Swimming Pool Blog
by Guest Blogger Chris Miles, February 08, 2011
Above ground swimming pool installation tips
Preparing To Install An Above Ground Swimming Pool:
Installing an above ground swimming pool is a relatively easy task to do. Depending on the size (Pools can range from 8 ft to 32 ft or more in size) you can even assemble one on your own, although the assembly process is far easier if you have a mate or two to help you. Be sure to check with local codes to verify that a building permit is not needed, and to comply with any pool safety regulations that may be in place.
In general above ground pools are made up of galvanized panels that are simply bolted together and a plastic liner is then installed inside it. This type of simple construction means that the competent DIY person should already have most of the tools needed to carry out the task.
Before starting to install your swimming pool, you need to think carefully about its location as you may need a substantial area that is perfectly flat and level to place your pool on. Indeed if you do not have such an area, then leveling up such an area may take longer than building the pool! But you must insure that you do not skimp on this task, as if the surface the pool sits on is not perfectly level, you could find your pool collapsed due to an uneven water load.
Always remove the turf from the area that the pool will be sitting on, and if at all possible when leveling your site do not build it up to make it level, it is always far better to dig down to level the soil. If you build up the site with soil to level it then there is a very good chance that with the heavy weight of the water, that the above ground swimming pool will cause the ground to slump in the area that you have built up. Fill dirt settles, and what was perfectly level before adding water can become lopsided.
It is also advisable to put down a two-inch layer of sand to lay the pool on, as this will remove any remaining defects from the soil. Be sure to use graded sand that has no small pebbles in it. Alternatively, one could use a liner pad on the floor to cover imperfections, or to help protect the sand from divots caused by jumping in feet first.
Once this is done (And checked again to make sure it is all level) then you can begin to install your above ground pool.
Installing An Above Ground Swimming Pool:
Whilst you can install an above ground swimming pool on your own, it is far easier and faster if you have a couple of blokes to help you out, and preferably 3 to 4 helpers for the process of dropping and setting the liner.
First of all - you will need to ensure that the proposed location for your above ground swimming pool is perfectly flat and level. Do not underestimate the amount of time this can take, and do not skimp on this task as failure to have a perfectly level surface can result in an un-natural load on the swimming pool result in catastrophic wall failure. This can result in several tons of water literally exploding out through the side of your pool, so take this task seriously.
Liberally sprinkle the ground with weed killer such as Spectracide or Roundup, and then add a two-inch layer of builders sand over your proposed location as this will even out any surface irregularities. Once this is done you can begin to lay the track that the wall panels will sit in. This large ring or oval track connects together easily every 8ft. If you have weak soil, it may be advisable to sink a level cinder block into the ground at each connection, under which each upright will stand. After bolting together the panels it is a good idea to put duck tape over the nuts and bolts thus making them safer.
When all of your panels are assembled and upright (This is most definitely easier done with the help of a friend or two), then check that everything is square and level, paying particular attention to the supporting posts or uprights. If in any doubt about the level, even go so far as disassembling the whole pool. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for everything to be level.
Once you are happy that everything is looking how it should be - then you can begin to install the swimming pool liner. You should try and eradicate as many of the creases in it as possible, paying particular attention to removing the “Fold over” creases. Whilst in an ideal World you would eliminate all of the creases in reality you should expect some inevitable creasing. Using a shopvac or powerful vacuum like the Mighty Vac, you can suck the liner tight against the walls as you fill the pool. In absence of a vac, pull the liner tight over the wall (on Overlap type liners). For beaded liners, measure the distance from the floor to the track, to make sure that the distance is not less than the height of the liner!
Once you are satisfied about the drape of the liner, and most of the wrinkles are worked out, add a hose to fill the pool. Check on the liner every 6" or so, to make sure new creases have not formed. If you see some slippage and creasing, pull up on the vinyl and/or use a pool brush or push broom to try and work them toward the side. Do this from outside the pool so as not to put footprints in the floor. If you must get in the pool, use a large piece of plastic to stand on, to distribute your weight - to prevent footprints.
When the pool is full, screw on the faceplates for the skimmer and return(s). Then connect your pump and filter hoses, and cut out the vinyl inside of the faceplate. Plug in the pump and check and balance your water chemistry.
Following these tips should see you well on your way to enjoying a dip in your new above ground swimming pool.
Thanks to our Guest Blogger Chris Miles!