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Thread: Odd situation- new pool and need to "cap" off a large hole.

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    keetman's Avatar
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    Odd situation- new pool and need to "cap" off a large hole.

    Hi. I'm glad I found this place, but I wish I'd found it about 7 months ago. I'm in the process of building a new pool and its beginning to be an adventure. I don't have all the particulars right now, but I can add them tomorrow if anybody needs them and I'll add pics too as that may help somebody advise me.

    The main question I have right now concerns a sump pump well that my installer has decided was necessary after 2 days of digging. I have a high water table and he wanted to draw the ground water to a low point and pump it away....which seemed fine and reasonable to me (what do I know about pools?). I still don't have any problems with the idea, but finishing the well in a professional manner seems to be a problem for my installer and a couple of days ago I had to put the breaks on his plan.

    The well is basically a 12.5" O.D. PVC pipe placed vertically on the back side of my pool. The pool is a 16' x 32' vinyl IG (obviously) with 4' galvanized steel walls and a vermiculite bottom. Gravel was poured into the well tube and then the pool backfill stabilizes it (for now until concrete is poured); the pump was installed a couple of days ago. The installer told me he was going to simply cut the pipe off at the appropriate depth and install the top of a regular pool skimmer (the flush access panel). The problem is he is taking my almost 12" opening and reducing it to about 6"x6". When I asked him how I was supposed to replace the pump if it ever went bad his response was "It probably won't go bad...". When I pressed him he continued, "Look, that pump will probably last 20 years and you may not even be here then". So, ok....when I stopped laughing at him I told him we're not doing it that way. So he said he'd look into it and asked me to do the same.....so here I am....looking for some help because I'm not a pool installer or a plumber .

    So, what I need is some type of flush mount cap with access capability that will allow me to replace the pump, look professionally installed, and preferably be able to replace if the lid breaks. His skimmer access wasn't a bad idea, so I was wondering if commercial pools have bigger access panels and how I'd get my hands on one. Anything that looked decent and was big enough would probably work, I just have no experience here.

    Again, I've been reading the forums here for a couple of weeks and can't believe the resource here. So thanks for providing this site and any help you might be able to give me.


    Edit: I don't know if it will matter, but the pool has an almost constant depth of 4'- 4'3" and I live in Central Ohio.
    19000 gallon in-ground
    18x37 Grecian
    Pentair SD80 Filter, Pentair Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump, Pentair Mastertemp 250 Heater
    Vinyl liner, Deck Jets, LED Color Lights, Typhoon Slide

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    Re: Odd situation- new pool and need to "cap" off a large hole.

    Lots of people around here use these for septic tank access:

    http://www.septicsolutions.net/store/risers_lids.htm

    Scroll about halfway down the page and there is a 12" version. I see no reason why you couldn't use something like this for your situation. Found it by Googling "septic tank lids". Cheap and easy- a 12" lid is 20 clams.

    Your local home center will most likely not have it, but you should be able to get one at any decent plumbing supply house.
    24' Round Doughboy AG.
    Usually filled with 3 kids, the wife, and occasionally the dog.

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    Re: Odd situation- new pool and need to "cap" off a large hole.

    In my area of Florida, few vinyl pools are installed so this may be of little help, I don't have enough experience to judge.

    But virtually all pools here suffer from high ground water issues. They typically use a couple of 2" pvc pipes with a galvanized metal screen over the end. The screened end is left buried under gravel at the deep end and the other is terminated by the vent line used to satisfy the VGB law . Then a pump (gas or electric powered) is used when needed to keep the ground water drawn down to perform the task at hand. For example, after the shell cured, they ran an electric pump for about 48 hours before the plaster crew came out to do the shell interior, then left it running until the pool filled to the top of the bottom stair. If the pool over has to be drained again (for repair/replaster), one simply hooks up to one of the PVC lines and pumps away as the pool is drained.
    Geometric 16X36', 16K gal, shotcrete, exposed aggregate plaster, acrylic coated concrete deck/cantilever coping;
    Pentair equipment suite (EasyTouch w/wireless, 2 Intellibrites, Intelliflo VS-3050, C&C 200 Filter, IC-40 SWG);
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    keetman's Avatar
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    Re: Odd situation- new pool and need to "cap" off a large hole.

    Thanks for the responses.

    wmshay6.....that septic tank lid might work for me. I'm going to continue looking, but that may work. I don't really like being locked into that dark green color when nothing else in the area will be green, but what are you going to do? At least it will meet my other parameters. Thx.



    lbridges....took me a couple of reads, but I got what you're talking about. If I understand you correctly, the high water table is only really a concern when the pool is low/empty...otherwise its pressure pushes the ground water out, which causes a need for a pump at those low water times? This makes sense, but unfortunately the sump pump is already in place! Its pretty much a done deal at this point....actually, the next step in the process is the concrete forming and the bonding inspection....so we're a bit down the road now. Thx
    19000 gallon in-ground
    18x37 Grecian
    Pentair SD80 Filter, Pentair Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump, Pentair Mastertemp 250 Heater
    Vinyl liner, Deck Jets, LED Color Lights, Typhoon Slide

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    Re: Odd situation- new pool and need to "cap" off a large hole.

    Keetman-

    I hear ya on the color.

    They come in different colors. But they are plastic and Krylon makes a special spray paint and bonding primer for plastic. I have used it on some exposed PVC drain pipes to hide them in the landscape and it works great and has held up well out in the elements. The paint is not too expensive and the racks at Lowes or Home Depot have a decent selection of colors.
    24' Round Doughboy AG.
    Usually filled with 3 kids, the wife, and occasionally the dog.

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    keetman's Avatar
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    Re: Odd situation- new pool and need to "cap" off a large hole.

    Follow up....just in case anybody else ever has this issue in the future. It took me a little driving and trips to two different plumbing supply warehouses, but I found the exact thing I was really looking for (except I'll have to take wmshay's advice and paint because its black). I just know there is probably a million different type of products out there that would work, its just finding them or really relaying the information to the salesperson so they start to think creatively!

    The piece I got is almost exactly like a large skimmer access cover, but it will fit over my existing pipe and is actually the cover for a polypropylene "inspection chamber". The guys at the store were doing their best to figure something out for me, but I kept walking past this huge contraption that had like 7-8 drains coming in and had this on the top:



    I asked the sales guy 3 times to just sell me the top because that's exactly what I needed. He said I had to buy the entire drain which was about 3' tall and 6' around....and cost over $200. Finally the manager was trying to help me and I happened to mention I really just wanted the top, he went to the back and came back and said I can have it for $70.....sold.


    Anyway, still expensive....but its the perfect lid for this job and they are pouring on Friday morning....once its concrete I'm done and I really only get one chance to make this right, so I just bought it.

    Here is the sump pump (terrible pics as my phone is making all the pics with a blue hue):





    Here is the cover I got. It WILL NOT be that tall ! The PB will cut it down tomorrow or Friday and level it out before the concrete contractor does his thing:





    Thanks for the help guys. (BTW, got my test kit today and already tried it out....so I'm on my way to keep my pool in shape). Very glad to be here.
    19000 gallon in-ground
    18x37 Grecian
    Pentair SD80 Filter, Pentair Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump, Pentair Mastertemp 250 Heater
    Vinyl liner, Deck Jets, LED Color Lights, Typhoon Slide

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Odd situation- new pool and need to "cap" off a large hole.

    That is a perfect solution.

    You won't regret buying it but you would always regret it if you didn't!
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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