Hopper overdug, what options do I have?

duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
151
Arkansas
Pool Size
29980
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Here is a rain picture. You can see the pump in the lower right hand corner. There is no other way to get the water out of there. It did this twice during my build. I already had the bond beam finished, so nothing moved...but it made everything a huge mess.

Screenshot_20200922-184654_Ring.jpg
 

Justin9314

Silver Supporter
Feb 21, 2021
43
Northern Indiana
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Vinyl
Does anyone have any guidance on where they sourced their PoolKrete or Vermiculite from? Trying to save the 300-500 shipping charges from buying it online.

I am considering subbing this part out but so far, I have not found any concrete people that work with poolkrete or Vermiculite? Am I asking the wrong questions?

Looking to break ground on April 24th depending on the weather. Can't Wait!
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,509
Morris Cnty NJ
My advice is to take time off and spend 2 weekends amd the week between solely on the build. Depending on your ground a novice can get into a bad spot quick with rains. Dont know how deep your going nut a mini excavator isn't gonna be fast on a 20x40. I wouldnt do it unless I had no choice on access and would charge extra for the time wasted. An 80 class machine is the smallest you want, that's a 18k pound trackhoe. I dig with a 160 takes half a day tops, and relocating piles is easy. If ur buddy excavated he should know somebody for a machine. Be aware many pro excavators do horrible jobs on pool digs. They usually overdig you dont want that. A cleanup bucket is best for a rookie after you get close to the wall height grade. It seems exciting to start and do it all, you wont feel that way after a few days. Make sure ur help is gonna actually come amd reliable
 

Justin9314

Silver Supporter
Feb 21, 2021
43
Northern Indiana
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Vinyl
My advice is to take time off and spend 2 weekends amd the week between solely on the build. Depending on your ground a novice can get into a bad spot quick with rains. Dont know how deep your going nut a mini excavator isn't gonna be fast on a 20x40. I wouldnt do it unless I had no choice on access and would charge extra for the time wasted. An 80 class machine is the smallest you want, that's a 18k pound trackhoe. I dig with a 160 takes half a day tops, and relocating piles is easy. If ur buddy excavated he should know somebody for a machine. Be aware many pro excavators do horrible jobs on pool digs. They usually overdig you dont want that. A cleanup bucket is best for a rookie after you get close to the wall height grade. It seems exciting to start and do it all, you wont feel that way after a few days. Make sure ur help is gonna actually come amd reliable
Thanks for the response Jimmy! I am renting a CAT 315? The connection I have at the rental store is going to give it to me for the weekend for a days rate. I wanted to get the 320 but the costs were too high. Did you DIY your pool base? If so, where did you source your material from?
 

duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
151
Arkansas
Pool Size
29980
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Does anyone have any guidance on where they sourced their PoolKrete or Vermiculite from? Trying to save the 300-500 shipping charges from buying it online.

I am considering subbing this part out but so far, I have not found any concrete people that work with poolkrete or Vermiculite? Am I asking the wrong questions?

Looking to break ground on April 24th depending on the weather. Can't Wait!

I got my pool krete from a local hardware store about 30 miles away. You should be able to find some locally if you do some calling around.

I subbed out the pool krete and I am glad I did, they made it look easy and did the whole pool in less than a day. You will probably not find a concrete guy that also does pool krete, they really are a different skill set. I had to call a few pool install places to get the names and numbers of pool krete guys. It's like pulling teeth to get a name and number, they want to put your whole pool in for you. Once they find out you are doing your own pool, they don't want to share the contractors that they use with you. Maybe you will have better luck than I did, I ended up getting one of the best guys around to do mine and could not be happier...but it was shear luck that I was able to get his #.

Jimmy is 100 % right in the recommendations he made. I used a full sized track hoe and it made quick work of the dig and moving dirt around. The larger track hoe can not only dig faster/deeper, but has a longer reach to pile the dirt more out of the way. I took a week of vacation time that started on ground breaking day and with the 2 weekends in there got a ton of work done.
 

Justin9314

Silver Supporter
Feb 21, 2021
43
Northern Indiana
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Vinyl
I got my pool krete from a local hardware store about 30 miles away. You should be able to find some locally if you do some calling around.

