Rebuilding Older Above Ground Pool

by Mike
(Solon, Ohio)

First off, great insight on this site, I was unaware of the invaluable knowledge on rebuilding my pool that I have read about here.

I am currently rebuilding and replacing the walls and decking for a 16' X 32' Fanta Sea Pool. It has a sand base that over the years has compacted and according to the dig instructions requires me to add 2 inches of sand in order to get back to the pre-measured liner depth needed to fit the pre-fabbed liner.

After reading some of the other questions on your site I am considering using Foam for the 2 inches I have to make up. Would there be a problem using 2 inch foam if I can find it, over the existing sand?

By the way there is also a preformed deep end that I would have to sculpture to get it to fit correctly and I am concerned about the foam on the angles going down to the deep end, or will the water pressure at the bottom hold them into place when the pool is filled.

Thanks prior for your help, Mike



Hi Mike. I would strongly recommend just smoothing out the sand and leaving it the way it is. I say that for several different reasons.

When you say pre-fab liner I assume you mean a beaded liner. If you are using a beaded liner you will not be able to stretch the liner into place, which is my preferred way of getting the wrinkles out of a pool, especially one with a deep end.

Beaded liners are generally on the large side. At least they are never to small, they either fit real nice or they are to big. If they are to big there is nothing you can do about it except put up with the wrinkles you get. If they are a little to small they will easily stretch a little giving you a better looking result. So I would leave the pool a little deeper than specs and the liner will probably fit just fine. If you fill it up, and the liner is to big, there is nothing you can do with the extra liner except live with it.

The second reason for leaving the sand has to do with the deep end. Not being able to stretch a liner into a deep area is just asking wrinkles. Beaded liners and deep ends do not do will together in my opinion, at least not most of the time.

You can expect to be in the pool as it fills smoothing out the wrinkles trying to make the pool look as good as you can. Wrinkles can be smoothed out, spread around, and almost eliminated when you are working over a sand base. The sand gives a little as you are pushing and maneuvering the liner.

With foam, most of the wrinkles will stay right where they are. They are next to impossible to get out because the foam has no give.

The deep end poses another problem with using foam. I have no idea how you would work foam into the deep area without it breaking and cracking. The ground under foam needs to be almost perfectly flat for it to lay correctly without breaking. I just can't see that working although I have never tried it.

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