Easily Install or Replace your pool ladders and rails

Written By Timothy Te

23rd August 2021

Initially we thought of creating a separate guide to installing the S.R. Smith Pool Ladders and the S.R. Smith Pool Rails. But as we went deeper into the documentation, we discovered that installing a pool rail is basically the same as installing a pool ladder, so instead of creating different guides for basically the same thing, we’ve put together an all-in-one guide to installing pool ladders and pool rails!

Tools Needed to install pool rails and ladders

  • Core drill 4” or 5” diameter, depending on the size of the required anchor
  • Adjustable wrench to tighten/loosen bolts
  • Shop-vac or pipe cleaner
  • Epoxy/Compression Cement

Replacing Existing pool rails and ladders

Changing out your existing ladders and pool rails to the new S.R. Smith Stainless pool ladders and pool rails is pretty straightforward. In fact, all you need is a tape measure to measure out your existing equipment so that you can pick the right model replacement and a wrench to remove the existing bolts.

How to determine the perfect replacement

You will need to take four (4) measurements to determine the perfect replacement for your pool rails and ladders.

  • Width Dimension
  • Center Dimension
  • Height Dimension
  • Anchor Distance

The figure above shows you how to get the proper measurements, and once you have those measurements, all you need to do is pick the right design for you and place your order! Once your new rail as arrived, simply remove the existing ones by taking out the bolts, aligning the new rails with the existing anchors, bolting them in, and you’re done!

For more information on which rails can be used for which dimension combination, check out the S.R. Smith Rail ID Guide here.

For Ladders, all you need to do is select the same number of steps then replacing your existing ones should be quite straightforward.

Retrofitting S.R. Smith Handrails or Ladders to an Existing Deck

Now if you don’t have any handrails or ladders yet and you want to retrofit one, then break out the tools and let’s get started!

  • Pick the desired design and wait for your order to arrive.
  • Check the included anchor and drill the appropriate hole for the anchor type. (4” diameter for standard stainless steel or bronze anchor, or 5” diameter for a universal anchor plus an extra ½” deeper than the anchor depth.
  • After drilling the hole, ensure that the hole is dry and dust-free. Suck out all of the dust with a shop vac and wipe clean with a damp rag before allowing it to dry off.
  • Ensure that the drain hole at the bottom of the anchor is not plugged to allow any moisture to properly drain away and to prevent corrosion.
  • Set anchor flush on the deck with the wedge oriented AWAY from the pool.
  • Following your local construction code, bond the anchor to the existing rebar in your deck.
  • Use compression cement with a minimum of 3,000 PSI or epoxy and allow the cement/epoxy to cure properly according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • After the cement or epoxy has cured, you can now mount the rail or ladder on to the anchor.

Installation instructions for new pools.

Much like retrofitting to an existing deck, installation is pretty straightforward.

  • Set anchor flush on the deck with the wedge oriented AWAY from the pool.
  • Following your local construction code, bond the anchor to the existing rebar in your deck.
  • Use compression cement with a minimum of 3,000 PSI or epoxy and allow the cement/epoxy to cure properly according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • After the cement or epoxy has cured, you can now mount the rail or ladder on to the anchor.

Anchor Placement Guide

Rail Type Center to Center of Anchors Anchor Setback903

4’ 2-Bend

4’-0"

6” minimum

5’ 2-Bend

5’-0"

6” minimum

6’ 2-Bend

6’-0"

6” minimum

4’ 3-Bend

4’-0"

6” minimum

5’ 3-Bend

5’-0"

6” minimum

5’6” 3-Bend

5’-6"

6” minimum

6' 3-Bend

6’-0"

6” minimum

6’6” 3-Bend

6’-6"

6” minimum

7’ 3-Bend

7’-0"

6” minimum

8’ 3-Bend

8’-0"

6” minimum

DMS-100

8"

6” minimum

DMS-101

8"

6” minimum

DMS-102

8"

6” minimum

DMS-103

8"

6” minimum

Figure 4

8"

22"

Residential Ring

3.63”

19"

Spa Rail

No Anchor- drills into deck

19"

Artisan Hand Rail

8”

6” minimum

Artisan Stair Rail

5’-0

6” minimum

Artisan Ladder

20"

17.5"

Artisan Deck-Mounted Stair Rail

8"

6” minimum

Artisan Deck-Mounted Hand Rail

36"

6” minimum

Camelback Ladder

19” or 20”*

17"

Economy Ladder

19” or 20”*

17"

50-901

30"

6’ minimum

50-770

32"

6’ minimum

50-902

36"

6’ minimum

50-766

40"

6’ minimum

50-903

42"

6’ minimum

*Elite models are 20” O.C. and the Econoline models are 19” O.C. See manufacturer’s specifcations for more product detail.

Conclusion

With a few measurements, you can be easily on your way to enjoying your new pool ladders and pool rails from S.R. Smith. As you can see from the instructions, installation is quite straightforward and DIY-Friendly! For a look at what's available, check out our pool ladders and rails collections page here.

Written By

Timothy Te

Pool Guru at Mr Pool Man

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