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Thread: Need help with ground leveling

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    Need help with ground leveling

    Okay, so we leveled out a 20x20 ft square to install a 18ft round pool. I had researched quite a bit and watched videos on it and tried to advise my boyfriend as much as possible but he wanted to do things the easiest way possible. I was told we would need 2 or 3 yards of sand for the pool to sit on. We ended up using a sod cutter to get all the grass up then we framed it with some wood planks and got 2 yards of sand. Leveled the sand and set up the pool. We also set the legs up on pavers for a more stable base. However, this method of sand and pavers failed me. We ended up getting a large hole in the pool and the water gushing out made the sand wash away, and pavers sink. As of yesterday we drained the pool, and took it down. Looking to getting another pool. But I want to make sure we don't fail on the ground prep this time. So if anyone has any helpful suggestions or ideas on what I should do I would greatly appreciate it.

    I've included 3 pictures. 1st pic is of the ground leveled with sand. (used laser level) 2nd pic is of the pool up without pavers 3 pic is of pool filled and pavers under legs. if you look close you can see on the back side where the sand shifted and the legs are a little bit lower in one spot. its the leg that you can see between the top railing of the ladder.
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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with ground leveling

    Welcome to TFP.

    So you used a laser level to level the sand? Well, now you have to remove all that sand and use the laser level to level the ground. You must find the lowest spot and start there by removing all the dirt. As you have found, you can not add sand to do the job of virgin ground. Once you dig out the level pad for the pool, you should recess the paver pads so they do not puncture the liner and cause a major leak. Add a layer of sand, smooth it out and put the pool legs on the pads and fill with water.
    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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    PAGirl's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with ground leveling

    The pavers should be flush with the ground.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    jmcdtucson's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with ground leveling

    Ugh, what a job. Advice above is good. Remove the sand. Level the ground. Then use just enough sand to smooth the ground out. On a 12x24 pool I used only about 3/4 yard of sand.
    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: Need help with ground leveling

    I used a very similar method to yours WATERBABYBLISS, but I used a transit level to get the ground level before adding sand. I made sure the entire area of bare ground was level with no more than 1/4"-1/8" height difference anywhere in the area. Then I put weed block cloth down and sand on top of that. Compacted the sand, then measured again to make sure everything was level. Started setting up the pool and placed bricks under each leg, making sure the bricks were resting on the ground and not sand.
    Intex 12'x30" (~2100 gallon) above ground vinyl pool / Intex krystal clear saltwater system / Intex 1000 gallon pump /

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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with ground leveling

    Others have put a tarp over the sand base so that it cannot wash away... how did the pool rip out of curiosity?
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Re: Need help with ground leveling

    I tried to tell him that but he wouldn't listen to me. he said it should be fine. lol

    - - - Updated - - -

    it was a used pool. it had a couple of pin holes that I patched up. but this hole in particular was not known about at first until someone stepped on the hole then it just ripped to about 4 inches. We patched it up. then the next day it got stepped on again and ripped another 5 inches. we patched it up again but we just didn't trust that it wouldn't continue to hold much longer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    we did use the laser level on the ground too. I forgot to mention that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    Welcome to TFP.

    So you used a laser level to level the sand? Well, now you have to remove all that sand and use the laser level to level the ground. You must find the lowest spot and start there by removing all the dirt. As you have found, you can not add sand to do the job of virgin ground. Once you dig out the level pad for the pool, you should recess the paver pads so they do not puncture the liner and cause a major leak. Add a layer of sand, smooth it out and put the pool legs on the pads and fill with water.
    - - - Updated - - -

    it was a used pool. it had a couple of pin holes that I patched up. but this hole in particular was not known about at first until someone stepped on the hole then it just ripped to about 4 inches. We patched it up. then the next day it got stepped on again and ripped another 5 inches. we patched it up again but we just didn't trust that it wouldn't continue to hold much longer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Waldog View Post
    Others have put a tarp over the sand base so that it cannot wash away... how did the pool rip out of curiosity?

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with ground leveling

    Quote Originally Posted by WATERBABYBLISS View Post
    I tried to tell him that but he wouldn't listen to me. he said it should be fine. lol
    I'm sorry but this is funny because I have heard it too! lol
    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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    mac.dblues's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with ground leveling

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    The pavers should be flush with the ground.
    Just to clarify this.... the pavers should be flush with your sand. In other words, the bottom of your pool and the bottom of your legs need to be at the same height. If you use sand, be sure and "rain" it in before setting up your pool. You can use a sprinkler or a hose to simulate rainfall to pack the sand before set up. If you use sand to level/smooth the ground underneath, you will definitely need a way to retain the sand so it won't wash away.
    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: Need help with ground leveling

    Should the pavers be flush with the ground if using styrofoam INSTEAD of sand?

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    jmcdtucson's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with ground leveling

    The pavers should be flush with the bottom of the pool wherever that ends up.

    I used sand to smooth the ground, then put 1/4" foam on top of that. I leveled the pavers so they were generally 1/8" lower than the foam, assuming the weight of the pool would compress the foam somewhat. Others have far more knowledge, but I'd expect anything within 1/2" of the bottom of the pool would be fine.
    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: Need help with ground leveling

    I would strive to get the pavers and foam all level and flush with one another. The pool WILL have a lower ground pressure that the legs will.
    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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