Late season build - Fill AGP or not?

marty9876

New member
Oct 1, 2020
2
Minneapolis, MN
Hi All,

Great community you all have here and an absolute wealth of knowledge! Looking forward to becoming an active contributor.

Question - I am just now installing a 14K gallon (18'x33') AGP in the balmy state of Minnesota. Fundamentally my question is do I install the pool in all regards, fill, get water inline with parameters then winterize things right away -or- something different? Reason for something different I'm guessing is why put the liner and the rest of the setup through one more winter than necessary to preserve additional life out of the liner and associated equipment.

Options I've thought of:
1. Get everything setup, filter and the rest, complete fill, then do a normal winterization (I'm assuming I'd physically move the pump and filter into shed/garage for the winter)
2. Fill pool to below the skimmer box, don't hook up filtration equipment, mix the water with small internal pump getting chemistry right and winterize the pool. Liner stretches as should, walls supported with no worries of having water in skimmer box or equipment.
3. Don't install the pool yet (I have the lower frame 90% in place and level), e.g. don't install the wall/liner etc. Rational here is I'm assuming the leaving the pool up empty is the worst possible idea (walls unsupported/liner exposed to elements etc.). The pool is installed on a mostly clay soil which has a realitivly high water content (house lot backups to wetland) so frost heave is a thing. Guessing frost heave happens regardless if pool is filled or not just image things will shift to some degree over the seasons until next summer.

Additionally, I'm a little worried installing the liner in ~ 50 degree weather (not a malleable as normal) but I could be totally overthinking that. I was going to leave the liner in the house to have it 'warm' before starting to install it should I go with option 1 or 2.

Thanks,
Marty
 

mariane

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
1,096
Southeast Michigan
Hi and welcome!
You are thinking correctly with needing water in the pool to support the walls especially in your weather climate, storms, ice heaving. You also need warm sun to warm up the liner - it has to be spread out on the ground to warm it up. I would not recommend putting it in now.
Do you NEED to get it up because it would be best to wait till the spring.
I lived in St. Boni MN for 2 years and remember how cold it gets there.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
4,575
Fletcher, OK
Welcome to TFP Marty, glad to have you :)

I would go with option 3 exactly for the reasons you mentioned...

1. It would be painful to install the liner in 50 degree weather, most of the time they recommend at least 80 degrees to allow the liner to stretch...
2. never leave an above ground pool empty as it will blow away and break all kinds of things.. they recommend installing in low wind...

The only thing that sucks is all the work you have already done to level the site might have to be touched up in the spring...
 

marty9876

New member
Oct 1, 2020
2
Minneapolis, MN
Many thanks for the input- reinforces what I was thinking was the best approach. @mariane no *need* to get water in it this year, just personal desire to check another project off the list (something tells me this is only the beginning of many more projects!). @cowboycasey re-work is never fun but I suspect things will be very minimal. It's pretty quick to get something that was level, level again (I hope).

Side question: our intent is to build a deck from the patio pavers, across the rock retaining wall, up to the pool edge for a nice platform/ladder pointing position and alike. Likely running the length of the flat wall of the pool section, unknown if would wrap around any of the radiu ends yet.

Would I be making a mess trying to build this now? I'm guessing the liner and top rail installation would be somewhat hindered (need to do that from the deck surface). As I type this I'm guessing the real challenge would be backfilling soil against the pool wall and mulch/landscaping under the deck would not be possible. If you can't guess I'm like a dog with a bone once I get going on projects! :)



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cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
4,575
Fletcher, OK
Drop that bone also :)

You will want to know what height you want your deck at.. some put the deck under the lip of the pool and some like me put the deck over the lip of the pool but I have an Intex that moves... You really want to get the deck after the pool is complete, what if you stop the deck 3 inches before the pool edge or if it is 2 inches to long when the pool fills up... not something you want to deal with after the fact...

You have a great little setup for a deck, it will almost be a perfect fit, maybe a 3 or 5 inch step....
 
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ShawnH

Member
Aug 3, 2020
10
Ohio
I agree with the other comments - since most of the excavation is done I'd install in the spring. In my case, with a wet yard, installing in the spring was a bad option. Ours went up last week in NE Ohio - I've not been in it yet but the end of next week calls for temps in the 70's. We will get in for a day or so and then close it up - hopefully have the backfill and gravel done by then...
 

mariane

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
1,096
Southeast Michigan
I second cowboycasey.
We had the deck built after the pool was up for 2 years. The brick is ~ 1" away from the upper rails. It was almost impossible to get the winter cover down that little gap. So we put the stair weights on the deck to hold the winter cover down on that end of the pool. Tie downs on the other end and sides.
We had to remove all the top end bricks to remove the top rail and replace the liner.

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