Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bedford, NH
    Posts
    67

    Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    I got a used set of these on CL this past week. After cleaning them with a pressure washer, they're good as new.



    The instructions state that you should put sand in the white side panels to weigh the unit down, but this used unit appears empty, as if the prior owner didn't put anything in there. I just tried to put them in the pool as-is, and while the gray steps have holes to take on water, the white side panels appear sealed off and so the unit floated badly.

    I'd rather not go buy a bunch of sand to funnel in, so I was wondering if anyone had ever just dropped a hose in the side panels and filled them with water instead. Wouldn't that work? And I could drop in a bit of bleach to keep anything from growing? The thought is that removal of that water would be much easier at year-end.

    Another thought...screwing holes in the side panels so that they, too, take on water like the steps do. Would that work?

    Thanks all!
    18' round above ground, vinyl liner, 48" deep (flat), Confer Step1 steps. Approximately 7600 gallons. Waterways/Proline FC075 cartridge filter. 75GPM (71 minute complete cycle), 75 sq ft filtration area.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,333

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    The best ballast is a combination of sand and water, but if you don't want to put the sand in there you can try just water. Just be aware that water will be neutrally buoyant in the pool so any that's below the water level won't really help hold the steps down.

    I wouldn't recommend drilling holes in it, as that would negate being able to fill it with sand later if you decided that it really needed it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Newcastle, Oklahoma
    Posts
    508

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    1. Good luck filling those tiny little holes with sand. I tried on mine, it will take you 8 years.

    2. From my understanding, if you fill it with sand, it may leak sand and you may always be vacuuming it up

    3. I just bought a $400 set of confer steps brand new, and I had to stiffle back some tears to do this, but this is my plan:

    I took a 3/4 inch holesaw and drilled several holes on the underneath of both side supports, several on the insides of the side supports, high and low. About 10-12 holes total. Im going to sink them with water. Then, I am going to walmart with my tape measure and finding a plastic tub or tote that will fit under the steps, in between the side supports. After throwing away the tub lid, I will drill dozens of holes in the tub for circulation and screw the tub to the inside of the stairs creating a nice shelf under there that not only will fill up with water too, but I have some 5 inch pvc drain pipe laying around. I am going to get some end caps and glue and make sand filled pvc tubes.

    once I sink the steps in the pool, I will place as many of those tubes as needed into the tub to weight down the stairs. Come pool closing time, Ill remove the tubes and pull out the stairs.

    I have also thought too that the tub would be perfect for occasionally tossing a 3 inch trichlor tablet into to ensure no algae grow under my steps.
    Partially buried Doughboy Desert Spring 16 x 32, sport pool, with 7 ft deep middle, 20,000 gallons, Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1.5 HP 2 speed pump, 250 lb sandfilter, 2 Doughboy skimmers and 2 returns. 2 cascade fountains.
    Taylor K-2006 kit. Zodiac Barracuda Ranger suction side cleaner.
    TFPC method and is crystal clear every day thanks to TFP!!!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Pelzer,South Carolina
    Posts
    30

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    I bought a set of confer steps and filled with sand.No it wasn't fast but it was easy just took time using a small funnel i put over 70 pounds in them. after putting in pool they have not moved and seem so much more sturdier than the ones i had in before with just water.
    27' Swim n Play Mystic II 52" Extruded Resin 17,200 gallons
    Hayward E series high rate sand pump
    Hayward wide mouth skimmer
    Saltron Retro SWG
    Hayward Aqua Critter

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Newcastle, Oklahoma
    Posts
    508

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    Quote Originally Posted by gillsgonewild View Post
    I bought a set of confer steps and filled with sand.No it wasn't fast but it was easy just took time using a small funnel i put over 70 pounds in them. after putting in pool they have not moved and seem so much more sturdier than the ones i had in before with just water.
    my hat is off to you, sir! you have far more patience than I have.....

    another reason im going with the pvc tubes is that my curved confer steps weigh like 60 lbs already. If I fill them with 70 lbs of sand, I will have to haul out a 130lb set of stairs every year.

    with my plan, Ill remove the tubes, then haul up stairs as the water drains out of the bottom. far easier on the ol' back.
    Partially buried Doughboy Desert Spring 16 x 32, sport pool, with 7 ft deep middle, 20,000 gallons, Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1.5 HP 2 speed pump, 250 lb sandfilter, 2 Doughboy skimmers and 2 returns. 2 cascade fountains.
    Taylor K-2006 kit. Zodiac Barracuda Ranger suction side cleaner.
    TFPC method and is crystal clear every day thanks to TFP!!!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    south east Arizona
    Posts
    187

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    I have the same stairs and I am very jealous of the price you paid!

