Doughboy Pools - Inground

by Chris

I am planning on installing a Doughboy pool in the ground. I am going to leave 6" out has recommended by you and Doughboy. My question, when the pool is finished and full of water, I will have to backfill the edges.

I have tried to get the "slurry" mix they mention from concrete company but no one makes a 300 psi mixture and they won't make it either. Do I have to make up myself? I figure I will need about 18 cu yards for a 24X16 pool. Is there anything else I could use (top soil with no stones?).

Also, do you always put sand for the middle of the pool, in the instructions it says not to use sand for the middle of the pool, it recommends putting the liner on a solid NON rock surface. Non rock surface is just about impossible any where. I was going to use top soil for the middle area and the cove area. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Hi Chris.

The backfill should be anything that will pack solid over time. If you ever need to drain your pool you do not want the walls caving in. It is also a good idea to avoid using river rock or gravel on top of the dirt. It is common for people to landscape around their pools in this way. When it comes time to change the liner and the pool is emptied the rocks will start to fall down between the dirt and the wall. This can cause major problems quickly.

I prefer sand as a pool base because it is easy to use and I can smooth it out to create a very flat pool floor. The problem with dirt is it cannot be made smooth enough or stone free enough. Every little imperfection in the pool base will be magnified when the liner is installed and the weight of the water is on it.

I have never seen a dirt base that was acceptably done. I would use something over the dirt. A pool base can be sand, Happy Bottom, Gorilla pad or 4 x 8 sheets of Styrofoam. Done correctly these will all give the liner protection from rocks and stones. If the ground under these bases is very smooth and level a decent pool floor can be obtained.

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Above Ground Pool In Ground

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Dec 05, 2009
Slurry Backfill for Doughboy Pools
by: Dan


You can have your local concrete company make a 2 sack slurry which can be pumped if necessary. If this is the method you choose, be very careful not to direct the flow of slurry toward the pool sidewall while backfilling. This could cause the sidewall to bulge inward, however if this occured, you would be able to remove enough slurry for the wall to pop back out from the water pressure inside the pool.

The second option, which we do professionally, is to "dry mix" the material with a tractor using one 94lb. bag of Portland Type I-II Cement with every one ton of clean, salt-free sand. For example, if you would be mixing 12 tons of sand, you would add 18 94lb. bags of the Portland cement and keep turning it with the tractor until it becomes uniformly gray.

Backfill the material around the pool leaving room at the top to add water. For the best results, push the garden hose down into the slurry mix as deep as you can and wait about 10 seconds before pulling it back up and moving it to another location (usually about 12" apart). You should see the sand collapse down which will indicate that you are obtaining good settlement with the material.

The top portion of the backfill can then be finished by using more of the same backfill and surface water only. We usually trowel the top smooth and leave enough room for the concrete decking or whatever you choose as decking. Make absolutely certain that the decking slopes away from the pool about 1/4" per foot fall and that the water inside the pool will always be higher than the prevailing grade around the pool.

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