Fiberglass 16x40 DIY install (PICS)

Travisblount

In The Industry
Oct 12, 2019
4
Northeast TN
Any updates on your APC 365 install? We just set our fiberglass pool yesterday and we have our APC 365 on site. I’m hoping to start the install on the pool cover late next week. Well done on your job thus far! Keep the updates coming.
 

JPontius6

Member
Jul 17, 2019
15
Indiana
Any updates on your APC 365 install? We just set our fiberglass pool yesterday and we have our APC 365 on site. I’m hoping to start the install on the pool cover late next week. Well done on your job thus far! Keep the updates coming.
Yes! I've done a bad job of documenting and providing updates, but the pool build is complete! The cover installation had some quirks, but I got a hold of the dealer installation manual, which provided the pictures and detailed instructions I needed. Let me know if you'd like a copy, and I'll happily send a pdf copy. Are you doing your own install?

My cover configuration is a little unique - I'm using the 365 coping and tracks for the nice finished look of the recessed cover, but I'm using a deck-mounted reel at the deep end of the pool. The main reason I'm doing this is because I wanted to build a bench along the deep end with a little cascade and some lighting - just a little aesthetic addition. I also thought the deck-mounted installation would be simpler and more accessible, and it turns out it's quite a bit cheaper as well.

Here are a few more photos of the deck prep process and completed pool. We have LOTS of landscaping and cleanup to do, but winter has arrived so it will have to wait until spring, sadly.

The last pic shows the beginning of my bench frame. It's hard to picture at this point of the process, but the bench will be covered with stone veneer, and have composite decking on the top surface that can be lifted to access the cover and mechanism. A 36" waterfall is located in the middle of the bench, and I'll include a couple LED lights as well. More to come as I finish it up.
 

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Travisblount

In The Industry
Oct 12, 2019
4
Northeast TN
Yes! I've done a bad job of documenting and providing updates, but the pool build is complete! The cover installation had some quirks, but I got a hold of the dealer installation manual, which provided the pictures and detailed instructions I needed. Let me know if you'd like a copy, and I'll happily send a pdf copy. Are you doing your own install?

My cover configuration is a little unique - I'm using the 365 coping and tracks for the nice finished look of the recessed cover, but I'm using a deck-mounted reel at the deep end of the pool. The main reason I'm doing this is because I wanted to build a bench along the deep end with a little cascade and some lighting - just a little aesthetic addition. I also thought the deck-mounted installation would be simpler and more accessible, and it turns out it's quite a bit cheaper as well.

Here are a few more photos of the deck prep process and completed pool. We have LOTS of landscaping and cleanup to do, but winter has arrived so it will have to wait until spring, sadly.

The last pic shows the beginning of my bench frame. It's hard to picture at this point of the process, but the bench will be covered with stone veneer, and have composite decking on the top surface that can be lifted to access the cover and mechanism. A 36" waterfall is located in the middle of the bench, and I'll include a couple LED lights as well. More to come as I finish it up.
Wow that looks great! Excellent work and yes I am doing the install myself. To this point I have done just about all of it during the build of our new house (setting the pool, plumbing rough-in, equipment pad. So I have had to toggle my time between finishing the house and the pool plus trying to handle work all at the same time! 🤦‍♂️ Having said that I just finished back filling the pool and will be using Flow Fill tomorrow around noon under the splash pad. I put in the CMP Brilliant Bubblers which were back ordered so it has taken me much longer than anticipated. If you could send me the instructions that would be amazing! I have watched the Youtube on the 365 but after watching them I am definitely feeling overwhelmed with the pre-pour and post-pour work. How long would you estimate it to take to get the Pre-Pour side finished? I am mounting the reel and motor in the concrete like most installs so obviously that will be considerable different then what you have done.

Thanks again for sharing all you have done I will have to upload some pics of my pool and progress.
 

Travisblount

In The Industry
Oct 12, 2019
4
Northeast TN
Yes! I've done a bad job of documenting and providing updates, but the pool build is complete! The cover installation had some quirks, but I got a hold of the dealer installation manual, which provided the pictures and detailed instructions I needed. Let me know if you'd like a copy, and I'll happily send a pdf copy. Are you doing your own install?

My cover configuration is a little unique - I'm using the 365 coping and tracks for the nice finished look of the recessed cover, but I'm using a deck-mounted reel at the deep end of the pool. The main reason I'm doing this is because I wanted to build a bench along the deep end with a little cascade and some lighting - just a little aesthetic addition. I also thought the deck-mounted installation would be simpler and more accessible, and it turns out it's quite a bit cheaper as well.

Here are a few more photos of the deck prep process and completed pool. We have LOTS of landscaping and cleanup to do, but winter has arrived so it will have to wait until spring, sadly.

The last pic shows the beginning of my bench frame. It's hard to picture at this point of the process, but the bench will be covered with stone veneer, and have composite decking on the top surface that can be lifted to access the cover and mechanism. A 36" waterfall is located in the middle of the bench, and I'll include a couple LED lights as well. More to come as I finish it up.
Ahhhh Yes I knew I was forgetting to ask you a question......On the Bonding how exactly did you do it? I am still confused what is required for me? I don't have a metal ladder or handrail in the pool. All the lighting is low voltage led's so I don't know that I have anything metal that will need to be bonded. I was planning on putting in one of the water bonding fittings with the Zinc Anodes in it. Is that all that I will need to add? I have seen several say you have to run a copper wire all the way around the pool? Is that still the case even though I don't have any metal handrails for ladders?
 

