A new pool is no fun until it’s holding water and proper installation is extremely important. In fact, nothing will get you heated up more than an incorrectly installed pool. Some of the problems that result from badly installed above ground pools may include uneven floors or a buckled/wrinkled liners. It’s much better – and less expensive - to do it right the first time. Many homeowners decide to tackle this project themselves. Here are some advice to help you assemble your new pool.
1. Before you do anything, call upon your family, friends or neighbors to get some volunteers. Installing above ground pools is a job that takes more than one or two people. It will go faster and probably be a lot more fun if you get a crew together.
2. Preparing the foundation for your new pool is the first step. Remove any sod that would be beneath the pool. Do not underestimate the persistence of grass. Nut grass, bamboo grass and Bermuda grass can grow right through an above ground pool liner. You will also need to remove sod all the way around the pool wall. Code in some areas of the country requires as much as six feet of sod removed from around above ground pools. This would mean a 6-foot wide “dirt road” around your pool.
3. Once sod is removed, the ground will probably not be level. The higher ground within the sod-cleared area needs to be dug out to match the lowest ground. The ground must be measured using a level or a transit; you cannot determine level ground just by looking at it. It is not recommended to build up low ground due to the immense weight of water above ground pools hold. This weight will simply compress the earth back down. If the ground is not leveled, there is the potential for serious damage to the pool and injury to those in or near it. The wall could collapse or sink into the ground. If conditions require that you raise ground instead of leveling it, you should consult a pool professional familiar with installing above ground pools.
4. Above ground pools can cause water to gather in your yard where it never had before. This is due to the pool blocking the normal flow of drainage. Often when water gathers around a pool, the owner assumes the pool liner has a leak and then tries to patch or replace the liner. This can be tedious and expensive so it pays to make sure you have adequate drainage before installing the pool. The advice of a professional is recommended, especially if your yard forms a natural valley.
5. When the ground is level, you'll want to lay a foundation for the pool. Clean sand is the traditional base material for above ground pools. The sand acts as a barrier between the ground and the liner and helps to protect the liner from any rocks, roots or other hard objects. It also provides cushioning for the floor of the pool, making it more comfortable underfoot. For additional cushioning and liner protection for above ground pools, Gorilla floor padding is a tough, felt-like material that is extremely hard to penetrate. We recommend always using sand and adding the floor padding for extra protection. It is worth the investment to protect the pool liner as replacing a liner involves both the cost of the liner itself, installation, and refilling your pool. A uniform, 2-inch layer of sand is standard (check the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pool). Beware of using high alkaline substances such as peat moss as a base because it can corrode metal parts.
If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!