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Thread: Burying an above ground pool in process

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    Burying an above ground pool in process

    I decided to document my pool project disaster for several reasons;
    1)I figured I could possibly help someone decide if this headache is worth or not,
    2) Hopefully get people who have done this to post some tips and recommendations,
    3) Get advice from experienced or professional workers on certain parts of the project,
    4) Help someone else who is or will be in the same boat as me.

    Heres my story;
    Last June I had the bright idea of buying a 15x30 oval pool. I wanted a wraparound deck and I wanted it to connect to my existing deck off the house (same height).

    In order to do that I had to dig a hole for the pool (2' down half way around the pool and up to 4' toward the other end). Needless to say things were not going as planned right from the get go. My backyard was a bit hilly but I didn't realize how hilly until we started digging. The hole dig was supposed to cost no more than $500, it ended up costing me double. I also didn't realize Id be stuck with working in clay once we got past the 12 of soil. My kitchen was covered in sand the entire late summer and fall from me (coming in and out while working on this project), from the kids coming and going and from the dog. My wife was not happy.

    Last summer
    I hired a guy to dig the hole for 1k. I hired a guy to install the pool for $1250. I purchased a 15x30 pool and all the BS accessories for 4k
    Now I have a pool in a hole in my backyard and things are not going as smooth as I thought. For starters, I'm now working in clay.
    I buried a drainage pipe that runs from the woods to the side of the pool. I did this for the drainage around the pool and a place to drain the pool water.

    Late summer/Fall
    I was going to build a retaining wall around the pool, about a foot away from the pool, and then put some drainage in between the pool and the retaining wall. I needed to dig about 30 4x 8 holes for the deck piers.
    I was going to build the retaining wall out of PT 4x4 post and lay them against the piers and the deck 4x4 post.
    Digging the holes around the pool and half on the outskirts for the deck took me all August and fall since I had to break the clay with a 20lb pick one inch at a time. I tried a 1 man and two man auger with no luck.
    I was able to insert a sonic tubes into the holes I dug by hand and fill them with cement before it snowed (Im in upstate NY).
    We got a lot of rain and the water just puddles up around the pool and it becomes very slippery. Literally a moat around the pool.
    By snowfall I figured I should be good to go come spring

    This spring
    I went to inspect the piers I poured in the Fall and 4 of them snapped about 18 inches from the top. That means I need to dig 4 more holes in clay 4 x 8 wide. The ground around the pool is a slippery mess from all the snow melt and the spring rain. Im at the point where I give up. I went to a local pool place and almost said F it and purchased a radiant pool for 10k. This would solve the issue of having to create drainage along the pool and building a retaining wall. Since I still need to fence in the yard 2k, buy landscape bricks for another retaining wall to prevent the dirt from falling into the pool 2k- I couldn't justify spending another 10k when I wouldn't get jack for the pool that is less than a year old. Id be over 20k for an above ground pool.

    I figured Id roll the dice and back fill with dirt and hope it last me a few years. I started planning for that route and was researching what I could put on the pool walls to prevent rust from the dirt and moisture. I was in home depot and walked past some rebar and got thinking, maybe I could pound the rebar in the ground 2-3 and place the 4x4 post up against repair. I bought a 4 piece of rebar and was able to hammer it in 2. Soooo, Im back to trying to build a retaining wall. I will attempt to do one side with the rebar and build the wall. If it works, I will have to come up with some sort of the drainage idea for between the pool wall and the retaining wall.

    Ill keep you posted and post some pics when I have time to find them.
    Comments, advice and criticism is welcome!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    SW PA
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    Re: Burying an above ground pool in process

    Clay is about the worst material to work with! When it's dry, it's like trying to put a shovel through a sidewalk and when it's wet it's like being fitted with a pair of cement shoes. You just can't work with it! You certainly can't back fill with it either! You should have backfilled with a small pebble/sand mix.

    Post pics so we can see your disaster in the making! If you didn't bury a doughboy, you have more than likely voided the warranty on the pool. The DB is the only oval pool I know of that is rated for burial.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Pensacola, FL
    Posts
    67

    Re: Burying an above ground pool in process

    Interesting reading. Thanks for sharing. Many people wouldn't. Keep us posted.
    Last edited by moyer02; 05-23-2014 at 12:37 AM. Reason: spelling error
    Bill Moyer
    CWO4 USN (Ret)
    Pensacola, FL
    10k gallon 12x24 in ground pool built 2008, vinyl, Pentair Intellichlor IC40, Pentair Intelliflo v/s pump, Hayward sand filter. Using the BBB method.

