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Thread: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

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    New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    Hi, This is my second Intex ABP. We had a 12' round by 42" deep with the metal frame which lasted us about 5 years. The new one I set up is the 16'x48" round Ultra frame pool with the Krystal Klear saltwater system. I set up our last pool on fairly level ground that I had laid plywood on to prevent rocks from puncturing the liner. One side was about 2" higher than the other but we never had any problems because of it.

    I really wanted this pool to be on level ground so here is what I did. I built a 17'x17' square frame out of pressure treated 2x6's. I tilled up the ground and leveled that as best I could. I then did any adjustments I needed so that the frame was level. I wanted a good solid base to put the sand on so I put in 8 sheets of 4x8 plywood and then I put in 4 yards of sand to fill the frame. I then got a straight board that reached across the frame and drug it across the top of the frame to level everything up. I thoroughly wet the sand to compact it and then set the pool up. The bases of the posts looked small so I set them on 6"x6" squares of treated 2x6 so there would be more surface area on the sand and less chance of the posts sinking into the sand.

    So initially as the pool filled everything was looking good and level and stable. When the pool was filled I had one side that was about 1.5 inches lower than the other side which seemed ok based on my previous experience. However, what is happening now is that the posts are settling differently and the top of the pool frame is at different heights. The greatest difference from the lowest to the highest spot is about 3 inches but there are different heights as you go around the pool.

    My question(s) are is this ok for the integrity of the pool? I know Intex stresses that the ground be absolutely level but how crucial is this? Our old pool seemed fine not being perfectly level. I really don't want to drain the pool (it is 5,000 gallons). I was planning on keeping the pool up year round and that is why I took the extra time to prepare the base. But I will take it down this year to try and fix the problem. It is driving me crazy looking at the uneven top because I am a bit of a perfectionist but if it is ok I think I can wait until fall to fix the problem.

    Any advice on what I might have done wrong with the initial setup or what I should do now would be greatly appreciated.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    Anything over 1 inch out of level in a low spot can be problematic. I would have used about half that much sand and at least 6x12 pavers to spread the load out.
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    Samantha Sabrina's Avatar
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    Re: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    Read this: here-is-how-to-properly-install-an-ag-pool-t47619.html

    Chances are it will continue to settle.

    The question you need to ask yourself is, "Am I feeling Lucky".
    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: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    Yeah I think I used way too much sand-there is just too much there to compact before it gets solid. Boy I really don't want to have to drain the pool and start over but maybe that is what I am going to have to do. If I took the pool down and used a plate compactor to compact the sand would that help or should I remove half the sand and re-level that? With the pavers are they supposed to be level with the top of the sand? Would it be feasible to try and dig under the high posts so they would drop down to the same level as the low posts?

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    Samantha Sabrina's Avatar
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    Re: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    Not sure digging would be a good option here.

    It is possible to jack up one support at a time, and fill under it, I would suggest if anything you do it that way instead, also I would also recommend jacking all the supports and placing bigger pieces under the supports.

    Many people here have had goo dluck using evrything from plywood, to pressure treated lumber to concrete pavers.

    Personally I suggest using the 8"x 16" x 4" concrete pavers, they are thicker and will provide more strength with that much sand.

    Wood or thinner concrete you might consider 12" x 12", again,a bigger footprint will result in less settling with sand as a base.

    Yes less sand would most certainly help.
    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: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    Any suggestions on how to jack up the posts? I tried using a crowbar under the 6x6 wood to lift it up but that ended up cracking the plastic foot on the base of the pole.

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    Samantha Sabrina's Avatar
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    Re: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    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: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    I wasn't even thinking about jacking it up from the top. This might work for me. I agree with you that there does not seem to be any good way to dig out from a post that is too high. I am on the verge of draining the pool and trying to fix things the right way but if I could do this and it could get me through the summer w/o draining the pool I would be ecstatic. I will let you know if I can make this work.

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    Re: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    I wouldn't worry up to 2" off. But beware of sand wash out. I'm really unhappy with mine on a sand setup because the sand continually washes out and I have to be careful with it. I have a play sand (fine sand type base) which makes it somewhat worse.

    There are three things that make sand a problem with the Intex type pools.

    1) Water splash over the liner. Most above ground pools have a constant height around the entire pool. Not so with intex as you have those dips in the liner and when water comes over them it splashes all in one area (right by the leg which washes it out), which becomes a problem.
    2) Rain
    3) Draining the pool and not getting the water well away from the sand bed.

    The sand bed will get ununiform over time with water splashing on top of it, even if the whole thing is flat. Where the water splashes down will work itself into holes and if draining the pool and the drain is on the high side look out. It'll wash out the sand under the pool.

    I would never use sand or gravel screening under the pool anymore from this season on. I will be switching to a concrete pad and foam base next year. It has to be something the water can hit and splash on and not move the base material. It probably could be gravel as well with a foam cover on it.

    If your land is on any kind of slope at all sand will eventually wash out as rain water runs over your property through the flat pool layout and continues down hill. If you have sand the pool must be higher than anything else around it and the sand must be fully contained in a rim. And even then I wouldn't do it.

    I used to also be worried about the unlevel surface but I saw a you tube video of someone removing 4 sections of the top rail and legs from about a 16' pool. It took that much removal before the pool started dumping over the side and draining itself.

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    Re: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    Yeah I am regretting using the amount of sand I used. I have about 5" of sand. It is in a contained 2x6 square frame so I have a little less problem with washout but that is a lot of sand to compact. I raised up some of the low posts and lowered some of the high posts using samantha's jack links which helped quite a bit. The biggest difference I have in height is about 2" so I think I can live with that for the 2 and half months I will have the pool up. I will do a better setup next year. I am just frustrated that things were not as perfect as I had hoped.

    My biggest fear was that I was going to damage the pool somehow with the height difference but my last Intex pool lasted 5 years and it was at least that much off so I will just try and mellow out and enjoy the **** pool!

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    Samantha Sabrina's Avatar
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    Re: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    Glad you got it usable in such order.

    The biggest drawback of using sand versus any other material for a pool base, (mostly under the Intex Pools), is no matter how well you pack it down, the wetter it gets the more liquid it gets, thus it is so easy for it to move/shift, (think about walking along a beach at low tide versus high tide).

    Covering the sand with insulation, and/or a tarp/ground cloth will help protect the sand from splashout, and depending on how it is done even rain, keeping sand dry after compacting is the key to it staying firm and staying where you put it.
    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: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    Sand should not be used to level the ground under an Intex pool. A thin layer of sand is good directly under the pool for a smooth floor.

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    Re: New pool setup-posts settling differently What to do?

    I should have done a little more homework on the pool prep but oh well. It is looking pretty good right now. I added 120 pounds of salt and have that circulating for 24 hours and then see where I am at with my chemistry. My biggest problem right now is the pathetically cold Oregon weather we are having right now.

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