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Thread: Should I remove the grass?

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    Should I remove the grass?

    My first post, total pool noob

    I figured will start with a smaller one since I have 4yr and 7yr old at home who are still learning to swim. Just bought Intex 12'x36" Ultra Frame from Target ($190). Also got two heavy duty 12'x16' brown tarps from HD (10mil thick) and thinking about getting a few of those 4'x8' foam insulating panels (I figured 5 of those @ $13). My thought it to lay down one tarp, than foam panels side-by-side taped together, and than another layer off tarp. Is that a good idea to sandwich is like that? Or should I not bother since pool is small? Been also thinking of getting a dozen of small pavers under each leg of the pool? In theory, itís a small pool, should be less than 2k gallons, so again not sure if its necessary?

    Next, started to think about leveling of the area. I marked 4 corners of the area where I'm planning to put this pool with small rods in the ground, connected with a string and used one of those string bubble level sliders attached to a string to check how leveled it is. Seems to have 3 corners dead on and 4th corner of that square area about 1/4" lower. So far so good, BUT this is part of my backyard still covered with grass. There are so many instructional videos on YT where they just unfold the pool right on the grass without any worry in the world. Considering 12"x36" size of the pool and underneath sandwich of two heavy duty brown tarps and insulation panels, should I just assume the grass will die out and leave it as is?

    I did look into building a small concrete patio in the back of our house, but for 16'x16' the best contractor bid I got (here in Jersey) was $2k. Without pavers to level the ground its $1.5k. Just an insane price for $190 pool.

    So any advice or suggestion is appreciated!!! I have read a number of posts in this forum, but seem nobody talks about anything smaller than 16'. Thanks!
    Intex UltraFrame AGP 12'x36" (2k gallons), stock Krystal Clear model 603 filter pump.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Grass is invasive. I would remove it.
    18'x48" AG
    Pentair 1 1/2 HP Dynamo Pump
    Sand Dollar Sand Filter w/ Zeobrite
    Lil Shark Vacuum System
    Hard Plumbed

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Physically dig it out or Round Up spray to kill it? My concern with digging it out will mess up my relative leveling
    Intex UltraFrame AGP 12'x36" (2k gallons), stock Krystal Clear model 603 filter pump.

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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Aside from being invasive, it smells like horse waste as it decays. I did that with our previous Intex pools, I didn't do it with our new one. I dug out all the grass, leveled with sand, put down ľ" fanfold insulation, then the tarp that came with the pool (Intex Ultraframe), then the liner. I plan to dig in the pavers soon, as I assembled it but have no water in it yet.
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' X 48" 7600 +/- gallons
    Columbia 50 LB sand filter/Ĺ HP pump, $$ WELL spent(2nd best thing bought for the pool)
    Virginia Beach, VA
    TF100 test kit- Money WELL spent (best thing I've ever bought for the pool)
    Leisure bay hot tub

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    Samantha Sabrina's Avatar
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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Yes remove the grass and the first inch or 2 of top soil, yea it will require some work and effort but will save you alot more down the road.

    Yes use pavers under the support legs, it may seem like such a small pool, but water is heavy, and if you set those small plastic feet directly on the ground they will most certainly sink at some point causing your pool to lean and possibly collapse.

    Here is what can happen if one of thse pools is not setup properly:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...de-t45679.html

    Yea I know, all the advertising videos show how quick and easy it is to throw one of thse up in the back yard and fill with water so that an hour or so after you leave the store you are swimming.....Isn't life grand behind the lens of a camera?

    Putting a tarp both nder and over the insulation is not a bad idea, I am using heavy black plastic over ground, then screenings, then foam, then ground cloth over foam and pavers, then pool.

    Good Luck
    Samantha

    In the process of building for a 22' Intex Ultra Frame, (completion date up in the air at this point).
    We could not beat our backyard into submission so we "Buried It".

