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Thread: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

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    Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    Hello,
    I am new here and new to pools. I have undertaken a huge project this summer - to build a 6'x10'x4' deep exercise pool. I have several health issues and swimming in place with a waist belt and cord system is what I am hoping to achieve. I live in Texas and hope to be able to use it year-round, either by heating it or with a wet suit.

    Since I am on disability, I am trying to do this as inexpensively as possible for the following reasons:
    1. I am broke.
    2. I am not sure that I will be able to do this long term.
    3. I am not sure that I will be able to manage the daily maintenance (in regards to the chemicals and the physical stamina - I have trouble standing).

    So, this DIY pool is a test. If it lasts 1 year, I will be happy. So, far we have absolutely leveled a based of clay-packed pressure treated 2x4's with pressure treated plywood on top for the floor. Everything is screwed down, square and level. (My son is an engineering student). The sides are hog panel (galvanized steel panels with 4" square holes attached to T posts set every 2' and hammered into the ground 2'. Inside the hog panels, will be 3/4" pressure treated plywood so the liner has a flat surface to rest against (otherwise it would bulge through the hog panel. To help hold the sides in, we will be embedding 4"x4" pressure treated posts in concrete - two posts at each end and one in the middle of the long sides. Along the top will be 2"x6" painted wood used as a ledge but also to hold the four sides in the box shape.

    Please don't laugh at my design. I am here for help. My goal is to get back to work. So far, I haven't spent any money as I had these materials lying around. The reason I did not buy an Intex Easy set is that they are too large, use too much water, can't be covered easily, can't be heated easily and they are too shallow. I also have sloping ground and would need an excavator or bobcat.

    I found a source online for a custom pool liner that can be made to my specifications. The size I need - 20 gauge will be around $130.

    First question: Can I use spa filters and pumps since the gallons will be about 1795 and hopefully heated to 92 - 94 degrees F? It seems that pool equipment would be overkill and I have seen some spa equipment rated for 2000 gals.

    Second question: If I buy coping strips, will they fit a 1" pool lip? With the plywood and hog panel, my thickness is 1". I am thinking of making coping out of PVC pipe (either 3/4" or 1") that I have lying around. I don't trust it for my pool plumbing (I will buy new) since it has been in the elements (not direct sun but we had a freeze 3 years ago). Is there another way to duplicate this function for an overhang liner?

    I will have a combination wood and clay cove (using 4"x4" pressure treated post along the base to add a little height so the pool will be 52" and the water level will be 48".

    Other than that, I was going to make a makeshift roof since I cannot be in the sun. That should help keep leaves and such out.

    I was planning on using an ozonator and silver sanitizer as well as dichlor shocks. I am sensitive to chlorine (which is why I am building the pool - the Y causes a reaction). I will be using inexpensive equipment as I am not sure that this will work. If this works well, then when the first machine breaks, I will buy better quality.

    I did read about the BBB method but truly need to stay away from chlorine. Suggestions here would be helpful.

    I am sure I will have more questions later. Many thanks in advance for any help given. I swam a lot last summer at the Y and my health was better. I am hopeful that I will be even better if I can walk out my back door.

    Thanks,
    Marti

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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    An Intex cartridge filter would be a good cheap filter. You could probably get someone on the forum to give you one for free.

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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    FYI: dichlor is chlorine. But unless showering with municipal water has the same effect your issue is probably with byproducts of sanitizing a high bather load and not the chlorine itself.

    If your schedule allows, I'd suggest arranging the shade so you get sun part of the day (on the east and\or west side perhaps) so you can get some free heating while your not in there.
    20k gallon free form plaster pool with a spill over spa, sand filter, Master Pools in floor cleaner, Jandy PDA and Jandy Lite2 natural gas heater.

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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    Have you looked on Craigslist for a used Intex pool? You should be able to find a smaller pool with pump and everything for under $200, but you would still need to build a roof if that is a requirement.
    Good luck, and I hope whatever you do works out!!
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    I actually did consider a 12' Easy set - but not filling the top air chamber and kind of folding it into a box. It would just need to hold water and not leak. Might still do that.

    I can't use the small Intex pools because they are so shallow. I am 5'4" and need the pool to be neck level to reduce all effects of gravity and to increase the water pressure on my joints. The 12' pools are probably 30" at most.

    Can you buy vinyl liner material - could I make my own cheap liner? plastic at WalMart is 4mil and 6mil thick - that would get brittle over time but could I get a year out of it? then order a pretty, decorative, 30 gauge custom liner.

    Hmmm, off to google vinyl liner material.

    Thanks,
    Marti

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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    I wonder if you couldn't use a pond liner?
    18'x48" AG
    Pentair 1 1/2 HP Dynamo Pump
    Sand Dollar Sand Filter w/ Zeobrite
    Lil Shark Vacuum System
    Hard Plumbed

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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    I have looked at pond liner especially since they are so thick. I don't like the black as any depth of water creeps my out - I imagine snakes in there (I live by a creek).

