Fox Steel Wall Pool and Cantilever Decking

GaryParr

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
65
Rhode Island
Hi everyone,

Had a pool put in last year and getting ready to do the decking soon. It's a Fox steel wall in-ground. For various reasons, the concrete company that will be doing my deck is not affiliated with the company that sold me the pool nor the pool installer that company subcontracted. Anyway, my concrete guy is not familiar with Fox pools and we are currently hitting a wall trying to figure out how you are supposed to attach forms for cantilever decking. Every coping form I've seen is designed to be screwed into a bond bar around the top edge of the pool. Mine does not have that.

1617128995102.png

The only information Fox has on their website shows how this works with the coping built into the liner support itself, not when doing cantilever...

1617129220623.png

Are we supposed to pour a collar / bond bar around the top of this pool? That just seems odd... but almost like it would be the only way to make this work.

Thanks,
Gary
 

GaryParr

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
65
Rhode Island
So, I've been trying to get an answer from the pool company about what forms to use or how to do this. I've been told "no collar" is required. One answer was "the double stick tape holds the form in place." That, to me, seems a very risky proposition. Every form I've seen uses double-stick tape and something to secure the form from the back. I did see an e-mail from the pool manufacturer that references Stegmeier "clip lock" forms. From all the information I can find on about those, it seems they use clips that secure into the vinyl liner track. But it looks like those forms are intended to be used on a liner track that has a lip (to secure the form clips) before the liner goes in the pool. My liner is already in AND the liner track doesn't appear to have a lip.

Anyone have any clue?

Thanks.
Gary
 

GaryParr

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
65
Rhode Island
OK, I double checked... this liner channel does have a lip. I suppose they all do? Anyway, am I supposed to pull the liner out of the channel in order to clip these Stegemeier Clip Loc forms in place and then push the liner back into the channel once the forms are removed?
 

duckcmmndr

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May 7, 2014
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You are correct in that foam forms mount with a combination of double stick tape and clips in the liner track. You are suppose to do this before you put the liner in and fill with water. If your pool builder installed the liner and filled the pool...I would reach out to him.

You have to have cantilever coping to be able to use the foam forms and pour concrete up to the edge of the pool. It's hard to see from your picture...but it does not look like you have that type of coping. Can you post pictures of the coping from the outside as well as inside where the liner is? The picture you posted is from directly on top and it's hard to make out what we are seeing.
 

Casey

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Why isn't your pool builder there finishing the concrete? Is this a DIY build?
 

duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
156
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Ok...so that is different than most...but this must be the fox version. It would appear that you can use the foam forms on this, but you will have to remove the liner from the track all the way around.

It almost looks like it was designed to pour a small collar around the pool level with the top of the coping and then use some stone pavers to sit on the collar and hang over the coping.

I would reach out to the builder and inquire.
 

GaryParr

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
65
Rhode Island
Why isn't your pool builder there finishing the concrete? Is this a DIY build?

No, not a DIY. I'm a bit outside of the normal area for this pool company. They were able to send one of their people down to handle the actual installation of the pool proper, but their normal concrete guys refuse to travel this far. It was understood from the beginning that I would have to find someone else to do the decking.
 

GaryParr

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
65
Rhode Island
It would appear that you can use the foam forms on this, but you will have to remove the liner from the track all the way around.

This is pretty much where I've landed. Is there any risk to pulling the liner out of the track like this? Other than the monumental pain it is going to be to get it back in?
 

duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
156
Arkansas
Pool Size
29980
Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
This is pretty much where I've landed. Is there any risk to pulling the liner out of the track like this? Other than the monumental pain it is going to be to get it back in?

It looks like you have water in there. I don't know that you will be able to get it back in the track with water in there and if you drain it more then it may not sit right around the returns and skimmers. It's just not ideal to take the liner out of the track at this point.

I assume the builder did not leave you with any forms? Did you talk with him about the type of decking you wanted? The deck should have been completed before liner and water. I hate that you are in the spot that you are in...but honestly if the builder is through...your best bet may be the concrete collar/paver method because that will not require you to remove the liner from the track.
 

