Used Pool Walls: Tanning / Wading Pool - Cheap Liner Options?

KevinJH

Member
Mar 23, 2021
12
Ontario, Canada
All,

We've started digging today for a budget pool build. We purchased two sets of used steel walls and are going to reuse them for a 16' x 36' inground pool (purchased a liner that was ordered the wrong dimensions).

My question is this: I have enough walls to do the complete 16' x 36' pool plus a separate 8' x 14' wading pool (18") deep.
Are there any alternative methods for lining the wading pool or should I just get one custom made (I'm waiting for a quote).
 

KevinJH

Member
Mar 23, 2021
12
Ontario, Canada
We started on our inground pool build today. 16x36’ plus a separate “tanning pool” 8’x14’. Trying to do it right, but as economically as possible. I’ll post pictures and details as we progress.
So far, I’ve got used 42” tall galvanized steel walls from a 14’ x 20’ and 16x32 purchased for $300 (Cdn) each. New old stock Liner 16x 36’ purchased from Kijiji (Canadian equivalent to Craigslist) for $500.
 

jseyfert3

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So this is a DIY inground pool? I know nothing but sounds like an interesting project so I’m curious to watch it progress.

Welcome to TFP! Once you finish we’ll help you keep your water looking like the below pools! There’s also plenty of people here that can help with questions as you build the pool to, should you have questions. I just have an above ground Intex pool though so I’m not familiar with in-ground setups.

Thread 'How Clear is TFP Clear? Let's See (Pics Please).'
How Clear is TFP Clear? Let's See (Pics Please).
 

KevinJH

Member
Mar 23, 2021
12
Ontario, Canada
I’m building a 8’ x 14’ wading/plunge pool as an accessory to a larger pool. Local liner companies said they’re only making larger inground liners this year.
So, I bought a Craigslist 10’x24’ liner and was going to attempt to cut it to size and weld the seams using a heat gun and PVC welding attachments.
Has Anyone tried this before who can tell me if it’s a really bad idea (I’m guessing it is, but there is a local company who will weld the liner on site for me for $2000).
 

cowboycasey

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hmmmm, you have an extra 10 feet of material... cut some 14 inch squares out and make a 1 x 1 foot pool your way and see if it holds water... make a 1 x 1 foot 2x4 frame to mount it on :)

Let the testing begin...
 
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kimdurg

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May 26, 2014
87
North Canton, Ohio
Thinking out loud (or thinking while typing)... 1'x1' experiment pool has 1 flaw, correct me if I'm wrong... water weight/pressure. Water weighs approx 8 pounds per gallon. So 1 cubic foot pool is just under 7.5 pounds of water completely full. Your 8'x14' wading pool (I went with 1 foot deep) is 112 cubic feet, just under 838 pounds of water. I would think for the test liner, you would need to take that into consideration? 🤔
 
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KevinJH

Member
Mar 23, 2021
12
Ontario, Canada
@jimmythegreek - I read your previous post that covered most of this, but I thought it would be helpful to put a drawing together to help summarize your suggestions. Let me know if I've omitted anything. Comments welcome!

Best practices for installing a steel wall pool.
1. Over dig 24" around your pool, pour a 8" concrete collar around the base.
2. Backfill with clear stone until 12" below the top of the wall, then backfill in 2" lifts, compacting between lifts.
3. Pour a 4" thick coping collar level with the pool wall, the same width as your precast coping.
4. Install 1/4" cement board on the top of the wall to enhance adhesion of the precast coping.
5. Install precast coping in a mortar bed on top of the concrete collar.
6. Pour your concrete decking, leaving an expansion joint around the precast coping, fill with a polymer sand.
 

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KevinJH

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Mar 23, 2021
12
Ontario, Canada
Hmmm. My thoughts were that if the liner is sized correctly, the forces are low - 838 pounds of water sounds like alot - but it is less than 10 pounds per square foot (practically 0 psi).
I still like the idea of doing a small test pool. I'm going to order an Amazon hot air PVC welder and give it a go - worst case scenario it leaks and I wait until I can order a custom liner.
 

jimmythegreek

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That's the basics. Make your form slightly smaller than coping if using a paver deck. The 1/4" cement board can be wire lathe too, or 1/2" board if cantilever liner track is thicker type. I like to use fabric between the overdig amd my stone, then overlap that onto the top of the clear stone. 12" applies only to a 12" deep sub base. If your soil is decent amd you need a 6" stone base bring the clear stone flush with existing deck aub base before stone is added. Lay fabric over clear stone amd treat the whole thing as a deck base compacting in 2 to 3" lifts with a plate and being thorough. This is using DGA base for the deck, ie pavers, where if using a concrete deck you could do clean stone on the whole thing everywhere
 

jimmythegreek

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What's the pool wall construction going to be? For a small pool ecofinish might be same price as a custom liner if you can find a qualified installer. I do know there are companies making custom liners. I have a 10x18 plunge pool liner on order right now with no border, 4' flat bottom 6" corners. No issue to place order
 

KevinJH

Member
Mar 23, 2021
12
Ontario, Canada
Purchased two sets of steel walls, reconfigured into a 16’ x36’ main pool and a 8’x14’ tanning/wading pool.