    No way was I going to put sand in there, just filled with water after in the pool and tied the top to the railing and other "structure" I have on the outside. set a couple gallon jugs full of gravel/sand and water on the upper middle step until I make a final decision on location - then I will hang them from the inside.

    Big advantage to external weights: if you ever want to take the ladder out of the pool it will be easier without sand in the inside of it!
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Newcastle, Oklahoma
    Posts
    508

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pv2 View Post
    I have the same stairs and I am very jealous of the price you paid!

    No way was I going to put sand in there, just filled with water after in the pool and tied the top to the railing and other "structure" I have on the outside. set a couple gallon jugs full of gravel/sand and water on the upper middle step until I make a final decision on location - then I will hang them from the inside.

    Big advantage to external weights: if you ever want to take the ladder out of the pool it will be hella easier without sand in the inside of it!
    yeah, they are nice stairs. What was really nice is pool company gave me a $140 credit towards them since we didnt take a ladder with our new pool. so I actually paid $259.00.

    im actually hoping I can put enough weight in them with the pvc tubes that I wont need a deck attachment. since my deck will be concrete, id prefer to not have to drill into it. hopefully weather goes good this weekend, pool gets finished and I can get the steps in there.
    Partially buried Doughboy Desert Spring 16 x 32, sport pool, with 7 ft deep middle, 20,000 gallons, Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1.5 HP 2 speed pump, 250 lb sandfilter, 2 Doughboy skimmers and 2 returns. 2 cascade fountains.
    Taylor K-2006 kit. Zodiac Barracuda Ranger suction side cleaner.
    TFPC method and is crystal clear every day thanks to TFP!!!

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    You might try pea gravel
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Pysiek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Frankfort , Illinois
    Posts
    419

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    I have exactly same stairs and what I did is I put sand in empty bleach one gallon containers and hang them on the bottom of the stairs. Much easier to remove later from the pool.
    30'x54" Quest Above Ground Round Pool , About 21,000 Gallons , Hayward Perflex EC50 D.E. Filter System 1.5HP Power-Flo Pump , TF-100 Test Kit , Two Hayward Main Drains on the Bottom , Hayward CL200 In-Line Above-Ground Chlorinator.
    77"x77"x21.5" Hot Tub

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Newcastle, Oklahoma
    Posts
    508

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    You might try pea gravel
    yeah... pea gravel would weigh more but I already have a ton of sand sitting around I need to find a use for ....

    i have made 5 tubes so far, 4 inch by 23 inches (main part of stairs underneath is 23 inches inside width). Each tube filled and pack tight with sand and glued weighs 19.8 lbs.

    So I have 100 lbs so far. Confer says 70lbs in the steps. Im actually going to go to the hardware store this evening and get another 10 ft 4 inch pipe and more end caps to build 5 more. 200 lbs ought to hold those stairs nice and firm, hopefully without the need for deck connection, especially since I just scrapped the whole tub idea and screwed the deck mount arms across the footpads underneath the stairs to form a shelf for my tubes to sit on.

    if the stairs are anywhere near as stable in the pool as they are sitting on my patio with the tubes installed I should not need the deck supports.
    Partially buried Doughboy Desert Spring 16 x 32, sport pool, with 7 ft deep middle, 20,000 gallons, Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1.5 HP 2 speed pump, 250 lb sandfilter, 2 Doughboy skimmers and 2 returns. 2 cascade fountains.
    Taylor K-2006 kit. Zodiac Barracuda Ranger suction side cleaner.
    TFPC method and is crystal clear every day thanks to TFP!!!

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Pysiek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Frankfort , Illinois
    Posts
    419

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    Quote Originally Posted by gtnos View Post
    yeah... pea gravel would weigh more but I already have a ton of sand sitting around I need to find a use for ....

    i have made 5 tubes so far, 4 inch by 23 inches (main part of stairs underneath is 23 inches inside width). Each tube filled and pack tight with sand and glued weighs 19.8 lbs.

    So I have 100 lbs so far. Confer says 70lbs in the steps. Im actually going to go to the hardware store this evening and get another 10 ft 4 inch pipe and more end caps to build 5 more. 200 lbs ought to hold those stairs nice and firm, hopefully without the need for deck connection, especially since I just scrapped the whole tub idea and screwed the deck mount arms across the footpads underneath the stairs to form a shelf for my tubes to sit on.

    if the stairs are anywhere near as stable in the pool as they are sitting on my patio with the tubes installed I should not need the deck supports.
    I will watch with the weight. You do not want the stairs to put a lot of pressure on the liner.
    30'x54" Quest Above Ground Round Pool , About 21,000 Gallons , Hayward Perflex EC50 D.E. Filter System 1.5HP Power-Flo Pump , TF-100 Test Kit , Two Hayward Main Drains on the Bottom , Hayward CL200 In-Line Above-Ground Chlorinator.
    77"x77"x21.5" Hot Tub

