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Thread: New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

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    New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

    Hi all at TFP. First post

    I live on a ranch in the hills of Saskatchewan, Canada. We have plenty of surface water ponds, but they are all too gross to swim in (weeds, brown water, mucky bottom).
    My wife and I both love swimming and usually drive 1/2 hour to a huge lake with a beach that unfortunately is really cold until late summer.

    I've been wondering about a simple and cheap setup to let us swim or at least cool off in the yard. Namely a 16' or 18' diameter 48" deep Intex pool, perhaps with a tethered swimming system.

    Anything plastic left outside here is rapidly destroyed by the massive power of the sun, of which we get the most in Canada. Don't even think of going outside without sunglasses! So I was thinking of sinking an above-ground into a hole, which also would look much better than a big water bag in the yard.

    Reading up on burying above-ground pools, anything involving steel in the ground inevitably rusts away. So the Easy Set is tempting as it has no metal involved, and would make a really cheap "liner" at $250. Even though I would really prefer a rectangular pool. I'm no earthworks expert, but it looks like backfilling it when full of water could actually help support the walls and keep it stable? Once buried with the inflatable ring sitting on top of the ground, it might even be possible to do something like fill the ring with sand, so that it doesn't have to be watched for air leaks all the time.
    Removing the water would probably result in an unavoidable collapse as the base is wider than the top, so it would have to remain full through the winter, at which point it would probably freeze solid (ice grows to 3' on ponds regularly here) - deal breaker?

    I have a tractor with front end loader, it's not the best at digging but at least I can dig for only the cost of fuel. How does this sound, just like a dumb hillbilly idea?

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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

    I would worry about the earth collapsing such a pool. After hurricane Katrina we had a lot of rain and our steel walled pool collapsed.
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    Re: New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

    That's my main concern. I've heard it said that water is more dense than earth (the reason it's found at the bottom of wells) and that a soft pool will push outwards on the soil unless the pool is drained.

    It sounds like waterlogged soil is heavier than the pool water though from your story. We get very little rain in our climate (7-8") which could bode well for soil stability. Though we get many feet of snow which saturates everything during spring runoff. Otherwise, our soil tends to dig pretty cleanly and not cave in too much.

    A straight walled pool like the Intex Ultra-Frame would definitely make more sense in a hole - I'm mainly worried about the frame corroding away. Perhaps with the majority of the water weight supported by the soil, the frame could be replaced with PVC or somehow supported from the top of the liner?

    Edit: The Ultraframe looks really easy to support from the top, by inserting fenceposts or similar into the ends of the beams. Perhaps this would be the smarter option for a redneck pool.
    Last edited by Rectifier; 03-09-2014 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Looking more at the ultraframe

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

    I don't think it would be a good idea. Those pools can take the sun, but not Canadian winters. I would suggest full sun with your cool nights. If you bury it, the walls of a popup won't support the weight. If they can take our summer sun, I think they can take yours.
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    Re: New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

    True, if it can stand Texas it can stand our sun! And it will absorb more heat sitting out in the sun. I plan on a solar cover as well as some home built thermal panels for heat - I do pumps and motors for a living so that should be easy and cheap.

    It's a shame they are so darn ugly above ground. Maybe I can build some earth berms and a deck, or put it in a wide hole with retaining walls so the earth won't crush it, then a deck for access.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

    You won't care how ugly it is when you jump in on a hot day.
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    Re: New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

    Very true!
    An above ground would be a good starter pool to see how it works out for us.

    We like how our ranch projects a rustic image to customers though. Blue above ground pools skew the image from "cowboys" to "rednecks" pretty quick We will have to hide it

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

    I can understand that, totally. Maybe you could surround it with a round concrete wall, and stick a windmill close to it.

    That would certainly disguise it around here.
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    Re: New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

    What if you built a fence around it of some reclaimed wood.

    1) The size of your pool in gallons 4440.
    2) The type filter you have is an Intex 2500 gph and it has a re-useable fabric filter
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground)
    4) Intex 15 by 48 metal frame.
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump 2500gph and the size (flow rate) of your filter.
    Southeastern, Pennsylvania.

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    bridgman's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

    How about a nice wrap, make it look like a wheat field ?
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools, thinking of digging in an Intex Easy Set - foolish?

    Your comment about cowboys reminded me of something. Around 15 years ago we visited a friend in New Orleans whose wife was from cowboy country. They were showing us their courtyard which they had just remodeled. There was a huge galvanized tub about eight feet across and three feet deep full of water. I asked what it was and his wife said a pool for the kids. She said she used it herself. I asked about the tub and she explained that it was a horse trough. She said her family had them when she was a kid. I had never seen anything like it. I asked her how she kept it sanitary and she said she just put a little bleach in it everyday. This was way before I had ever heard of BBB and to be honest I thought she was a little crazy doing it. There was a drain at the bottom and she said she would drain it about once a month to clean it and refill it afterwards. No pump, no filter, nothing. Maybe you could disguise yours to look like one. It would certainly fit your aesthetic.
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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