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GaryParr

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
65
Rhode Island
It looks like you have water in there.
Yup.

I don't know that you will be able to get it back in the track with water in there and if you drain it more then it may not sit right around the returns and skimmers.
This is not. at. all. what I wanted to hear.

I assume the builder did not leave you with any forms? Did you talk with him about the type of decking you wanted?
Yes, the builder knew we were doing cantilevered decking but he told me that the concrete guys would have the forms for me to chose from. This made sense to me at the time.

The deck should have been completed before liner and water. I hate that you are in the spot that you are in...but honestly if the builder is through...your best bet may be the concrete collar/paver method because that will not require you to remove the liner from the track.
I'm not too thrilled about this either. The collar/paver is definitely looking like an option.
 

GaryParr

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
65
Rhode Island
I actually called Stegmeier to see if they had any forms that would work in my situation. They guy I spoke with suggested simply putting a line of rebar around the pool where a bond bar would go and then using their wire-tie forms... just tie them off to the rebar instead of a nail or screw. Actually seems the simplest solution. Anyone see any problems/issues with this?

Thanks,
Gary
 

jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
My only thought is I'm shocked to see no top cap that wall panel. I've never seen a panel like this before, I'd think you would have to have a collar behind those walls to keep this thing true and in place. How did you end up with this FOX pool over a traditional wall panel?
 
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GaryParr

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
65
Rhode Island
My only thought is I'm shocked to see no top cap that wall panel. I've never seen a panel like this before, I'd think you would have to have a collar behind those walls to keep this thing true and in place. How did you end up with this FOX pool over a traditional wall panel?

There is a collar poured at the bottom which locks the bracing in place relative to the pool. The walls themselves are rigid enough due the bracing and fact that there is no part of the pool not on a radius that I noticed zero movement at the top of the wall this summer while we were swimming in it. I mean, I hung off that thing and rocked it, trying to see how much flex it had. Nadda. But, additionally, the top of the X shaped bracing structure will be embedded in the deck when it goes in, which should lock the deck in place. At that point, if the top wall does start to flex a little over time, it should do so minimally without affecting the decking or anything else.

At least, that's the theory.

As for how I ended up with this pool... let's just say it was purchased during a time not long ago when everyone was convinced they could never leave their houses again. There were 9 pools installed that summer alone in my neighborhood of 47 houses. This particular pool design was the best option from one of the few companies who actually had a spot in their schedule to fit us in. And, to be honest, the more I have learned about it the more I'm convinced it is not a bad or otherwise problematic structure. It's just... different. My issue(s) all seem to stem from the fact the pool installer was not responsible for the decking and therefore seemed to not be overly concerned with how the decking was going to go in.
 

duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
156
Arkansas
Pool Size
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I actually called Stegmeier to see if they had any forms that would work in my situation. They guy I spoke with suggested simply putting a line of rebar around the pool where a bond bar would go and then using their wire-tie forms... just tie them off to the rebar instead of a nail or screw. Actually seems the simplest solution. Anyone see any problems/issues with this?

Thanks,
Gary

That could work. My pool did not use Stegmeier forms/clips. So I have no hands on working knowledge of using them. I did watch some videos because I was considering using the stegmeier wires to help re-enforce the foam forms that I had. The way these wire clips work is that you push them through the form and tie it around something solid. They stay in place during the pour. These wires they use have a intentional "weak" spot in them so after the concrete hardens enough to remove the forms you simply twist the wire and it breaks at that weak spot up inside the concrete leaving only a tiny hole to patch up.

During my research I ran across some great videos on using this system. If you are going to use a normal concrete guy that has never done this before...it would be good to have him watch these so he understands the process. You have to remove the forms while you can still work the concrete and smooth out the edge. You may need waders or a raft/boat in your pool to be able to do so from inside the pool. I think they may make a foam form profile that looks like a rock rather than a smooth surface like in the videos. You might not need to "finish" those once the forms come off. This guy has some great ideas and information on how to work with these forms.