    It is actually more expensive than a custom liner already prefabricated. Once I buy the adhesive to put the shape together, the pond liner is way over the cost of the custom pool liner. I also don't know if that very safe. It is safe for fish but I am not a fish and I am very sensitive. I never got a response when I asked one company.

    Thanks for the idea.
    Marti

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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    I love these "outside the box" ideas! Thank you all so much.

    and thanks for not scoffing at my attempts to do this "on the cheap".

    Marti

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by elegant_exotics
    Hello,
    I did read about the BBB method but truly need to stay away from chlorine. Suggestions here would be helpful.

    I am sure I will have more questions later. Many thanks in advance for any help given. I swam a lot last summer at the Y and my health was better. I am hopeful that I will be even better if I can walk out my back door.
    Marti - was the Y experience an indoor or outdoor pool? Most indoor pools have a higher effective chlorine level than the BBB method is going to result in. Additionally those pools lack of sunlight makes some complications for the oxidization of organics s I understand it.

    What I've learned here is that the things that cause skin reactions and such are usually the combined chlorines (CC's) not the free chlorine. If you properly sanitize the pool and keep it free of organics the level of CC's should remain very low. The CC's are what cause other people itchy red eyes itchy skin etc. My understanding is that the water coming out of the tap at your house has a higher effective chlorine level than most BBB maintained pools.

    Ultimately only you can decide but I think you might be able to try out BBB if you start day 1 with it.

    Dichlor, TriChlor, CalHypo, Lithium Hypochlorite, etc area all forms of Chlorine. Saltwater pools also use Chlorine - just obtained from Table Salt (Sodium Chloride) disolved in the water. The non-chlorine alternatives all are expensive and have limited effectiveness over time - but your volume of water is low enough so the cost of the chemicals and potential need to change water out might be reduced to the point of being rational.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    The stuff I am thinking of is a brown plastic bender-board. It is stocked in the garden area of my HD. I used it in my front yard. You can see it in the ring around the tree and between the black bark and lawn. I found I had to bend it into a u-shape to get it in the lumber cart and again to get it into my truck They are 20 foot lengths.

    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    Have you looked into an IPool? http://www.fitmaxipool.com/feature.html
    Happened to run across them while researching a bigger pool for our family. I try a Google search for IPools for sale once and see what turns up?

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    One more plug for bleach:

    I can smell the pool at the local Y from the street outside, and occasionally across the street. Just thinking about swimming there makes my skin itch. The outdoor pool near my house also smells of "Chlorine" and leaves my skin dry.

    But they don't smell like bleach or my chlorine pool (which leaves my skin feeling better than the city water in the shower thanks to the salt and borates).
    20k gallon free form plaster pool with a spill over spa, sand filter, Master Pools in floor cleaner, Jandy PDA and Jandy Lite2 natural gas heater.

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    poolgranny's Avatar
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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    I like your out of the box thinking!! If anyone can help it is these guys!! They are wonderful in their creative ideas, suggestions.

    I, too, have sensitive skin. A few years back before we got a pool I joined a gym with an indoor pool. My skin started itching, then I got a horrible rash and scaly skin. Went to doctor and she said it was due to allergies (already have many including environmental and food). Advised me to discontinue swimming in their pool. I was feeling so much better doing the water aerobics I hated to give it up and finally after much searching did find a lotion to help with the itchy, scaly rash. Unfortunately the place went bankrupt and they landlord filled in the pool and rented the place out to a Mexican eating joint.

    We don't have any other indoor pools for at least 35 miles.

    I found when I could control the chlorine levels, I don't have the itchy scaly rash. I have found having chlorine levels "normal"
    it isn't an issue. Hopefully this will be your case.
    Above Ground Pool 15' by 30' Older pool -- Make ? Model ? Cost - Free; Given to Us
    Gallons approximately 11,000 (if I figured correctly)
    New liner in 2007 when pool was moved and installed by son-in-law and family members
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    White River 2 horsepower pump (purchased new in 2012)
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    Bioguard 1200V Multi-Test Kit with an additional Orthotolidine Chlorine Test Kit

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: One more plug for bleach:

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sarchus
    I can smell the pool at the local Y from the street outside, and occasionally across the street. Just thinking about swimming there makes my skin itch. The outdoor pool near my house also smells of "Chlorine" and leaves my skin dry.

