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INSTALLING A McGREGOR POOL SAFETY FENCE - 4

Starting an earth anchor

 

INSTALLING EARTH ANCHORS FOR A SWIMMING POOL FENCE

Use earth anchors where bracing against snow loads or falling tree branches is needed. Where neither of these problems exist, anchors may not be needed; but keep in mind that the heavier, longer, and taller your pool's fence the more likely it is to need bracing. 

Earth anchors can be used effectively to brace any pool fence post set in a cement footing. This earth anchor system is appealing because all you have to do is screw the anchor into the ground (this can be hard in places with rocks or roots) and run a heavy metal wire designed for outdoor use between a secure point on the fence post and the earth anchor's handle. In most cases, compared to post braces (an alternate bracing system), we have found earth anchors easier to install, less expensive, less visible, and more effective.

You can defend a corner against sideways stress coming down the fence line by using two earth anchors and attaching each of them one post over from the corner post, to posts called "corner approach posts." Set these two corner approach posts in cement footings (see Installing Cement Footings for details) and screw the earth anchor into the ground right along the fence line, heading from the corner approach post toward the corner post. Arrange things so that when you attach a cable to the earth anchor's handle and to the brace band at the top of the corner approach post, it will form about a 45 degree angle with the surface of the ground.

Similarly, brace each end post by installing an earth anchor along the fence line between the end post and the "end approach post," attaching the anchor to the end approach post. And brace each gate post by installing an earth anchor along the fence line between the gate post and the "gate approach post" one post over, attaching the anchor to the gate approach post.

Earth Anchor Illustration for Deer Fences

To screw in an earth anchor, put a metal bar through the earth anchor's handle for leverage and screw the earth anchor into the ground. When you are done the earth anchor handle should be all that remains out of the ground, and this handle (as well as the earth anchor's shaft below ground) should be pointing toward the top of its attachment post at a roughly 45 degree angle.

Attach the anchors to their posts as follows: Go up to the post; make sure the flanges on the post's brace band are pointing toward the earth anchor; and run the heavy attachment wire under the bolt in the brace band until about a foot of it extends out beyond the bolt. Next, twist the wire tightly around itself four or five times, producing something that looks like a small hangman's knot, and cut off any excess. Then figure how much wire will be needed to reach the earth anchor's handle with about a foot to spare. Cut the wire at that point, put it through the handle, and holding it good and taut (to take up any slack) twist it around itself to form another hangman's knot and secure it to the handle. Cut off any excess. Your earth anchor is now firmly attached to the post.  

 

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