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    Re: Burying an above ground pool in process

    Wow, Major Nightmare. The only thing you might get away with to retain everything without spending a fortune are Formablok's, we use them around above ground pools all the time. Make sure they don't actually contact the pool it's self, leave a space, you can use insulating foam it later
    Quote Originally Posted by tricitydeals View Post
    I decided to document my pool project disaster for several reasons;
    1)I figured I could possibly help someone decide if this headache is worth or not,
    2) Hopefully get people who have done this to post some tips and recommendations,
    3) Get advice from experienced or professional workers on certain parts of the project,
    4) Help someone else who is or will be in the same boat as me.

    Heres my story;
    Last June I had the bright idea of buying a 15x30 oval pool. I wanted a wraparound deck and I wanted it to connect to my existing deck off the house (same height).

    In order to do that I had to dig a hole for the pool (2' down half way around the pool and up to 4' toward the other end). Needless to say things were not going as planned right from the get go. My backyard was a bit hilly but I didn't realize how hilly until we started digging. The hole dig was supposed to cost no more than $500, it ended up costing me double. I also didn't realize Id be stuck with working in clay once we got past the 12 of soil. My kitchen was covered in sand the entire late summer and fall from me (coming in and out while working on this project), from the kids coming and going and from the dog. My wife was not happy.

    Last summer
    I hired a guy to dig the hole for 1k. I hired a guy to install the pool for $1250. I purchased a 15x30 pool and all the BS accessories for 4k
    Now I have a pool in a hole in my backyard and things are not going as smooth as I thought. For starters, I'm now working in clay.
    I buried a drainage pipe that runs from the woods to the side of the pool. I did this for the drainage around the pool and a place to drain the pool water.

    Late summer/Fall
    I was going to build a retaining wall around the pool, about a foot away from the pool, and then put some drainage in between the pool and the retaining wall. I needed to dig about 30 4x 8 holes for the deck piers.
    I was going to build the retaining wall out of PT 4x4 post and lay them against the piers and the deck 4x4 post.
    Digging the holes around the pool and half on the outskirts for the deck took me all August and fall since I had to break the clay with a 20lb pick one inch at a time. I tried a 1 man and two man auger with no luck.
    I was able to insert a sonic tubes into the holes I dug by hand and fill them with cement before it snowed (Im in upstate NY).
    We got a lot of rain and the water just puddles up around the pool and it becomes very slippery. Literally a moat around the pool.
    By snowfall I figured I should be good to go come spring

    This spring
    I went to inspect the piers I poured in the Fall and 4 of them snapped about 18 inches from the top. That means I need to dig 4 more holes in clay 4 x 8 wide. The ground around the pool is a slippery mess from all the snow melt and the spring rain. Im at the point where I give up. I went to a local pool place and almost said F it and purchased a radiant pool for 10k. This would solve the issue of having to create drainage along the pool and building a retaining wall. Since I still need to fence in the yard 2k, buy landscape bricks for another retaining wall to prevent the dirt from falling into the pool 2k- I couldn't justify spending another 10k when I wouldn't get jack for the pool that is less than a year old. Id be over 20k for an above ground pool.

    I figured Id roll the dice and back fill with dirt and hope it last me a few years. I started planning for that route and was researching what I could put on the pool walls to prevent rust from the dirt and moisture. I was in home depot and walked past some rebar and got thinking, maybe I could pound the rebar in the ground 2-3 and place the 4x4 post up against repair. I bought a 4 piece of rebar and was able to hammer it in 2. Soooo, Im back to trying to build a retaining wall. I will attempt to do one side with the rebar and build the wall. If it works, I will have to come up with some sort of the drainage idea for between the pool wall and the retaining wall.

    Ill keep you posted and post some pics when I have time to find them.
    Comments, advice and criticism is welcome!

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    10,157

    Re: Burying an above ground pool in process

    I would be very interested to see how this build ended, if it did. Please update us if you're still on the forum!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Jul 2014
    Location
    Medina, Ohio
    Posts
    55

    Re: Burying an above ground pool in process

    This poor guy, I feel bad for him....a bad choice to do earthwork just before the winter, without finishing the project before the snow flies.

    Maybe he could use the stackable retaining wall blocks, the ones that have the back edge lip that hangs down to lock into the course below. I've built retaining walls out of those pretty easily, although the blocks themselves aren't cheap.
    17,100 gallon, 27' round Wine Barrel, Hayward Matrix 1.5HP 2-speed Pump, Hayward Pro Series 24" Sand Filter, Hayward Skimmer and Returns, TF100 test kit......and lots of labor!

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