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Thread: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal use

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    porkandbeans's Avatar
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    Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal use

    I've done some searching and reading here and found a lot of helpful info. Thanks!
    As a first timer, my plan is to install my new Intex Ultra Frame (16x48) on live grass only though the summer months. After September I plan to take it down and repair my circle of dead grass. Is this a mistake? Do these pools hold up to being taken down and put back up? I only really expect the pool to last a few years.
    Since the pool would only be up 4-5 months a year in my year round used backyard, I want to minimize ground alteration. I will definitely have it level - no question about that.
    Are pavers under the feet necessary? I read that the feet are pretty broad.
    What are the cautions of using plywood instead?
    Even with douple tarps, is there a danger of grass/weeds growing up and damaging the pool vinyl?
    I'm interested in the foam, but confused about what kind and where to get it.
    Sorry for all the questions and thanks for the help.
    5,061 gallon Intex Ultra Frame 16x48 Saltwater Krystal Clear
    Softub 280

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    I do know the grass, as it dies and begins to rot, will not smell very good. Bad even. Not sure why you don't want to bother removing the grass if you're going to bother repairing it in the fall, but to each his own.

    The proper foam is XPS, or extruded polystyrene. The pink stuff, for short. As thin as 1/4" or as thick as 2" with the cost rising quickly. Some have a tongue-and-groove edge.
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    Thanks your the info!
    With my grass and where I live, I will be able to revive the most dead thatch pretty easily. So when the pool comes down, I'll have decent grass in late fall to get through winter. I want to avoid a mud pit through the winter months as well as maintain somewhat even ground.
    Would I find this XPS foam at Home Depot or Lowes type stores? Does it come in rolls or 4x8 sheets to tongue and groove together?
    Can the feet plant directly onto the foam+tarp without the use of pavers?
    5,061 gallon Intex Ultra Frame 16x48 Saltwater Krystal Clear
    Softub 280

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    I have done exactly what you're considering for the last 4 summers with my former 18' Intex Easy Set pool.

    To get started the first summer, I did have my gardener come in with a sod cutter and remove all the grass in a perfect 19' circle, and then level the ground. After that, each fall, I rake the ground and toss down seasonal rye grass and fertilizer. I have nice grass for the other 9 months. Then in June I simply roll out some artificial grass I use as a ground cloth right on top of the planted grass.

    I just did this again about a week ago for my new 18x52 Ultra Frame and it worked perfectly. The combination of the existing grass (cut very low) and my artificial grass/carpet make for a nice pool bottom that is firm but has just a little "give".

    ON EDIT: I did not put down pavers underneath my pool legs because my ground is so compacted after years of having a pool there. So far the legs have not sunk. Time will tell.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    Jim
    18'x 52" Intex Ultra Frame AG pool
    7100 gallons
    1600 Intex sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    BBB method for four seasons
    Former 18' Easy Set owner

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    Quote Originally Posted by porkandbeans
    Thanks your the info!
    With my grass and where I live, I will be able to revive the most dead thatch pretty easily. So when the pool comes down, I'll have decent grass in late fall to get through winter. I want to avoid a mud pit through the winter months as well as maintain somewhat even ground.
    Would I find this XPS foam at Home Depot or Lowes type stores? Does it come in rolls or 4x8 sheets to tongue and groove together?
    Can the feet plant directly onto the foam+tarp without the use of pavers?
    Lowes has an XPS product (green, not pink) but it was more expensive for the 4'x8' sheets. I didn't check with Home Depot, because ours is one town over, although I'm sure they have some XPS of some form. The 1/4" I used comes in a 50-foot long, 4-foot wide piece that fan-folds every two feet. $35 for one bundle. The Gorilla Tape was almost that much but worth it. I have my pool's feet sitting on 6"x6" tiles on the foam, separated by the tarp, but two or three of the feet are right on the tarp on the foam. No problems.
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    Couple thoughts on keeping the grass:

