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Thread: Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

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    Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

    As I posted in another thread:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...AGP-warranties

    our pool fell apart last week and as of right now, I'm planning on replacing it with a new Radiant 24' round Metric. A different manufacturer had online instructions that had you leveling the ground, setting blocks and putting up walls like everyone else, but then cutting rigid foam insulation panels to fit, taping the seams, and covering the base of the pool, then adding foam cove.

    I asked a technical rep at Radiant about this last week (the instructions for the Radiant have you wheel in sand before putting up the last panel, forming the cove and covering the rest of the base with a couple inches of sand). He said this would be a great way to do the base, so long as I'm careful to cut the outside pieces so that they get out close to the panels. He also recommended putting one of the bottom floor liners over it before putting the liner in.

    So I was all set to go that route, but then I got to wondering about the long term viability of this approach. if the ground shifts at all (we're in New England) sand would shift with it, while rigid panels might not fare so well. I suppose it really only needs to last as long as the liner; I could always patch it up when replacing a liner.

    I like the idea, both for the added insulation and the smooth installation, but not if it's going to be problematic within a few years.

    Thanks !

    - Dennis

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

    I'm not much help but I do NOT like the idea of sand as a base. It is too easily washed out.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

    Yes that pool failure was terrible. I installed a pool this year and put the 3/4" extruded foam in the bottom and love it!!! Used the foam cove and the it was easy and looks great. This is a post of the pool under construction and the foam bottom being installed. This is a salt water rated pool.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...G-Pool-DIY-SWG
    Gerry
    27' x 54" AG Salt Water Pool Installed 2014, Hayward 23" Sand Filter, 1 HP 2-Speed Power-Flo Matrix Pump, AQ-TROL SWG, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

    Most people use the extruded foam... I used carpet underlay....lol.... My new pool has artificial turf underneath it.... Well it will, when I finish it....
    Intex Rectangle 18 x 9 x 52', 4544 gallon (18000 litres), 0.75 hp pool pump, 100 sqft Zodiac Titan Cartridge Filter - 40mm, Stenner Peristaltic Pump chlorine injection system, Intex Over The Wall Skimmer, Intex Fittings with 40mm plumbing Lil Patch Of Heaven. Build/Construction http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...lice-of-heaven

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    Re: Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

    Thanks for the replies - I feel better about going that route !

    Gerry, the foam in your pool looks great - any tricks to cutting them to fit the rounded edge so well ?

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    Re: Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

    I wish we would have used foam instead of sand ... I didn't learn about the foam until there was water in the pool - and next time the pool will be going IN the ground! ... But, I digress ... I have used foam as an insulation in walls - I would guess that you could lay out the foam and either use a sharpie tied on a string to make a big circle and then cut it with a razor knife, or put one of the bottom rails on top as a template, trace with a sharpie, and again cut with a razor knife. Foam insulation is pretty easy to work with!
    SwimNPlay AG 15x33 oval 48" high 12k gallons - Used pool set up July 2013
    Hayward sand filter, Sta-Rite 3/4 HP pump
    Kleen Machine Robot, TF-100 test kit
    Central NC

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    Re: Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

    I used a piece of the top rail as a template, they fit snug.
    Gerry
    27' x 54" AG Salt Water Pool Installed 2014, Hayward 23" Sand Filter, 1 HP 2-Speed Power-Flo Matrix Pump, AQ-TROL SWG, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

    I used pink 1" foam and foam cove on my 24' pool and love it. This will be our third year and no problems so far. I do like the suggestion to put a covering over the foam. I thought about doing so and wish I did. The duct tape seams do faintly show through and can be felt through the liner even though I was very carefull not to have any folds or creases in the tape. The seams also collect dirt. This actally makes vacuuming a breeze. I also used a piece of top rail as a template. I cut the foam with a drywall saw. The outer edges do not need to be cut absolutely perfect as the foam cove will cover them. The feel on the feet is great. I would definetly recommend it.

    Good luck
    24' X 54" Sharkline Matrix 13,500 Gallon AGP
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD35 Filter w 50 LBS of Zeobest
    1 HP Dynamo pump
    TF-100 test kit
    Installed 05/18/12

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    Re: Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

    OK ! Thanks again for the recommendations to use top rail With any luck, someone will be out today to look at the job of prepping the ground (digging up all the sand and making sure it was leveled down to the low point). Then I think I'll get my order for the pool in.

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    Re: Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

    The ground work was the worst part for me. Good luck and please keep us posted.


    Gerry
    27' x 54" AG Salt Water Pool Installed 2014, Hayward 23" Sand Filter, 1 HP 2-Speed Power-Flo Matrix Pump, AQ-TROL SWG, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Any experience with a rigid foam base instead of sand ?

    Sorry no pics yet ... basically, if you look at the pictures from my other thread - it looks like that, but with really long grass and dandelions !

    But I have a landscaper/excavator lined up to prep the ground toward the end of the month when things dry up ... he's of the opinion that we'd be better off digging down and filling with compacted gravel. The tech expert at Radiant says that while they typically recommend installing on undisturbed soil, we might be better off doing that, so he's going to talk with our excavator (really nice guy out at Radiant).

    And the pool has been ordered.

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