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Thread: Sand, screenings, and sanity

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    Wichita Chief's Avatar
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    Sand, screenings, and sanity

    Ok. So I've read so many threads and post it's to the point they all run together. I have a few questions to clarify what I think I know. I think. As stated in another post I've bought a 15' x 30' Esther Williams AGP . I'm starting dirt work this Thursday. (weather providing) I have an dirt guy coming to level my area out. There was a pool in this area by a previous owner and I don't know how deep the leftover sand base is but judging by my test digging it's approx 2" in spots. This is approx how much out of level my area is end to end. So what I'm saying is I expect we'll have to remove 2"-4" of soil (material) to get to undisturbed earth. So with my luck 6" right? LOL. Once I have a quasi level dirt area I now add screenings. I say quasi because in my experience even with an experienced skid steer operator the ground will not be perfectly correctly level. Pretty close but not pool ready yet. So I will put down screenings from the quarry. I will pack the screenings with a plate compactor until they are packed. ( I've done this for the floor of my garage addition approx 10-12 years ago.)
    • First question: How deep should my screenings be? Does it matter? Will 2" be about right? I'm not trying to bring it up level with anything. Just wanting a good base.
    • Second question: Should I use a skim layer of sand on top of the screenings to get my perfectly even surface before I lay my side rails down? I don't remember how smooth my surface came out when I did this before. Once I get my side rails down and the straps which tie the sides together up the pool will have a layer of sand smoothed out before I place the pink foam down. This would tell me the skim layer of sand is not needed as long as the rails are on the screenings evenly without gaps (if I did a good job packing evenly) and level.

    Per my instructions I need 2" thick blocks under each of the connectors on the radius ends of the pool where the uprights will be. So a total of 4 per end, 8 total. I know the block placement is important and from reading other posts, can be the most time consuming. Also on each side there is to be 4" thick blocks out from the sides where the ends of the buttresses join the the outside ends of the straps also. For a total of 4 per side, 8 total.
    • Third question: Do I pack the screenings and then dig out an area for the 2" blocks, place them and put screenings around them and pack it all down again? Can I use screenings under my blocks to help level them or do I need to get the paver sand instead? I know I'll have to dig deeper to fit the 4" blocks in.

    So now I have my base. My blocks are set and everything is at the same level. I've brought some sand in before I put my final end rail up. I assemble the sides and commence to leveling the sand which is on top of the straps and the side rails portion that is below where the cove goes. I'll smooth the sand like I was finishing concrete but not overly so. Since I'll have my 3/4" pink foam over it:
    • Forth question: Do I still need to get masons sand or will fill sand be good? The masons sand will have to come from quite a ways away and the fill sand is much closer. Delivery costs reflect that aspect. I'll get whatever I need to make it right but by the same token it's not a "cost is not an object " deal either. Plus I can haul the fill sand. On my schedule when I need it. (of course when I'm out chasing sand I'm not busy assembling either...) I've been told by a friend who had a pool that the masons sand packs ( I know it doesn't really compact) tighter. Ideas?

    Once I get to this point I'll put the wall foam up, stick the cove on and hello liner! I'm sure that will go smoothly........................................ So do I have it right? This is what the consensus on most posts on the different threads were. Sorry for the long winded plan. I tried to make the main questions easy to find. Any answers? (Try explaining all this to your better half and getting the response "WHAT??? I thought the dirt guy was going to level it and we'd be ready for the pool??") It will be a long weekend! I can see a nice long IKEA shopping trip coming on our next visit to KC!
    AGP: Esther Williams 15' x 30' - 10,500 gal city water filled, S210S Hayward sand filter, SP1592 Hayward PowerFlo Matrix pump.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Sand, screenings, and sanity

    NICE post! One thing I am going to address is we recommend going down to the lowest area instead of building up the higher level. Sand and loose dirt WILL compact and settle...........then you end up with an uneven pool

    The ground prep is the BIGGEST thing of all. Everything else will fall in place. There are several posts here about how to do it. Talk about water levels and long 2x4 with levels taped to them and rebar in the end to hold it in place while you move it around the circle.

    I am hopeful you having the dirt mover will cut down on YOUR hand work quite a bit.

