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Thread: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

  1. #1
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    DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Welcome to DYI installing - installment #2

    What were gonna do here is take your beautiful back yard and wreck it for a little while. If your backyard is fairly level, you're lucky! We're gonna dig a big ol hole in it - if your yard slopes, you may have to bring in fill and install a retaining wall ($) on the low side.

    You need to have the room to put all the tons of dirt that will be excavated (if you have the room this is optimal - you'd have to pay to have the dirt hauled off and then pay to have dirt for backfilling brought back in ) The town may have you put up a silt fence to keep the dirt on your own property. Also, take access into account - you have to bring a machine in to dig the pool and also get a concrete truck into the backyard - you may have to work something out with the neighbors if your lot is small. You also want to try not to pile dirt where the plumbing and electrical trenches need to run.

    The first step is to mark out the pool area, you want to dig a hole 40 - 44" deep with a flat bottom that is ~ 3' larger than the pool all around.

    For starters I need to how to set up a squared rectangle. The pool needs to be 'squared' to something (usually the house or a deck). Knowing that you want the pool to sit say 12' off the house is the starting point. Measure off the house 9' and drive a pin into the ground, then go and drive another pin in 9' off the house. This establishes a line that is square to the house, it can be extended if needed. As long as your 2 points are longer than the pool will be everything's fine. Tie a string between the pins. Now you need to establish where the end walls will be (let's say you want the shallow end wall to be 5' from the side of the house) pull a string down the house's side wall until it meets the string you've already established- the string should run along the side of the house just barely touching it put a pin there (at the junction of the 2 strings - adjust as necessary to get it right. Measure off this new pin, down the original string 2' and put in another pin (A) then measure off that pin the pool length of the pool plus 6' and put in another pin (B). Measure off of pin A the width of the pool plus 6' and install pin C and the same for pin B and install pin D. Now we make sure it's a 'square' rectangle by measuring between pins A and D and B and C. When AD = BC the rectangle is squared (if AD is 3" longer than BC move C and D 1.5" towards the house side wall you ran the string off of - it's best to use new pins for the new C and D so you don't loose that line) {someone want to help me here - I don't think I'm describing this very well }

    Once these pins are in the right place, run string around them to make the rectangle, then use the string to be a guide for painting the grass or pouring lime dust on the ground - you should end up with a marked ground so the excavator knows where to dig. Now it's time for a LASER level or transit. You want to shelf out the rectangle you just created to the desired depth.

    Once you have that follow what's said in this PM betwixt pzmotorsports and I last year
    quote="pzmotorsports"]Hello Ted, I appreciate you taking time from your schedule to answer my questions concerning this project. I will like to ask you a little about the dig. I have a friend that is also an equipment operator here in Afghanistan which will be taking vacation during the same time I am to help me complete the excavation process. We have gone over the pool install manual and we are trying to figure were should we start digging once the initial 44' bed has been dug. It states to start from the pool break going down to the hopper but he is thinking it will be easier to dig the hopper first and work our way up to the break point? We are also figuring how the walls surrounding the hopper will be dug to get the proper angles and shape, he believes we have to do some work by hand to ensure we do not over dig these areas. We will be using a transit laser lever for the task. This is his first time digging a pool but he is one of the best operators we have in our section and I belive he is capable of handling the job.
    What advice can you provide me concerning the dig process and what to look for to ensure we have a proper and leveled foundation for everything else that will follow?
    Thanks for taking time for helping me out and if I don't here from you in a few days, enjoy your vacation as I will be enjoying mine building this pool for my kids!
    It takes 0 time from my schedule to assist you, I unwind after a days work by coming here and dealing with pools I don't have to 'see' The most important thing on digging the pool is that your excavator friend know what the bottom is supposed to look like, then you have to trust his 'eye' and skill. What we do, after the 44" bed is set, is to put rebar pins in the corners and run a string to define the pool area. Then we put pins at the break/ transition points, pull a string and mark the line with paint or lime dust, this let's the operator know where NOT to dig past. Having pins at every 'defining point' lets you pull a string and use the laser transit to see if there is enough, or too much, ground removed. There will be a lot! of 'hand trimming' needed, as this is his first pool dig Don't be afraid to run strings to see if you're high or low! - of course you'll have to remove them while the machine is digging, but getting a closer dig will save on materials when doing the floor! If you have areas that are over-dug, you can fill them with either gravel or the original dirt, compacted. If for any reason, you have mud (squishy to step on) on the bottom when you go to trowel the vermiculite, dig it out and fill with gravel.

    There is so much to try to tell you about your build [/quote]
    [/quote]

    That was fairly exhausting for me to type :P I'll let this sit as is for now and await input from the folks trying to decypher what I just wrote 8)

    Ted
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Casey's Avatar
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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    WoW. Those lazer levels are expensive. Can you rent those or would someone like me have to buy one if I can't find someone to borrow it from? <I do know someone who has one... Just asking if I can't find one to borrow>
    ~Sharkline~DE~Borated~

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    Senior Member Casey's Avatar
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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    When it comes to laying out the pool, deepend and all, is it better to have the deepend closer to the pump/filter or doesn't it matter?