    1. People do report it stinks, but year one I put it on grass and did not notice any odor. It did kill the grass.
    2. If you buy the foam, be sure you have somewhere to store it. It comes in 4x8 sheets. We put it on our hidden sideyard in the off-season, in a stack - - that would kill the grass, however, so hopefully you don't trade one bad site of grass for another (our sideyard is mostly a mulch of pine needles). As to not needing pavers: I'd say if you are putting the foam on top of soil, you'd still want pavers. I did not need pavers when I put the foam on compacted crushed rock.
    3. Year two or three, I paid a concrete contractor to level my space (my pool grew). He leveled using crushed rock which he then compacted. Note that building up with a shovel or hand tamper may not work - my guy had big equipment. I loved it. Pool was perfectly level such that the foam did not even have indentations to speak of from the Intex legs. Best part was, although not pretty like grass, it was not a mud pit. In fact, my kids loved the crushed rock because they could dig in it like a sandbox, but consistency more like dirt - but not messy. Just a thought, depending on the age of your kids.
    4. If your kids are young, and you can get over the aesthetics of it, you could pave the area. That is where I have ended up (24 x 40 paved pad). In the off-season, my kids and every kid from 2 to 12 in the neighborhood love riding scooters, EZ Rollers (look it up - need flat space, but kids LOVE them), rip racers, etc on it. All day. Or four-square, basketball, sidewalk chalk, etc. I love having a huge concrete pad in my backyard because from my kitchen window I can see who is doing what - I can't do that if they were out front in the driveway. If your kids are older, I can see how the utility of this space may not be as high -- but for little kids I have no regrets of sacrificing pretty green grass for a bunch of usable concrete. I factored in the cost to remove in making the decision it was worth putting it in ($3000 ish to have it paved; $1200 ish for same guy to remove it).

    Just my 2 cents.......

    Just hit submit and saw a bunch of people have posted. In a rush, so I'll blindly post this and hope it is not confusing in light of the above posts I don't have time to read this minute.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    Thanks for all the info!
    I will be looking for the foam and plan on the tarp-foam-tarp method. Depending on my visual impression of the foam and my confidence in my leveling job, I will then decide about pavers.
    5,061 gallon Intex Ultra Frame 16x48 Saltwater Krystal Clear
    Softub 280

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    I used 3/4 treated plywood under the feet of my 18x52 Intex and it works great...what I did was cut 18 -7.5x7.5 inch squares and placed them flush with the inside of the ;plastic foot and centered and screwed them to the plastic foot on the outside so when the legs move outward as the pool fills the leg support move with the legs.
    ;
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    This way you don't end up with pavers under your liner because the leg moved outward and slipped off the paver....don't ask me how I know this.....lol
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    Excellent idea and I'm glad to hear a success story about plywood.
    BTW - great username!
    5,061 gallon Intex Ultra Frame 16x48 Saltwater Krystal Clear
    Softub 280

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    thank you....that's my first love...drag racing and a close second is my passion for BBB and the sparkle on my pool
    ...1000 + HP SBC 80 mm turbo and blow thru on e-85
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    I have seen Nutsedge and Bermuda penetrate ABG pool liners out here, so the more you put between them the better. I use a layer of black plastic to stop that. Never used the foam, so I can't tell you much about that. I imagine the foam would do a good job of stopping any grass penetration.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    Quote Originally Posted by fast1971chevelle
    thank you....that's my first love...drag racing and a close second is my passion for BBB and the sparkle on my pool
    ...1000 + HP SBC 80 mm turbo and blow thru on e-85
    Summa*****! Sounds nice. '71 is my fave year for Chevelles. '70 gets all the attention and glory and some of that bandwagon popularity turns me off. '72 being so close except for those unsightly front markers and is too close to the end of the muscle era. '71 is right on.
    I'm a gto guy myself. '69 and all original. A-body all the way!
    5,061 gallon Intex Ultra Frame 16x48 Saltwater Krystal Clear
    Softub 280

