tens of thousands of anchors, and connected to the eventual structure with dozens of designs.

Another question often asked is if it's possible to use anchors for a pool in a location over the edge of a slope. The answer is yes, as we have installed anchors to support structures on some wicked slopes. In particular, we installed anchors to support the necessary loading of multiple structures on a 2:1 slope in Costa Rica, terrain we can tell you was difficult for even the locals to struggle up! This particular area was also subject to significant seismic activity, so the anchors are indeed a 'proven and reliable solution.'

In addition, we've installed anchors for pools where the owner was worried about the structure coming down the hill. The anchors were installed in a 'battered' (diagonal) arrangement to resist downhill movement, and have had zero movement. Again, whether it's a pool, home, commercial building or solar tower, anchors are commonly utilized in areas of slope and/or creeping movement.

Finally, the single most asked question we're asked is in terms of the corrosive aspects of installing steel pipe in the ground. In fact, and over the past 100 years steel anchors have been used, the industry has done mountains of study on this issue and produced volumes of information. In general, steel does not corrode a few feet under the ground, as there is no air to act as an agent. So, and most of the time, it's only the top few feet that are of concern. And, although every soil has various corrosive attributes, most can be solved by applying a protective layer to the steel, such as an epoxy coating, a galvanized coating, and in the absolute extreme cases, an electrical current.

For every installation, our standard practice is to design to the spec provided by a registered corrosion engineer (and, we have one of the world's top on our Advisory Board, Ms. Kerrie Howell). In addition, we have done a ton of research and study re the corrosion issue, and published a White Paper on the subject, 'Corrosion of Helical Anchors in Soil' (you can click here to read it). You'll see the maximum expected loss of less than 2 mm of steel is 75 years. The length of time required to experience 3.2 mm (1/8 in.) metal loss is often defined as the service life; at this rate, the useful life of anchors could be expected to exceed 125 years.

Second, visuals are good, so we have attached both an engineering schematic of the LFRD, as well as a five-picture sequence of an installation over an anchor. Note ease of install, and how the device does not inhibit any connection that would go from the ground up.

Third, the LFRD is very cost effect -- especially when compared to a concrete collar -- and is vastly easier to install than any other lateral solution.

If you have any questions about our helical anchor solutions for pools, or are already sold and want to get an installation under way, call us at 925.683.2739.