    I personally would like my deepend closer to the pump so I can get maximum sunlight in the deepend. Does it really matter, for anyone who wants to know?
    ~Sharkline~DE~Borated~

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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Rotary laser levels can be found at any tool rental store. For reference, a place near me (South Jersey) rents them for $66 daily or $165 weekly.

    I think the equipment pad can be placed anywhere - you just have to make sure the pump and piping are sized correctly. My filter and pump are on the deep end side. Our township electrical code requires the equipment pad to be at least 10 ft from the water's edge.

    Hope this info helps.
    - Ben

    24,000 gal; Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter; 16x36 rect vinyl IG; 3 to 8 ft; 1.5 hp Whisperflo 2 sp pump; IC40 SWG; Legend Platinum pressure side cleaner (w/booster pump), concrete cantilever edge

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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Ben - THANK YOU!! for chiming in!! (I can't do this all by myself )

    Casey - the plumbing can run any way you have to do it - as I said, talk to Mark (mas) and Jason - those guys know better than I the plumbing requirements

    I'm just trying to start discussions on the phases based on my knowledge - I know that others here can give more or better info than I can

    What the heck - at least we've started this

    Luv & Luk

    Ted
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Casey's Avatar
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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Heck yeah waste! 8)

    We'll get r' done!
    ~Sharkline~DE~Borated~

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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    I'm getting excited !! School is in session.

    Thank you Waste for taking the time!

    Chris

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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    In the dig, What kind of tolerance in error do you accually have in the depth? + or - an 1 inch or greater? Looking into the future, I guess what I'm asking is tolerance of the accual liner.
    I know I can bring the dig up with more vermiculite(cost) later. But, Not enough excavation when is it a real problem?
    I hope this this question makes sence.


    Thanks, Chris

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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Good question Chris (I told y'all I'd inevitably overlook some points )

    One thing I failed to point out is that you'll be putting coping on the pool and a deck around it. You want any water to flow away from the pool across the deck - this is where you need to take the lay of your yard into play. If you're coming off a patio, you probably don't want to put the pool so low into the ground that you end up with a silly little 3" toe stubbing step or so high that you have the reverse 3" step up to the deck. The rule of thumb for deck slope is 1/4" per 1' (so if you have a 4' deck the top of the coping will be 1" higher than the outer edge of the deck) - this lets rain, etc flow away from the pool.

    Another thing to take into account is the height of the coping (2" is the norm, but some are different) - the top of the wall panels will sit a couple of inches below the finished deck grade. Depending on what you use to base the finished height on, just use the 1" / 4' rule to decide what you want the panel height to be.

    On the initial shelving, you're better off being a little low rather than high (we'll talk about raising a pool in a subsequent installment, but you'll end up having the tops of all the panels at the same height & it's easier to raise up any that are a little low than to dig one down)

    For the floor dig, as I told pzmotor, you probably won't have someone experienced with digging liner pools at the controls of the excavator - so you are better off leaving the dig a little high and doing the fine tuning with picks and shovels, running strings to get everything within tolerance.

    I hope this somewhat clarifies this for you - if not, just ask and I'll take another stab at it
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    I understand, Thank you!

    Another question :

    If ground water is encountered during the digging process. Will someone explain the steps to making or setting up well points in the bottom of the hopper.

    Chris

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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Chris - please! never feel " " about asking any question - how else will you find out without asking? Besides, if you've got the question, you can bet there are 1000s of others with the same question

    I mentioned well points and curtain drains in part 1, and they need to be considered so I'll tell you about an 'in pool' well point now. OK, you're digging the pool and at the deep end you encounter water - you need to ask yourself -- is this the normal height of the ground water or have we had a lot of recent rain or snow meltoff? If it's a seasonal thing or a once every ~5 year thing, you can simply put the well point in the hopper of the pool (if it's the regular ground water, you may want to rethink your pool depth or install out of pool well points) also keep in mind how your area is doing in terms of drought (if you hit water at 3' down after 2 years of drought - once the drought abets, the water table will be MUCH higher)

    If you hit water less than ~6" from your proposed bottom level, over dig the entire hopper floor ~ 2' and a good ~2 X2' section (~1 foot deeper) towards the wall where you will want to be able to run a line to control the water. Haul in gravel (3/4" or #57 stone is good for this) to make up for the over dig {TIP - some ready mix concrete companies will bring you the stone in a concrete truck without the cement, etc so you can have them use their shoots to put the gravel in the pool a little easier } line the 2 X2 part with weed block fabric or similar to keep the mud from congesting the line in the future. Now you need to install a line to allow you to drain the water out of the underside of the pool - it's about the only place I would use 'black poly' pipe (the black poly is fairly impervious to freeze bursting) on the under pool end, I'd put a plug on it and drill holes through the pipe (lots of small holes are better than a few large ones), cover the pipe with 2" gravel and use more weed block to insure that dirt, etc won't get into the pipe and bring that hole up to sub floor level with more gravel. Run the pipe up the closest wall, in a trench that will keep it well below the floor level and out under a panel. Stub it up so that you can access it and attach a pump to it to constantly remove water when needed (here's where you want to think about post pool build decking and landscaping - you want to locate the pipe so it's accessible and also not an eyesore, and you want to be able to run the discharge well away from the pool) The little trench that you had to dig in the wall to run the pipe up and under the panels should be filled with gravel as well. Also, if you have water weeping down any of the side walls, dig out the mushy mud and fill those with gravel so that they join into the gravel in the floor.

