Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

Inground Pool Ladder Installation Guide


The Pool Service technician or pool guy / gal will use either a 1/2 socket or a 1/2 open end adjustable wrench to install the in ground swimming pool ladder. The ladder will also require to “ladder bumpers” if the pool has a vinyl liner. Ladder bumpers are rubber inserts that slide into the two open ends found on the bottom of the pool ladder that sit on the pool side wall. The plastic inserts or ladder bumpers protect the liner from ripping from the sharp end of the ladder frame.Inground Pool Ladder installation Guide

Cleaning Out The Ladder Cups:

After a long winter season the ladder cups usually collect a bunch of debris and also pool sand. Before the pool guy will install the ladder he will usually clean out the ladder cups with a garden hose or some water source. This will wash the ladder cups out and ensure that the ladder installs properly.

Adjusting The Ladder Wedge:

Inside the ladder cups are some thing called a “ladder wedge”. The ladder wedge is made from metal and is shaped like an actual wedge. When you tighten the ladder wedge bolt the wedge will rise up and tighten against the ladder rail and hold the ladder in place. Before the swimming pool service technician will insert the ladder into the ladder cup, they will adjust the wedge so that the wedge surface is flush with the ladder cup wall. This will let the ladder rail slide all the way into the cup, so it can be tightened down.

Slipping The Ladder Cover Rings On:

Most in ground pool ladders will come with rings that will slip on the rails of the ladder and then after the ladder wedge is tightened these rings will cover the ladder cups. The pool service tech will make sure that these rings are installed as well at the time of the ladder installation.
Inground Pool Ladder
Inserting The Ladder Into The Ladder Cup:

Once the ladder cups have been cleaned the next step that the service tech will take is to adjust the ladder wedges. They will also make sure that the ladder bumpers are in place on the ladder as well. Once the ladder wedge are adjusted the ladder rails can be slide into the ladder cups. The ladder cups will have to be pushed all the way into the ladder cups and also be even with each other otherwise the pool ladder could wind up being installed crooked.

Tightening The Ladder Wedge:

After the swimming pool guy / gal inserts the ladder rails into the ladder cups they can now tighten down the ladder wedge. They will either use a 1/2 inch socket or an open end wrench to tighten the ladder wedge. The ladder wedge will be turned counter clockwise to tighten the wedge, which will result in the wedge rising up and “wedging” against the ladder rail. This will hold the ladder into place.

Testing The Ladder Installation:

Once the ladder has been installed the service professional will test the ladder to make sure that it is safe to use. The pool guy or gal will usually remove their shoes and walk up and down the pool ladder to make sure that it is sturdy to use.

If ladder wedges are missing the ladder will not be able to be tightened down all the way and this could result in a ladder that is un safe to use. The pool service tech should let you know if you need these kinds of repairs. The pool service technician can all repair or replace the ladder cups and wedges to ensure a properly installed ladder.


  1. How do I remove the ladder for a in ground pool ? I removed the the bolts, that held the wedges in place. The ladder has not been removed in many years, so I think the wedge has all kinds of dirt around it. I just can’t seem to get the ladder to move. What should I do or try ? Hope you can help. Thanks !!!!!!!!

  2. Stephen,

    1) loosen the wedge bolts

    2) take a hammer or heavy object and tap the bolts down until they are sitting against the ladder cup

    3) Shake the ladder back and fourth and pull up at the same time( Will take some strength)

    If you still have questions let me know, I also have a video of this I can put up if you like.

    Let me know of you need more help

  3. Where can I find two ladder bolts with nuts and washers without buying a $20 package of 6 from a pool supplier? They have a curved head on them to prevent spinning and people getting their hands cut on them. I needed to replace a step on a ladder for a home we purchased last year, but the bolts are missing and when I ordered a replacement step it didn’t come with the hardware to install.

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