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Newcastle, Oklahoma
    Posts
    508

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pysiek View Post
    I will watch with the weight. You do not want the stairs to put a lot of pressure on the liner.
    agreed. I have read where alot of people have put 200 lbs on their steps with no issues. The footpads are fairly good size so it should disperse the weight decently.
    Partially buried Doughboy Desert Spring 16 x 32, sport pool, with 7 ft deep middle, 20,000 gallons, Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1.5 HP 2 speed pump, 250 lb sandfilter, 2 Doughboy skimmers and 2 returns. 2 cascade fountains.
    Taylor K-2006 kit. Zodiac Barracuda Ranger suction side cleaner.
    TFPC method and is crystal clear every day thanks to TFP!!!

  13. Back To Top    #13
    njkat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Central New Jersey
    Posts
    17

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    We also have those stairs. Instead of filling them with sand we tie bleach bottles filled with sand to the back of the steps. That weighs the steps down perfectly. And without being filled with sand they are easy to remove when we close up the pool for the winter.
    Morada 24' x 52" round AGP, 13500 gals
    Waterway 1hp Horzintal Pump & Motor, Waterway Clearwater II 150 sq ft Cartridge Filter, Polaris 65, K-2006 Test Kit

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Newcastle, Oklahoma
    Posts
    508

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    thought I would update this thread. I ended up making 10 23 inch long pvc sand tubes and 5 18 inch long pvc sand tubes for a total of 275 lbs. 275 / 4 foot pads is only ~68 lbs on each foot pad. no way is that going to be too much for liner. i then custom made supports out of a strip of flat aluminum that are very low profile and attach under the top rails. looks WAYYY better than those ugly confer deck supports. Speaking of those.... they made a perfect shelf under my stairs to place the sand tubes on using a few screws.

    the end result is a set of steps that are rock solid and look good.

    here is a link to a thread with some pics of my supports..... pics are towards the bottom

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...t-Spring-build
    Partially buried Doughboy Desert Spring 16 x 32, sport pool, with 7 ft deep middle, 20,000 gallons, Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1.5 HP 2 speed pump, 250 lb sandfilter, 2 Doughboy skimmers and 2 returns. 2 cascade fountains.
    Taylor K-2006 kit. Zodiac Barracuda Ranger suction side cleaner.
    TFPC method and is crystal clear every day thanks to TFP!!!

  15. Back To Top    #15
    deweypip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Richland, PA
    Posts
    115

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    gtnos,
    Do your steps lay flat on the bottom of your pool? I have the same steps. Had same issue with holing them dowm. Filled sides with sand through a small funnel--time consuming to say the least, but that still wasn't enough. Made a 3 in pvc pipe filled with river rock, the width of the steps. Plastic tied this 3in capped pvc tube underneath front step. Helped level steps out, but steps were still somewhat boyant. Is your pool bottom level or cup shaped? Sounds like many here had success with these steps, me-not so much. Love the steps--very sturdy, just couldn't find way to level them out, and keep them in place like others. I did use a pad under these steps, for fear of them affecting the liner.
    24x54 Sharkline Matrix
    Hayward 1 hp Powermax single speed pump
    Hayward ec50ac DE filter

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Newcastle, Oklahoma
    Posts
    508

    Re: Filling Confer steps with water instead of sand?

    Quote Originally Posted by deweypip View Post
    gtnos,
    Do your steps lay flat on the bottom of your pool? I have the same steps. Had same issue with holing them dowm. Filled sides with sand through a small funnel--time consuming to say the least, but that still wasn't enough. Made a 3 in pvc pipe filled with river rock, the width of the steps. Plastic tied this 3in capped pvc tube underneath front step. Helped level steps out, but steps were still somewhat boyant. Is your pool bottom level or cup shaped? Sounds like many here had success with these steps, me-not so much. Love the steps--very sturdy, just couldn't find way to level them out, and keep them in place like others. I did use a pad under these steps, for fear of them affecting the liner.

    its cupped shaped mostly with a few level areas. I had to move the steps around and try a few different locations before I found a level spot. that was another reason I had to put so much weight on them, they wouldnt stay put. They are very nice steps and were well worth the effort to make them work. When the day comes I need a new liner, Ill be sure to have the installer trowel a nice level area where my steps go.
    Partially buried Doughboy Desert Spring 16 x 32, sport pool, with 7 ft deep middle, 20,000 gallons, Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1.5 HP 2 speed pump, 250 lb sandfilter, 2 Doughboy skimmers and 2 returns. 2 cascade fountains.
    Taylor K-2006 kit. Zodiac Barracuda Ranger suction side cleaner.
    TFPC method and is crystal clear every day thanks to TFP!!!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •