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Thread: DIY vinyl pool in San Jose Ca - base question

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    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    San Jose, CA
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    DIY vinyl pool in San Jose Ca - base question

    Hi All,
    First off, thanks to all that contribute to this forum. It's been really helpful.

    I'm building a 14 x 28 Hydra pool and I'm wondering about the base. The manual calls for a 5 to 1 mix of sand and cement. Their video says no water is added and the moisture in the soil will cause it to setup. Is this true everywhere? It's a bit dryer here than many places I see these pools being built. I'm on the edge about trying this myself. If I was to hire someone, do I need a PB or a concrete guy for the right experience.

    Details for anyone interested.
    We purchased this house as a foreclosure 22 years ago. It had a vinyl pool with a wooden deck. The deck was shot but being a foreclosure, it was "as is". After a few months of living here we realized the deck and pool were integral and the pools walls were wood and badly rotted. The pool was collapsing. We looked at gunite and fiberglass but both were more than we could afford.

    We found someone who would replace the existing pool with a new, at the time, technique which used foam blocks as forms with concrete poured into them to make the walls. Sounded secure to me. We checked out the builder and everything looked good. The old pool came out and the new one started to go in. Well not so good. The pool was 2" off level, walls weren't straight and the rectangle, well let's just say it wasn't. He did some lame repairs which I never should have approved and that was it.

    Ten years later when we replaced the liner we found out how bad it really was. We took all the dimensions required but the liner company took one look and said they couldn't guarantee the fit. It didn't and we've been living with it ever since. I've never been happy with it.

    We decided to rebuild the back yard and pool completely. We had a local PB quote it but it was more than we could afford so we decided to go the DIY route. How hard could it be? We already had the hole in the ground.

    As of today the digging is done and walls are up. I laser leveled them, used strings to verify straightness and verified the diagonals matched. So far I'm really happy (and sore). Some things I've learned.

    1) Dirt is heavy. When someone recommends hiring someone for the excavation, listen. I've got a huge pile of dirt and some seriously sore muscles. I had to move the pool about a foot in each direction as it was too close to the property line and correct the original excavation.

    2) Removing a concrete wall is miserable! A little tractor with a breaker made short work of our patio but did us no good removing those walls. Lots of jack hammering and a broken finger.

    3) Plan on everything taking at least twice as long as you expect. Remember that life still goes on during your building and needs your attention.

    4) Don't rush. Near the end of the day I get tired and start thinking this is close enough. Time to quit. My walls look so much better than what we had.

    5) Leave the electrical to the pros. My pool had wire in PCV water pipe! I now have a new service panel with a separate breaker for the pool sub panel all of which had permits.

    I'm sure I'll learn a lot more but that's plenty for now

    Again, thanks for all the help.

    Steve

    14 x 28 Hydra pool. 89" Sunbelt Spillover spa, Pentair Easytouch, Pentair variable speed pump, GloBrite LED lights (2 in pool one in spa)
    14x28 Hydra Pools vinyl pool. EasyTouch, my own web interface (Screenlogic died), Intelliflow VF, 3 Pentair GloBrites, Pentair Master Temp heater, Hayward DE filter. 89" fiberglass spillover spa

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl pool in San Jose Ca - base question

    Welcome to the forum. What an ambitious undertaking. There are lots of DIY guys here on the forum and everyone will help if needed although it sounds like you have the bull by the horns.

    We all love pics if you have them and we all hope we can help share our experiences.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    San Jose, CA
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    Re: DIY vinyl pool in San Jose Ca - base question

    Any guidance on the mix? Dry? Add water?

    thanks
    Steve
    14x28 Hydra Pools vinyl pool. EasyTouch, my own web interface (Screenlogic died), Intelliflow VF, 3 Pentair GloBrites, Pentair Master Temp heater, Hayward DE filter. 89" fiberglass spillover spa

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    Mar 2013
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    San Jose, CA
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    Re: DIY vinyl pool in San Jose Ca - base question

    We had the base put in yesterday. We seemed to be going through cement faster than I expected. I did the math based on what we used and they were mixing more like 3 to one than 5 to one. Is that going to cause me a problem? Overall a nice flat job. Certainly better than I could have done.

    thanks,
    Steve
    14x28 Hydra Pools vinyl pool. EasyTouch, my own web interface (Screenlogic died), Intelliflow VF, 3 Pentair GloBrites, Pentair Master Temp heater, Hayward DE filter. 89" fiberglass spillover spa

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    Jun 2013
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Re: DIY vinyl pool in San Jose Ca - base question

    did they apply the base wet or dry? did they use Portland or vermiculite? have you been pleased by the hydra pool walls?

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    Mar 2013
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    San Jose, CA
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    Re: DIY vinyl pool in San Jose Ca - base question

    The base of sand and portland cement was applied wet. We were in the middle of a heat wave which didn't help. There were some small trowel marks and given all the comments about the lights making the bottom look like the surface of the moon, we used 60 grit sandpaper to clean them up. I turned on the lights last night and saw no shadows. I'm very pleased with the results.

    The manual and video from Hydra explain how to use a vacuum to pull the liner into place but don't really mention how long it takes. I didn't know if this was a 2 minute job or 2 hour job. We turned on our 2hp 16gal shop vac and saw results in minutes. It was pretty wild to watch! I do have to laugh at the video. They show this couple that is going to tackle this DIY project but every time the camera pulls back there's a whole army building the pool!

    The only issues we had with the Hydra Pools parts were a couple of dents in the coping. We had so much extra that we were able to just not use the damaged pieces.

    Steve
    14x28 Hydra Pools vinyl pool. EasyTouch, my own web interface (Screenlogic died), Intelliflow VF, 3 Pentair GloBrites, Pentair Master Temp heater, Hayward DE filter. 89" fiberglass spillover spa

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