My First AGP Build

Jun 13, 2019
SW Missouri
After about 2 weeks of intensive research I made the dive (pun intended) and ordered my first "real" Above Ground Pool (only inflatables up to now).
I might be crazy but I am trying to DIY this entire setup between my Father and I.
We are both very mechanically inclined and have done a lot of research and now we think we have a plan.
Ever since we sent the order we have been none stop leveling, clearing, collecting supplies, and praying for rain to go away.

- Saltwater 8000
- Solaxx Saltron Retro XL
- Hayward S180T 18" Sand Filter system with 1.5HP Power-Flo pump
- 25 Gauge Unibead Liner

We have also purchased:
- Cheapest Solar Cover I could find on Amazon
- Taylor K-2006
- Taylor K-1766 (salt test)
- Blue Wave Peel and Stick Cove
- 400 lbs of Salt
- 150 lbs of Filter Sand
- 20 Concrete Pavers
- Bonding supplies (100ft #8 with a bunch of split bolts and direct burry bolts)

Still to get:
- Limesand (for level skim)
- XPS 1" Tongue and Groove Foam
- GFCI box installed (electric already run)

The Plan:
I have dug about 18" on 3 sides of the pool and plan on semi-inground.
I will have native ground level within 1/4" on my wall line and 3/4" inside that.
I will then add Limesand for a final level and tamp it solid.
Foam Board on top of that, followed by my foam cove.
Still trying to figure out the backfill on my 18" hole.

The Build:
Day one of the dig, notice how happy everyone is.
This version of me had no idea what he had gotten himself into :p!

After getting the outer ring very close to level ... Rain hit. 3 days straight.

At this point I knew if I didn't do something we would never get the dirt work finished. So I sacrificed my level, and dug some drainage ditches.
At the low end I stuck an old sump pump and came out and manually turned it on about every hour to help take water off the top and keep it from soaking in.
I was very proud of these results (lots of hard work in the middle of the night)

After another day of ground prep I got smart. I went and bought a HUGE tarp from Harbor Freight and covered the work I was so proud of.
Ridgeline worked great, but I did have to prop up a few places due to the weight of the tarp.

Next came the compactor. Now we are getting somewhere! at this point the middle is within 1/2" of level and the outer ring is 1/4" level.
Compacting the center did affect the overall smoothness, but overall level was still very close.
Since I have more layers to go on top here, I didn't worry too much about being perfectly smooth at this layer, just overall level.

And then of course ... more rain! Its about this time I realized starting this project in June was such a bad idea.

But to cheer me up, a very large package arrived!

On to the next post!
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Jun 13, 2019
SW Missouri
Ok This post is a little more progress from last night, as well as a few "neat tricks" I was able to do with my 3d printer.
I got into 3d printing about 6 months ago and I seem to find a way to work it into just about everything I do.

First here is the progress picture.
We got the Lime Sand (agLime) in today, wefilled the outer ring that the wall will set on and compressed it to be level with are bare earth center.
Then we had to get ready to set the blocks so we laid out the bottom caps and bottom rails to mark their locations.

Here is the first of my 3d prints. The pool instructions told me exactly what the spacing between each rail should be for my pool.
So I printed these little spacer blocks to help keep a consistant gap.

I then decided this might be actually helpful during the wall install tomorrow, so I printed a test of a redesign which will allow them to remain in the bottom cap during installation and just live there.
They are thin enough at the base to match the bottom rail, and they have a much larger opening. I want these to be sacrifical, I don't want them to interfere, just assist.

We also spent some money and got a rotary level with laser detector. This worked fantastic and I highly recommend purchasing one or renting one.
My only nitpick was the card which helped you see the laser and make sub 1" adjustments had no method of mounting (it was made for drop ceilings or to be placed level on the ground.
So I printed a holder for it right beside my detector. This allows me to find the laser with the detector, then stand behind the detector and see my percise measurement.

Ok that is all for now. Here in a few hours we will begin leveling out our 12"x12"x1" patio pavers.
Once level and set in place, we will start spreading the rest of that lime to the level of the top of my blocks.

Wish me luck! It seems like this step could go really well, or be very time consuming.
Jun 13, 2019
SW Missouri
Rain again... Nowhere on the forcast until I am in the middle of my 8-5 job and can do nothing about it. All my level work ... All my chances of getting the walls up this weekend. Sigh.
Jun 13, 2019
SW Missouri
So after digging more trenches and all sorts of tricks we are left with this ...


But after a day's work, we end up here

Unfortunately, while everything looks nice it's still very squishy inside the center. So setting blocks and final compact is out for this weekend (more rain in the forecast for tonight and all day tomorrow). We have the whole once again tarped and are hoping for the best.
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Jun 13, 2019
SW Missouri
Ok so its been a little while, and we have had a lot of great progress.

We found a couple days of no rain so we sprinted to the finish and got the wall all put up! The 3d printed strips helped a ton to hold a consistant gap in the track while we worked the wall around.
Also having lots of people at this step was important. If ever there was a task to bribe your friends with a case of beer (or soda) this is the task. We had 7 overall people and it made it go SO smooth. I think 4 would have worked too, but the more the better.
Wall Up.jpg

Next onto the foam installation! You can see we placed some scraps on our feet and taped them on. This worked great as we left no imprints and we were able to walk around freely.
foam start.jpg

Here is a picture of the finished foam floor and the cove installed. We could have done a bit better installing the cove with no seems or taping it, but we were VERY tired and VERY hot.
The inside of those walls was an oven in the hot summer air.
foam finish.jpg

Next went in the liner. This was relatively easy, we placed the liner all the way around and then stuck our shop-vac in the skimmer hole and taped it all up.
This sucked the liner to the wall and helped release a lot of wrinkles. Unfortunatly it was an overcast day so they didn't want to come out as easily as if the liner would have been a little warmer.
liner in.jpg

But after a lot of skooching (the technical name), we got all the wrinkles out and we started filling!
We had a local fire department bring a couple of tanks worth and this is where we ended up.
We will be getting one more truck work tomorrow.
water in.jpg

Then at just before midnight I wanted to mock up what the pump setup would look like, so I built a pad with a little extra limesand and some extra 1" concrete blocks.
I also cut another piece of that excess foam to place the filter and pump base on it instead of the concrete. The thought is that it will eliminate some pump noise.
Its looking great! so excited to get it all running and take a dip!
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