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    How to Measure for a Safety Pool Cover

    September 20, 2012

    Thinking about buying a safety pool cover this year? If you have a rectangle or grecian shaped pool, with or without a walk-in step section, you will likely find a "Stock Cover" available in your size. Simply measure your overall length and width (inside edge to inside edge), and visit our Safety Covers section. We have hundreds of stock sizes listed and in-stock, for which A-B measurements are not required.

    For the rest of you however - if you have a custom size or shape pool, read on about how to measure your pool for a custom safety cover. Once you measure your pool, send to us by email, fax, or mail to receive a quick price quote on a safety cover. We represent many manufacturers, and you can select to receive a price on over a dozen different safety covers.

    To Measure for a Pool Safety Cover, You Will Need:

    • Specialty Pool Products Safety Cover Measuring Form
    • Stakes to use as your "A" & "B" points
    • Chalk, Duct Tape or Masking Tape
    • 100' Flexible Tape Measure
    • Assistance from a friend

    Get our “Safety Cover Measuring Form” on the SPP website. Print the form on your printer, to use as your measuring guide. The next steps are to fill in all the bits of information needed about your pool, so cover designers using computer aided design can reproduce your pool cover shape exactly. Be sure to note and measure to, anything unusual that the cover will have to accommodate, like raised walls, rocks, or other unmovable objects.

    5 Steps to Measuring for a Pool Safety Cover

    a-b measuring, triangulation of a pool

    Stake your "A" & "B" points

    Establish your A and B measurement points by using stakes or long dowels or very long screwdrivers. These two points are where we measure from, and attach the measuring tape to these points. You will measure from point "A" to all of the points around the pool, and then from point "B" to all the points around the pool. And, since we know the distance between A and B, we can triangulate the shape of the pool. As you can see in the image, small triangles are created between points A & B and the numbered points along the pool's edge. This is why the A-B measuring method is also called "Triangulation".

    Choose the best side of your pool to set your stakes. One side may be preferable if it has a smaller pool deck or no obstructions. As you face the pool, point "A" should be on the left, and Point "B" on the right.  Put your stakes deeply in tierra firma, so they don't move as you are measuring the pool. The A-B reference line should be at least 3 feet from the edge of the pool and about 2/3 the length of the pool.  An imaginary line drawn between A and B should not intersect any part of the pool. Measure the distance between A & B and write it on the sketch and measuring form.

    Mark your Points

    Make chalk marks at approximately 3’ intervals around the inside perimeter of the pool coping. You can also use strips of tape if the coping stones are dry. Make the chalk mark or stick the tape on the inside edge of the coping, just slightly overhanging the water. In areas of tight radius curves, such as for steps, swim outs or spas, space your points closer together, at approximately 1' intervals. Using the chalk, or a sharpie pen to write on the tape, number each point around the pool. Take care to locate special items with points at every obstruction, deck level change, and along the edge of dive rocks or spillways.

    Measure your Pool

    Connect your flexible measuring tape to your point "A" stake. Rigid steel tapes won't work well for A-B measuring your pool, you'll need something like the one shown. It's best if the stake is small enough so that the end of the measuring tape will slide onto the stake and swivel as you move around the pool. If you can't find a stake that will fit the end of the measuring tape, then you can duct tape the first 2-3 inches of the tape to the stake. If doing this, repeat exactly when you measure from your point "B" stake.

    measurement form

    Start by measuring from point A to point one (1), A to point two (2), and so on, all the way around the pool. Your helper will print (legibly!) the measurements in the corresponding columns on the measuring form. The left column is for all of the measurements from point A. The adjacent column is for your point B measurements. Yell out the measurement loud and clear to your assistant who is seated nearby, or walking around the pool with a clipboard. Have them repeat the measurement back to you if they thought they didn't hear you well. After measuring from point A to all of the points, move the tape to point B and measure in the same fashion.  Be sure to start at point one (1).

    Now we need to take some cross measurements of the pool. These are used as double-checks to ensure that all of your measurements are mathematically possible. Measure the overall length and width of the pool, by measuring from a point on the end or on the side, across the pool to an opposite point. Write these measurements in the space provided on the form. Finally, take 3-4 additional cross measurements, from any random point to an opposite point across the pool, and record these measures on the form.

    Important Questions

    On the form's next page, you will be asked 20 questions, in checklist format. Consider each question carefully and mark the box or fill in the answer.


    • Any non-removable hand rails, grab rails or ladders?
    • Is there a non-removable Fill Spout pipe?
    • Is there a Diving Board stand?
    • Is there a Diving Rock or Water Feature?
    • Pool Slide Legs within 2’ of the pool?
    • Is there an attached Spa?
    • Is the coping rough or have sharp edges?
    • Is the coping raised above the deck level?
    • How wide is the pool deck?
    • What material is the pool deck?
    • Are there any planters or fountains near the pool?
    • Are there any raised deck areas, or raised walls?

    Draw your Pool

    You don't have to be exact, but it should be fairly close to your shape. Use the graph page on our form, to draw the pool shape. List and number the points on the pool edge, and also mark the location of points A & B.

    Show the locations of any special items, or areas without a pool deck, or raised walls, rock features. Anything and everything.

    Put your name on each page of the form, and send us the custom safety cover measurement form - email, snail mail or fax it to us. Within 2 business days, we will have your quotes for the safety pool cover types that you are interested in.  

    Now, that wasn't so bad, was it? During or after measuring your pool, if you have any questions about a safety pool cover, please contact a SPP Safety Cover Specialist at 1-800-983-7665. We have experts standing by!  

    Bob Arnold
    SPP Pool Expert

    Blog Author
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