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Thread: cheap new install - what to put under?

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    cheap new install - what to put under?

    Hello there! Looks like a great forum. I am about to instal my second above ground pool. The first was put in pre-computer days and lived for almost 2 decades. It was a Sears good (as opposed to a Sears better or Sears best :P ) 24 foot with galvanized walls. It was installed inside of an old 65K gal livestock water storage tank on unlevel, cracked concrete with a sifted dirt cove, and eventually a tree root greater than one inch in diameter grew the whole way across the bottom, but I never had a leak except under the original wooden ladder step (and at the sun-damaged water line). It went through two liners before we had a freak storm/flood event in 2006. I have daydreamed about repairing the rusted wall and trying one more liner, but always seem to find higher priorities for the money. I just received this new pool as a gift.

    New pool is an Intex 18 foot x 48 inch kit from wallyworld with cartridge filter and whatever pump comes in the box. It is small enough I think we will put it in the yard this time. I guess I am freaking out about the bottom and I am not sure why. What is the minumum you all would recommend? Not sure I want to bring sand in at this late date of the swim season, is the ground cover that came in the kit enough or should I add a few more layers of tarps? What about this gorilla cloth I see advertized? I found one for around $65 but not sure it is really needed. Yard is flat and mostly bare dirt, may need to pull a few bunches of Lehman's Lovegrass. Styrofoam? old blankets? carpet?

    I know I will need to upgrade the pump/filter eventually but hoping it will do for now.

    One additional thing I just had to ask about after reading a lot of the introductory stuff - on cleaning a swampy green pool - I didn't see any mention of using alum. I found that to be a great way to get the main pile of green out of a bad, late-August, forgot about the pool for a week and went on a road trip, ewwww yuck, should we just get frogs now? gross, thick, green "bloom."
    somewhere around 6,800 gal 18 x 4 foot round Intex Ultra Frame AG, finished filling August 29, 2013. toy pump w/ "A" cartridge up and running next day --- July 2015 upgraded to Krystal Clear 3000 GPH pump and 16" sand filter --- May 2016 Intex auto cleaner and in July salt system and Hayward skimmer

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    Re: cheap new install - what to put under?

    Congrats on the new pool! I wish I could see photos of your old set up, it sounds er, unique.

    A lot of people recommend you use gorilla pads under your pool (or foam insulation sheets). I just used a really thick tarp from Lowes. However, what had been previously smooth ground became bumpy under the pressure of the water and now I can feel every little pebble through the liner. I think using the foam insulation boards in addition to the tarps would have greatly helped with that.
    NEW POOL : 9 x 18, 48" deep - Bestway brand, 1 HP Intex 3200 Pump/Sand Filter Combo, Wanda the Whale, Hayward through wall skimmer (still in box)
    OLD POOL 5,100 Gallons, 9 x 19 used Splash a Round, Intex SWG, 1.5 HP Hayward Power Flow LX pump, Pentair Clean and Clear 150 sq. ft. filter, hard plumbed, Wanda the Whale,

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    Re: cheap new install - what to put under?

    One additional thing I just had to ask about after reading a lot of the introductory stuff - on cleaning a swampy green pool - I didn't see any mention of using alum. I found that to be a great way to get the main pile of green out of a bad, late-August, forgot about the pool for a week and went on a road trip, ewwww yuck, should we just get frogs now? gross, thick, green "bloom."
    TFP suggests you never get the thick, green algae in the first place. Adequate chlorine will keep your pool crystal clear all summer.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: cheap new install - what to put under?

    I have the 18' Ultra Frame by Intex and used an old blue pool tarp on level ground, then 1/4" XPS styrofoam (the pink kind, a fan-fold product meant for siding underlayment) and then the new Intex tarp. I have 8"x8" ceramic tiles under the feet on top of the styro.

    I have an upgraded Hayward pump but the one that came with the pool isn't terrible, depending on your filtering needs, the quality of your fill water and surrounding vegetation. I have used nothing but dichlor to raise my CYA then bleach/liquid chlorine and a little dry acid this summer and my water has been great. Cold, but great
    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: cheap new install - what to put under?

    OK I made my decision - sort of. I am getting 12 sheets of 1-inch insulation board ( http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202532854? ... hau-z96HMY ) and I picked up a 20 x 40 "heavy duty" (yeah, right) tarp that I can either fold in half or cut. Plus I have the tarp that came in the box.

    My question is what order do I lay these things down, starting with bare dirt? Should I double the big tarp or cut it in half? put one part down on the ground then the foam then another part of the heavy duty and then the cheap tarp or some other combo? Help! I have indecisivitis!!

    meganv, I will find some pictures of the old set up when the big storm/flood event happened and I can take some present condition ones as well. I don't have any on this computer so I need to find the DVD they are backed up to or the hard drive they were originally on. Hmmm where is that?

    duraleigh, I will endeavor to not have that happen again! I have learned much reading this site and especially the matter of how the conditioner/CA builds up and affects the chlorine. That was all new to me.

