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Thread: New pool surface prep questions

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    jmcdtucson's Avatar
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    New pool surface prep questions

    Hi, I'm new, and I apologize if this has been asked 1000 times. I've searched the site and it seems like I'm on the right track but I wanted to post my plan and see if any one sees any issues.

    1. I'm installing an Intex 12x24 ultraframe pool.
    2. I've rough-leveled the ground by removing material (see picture). Level is checked by using a 5 ft. masonry level on a 16' 4x4 that I've verified is straight.
    3. There are pits and valleys in the hard desert soil, some about 1" deep so I plan to add an inch or so of sand to smooth everything out.
    4. Build a frame of 2x6 pressure-treated lumber around the border to hold the sand in and keep the surrounding dirt/gravel out. The border will be 15' x27' to leave room for the supports.
    5. Rent a tamper to compact the sand
    6. Screed the sand using the level border boards as my guide
    6. Use 12x12 cement pavers for supporting the support legs. Pavers will be dug out as needed to be level with the pool bottom.
    7. Use owen foamular foam underneath the pool bottom itself.

    Does it sound like a workable plan? Thanks. Here is a picture of the leveled site:

    2014-06-12 19.13.04.jpg

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    You are going to need thick, heavy duty pavers that are at least 4" thick. The rectangular Intex pools are snapping the 12"x12"x1" pavers like twigs.

    Your plan on everything else looks spot on.

    I would encourage you to read Pool School in your down time and order a TF100 test kit from TFtestkits,net!
    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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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Since you're using timber already... I'm using railway sleepers that have been treated.... They're 75mm thick but my pool will only weigh 17 tonnes, your pool is going to weigh 31 tonnes when its full of water, that's a lot of weight, so 4" thick trailer concrete pads will save you the heartache of snapping pavers....
    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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    mac.dblues's Avatar
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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Quote Originally Posted by laceygirl View Post
    Since you're using timber already... I'm using railway sleepers that have been treated.... They're 75mm thick but my pool will only weigh 17 tonnes, your pool is going to weigh 31 tonnes when its full of water, that's a lot of weight, so 4" thick trailer concrete pads will save you the heartache of snapping pavers....
    Another vote for the 16"x16"x4" trailer blocks. Seems to be the only thing that will hold the load of the rectangular pool's legs.

    Make sure, when tamping/compacting the sand, you keep the sand wet. Otherwise, it will just shift around on you. And make sure you tamp again after screeding the sand.
    Mac.Dblues and ProfessorDaisy's Lower Arkansas Pool Install
    Intex UltraFrame 20ft x 52in deep, 9,400 Gallons / Approx 78,500 lbs, Intex 1600 GPH, 14" sand filter, Hayward Dyna-Skim SP1091LX, Taylor K-2006, SpeedStir, Sample Sizer
    First Fill May 2014, Deck finished June 2014, Mods happening probably on a continuous basis. Stay tuned.....

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    jmcdtucson's Avatar
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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Thanks for the advice. Where can I get trailer blocks?

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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    You can also use the cap blocks for masonry. They are 8"x16"x4". They are sold with the block at any home improvement store (HD, Lowes, etc.) I bought mine for $1.25 a piece and they are holding up great on my 16*48 Intex Ultra. Granted mine is round versus your rectangle but they could work as long as the legs land fully on them.

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    jmcdtucson's Avatar
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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Thanks. Just wondering, the desert soil here is so hard, I had to use a jackhammer to dig out the area. Do I still need 4" supports if the ground is that hard? It's easy to forget that other people live where you can actually dig with a shovel

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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcdtucson View Post
    Thanks. Just wondering, the desert soil here is so hard, I had to use a jackhammer to dig out the area. Do I still need 4" supports if the ground is that hard? It's easy to forget that other people live where you can actually dig with a shovel
    I don't know anything about your climate, but I would want to consider what the soil is going to do if you happen to get an inch or two of rain.

