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Thread: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

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    Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    Hello!

    I've been lurking for a while now, and we are finally taking the plunge to order an above ground pool for our acreage. We've decided on round, and going for a 27foot 52inch. We are located in Canada, with lots of fun frost and snow and cold Also, we are ordering online, because pools aren't really much of a 'thing' here and the in town stores are not very helpful.

    Here are the two we are looking at...both have steel walls and resin uprights/top rails, however the less expensive pool has 5 1/4inch uprights (vs 6inch), and 6 inch top rails (vs 7inch). It also does not appear to have footings (from the description and the photo) whereas the more expensive pool does. There is a difference of about $300. Is it worth it for the more expensive pool? Are they pretty much going to be the same in that range? Thanks!!

    Cheaper pool:
    Evolution - Pool Supplies Canada

    More expensive pool:
    Nature - Pool Supplies Canada

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    Welcome! I looked at both pools. This is from the more expensive one. It looks like it is a cover. Resin is good as it will not rust. I am not sure they will keep the steel under it from rusting.

    "One piece resin ledge covers and footcovers provide precise fit, extra strength and decorative finish."

    It is up to you which one you get. I just wanted to point out what I noticed.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    Welcome to TFP! One thing for sure, as if trying to pick a pool wasn't enough, make sure to get your test kit ordered now. The ones we recommend are either not shipped to Canada, or take a couple weeks to get there and cost more. I believe the TF-100 is NOT shipped there, so you'd have to work with a friend or come down south for a vacation. The Taylor K2006 can be shipped, but it's like 3x the cost - approx. $180 I believe.

    Either way, when you get that pool filled you will definitely want one of these kits in your possession. See the link below in my signature. Best of luck, and welcome!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    mariane's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    We have a Doughboy AGP 16 x 28 oval. It has lasted at least 10 years now at our house and 3 years at the previous owner's house.
    Why am I telling you this?
    Because you want to make sure the pool is very sturdy, especially in the cold winter when the thing freezes to one huge solid block of ice and the pressure on the walls are intense and the ice block "grows" upwards toward the top of the walls. IMHO the more expensive pool "looks" sturdier than the other option. Also, they might look like there are no footings, but.... you have to put cinder blocks (some only recommend patio blocks) under EACH support to hold up the pool. Also, there might be a flat steel panel that would be installed under the side rail uprights that would actually be under the inside of the pool. ( oops, those are probably only used in oval pools ) Covered with sand of course. That could be why the more expensive option does not look like it has footings.
    Maybe you could find a schematic of how the pool is installed and then you would see all the supports required for the pool.
    We installed ours ourselves and we had all that info before we broke ground. It will take you some time to level the ground and install yourself, or if hired out, the company will do all that for you.
    My 2 cents. Hope it helps.
    Also, I agree with Texas Splash, you are going to need a good test kit.
    Love our AGP and TFP!
    16 x 28 Doughboy Mystic Garden AGP with 7' deep end (used expandable vinyl liner) ~11,800 gals. Deep end main drain. Thru-the-wall skimmer, one return at deep end. Media Master 150# sand filter. Doughboy PowerPak II pump, 1 hp. Pentair MinimaxCH 150m natural gas heater. Polaris 65 when it feels like working . TF-100 test kit. No longer 'pool stored' 5 years and counting. In sunny but fickle metro-Detroit.

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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    Thank you so much for your replies! I read through the installation instructions for both pools, and it looks like the cheaper pool doesn't come with the resin foot covers, but both do have the same structure (little squarish metal pieces that sit on the ground). I just can't shake the feeling that the more expensive pool does just ... look... sturdier. Also, my husband likes the pattern better

    Both instruction manuals also say that patio pavers under each footing are *optional*. Would there be a reason to opt out of this? My husband was thinking perhaps frost heave, and that having the footings right on the sand would allow better movement, but I'm not entirely sure. More reading is required

    We're going to get started levelling out the area now, and definitely will try to find a test kit to ship here! Thankfully my husband has grown up with pools (albeit inground) and was responsible for their care while he was young, so a lot of it seems to be coming back to him. Very excited to begin this adventure, and so happy to have found this forum!!

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    mariane's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    Reading up is always good. And on this forum, there is great reading! Great advice on how to maintain a pool without going to the pool store. Just chemicals you can get from the hardware or grocery store. Even Walmart, Costco and Sam's Club (We love our Costco!)

