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Thread: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

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    Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    I'm preparing for my DIY IG vinyl pool build and I'm wondering which is better to use when leveling the walls: a transit or rotary laser. I have a relative that has a transit and said I can borrow it for the project. Does anyone have any comments on this? Thanks.
    -- Building a DIY 16' X 32' IG Vinyl Rectangle

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    Set up and used correctly either will produce the same results. The rotary laser is easier once setup but if I didn't already own one I wouldn't buy one just to build a pool.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    What Bama said. I have a transit and have access to a rotary. Rotary beats the transit for ease, hands down. But if you know how to use a transit, it's just as good.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    I agree that they are equal in results, but if you are working alone, a laser is better hands down.
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    Marcm15's Avatar
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    I used a Rotary Laser when I excavated my yard. The biggest advantage I saw was I was able to work it by myself. The audio tone feature with the remote on the stick guiding you up or down made quick work of the first phase of the project. I borrowed it from a friend and it was extremely easy to set up and use. I ended up level to within 1/4 inch. As previously stated, if you don't have access to one I wouldn't buy one just for this project.
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    Being *ahem* frugal, I would go with borrowing the transit instead of renting a laser.
    Larry
    16x28 vinyl inground kidney, 1HP pump, sand filter, Compupool SWG, 11K gallons

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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    Thanks everyone. Thinking this through some more, I think I can picture the benefit of the laser when working alone - which is what I'll be doing. The transit would be "free" though. Decisions, decisions.
    -- Building a DIY 16' X 32' IG Vinyl Rectangle

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    A transit can be d@mn tough to work alone.
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    I did see a transit used by one person before by taping the measuring stick to the handle of a hand tamper. Lots of running back and forth though and not quite as accurate measurements I don't believe.
    ~21 ft Round
    ~52 inches high
    ~11,500 Gallons
    ~Hayward EC50 DE Filter and a 1hp pump. Flow Rate of 50 GPM

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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcm15
    I did see a transit used by one person before by taping the measuring stick to the handle of a hand tamper. Lots of running back and forth though and not quite as accurate measurements I don't believe.
    Definitely not as accurate. When I studied surveying in college they taught us that to use a transit properly the "stick man" must "stir the soup". Essentially move the stick though back and forth through vertical (toward and away from the transit). The idea being it is impossible for a person holding a stick to tell what what vertical is. While the stick man is doing this, the transit operator takes the lowest reading seen as actual. It is impossible to do this with one person, and the error if you don't do it can be significant.

    In a past life, when I was building tennis courts, we rigged a laser sensor to hydraulics to control a "drag box" (essentially a grading blade). The we just could pull the box with a skid steer (one man job) and get really nice grade. My boss was like MacGyver and rigged up cool things like that on the cheap. You could buy something similar for $$$.
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    I am sitting squarely in the "rent a rotary laser" camp.

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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    Quote Originally Posted by 257WbyMag
    I am sitting squarely in the "rent a rotary laser" camp.
    Sometimes for things like this, it's cheaper to buy a new or lightly used unit and then resell it on eBay when you are done. Often you hit a snag and an extra week of rent makes buy/sell way cheaper. Of course, if you are like me, once you have a tool, it's hard to give it up.
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by 257WbyMag
    I am sitting squarely in the "rent a rotary laser" camp.
    Sometimes for things like this, it's cheaper to buy a new or lightly used unit and then resell it on eBay when you are done. Often you hit a snag and an extra week of rent makes buy/sell way cheaper. Of course, if you are like me, once you have a tool, it's hard to give it up.
    +1 from me too. I've never worked a transit alone, and just decided I never want to.
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    Something inside me just won't let me sell a tool. Once I buy them they are mine for life...
    ~21 ft Round
    ~52 inches high
    ~11,500 Gallons
    ~Hayward EC50 DE Filter and a 1hp pump. Flow Rate of 50 GPM

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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    I may be missing something here, but it seems like when we are talking about a project on the scale of a typical pool, that a simple water level would do all that is needed and can be operated by one person.

    Ike
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    Re: Transit vs. Rotary Laser

    No, you need a transit or rotary for this job. Water level is ok for dropped ceilings, but not a pool.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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