Hole was dug last week, took two days with a mini excavator and bobcat.
 

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KevinJH

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Mar 23, 2021
12
Ontario, Canada
What's the pool wall construction going to be?
Steel wall, poured concrete bottom. I found a custom liner company who quoted $750 for the liner, which is reasonable. I have this craigslist liner now, so I just might try it for fun. I'm not too worried about the consequences of a leak - it's a small pool. I hadn't heard of ecofinish - there are some installers in Ontario, so I'll try a couple.
 

jimmythegreek

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Go with the 750ish that's very fair. Ecofinish is gonna run a few grand compared to that. Mind me asking the planned setup with 2 pools next to eachother? Wondering why you opted to mot have 1 large pool unless heating the smaller pool is the only reason

Btw a poured bottom is hard on the feet compared to Verm bottoms. Also rubs thru liners easier if not troweled well
 

jseyfert3

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Thinking out loud (or thinking while typing)... 1'x1' experiment pool has 1 flaw, correct me if I'm wrong... water weight/pressure. Water weighs approx 8 pounds per gallon. So 1 cubic foot pool is just under 7.5 pounds of water completely full. Your 8'x14' wading pool (I went with 1 foot deep) is 112 cubic feet, just under 838 pounds of water. I would think for the test liner, you would need to take that into consideration? 🤔

Hmmm. My thoughts were that if the liner is sized correctly, the forces are low - 838 pounds of water sounds like alot - but it is less than 10 pounds per square foot (practically 0 psi).
I still like the idea of doing a small test pool. I'm going to order an Amazon hot air PVC welder and give it a go - worst case scenario it leaks and I wait until I can order a custom liner.
Water forces are purely a function of depth and have no relation to the total amount of water. In round terms the pressure is 0.5 psi per foot of depth. So a 4’ deep pool has a pressure from water of 2 psi on the bottom, regardless if it’s a 400 gallon hot tub or a 50,000 gallon pool.

Now if the liner doesn’t fit well there are other forces on the liner of course, but these would stretch the liner, not be pushing outwards.
 
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KevinJH

Member
Mar 23, 2021
12
Ontario, Canada
Go with the 750ish that's very fair. Ecofinish is gonna run a few grand compared to that. Mind me asking the planned setup with 2 pools next to eachother? Wondering why you opted to mot have 1 large pool unless heating the smaller pool is the only reason

Btw a poured bottom is hard on the feet compared to Verm bottoms. Also rubs thru liners easier if not troweled well
Project started as a single rectangular pool, which I already have the liner for. I had enough steel panels to add 8’x14’. My preference was originally to add it as a tanning ledge, but to modify the liner was going to be $2200. Instead we opted to make it a separate pool which gives us the option of keeping it warmer.
The total project budget including fencing is $10k, so we’re willing to compromise on some design elements if necessary (as opposed to construction standards).

When I ask the local PB’s about vermiculite they look at me like I have two heads. They tell me they’ve done concrete bottoms for the last 20 years. I’ve read that vermiculite is easier to place and finish- is this a true statement? Can a competent DIY’er turn it into a huge mess?
 

jimmythegreek

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Very tight budget, I wouldnt think you could do this for 10k if were talking electrical, plumbing, pool equipment, the pool floor amd concrete for collar, even with no labor costs. That's not accounting for finishes or a fence, but I give u alot of credit for tackling this. If you really want a shallow area just fill the bottom with gravel and do the floor on top with whatever finish you want, make liner the size you end up with. Gets tricky plumbing 2 seperate bodies of water, feel free to ask for help when you get there.
If you plan to DIY Verm is more forgiving. I do my deep end hoppers in concrete when I pour the concrete collar and Verm the rest. Some areas its standard to use a mortar mix, I've never seen a real concrete with aggregate as a floor in a liner pool in these parts. It can be done, but theres no flex like a Verm bottom, especially if you get any groundwater, it will crack up fast
 

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