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Thread: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questions

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    Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questions

    I read a couple threads on here about backfilling with rocks and gravel so that the concrete does not crack or pavers settle. I have been mentioning this to a couple pool builders and they look at me like I have two heads! One guy felt that the rocks might damage the pipes for the pool. One felt it was a waste of money. One said to just back fill with sand and let it settle for 6 months. Pretty much every pool I have ever been to has cracked concrete so is everybody doing it wrong? If I put in a pool and don't put in concrete how can I close it for winter?

    I also love the look of the vinyl liner over the full pool width stairs. Problem is many think this is going to create liner problems for me and be a headache. Something about the expanding and contracting and 90 degree angles. Is this true?

    Lastly I'm not sure if I should be asking for polymer or steel walls. Reading threads on here it seems to be 6 to 1 half dozen to the other but these pool builders have strong opinions on which one is "better".

    Thanks!

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    Backfilling with soil is a bad idea.....it will settle. Backfilling with sand is not so good either as it is easily washed out.

    Backfilling with a washed rock (about 3/4" diameter on average) will not settle and generally will not need to be compacted so concrete can be poured right away. Installed properly, it will not crack pipes, but soil and/or sand can.

    Many PB's do not understand the importance of a correct backfill and that's why you see so many cracked decks.

    What city and state (climate) do you live in? That can have some influence.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    I live in the Springfield, MA area.

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    In that colder climate, all the more reason to used washed rock since it will remain stable during freeze/thaw cycles.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    We covered our stairs with the liner and seem to have no problem, the pool builder even suggested it or I may not have thought of it.
    18k: IG: Black Granite Liner: Aspen: 16x33.5: SWG: Polaris 280

    My pool build new-pool-build-in-nh-t60957.html

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    Quote Originally Posted by geoffm24
    I live in the Springfield, MA area.
    Up here in Massachusetts, have them back fill with about 2 feet of 3/4" stone, then top it off with whats called "processed gravel". Anybody up here will know what that is. Have them plate compact the processed gravel in 18 inch lifts. It will be hard as iron. Stone from the bottom up to the top is a waste of money, IMO, when you can get processed gravel. I've tried to explain what the stuff is to people down south and they dont understand what it is, but its used all the time for backfill up here. Dont use sand or plain fill dirt.

    Quote Originally Posted by geoffm24
    If I put in a pool and don't put in concrete how can I close it for winter?
    Pavers are an option.

    Oh, and dont worry about the liner covered stairs. Mine are that way. Stairs in the pool. Looks 1000X better than those white bumped out stairs, IMO.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    My PB backfilled with stone 100% - said sand would eventually wash out, as it gets liquefied if super saturated with water. Sand is MUCH CHEAPER and EASIER, so many PB still us it.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    bk406 is our New England source on good backfill advice. Us good ole' boys ( ) still aren't sure what the "processed gravel" is but I would follow his suggestion.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    Talked to another PB who is well respected and he only uses septic grade sand, whatever the **** that is. These PBers are freaking out when I say I don't want dirt or sand. They all talk about the stone shifting and damaging the plumbing for the pool. The strange thing for me is I say I don't mind paying extra for stone and they only want to do it their way.

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    Stone will work, it's just more expensive. It's good for concrete, but if u changed your mind and wanted pavers you definitely need a little processed gravel.
    Really, if your going to spend the money on stone, just use whats called flowable fill. Comes from the concrete company. It reaches maximal compaction in about 2 hours. It's not concrete. You can dig it with a shovel. Look into it. It's about the same price as a full stone backfill
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    I am 99% processed gravel is a generic term - meaning it is not PURE GRAVEL, but by product of the MFG of gravel. Could be a few different smaller sized chips/dust/etc. from other stone's, etc. Hope this makes sense.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    I think it is safe to say clients don't want concrete that is cracked all over. I also don't think anyone wants pavers that are all uneven from settling. I'm also pretty sure no one wants to wait months or years for their ground to settle before installing concrete or pavers. Wouldn't it make sense for PBers to use this flowable fill or some other item like that solves these problems? Makes you wonder why any of them use sand or dirt?

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    Quote Originally Posted by toofast
    I am 99% processed gravel is a generic term - meaning it is not PURE GRAVEL, but by product of the MFG of gravel. Could be a few different smaller sized chips/dust/etc. from other stone's, etc. Hope this makes sense.
    It's basically 1/2" to 3/4" stone with some fines. Some places add milled asphalt to it. I like it for back fill becaseu its cheaper than using pure stone, and it compacts well. If you using pavers, i would not under any circumstances use pure stone for the base. The sand/stone dust under the pavers wont have a solid, non porus base to sit on. Concrete on the other hand is ok to put on stone as long as you put a little sand on top.
    The flowable fill is more than stone but less than concrete per cubic yard. And it will not compact or settle anymore after its put in.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    I built my pool last year with full width steps and my back fill was all pea gravel my concrete guy said in deep fills 3/4 will settle some and I did not want to compact next to pool wall this would make the walls bow in. I also removed all topsoil to a solid base. We have a 3 foot wall on the backside of the pool in all I used 100 tons of stone. My stamped concrete is 6 inches thick with no settling and no cracks one year later! Pool is 20 x 44 with about 1000 sq feet of deck the extra money spent on the stone an cement was well worth it to me. I also have had no problem with the steps and would not do it any other way. I subbed the cement work and did every thing else my self and the job could not have come out better!

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    Re: Talking to contractor, backfill and liner stairs questio

    I finally found a PBer that loves to use stone and is totally onboard. He understood what my wife and I were looking for and added some great ideas. This the builder we have been looking for. Thank you to the forum for all the great info and I would have never known to ask for stone!

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