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Thread: Scared to Continue

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    Scared to Continue

    Good Morning,
    I haven't slept much this week, partly due to initial excitement about getting a pool, now it's due to worry. We just purchased an AG salt water pool kit and was told by the company that this is a do-it-yourself project. We are no dummies and have taken on permitted (and passed) building projects such as house additions so we thought, how hard could erecting an AG pool be? Much harder than we imagined!!!!

    We levelled and then levelled again to be sure but it wasn't until we snapped the liner on when we realized something was not quite right. The liner was overly tight and the metal wall (one continuous piece) was popping out of the bottom track. When we put the top plates on, some fit and some didn't. This is not a manufacturer defect, this is directly caused by the install. We have had a lot of rain and the area around the pool has collected a lot of water causing the oval end to sink enough that the wall has popped out. We have raised the concrete blocks on that side as best we could to ensure the wall stay in the track, but it is 1/2" higher than the sides.

    Sorry for the long post!!! Do we continue and fill with water (approx 15,000 gallons) or should we take it all down and re-do?

    Thx
    Lori
    15x30 AG Oval Buttress Free, salt water, Hayward pump, Hayward 200,000 BTU gas heater.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Scared to Continue

    I'm hoping one of our AG experts jumps in, but in my opinion if anything is sinking, just blocking it up is not going to make it better. It is always best to erect on compacted native/virgin soil. Did you dig down to level or put in fill?
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    cj3737's Avatar
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    Re: Scared to Continue

    I am no expert on installing pools but I would take it down and restart... These things are like legos... meant to go together a certain way so if you force it and have 15000 gallon of water pushing on a weak point, you are bound to have a mishap...
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    Re: Scared to Continue

    If your wall supports are sinking with only a partial fill don't fill it any more until you correct the issue with unstable ground. When put together correctly the wall will sit in the track and stay firmly seated. If you are putting up an oval pool the center strait sections must be perfectly square and aligned to each other or your wall won't fit right.
    Chuck-
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    Re: Scared to Continue

    Is there a pool installer in your area who could help you? It might be easier to let them fix it.
    AGP 33' x 54" Lomart Verona, Approx. 27,300 gallons, Pentair cartridge filter/pump 2-speed, 1.5 hp, Dolphin Escape robotic cleaner.

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    Re: Scared to Continue

    The prep of the ground is key.

    You never want to fill in any spots, you want to dig down to virgin ground to level the site. Get your perimiter level all the way around, and then dig in your post support blocks. If anything is not level or solid, it will move with the weight of the water. You do not have the equipment avaiable to fill in soil and compact it to the necessary density. a vibratory plate compactor or jumping jack is not going to do the trick. You need to know the compaction curves and moisture content of your soil to even begin to have a chance of acheiving 95%+ compaction. Dig down, dont fill.

    -dave
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    Re: Scared to Continue

    I installed a 18x33x52" oval and had Lots of Fun (Not).
    My side buttress supports sank down about 1 inch so the wall leaned out and the foot under the bottom started to lift. I call the Mfr they said to drain it.
    I dug a hole beside the support buttress units even under about 1/3 of the stones to support with on the straight section. I raised to get the buttress level and filled the holes with 5000psi quickcrete. The quickcrete was in the holes and under the stones. this gave my soft soil a lot better support.
    Then I got to where you are.... The Liner was only hanging over about two inches all the way around. I was worried it was not enough overhang. Called again, The mfr said I should add more sand if the liner seemed short and to make the cove along the edge to be about 10 inches. I added one more yard of sand, bucket by bucket manually tossing it over the side. It took almost all day to get the Yard of sand in the pool and leveled (only the wife and I).
    But It was worth it. I ended up with about 2 1/2 inches of sand total in the pool. the liner hangs over pretty evenly at about 3 1/2 or 4 inches now.

