Most houses and flats will have joists or beams running across the ceiling. Even in converted houses there needs to be something there to hold up the plaster board. Ideally you want to locate the weight bearing joists in the house, as these are more substantial.
Your joist may be made from wood, steel or concrete and you will need different types of hooks and drill bits depending on the type of material the beam is made from.
Locating the joist or beam in your house
It’s often not possible to see the joist as they are commonly behind the ceiling. There are a couple of different ways to locate them. The most common way is to use a Stud Finder, that can be found in your local hardware shop. They vary in price and operation but usually, you would hold the Stud Finder to the ceiling and it will beep or flash lights when it has detected something, depending on the model you’re using.
An alternative way is to use a magnet, this simple tip is most effective.
Using a reasonably strong magnetic run it across the ceiling until it sticks. This will be the screw in the wooden joist behind your ceiling.
Put a small mark where the magnetic sticks
Move the magnet around again until it sticks and make another mark.
Continue this process , your marks will form a straight line. This indicates where the joist or beam is running behind the ceiling.
Selecting the right type of hooks
You will need two eye hooks , sometimes called ‘o’ rings. They should be made of high quality steel and be as thick as your little finger. The shank should be approximately 8 -10 centimetres long.
If your are able to access your joist from the other side of your ceiling , from the loft for example, use a hook with a long shank and a nut and washer. Once you have screwed your hook into the joists and out the other side you will be able to screw the washer and nut on providing maximum security.
If you are unable to access the beam, fear not, select a hook with a screw type shank. This will bite into the wood when screwed in and is adequate for most swing installations. This is also the most common type used.
If your beam or joist is concrete, select an eye hook that is suitable for concrete, these differ from other eye hooks in that they will expand slightly once inserted into the hole in the joist. The are visibly different from hooks designed for wood and should be easy to tell apart from other hooks.
Mark where you are going to insert the hooks, be aware of any cables that could be running behind the ceiling face, by avoiding overhead lights. Dont forget that you will be installing two eye hooks and they will both need to be inserted into the joists. The hooks should be 50 to 80cm apart.
Drill into the wood or concrete, ensuring you’re using the appropriate bit for the material. You will be able to easily tell that you have hit the joist by the resistance and small wood shavings or dust that will be produced. If the drill penetrates the ceiling easily and only plaster dust is seen, you have not located the beam successfully, and you should not proceed with the installation. Your eye hooks will NOT hold if inserted into the plaster board only.
Drill into the beam ensuring the bit is going straight up into the joist and not at an angle. Drill in for the same number of centimeters as your shanks is long.
Once you have made your hole, screw the hook into the hole as far and as tightly as you can.
Next , using a screwdriver or similar, post the screw driver through the eye of the eye hook and using it like a lever, continue twisting the hook until the shank is completely inserted into the wood and is tight.
Repeat steps 2 – 5 with the second eye hook.
If using carabiners attach them to your swing straps and connect them to the eye hooks, ensuring they’re fully closed when complete.
Testing your eye hooks
The ideal is to attach weight to the straps so you can easily determine how much weight is being hung and compare it to the users weight. When weights are not available, you could try filling a suitcase with heavy household items such as canned food, bottles of water, books,or coins, and suspending them from the straps.
Alternatively you could also attach one of the swing handles to the strap and lift yourself a couple centimeters off the ground if you have the strength. Its worth knowing that there are two eye hooks suspending your weight so the load is shared, but its better if each hook is able to support your weight individually.
If you have installed your hooks correctly, this method should be more than adequate to take the weight of adults. The Swing fitness swing itself is incredibly strong and can take approximately two tons. However this is irrelevant if your hooks are not secured properly.
Swing fitness takes no responsibility for any injury caused whilst using the swing, it is entirely the users responsibility to ensure the swing is installed correctly and is used safely.