Getting a Dingo to level & ??? about pool pad and water test


Active member
May 27, 2010
So I started digging today. Our Intex Ultra Frame 16x48 should arrive by Friday. Drew the circle, pulled out the shovel and after an hour of digging my husband came out and told me I was nuts and to rent something before I hurt myself. (I promised him this was my project which is why I'm digging. He has a bad disc and clearly I want the pool more than he does. I'm hopeful he'll grow to love it. ) There's at least a two foot drop in grade so I'm renting a Dingo to dig the yard on Wednesday. Pictures below. You can see my sad attempt to dig. My 4 year old was ready to finish the job. :lol:

From what I've dug up so far I think the soil will be good for the pool. There are some rocks but there seems to be a nice mix of loam and clay, with a firm pack. I was worried it would be too sandy, like the front yard. My plan is to level, put pavers down for the posts, use Liner Shield, then put down the Intex tarp. I'm definitely an OCD type so I've read way too many posts on this forum which have me paranoid. Should I add foam also? I'm hoping the setup w/out foam will be okay. I don't think we have nut grass in MA.

I've ordered the FT100 test kit and it should arrive tomorrow. Did I read that I should test some of my faucet water ahead of time and post results for help in figuring out the first pass at chemicals? We have very hard well water and I am concerned that it will be tough to stabilize the pool.

Thanks so much for all your help. I'm new here and so far this forum has been invaluable!



TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
Waaay NW MN
Your plan for the site prep sounds fine. Be sure to get things level - Sounds like you are on the right track with a good plan to get your pool up and running.

Post more pix as you progress, we love to see those. Once filled, go ahead and post your numbers. Having hard well water doesn't mean it's too hard to balance the water, just different. I know this first hand!


Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2009
If you want to continue your paranoia, search the site for ants and vinyl pools. Given all the care you are taking to perfectly prepare the site you MIGHT want to put down some nutgrass/weed killer and ant pesticide as described in the posts in this forum. Sorry, can't find the one I had in mind right now - it had a member describing having to buy certain stuff for installer to put down in order the warranty to be good. I don't know if it is necessary for a temporary pool (assuming yours is seasonal), but I do have a lot of ants near my pool this year so if I get a hole I'll be mad I hadn't read about the ants sooner. Last year I had absolutely no problem when I just put a tarp on top of grass -- so perhaps you don't really need to worry about the pesticides, just thought I'd let you know there is info about it if you are interested.


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 24, 2007
Suwanee, GA
Dingos are good, but Bobcats are better diggers. They go for about the same amount at the rental shops in my area. At least the better track Dingo compared to a smaller wheeled bobcat.

Dingo is pretty easy to use, but the bucket is a bit small. I rented one when I put in my sprinklers and lawn back in after the pool was dug and while it was a good tool for trenching and the harley rake, it had a tough time with our packed clay soil. It sure will be better than a shovel.
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