DIY Inground kit: Polymer "Hydra Pool" Vs Steel Walls

kenandshari

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 1, 2010
134
Savannah, GA
Hi all, I'm new to this forum and really appreciate the wealth of information that is available here. We are planning to build our own pool over the winter (early 2011). I'm currently in the "what to buy" planning phase of this project and have the support of DW. I've been serving in Afghanistan all year so all I've had available was a book I ordered, pool sales websites, and this forum for research. I've read many DIY posts (thanks WASTE & others!), as well as several installation guides and product manuals. I've also watched about every installation video I could download.

I am confident that I can build this thing. I'm looking at installing what seems like a basic 18 x 36 rectangle, 2' radius corners, steps at one end, diving board at the other, SWG, Aqua Genie, cartridge filter, & a robot pool cleaner. I live in the Savannah, Georgia area where the soil is very sandy. We are roughly 30 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. For now, my primary goal is to figure out my kit and who I want to do business with, so I'll just send out the questions below and take it in baby steps. Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge.

OK, on to my primary question: Steel or Polymer walls? I've read the sales material on both and tend to favor polymer. I know steel will eventually rust, but it is somewhat stronger. (How much does that really matter though--good enough is good enough--right?) I would like to hear what those out there that have them have experienced (goods and bads-if any).

Second question: I'd really like to hear from from folks that have done this themselves about things you wish you had done differently or wish you had known before you started.

I'd also like to hear from anyone who has purchased from either Poolwharehouse.com or Royalswimmingpools.com about their experiences dealing with both sellers as these are the ones I am currently considering buying from.

Oh and since everyone always lists their rig, our current pool for about 3 seasons has been one of those 16' round Intex WalMart pools, we learned a lot with that and it's time for something nicer.
 

PoolGuyNJ

TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
3,192
South Central NJ
Having sandy soil means good drainage. Either wall material will last a long, long time.

I hate Aqua Genies. They add chlorine before the equipment, require 1" tabs, the chlorination rate is difficult to regulate, and the plastics eventually dry out and snap.

IMHO, you will be better served with standard skimmers, drains, and returns. While it will require some additional pipe and materials, the improved reliability and ease of repairs will more than pay off.

Scott
 

kenandshari

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 1, 2010
134
Savannah, GA
Thanks so much for the reply and the info. I haven't done all of the homework on the Aqua Genie just yet. Only sales info and a few reviews thus far. That's just what is included with the polymer (Hydra & Cornerstone brands) walled pool kits, and I was under the impression that it was a better system. I will definitely look into it closer before buying. With the walls, the sales material says that you can backfill steel with dirt, but after learning more about backfilling on TFP I'm inclined to backfill with gravel instead of dirt as I understand this will prevent wall and deck issues in years to come. Of course once I return home in Nov and begin getting estimates for excavation, concrete and other materials, I will have a better idea of just how far I can go and still be within my budget. (Been saving up $ over here and dreaming this project to get by.) Once again, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to my question. -Ken
 
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