Leveling and Location of Pavers for Pool Legs?

PoolAaron

New member
Jul 12, 2020
3
Maryland
Hi. Newbie here. 18 ft 48 inch Intex round metal frame. We just spent weeks getting the ground perfectly level. I’m a bit frustrated as it’s taken a lot of time and money to get where I am. Now I’m adding 18 pavers to the ground to prevent the legs from sinking into the ground. I’ve read every thread on this forum about leveling and pavers.

The pavers are supposed to be flush to the ground to prevent them ripping the pool lining. I am using 12x12x2 concrete pavers. However, by digging 2 inches down I am destroying a perfectly Level round 19 foot circle. The hole for each paver I am digging is not completely flat, it’s very difficult to dig down exactly 2 inches and not more. So now the legs are the least level part of the floor! Sometimes I dig down more than 2 inches and need to refill the hole with some of the loose dirt I’ve just dug out to get the paver level. According to what I’ve read on this forum loose dirt will get crushed by my 6,000 gallon pool which I think will cause the pavers to either crack or settle not level.
So, here are my questions. Thanks in advance!

1. How to install pavers flush to the ground without ruining a perfectly level ground?
2. How to know the exact spot to install the pavers without any water in the pool to keep the pool legs in an exact spot?
3. Should the pavers be located with the pool leg in the center of the paver?
 
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Winstonselect848

Active member
May 8, 2020
40
Tacoma/Washington
This is what you need to do. Having the pavers level to the ground and level to each other is much more important than having a perfectly flat 19ft circle. Dont get me wrong that is important also. The answers to all your questions can be found by going to AboveGroundPros.com This guy has a DIY /video playlist section. Once you find the video section search for a 2 part video called how to install an intex type round pool. Every answer to every question you posted is in this 2 part video. I watched this video many times and followed his instructions to the letter. My pool is level with in 1/2 inch( on a yard with a 6inch slope). These videos saved me so much stress and time! By time I got to the paver setup and pool set up I knew exactly what to do. Also pay special attention to the part that shows you how to get the wrinkles out of the bottom. I have no wrinkles, a level pool and it was pretty easy to do because I knew what to do! He will also show you how to make sure your legs stay perfect as your pool is filling! The video is going to suggest you get a transit lazer level to set your pavers. I chose to just make a 20$ Egyptian water level( You Tube)Go check it out. If you still have questions after watching those videos hit me up here and I will help best I can. Good luck!
 
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PoolAaron

New member
Jul 12, 2020
3
Maryland
Thanks for the suggestions. I found the video and watched it (again! I think I watched it awhile ago). Very helpful!

One thing I’m not clear on it why I need his laser level or your water level? I already researched, and figured out how to use a line level as well as a 4 foot bubble level when I was leveling the ground. I’m not eager at all to figure out the water level if I don’t have to. The 4 foot bubble level from paver to paver tells me if the pavers are level with each other. And a simple 6 inch bubble level can tell me if the legs are straight. Is that enough?

He’s also using much smaller pavers than I am which makes the digging and leveling a lot easier. On the other hand the 2 feet pavers I am using give me more confidence that the leg will stay on the pavers. The legs are moving around a lot right now.
 
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Winstonselect848

Active member
May 8, 2020
40
Tacoma/Washington
Yes, the 4ft level from paver to paver will be enough. Sounds like you have done a good job leveling entire area. The legs do tend to move around an awful lot so having a bigger paver will definitely help. I had 9x7x2.5 pavers and getting them all right in the middle was a bit of a challenge. Just make sure and "babysit" those legs. Even after I had 2 feet of water in the pool I thought they were done moving and they still moved just a tad as the pool started to settle. I just chose to use the water level because I knew my backyard had a pretty aggressive slope and I didnt want to screw it up. I also used string line level and 2x4 method as well. Sounds like you are well on your way to having an excellent install.
 

OramacJeff

Bronze Supporter
Jul 7, 2020
1
Philadelphia, PA
To add to Winstonselect884's post... and my recent install of a 18' metal frame; I used smaller 6x9x2" blocks and will upgrade to 12x12 next year. During fill the legs shifted out to the outer edge, than when Isaias came through, the pool shifted from the massive amount of rain, some slipped off the blocks (even though I baby sat those best I could). I also used 2x6x1 pressure treated blocks between Intex foot and block, so pool went from being perfectly level to off about an 1.5" but that's fine til Sept when it comes down. I strongly suggest the wood blocks as its a good backup. I drilled 2 holes in plastic feet/wood, put 2 small lag bolts in to secure.

In terms of level, I tried the water level and it was ok, with movement and sometimes clumsiness, I spent more time resetting level than it was worth. I ended up using 4' level with 8' metal guide (used for circular saw cutting), that allowed me to measure/level 2-3 neighbor blocks from one position. But once those blocks are level, that's when the sand/ground is leveled to the block, sounds like you reversed that.

Be curious to hear how it turned out for you.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
4,114
Fletcher, OK
you should use the 4x8x16 inch blocks as the 2 inch can and will break, not all of them but some of them and when that happens you will have to drain and replace the blocks... its a pain.... I know I had 2 inch blocks and 6 broke right in half...

You can also use pressure treated wood but depending on how long you keep the pool there they may only last 2 to 4 years...

$1.75 a piece :) https://www.lowes.com/pd/Cap-Concre...ctual-3-625-in-x-7-625-in-x-15-625-in/3608974
 

PoolAaron

New member
Jul 12, 2020
3
Maryland
Well my pool is perfectly level. What did I learn? Probably that there’s more than one way to skin a cat ;-)

1. Use a trowel to dig the holes for the pavers instead if a shovel. You only need it an inch deep and with a shovel I tended to dig too deep and then need to put dirt back in. A steel tamper can be a useful tool.
2. At the end we had rainwater in the pool and it was clearly about 1 inch off from being level. I took the extra dirt and extra paving sand and spread it on the lower half of the circle. Then I used a steel tamper to pack it really well and the water is now perfectly level. No settling of the packed dirt and I think the sand on top makes it softer.
3. Use the extra wide paver or pressure treated wood. Those legs move!
4. Pressure treated wood is a lot lighter than a paver. I found them easier to use. Ended up using half pavers and then switching to pressure treated wood for the rest.

Thanks!