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal u

    Quote Originally Posted by Brushpup
    I have seen Nutsedge and Bermuda penetrate ABG pool liners out here, so the more you put between them the better. I use a layer of black plastic to stop that. Never used the foam, so I can't tell you much about that. I imagine the foam would do a good job of stopping any grass penetration.
    Thanks. The ability for the grass to damage the liner is a concern of mine. Was will double tarp with black, but still. Stuff grows like crazy out here!
    I did not find XPS anywhere in my area, but found PolyISO foam. This is likely due to my Southern California location. Compared to the XPS, the PolyISO is 1 notch up on energy efficiency, but 1 notch down on moisture resistance.
    Has anyone tried PolyISO?
    5,061 gallon Intex Ultra Frame 16x48 Saltwater Krystal Clear
    Softub 280

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    Re: Intex Ultra Frame installed on grass only for seasonal use

    So, after 2 seasons have come and gone, I figure it might be helpful for me to post an update for others doing the same route of seasonal install on top of grass. Here are some of the details of my journey and what I have experienced and learned.

    Year #1 (2013)
    Using a water level, I measured to verify level ground and cut the grass a short as possible. In the 1st picture below, the dirt patch is covering a sprinkler location and you can see a vary faint green spray paint circle that helped with planning and placement.
    I put down 2 tarps, then 1/2" sheets of PolyISO foam, followed by a tarp on top. I placed plywood squares under the feet.
    Installation went well. I used the cart portion of an old BBQ I was tossing out to make a table for the filter pump equipment. I strongly recommend something like this as it keeps things cleaner and allows easy access to the controls without bending down.
    After the season was over and while packing up, I found lots of grubs (beetle larvae) under the pool. Up to this point I thought beetles were kinda cool and then it hit me like a ton of bricks why I had been having a gopher occurrence. Gophers dine on the grubs, so the pesticides came out and no more grubs, no more gophers.














    Year #2 (2014)
    Slight changes for this year. Instead of 2 tarps + foam + 1 tarp, I used 1 less tarp. I'm not having any problem with aggressive grass growing into any plastic tarp or vinyl. I reused the same foam from last year, although it was a little beat up and difficult to deal with. 2 seasons was the max I could get 1/2" foam to last - it got trashed. I did not use anything extra under the feet. They went directly onto the tarp or the foam and were perfectly fine for me. I did have a couple of pin holes in the liner upon set up, or what seemed like pin holes. I could only find one. I put a piece of scotch tape on the outside while I located a patch kit. To my surprise, the stupid scotch tape trick lasted all season and I never opened the patch kit. hahaha, and a total surprise to me! Other areas that were wet and suspected of having a pin hole dried up. Maybe there never actually was a hole or maybe final water pressure sealed something up? I don't know, but all good.
    I am very happy with the pool and with seasonal setup on grass. The grass definitely gets killed, but I can get it back green and healthy in 1-2 months without any major work or touching the dirt at all. Every year I am able to get all the parts (except the ladder) broken down into their original packing and into the original box. For off season preservation, all rubber seals get a coating of silicone grease and all the plastic clips and spring connectors get a spritz of silicone spray lube. I rinse (especially since I run a saltwater pool) and thoroughly dry all parts. The liner gets some talcum power before storage. I built this platform on wheels to help move it around easily.







    Obviously different regions could have different variables, but here is what I've learned for MY pool, MY ground, and MY environment:
    Always spray pesticide down before putting the pool up.
    The liner does need some kind of thicker flooring to prevent sharp dirt and rocks from poking up. 1/2 foam is a bit fragile to expect lots of repeated use. Thick foam would cost a pretty penny and be a pain for me to store off season. I want to now look into the artificial grass idea to replace the need for foam. (BTW, placing on concrete is sooo much easier prep and cleanup)
    I do not need any pavers and anything special under the feet.
    I am a fan of keeping equipment off of the ground so I really like the table/rack for the filter pump. I also made and really enjoy an accessory rack which can be seem here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...793#post740793

    Hopefully my experiences will help others plan their seasonal set up on grass and storage for many years of reliable use.
    I set up my pool in early June and take down in October.
    Happy off season and I'll be back into the swimming pool game later!
    5,061 gallon Intex Ultra Frame 16x48 Saltwater Krystal Clear
    Softub 280

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