Installing a Polymer vinyl liner pool (stressed in Ohio)


Oct 15, 2010
Installing a polymer vinyl liner pool (from hydra pools) here in Ohio... Trying to rush the install as to not get caught in colder weather. The place I purchased the pool from metioned the panels could crack if exposed to freezing conditions before getting the panels back filled and the water in the pool. We've been delayed for various reasons and now I'm getting a little worried that temperatures might drop to freezing overnight in the near future. Should I be concerned by this? Is there anything that can be done to minize the risk?

I'm also curious what everyone thinks about waiting to do the pool coping/decking until spring? Once the overdig has been backfilled (I think some sort of pea gravel will be used here), can this be left over the winter without causing any issues? I was worried that too much water might get in there behind the panels and cause issues or that the tops of the panels/coping track might get damaged by the weather? Thought about doing some sort of drain before backfilling to help mitigate this and/or covering the over dig area somehow (with wood boards or an oversized cover) - thinking this might help with water runoff?

Ultimately, I'd like to install some sort of brick/stone pavers for the coping and deck area. I did purchase the cantilever coping that has the vinyl liner track in it (vs. the bullnose variant that you pour conrete up to). I'm confused by what is required to install the coping pavers using this method. It was suggested that a concrete pad be installed and the pavers mortared on the pad? If you properly prepare the backfill area can you mortar the pavers right onto this and the cantilever coping that sits on the pool wall? Is this sufficient and will it hold up?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading.



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Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida

I think you need to have faith that your pool builder knows his stuff and can complete your install to beat the cold. He knows the soil in your area, he knows roughly when the weather cools, etc. etc. and he has (apparently) indicated he can do it.

I don't see any real problem with delaying the decking until Spring and there may be some'll have far less chance of any movement of the fill next Spring so you should get a very stable, compacted base to put your decking on. The decking does little to prevent water accumulating around the pool in most cases so I don't think that's an issue either.

I can't comment on your options for the cantilevered deck. What does your builder say?


Oct 15, 2010
Thanks for the reply. This is a combined effort with my BIL who is a GC, and a very competent one at that. However, he hasn't done a pool before either. So there really isn't a pool builder involved. The biggest concern I have is the cold and how susepitble the polymer panels are when it comes to freezing overnight.

But I do have faith in him. He has lined up some good contractors and I've been very pleased with the excavators, they are very knowledgable and have done a nice job on the dig, however it has taken a bit longer and some build up is going to be required because some of the area was backfilled when the home was built, so they had to dig out deeper to get to virgin soil. That combined with several days of rain, is just stretching it out even further, which is what's making me nervous about the cold.


Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
Central Massachusetts
Lots of questions!

1) I'm not familiar with the polymer walls and being affected by cold weather. I would think the panels wouldnt crack with normal freezing temps. I wouldnt think they would crack that easy.

2) I would not use pea gravel to backfill the entire overdig. It's fine for the bottom, but on top you need at least 18 inches to 2 feet of processed gravel (i.e. 3/4 stone mixed with screened dirt) for the base of the deck. Any deck material, whether concrete or pavers, needs a base that can be compacted very well. Straight stone will not compact enough and will shift causing the concrete to ultimately crack or the pavers to move. Just back fill up to a couple inches below the top of the pool. Some might have to be removed prior to installation of coping and deck to make the proper grade, but thats done all the time and no big deal.

3) There is nothing wrong with leaving the deck unfinished over the winter. In fact, its prefered. That will let the overdig backfill settle. If you need to add some fill in the spring before you do the deck, you can. The deck does very little to keep water out anyway.

4) The cantilever coping can wait until spring too. As far as attachment goes, thats done with motar by a mason. where you use paver bricks or stone for coping, it will need to be attached to the bond beam (top of the pool) so it wont shift around. For a steel wall pool, the mortar sticks right to the steel top and the bricks/stone are set around the pool in a bed of mortar (the mortar actually does not really adhere to the steel itself much, but "squishes" through the holes in the top of the steel top). That sets up and the pavers are set in behind the coping. For a polymer wall pool, you will have to talk to the mason. I know the steel walls have hles every few inches for bonding the coping, and I think the polymer walls are made the same way. The mortar will stick to the top of the wall via the mortar going though the holes.

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