Site Prep - Aqua Leader Sentinelle - "3/4 Crusher"


Jun 23, 2021
Hi, new to the TFP community but I've been reading up.

We are having a 12 x 24 x 54 Aqua Leader installed in our backyard later this summer. Our backyard grade is very irregular, so we are having a landscaper regrade our yard and they also proposed putting in a 'pad' for the pool. Their suggestion was to dig down maybe 12 inches and fill with compacted 3/4 crusher. From reading here and discussion with the landscaper (not pool installed), it should be more reliable than installation directly on the ground and the compacted crusher is how they'd prep a road or driveway.

My questions are:
1) Is this the right approach? I have read a few threads in the above ground forum that seem to suggest this is a good way to go. If this makes sense, does 12" seem excessive? The soil in the area is very "clay" like, if that influences the feedback. I noticed the pool installation manual says NOT to install on gravel, but I suspect that means "loose gravel" not "compacted gravel"?

2) The pool manual indicates that some of the components will require a trench of 3-5 inches depth be dug out (e.g. buttress installation). Will this 'disturb' the compacted crusher if installed? Or a non-issue?


Well-known member
Jul 17, 2007
Hillsborough, NC
If what your landscaper is calling 'crusher' is the same as what it is here, 'crusher' is a mix of gravel and fines. Mostly fines. Crusher will compact better than gravel due to the fines. Any digging will disturb the crusher, but only where you are digging it out.


Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 29, 2016
Tampa, FL
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I like the idea of a crusher pad. I suspect the 12 inches is because you have a lot of clay in your soil - maybe an attempt to provide better drainage.


Jun 23, 2021
I appreciate the validation since most pictures/installation manuals seem to show the pool being installed on "dirt". And I can confirm our soil is very high in clay so that it is also reassuring that 12" does not sound outrageous. :)
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