I subbed out the pool krete and I am glad I did, they made it look easy and did the whole pool in less than a day. You will probably not find a concrete guy that also does pool krete, they really are a different skill set. I had to call a few pool install places to get the names and numbers of pool krete guys. It's like pulling teeth to get a name and number, they want to put your whole pool in for you. Once they find out you are doing your own pool, they don't want to share the contractors that they use with you. Maybe you will have better luck than I did, I ended up getting one of the best guys around to do mine and could not be happier...but it was shear luck that I was able to get his #.

Jimmy is 100 % right in the recommendations he made. I used a full sized track hoe and it made quick work of the dig and moving dirt around. The larger track hoe can not only dig faster/deeper, but has a longer reach to pile the dirt more out of the way. I took a week of vacation time that started on ground breaking day and with the 2 weekends in there got a ton of work done.
Thank you! If you don't mind sharing, what did it cost you to sub out the pool krete?
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,509
Morris Cnty NJ
A 315 is fine, I thought you said mini excavator? Get largest bucket if they have a 24" or even 30" a clean up bucket is great for fine tuning (no teeth on bucket just flat bar) look online for pool supply house near you, they might sell a DIYer pool base or have no issue with non pool pro sales. You can get premix and do it old school without a mixer. When you pour your collar make a form amd pour the deep end hopper same time in concrete. Mext day use that as a mix point amd you can open a few bags amd garden hose it flipping with shovel amd turning it. Once oatmeal like, slap it on amd trowel it. Set string lines and guides. A 20x40 is alot of work, anyone good with a trowel can apply it. Need a Fresno to make it nice. A pro will make it very flat, you only see imperfections under the pool lights anyway
 

Justin9314

Silver Supporter
Feb 21, 2021
43
Northern Indiana
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Vinyl
Just got my permit approved! Looking at the weather, we are going to target April 24th for the dig date. Quick question, I have two backfill options available... #8 - 3/8-1" (concrete, landscaping & driveways) & #9 - 3/8-3/4" (concrete, landscaping & driveways). Thoughts on which one I should consider? I believe both are washed but I would confirm that prior to ordering.

Thank you all again for your time!
 

Justin9314

Silver Supporter
Feb 21, 2021
43
Northern Indiana
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Vinyl
Sorry for so many questions. It is coming down to game time lol. One more question, how crazy am I for wanting to mix my own concrete for my footers? It appears to be about half the price.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
268
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
I just did my collar by hand to set my coping. Took me 9 hours and I hand mixed 44 80lb bags. It was quite laborious.
 

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duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
151
Arkansas
Pool Size
29980
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
You don't state the dimensions of your pool...but assuming it's an 18x36 rectangle pool...and the bond beam 2' wide by 8" deep would take right at 5 yards of concrete. It takes 45 bags of concrete to make a yard, so you would be mixing 225 bags. YIKES!!!

That's also over $1k for 225 bags (Lowes), here you can get concrete delivered for about $115 per yard.
 

Justin9314

Silver Supporter
Feb 21, 2021
43
Northern Indiana
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Vinyl
You don't state the dimensions of your pool...but assuming it's an 18x36 rectangle pool...and the bond beam 2' wide by 8" deep would take right at 5 yards of concrete. It takes 45 bags of concrete to make a yard, so you would be mixing 225 bags. YIKES!!!

That's also over $1k for 225 bags (Lowes), here you can get concrete delivered for about $115 per yard.
Yea that does sound terrible lol. I guess my math was off on the bags per yard. We are paying 150/yard here though. My pool is 20 x 40 with full-width stairs. I assumed 7 yards for the bond and 1 yard for the stairs? I am struggling with the calculation on the stairs. Do people fill the whole stair part with concrete or backfill it with stone than concrete? I just want to make sure I do not have bouncy stairs.

Also, for backfill, does 45 tons sound right for 4' walls on a 20 x 40 pool? I plan to use a washed # 8 (3/8-1").

Thanks again!
 
