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Thread: diy - used tires

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    diy - used tires

    Hey all. I have been wanting to build my own pool for a few years now. I think last year was my last with our ultra cheap above ground 18' knee deep (ok maybe 40" or so)pool. I saw a show on HGTV that had a guy that made a pool from recycled tires and pond liner. It looked fantastic. It got my brain churning and burning.

    I have looked on the net for alternatives and found a few different suppliers of conventional in ground pools ranging in price from 6500 and up. I think I could do one this way relatively easily myself as I have free access to a backhoe and such. I think that as far as building it myself I could also manage as I am fairly "handy" - I moved my house onto a new foundation and added roughly 1000 sqft addition with some help from my father. However, after seeing the tire pool I think it would be a great idea. I have an acreage so space is not much of an issue.

    My plan is in the early stages. I think I will excavate about 3 or 4 feet into the ground and use tires to make a 3-4' wall above ground. I plan on cutting the sidewall off each tire, lay it down, fill and pack with dirt, repeat. I think that i will make the wall about 6' wide all around 3 sides and on the east side I will make an infinity wall where the water will drain off down the side like a switchback road on a mountain. Not sure if I explained that very well but the basic idea is that the water will overflow on that wall and run down a path to a sump system where the water will be pumped into the filter and back to the pool. I want to use black pond liner so that the sun will help heat the water as it flows down to the sump. The other three walls will be terraced so that I can use one area for steps and the rest will be planted with a creeping plant to cover the tires. Steps into the pool will be made with the tires as well just like the outside walls. I think the deck area will be either pavers or a wood walkway.

    The liner for the pool is my main area of concern right now. I would like to use pond liner like what the guy on the HGTV program used but I don't want to use black in the pool itself. I would like to find blue pond liner but I think that may be a bit of a problem. I noticed some companies will custom build liners based on measurements. This might be an option but I will have to decide on this before I build the pool because I would need to make the top have the same attachment system that the liners need. I've never seen this system before so I am unsure how to make it.

    Has anyone here done anything even remotely close to this? Any suggestions before I begin? Pitfalls I should try to avoid? Most of you probably think I am nuts but I figure if it doesn't work all I will have lost is a pile of time. - Tires are free and I work from home part-time watch the kids as well, summer is my slow season. I have a Jacuzzi pump and sand filter already that I bought from a guy that filled in his pool last year.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: diy - used tires

    Wow! This sounds very interesting. If you do try it I would love to see pictures of the process.

    There are a couple of issues I can think of. The largest is that pond liners are normally folded to take up the excess material anywhere there is a curve or bend. A folded over section of liner in a swimming pool would cause problems. It would form an area of poor circulation, which would become a breeding area for algae and other bad things. This is why pool liners are normally custom fitted to the space they are going into.

    Another issue, probably minor but who knows, is that several thousand gallons of water weigh a lot. Your walls sounds perfectly fine, but if they did fail the result would be dramatic and could cause significant washout damage downhill from the pool. You might want to talk to a soil engineer about the kind of soil/fill material the walls should be made out of and just how thick they need to be just to be sure.

    Pool liner and pond liner are essentially the same material. They are both available in bulk in rolls and gigantic sheets. You could probably rent the machine you need to make seams, or you can have a pool liner made to any shape you want, though doing enough measurements to be sure you have fully specified the shape can be rather tedious.

    You might find this DIY pool build interesting.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: diy - used tires

    Welcome to the forum!

    Are you talking about a technique similar to this? I built this as a retaining wall to level the land around the pool. I can't imagine any way to make that smooth enough for a pool wall but perhaps I am misunderstanding what you are thinking.
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    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: diy - used tires

    Yes something similar to that duraleigh. I was thinking of using the sidwalls that I cut out on the one side of the tire to fill in the curved areas that the tires make.

    I just got off the phone with a fellow that does pond installations near me. He told me that the liner they have available would probably outlast us. It is 45 mil and the rolls are available in 10 foot wide all the way up to 50' wide by 100' long. He suggested I make the pool contoured so there will not be as many folds in the liner. With the available sizes of the liner I can easily make the pool without having any seams in the pool itself. I agree with the problem that the folds will create but I think if I design it with as much contour as possible I can keep the folds to a minimum. The guy also said that us being in a northerly climate (Edmonton) I will have to deal with frost heaving etc. The pond liner will easily conform to the changing contours of the ground. He says that they usually put large rocks and boulders on the liner without it tearing so it should be plenty strong for my application.

