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Thread: URGENT......Help Needed!!!

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    DMAN11's Avatar
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    URGENT......Help Needed!!!

    Guys and Gals of TFP,

    As you all know, we have been waiting for our AG 27' pool to arrive and be installed. Well, it has arrived, and the installer called, set up a time to bring "one of his guys" out here to start the process. When I go out this morning, the installer isn't even here, and the guys here are telling me that we need to bring in some dirt to level out the ground better because the dirt is so hard and made of clay. There are alot of little rocks and debris in the dirt, so he suggested bringing in a load of dirt with this explanation. He says he will try to continue leveling out the ground (5.75" grade) by tilling up the high side, dragging it over to the low side, and then wetting it down and packing it down to level it. THEN, he would take a load of dirt and put about 2 inches of dirt on top of the "clay" dirt we have in order to make a smooth bottom for the liner to set on so we don't get any of the rocks and pebbles throught the bottom of the pool.

    What should we do???? Do you guys suggest this process with adding the 2 inches of "good" dirt on top of our "clay" dirt to get a good bottom? Will this cause any problems later on? I have heard horror stories about building up to make ground level, but he insures me that this is not to make the ground level, this is merely to create a good surface for the liner.

    I can't tell what is true or not anymore, cause I specifically asked the installer about the hard ground, the debris in our ground, and about building up or digging down to level,,,,, among other things. He assured us that we shouldn't have any problems,,,,,BUT NOWWWWWW, there are issues and he (the installer I spoke to) isn't even here, he's somewhere else.

    I am about ready to call him and tell him never mind and try to find another installer, but I wanted to ask for you guys opinions first.

    Shucks,,,,should we just send back the AG and order an inground vinyl?? That way we'll dig down to good dirt, and have polymer walls so the rocks and debris might not matter,,,,right?? Of course that raises the price about 16K-17K....

    I'm now sitting here waiting for this "installer" to call me back from the "other" job he is on to talk about this situation. That in itself has me a little uneasy to be honest.

    Thanks for any help, opinions, thoughts......etc.

    DMAN
    17,500g ; 16X32 Inground Vinyl
    Hayward 1hp ; SWG
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    WHO DAT!
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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    We have nasty ground here: layers of shale which breaks into small sheets and pieces, very little actual dirt. Our installer scraped and dug into this mess with a smallish Bobcat down about 8' 8 inches or so, then smoothed out what he had dug up to level it. They used some sort of tripod level thingies.

    Then they brought in a truck or two with sand and spread that.

    There are lots and lots of small, sharp shale pieces under the sand and while the bottom of the pool isn't entirely smooth and has numerous little dips in it, the pool is level to 1/2".

    Don't know if this helps you any.

    AnnaK
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    When we had our AGP installed, I had to order a bunch of mason's sand..I'm thinking 6 tons?? The installers used that for the floor of the pool.

    Your installer is wanting to install the liner on top of dirt??
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
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    whoozer's Avatar
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    Well I can speak to the clay issue. Our ground is clay clay everywhere. We are needing to build up our IG pool due to future drainage issues. As long as the dirt is compacted some it shouldn't be an issue. Most AG pool have to have some sand brought in anyway for the softness under the liner issue. It is rare that the spot that you want to put the pool is perfectly level so usually grading is required. Also if you are really concerned with the clay you can do a 50/50 mixture. Bear in mindmost all agp's will have to have some sand put down on the bottom.
    14x33 fiberglass freeform
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    DMAN11's Avatar
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    OK guys, here are a few pics (I hope this works) of the ground in our back yard. It is hard clay like dirt, and there is alot of rocks and debris from the home builders. They just throw stuff out into the yard while building and then cover it all up with loads and loads of dirt after they finish building. Not a good practice in my opinion, but now we have to deal with it.....

    Anyways, you can see in the pics where we are planning to locate the pool. One pic shows the levelling method these guys use, and in the other you can see some of the rocks and debris as well as some grass that is "supposed" to be taken out before the pool goes up,,,,right???








    Anna, thanks for the info, I am assuming that you mean they dug down about 8 inches right? If so, that is exactly what I asked our installer about doing. If he could dig down a bit to get to better or "cleaner" dirt, then if needed fill with good dirt to give us a good base for the pool. But of course, "that won't be necessary, everything should work out fine".....hmmmm

    Mike,,, yes and no,,,,there is a black plastic that will be put down over the dirt, then the liner will go on top of that. This is another issue, I specifically asked the installer about this gorilla padding stuff that is supposed to give more protection for your liner, but he simply stated again that, "that probably won't be necessary, this plastic coating that comes with the pool is good stuff". My opinion is this,,,, 2 layers of protection are better than one,,,right???

    Sounds like from your responses that having the extra layer of dirt or sand in your cases would not be out of the ordinary. The installer stated that he likes to install onto good dirt so that the dirt will pack down good and hard with little chance of washing out.

