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Thread: Base questions

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    Base questions

    Hi all.

    I have a contractor willing to level my new install of an Intex 22x52 pool for $250 plus materials.

    Yard is 4 inches off I would guess.

    He could either dig with a bobcat a thin layer of fresh topsoil and than tamp the whole thing

    or

    mat with stone bed covered in topsoil and tampered level.

    Which is a better base?

    Please not I live in a cold environment and do at times get some heave.

    Thank you.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Base questions

    As long as he digs down to level either should be fine, however over time you may feel those rocks under your feet as the weight of the water further compacts the soil.
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    Re: Base questions

    topsoil is a terrible sub base....use stone.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Base questions

    Have him dig down and lay a layer of crush and run stone then compact using a plate tamper.

    We have a lot of clay in this area and that is what I used. I also used the 4*8*16 concrete blocks for each leg. My pool is dead on and hasn't moved in a few years using this method. I also put down 3/4" foam boards on top of the stone. However, once that stone is compacted it is as smooth as fresh concrete.

    FYI, for my size pool I used just over a yard of crush and run, you will probably need closer to 2 yards for yours. Maybe a little overkill but again, my base is rock solid. Forget the topsoil all together.
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    Re: Base questions

    Thanks for the advice. I did not understand the the use of stone correctly. I have seen some setups use it but was kinda concerned.
    This guy I found is a general contractor and not necessarily a pool guy.
    I think he would do the level and bed of crushed stone no problem and did mention tamping.
    I am thinking that this thing is so gigantic I want to keep it up this winter and it get VERY cold and want to minimize heaving.
    Is this a fair price? I think so. Wife not too sure.

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    Re: Base questions

    I believe they mean a quary process / crusher run material which is generally nothing bigger than roughly 1 inch stone mixed with everything thing down to stone dust. It's all stone and no organic material. When compacted with a vibrating compactor it get very firm and flat. If done right this material won't settle any further over time. It also drains very well aiding to prevent frost heaves. I put this under my pool and the PB couldn't dig the blocks out with a shovel he had to use a pick.
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    Re: Base questions

    Quote Originally Posted by heftysmurf View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I did not understand the the use of stone correctly. I have seen some setups use it but was kinda concerned.
    This guy I found is a general contractor and not necessarily a pool guy.
    I think he would do the level and bed of crushed stone no problem and did mention tamping.
    I am thinking that this thing is so gigantic I want to keep it up this winter and it get VERY cold and want to minimize heaving.
    Is this a fair price? I think so. Wife not too sure.
    A GC should be able to level an area without issue. They will probably use a transit and tell them you need it within a half inch all around. I did that with a 2x4 and level so someone with a laser and machinery could do it easily.

    As CJadamec stated, the crush and run is a mix of sizes down to dust and when compacted is solid. Compacting with a plate compactor is required, do not settle for anything else. Any landscaping yard carries it and again, the GC will know what you are talking about. It is used as a base for concrete driveways, patios, etc.

    As for pricing, fair is up to you. Hand digging "only" 4 inches sucks. Bobcat would make short work of it. Stone is around $35/yd here so all in you looking around $350. Reasonable I think if it is done right.
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    Re: Base questions

    Great advice.
    Do I still need patio brick if I do this?

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    Re: Base questions

    If you are talking for the legs, I would. Again, I used the 4*8*16 concrete blocks that I found at Lowe's. I think they are actually cheaper than pavers and much stronger.

    When I did mine I had all of the blocks in place and leveled off. I left them above my already leveled ground by about 2 inches. I then added the stone and compacted to the height of the blocks. So when it was all said and done I had a 2" compacted base which is very solid.
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    Re: Base questions

    Different stone yards in different parts of the country use different terms for the same thing. The technical term for what you want under your pool is well graded aggregagte. That means it contains all seive (particle) sizes, from fines up to the largest used (typically 3/4"). You may find it called QP or Quarry Process, Crusher Run (the complete run of the crusher output - I have never seen it called "crush and run" by a quarry - or in some places DGA or Dense Graded Aggregate, but in some other places DGA contains ashphalt cement as well.

    The point is, you do not want poorly graded materal. Poorly graded is all one size. If your contractor loads up with 3/4" clean, that is not what you want. That is what most people call "stone" or "gravel" and it is all one size.

    He can compact it with eiher a vibratory plate, or a vibratory roller is he has one. What you do nto want is a jumping jack style compactor. If he is puttin gin more than 6" or so of material, it should be done in lifts. Put in 4" and compact, then add the next layer and compact and so on.

    Water is heavy, and likes to run downhill. Keep it level and firm to keep it in place.

    -dave
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    Re: Base questions

    Quote Originally Posted by phonedave View Post
    - I have never seen it called "crush and run" by a quarry
    I learned the term a long time ago by a concrete guy with a bunch of missing teeth so I am guessing he was probably saying "crusher run". I translated it as "crush and run" so it stuck that way. Haha, we're headed to the same place though!!

    And agree, NO jumping jack to compact.
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    Re: Base questions

    My debate now is changed a bit.
    150 to dig it level. No fill. I bought two packs of fanfold insulation under it.
    Vs 250 + cost of stone so maybe 350?
    I am finding this is getting close to real pool install.
    I do not know is it worth it for the stone fill for 200 more?

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