Last edited:

duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
151
Arkansas
Pool Size
29980
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Yea that does sound terrible lol. I guess my math was off on the bags per yard. We are paying 150/yard here though. My pool is 20 x 40 with full-width stairs. I assumed 7 yards for the bond and 1 yard for the stairs? I am struggling with the calculation on the stairs. Do people fill the whole stair part with concrete or backfill it with stone than concrete? I just want to make sure I do not have bouncy stairs.

Also, for backfill, does 45 tons sound right for 4' walls on a 20 x 40 pool? I plan to use a washed # 8 (3/8-1").

Thanks again!
My pool has full width steps with a tanning ledge which was 8'x18' in the bottom. Is yours just 3 steps? If so the steps are normally 1' 2" in width...so your bottom of the steps would be roughly 20' x 3' 6".

Steps (provided that you fill the bottom inside the steps 8" deep, I put closer to 6" inside my steps)
20 x (3+(6/12)) x (8/12) = 46.7 cu. ft.
46.7/27 = 1.73 cu. yd.

Bond Beam (8" deep all the way around)
(20 + 20 + 40 + 40) x 2 x (8/12) = 160 cu. ft.
160/27 = 5.93 cu. yd.

So it look like you will need roughly 7.5 - 8 yards of concrete. That is if your space from the back of the walls to the dirt is a full 2'...if it's less/more in some places you would need to take that into account. I would suggest pouring the beam 1st and make sure you get a full 8" depth all the way around. Then pour inside the steps and if you are a little short, it will not matter as long as you get 6" or so in there.

The gravel backfill is figured the same way. The steps are a little tricky, but I would break them down into 3 columns to calculate. I also poured concrete for the top surface of the tanning ledge and steps rather than pool krete. I was told since the water was shallow the force of jumping on it could cause the pool krete to dimple where concrete will not. I covered the entire steps/concrete in a layer of foam before installing the liner. So I had concrete in the bottom, then gravel up to about 2" from the top of each step, then put 2" of concrete over that the day I poured the 1st part of my deck.

Wall Back Fill (should have a height of 34 inches since the bottom 8" of the 42" tall wall is concrete)
(20 + 20 + 40 + 40) x 2 x (34/12) = 680 cu. ft.
680/27 = 25.2 cu. yd.

Steps Back Fill (assuming they are 1' 2" wide and roughly 10" tall, remember to take out the 8" of concrete)
Bottom Step 20 x 1 x (1/12) = 1.6 cu. ft.
Middle Step 20 x 1 x 1 = 20 cu. ft.
Top Step 20 x 1 x (22/12) = 36.6 cu. ft.

So...

59/27 = 2.2 cu. yd.

So roughly 27.5 cu. yd. of back fill gravel

No warranty expressed or implied, but I bet those numbers are really close.
 
Last edited:

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,509
Morris Cnty NJ
We use about 40 tons for a 20x40. Your gonna need about 9 yards for the footers. Domt even think about hand mixing would cost way more plus killing yourself. Call around 150yrd is alot you need basic mix for this. I fill stairs to 2md to last step with additional form
 

Justin9314

Silver Supporter
Feb 21, 2021
43
Northern Indiana
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Vinyl
My pool has full width steps with a tanning ledge which was 8'x18' in the bottom. Is yours just 3 steps? If so the steps are normally 1' 2" in width...so your bottom of the steps would be roughly 20' x 3' 6".

Steps (provided that you fill the bottom inside the steps 8" deep, I put closer to 6" inside my steps)
20 x (3+(6/12)) x (8/12) = 46.7 cu. ft.
46.7/27 = 1.73 cu. yd.

Bond Beam (8" deep all the way around)
(20 + 20 + 40 + 40) x 2 x (8/12) = 160 cu. ft.
160/27 = 5.93 cu. yd.

So it look like you will need roughly 7.5 - 8 yards of concrete. That is if your space from the back of the walls to the dirt is a full 2'...if it's less/more in some places you would need to take that into account. I would suggest pouring the beam 1st and make sure you get a full 8" depth all the way around. Then pour inside the steps and if you are a little short, it will not matter as long as you get 6" or so in there.