    The footings need to be set on ground that has not been disturbed, because any shifting of the ground under the footings will most definitely shift the pool, which would be VERY BAD. LOL
    The directions for installation will probably make that very clear. Our ground is clay, so it stayed very compact. Sand will shift. I'm pretty sure the installation is drastically different with an Intex pool and they use sand and no footings. Also there will be a continuous track on the ground that you attach the metal plates on, then the uprights, and then the wall into. Then a plate will go on top to hold the wall in place. That should also be clear in the instructions. At least that is what our pool installation required. We used cinder block on the straight walls and patio pavers on the curved ends. Over the years one area of the pool has sunk a little bit, maybe 1"-2". Any more than that and the integrity of the walls will be compromised.

    Follow this forum and you will soon be enjoying a "Trouble Free" pool.
    16 x 28 Doughboy Mystic Garden AGP with 7' deep end (used expandable vinyl liner) ~11,800 gals. Deep end main drain. Thru-the-wall skimmer, one return at deep end. Media Master 150# sand filter. Doughboy PowerPak II pump, 1 hp. Pentair MinimaxCH 150m natural gas heater. Polaris 65 when it feels like working . TF-100 test kit. No longer 'pool stored' 5 years and counting. In sunny but fickle metro-Detroit.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    Something under the uprights is a MUST. I do not know why they would say it is optional. I guess if you are putting it on cement like ground you would not need them.

    The pavers or whatever you pick to go under the upright will need to be level with the ground. It can be a challenge to do this BUT it is very important.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    Hmmm, interesting. The manuals do call for a levelling of ground with a sand base (which it seems like most people on here do?) and then the optional pavers, which need to be levelled in with the sand etc. if used. Our plan is to dig down to the lower point (instead of building up), then bringing in the appropriate aggregate (as I gather it isn't straight play sand, haha), tamping etc so it is firm, and then going from there. I'll read more on these pavers/cinder blocks!

    Mariane, yes - the instructions show the track, the uprights, the top plates etc. Seems fairly straightforward, I'm mostly concerned about this levelling/footing business!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    We really do not like ADDING sand to level anything. Sand can and does shift no matter how good you tamp it.

    Find your low spot and dig down your high areas to match it. Do your best to not have to add any sand or dirt or.....anything to build any area up.

    Now you will want sand INSIDE the pool for the bottom. You will want to get foam coves. They are pieces of foam that attach to the pool wall and sit on the sand. The coves go under the liner. They help keep the liner inside the wall and gives the bottom a soft curve that helps with cleaning and upkeep. Here is a link to what they look like.

    Aboveground Liner Accessories - Swimming Pool Supplies, Parts, and more

    If you want to go really fancy you can put foam board down on the bottom. Oh so soft on the feet AND no problems with uneven sand. Here is a little write up about it.

    Base for Under an Above Ground Pool

    Kim


    I will tell you that the leveling/footing is the MOST important part of the build
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    In your area, I also would be concerned about the leveling/footing business. We have terrible freeze/thaw cycles here, that's why the roads are so bad! LOL Another story all together. Any-who.
    In the Doughboy Installation instructions, I just read there is a section titled: Patio Block Installation (optional but recommended). I agree with kimkats! Make sure you use them. That is probably why our AG pool has lasted so long without problems.

    It seems sand would shift. Doughboy was pretty clear to put footings on undisturbed ground. Only once the footings were in place, and then the walls, did we bring in the sand. And only as a base for the liner.

    Interesting that the pool company tells you to use sand for leveling the footings. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
    16 x 28 Doughboy Mystic Garden AGP with 7' deep end (used expandable vinyl liner) ~11,800 gals. Deep end main drain. Thru-the-wall skimmer, one return at deep end. Media Master 150# sand filter. Doughboy PowerPak II pump, 1 hp. Pentair MinimaxCH 150m natural gas heater. Polaris 65 when it feels like working . TF-100 test kit. No longer 'pool stored' 5 years and counting. In sunny but fickle metro-Detroit.