    I am going to try designing the pool using google sketchup so I can work out some of the bugs before digging. I'd better get started soon as the snow is begining to melt here. Is there another program available that might be more geared towards pool design?

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: diy - used tires

    Quote Originally Posted by jilt
    I was thinking of using the sidwalls that I cut out on the one side of the tire to fill in the curved areas that the tires make.
    Be aware that any cut edge of a tire will have a lot of exposed wire from the bead and the steel belts. You absolutely do not want any cut edge of a tire against a liner. You will also need to insure that any of the "normal" tire surfaces which have worn enough to expose the steel wires at the shoulders is oriented to keep those worn areas away from the liner.
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    Re: diy - used tires

    jilt,

    I have certainly been wrong before and will be so again but I don't think I'm wrong when I tell you you will not be able to do this. The water pressure will push the liner into every nook and cranny in that VERY, VERY irregular wall.

    There's little doubt in my mind it will compress so tight you will be able to see the tread in the tire.......imagine what it will look like in between the tires. You will have an algae-laden, unsightly swamp, IMO.

    If you really, really want to make it out of tires (and they are free......they delivered mine for free ) I think you can do so if you will make the tire wall and then line it with 3/4" pressure treated plywood. The plywood alone is gonna give you some headaches but you can usually work those issues out......I don't believe you can solve all the issues you'll be faced with if you try tires alone.

    PS - dirt wont work....the tires must be filled with a non-compacting material.....i.e. road gravel.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: diy - used tires

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    jilt,

    I have certainly been wrong before and will be so again but I don't think I'm wrong when I tell you you will not be able to do this. The water pressure will push the liner into every nook and cranny in that VERY, VERY irregular wall.

    There's little doubt in my mind it will compress so tight you will be able to see the tread in the tire.......imagine what it will look like in between the tires. You will have an algae-laden, unsightly swamp, IMO.

    If you really, really want to make it out of tires (and they are free......they delivered mine for free ) I think you can do so if you will make the tire wall and then line it with 3/4" pressure treated plywood. The plywood alone is gonna give you some headaches but you can usually work those issues out......I don't believe you can solve all the issues you'll be faced with if you try tires alone.

    PS - dirt wont work....the tires must be filled with a non-compacting material.....i.e. road gravel.
    Good call on that. I was thinking of using parging or something for a smoother inside wall.

    The "dirt" in my area is more clay like than dirt. If I could afford the gravel here I could easily afford to have a contractor come in and drop in a custom fibreglass jobbie in my yard. Gravel is close to gold prices here pound for pound.

    After speaking with the pond supply guy I have thought some more about the retaining wall height - I think I may only use them for about 1' or so instead and dig deeper into the ground. This way I can still design a skimmer type drain into the pool.

    As for the algae end of things I want to run it as a salt water pool. Would this help me in regards to the algae or would it intensify the problems?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: diy - used tires

    The SWG might help just a little, by maintaining a more uniform FC level, but it won't make a significant difference. If you have a folded or significantly uneven surface there will be areas with bad circulation. Bad circulation will mean that it doesn't really matter what is happening in the rest of the pool, algae and germs will still be able to grow there.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: diy - used tires

    Duraleigh, that is an interesting retaining wall you have built there !!!

    I never would have thought to do one out of tires .... and you say they delivered them for nothing ??
    Les
    Don't have a pool right now. Just sharing what I have learned over the years!
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    Re: diy - used tires

    and you say they delivered them for nothing ??
    Yeah, here in NC, tire stores have to pay a disposal fee to take tires to the dump....I think it's about a buck.

    So the tire store near me brought me about 400 tires (I used 1100) for free. He saved himself 400 bucks and he saved me about 15 trips in my pickup.

    The wall took me about 3 weeks or so by myself.....not too bad considering how many years I have been working on this whole pool, garage, porch, bath, remodel project.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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