The gravel backfill is figured the same way. The steps are a little tricky, but I would break them down into 3 columns to calculate. I also poured concrete for the top surface of the tanning ledge and steps rather than pool krete. I was told since the water was shallow the force of jumping on it could cause the pool krete to dimple where concrete will not. I covered the entire steps/concrete in a layer of foam before installing the liner. So I had concrete in the bottom, then gravel up to about 2" from the top of each step, then put 2" of concrete over that the day I poured the 1st part of my deck.

Wall Back Fill (should have a height of 34 inches since the bottom 8" of the 42" tall wall is concrete)
(20 + 20 + 40 + 40) x 2 x (34/12) = 680 cu. ft.
680/27 = 25.2 cu. yd.

Steps Back Fill (assuming they are 1' 2" wide and roughly 10" tall, remember to take out the 8" of concrete)
Bottom Step 20 x 1 x (1/12) = 1.6 cu. ft.
Middle Step 20 x 1 x 1 = 20 cu. ft.
Top Step 20 x 1 x (22/12) = 36.6 cu. ft.

So...

59/27 = 2.2 cu. yd.

So roughly 27.5 cu. yd. of back fill gravel

No warranty expressed or implied, but I bet those numbers are really close.
Wow thank you for the detailed response. Super helpful! And of course, I wouldn't hold you to it :)
 

Justin9314

Silver Supporter
Feb 21, 2021
43
Northern Indiana
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Vinyl
We use about 40 tons for a 20x40. Your gonna need about 9 yards for the footers. Domt even think about hand mixing would cost way more plus killing yourself. Call around 150yrd is alot you need basic mix for this. I fill stairs to 2md to last step with additional form
I asked for a 2500 mix. Should I be using something different than that? Can you elaborate on the stair process? Are you saying fill the first two steps with concrete? If so, do I board it up once its filled to keep it in place during the curing process?
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,509
Morris Cnty NJ
Any mix is fine it's just an anchor. On poor soil I add fibermesh its 10 bucks a yard added here. The more you can fill stairs the better. I always do 2 steps sometimes more if possible. A sloppy form is good enough can be angled up or whatever works to hold it back. I do that last amd loose the extra on truck in there. Just make sure you have no plumbing/conduit cutting thru there in future, do it now if so
 

Justin9314

Silver Supporter
Feb 21, 2021
43
Northern Indiana
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Vinyl
I am about to order my valves but wanted to see if anyone had any feedback on my plumbing plan?

5 - 2 way valves
2 - 3 way valves

Am I missing anything?
image001.png
 

Justin9314

Silver Supporter
Feb 21, 2021
43
Northern Indiana
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Vinyl
A 315 is fine, I thought you said mini excavator? Get largest bucket if they have a 24" or even 30" a clean up bucket is great for fine tuning (no teeth on bucket just flat bar) look online for pool supply house near you, they might sell a DIYer pool base or have no issue with non pool pro sales. You can get premix and do it old school without a mixer. When you pour your collar make a form amd pour the deep end hopper same time in concrete. Mext day use that as a mix point amd you can open a few bags amd garden hose it flipping with shovel amd turning it. Once oatmeal like, slap it on amd trowel it. Set string lines and guides. A 20x40 is alot of work, anyone good with a trowel can apply it. Need a Fresno to make it nice. A pro will make it very flat, you only see imperfections under the pool lights anyway
Hello there,

I was hoping you could give me some guidance... we are scheduled to start digging Friday night/ Saturday day. How wet is too wet to dig? We just got 3-4” of snow (.5” of liquid about). It’s fairly muddy but we have sunshine tomorrow and Friday so it will dry out some. I’m just trying to make a decision on pushing my rental to another time before it’s too late or just dig it now knowing it’s pretty wet. Thoughts?
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,509
Morris Cnty NJ
I would use a 3way for the 2 skimmers, with 2 valves you could deadhead the pump. I would just leave room on the pad and install heater later with valves. It's hard to anticipate the plumbing with it not there, and different heaters plumb various ways. With a SWG and modern heater with 2" headers I dont bother with bypasses. The flow restriction is almost non existent. Is your only suction the 2 skimmers? I see 3 return lines, how many actual return fittings?

What kind of soil do you have plays into timing. Its gonna rain on you regardless at some point. As long as you have a good operator and plan I would just get started. Everything is gonna take alot longer than you think, a DIY build is alot of work
 

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