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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_kid
    Aside from being invasive, it smells like horse waste as it decays.
    Horse waste smell is like a lovely perfume on a beautiful woman compared to the stench of decayed grass underneath an Intex pool. When I removed my first pool, I had police helicopters descending down on the property and CSI was all over trying to locate the mass gravesite of my murder victims. That is how bad the stench is when just putting the pool down on the grass.
    Mike

    22' round Intex UltraFrame pool, Intex 633T 2500gph paper cartridge filter/pump
    with broken Intex SWG, using bleach this year
    TF-100 test kit

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Another thing - it has to be really level (within 1" from side to side). It could happen, but I would be really surprised if your yard was that level as is.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Mike's right about the aroma, I was understating it. I DREADED taking it down due to this.
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' X 48" 7600 +/- gallons
    Columbia 50 LB sand filter/Ĺ HP pump, $$ WELL spent(2nd best thing bought for the pool)
    Virginia Beach, VA
    TF100 test kit- Money WELL spent (best thing I've ever bought for the pool)
    Leisure bay hot tub

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    I am going to go contrary here

    I started with a 12' X 30" intex blow up ring as my "experiment to see if I like pools and pool chemistry" pool. I put it where I thought I wanted it in the yard...a fairly flat area (2" inch over 12') and on the grass. Only used it for one season and found that I did like pools and pool chemistry (in fact loved it). Yes, when I removed the pool in the fall, the area stunk and the grass was pretty dead. I am glad I did it that way though since I ended up putting the permanent pool in a different spot. Today, you would never know there was a pool where that one was...and I basically did not have to do any work on the spot to get it back.

    My point is, your pool is only 12' by 36" (~2000 gallons) in size and not too expensive. It is a fun pool, but you will probably either quite using it after a season or two, or upgrade to a larger one like I and others have. I would not put more that the minimum work required to set it up. By the way, my old pool is happy living in another friends yard now. He did not remove the grass either, and this is his second season...no complaints. Both of us have large yards however.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    First of all, thank you for all the replies! Very helpful info and in general this is the BEST forum/community for any above the ground pool needs!

    I have been driving myself crazy for the last couple of days to the point of contemplating if I should take back the pool lol!!! But, I think @linen nailed it on the head with his reply. It's a relatively small pool (12'x36", ~1700 gallon) and I'm not ready to make a commitment with a permanent bigger pool yet, and also Iím limited in space. In a typical Jersey fashion, our 0.5 acre lot has half of it in front of the house with fancy landscaping, and the rest in the back with more of a side yard toward cul de sac. I do have relatively leveled 14'x14' area with only one corner slopping a little bit toward street/cul de sac. Removing sod and leveling the dirt will ruin that section considering I'm planning to use pool seasonally for approx 4 months out of the year. Doing pavers on top of the dirt on a budget with my current landscaper will run me about $600 including material. But if itís not down properly and once pool is removed, under the rain and snow and the weight of 1700 gallon pool on top, I'm afraid the pavers will shift. Doing it the proper way will run me at least $2k and will make it permanent where I'm stuck with 16'x16' paved area like a sore spot if I change my mind or perhaps even decide to go with a bigger size pool.

    Perhaps I should start this season in experimental mode, weed wack as much of the area from the grass as I can to make 14' circle, put 12 pavers around the perimeter for the legs (half sunken into the ground and cross check to make sure those are relatively leveled), and let it be it? I guess with inflatable top ring you don't have to worry about frame legs, but in my case with 12' ultra frame, I think itís a good idea. I'm still planning to use a tarp sandwich of two 10mil heavy duty ones with insulation panel in between for extra cushioning. This way, beside the cost of the tarp which can find many other uses around the house anyway, it will only cost me $15 for the pavers and another $50 for insulation. Does that sound like a plan?
    Intex UltraFrame AGP 12'x36" (2k gallons), stock Krystal Clear model 603 filter pump.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Quote Originally Posted by twiser
    Does that sound like a plan?
    Sounds good to me, let us know how it goes.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    I just want to reiterate: "relatively level" may not cut it! It needs to be within 1" or you run the risk of the pool collapsing and flooding whatever is downstream of it.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Weed wacked the grass, laid down tarp/insulation sandwich, put 1 sq ft pavers under each leg (had to put then on the grass under the two layers of tarp and as far away from the bottom edge of the pool so it doesn't rub against - frame legs are standing closer to the edge of pavers), assembled ladder, and filled up about a foot of water. I started everything later in afternoon, so will continue filling up tomorrow. Wife took a few pics, and once I take a final one tomorrow with water filled up - will post it here. One minor mistake I already made - should have smoothed out the bottom of the pool a bit better while I had an inch or so of water. Itís not that bad, but I do see a few ridges in there. If anything, the bottom of the pool will be less slippery I guess ?

