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Thread: Sand vs Gravel Backfill...and even Dirt! Which is superior?

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    Sand vs Gravel Backfill...and even Dirt! Which is superior?

    Im curious on everyone's thoughts about using one or the other for a backfill of either a fiberglass or vinyl lined pool. It seems that many installers use Sand to compact and backfill, while others swear by gravel or even 3/4, 3/8 QP stone and condemn sand.

    And even many other pool builders just throw the dirt they removed back in as backfill.


    Can any professionals shed light on the proper, most superior way to backfill either type of pool and explain why that was is the best?


    Im a bit surprised there are this many standards out there with a process that is so critical to a pool and decking's foundation.
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    Re: Sand vs Gravel Backfill...and even Dirt! Which is superior?

    In addition to what the experts here will tell you, see:


    Sim

    P.S Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb. I remember when that came out on 45
    Hydraulically mundane 20x40 rectangular polymer (~30K gal.), IntelliFlo VS+SVRS pump, IntelliChlor IC40 SWCG, Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter, LED light, 2xDeck Jets, SR Smith Turbo Twister slide

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    Re: Sand vs Gravel Backfill...and even Dirt! Which is superior?

    I like to see stone put in after the concrete collar is poured. About 2 feet of stone around the pool with a french drain in the stone. On top of that, processed gravel works well up to the top of the pool, compacted in 8-12 inch lifts. That makes a good compacted base for pavers or concrete. Not a big fan of sand. I would never let them use what came out as backfill. You need good material for backfilling an over dug 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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    Re: Sand vs Gravel Backfill...and even Dirt! Which is superior?

    would any scenario support actually using the same dirt removed?....Such as builders that use deck support collars or braces attached to the A-Frames? Im not sure what they're called but they looked like evenly spaced beams extended out from the A Frame a few feet out around the entire perimeter of the pool to provide extra decking support.
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    ~When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye.....~

    -Name the song and group!-

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    Re: Sand vs Gravel Backfill...and even Dirt! Which is superior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rico Laguno
    would any scenario support actually using the same dirt removed?.....
    I wouldnt. It wont compact as well in a short period of time like processed material. Beside, good material only cost about $12 a yard. For a typical overdug pool the price for good backfill might only be $500 or so. When your spending thousands for an IG pool, why get cheap on the backfill when its pretty inexpensive in the grand scheme of things.
    Just my opinion.
    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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    Re: Sand vs Gravel Backfill...and even Dirt! Which is superior?

    yeah, thats a good point...also, is there a expected amount of time to wait to put in a 3ft patio around the pool, or can it be done during the pool installation if gravel or clean stone is used?
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    ~When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye.....~

    -Name the song and group!-

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    Re: Sand vs Gravel Backfill...and even Dirt! Which is superior?

    Some would say it's ok to do it right away, some say wait. All 4 guys I talked to that i gogt bids from said wait until the next spring. Over the winter, it will settle a little bit. Although if you use good bakfill material, the settling is minimal and by the time spring comes around, the base is nice and compacted for the deck. A long way to say, I would wait until spring if the pool goes in during the fall.
    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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    Re: Sand vs Gravel Backfill...and even Dirt! Which is superior?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Some would say it's ok to do it right away, some say wait. All 4 guys I talked to that i gogt bids from said wait until the next spring. Over the winter, it will settle a little bit. Although if you use good bakfill material, the settling is minimal and by the time spring comes around, the base is nice and compacted for the deck. A long way to say, I would wait until spring if the pool goes in during the fall.

    I'm in the process of compacting the backfill. They used sand, gravel and the dirt that came out of the ground for the fill. I have been spraying water around the perimeter of the pool to help it settle....of course Hurricane Earl helped some too!
    My question is, if I wait until spring for the apron or cement deck, how would I secure a solid cover on the pool? I have an 87 lb. black lab and I want a cover that will be safe even for my dog.
    14,700 gal. 14 x 28 rectangle with 2R IG by Hydra Pools, 1 hp Hayward Maxflow ll, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, Aquarite Electronic SWG, one Aqua Genie Complete Skimmer, two main drains, four returns, 2 spa jets in steps, 30ml Tidewater liner. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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