    Thanks guys for the quick responses,,,,,I'm still waiting for his call back, but he may not want to call back if it keeps going like this. Because as long as we don't speak, he still has a job.....(for right now)...hehe

    DMAN
    17,500g ; 16X32 Inground Vinyl
    Hayward 1hp ; SWG
    3/4hp booster on Polaris 280
    WHO DAT!
    GEAUX TIGERS!!

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    IMHO It should not set directly on "dirt", if you are not using any sort of padding then to me you REALLY need a good layer of sand.(not a thin layer either)
    27' Round AG, 17,200 gallons, sand filter

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    DMAN, I didn't have a choice in the matter (well, I guess I could've told them "no sand", and they could've said "no warranty"). I was told when I bought the pool that I had to have the sand delivered for the installers, so I thought this was common for all AGP builds. It had to be mason's sand too, so it had been screeded to get out all of the rocks.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

  8. Back To Top    #8
    When i installed my 15'x36" intex, i put 3 ton of sand down as a base, then i put 3 layers of rubber carpet underlay to give a soft feel to yr feet

    if ya dont seal it off as i have, the stones WILL creep up

    Better to go overkill on the base than to buy a new liner Dman
    15 x 36 Intex AGP
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    DMAN11's Avatar
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    ok guys, thanks for all the quick responses. I do understand that there will be a need for a good base. Whether it be sand, or like this installer is calling "good dirt", I know it is necessary. My main concern is this. We have a 6ft fence around our back yard, and the pool we have is already 4-1/2 ft (52") tall. So, with the pool being 52" and the fence being 72" that leaves about 20" of privacy from our "privacy" fence. With a teenage daughter and her friends walking around a deck, and the teenage hoodlums (i mean boys) running around our subdivision,,,,,I'm not too sure about this equation.....IF you know what I mean.

    So, would it be best to dig down a bit and then fill with sand, or "good dirt"??? OR how high will this fill take the pool up to. Are we talking like 12 inches or more of fill material, or just like an inch or two?? This probably won't be too bad as I'm thinking 1 to 2 inches isn't a big difference, but 1 to 2 feet is a huge difference.

    At this point, the wife and I are talking about sending the AG back and taking the plunge into the inground vinyl........OHHHH the issues of a simple plan.....hehe

    DMAN
    17,500g ; 16X32 Inground Vinyl
    Hayward 1hp ; SWG
    3/4hp booster on Polaris 280
    WHO DAT!
    GEAUX TIGERS!!

  10. Back To Top    #10
    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Yes, I meant 8 inches, not 8 feet.

    I fail to quite understand what your installer plans to do. If I get this right he wants to build up the area under the pool so it sits on sort of a dirt pad? A raised AGP? An above ground AGP? I would have to veto that. One really nasty downpour, the sort that drops 2 and 3 inches in a short time and you'll get a washout.

    I would insist on an 8" dig. In our case, the shallow hole was covered with black plastic, then filled with a sand base. The hole was somewhat larger than the pool and was backfilled with dirt after the installation. Whatever grass and weeds had been there were destroyed during the digging and leveling process.

    AnnaK
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    My mother had a 24 foot Doughboy AGP put in about 10 years ago. As I recall, they did dig out about 6 inches or so and then put a round piece of Tyvek type material in the area that they dug out followed by sand which was leveled with the yard. I can't imagine the liner going directly on dirt. Sounds a little kookie to me.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
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  12. Back To Top    #12
    DMAN11's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone,

    You guys always come through. I knew I wasn't crazy even though this is my first pool setup. I mean common sense does apply to swimming pools too, right?? I definitely think we will be getting a new installer if not a new pool too. The wife and I, like mentioned earlier, are considering sending this one back to the store due to dissatisfaction all the way around. The store held the pool for a week without even calling us to let us know it was there, then we didn't find out until WE called her to ask about it. Then we have been waiting 2 more weeks for this installer to come out and so far 2 trips meant 2 increases in price. OH YEAH,,,,,I'm still waiting on a call back from this guy from about 5 hours ago. Not to mention the fact that he wasn't even the one to come out this morning, it was other guys that he subcontracted the job to.

    I'll keep you guys posted on what happens, and thanks again for all the info, opinions, experience.....\

    DMAN
    17,500g ; 16X32 Inground Vinyl
    Hayward 1hp ; SWG
    3/4hp booster on Polaris 280
    WHO DAT!
    GEAUX TIGERS!!

