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Thread: What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

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    What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    Best is in quotes, because I know there is no "best" - it is all trade offs. Anyway I would like to get some opinions from the people here.

    My 27' AGP is going to get a fairly large facelift this spring.

    It needs a new liner - that's a given.

    The current bottom is - I assume - sand. It is quite lumpy and has a cove that varies from about 3" in one spit to over a foot in another. I say I assume it is sand because the person that owned the house before me did a lot of "interesting" things (mostly based on cost) so for all I know it could it be cat litter that he got a deal on - it would not surprise me based on other things I found done around here.

    An other "interesting" thing he did is set the uprights on pieces of shale paving stone - not exactly as stable as concrete pavers. The pool is out of level by about an inch - not horrible, but not great either. One upright ice also a good inch or so out of vertical. It has not moved in the three years I have been here, but every time I look at it, it worries me.

    So my plan is to pull out the old liner. Replace the shale with concrete pavers (sliding the shale out from the inside, and sliding in the pavers) and leveling the pools as I go.

    I am going to go with a bead lock liner (as opposed to the overlap that is currently there) and will be using foam cove.

    Where I am at a loss is what to use for the base. I go back and forth between gorilla pad and foam boards. Has anyone use either? What was your experience? I hear stories about the liner getting wedged between the seams of foam boards - any ideas besides using good duct tape to fix that? Does the Gorilla pad really create a smooth bottom? That is really my concern. I don't care so much about the "softness" of the bottom, I want it to stay flat. Right now cleaning my pool is like trying to clean a mini mountain range. What about vermiculite mix, like for an in-ground pool. Is that an option? Worth the expense?

    Thanks

    -dave
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
    Hard plumbed Hayward Perflex EC-40 DE filter w/ 1 HP pump (Got a new one June 2015)
    Filered 4 hours per day (on a timer)
    Pentair Aqualuminator - now working - and now dead once again, this time for good.
    Zodiac Wahoo

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    Re: What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    I put sand under mine and then added that foam pad....Happy bottom maybe? I cant remember what its called. And I added the sticky cove to the side of the pool instead of using sand there as well. So far so good. Had a fairly good size rock poking up this summer and the foam pad prevented my liner from getting a hole. Plus its super soft on your feet when you first fill it...until the water compresses it.

    And I dont know how anybody has a perfectly flat bottom on their pool. There are always foot prints in the sand. The pad helps with this, but they are still there.

    And i used the gorillia tape on my pad. So far it seems to be holding up. Its only been a year though.
    24'x54" 15k AG round - Outback Genesis
    1 1/2hp Hayward Matrix 2 speed. Hayward 180T Sand Filter
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    A nice "smooth" sand bottom will be just fine.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    I have a sand bottom with the pad over top of it. My floor bottom also resembles a ranging mountain only because hubby was not in good shape, I was prepping the pool site for next day install n going to work and just ran out of time. It really shows what a horrible job I did. I hate it.

    My last pool install, I wet the sand, packed it and leveled it 10 ways to Sunday with a 4ft level. It was level n no prints when full, I was very impressed. Not so much with this last one. I'll be buying a New liner in a few years just to fix it.

    I like the foam coves just because they are uniform the whole way around.
    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: What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    In New Jersey now? Use snow!
    Home pool: Intex 11,400 gallon AG vinyl pool with sand filter & SWG. Taylor K-2006 test kit - coastal Georgia. I'm also in charge of the Elk's Lodge Pool, which is 55,000 gallons in-ground concrete with sand filter, 2 HP Hayward pump, currently using tri-chlor pucks and cal-hypo system.

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    Re: What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    I have had foam, tarp, and gorilla pad. If you do not care about the softness of the bottom, then go with a pad or even a good tarp. In my experience the pads do not provide any softness, they just protect the bottom and there is no difference in feel between a quality tarp and the pad. Also, you can find deals on the pads, which sometimes makes them the same price or cheaper than a good tarp at Home Depot.

    Now, about the bottom. If you level and compact the ground properly, your bottom will stay flat. My pool was professional installed and they did an awesome job on the bottom and it was flat and level. After my pool was installed, there was about a 4 inch hole around the pool. I, not knowing what to do, simply filled the hole with dirt, leveled it, and added ground cover. Then, the Florida rains got started. All of that rain, ended up going under the pool and any little hole that was filled and any root that was just below the surface became visible (or whatever you say when you can feel it with your feet). Also, all the rain caused one or two of the pavers to shift and I have the patch kit standing by for the day they poke a hole in the liner. What I should have done was use that open space to run a drainage pipe to ensure that any runoff went around the pool and not under it. Live and learn. I hope this helps in some way.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Re: What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vince-1961 View Post
    In New Jersey now? Use snow!

    Right now I could strip the pool away and look at a giant hockey puck shaped disk of ice.
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
    Hard plumbed Hayward Perflex EC-40 DE filter w/ 1 HP pump (Got a new one June 2015)
    Filered 4 hours per day (on a timer)
    Pentair Aqualuminator - now working - and now dead once again, this time for good.
    Zodiac Wahoo

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    Re: What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    Thanks for the replies.

    Just to clarify. I have no problems with wash outs, roots, rocks, or other things such as that.

    As I said, I have a (assumed) sand bottom. When my pool is full, I can make dents in my bottom by "kicking" it. Normal walking on it would not cause a dent, but things like normal kids play (think flipping over somebody's float) would cause enough pressure to make a small dent.

    Is this normal? this is what I am trying to prevent. I don't have an issue with the sand feel, and if all it takes is renting a plate compactor and going to town, then that is fine with me.

    Thanks
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
    Hard plumbed Hayward Perflex EC-40 DE filter w/ 1 HP pump (Got a new one June 2015)
    Filered 4 hours per day (on a timer)
    Pentair Aqualuminator - now working - and now dead once again, this time for good.
    Zodiac Wahoo

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    Perhaps consider a thicker mil liner than the one you have now?
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    Re: What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    I would use the compactor but since I don't have direct experience I will leave it to the experts.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    What I used for my pool base was screenings from a quarry. Screenings consists of very small chips of stone down to dust. It's a byproduct of crushing stone. Quarry's usually have an abundance of the stuff and can be usually purchased cheaper than sand.
    It compacts very well with a plate compactor. Sand doesn't compact that well due to the shape of sand being somewhat round and the lack of fines in it to lock it together. It may seem compacted at first but over time it will loosen back up. Screenings has the small chips of stone and the fines, dust, to lock it together. Again it compacts rock hard. I have no footprints or divots what so ever in the floor.
    If you contacted a local landscaper or excavation company they would probably be able to get it for you. Do you know if there is a quarry near you ?
    I also recommend going with the foam cove. You won't regret it. Don't skimp on the liner either. Get the thickest in mil's you can. I think the thickest is 25 mil's for AGP's. That's what I have.
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    deweypip's Avatar
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    Re: What is the "best" base for an AGP (plus other advice)?

    We had a mix of i think, vermiculte and portland cement mix put down. Makes a solid base, with much reduced chance of a stone pushing up threw.
    24x54 Sharkline Matrix
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