    Take the time to get the liner STRAIGHT before adding ANY water.
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    Re: Scared to Continue

    Quote Originally Posted by CJadamec View Post
    If your wall supports are sinking with only a partial fill don't fill it any more until you correct the issue with unstable ground. When put together correctly the wall will sit in the track and stay firmly seated. If you are putting up an oval pool the center strait sections must be perfectly square and aligned to each other or your wall won't fit right.
    Thanks for your response, I think the buttresses might not be widened enough from one side to the next. There is a metal strap that connects the buttresses across from each other. The instructions said we MUST create a small hump in the middle by adding some sand underneath. By doing that, we had to pull the buttresses in tighter. Our cross measurement was consistent on each one but this caused us this issue. The video provided skips that step....hmmmmm!

    As far as we know, the support pads have not sunk. We did dig down to the clay bed (other posters mentioned it was not a good idea to add) but we added 4" of crushed gravel and machine compacted it.

    Needless to say, we are taking it all down...sniff sniff and starting again. I wish I had followed my gut and bought a semi-inground instead.

    - - - Updated - - -

    We are entertaining that idea. There is no one in our area willing to touch it because it's not their pool. One fellow is willing to travel 2.5 hrs but the cost is outrageous!!

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    Re: Scared to Continue

    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoGeek View Post
    I installed a 18x33x52" oval and had Lots of Fun (Not).
    My side buttress supports sank down about 1 inch so the wall leaned out and the foot under the bottom started to lift. I call the Mfr they said to drain it.
    I dug a hole beside the support buttress units even under about 1/3 of the stones to support with on the straight section. I raised to get the buttress level and filled the holes with 5000psi quickcrete. The quickcrete was in the holes and under the stones. this gave my soft soil a lot better support.
    Then I got to where you are.... The Liner was only hanging over about two inches all the way around. I was worried it was not enough overhang. Called again, The mfr said I should add more sand if the liner seemed short and to make the cove along the edge to be about 10 inches. I added one more yard of sand, bucket by bucket manually tossing it over the side. It took almost all day to get the Yard of sand in the pool and leveled (only the wife and I).
    But It was worth it. I ended up with about 2 1/2 inches of sand total in the pool. the liner hangs over pretty evenly at about 3 1/2 or 4 inches now.

    Take the time to get the liner STRAIGHT before adding ANY water.
    Glad you were able to fix the problem and you and your wife are still happily married...lol. My husband and I are currently pouting and have resorted to silence because we are feeling overwhelmed at the moment. I just can't justify paying someone $3000 to come and fix it when we have done over 50% of the work.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by chipchip View Post
    Is there a pool installer in your area who could help you? It might be easier to let them fix it.
    No one is available until end of summer and the one that is lives 2.5 hrs away. Can do it this weekend (supposed to rain though) but wants $3000 plus travel expenses...yikes!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by CJadamec View Post
    If your wall supports are sinking with only a partial fill don't fill it any more until you correct the issue with unstable ground. When put together correctly the wall will sit in the track and stay firmly seated. If you are putting up an oval pool the center strait sections must be perfectly square and aligned to each other or your wall won't fit right.
    You have the same size pool as we do. Did you have that issue with the straight sections too?

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    Re: Scared to Continue

    After reading thru many pools installation instructions I opted to have a local PB install the pool for me. If you used a plate compactor to compact your fill in 2-3" lifts that might not be too bad. It would be a question of the type of fill you used and a list of questions about how every thing was set in place. My pool is actually up on a 6" "sandbox" that I compacted and penned in with 6x6 timbers to prevent down hill erosion. I have the luxury of having access to heavy machinery, a laser level and time which made that possible. My base was in place for over a month before the pool went in and got repeated compacted over that time. By the end of that process you needed a pick axe to dig out the base to set the concrete block under the supports for the pool. Don't feel bad about having to take it down and getting everything right. Oval pools are tricky, getting the walls strait and square is going to take time and quietly muttered grumpy words. As for the settling don't be shy with putting the concrete blocks under the supports. I watched my PB install my pool start to finish, there are blocks under each upright and under the end of the buttress and under the pressure plate. Use 4" thick block if you can. Each block was dug out and leveled with a laser. It took a crew of 4 people who install that same pool probably 30 times a summer close to 7 hours to finish the job. I was planning it was going to take me about 3 days to set the pool myself.
    Chuck-
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    Re: Scared to Continue