  13. Back To Top    #13
    whoozer's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Anna K on this one. If they dig down then build up ok but if they lift it up then build not ok! I think your on the right track now.
    14x33 fiberglass freeform
    Variable speed Pentair intelliflo superpump
    420 Clean and Clear Plus cartridge filter.
    pool-school/pool_calculator , http://www.tftestkits.net/

  14. Back To Top    #14
    krcossin's Avatar
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    I would not allow them to build up half the pool to get it close to level. They need to bring in some equipment to dig out the high side. Nothing like a good solid virgin base. If you bring in dirt and wet it, compact it, it will settle causing that side to become unlevel, causing stress that the AGP is unable to withstand. Make sure your installer uses patio blocks under each upright. If you install yourself, find the lowest upright and dig all the others to that lowest point using a transit.
    2007 - 24' AG Doughboy Desert Spring dished 1.5', with DB Power Pak II-1hp pump, DB Sequel I Plus DE, Hayward H-Series Heater 100k + 8gal LQ.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    I would agree here...I'm no expert but I do have a bunch of "toe" depressions from our sand not being packed good enough, and the silt likes to settle there. A neighbor friend got the same pool the same year and in between the sand layer and the pool liner she has a "cush" bottom. I don't know if "cush" is a description/brand or what, but I was in her pool and she doesn't have the depressions that my pool has.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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  16. Back To Top    #16
    Casey's Avatar
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    Get the inground!

    The others said everything I would have said...
    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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    If you can afford it, an inground is certainly gonna be better for privacy by the looks of your backyard. Still, you could make that AGP really nice with the right deck, and landscaping. You can easily acheive privacy from the neighbors if you plant the right things along your fence, or even by building a barrier along the railing of your pool deck. When my AGP went in last year, the installers had to deal with an offgrade slope of over 11 inches from one side of the pool to the other and they still manged to do this by shovels(couldnt get a bobcat in my backyard) and then they put the sand down before the liner went in. Pool is perfectly level and is nice but as is probably the case with most AGP's, the bottom does have its share of mild ridges, dips and wrinkles(which is only a big deal if you let it be). Your installer just needs to dig down the high side of your pool to match it with the low side so its perfectly level, and then come in with the sand for the bottom. I would think that raking out the rocks would be a good idea too before adding in the sand. If you are really concerned, go with the happy bottom product too and don't let him talk you out of it......it is your pool after all.
    24' AGP vinyl, 3/4hp Pentair 2-speed, Pentair Quad DE 60
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  18. Back To Top    #18
    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Maybe, just maybe, what you really need, is a new installer. Either way, you write the check, so you get to have a say in what you buy. Get it in writing beforehand, preferably with some form of performance guarantee of his work, and you have some recourse if whatever he does can't measure up after the fact.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

  19. Back To Top    #19
    DMAN11's Avatar
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    OK everybody, so here it is. After a VERY long and frustrating day, my wife and I have made a decision. We decided to call the pool store and they are coming out to pick up the pool on Thursday morning. We were just extremely unhappy with the experience from the start. We couldn't get a call back from the pool store OR the installer for nothing in the world. From the very start, things were kind of rocky (no pun intended from earlier post about my yard). Everything that was told to us about the whole ordeal (I don't feel it should be an ordeal, but an experience), did not turn out the way they said it would. The installer first told us that the best way was to dig down to level, just what I was hoping he would say right?? UNTIL he came out and found what I told him was true,,,, our ground is very hard clay, and has alot of rocks in it. THENNNNN, all of a sudden, "the best way to build anything is to build UP, a house, or a pool, you should always build up". I think that was the last straw. Everytime I talked to him there was something new that was costing more money, and always different from what he told me the time before. One day this is best, the next day that is best.....blah, blah, blahhhhh


    SO, where does this leave us?? Well, honestly, very discouraged at this point. We really were hoping to have this pool in by this weekend. Now it's back to square one. We're not giving up and we could have possibly even kept the pool and just found another installer, but from the start with the store to now with the installer, things just didn't work the way we were told. And I would rather pay a little more and wait a little longer to have peace of mind in knowing that IF I need them, they'll be there. Or at least knowing that what we are told is going to happen,,,,,,,,really does happen. I believe a person's word is their bond, and if I can't trust their word, then what can I trust. We will pray about the situation and about what to do from here, and hopefully something will work out...

    I want to thank all of you guys here at TFP for all of your help thus far since we set out on our journey here. I know it has only been about a month that I've been here, but we have been on this journey for more than a year now shopping, researching, and talking to stores, dealers, and installers. I will still be here in and out reading and learning, and even asking questions,,,,, and of course I'll keep you guys posted on our progress.

    Thanks Again to Everyone,,,,,

    DMAN & fly.
    17,500g ; 16X32 Inground Vinyl
    Hayward 1hp ; SWG
    3/4hp booster on Polaris 280
    WHO DAT!
    GEAUX TIGERS!!

  20. Back To Top    #20
    krcossin's Avatar
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    You made a good decision, if your deal is ever changing, your not getting the service you expected, then put a stop to it and start over. You will find the right company to work with and you will enjoy the recreation the pool will provide your family for many years.
    Keep us updated.
    2007 - 24' AG Doughboy Desert Spring dished 1.5', with DB Power Pak II-1hp pump, DB Sequel I Plus DE, Hayward H-Series Heater 100k + 8gal LQ.

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