Above Ground Pool noob questions


New member
Apr 14, 2020
Tulsa, OK
I've never had a pool of any sort before, but with the current state of things, I thought a pool might be a fun thing to do at home. I got a Power Steel Deluxe 20'x48" pool from a local warehouse store last week. I also read that the pump that comes with these is inadequate, so I ordered an Intex 120V Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System CG-28677. I've ordered a TF-100 test kit and Taylor K1766 salt test. I still need to buy a skimmer for it. I have a few questions before I get started setting it up, filling it, and getting things in order.

1. The directions for the pool say to install it on a flat level earthen (not sand) surface. This should be no problem, I'll have to level the site some, but I have a tractor so this is not a difficult task. Is it true that I should just install it on a flat dirt surface? I've heard that some sand on the top of the surface may be better, but am not sure

2. The directions say to put a small board under each leg of the pool to keep it from sinking into the ground. This should also not be a problem, but I'm wondering if I'd be better off using small pavers (making sure to keep them away from the liner) so that there is no worry of the boards rotting over time

3. We have a tankless hot water heater that I can hook a garden hose up to. Would it hurt anything to fill the pool partially with "hot" (120 F) water? I'd fill it partially with cold before putting any hot in, so the water temp would never be too awfully hot. Would this be pointless and a waste of energy to pre-fill it warm?

4. From reading around the forum, it looks like I should do some CYA during the fill, and some Chlorine. Then wait until I get the chemistry about right before I put any salt in and start that process, any additional advice there?


Bronze Supporter
Feb 18, 2018
Northwest GA
From what I understand, sand under the pool is to smooth out any small divots you may have and just for the feel of it since it's a little softer than hard ground. You can use pavers under the legs. Be sure to dig them in to the ground so that the top of them are level with the surrounding ground. I have no idea about the hot water. Seems like a good idea though. Be sure you have a solar cover first and that will help keep in the warm water through the night. Without a cover, you'll just lose the heat. #4 looks right. Good luck with your set up!


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
south east Arizona
lots of people triple tape insulating foam sheets or those inerlocking floor mats for under their pools. heck, I did too but I am one of the few that actually doesn't like the texture, I would rather have a smooth harder surface so I wouldn't do it again. Sand doesn't work quite as well with these pools because it can wash out from under them as they have no walls. some have built wood (or other material frames) and created shallow "sandboxes" for them and that can work. if your soil is not rocky you don't need to do much but put a tarp or a gorilla pad down. these pools are much thicker than typical liner pools, but small (or large) sharp rocks will puncture.

pavers are fine, make sure they are thick enough and on level ground - thin ones crack easily

agree with above, hot water blended in is fine, but have a cover or you are just wasting energy

good job on getting the test kits, add less than the recommended amounts of CYA and Salt, test then finish so you don't overshoot. chlorine will dissipate, those two require water dumping to reduce. check the pinned Intex thread and search for modding in a real skimmer.
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.