Bought a used (5 years old) Doughboy oval 18X34. My boys and I took it down, but didn't start putting it together for 6+ months. I noticed in the instructions (PDF online) from Doughboy, instructions about "pressure plates". Looking at the diagrams, it makes good sense... but they weren't on this one when I took it down.
Thinking back now, the owner might have taken them off to make it easier for us to take apart before we got there. Now... I believe I NEED them, but the local Doughboy place wants $45 a piece!! And this pool needs 16 of them. They were described as "flat metal, with some ridges for strength".
I also read somewhere they were 18 guage. Any suggestions? I don't think ribbed roofing metal would work... but maybe! :-) Thanks!
Yes, you do need them. They are one of the most important parts of the pool. Pressure plates are made in all kinds of shapes and thicknesses. Some are flat while most are ribbed, very similar to roofing material. Some pressure plates lay at the same level as the pool frame while others need to be dug out for. The Doughboy buttress free system has the main channel below pool frame level and the entire area where the pressure plates go needs to be lowered to that of the top of the channel.
Way back in the early days the Doughboy pressure plates were just laid in place and covered with dirt. Later they changed to a system where the plates got screwed to the channels. This way of doing things did not work for the way I built the pool so I have never attached a Doughboy pressure plate. I just lay them down and cover them with dirt.
Any piece of heavy metal will do the same job as an official pressure plate. I have had to make do with what was on hand on a few occasions. The ribs are not as important as the thickness and width. They need to be stout pieces of metal that will not bend as the pool fills and pressure is put on them. The brace assemblies want to bow out, causing the channel to rise up. The weight of the water on the plates holds the channels down. As long as they do not bow at the point of the channel they will work.
The pages below show a few examples of pressure plates on oval pools.
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