swimming pool pier

What is a Pier and When are They Needed?

In Ask the Pool Experts by Platinum Pools

If you plan to have a swimming pool in your home, a reputable contractor will check the soil components before starting any pool construction project. There are many cases where a pool requires support.  Not only is it gunite and the iron rods, but also adding a pier to provide additional support for an in-ground concrete pool.

It may require a couple of them, or dozens, to support the infrastructure.  It will depend on the soil, the size of the pool, and the amount of concrete and iron rods.

What Exactly is a Pier?

At first, hearing the word may associate with water or a boat pier.  That is not the case; a pier is an earth anchoring device designed for deep foundation support at the most basic level. It has one or more metal discs or bearing plates welded in a spiral pattern around a rigid central core. Interesting enough, there are many names used in the construction industry (associated with piers):

  • Helical Piers
  • Screw Piers
  • Helical Piles
  • Screw Piles
  • Ground Anchors
  • Screw Anchors

Picture this:  imagine trying to lift a heavy piece of furniture by yourself. It’s an unstable and possibly risky operation, but it is easier when you share the load with a few friends.  That is how the pier works. No matter what the trade name might be, piers have been working on the same principle for at least 100 years.

The most popular are Helical piers, made of steel and may be hot-dip galvanized.

Soil Test

A boring soil test is the first step to determine if the oasis requires piers to support the shell.  Remember, a significant load of water will go into the pool, so it is essential to determine the soil’s components to ensure its quality, integrity, and sustainability. 

To test the soil requires drilling a 30 feet deep auger into the ground.  A sample of the foundation for analysis can reveal grass and topsoil layers up to six inches deep.  The second layer must show beach sand down to three feet.  After twenty feet, it may find rock fragments, limerick, or water. The engineer’s report will recommend if the proposed pool structure requires pier support based on these findings.

Pier Cost

When adding a structural element to a construction project, cost increases will happen.  The same happens with swimming pool piers.   The contractor will show you how to plan around your budget for the best result. 

The cost of helical piers goes by size. The size of the shaft goes by the structural load needed for support. The stability and type of soil beneath the structure will determine the use of helical bearing plates’ number, size, and placement. An oasis can force set and create severe damages without structural supports.  Swimming pool pilings help protect your investment and ensure that the oasis is safe, secure, and sustainable for years to come.

A Safe, Sound Pool—Thanks To Pilings

At Platinum Pools, our designers work closely with our clients.  It is essential to understand the structural integrity when building a pool.  We work on every project with due diligence and preparation, including subcontracting a trusted source for precise soil testing.

Let chat about building a beautiful, quality swimming pool. Call us at 281.870.1600 or visit our website for a free quote. At Platinum Pools we can provide the difference.