How do I stop my pool ladder from floating?

Megan Smith
 min read

We’ve often been asked, “How do I stop my swimming pool ladder from floating?” and the simple answer is to weigh it down with water, sand, or another kind of ballast (according to your swimming pool).

How do I stop my pool ladder from floatingSwimming pool ladders are available in all shapes and sizes, and all are designed to allow easy access to the water.

Pool ladders hang on the side of the pool and should be immobile.

Nevertheless, some ladders drift to the surface and annoyingly do not stay still.

To fix this, apply some weight to the lower end of the ladder. The weight serves as an anchor and will hold the ladder in place.

How do I stop my pool ladder from floating? Introduction

First, check your manual. Many swimming pool ladders are somewhat light and drift in the water.

Lightweight swimming pool ladders usually have guidelines to solve this.

Check the instruction manual for specific tips, but in the meantime, here are a couple of fundamental ways of weighing down the ladder.

As a safety tip, make sure to check the ladder’s stability before installation, and don’t use it until it’s properly affixed.

2 kinds of swimming pool ladders

Typically there are 2 kinds of ladders for swimming pools above ground. Discover a few excellent plus-size options in our Best Heavy-Duty Pool Ladder 400 Lbs guide.

Try one of the below suggestions to weigh it down, or combine them (if possible) to make the pool ladder steadier:

Swimming pool ladders without fill holes

How do you secure a ladder in a pool? First, place the ladder where you want it to be at the side of the pool.

Then, put it into the water and hold it firmly against the pool bottom.

Proceed to attach weights to the ladder. Lower some weight, such as sand, in a tightly sealed, waterproof container along the ladder.

Position the weights at the base. Now it’s time to test the ladder for stability.

Apply pressure to the ladder to figure out how much it gives.

When the ladder has little to no give, you have used the correct amount of weight.

Swimming pool ladders with fill holes

First, prepare the ladder for filling by taking it out of the swimming pool, removing the cap on the fill hole, and making sure it isn’t blocked.

Second, add weight to the swimming pool ladder by filling it with water through the fill hole (you may want to use a hosepipe). Screw the cap back on.

Did you know that some ladders are designed to be filled with sand? Sand is poured through a funnel into the fill holes.

It’s the same theory as using water: You’re weighing down the ladder by ballast.

Third, lower the pool ladder back into the swimming pool.

Exercise caution: How do I stop my pool ladder from floating?

It might take more than one person for this step due to the additional weight (take that into account to avoid unnecessary injuries).

Various kinds of ballast to weigh down your swimming pool ladder

We know we’ve already said it, but make sure to refer to the installation manual.

It will have all the information you need to best stabilize your pool ladder.

If you’ve lost it or didn’t have one to start with, then read on for some ideas for a DIY job to prevent your pool ladder from floating:

Sand: How do I stop my pool ladder from floating?

Some swimming pool ladders and steps actually have compartments to fill in for additional weight, but it’s not advisable to use water.

You can fill the chamber with sand ladder instead of water.

You can make your own sand-filled weights by filling plastic milk containers if your ladder does not have a compartment. Tie them to your ladder with nylon rope.

The downside to using sand is that it can create a mess at the bottom of your spool, possibly damaging your filter system and automatic pool cleaner.

If you see sand coming out from your ladder, try to clean it up immediately and fix the leak.


Among the simplest ways to weigh down a swimming pool ladder is to add water. It may sound strange but bear with us.

Some pool ladders and steps include a chamber that fills with water to prevent the ladder from drifting away.

If your ladder isn’t designed this way, then you can use vinyl or plastic water bags to hold water (or whatever you’ve chosen).

We suggest using nylon rope to connect the bags to your ladder.

The advantage of water as ballast is that there is no mess to clean up if there’s a leak.

Hand weights

If you don’t have any water bags, gravel or sand to weigh down your ladder, you might want to consider using hand weights.

Just make sure that they are waterproof.

Neoprene or vinyl are usually good enough, but you should go for weights created for aquatic exercise.

Again, nylon rope can be used to tie them to the ladder.


Like sand, you can put gravel inside your pool ladder or in an attached waterproof container (or milk containers) to weigh down your ladder.

Gravel, nevertheless, presents a serious threat to your pool’s filter and automated cleaner if it should leak into the water.

Check your ladder thoroughly to make sure none spills out.

How do I stop my pool ladder from floating? Conclusion

Many in-ground and aboveground pools use detachable ladders.

Detachable ladders are extremely popular since they can be stored away before covering your pool for the winter.

Because ladders are often made from a lightweight material such as plastic, acrylic or aluminum, they can drift in the water if not properly secured.

It’s a common complaint, and so we hope that this post has proved valuable by offering methods to weigh down your ladder.

Hence, it stays in place, allowing safe access to the water for you and your loved ones.

Related information about sturdy pool ladders for heavier swimmers:

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More