JPontius6

Member
Jul 17, 2019
15
Indiana
Ahhhh Yes I knew I was forgetting to ask you a question......On the Bonding how exactly did you do it? I am still confused what is required for me? I don't have a metal ladder or handrail in the pool. All the lighting is low voltage led's so I don't know that I have anything metal that will need to be bonded. I was planning on putting in one of the water bonding fittings with the Zinc Anodes in it. Is that all that I will need to add? I have seen several say you have to run a copper wire all the way around the pool? Is that still the case even though I don't have any metal handrails for ladders?
Your pool look awesome - great job! I hadn't heard of Imagine Pools, but I checked 'em out and they look really nice - especially interested in their black gelcoat color. I love your shell design! Looks like the perfect balance of relaxing/swim space. Would you be willing to share the shell price with me (in a PM is fine if you prefer). I'm curious to compare to my Thursday Pool (16 x 40 shell was $28k delivered).

I'll shoot you the manual if you PM me your email - it's a fairly large pdf. The manual and videos are a huge help, and although it seems like a tons of steps, just work through them one at a time and it's easily manageable. You got this! For the pre-pour installation, it took me about 2 hrs to complete by myself. For me, this didn't include the poly box installation, so you'll have those added steps, but they seem pretty straight forward. Maybe another hr or two. The one thing you need to be ABSOLUTELY SURE of is that you keep the pool side walls as straight as possible. This turns out to be quite a challenge with a rectangular shell, as the sides are easily pushed in or out by water/backfill. My recommendation is that you allow the water level to precede the gravel so that they bulge out rather than in. I found it pretty easy to then use a set of ratchet straps across the pool to precisely adjust the walls in and compact the gravel against the sides (just by stomping on it). I spent probably a couple hrs on this process before attaching my coping/encapsulation. If you pools wall bulge in, your only option will be to dig out some backfill until you can get them back out.

Then, assuming no fiberglass pool wall is perfectly straight, you want to be sure to attach the coping/encapsulation rails STRAIGHT (a very tight string guide is the easiest method I found). The rails may not be perfectly flush against the pool lip all the way down the length, but it is more important that the cover glides properly and doesn't bind. Once your deck is poured, there is no coming back to adjust the rails. Also, I was advised that if you ever intend to tile your waterline, let the coping overhang the inside face of the pool by 1/4" so that the tile face isn't proud of the inside coping face. I didn't bother because I don't intend to tile.

Also a side note - I did not pour a separate concrete collar and follow with the deck pour. I basically just shaped/formed my gravel to allow a 10" deep, 10-12" wide collar to be poured at the same time as the deck. I'm not saying this is the preferred method or the absolute best practice, but it worked really well for me, simplified the build quite a bit since I have limited access for a concrete truck, and I feel great about the strength/security of the install. I did drill and place fiberglass rebar through the pool lip every 18" to tie the shell into the collar below and deck above. I'll never know if this made a difference, but I feel good about it.

As far as bonding goes (the way I understand it), you do need a copper wire (minimum 8 ga) that comes from your equipment pad and loops all the way around the pool. It should not be in conduit, except maybe to get through your pad. At the pad, you will bond your pump, heater, SWG, zinc anode, etc to this wire. Basically anything that has a bonding lug needs to be connected to this wire. You can either snake the one wire through all the lugs or you can use short lengths of the same wire type between equipment and connect them at the lug. ONLY USE bonding type connectors (copper split bolt or screw clamp style) - no wire nuts. Around the pool, the bonding wire loop will then need to be connected to steel reinforcement structure (rebar or wire mesh) of your deck, assuming you will have some in your concrete. I used the split-bolt style bonding lugs rated for direct burial, found at Menards, and I connected to the grid in six places - the 4 corners and about the middle of the side walls, all about 2' from the pool's edge. You will also need to connect both ends of the autocover mechanism, as well as each side rail, to your bonding "grid" (wire loop). The frame for the reel mechanism has the bonding lugs attached from the factory at each end, but the rails will need bonding lugs attached to them (available at menards or lowes). My bonding inspector DID check the autocover bond, but did not look for the rails to be bonded (although they should be). That's about it - fortunately with nicheless LED lights and molded steps and swimouts, there's not too much bonding to be done.

I've heard horror stories about bonding inspections, but mine was very straight forward. In fact, my inspector basically just had me walk him through my bonding strategy and explain it to him. He nodded a lot and signed the form. I don't know if he really knew what he was looking at, but he was fully satisfied. After the inspection, he stood around for another 30 minutes asking me how to build a pool. haha. Then for my final inspection, he asked me to show him my throwable flotation device and 12' safety pole, and he was out of there. He literally didn't even ask me to open the cover.

Good luck and great job so far! Happy to answer any other questions you might have along the way!
 
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JPontius6

Member
Jul 17, 2019
15
Indiana
Ahhhh Yes I knew I was forgetting to ask you a question......On the Bonding how exactly did you do it? I am still confused what is required for me? I don't have a metal ladder or handrail in the pool. All the lighting is low voltage led's so I don't know that I have anything metal that will need to be bonded. I was planning on putting in one of the water bonding fittings with the Zinc Anodes in it. Is that all that I will need to add? I have seen several say you have to run a copper wire all the way around the pool? Is that still the case even though I don't have any metal handrails for ladders?

Also, I forgot to mention - although the zinc anode will bond the water safely, the zinc technically will corrode sacrificially, meaning it will eventually be gone. Potentially, it will eventually not meet the 9 sq in minimum requirement for water bonding. Now, this is a technicality of little real consequence, but just so that I could be confident in my inspection, I used this permacast water bonding fitting in the unused port of my skimmer to establish the water bond as well.