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Thread: Any options other than sand as a pool base?

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    Any options other than sand as a pool base?

    Just purchased a 12' Intex above ground pool. I'm a renter, and although my lease doesn't say anything about NOT installing a pool in the yard, I want to be conscientious about how I install the pool so that I don't have to worry about spending a ton to fix the ground under the pool when I eventually move (which is probably in the next 2 years). I want to avoid using sand to level the ground and I also want to avoid digging. I've looked into foam options but it seems as though the super firm foam that could make a level surface for my pool is very expensive. I don't need this pool to last years and years. If I get one year's worth of use out of it I will be thrilled! So, even something you would consider temporary would be great. And again, don't want to spend a ton of money as this will essentially be a temporary pool at this house.


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    y_not's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Redmond, OR

    Re: Any options other than sand as a pool base?

    Welcome to the forum reggiereg!

    Where are you putting the pool down at, is it grass, dirt, what's the surface?
    How far out of level is it?
    If it isn't relatively level, say 2-5% IIRC, you don't have many choices but to level it out. If it's going on grass, it'll kill the grass anyway.
    Not to mention if It's the blow up ring type, they aren't very forgiving. More so with the metal pole frame style. Ie. The latter can handle more of a slope or inconsitent level.

    I tried to cheat last year as our dirt is sooooo sandy to begin with and not put down sand, instead, I tried to get out as many rocks as I could. In the end, the dirt settled and exposed the rocks. Leaving me with about 3-4 - 1/4" slits and about 50 holes that were mostly pin holes that I had to patch. Baaaaad idea!
    So this year I did it right, but it'll only be up this season before my 27' goes up, so I cheated and used only about 1/2" of sand that I got for free off CL from a sand box the poster didn't want anymore.

    It has worked out quite well so far, no rocks, but it has only been about a week.

    You could use happy bottom, but I seem to recall it's around the same price as sand. It offers no cushioning, its just a rock barrier.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Manitoba, Canada

    Re: Any options other than sand as a pool base?

    Sand is the cheapest option. or if your groudn is super level, just throw a ground tarp down and put the pool right on the grass foe the one year. My bro has been doing that for 5 years now. Yes, it kills the grass, but nothing some fertilizer and grass seed won"t fix later.

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    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Houston, TX

    Re: Any options other than sand as a pool base?

    As the owner of rental property myself, I suggest you ask before moving forward. Some landlords won't take kindly to a big dead circle of grass in the yard, especially if it is there while trying to list the property when you leave. I know your intentions are to repair it before leaving, but circumstances could change at any time. You may not have adequate opportunity to fix it. Adding a sand pad may make it worse and make it harder to regrow grass (if that is what's there).

    There are a lot of things not specifically spelled out in a lease that a tenant can be held financially responsible for. Many things related to preservation of property are held to be assumed by reasonable/responsible adults. Just be prepared to lose part of your deposit if your landlord isn't cool about it. It all depends on the property. For some properties it will have little to no impact on how rentable it is, whereas for some properties the residual eyesore can have a much bigger impact on prospective renters.

    My $.02. Take it or leave it. Others are likely to think I'm dead wrong.
    Intex UltraFrame 14'x48in - 3,900 gallons. Intex 1600 GPH combo Sand Filter/SWG Hard Plumbed w/Hayward skimmer, suction & return. Borates.
    And... 15k gallon kidney shaped gunite 1975 vintage. Hayward DE3620 filter + Hayward 750 pump.
    TF100 Test Kit | Pool School | Pool Math

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    Re: Any options other than sand as a pool base?

    Your lease might not say anything about a pool specifically but I think every rental lease I ever signed had language forbidding water-filled furniture i.e. water beds and aquariums, without special permission and insurance. A 12' pool holds a lot more water than a "kiddie pool" and while a dead patch of lawn is pretty easily remedied, if there is some catastrophic incident and suddenly 1800 gallons of water are in your living room or the neighbor's living room...that would be bad no matter how good your relationship with your landlord might be at the present.
    Intex 12' x 30" AG metal frame pool with Intex Krystal Clear 1600 sand filter/pump. 1800 gallons. Southern California.

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    Earl Cox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Lexington Park MD

    Re: Any options other than sand as a pool base?

    Question where can one purchase sand for pool base?
    6280 Gal Intex 17' x 52" Metal Frame AG
    2500 GPH Filter Pump
    Intex Krystal clear SWG
    Taylor K-2005 With FAS-DPD Drop TEST KIT And Speedstir
    Intex Robot Pool Cleaner

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Sacramento, CA

    Re: Any options other than sand as a pool base?

    You can buy it by the bag at Home Depot or Lowes (relatively expensive) or by the yard at building materials or landscaping materials yards. They all take credit cards and will deliver.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Join Date
    May 2015
    Colorado Springs

    Re: Any options other than sand as a pool base?

    I went with foam 11698577_10200606342318467_1347509986208023119_n_zpsjoohaefh .jpg Photo by Teresa_Lundquist | Photobucket

    Thinking hauling sand would be harder. I am the home owner but should we sell foam might be easier to remove. The area where the pool is was already gravel though which we had to move aside. I still had to dig to level the soil which was hard clay. So even if you used foam you need to level. Using foam means no sand left behind but the grass will be killed. If it were me and I was young and strong I would offer to replant a garden in the dead circle. I'm not much for grass lawns anyway.

    I used old carpet and then 1/2" 4'x9' extruded pink polystyrene from home depot. Old carpet doesn't stink yet but we live in dry CO.
    Used pool 1995 Lomart 18'x48" just installed 7/16/2015, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 1 HP 2 speed pump, 16" Rx Clear Radiant sand filter ( used pea gravel and zeolite) foam wall, polystyrene bottom, liner 25 gauge overlap, TF-100 test kit. Son training for 2018 Paralympics, Hoping for solar heater of some sort. Good chance Labrador will be in pool. Colorado Prairie, 6000 ft elevation high mountain desert, clay soil

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