    CeeElGee, your tiles are on top of the foam? do they sink in at all? I will probably be using brick pavers since that seems to be what we have down at the junk pile (I am cheap and I hope they will suffice)
    somewhere around 6,800 gal 18 x 4 foot round Intex Ultra Frame AG, finished filling August 29, 2013. toy pump w/ "A" cartridge up and running next day --- July 2015 upgraded to Krystal Clear 3000 GPH pump and 16" sand filter --- May 2016 Intex auto cleaner and in July salt system and Hayward skimmer

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    Re: cheap new install - what to put under?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pv2

    CeeElGee, your tiles are on top of the foam? do they sink in at all? I will probably be using brick pavers since that seems to be what we have down at the junk pile (I am cheap and I hope they will suffice)
    Yes, my ceramic tiles (3/8" thick) sit on the EPS foam and don't seem to have much of an effect on it, although it's only a quarter of an inch thick to begin with. I also have a few legs of the pool that have two tiles to help fine tune the leveling of the top of the frame, and one or two legs that sit right on the foam for the same reason. I have sandy loam soil and have had a LOT of rain this summer and I have had no second thoughts about how I did my underlayment (old tarps down first, pink EPS, then new blue tarp that came with the pool). I would think in your environment the 1" stuff you're looking at is more than adequate.

    I don't know what to think of the "brick pavers" you've got. Probably in actuality a sort-of cinder-block type of paver about 1" to 1-1/2" thick? That's too thick to set on top of the EPS foam. You'll likely need to figure out where they need to be placed and cut out flush recesses for each one exactly where the feet will land -- possibly before you start erecting the frame and liner. Some folks put together the top rail's 18 sections and set it on the foam to mark the locations (too much bother for me). I would suggest simply setting the feet of your Ultra Frame right on the provided tarp on top of the foam, but a lot of people here swear by the pavers -- until they get one too far under the pool and it starts to press on the bottom of the liner as it fills. Good luck.

    BTW, does your Ultra Frame come with the rope that goes outside the legs around the bottom of the pool? Mine didn't and I ended up using four 1" wide ratcheting straps all the way around the bottom of the legs. $8 on sale at Harbor Freight this weekend
    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: cheap new install - what to put under?

    wheee! my fancy new test kit came today (TF - 100) as did my foam boards and tape. too freaking hot to do the taping right now so will do that this evening and pool set up in the morning.

    first water test in some years (used to have a decent 7 or 8 way test from Leslies back in the day, the hot tub belongs to other members of the family and I am in denial about how or even if that ever gets tested ( )

    no chlorine or CYA, yet
    pH 8.2
    TA 140
    CH 110

    so for my pool (18 x 4) = 7600 gallons (bet it will be a bit less but for now this is what the calculator said) I only need about a pint of strong M acid and a gallon of bleach to start? is that right?

    I have stabilizer ordered but may get some 3 inch tabs or dichlor as well - as I don't think I got enough.
    somewhere around 6,800 gal 18 x 4 foot round Intex Ultra Frame AG, finished filling August 29, 2013. toy pump w/ "A" cartridge up and running next day --- July 2015 upgraded to Krystal Clear 3000 GPH pump and 16" sand filter --- May 2016 Intex auto cleaner and in July salt system and Hayward skimmer

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    Taterfink's Avatar
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    Re: cheap new install - what to put under?

    Hi

    I set up my 26' ultra frame in May of 2012. I set the paving stones into the ground so that the top of the stone was level with the surface of the dirt. My step stones do not rub the pool since they are IN not ON the ground or on top of the tarp/insulation.

    Then I lay down the tarp that came with the pool. I purchased another tarp that was 30' x 60'. I lay that one on top of the first blue tarp. Then I put down the extruded polystyrene 3/4" thick. And folded the rest of the second tarp over the insulation. THEN I set up the pool. The insulation feels great under foot and I was hoping that all those layers would protect my pool bottom.

    A word of advice (because I didn't do this and wish I had). If you put down the insulation, use three layers of tape on all joins/seams. One straddling the seam and two more layers offset a bit to each side of the first strip. If you don't, the weight and movement of the water will cause the sheets of insulation to separate. Ask me how I know!

    Make sure your ground is completely level. Mine was but, again the weight /movement of the water can cause things to move a bit. Even with all the stuff I have under my pool, and all the work leveling the area, I still have dips in some spots. Not bad but still there.


    Oops, sorry, I didn't see your last post until after I posted my comment.
    Angie M.
    AG, 26' x 52" Intex Ultra Frame, vinyl, 14667 gal. And LOVING it!!! Hayward S15922S 1HP, 2SP pump and Hayward S220T Sand Filter. Hard plumbed with PVC, added second return, intex SWG, Hydro Pool widemouth skimmer. Set up in May 2012!
    N.E. Florida. TF100 - Best investment EVER! (Well, for the pool anyway)

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