Steps or a ladder that are merely dropped into a pool will have a tendency to float to the top. The majority of these steps are made of a buoyant plastic that will need to be weighed down in some way. Some steps have a built-in place or method to add weight, while others need to be anchored with objects. By using some of the waterproof objects you have around your home and some sand, you can make your own weights to solve this problem.
Newer pool steps have a hollow bottom step that is designed to hold sand to anchor them down. Look closely to see if there is a capped hole to hold sand. It doesn't take much sand to fill the bottom step; you can purchase the clean sandbox mixture at most home stores.
Never use a metal object to hold the steps down in a pool. It will rust and cause the water to discolor. Wood will get soggy and eventually cloud up the water. A waterproof, heavy plastic item is the best choice to hold an object underwater for long periods of time.
Make Your Own Sandbags
If the steps do not provide a place to put sand, make your own sandbags. You can place two hot water bottles filled with sand on either side of the bottom step. Make sure you get the screw-cap type so the sand does not escape. You also don't want the bags to break open if someone steps on them, so fill them only three-quarters full.
Two-liter plastic soda bottles also can be filled with sand and tied to the bottom step with nylon rope. Screw the cap on tightly to keep the sand contained. Change the plastic bottles once a month, as they will get worn from all the activities stirring up the water in the pool. The chemicals used in pool water also can weaken the plastic in the bottle over time.
The arm swim rings that are sold for children can be filled with sand and secured around the steps of the pool. Pouring the sand into the tiny air valve can be time consuming, but these items work very well as anchors. By using tweezers to hold open the air valve, you can fit in the end of a tiny funnel to pour the sand through. These will secure around the step just as they would around a child's arm.
Waterproof Exercise Equipment
A plastic, hand-size dumbbell set also can be used to hold the steps in place. You can secure one to each side of the step with a small plastic bungee cord or nylon rope. If the dumbbells are the type that you need to fill, use clean sand and make sure they are closed tightly.
You also can use exercise weights that strap around your arm and legs, the type used to add weight to your workout. You might need to use a few of these to provide the weight needed to keep the steps from floating. They can be secured around the poles of the steps just as they would be on your arms and legs. Make sure they are waterproof.
Roz Zurko is a full time freelance writer who lives in Westfield, Massachusetts. She has been writing for 22 years and is published on several internet literary sites and in The Westfield Evening News. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of New Haven and Westfield State College.