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Thread: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

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    Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    Hey there! New to the forum here. I'll start of by saying this will be a long post...I tend to be long winded, and don't like to leave out any details (though I'm sure I'll miss something that one of the resident experts will want to know). I started lurking last year after we were ready to open the 16x32x48" Doughboy that came with the house we bought in November 2014. I was looking for alternatives to the insane chemical combinations and prices the local pool store wanted to keep our pool "balanced." Kept it going "trouble free" all last summer and our family (Me, wife, 3 year old daughter, various visiting family) had a blast with it.

    My situation starts at pool closing last year. We opted to not install the winter cover that came with the pool as it was nothing more than a pain to remove last spring, and the pool is in the middle of a yard with no nearby deciduous trees so I wasn't worried about leaves. I figured I'd rather vacuum the dirt from the bottom of the pool than fight to drain then scrub that cover again. Moving on. . . over the winter, the overlap liner shrank on one side and pulled from under the coping. It's the original that was installed in 2000, so I'd say it was due. I noticed this in probably early March. I started liner shopping online and decided that I didn't want to mess with an overlap liner, and I found that I pretty much needed to go through Doughboy to get a beaded liner that would really fit well. We decided we'd wait until May to order it. Little did I know that rain behind the liner was bad, and it rained A LOT this spring. At the time, I removed one top rail to see how the thing went together, just to get an idea. I set the rail on the deck surround. That night, a thunderstorm promptly blew it into the pool, and the corner of it punctured the bottom.

    Add to the rain behind the liner and the leak in the bottom that our pool unfortunately sits about 6" below surrounding grade, with no drainage accommodations - a couple of soil above the patio blocks, and then gravel with some flagstone decoration. It's been an absolute swamp in the 18" around that pool.

    Well, this last Friday, my liner, bead receiver, and gaskets came in. I planned to remove the old liner Saturday morning, and get the receiver installed Saturday afternoon. Maybe get the new liner in on Sunday, since it was supposed to be sunny and warm. Being an advanced DIY-er male , I opted to not read any instructions - I read plenty of things about it online, watched several YouTube videos, and it looked simple enough. Well silly me removed too many of the top rails from one side - OK, all of them from one side - a gust of wind came up from nowhere, and CRASH, the east side of my pool wall collapsed. I freaked out, just positive I'd ruined the thing. A few of the bottom tracks were really rusted out quite badly and deformed during the fall, but the pool store where I bought the liner (the same store that sold and installed the pool originally - actually even the same salesman who, 16 years ago, also built the pool) was kind enough to warranty them, even though I wasn't the original owner (score!). I started trying to get the thing stood back up yesterday after work.

    I started by using a shop vac to suck up all of the gravel on that side, then scooped a bit of mud away from the outside of the bottom track, so I could get the wall back in there without mud and gravel getting in the way or falling into the track. I then separated the wall at one seam, so I could coil it up over to the spot where the wall was still standing and get it out of the way so I could replace bottom tracks. This is when I really started noticing problems.

    - A significant amount of the earth under the bottom tracks has been mostly washed out
    - A patio block under an end post had actually been heaved out from its place, deforming the muddy ground below it in the process
    - None of the pressure pads are firm against the ground. When I walk over them, they sink down about an inch, push water out from around them, then rise back up when I get off of them. Oddly, the side supports feel like they're solidly in place - I thought the pressure pads were bolted to them somehow, and they'd move or stay put together.

    Since there was a severe thunderstorm on the way last night (I'm about an hour due east of Chapman, KS, the town that narrowly escaped a massive tornado last night), I wanted the pool to be as secure as possible and not actually lose the whole thing in the ensuing gust front, so I put it back together the best I could. I got the bottom track replaced and temporarily leveled out on some sand, fit the wall back in and put the joint piece back on, secured it to the uprights, and added the top rail to get the thing as structurally sound as possible - knowing that I'll likely need to pull it all apart again to reset everything properly.

    So, I'm actually quite overwhelmed here. I've built and remodeled a lot of stuff, but the pool thing worries me due to my inexperience with it, the extreme weights and pressures involved, and the possibility of bodily injury if the thing gives way because I didn't put it back together properly. My questions:

    1) Am I totally hosed here?
    2) Since the earth has washed out from under the bottom rails and at least one patio block, am I looking at a worst case scenario of having to re-excavate the whole pad down a couple inches so the entire structure is level and on virgin soil?
    3) If no to 2, what's the best method of firming up the ground under the one patio block? Can I dig down to virgin ground and pour a cement footing that's level with the rest of the blocks? What about under the bottom track? Seems to me that as wet as the ground is, anything I try and shove or pack in there to level it is going to sink if you just look at it funny.
    4) What about the pressure pads? Any idea what's going on there? Sounds like at the very least I'm going to have to rake the sand up and see if they're still fastened down to the ground supports.
    5) Do I have to wait for my site to completely dry out before I even attempt any of this?
    6) How far away from the base of the pool do I have to be to safely dig a trench to install a curtain drain? In addition to the "sunk in" nature of the pool, the lay of the land unfortunately sends a bit of runoff right past it.