    BTW, since it came with a standard cartridge filter (I think type 603), I guess will hook it up tomorrow. I also got a floater for a chlorine tablet and one tablet. Sorry for a stupid question, but what is a first step should I take, just put a tablet in a floater and dump it in there once it filled up with water? Is it safe to swim in the pool with chlorine tablet floating (remember, I got two little ones)? Also, how long does it last? Yes, I know the salt water filter is the way to go, but I have to try it out with my current setup before investing into $200 filter. I know this forum has a lot of resource, but to be honest, I got a little overwhelmed with all the info considering everybody suggesting a more pro approach. So I really appreciate if you guys can give me pointers considering my basic setup. How often should I change that tablet, and if its save to swim with it in the water? I know there is instruction how long to run the filter, which I'm planning to put on a timer to run at night for a suggested 4 hours. But other "chemical" basic maintenance tips would be appreciated!
    Intex UltraFrame AGP 12'x36" (2k gallons), stock Krystal Clear model 603 filter pump.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Usually the tablets will dissolve over the course of a week. In your first post it says you have a 4 and 7 yr old, correct? You know your kids best. Will they leave the floater alone while they are in the pool? Despite repeated warnings my youngest liked to pick it up and let the water run out, or try to sink it. My nephew managed to open it and dump the tablets out into the pool. While it is safe to be in the pool with the floater, it is not a toy and kids can hurt themselves or others if they play with it. You can always let the water drain out and put the floater in a tub or bucket while the kids are enjoying the pool.

    Now the technical part! If you use liquid chlorine to sanitize the pool you would not need to use the floater. There is a section in pool school (upper right corner of each page) for seasonal/temporary pools such as yours. The short and sweet is that water needs the same balancing in a small pool as in a big pool. You need to add enough stabilizer(or CYA, or conditioner) to reach 30ppm. I highly recommend getting a good test kit such as a TF 50 so you can stay on top of your water maintenance. Before letting the kids swim have the water tested and post the results here. Don't buy anything from the pool store!
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    I know the information we have on here can be a bit overwhelming. Start with the pool school article that zea mentioned...it really covers pools like yours well and simply:http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ary_pool_guide
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Hi, just wanted to chime in on the conversation. It is so very interesting to me to hear how each persons experience with their first pool went or is going! Twiser...it will be very beneficial for you to start pool school. There is a great deal of information on how to keep your water clean and sanitized. It will probably take a while for you to take it all in. But it is so much fun learning how to take charge of your own pool and the rewarding feeling of what we like to call "sparklypoolitis"! You'll know it if you catch it! In reference to linens way of doing things...I also put my pool down on the grass just like the video said to. The reason I did it that way was because in our yard we have alot of invasive nut grass which will grow right through anything. If you don't disturb the soil it will die back on its own. That is why I went through the stinky grass deal. But that was only the first year. We transformed our area over time by making it a small patio when the pool is not up. We landscaped around it with evergreen plants and roses. In the off season we put our lawn furniture there and a removable propane firepit. Anyway, long story....there are always other things that you can do with your yard if you decide pools just aren't for you. Good luck and we will be waiting to see how goes it! Good luck to you!
    18x52 Ultra Frame with 1600 gph sand filter and intex skimmer

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    I agree with you and linen.. Try it out, if you like it, you will want a bigger pool! I started out with a 16' inflatable ring pool, then went to an 18' easy set, now I have a 24' ag in a permanent position. However, each time required a little different poisoning to make it fit the layout of my yard/house... The intex pools do just fine, in my experience, just put up as is, at least until you decide if it's for you/what you want..

    24' x 52" Sharkline AGP, 12800 Gallons, Pentair Clean & Clear 150 Sq' Cartridge Filter System with 1-1/2HP Dual Speed OptiFlo Pump, Located in West Central FL, using the BBB method.