    If the paver doesn't sit on a perfectly flat base, the thinner ones WILL snap like a twig even though the ground is like concrete. I broke one of my 1" pavers trying to hammer it down an extra 1/8" into the sand with a rubber mallet.

    The engineering of the rectangular pools is totally different from the round pools. When you set yours up, the long sides will be bowed inward. When it finally gets almost full, the water will be forcing the sides outward which will force the legs down and out. I don't think there is such a thing as overkill on the rectangular pools no matter what the soil is like.

    This guy has some nice pictures of the sides sagging to help you see what I mean.
    Mac.Dblues and ProfessorDaisy's Lower Arkansas Pool Install
    Intex UltraFrame 20ft x 52in deep, 9,400 Gallons / Approx 78,500 lbs, Intex 1600 GPH, 14" sand filter, Hayward Dyna-Skim SP1091LX, Taylor K-2006, SpeedStir, Sample Sizer
    First Fill May 2014, Deck finished June 2014, Mods happening probably on a continuous basis. Stay tuned.....

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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Ok, good advice. I'd rather be safe than sorry. Even though the yearly average is 11" of rain, we do occasionally get big downpours (1-2" or even very rarely 5").

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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcdtucson View Post
    Ok, good advice. I'd rather be safe than sorry. Even though the yearly average is 11" of rain, we do occasionally get big downpours (1-2" or even very rarely 5").
    I get rain like that too.... And unfortunately last year, even on pavers my pool sunk 1" on one end, due to the rock hard red clay turning to modelling clay....
    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: New pool surface prep questions


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    mac.dblues's Avatar
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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Yep! That's them

    Mac.Dblues and ProfessorDaisy's Lower Arkansas Pool Install
    Intex UltraFrame 20ft x 52in deep, 9,400 Gallons / Approx 78,500 lbs, Intex 1600 GPH, 14" sand filter, Hayward Dyna-Skim SP1091LX, Taylor K-2006, SpeedStir, Sample Sizer
    First Fill May 2014, Deck finished June 2014, Mods happening probably on a continuous basis. Stay tuned.....

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    jmcdtucson's Avatar
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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Home depot is out of stock.
    Anybody use two 16x8s? If they're perpendicular to the bar that sits on them, seems like it would work like just one.
    http://www.lowes.com/pd_10331-26473-...ock&facetInfo=
    Intex 12'x24'x52"
    8,403 gallons
    Intex SF60110 2450 GPH Sand Filter
    Intex CS8110 SWG
    Aquabot AJET121I Pool Rover S20-40

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    jmcdtucson's Avatar
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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Nevermind, I found the 16x16x4 and, about $250 later, I am the proud owner of 18 of those heavy suckers along with 9 sheets of Foamular insulation. It's the insulation that was expensive.
    Next weekend pool assembly should commence.
    Intex 12'x24'x52"
    8,403 gallons
    Intex SF60110 2450 GPH Sand Filter
    Intex CS8110 SWG
    Aquabot AJET121I Pool Rover S20-40

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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    I'll be tuning in... Good stuff on finding all the extra's you needed...
    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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    jmcdtucson's Avatar
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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Put the frame boards around the exterior and leveled them. Used a masonry level on each board and when I met at the opposite corner the two sets of boards met so this is a good sign. Also re-checked corner to corner using masonry line and line level and it checks out perfect.
    Now I've thrown on an inch of sand to fill the divots.
    18 trailer pad pavers are on-site.
    I'll screed and tamp the sand this weekend to make a (hopefully) perfectly flat bed. I can't get perfect screed boards, but should be within 1/4".
    Then I'll tape the foam and lay it on the ground tarp that came with the pool, check level again, and put up the pool.
    Once I have the pool set out, I can place the pavers where the leg supports are. At that point, I'll have to dig down to make the pavers level and flush with the surface.
    One question: I have a 12x24 pool and I have just enough foam to make it 12x24. Is that enough or should I get more foam so that it sticks out beyond the edge of the pool?
    Anything obvious I'm missing?