    I attached a picture of the collapsed wall - unfortunately I don't have any more detailed pics of that situation right now. I also have a picture of the site layout and proposed curtain drain, if that is deemed acceptable.

    If you made it this far, thanks for sticking it out with my long post. Give it to me straight - I'm hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

    image-20160521_151119.jpgPool lay of land.jpg
    16x32x48" Doughboy (inherited with home purchase)
    15 Years Old, Unsure of model - Pool store says it's what is now the Copper Canyon
    Silica II Sand Filter
    Northeast Kansas

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    Welcome. What a project. Personally, I'd wait till the ground dries out before attempting this.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    Thanks Casey. Yeah I'm sort of dreading it. Waiting until it dries out sounds best even though at the rate the weather's been going, that might be July or August. We've had 3.5" of rain in the last 24 hours, which washed even more of my sand away with it, and rain in the forecast every day for the next week. *sigh*. Might ought to get passes to the YMCA for this summer.
    16x32x48" Doughboy (inherited with home purchase)
    15 Years Old, Unsure of model - Pool store says it's what is now the Copper Canyon
    Silica II Sand Filter
    Northeast Kansas

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    I looked at the overhead photo. Do you have any location you could move the whole pool to that wouldn't have the water issues? Didn't look like it and it's quite a chore to move but thought I would ask.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    I looked at the overhead photo. Do you have any location you could move the whole pool to that wouldn't have the water issues? Didn't look like it and it's quite a chore to move but thought I would ask.
    We are on 3 acres, so theoretically there is space. However, the layout of our land doesn't really facilitate it. Plus, I'm not really fond of rebuilding the deck if it can be avoided.
    16x32x48" Doughboy (inherited with home purchase)
    15 Years Old, Unsure of model - Pool store says it's what is now the Copper Canyon
    Silica II Sand Filter
    Northeast Kansas

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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    I just a newbie here too but I also bought a used doughboy off craigs list so I have a soft spot for them. It's 10 yrs old so it seems a good quality pool. I live in high mountain desert on Colorado prairie so water is an issue. It's often dry ( 16") of rainfall a year but we have super clay soil so we always have to think about water issues. I have friends who bought a house in Texas and 2 yrs in a row they had massive floods and it ruined the AGP. Rains and weather are changing how waters is moving across the land we own. So my thought is you have to address the water flow problem to prevent undoing all the work if you keep it in the same place. We get gully washers here where it can be a heavy 2 " in 1 hr. Dig I read correctly the pool is sunk in some inches? This is a swamp waiting to happen. What type of soil surrounds the pool? Could you consider a berm of some type to redirect the water around the pool as well as the drainage system around the pool? Could you add some type of firm fill dirt to under the pool? Possible use a digger to remover the soggy soil that doesn't drain from under the pool and use it as the berm material? And then add road base to under the pool area? I bought my 18' round AGP Doughboy for $150 and it probably cost a few thousand to get it up and running properly. In Permaculture gardens where berms are use they often plant the berm with trees. The trees of perennial plants benefit from the berm and the pocket of water and thrive. We use Russian sage-pretty, east to grow.

    I had one post looked like it could sink after I filled the pool. I think the cement patio block ( 1 ft x 1 ft) some how move inside the foot rail ring. I couldn't retrieve it. So I dug out to virgin soil ( 6-8 ")and poured a small cement pad on either side of the post. I really should have had patio blocks all the way around under the ring but I was being cheap. I mention this as if you do have a sinking post it can be fixed. Somewhere on the site some one showed how they jacked up the pool rail and added cement to the post after digging down.

    I know when we want to draw water away from our soggy flooded barn we start trenching and it has worked rather than wait till the soil dries out.

    I have read of ways to check the level of the land using a triangle of wood. It is used in permaculture. Discovering the topography might help to understand the water flow across the land.
    Used pool 1995 Lomart 18'x48" just installed 7/16/2015, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 1 HP 2 speed pump, 16" Rx Clear Radiant sand filter ( used pea gravel and zeolite) foam wall, polystyrene bottom, liner 25 gauge overlap, TF-100 test kit. Son training for 2018 Paralympics, Hoping for solar heater of some sort. Good chance Labrador will be in pool. Colorado Prairie, 6000 ft elevation high mountain desert, clay soil

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    Well hopefully it'll quit raining enough for you to fix the pool.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    After consulting with a pool builder with 25 years ABP experience, I have a good but tedious path forward. Basically he said that the manufacturer's recommendation to not build up low spots is based on an assumption that if they said it was OK, some people would just toss dirt in the low spots and pack it with a shovel. His recommendation was to take down the pool, except for the side supports, and rebuild it since I need to make sure everything is good and square (or oval, as it were). Once it's down I need to dig a 4-6" deep by 12" wide trench all the way around where the bottom track goes, add crusher run gravel, run a plate compactor over it, and continue adding/compacting until everything is as close as possible to perfectly level with the track level of the side support posts, using a laser transit. This way we get to stay at the same level where the pool currently is. As for the pressure pads, it turns out that when my pool was built, Doughboy had not yet specified that they be screwed down to the horizontal supports under the pool - just set on them, and that's what lead to sand and water getting under them. I need to un-bury them and clean them off (replace if necessary), clean out the shallow recess where they are supposed to sit, and fasten them to the supports.

    @Tere - Yes, the pool is slightly below grade most of the way around it. Our soil is a silty clay loam mix. Regarding drainage, we were told that as long as we don't trench within a 45 angle down from the bottom track, we're OK. We're going to add a shallow trench drain around the perimeter of the pool, as suggested in my second drawing, above. This will catch any water that runs toward the pool and divert it around. One great thing will be I can add a surface catch basin to the drain pipe right next to the filter, so when I backwash, I can send the water down to the drainage ditch rather than across my lateral field.

    We've been fortunate that the weather guys were generally wrong about the forecast - it's only rained once since my original post! We've been in the mid 70s to mid 80s with a gentle breeze, so things are drying out nicely. The sand inside is still pretty wet but that ought to aid in smoothing it out and not leaving footprints. There's also no rain in the forecast right now, so I'm hoping that this weekend I can get a good solid start on the project. I'm hoping I can knock it out in two weekends and be swimming within a week after that.
    16x32x48" Doughboy (inherited with home purchase)
    15 Years Old, Unsure of model - Pool store says it's what is now the Copper Canyon
    Silica II Sand Filter
    Northeast Kansas

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    Sounds like you've got your work cut out for you. Keep us posted.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    I've got a DB I'm planning to rebuild in the fall. Lots of pics please! (Mine won't be as much of an adventure as yours!)
    24' Round Doughboy AG.
    Usually filled with 3 kids, the wife, and occasionally the dog.

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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    We have a nice, warm, calm day today, so we're planning on doing the entire dis-assembly after I get home from work today. While I'm at work, my lovely wife is labeling all of the parts with a number and masking tape so it goes back together the same way. I'm also stopping at the quarry to get a half ton of crushed stone screenings to get a start on the new compacted track base. I'll get as many pics as I can!
    16x32x48" Doughboy (inherited with home purchase)
    15 Years Old, Unsure of model - Pool store says it's what is now the Copper Canyon
    Silica II Sand Filter
    Northeast Kansas

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    ksguy! What a neat story! Full of good fortune (finding the builder of the pool) and tears (rain and wind and wash out) and cheers (having a solid plan).

    PLEASE take LOTS of pictures so we can cheer you along and offer advise as needed.

    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: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    I got started last night. Not a lot to show yet, but slight progress was made. I cleared out all of the flag stone landscaping, and continued with gravel removal. Here you can clearly see sun shining right on through under the track, and my beloved sand washed out and mixed with mud.

    20160603_201122.jpg
    16x32x48" Doughboy (inherited with home purchase)
    15 Years Old, Unsure of model - Pool store says it's what is now the Copper Canyon
    Silica II Sand Filter
    Northeast Kansas

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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    Long day today. Made some progress, but not as much as I'd have liked. The grass grew about 6" into the gravel around the pool, and cutting that out and shaking the gravel from the roots was a pain and took awhile. I did get about 2/3 of the way around, down to dirt. Here's the east side, the side that the wall originally collapsed on.
    20160604_194253.jpg
    16x32x48" Doughboy (inherited with home purchase)
    15 Years Old, Unsure of model - Pool store says it's what is now the Copper Canyon
    Silica II Sand Filter
    Northeast Kansas

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Doughboy pool rebuild - help and advice - long post alert!

    I see some landscape border in your future LOL It does always seem to take longer than planned.

    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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