    Quote Originally Posted by CJadamec View Post
    After reading thru many pools installation instructions I opted to have a local PB install the pool for me. If you used a plate compactor to compact your fill in 2-3" lifts that might not be too bad. It would be a question of the type of fill you used and a list of questions about how every thing was set in place. .
    Or it might be bad - it depends. A quick primer on how soil compaction "works". Each soil has what is called a compaction curve. It consists of percent water content on the x axis and maximum dry density on the y axis. The curve looks like a frown. There is an optimum water content for each soil where maximum dry density can happen. Add more or less water than this optimum amount and you can pound that soil till the cows come home and you will never reach the maximum dry density. Some curves are steep. The soil is very unforgiving. If you are a few percentage points to either side of the optimum moisture content, you may only be able to acheive 80% of the potential maximum dry density. This means that no matter how much you compact your soil, once it either dries out or gets wet to that optimum amount, it has the potential to settle. Some soils have very forgiving compaction curves, you can be a lot wetter or drier than optimum, and still have the potential to hit 95% of the maximum dry density (%95 of maximum dry density is what is normally the pass/fail target, as least for the engineering company I used to work for). QP (quarry process, or crusher run) is one such example of a soil with a very forgiving compaction curve. That is why it is such a great base course material.

    So, how does one find these compaction curves? By taking a sample of your soil and running a standard Proctor test on it - for which you need the Proctor test cylinder and slide hammer, and a good set of scales. And how do you know if you have acheved that golden 95% - by either going old school and using your volumetric cone and supply of Ottawa sand, or you get your level III radiation device safety training, and then find yourself a nuclear soil densometer. Not things your normal DYI homeowner has laying around.

    In reality, you *could* get away with an inch or so of fill, especially if the soil is forgiving (clay soils are not), but there are just so many variables, it is easier to say dig down, do not fill in.

    -dave
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
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    Re: Scared to Continue

    +1 to what Dave said he put the science behind it. As a side note I specifically used a quarry process material, about 24 tons of it actually, because I knew I could get it compact reliably with the equipment I had available to me. It was also placed ontop of virgin subsoil that had been excavated down to. I built my house into a hill and if I showed you where I was goin to put my pool a year ago you would have said I was crazy. I still may be crazy but there is a pool there now.
    Chuck-
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    Re: Scared to Continue

    Welcome to TFP LoriC

    It's easy to get overwhelmed when something like this goes bad. As long as you're pouting together and not at each other things will work out.
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    Re: Scared to Continue

    Quote Originally Posted by CJadamec View Post
    After reading thru many pools installation instructions I opted to have a local PB install the pool for me. If you used a plate compactor to compact your fill in 2-3" lifts that might not be too bad. It would be a question of the type of fill you used and a list of questions about how every thing was set in place. My pool is actually up on a 6" "sandbox" that I compacted and penned in with 6x6 timbers to prevent down hill erosion. I have the luxury of having access to heavy machinery, a laser level and time which made that possible. My base was in place for over a month before the pool went in and got repeated compacted over that time. By the end of that process you needed a pick axe to dig out the base to set the concrete block under the supports for the pool. Don't feel bad about having to take it down and getting everything right. Oval pools are tricky, getting the walls strait and square is going to take time and quietly muttered grumpy words. As for the settling don't be shy with putting the concrete blocks under the supports. I watched my PB install my pool start to finish, there are blocks under each upright and under the end of the buttress and under the pressure plate. Use 4" thick block if you can. Each block was dug out and leveled with a laser. It took a crew of 4 people who install that same pool probably 30 times a summer close to 7 hours to finish the job. I was planning it was going to take me about 3 days to set the pool myself.
    Sounds like you got a solid pool. Let me ask you or anyone else that can chime in, would you ever consider burying an above ground saltwater pool (at least 19")? I know the Manuf. will void the warranty but what would be the hazards if any?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you : ) We are frustrated that is for sure but it's only a pool, nothing irreversible so we'll survive it..lol
    15x30 AG Oval Buttress Free, salt water, Hayward pump, Hayward 200,000 BTU gas heater.

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    Re: Scared to Continue

    Many people here have salt water in above ground pools and love them. Im looking for a SWG to put on my xmas list for next season.
    Chuck-
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