    2014-06-17 16.38.39.jpg
    Intex 12'x24'x52"
    8,403 gallons
    Intex SF60110 2450 GPH Sand Filter
    Intex CS8110 SWG
    Aquabot AJET121I Pool Rover S20-40

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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    I'm lovin' it... Your yard looks heaps better than mine....lol....
    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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    mac.dblues's Avatar
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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcdtucson View Post
    Put the frame boards around the exterior and leveled them. Used a masonry level on each board and when I met at the opposite corner the two sets of boards met so this is a good sign. Also re-checked corner to corner using masonry line and line level and it checks out perfect.
    Now I've thrown on an inch of sand to fill the divots.
    18 trailer pad pavers are on-site.
    I'll screed and tamp the sand this weekend to make a (hopefully) perfectly flat bed. I can't get perfect screed boards, but should be within 1/4".
    Then I'll tape the foam and lay it on the ground tarp that came with the pool, check level again, and put up the pool.
    Once I have the pool set out, I can place the pavers where the leg supports are. At that point, I'll have to dig down to make the pavers level and flush with the surface.
    One question: I have a 12x24 pool and I have just enough foam to make it 12x24. Is that enough or should I get more foam so that it sticks out beyond the edge of the pool?
    Anything obvious I'm missing?


    2014-06-17 16.38.39.jpg
    The foam is mainly there to make a nice comfortable bottom to your pool. So I would think you'd be ok with just enough to go under the pool. Just make sure the top of your trailer pads are level with the top of the foam. Then you can fill around them and up to the foam with sand or river pebbles or whatever else you choose to decorate with.

    As for the sand. Be sure and "rain" the sand in before and after screeding. We got lucky and got 2" or so of rain after spreading our sand out. The rain will pack it unlike anything else you can use. It I were in your situation/climate, I would screed the sand and set up a lawn sprinkler to "rain" on it overnight and screed it again the next day. Then test how well it packed in and maybe "rain" it in again. If you try to tamp/pack the sand while it is dry it will just shift around on you. Imagine trying to make a sand castle with dry powdery sand.
    Mac.Dblues and ProfessorDaisy's Lower Arkansas Pool Install
    Intex UltraFrame 20ft x 52in deep, 9,400 Gallons / Approx 78,500 lbs, Intex 1600 GPH, 14" sand filter, Hayward Dyna-Skim SP1091LX, Taylor K-2006, SpeedStir, Sample Sizer
    First Fill May 2014, Deck finished June 2014, Mods happening probably on a continuous basis. Stay tuned.....

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    jmcdtucson's Avatar
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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Thanks, I will do the sprinkler trick. We did get a shower yesterday but only about .06" (we call that rain here).
    Intex 12'x24'x52"
    8,403 gallons
    Intex SF60110 2450 GPH Sand Filter
    Intex CS8110 SWG
    Aquabot AJET121I Pool Rover S20-40

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    mac.dblues's Avatar
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    Re: New pool surface prep questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcdtucson View Post
    Thanks, I will do the sprinkler trick. We did get a shower yesterday but only about .06" (we call that rain here).
    Lol. that would be a heavy dew for us. I tamped around after one of the rains with a hand tamper and the only thing it accomplished was smoothing the surface where the rain drops splashed the sand.

    Mac.Dblues and ProfessorDaisy's Lower Arkansas Pool Install
    Intex UltraFrame 20ft x 52in deep, 9,400 Gallons / Approx 78,500 lbs, Intex 1600 GPH, 14" sand filter, Hayward Dyna-Skim SP1091LX, Taylor K-2006, SpeedStir, Sample Sizer
    First Fill May 2014, Deck finished June 2014, Mods happening probably on a continuous basis. Stay tuned.....

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