    LOL hand the wife a shovel and see how that goes over! hehe My little girl hands have many calluses on them so....know a girl can do dirty work!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Sand, screenings, and sanity

    If I was doing all this backbreaking effort, I think I'd just put enough screenings down to cover the brown color of the dirt. If you've cut down to level and have reached subsoil, it shouldn't take much compacting.

    This is my favorite levelling post I need advice on leveling my ground.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Wichita Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Sand, screenings, and sanity

    Thanks guys! Yes I'm going to the lowest point. No fill. Fill=bad! I have the long level and will have a long 2x4. I built a water level and tested it out. Works good! Yeah Kim I guess when I was describing it previously all she heard (in her words) was yada, yada, yada. She's tough. We added on 30' to a garage and we did the footings, stemwall, and floor work ourselves. (along with the building of the structure). It's the keeping from killing each other during one of our little freak out moments.
    I did read that one Richard. One of those prompted me to build a water level myself. I am using a scrap piece of white 1/2" PVC with a flat cap on it. Zip ties and tubing on it tied to a jug of colored water. I can use a pencil to make marks on it and ensure all spots agree with each other. It sounds like less is good on the screenings.
    I have the old liner saved. Should I put it down between the earth and screenings as a weed or Bermuda grass barrier? Or did I read weeds won't grow through the limestone screenings? Thanks for all advice. The weather might shoot us in the rear. A big red bullseye is on us for today for severe weather. Hope all stay safe and it doesn't rain too much.
    AGP: Esther Williams 15' x 30' - 10,500 gal city water filled, S210S Hayward sand filter, SP1592 Hayward PowerFlo Matrix pump.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Sand, screenings, and sanity

    The old liner may get too dry and brittle before you are ready. If it is still pliable then use it. Weeds can grow through anything...some things just slow them down LOL

    I SO understand the "not killing each other" working on projects. I am working on our front fence line. I get him when I need the chainsaw. Then he leaves until I need him for something again! LOL

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Sand, screenings, and sanity

    Take the rest of the afternoon off....... like you'll have a choice
    Funnel reported west of Wellington so keep an eye on the sky
    Round 18' Sharkline pool, 8600 gallons of well water. Hayward 40gpm single speed pump and DE filter

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    wjr75's Avatar
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    Re: Sand, screenings, and sanity

    When we re-did my parents liner we put a padding on top of the old sand which had roots and divit canals. Way! better than the sand bottom. We had a dug out deep section but I used stakes with a string across the pool in three different directions using a level on the string to gauge the level of the sides around the pool.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
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    Wichita Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Sand, screenings, and sanity

    Yeah. WAY too much rain to think about anything being done out there this week. I did find a hauler who will supply my masons sand. From the other side of the world. No biggie on the weather. Luckily my work is not rigid on canceling my scheduled days off and rescheduling. Other than maybe this Friday from then on the forecast looks clear. Of course as clear as a week to 10 days out can be.
    AGP: Esther Williams 15' x 30' - 10,500 gal city water filled, S210S Hayward sand filter, SP1592 Hayward PowerFlo Matrix pump.

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    Re: Sand, screenings, and sanity

    hey there, I did exactly what you are doing, I went down 2 inches on 1 side and 24 on the other, then did screening then sand check out my install post below and see if that helps...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Wichita Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Sand, screenings, and sanity

    Yeah Casey I have read it. I dug the lights!! I might have to investigate those. What are they? I really like the deck/stairs. I will be using a stair entrance to the patio portion of the pool. My mom-in-law and her 95 year old mom use the pool and like the sturdy and easy to maneuver hand rails. I love the electrical and plumbing. 1st class. Someday I'll get my pictures on here. Right now I'm waiting for a dry week. My window is either weekend of May 7th or 14th. If not then it will have to be Memorial Day weekend or later. After seeing what you went through with the installer my worries are small. It will get done. I would like to put it up while temps and humidity are pleasant. Living in OK you know how in KS we go from spring to nuclear blast sauna in the snap of your fingers.
    AGP: Esther Williams 15' x 30' - 10,500 gal city water filled, S210S Hayward sand filter, SP1592 Hayward PowerFlo Matrix pump.

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