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers
    Quote Originally Posted by Big_kid
    Aside from being invasive, it smells like horse waste as it decays.
    Horse waste smell is like a lovely perfume on a beautiful woman compared to the stench of decayed grass underneath an Intex pool. When I removed my first pool, I had police helicopters descending down on the property and CSI was all over trying to locate the mass gravesite of my murder victims. That is how bad the stench is when just putting the pool down on the grass.
    Lol! I'm with these guys on the smell of rotting sod under an intex pool. Before we got our first big AGP, we had an Intex. The first one we bought had some sort of defect (can't even remember what exactly it was, but it was something like a seam starting to go or something) that we noticed when the pool was a couple of weeks old. So we tore the pool down and packed it up to take back to Wal-Mart. OMG the smell was horrible, and when we had it in the car with us it was beyond horrible! When we brought it into Wal-Mart you could see the people we passed reacting to the smell. I was so embarrassed! I was afraid someone thought the smell was coming from ME! rather than the pool. We get up to the service desk to return the pool and the associate paged management to come and approve the return. When she did that, I went into panic mode. You see, I worked for Wal-Mart at the time as a Pharmacy District Manager, and the store I was at was one of the many stores where I was responsible for the pharmacy. While I didn't really know the store level employees outside of the pharmacies, I did know every single member of each store's management team! Sure enough, the Co-Manager on duty that day was a guy named Pete who I knew well. He walked up, saw me all dirty and sweaty from packing up that pool and hauling it up to the store, and then I could see him catch the first whiff of stench from that pool. He looked at me and raised an eyebrow. I said "I swear its the pool that stinks, not me!" He said "sure it is" then keyed in his override code and walked away. Somehow I could never quite look Pete in the eye after that day. I could just imagine too the stinky pool sitting in the claims department in the back of the store waiting to go back to the wholesaler for credit, and associates being told when they asked what the heck smelled so bad that the stench was coming from the pharmacy DM's returned pool!

    I'm kind of glad I don't work for Wal-Mart anymore!!
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Well, learned my lesson #2, oh and feel free to rub it in my face with "I told you so" I wasn't that concerned with a smell of the grass since I used two layers of heavy duty tarp with foam insulation in between. Also, my leveling measurements were done at 4 corners - big mistake. As I mentioned in the last post, assembling the whole thing was pretty easy and I filled it up with a little bit of water before it got dark outside. This morning, rise'n'shine decided to fill it up to the top of the filter level. Got it as high as the lower filter opening and noticed right away that water level itself wasn't leveled. At first I thought that perhaps square prints inside of the pull liner were not horizontal. Checked it with a measuring stick and holly cr@p - I'm off by at least 2" and the pool is not even filled up. My neighbor looked over the fence (he just had his in-ground installed) and right away told me that he gives this pool a few days before it spills all over or even faster if both of my kids get it and start splashing. Basically, all 12 legs of the pool standing on concrete pavers and seem to be even, but the bottom of the pool got itself leved on top of grass/tarps and showed a true level where its not acceptable in my opinion.

    To make the long story short, my neighbor called his landscaper while I started to drain the water out. They actually worked out a fantastic deal for me to level the area under the pool, box it and fill in with a layer of sand with borders high enough for sand not to be washed away in a rain or once pool comes off after season. Looks like we are going to get some rain in the next 3 days, and I have to wait until the end of the week. Will keep my fingers crossed everything will get done properly. Which brings me to a follow up question. Obviously such 12'x36" Intex pool canít be winterized considering we do get rough cold winters in here. I assume its not even an option. So if I take it down, the big question is what to do with 12' squared sand box, cover it up with a tarp? Or since the area is already leveled and boxed, how easy would it be to fill it in with pavers instead to expand to a patio area? I assume than I will be able to put a pool on top of that area, but is it a good idea in case if pavers will move/buckle under a weight of 2k gallons of water? Sorry for so many questions, but looking at some of the posts in this forum and pictures you guys post, I'm amazed at the level of creativity and workmanship a lot of you do without even hiring contractors.
    Intex UltraFrame AGP 12'x36" (2k gallons), stock Krystal Clear model 603 filter pump.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Samantha Sabrina's Avatar
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    Re: Should I remove the grass?

    Covering the "sandbox" with pavers would work well, and as for setting the pool on top of them next year, it should be fine, a 52" deep pool only applies 1.53 PSI, the overall size of the pool doesn't matter, neither does the gallons of water, except for the support legs, I haven't figured out how to calculate the PSI they take yet, but the bottom of the pool itself is as stated above.

    I would suggest laying your foam between the pavers and the pool though, and I would use the 4" thick pavers or something like a 2x6 between the supports and the pavers, if someone has used the 2" pavers under the supports they will let us know.
    Samantha

    In the process of building for a 22' Intex Ultra Frame, (completion date up in the air at this point).
    We could not beat our backyard into submission so we "Buried It".

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