Trouble with my Sandy Land

by Simona
(San Antonio,Tx)

My husband and I just purchased a used 24'x48" above ground pool. We live in South Texas where it is very sandy and hilly. We are having trouble keeping sand out of the track, also from keeping the winds from blowing the walls over. Not to mention Leveling. Hope I haven't overwhelmed you.

Please help.



Hi Simona. The sandy soil that is used for the pool base should be watered and packed as best possible. All of the bottom connectors should be set on blocks and the blocks all leveled. Using a transit or laser level to level the blocks is very helpful. The sand that will be spread out for the base should be piled in the center of the pool and only spread out after the wall is up.

Another way to assure a solid foundation for the pool, and to help keep the sand out of the track, is to replace the sand around the outer edge. A two foot wide area around the perimeter could be dug out and replaced with crushed granite. This would pack down solid and make a good solid area for the bottom rails to sit. This would also help to keep the sand out of the rail.

These photos illustrate a couple of ways to deal with sandy soil.

bottom rail on crusher run

pool bottom rails on pavers


Be sure to read our pool installation page.

Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation

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South Carolina Clay

by Rob
(Gray Court, SC)

I'm installing AGP over a leveled clay hard pack. 10 Patio blocks on the ground level.

Can I bring in about an inch of Stone Dust to to tamp down level with the pads? I'm thinking then to put down a Gorilla pad, foam cove and be done.

Option two is bury the pads level with clay, then 2" of sand, Gorilla pad and foam cove.

Will the Stone Dust be better for base or am I over thinking it.



Hi Rob. Stone dust makes a nice pool base. There is nothing wrong with that idea. Be sure to go out beyond the pool by at least two feet. The pool needs a nice ledge extending beyond the bottom rails.

Using a sand base is fine also.

Either option should give you a nice pool installation.

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Ground Cracking Under Above Ground Pool

by Joe Skerbinc
(Demopolis, Alabama, USA)

My 15' by 26' oval pool is installed on heavy clay soil. This soil will develop wide cracks when it dries out. When I installed the pool I put down a sand base and then Styrofoam then the pool liner.

Worked great until our August drought and now my sand base has literally fallen into the cracks! I drained the pool and I am thinking of putting 3/8 inch treated plywood down, then sand, then Styrofoam, then the pool liner.

Do you think this will work? Do you have any other suggestions? THANKS



Hi Joe. I do like your idea, it might work just fine. Concrete would also work, but probably a lot more expensive.

The biggest problems with doing something like that with an oval pool are the pressure plates. They are difficult to work with when using foam, concrete or wood. I wanted to use 4 x 8 foam on a pool I was installing for myself. It was a 15 x 30 oval with pressure plates.

I found some flat metal 4' wide and about 20' long and laid one on each side, over the brace channels, thus replacing the factory pressure plates. This worked just fine and gave me a flat surface to lay the foam over.

You could probably do something like this under your plywood. Hopefully it will all work out for you and your cracking clay soil will not cause you any more problems.

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