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Thread: Pea gravel around pool a problem?

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    Pea gravel around pool a problem?

    moved to more appropriate forum - Moderator

    I read in another post that you shouldn't use pea gravel to backfill around a pool, because it holds on to the water and doesn't dry out. Poster said to use larger stones. That makes sense to me, to not use it for backfill.

    What about just surrounding a pool that is installed on the surface, not dug in at all? I surrounded my pool with a few hundred bucks of 1/4-1/2 mexican river pebbles, thinking it would be good for drainage right next to the pool, as well as for the nice appearance. It's a 2 foot wide strip surrounding the pool, about 3 inches deep. Is that going to hold the water in, and create a problem? Keep in mind that I am in Southern California: I'm hoping the the climate here would keep that area dried out pretty much year-round. Thanks!
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Pea gravel around pool a problem?

    We knew someone who used pea gravel around the pool. The stuff is so light that when you step on it wet, it sticks to your feet. It washes out with downpours (not sure if that is an issue in your area). It blows around when you mow or weedeat, and it has an incredible ability to end up in the pool, wander around the yard, get picked up by the mower, etc,. You probably are going to need to edge the pea gravel with pavers or some sort of edging to keep it in place.
    Use short pavers and place them so that there is a little space between them every so often to let water drain from between them.
    We chose 1 inch washed rock bordered with 6 inch pavers because of the problems with pea gravel. The ground slopes away from the pool border just a little - about an inch of elevation over 6 inches of distance radially out from the walkway- that has been enough to keep the walkway draining and dry.
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    Re: Pea gravel around pool a problem?

    Thanks for the quick reply, amjohn. Sorry for my slow one...

    I don't have the small pea gravel. I have something called Mexican River Pebbles, but I guess it's the same basic idea. They're large enough to not be a total pain (like sticking to your feet), but I had to put in a edging strip to keep them in place. Problem is, I put in a composite plastic strip, which after reading your post I now realize is going to hold the water in.

    I have to find a way to make it work, cuz I've already spent a lot on the pebbles and stepping stones. I don't want to use pavers like you did, because we already have the 16" stepping stones all around the pool (surrounded by the pebbles), and that would be too much stone for my taste. Not to mention the extra expense. So, after a sleepless night worrying about this, I have an idea: I think I'm going to try drilling small holes in the edging strip, 1/4" or 3/8", every 6" or so, at ground level all around the pool. Large enough to drain water, but smaller than the majority of the pebbles, so they don't spill out the holes, too. Hopefully if the majority of the water can drain out, the hot, dry So. Cal climate will keep the area dry enough.

    Does any else here use small pebbles or gravel around their pool? Any more advice I can get would really be appreciated!
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    Re: Pea gravel around pool a problem?

    Sorry, all. I guess I should have posted this in the landscaping area. I'm a newbie, so I didn't know any better. If a moderator wants to move this thread, please go ahead!
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Pea gravel around pool a problem?

    I thought about the composite edging at first as well, but realized that the only way it was going to let the rock drain would be to cut holes, notches, or openings of some sort for drainage. That is probably your next best bet- to make it like a colander- holds the pebbles back but lets the water out. I wonder how hard it will be to drill, if it will want to crack, or eat up your drill bits. I would recommend a test section to get the kinks worked out before going after the nice highly visible areas.
    We were fortunate enough to be working on this project last January, so landscaping materials at that point were priced for winter, and the edging pavers came out to roughly the same price per linear foot of the good quality edging composite. We too used some stepping stones inside the walkway, but not all the way around, and the surface or ours matches the river rock, so they do not look that obvious.
    The irony is that, in Texas, winter is the only time that is decent to work outside, if it is not pouring. Yet, that is when the landscape materials are lowest in price. Go figure.
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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