Installing the Pool Sidewall

by A Young

We are "trying" to put up an oval above ground pool. We know we are supposed to put the wall into the track--BUT--the wall weighs a ton!

How are we supposed to manipulate that heavy roll at the beginning of the insertion? Any ideas?


This page will give you some idea as to how I do it. Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation

I move the wall to a location about three rails down from the location I want the wall to start. On an oval pool you want your starting location to be on one of the ends, not the sides. You also want your nuts and bolts to be centered over a footplate so the upright hides them. The starting location is also determined by where you want the filter system to be, that's where you want the skimmer and return openings to be.

I start by winding backward a few wraps of the pool sidewall, making a second much smaller roll. I unroll this small roll back to my starting location and insert it into the bottom track for a few feet. Once started I place my transit tripod over the wall to hold it in place and keep it from falling down. I now have the wall started in the middle of a footplate and held in place by my tripod. I have the wall inserted in at least two bottom rails and am back to the big roll of sidewall.

Back in my early days this was a two man job, one person unrolled the wall while another person guided it into the bottom rails. For many

years now I have gone with a one man system where I unroll the wall with one hand and use the other to guide it into the track. Unrolling the wall is all about balance and using your legs, it just became second nature to me, eliminating the need for help.

I lean the wall back towards me and while twisting the wall with my hand on the top of it, I nudge it with my knee to get it unrolling. As the wall gets lighter I just use my hand. It just a matter of leaning the wall to the point where it's not heavy and then twisting it to get it to unwind. The trick is to be able to do this and not jerk out the wall that has already been placed into the track. It takes lots of practice.

Another important part of the sidewall installation is to have the rest of my crew assemble the pool behind me. The entire pool frame is being built about as fast as I can get the wall set. This keeps the wall from falling over with the slightest tug or breeze. I never allow more than a few rails of wall to stand unprotected at any one time. The pool will either have the uprights and top rails installed or the retaining rods taped to the wall.

Another very important part of the sidewall installation is having the track perfectly level. When you pass over a high footplate, and then go down into a valley, the wall will not stay in the track in the lower section. A level track is a must, or nothing but frustration will follow.

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