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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    Ok, just rereading the instructions again. After removing the sod, rocks, etc.....and levelling the circle, they say to "take material such as rock dust or fine mortar thatcan conform a solid, permanent base and deposit thismaterial around the rim of the basin. The material usedshould be spread around the perimeter of the pool to awidth of 24” (60cm) and a thickness of 2” (5cm).' I assume this is why the patio pavers are 'optional', because you are laying the rails on a base that will be solid? The only warning it gives about *not* installing the pavers is... 'NOTE: Installing patio blocks is optional and the blocksmay shift due to temperature changes.'. And, yes, I do see they mean sand INSIDE the actual bottom where the liner will be. I think I will read these instructions 100 times before we actually start

    Ok, so in light of this.....that it suggests using a 'rock dust' under the rails, and the warning about the shifting pavers in temp changes, would you all still use them? And would you actually use the rock material, Mariane, or just on the actual soil? We will definitely be digging down to level, and not building up in any circumstance. Would having the rails sit on soil increase rust/corrosion as there wouldn't be any drainage?

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    I guess you could dig a "trench" where the rail will be and pour your base in there. Just make it wide enough so that if there is any shifting the uprights will stay on it.

    We just put large pavers in level with the ground. It works for us in Florida where we do not worry about freeze.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    So...if I'm understand this correctly.... I level the area, dig down to either place the pavers level or the stone level or whatever it is we end up using for under the uprights/bottom track. Now the entire 30 foot (or what have you) circle is level again. Then I install the footings/bottom track and THEN add two inches of sand in the middle, so that part is actually not level? It would technically be 2inches higher than the track? And then I can add foam on top of the sand if I want? Which would make the bottom even higher...am I picturing this correctly?

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    You forgot the cove on the sides. It does down before the sand.

    If you are going to do foam you do not need 2 inches of sand.

    BUT yes what you wrote out is about right. You are seeing it right!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    Oh thank goodness....at least I'm getting there, haha. Ok, yes, the cove (we're going with a preformed foam cove instead of sand I believe) and then the base (of sand or foam...I'm leaning towards foam for feel and ease of setup, but I'm going to do a few forum searches first )

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    mariane's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    (Sorry, had to work on something else and stepped away for a bit.)
    You are doing great, asking the right questions and reading every detail.

    +1 and 2 and 3 what kimkats says.

    It is comforting to know the pool company is NOT telling you to put the footings on sand. Phew! Their instructions on using rock dust or fine mortar would give you that solid base. The pavers are solid but it could allow for shift in freezing temps. So it looks like the pavers would not be needed, nor putting the foundation directly on the soil. Using the trench like kimkats says would seem to work. Just make sure you follow the directions to the letter. I was reading their pool advertisement in which they say: "Atlantic Pools is the reputable choice for quality, variety and long-term dependability. As the world's largest manufacturer of family-sized above ground steel pools, they stand behind their product and manufacture them with Canadian Winters in mind." I know how bad Detroit winters are, and you know how bad yours are. LOL!
    It sounds/reads like they have put good thought into their installation instructions.

    Sand should never be used as a cove, since ..... sand shifts, and you do not want the cove to shift. It could cause the liner to pull under the wall and rail and collapse the pool. Foam cove is the way to go. Sand only on the bottom, or very little or not at all if using the foam sheet for the bottom. The link kimkats posted was great instruction/information re: cove and foam bottom.

    You are doing great!
    (hockey smilie for Canada)
    16 x 28 Doughboy Mystic Garden AGP with 7' deep end (used expandable vinyl liner) ~11,800 gals. Deep end main drain. Thru-the-wall skimmer, one return at deep end. Media Master 150# sand filter. Doughboy PowerPak II pump, 1 hp. Pentair MinimaxCH 150m natural gas heater. Polaris 65 when it feels like working . TF-100 test kit. No longer 'pool stored' 5 years and counting. In sunny but fickle metro-Detroit.

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    Re: Newbie, trying to decide between two AGP options

    Also FYI, the 24" wide by 2" thick perimeter is for the bottom rail AND the flat plates to sit on.
    16 x 28 Doughboy Mystic Garden AGP with 7' deep end (used expandable vinyl liner) ~11,800 gals. Deep end main drain. Thru-the-wall skimmer, one return at deep end. Media Master 150# sand filter. Doughboy PowerPak II pump, 1 hp. Pentair MinimaxCH 150m natural gas heater. Polaris 65 when it feels like working . TF-100 test kit. No longer 'pool stored' 5 years and counting. In sunny but fickle metro-Detroit.

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