1. Bracing Concrete Pool Forms

2. How To Bend Styrofoam Pool Forms

3. Protecting Styrofoam Pool Forms

4. Make A Finishing Tool For Concrete Coping
 

GaryParr

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
65
Rhode Island
That could work. My pool did not use Stegmeier forms/clips. So I have no hands on working knowledge of using them. I did watch some videos because I was considering using the stegmeier wires to help re-enforce the foam forms that I had. The way these wire clips work is that you push them through the form and tie it around something solid. They stay in place during the pour. These wires they use have a intentional "weak" spot in them so after the concrete hardens enough to remove the forms you simply twist the wire and it breaks at that weak spot up inside the concrete leaving only a tiny hole to patch up.

Thanks for those links! My concrete guys is experienced with those forms, just not the snap-in type. He is opposed to wire-tying forms to a ring of rebar though. His concern is that it could (and therefore inevitably will) shift a bit during the pour and therefore could (therefore will) cause problems. At least that is his current thinking based on the fact he was planning to use wire mesh for most of the deck rather than all rebar. He is calling his contacts, I'm calling mine, hopefully we will come up with a good workable solution.

Second, I now know how I ended up in this mess. I finally got a hold of a Fox representative who confirmed my suspicions while diplomatically avoiding telling me the installer screwed up. This pool has a double channel liner track. When used with the bull-nose vinyl coping, the liner goes in the upper track to hide the lower track. When used with cantilever decking forms, the liner is supposed to go in the upper track after the deck is poured or when pouring the deck later, the liner goes in the lower track so the upper track can be used for snap-in forms and then later filled with a plug ring. Apparently the crew that installed the liner was not aware of this or didn't care.
 

duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
156
Arkansas
Pool Size
29980
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
This pool has a double channel liner track. When used with the bull-nose vinyl coping, the liner goes in the upper track to hide the lower track. When used with cantilever decking forms, the liner is supposed to go in the upper track after the deck is poured or when pouring the deck later, the liner goes in the lower track so the upper track can be used for snap-in forms and then later filled with a plug ring. Apparently the crew that installed the liner was not aware of this or didn't care.
That is not at all like a normal coping...but I can totally see how that two track system would work great. Again, sorry you are having these issue...but I think you are on the right path. The foam forms are flimsy at best, it was my biggest concern of the whole pool build and for good reason. I had 2 or 3 places where mine tried to blow out. I had to jump in and add extra clips (mine used plastic twist clips), one spot I even had to brace with a 2x4. I had a concrete guy that was really good at pool forms...and we still had to fight them. So I can understand your concrete finishers concern that they stay secured in place once the pouring starts. You can tie to the wall bracing at those points and it should be solid. You might be able to run some sort of rigid metal tubing between wall braces to fasten the ties to.
 

jimmythegreek

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The wire ties can be added liberally and with prior prep the forms will hold. As long as your guy is experienced amd knows when to pull the forms amd how to work them he should be good. The only issue I see is with the pool water. I've never seen anyone attempt with water in the pool. We get in the pool to finish the front lip, that's the money shot, amd it takes some time to make it nice amd get around the whole pool. Honestly I would make you drain the pool to do that I wouldnt attempt it with water.
 
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Casey

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I'm kinda put off with this pool builder. I feel like he left you hanging in a bad way.
 

GaryParr

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
65
Rhode Island
The wire ties can be added liberally and with prior prep the forms will hold. As long as your guy is experienced amd knows when to pull the forms amd how to work them he should be good. The only issue I see is with the pool water. I've never seen anyone attempt with water in the pool. We get in the pool to finish the front lip, that's the money shot, amd it takes some time to make it nice amd get around the whole pool. Honestly I would make you drain the pool to do that I wouldnt attempt it with water.
I'll discuss this with my concrete guy. He didn't seem overly concerned about the water when we were talking about this, but that may have been because he was focused on trying to figure out how the forms were supposed to attach. This is just looking like more and more fun.

I'm kinda put off with this pool builder. I feel like he left you hanging in a bad way.
Yeah, that's exactly what happened. We are on a tight budget for this deck and every day I learn about new costs incurred by decisions this yahoo made a year ago.
 
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