    Yet again - because I didn't really plan these posts out in advance, I'm not sure I gave you the answer you needed - HOWEVER, this is a 'work in progress' and hope all will bare with me and ask for clarification where needed (eventually we're gonna nail this!, and it'll be long before next spring 8) )

    Ted
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Casey's Avatar
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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Is it trickier to do a raised pool rather than totally inground?

    The reason why I ask is because my property slopes lower toward the garage. I know It will cost in mason material to build up <3ft wall around one end of pool as I work up to ground level>. DH says he'd like it to meet the congrete/garage floor. Would that cause me trouble getting it just right and what about water pooling from rain runoff? Wouldn't I have to factor that in too?

    I'd like to make this as easy as possibe so my thoughts are perhaps going for a raised pool with a step up entrance on the deep end side. I'm thinking it would only have to be raised about 3ft at the most on the one side.

    I know it'd be labor intensive and all but is it easier in the long run? How would a raised pool affect the plumbing to the pump/filter? It's okay to have the pump lower than the water level right? That's how my above ground pump is <lower than water level>.

    Sorry if I'm getting ahead of myself. Just thinking out loud here.
    ~Sharkline~DE~Borated~

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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey
    Is it trickier to do a raised pool rather than totally inground?

    The reason why I ask is because my property slopes lower toward the garage. I know It will cost in mason material to build up <3ft wall around one end of pool as I work up to ground level>. DH says he'd like it to meet the congrete/garage floor. Would that cause me trouble getting it just right and what about water pooling from rain runoff? Wouldn't I have to factor that in too?

    I'd like to make this as easy as possibe so my thoughts are perhaps going for a raised pool with a step up entrance on the deep end side. I'm thinking it would only have to be raised about 3ft at the most on the one side.

    I know it'd be labor intensive and all but is it easier in the long run? How would a raised pool affect the plumbing to the pump/filter? It's okay to have the pump lower than the water level right? That's how my above ground pump is <lower than water level>.

    Sorry if I'm getting ahead of myself. Just thinking out loud here.
    Casey, sorry for the delay in responding

    You can easily have the deep end out of ground for the installation. You will have to bring the yard up to the top of pool level and install a retaining wall at that end. You can include steps in the retaining wall for deep end access to the pool. However, this may mean that you'll need to haul some fill material in to 'build up' the deep end (= $)

    If you have a sloped yard, 1 way or another, you'll need a retaining wall with steps (you could sink the shallow end the ~3' and have the deck at the deep end level with the garage)

    As for the pump being above or below the water level - if it's lower priming the pump is easier, but you'll gain 'head' pushing the water back up to the pool - if it's higher, you'll catch 'head' on the suction side, but getting it back to the pool is easier. (again, please talk with Mark or Jason on pipe sizing, pump sizing and 'head' requirements)

    We're gonna enable you and others to confidently tackle a DIY IG liner pool 8) , it just may take a few posts
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Casey's Avatar
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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Thanks waste.

    Over the summer, I was reading this:
    hydraulics-101-have-you-lost-your-head-t915.html

    I need to stick my nose back in there and read it again.
    ~Sharkline~DE~Borated~

  15. #15
    Senior Member Casey's Avatar
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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Bumping for ma23peas...
    ~Sharkline~DE~Borated~

  16. #16

    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Thanks for bumping, I know I have 3-4 well lines that serve my outside spickets, the house is on city ...I will have to circumvent them around the pool I'm guessing, have a plumber friend I used on the house remodel so that might not be bad, my well pump goes 60' before it hits water, so I"m hoping my water table is sound...I have place to store the excess mounds of dirt, horses won't be happy but they can stay on the side pastures until it's done, I really could do this, but I would love to see pics of those who have been there done that!
    Great threads!!!
    Tara

  17. #17
    Senior Member Casey's Avatar
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    Re: DIY IG LINER POOL part 2 - site prep and digging

    Quote Originally Posted by ma23peas
    I really could do this, but I would love to see pics of those who have been there done that!
    Great threads!!!
    Tara
    If you look through all the pages of threads in "Under Construction", you will find pics! Lots and lots of pics!

    I feel like I can do this too. It's the reason I started this. I don't want to mortgage my house away when I feel like I could do it myself and probly be just as good as the pros! I will be doing everything myself except the electrical. I'm gonna run a tight ship!
    ~Sharkline~DE~Borated~

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