My AGP Pool Installation story/experience - disaster and recovery included!


May 25, 2020
So I had an old 18' AGP steel wall which I demolished a couple of years ago (I had converted to saltwater which eventually destroyed the pool) and this year due to CV19 and the blight that was left by the old pool we decide to take the plunge and replace the pool. I purchased a pool from a local manufacturer with steel walls/uprights and the rest in resin (ledges, bottom rails etc....). The pool was 2200 CAD. Installation by professionals would have costed at least 1k and taken 6 weeks due to the backlog.

We are a family of 6 with kids between 20-12yrs of age.

Day 1: I started off a few days earlier by spraying a non selective herbicide (Wilson Ultra Max) which within 24 hours withered most of the weeds
Day 3: A few days later the kids dug out all the weed
Day 4:
10 bags of stone dust 60lbs
45 bags of sand!!! 40lbs

Level the uprights - not the middle!!
I decided to focus on levelling the perimeter of the pool and not focusing so much on the middle (the middle needs to be feet smooth and reasonably level). I did the math and bought enough stone dust due to make a 2" by 15" donut of stone dust under where the uprights would go. And I bought enough sand for an additional 1 inch of sand under the rest of the pool + a significant amount to make a 4 inch high cove sloping down to 12" Remember there was already a pool there before presumably installed by professionals and I didn't have any levelling issues.

No pavers you say?
I found youtube videos of professionals in Montreal area who install pools and none use pavers. The stone dust looks very solid and probably the risk of pavers heaving and ripping your lines is a fear here + maybe unnecessary trouble of aligning

Work Smart - Not Hard! Deliver right to the poolside
I called around for stone dust and sand delivery which was really cheap (30$/yard) but I would have had to take 1 yard of each and they were going to dump it on my driveway so I would have cart it to the back yard. I went to home depot spent 200$ approx for stone and sand. My yard has a big gate so i was able to backup my SUV straight in front of the pool and slide the bags out, big time saver

Tools for the Job
I rented a 14" vibrating compactor (50$/day). Which was great!!!

Dig the donut.
I had the kids dig 2" down and about 15" wide and they filled it with stone dust. As we dug in the trench which was mostly mud we started to hit the old stone dust base which was good so I just added on top if it. A pool has been sitting in that location for years so it should be reasonably compressed.

Water Levels - I hate you air bubbles.
Next step was to build a water level. At first I did it by myself without checking any videos after lots of frustration. I watched a video and figured how to do it. I had 2 kids on water level duty. Continuously check leveling throughout the process. They checked level after putting stone dust. I then compacted over that 15" trench of stone dust with the compactor (I don't think its made for that so much but anyways...) and they checked the levelling between many different points. I made it sure it was always within an inch. We dug down to level as much as possible.

But really I love you...
The water level was very key, we ended up improving the design and it started working very well an reliably and gave me a lot of confidence

How I compact you....
I compacted the existing middle of the pool so that when I lay more sand on it it would be on an already compacted surface. The compactor is really really great.

Hard Part is done!
Lay down the track - Uh oh - there is a deck attached to this pool. So I was replacing an old pool with a large deck attached. I decided that I need to be offset from the posts of the deck (this later causes me a problem because my pool isnt exactly aligned with the deck anymore)

6 v 1 - Wall has no chance
With me unrolling the wall and 5 others doing various things. Installing the Wall in the track is fairly easy. We kick in the walls a bit and we are able to screw in the wall togehter.

Unfortunately since I am the only muscle I can't use the compactor once the wall is up so we use manual labor to lay this finshing layer of sand and build up the generous cove

Kids can't do it all.
End of day one finishes because while i was stuck in the wall smoothing and coving - the others can't figure out how to screw in the uprights to the feet collars.

Day 2 - Disaster afoot.
I wake up early - contemplate on my day ahead.
I wait for kids to be ready for our assigned start time (11AM). We head out and the kids start inserting the uprights in the track while i go around and screw them in at the bottom....


My oldest child (21years old)!!!!

DISPLACING half the pool wall off the track and putting tonnes of sand all in the track


So I analyze the situation and I'm ready to quit.... Better leave it - not sure if the wall is pemanently damaged and compromised or what.... can I even get it back in the track?

I tell the kids I have to go work (I have a job) and if the want with a shop vac, some brushes and some persistence they can reinsert the wall back in the track.....


Little do you know it.... a few hours later (by 2pm) the kids managed to clean the sand out the track and they call me out to deal with the dent. Its not a huge dent and i decide that it can be hammerd back in place, so using wood blocks on either side we are able to flatten the dent and fit the final part.

Cheap 36" bungee cords were great to hold the pool up using the fence or trees or deck as support

Obviously half the cove is gone so the kids rebuild the cove as i finish installing all the uprights - we use 2L filled pepsi bottles to roll up the edges

I installed the drain and upon review - I might have messed it up. I used primer on the pipe and cement on the fitting and pushed them together but I never really pulled or tested the connection - now its a worry!!!!

I wanted to get a gorilla pad or somethign but I couldnt find anything so I got strips of weed block splashed it with water so it would stop flying around... After 30 minutes its time for the liner

LINER goes down and its too big!!!!
I was 75% expecting the liner to be installed and for it to be too tight however after finally installing it, we end up with lots of slack - so we removed the stabilizers and just loosened it and it worked out....

So i installed the gasket and main drain in the middle screwing the cutting threw the liner

Shop Vac down the side + socks slippy sliding and I am able to get pretty much 0 wrinkles

Fill the pool and do the finishings
At this point water goes on and we install the ledges and joining caps and ledges etc...

Day 3 - Anxiety and Doubts
So I wake up this morning, pool is still filling up nothing exploded. I measure the distance from the top of the water level to the top of the wall and its about 1" all the way around. Still looking good
Finishing details a few caps add the skimmer and the return - bring out my old SWG gear.... looking good

One thing that's odd is there is a bit of dampness all around the base of the pool. I am thinking its condensation since it was like 30 degrees today and i was just filling the pool. Not 100% sure but the pool is still level

Anyways, that was my experience - proud of the kids for pulling through
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