Yard fairly level, not sure where to go now

rj2222

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2012
187
Michigan
#1
Looks like my yard isnt more an inch to maybe like 2.5" unlevel (in a few small spots) in the area we're going to put our 18' intex pool. From reading different posts on here, I think that means I can get away without renting a sod cutter to clear the area, but i just need to fill it with top soil or sand in the low parts to get it as close to level as possible. Is that correct? with sand or dirt/topsoil, is one better than the other?

Also, i'm no math wiz, is there a way to figure out if my pool is 18' and i need an inch or two of whatever, how much whatever i'll need to buy/order?
 

techguy

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2010
2,697
Antelope, CA
#2
Make sure you dig down to level. Use the lowest point in your current pool area and dig the the rest of the pool down to this point. If dig one side and fill the other side to raise it, the filled side will not compact enough and it will sink, possibly causing the frame to fail.
 

cramar

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 10, 2010
1,143
Sault Ontario
#5
You'll need something to establish level with, the easiest solution is a 2x6 that's 10 or 12 feet long, tape a 4' level to it. The human eye CANNOT determine true level so don't put your faith in your eye and then find out your completed pool is a leaner that needs to be taken down and corrected.
Put the time in and get the site level, and don't be surprised if what you thought was going to be 2" of earth removal turns out to be more. The sod remover can do a couple of inches but don't anticipate that this leaves you with a level site - it won't, you'll need to finish levelling manually.
 

techguy

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2010
2,697
Antelope, CA
#6
This photo is from the "UGH...I'm that guy" thread and his Intex is not level and this is what it looks like if a site it not level. The frame should be plumb. The force of 7,500 gallons of water is pretty significant. It's about 60,000 pounds of water.

 

rj2222

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2012
187
Michigan
#7
Thanks. I don't want to be "that guy" haha. I got a 2x4 that's 10ft, figure I can cut a little of the end off, pound that into the ground then nail the rest of the 2x4 to that so it'll spin all around the area where the pool will go. Once I have the grass removed, does it matter if I use sand or topsoil to fill then level with my spinning 2x4?
 

techguy

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2010
2,697
Antelope, CA
#8
I would level off the full 20 feet and it will leave you enough room for the pavers and allow some "wiggle" room for the legs and other items used during the install. In the long run, it will save you time.

You may find you want a level area for your ladder and a landing. I would create a landing area with pavers (at least for your first year) so you can get out of the pool and not need to step into muddy/grassy area when you get in or out of the pool. I didn't add any space for my first "easy-set" pool and it made for lots of mud in the pool and on the ladder (even with grass). I added a landing with pavers when I set-up my current pool, before the deck, and it made for a nicer experience.
 

rj2222

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2012
187
Michigan
#9
Yeah, was going to leave some extra room around it so I went with the 10ft 2x4. I already have some pavers for a little walkway up to the ladder. For pavers around the pool, that's just basically to keep the sand or topsoil (still not sure what's better) under the pool, right?
 

jmborchers

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2012
95
Allentown, PA
#10
Having done this the first time this year also I would also have on hand the longest length 2 x 6 possible. A 2 x 4 may bow and effect your level reading. Make sure you pick a good piece of 2 x 6.
I used pressure treated 2 x 6 to level and then ended up slicing 2 x 6 pressure treated into 12" sections to place under the legs so they don't sink.

The longer length 2 x 6 would be used after you rotated around the shorter piece since it has a longer span it's much easier to see how level everything is over the long distance.

The best way is still by surveyor or laser level as with the bubble of a 4' level you can still end up quite a bit off over a long span.

If you want a 20' circle, that's 240 inches. Half of that is the radius, 120. A 120 inch circle (pi radius squared area) = 45238 square inches. At 2" depth thats 45238 * 2 = 90478 cubic inches / 1728 [12^3] = 52.4 Cubic Feet / 27 = 1.94 Cubic yards. Order 50% margin over what you think you'll need because some areas will use more sand than you think. 1.94 + 50% = 1.94 * 1.5 = 3 Yds of sand to order.
 

rj2222

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2012
187
Michigan
#11
Thanks. This is my first time ever doing something like this too.

Anyone know if sand or topsoil is better to level? And putting pavers around the pool is just to keep that stuff under the pool and not going all over into the yard right?
 

jmborchers

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2012
95
Allentown, PA
#12
I used play sand which has only fine grain sand in it with basically all pebbles filtered out. It has no chance of basically accidentally cutting the liner by a stone but the legs need to be supported and use the tarp it comes with to help prevent washout.

Make sure the fine sand isn't exposed to an area where heavy water drainage can be (I.E. don't drain the pool through the drain plug) because the sand will wash out.

I also sprayed ground clear on the entire area of dirt before putting the sand on to make sure all grass/weeds anything that grew in this area would be dead for 1 year. I wouldn't use the top soil because it will have foreign material in it, like sticks.
 

rj2222

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2012
187
Michigan
#13
Thanks for the advice. I wonder how much the sand will end up costing roughly. From what I've been reading on here I could need anywhere from 2-4 yards.
 

Samantha Sabrina

Well-known member
Apr 11, 2012
346
Bloomsdale, Mo
#14
No the pavers everyone is referring to here are for the support legs of the pool to sit on so they don't sink in soft sand or soil.

You don't want to put dirt back under the pool, dig your site as level as possible, then add a couple of inches of sand and use the 2x6 in a circle to level the sand, then put the top rail of the pool together, and place a paver at each spot where the support legs will be and then make sure all pavers are level with the top surface of your sand, once everything is level then put the pool together, making sure to place each support on the pavers, as you fill keep and eye on the supports to make sure they do not shift too far and end up sliding off the pavers or get too close to an edge, this could cause the paver to break.
 

rj2222

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2012
187
Michigan
#15
Thanks for clarifying what the pavers are for, I was confused. I assume pavers are much better for the legs only to stand on rather than straight sand so that's why its recommended? That makes sense.
So really I don't need to put anything around the pool like they do around permanent pools, the sand will stay under/around it ok? There won't be any kids splashing water all over the place so sand shouldn't wash away too much.
 

cramar

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 10, 2010
1,143
Sault Ontario
#16
Go with a 2X6.

2 yards should be plenty, I've got a 20' pool and I used 2 yards. Take some time plan everything out a head of time, make lists, watch some videos and then just execute the plan.
Make sure you have a good test kit, you need a good test kit (that excludes strips).
 

Samantha Sabrina

Well-known member
Apr 11, 2012
346
Bloomsdale, Mo
#18
Correct, the "Concrete pavers" usually 4" thick 8" x 16", (some have used the 12" x 12"), are just for the support legs to sit on, if you try to put the pool up just on top of sand by the time it gets full the support legs will be sinking.

As long as you cover the sand with the ground cloth that comes with the pool, then the sand should be fine, if you are placing the pool in an area with heavy run off from higher ground you may want to use some kind of border to prevent the rushing water from washing out the sand.

Even lawn edging will help.