    But they don't smell like bleach or my chlorine pool (which leaves my skin feeling better than the city water in the shower thanks to the salt and borates).
    To add to this. I swam in my pool while shocking at around 18ppm FC. It was easier on my skin and hair than my use of the indoor pool at a hotel the next week and I spent less time in that indoor pool overall. On the other hand - during this shock period one of my kids friends developed a rash - my guess is that the not yet dead algae is to blame but his mamma is convinced that the bleach was the problem.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by scooterbuddy40
    Have you looked into an IPool? http://www.fitmaxipool.com/feature.html
    Happened to run across them while researching a bigger pool for our family. I try a Google search for IPools for sale once and see what turns up?

    Yes, I have seen these. They are nice especially as the "swim in place" mechanism is built in. They are just under $1000 and I felt I needed a little more length - if you watch the video closely, no one seems to be able to take a full stroke. These ipools are 8'x8' and I probably could have excavated that size.

    It was looking at the ipool that made me think I could come up with something similar - a little longer and not as wide.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
    Marti

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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by UnderWaterVanya
    Quote Originally Posted by elegant_exotics
    Hello,
    I did read about the BBB method but truly need to stay away from chlorine. Suggestions here would be helpful.

    I am sure I will have more questions later. Many thanks in advance for any help given. I swam a lot last summer at the Y and my health was better. I am hopeful that I will be even better if I can walk out my back door.
    "Marti - was the Y experience an indoor or outdoor pool? Most indoor pools have a higher effective chlorine level than the BBB method is going to result in. Additionally those pools lack of sunlight makes some complications for the oxidization of organics s I understand it. "

    Part of the year was the outdoor pool since it was closer to my home. Then I tried some winter swimming in an indoor pool but I would not call it indoor. I would call it outdoor with a cover and side walls. I have used an indoor pool that was not in a building - kind of tent and it was very warm in the pool and the air with snow outside. This one was further from my house, still sunny as the cover was plexiglass, and the air was not warm (neither was the water). It didn't last long.

    "Ultimately only you can decide but I think you might be able to try out BBB if you start day 1 with it. "

    The "system" I have read about actually uses a little chlorine during the weekly trichlor or dichlor but you don't continually add in chlorine (as with a tablet or salt generator).

    I will keep reading and perhaps give it a go. Whatever I choose, I will have to stick with until it breaks.

    I read about the ozonator/silver sanitizer from "The Ultimate Guide to Above Ground Pools" by Terry Taminen and then also on a website (scroll to bottom of this page) http://www.ozonejoes.com/index.php?ID=1 ... :0:0&PID=0

    Even with the small volume of water - I hope I don't have to empty and begin again. I would love a salt water system - especially if I could use mineral salts and epsom salts as well as sodium chloride.

    Still learning this part of pool maintenance.

    Thanks
    Marti

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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sarchus
    FYI: dichlor is chlorine. But unless showering with municipal water has the same effect your issue is probably with byproducts of sanitizing a high bather load and not the chlorine itself.

    If your schedule allows, I'd suggest arranging the shade so you get sun part of the day (on the east and\or west side perhaps) so you can get some free heating while your not in there.

    Thanks Andrew, the shade I am putting up is a frosted plastic - I won't get much sun in for heat in the winter. I am hoping to insulate as funds allow. I also found a solar water heater in my price range plus I have 3 old water heaters for some old fashioned solar heating.

    Yes, showering with municipal water has the same effect - I take baths because the shower effect of water makes it difficult for me to breath. I have subdivision water and sometimes the chlorine smell is very strong.

    But I have read that the salt generator works with less chlorine if I keep the organics under control. Perhaps I will consider that - those systems are affordable to me.

    Thanks,
    Marti

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    The stuff I am thinking of is a brown plastic bender-board. It is stocked in the garden area of my HD. I used it in my front yard. You can see it in the ring around the tree and between the black bark and lawn. I found I had to bend it into a u-shape to get it in the lumber cart and again to get it into my truck They are 20 foot lengths.


    Hi Techguy,
    Are you suggesting the bender board for the coping? If that's what I think your thinking - I love it!

    Yes, I think that would work.

    If that isn't what you meant - then I am lost!

    Thanks for the help,
    Marti

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by poolgranny
    I like your out of the box thinking!! If anyone can help it is these guys!! They are wonderful in their creative ideas, suggestions.

    I found when I could control the chlorine levels, I don't have the itchy scaly rash. I have found having chlorine levels "normal"
    it isn't an issue. Hopefully this will be your case.

    I hope this is the case if I go with a salt generator or the BBB method. I am open to it just prefer the least amount of chemicals - but lower chlorine is an acceptable trade-off if I can get in the pool every day. If the water is green and yuck then I won't swim - so the chlorine is a non-issue.

    It would help to have some experience with pool chemicals before choosing a system. I still have much reading to do.

    Thanks,
    Marti
    P.S., I went to college at Univ of MO Rolla! I love that part of the country!

  20. Back To Top    #20
    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Building a 6'x10'x4' exercise pool - Help appreciated!

    Yes, a ring of bender board with the wood chip inside of that.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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