Kayak Pool Installation

I have bought a used Kayak pool. Our backyard is all clay soil. I live in Maine so it will definitely freeze in the winter.

It was recommended that I put at least a foot of sand down before I install the pool.

My thought was to build a retaining wall on top of the backyard grade and put the pool on top of that. This would allow any water in the sand to drain out.

Digging down doesn't seem like a good idea as there would be no place for the water in the sand under the pool to go.

A couple of people have said I should put Styrofoam under the pool. Any thoughts on this.

It is used here under concrete slabs to keep frost from penetrating under the slab. I am thinking that if I go this route, I should put most of the sand down, followed by the foam on top of it.

Another issue that I have is that the pool has a bottom drain. Kayak recommends that the bottom drain and piping to it get covered with the regular dirt from digging the trench for it. They say that if you cover it with sand it will push up into the pool.

My thoughts here are to put something down on the ground before I fill my retaining wall area with sand with some ties that can come up to hold everything down. Anybody done this or heard of this before?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Hi. Lots of questions here, let's see what I can do.

A foot of sand is a definite no-no. Use anything accept sand. The best thing would be to level the area with a crushed granite or a crusher run.

This type of material will pack solid a provide a firm foundation for the pool. Sand will not do that.

A retaining wall is good, otherwise your pool foundation needs to extend way beyond the actual pool walls.

I might reconsider the digging down theory since hopefully you will not be setting an above ground pool on a foot of sand.

Styrofoam makes a nice liner pad, nothing more. It can be used in place of sand under the liner. The pool frame still needs to sit on firm, solid, soil, and plenty of concrete blocks under the supports.

Comments for Kayak Pool Installation

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Jul 14, 2012
For Clarification
by: Anonymous

My concern with being on the clay directly is that in the winter, it will hold moisture and the frost will heave it (and the pool). I assume the purpose for the sand is that the sand would absorb the movement and let the pool stay in place.

The styrofoam would serve to keep the frost from going down underneath it. No frost = no heaving. I was thinking of doing the retaining wall 28X48 giving me 4 feet all the way around the 20X40 pool. I would put approx. 18" of dead sand in the wall with the styrofoam on top of it (all 28X48). Pool would go directly on top of the styrofoam.

I do not have any direct experience with this and want to do it right. The suggestion to put the sand there came from someone who installs and repairs pools and he seemed pretty insistent that I needed it.

I'm not so much worried about things sinking when the ground is not frozen, but more concerned about when it freezes.

If I have got this all wrong, please reply again.


Hi. Freezing ground can certainly be a problem. Your idea does not sound bad, the only problem I see might be working around the brace structures of an oval pool. They always present a problem.

I say over and over again that a pool should never be set on sand, sand should only be used as a cushion for the liner, inside the framework of the pool, not under it.

In your situation you are dealing with the sand concerns in two ways. You are building a retaining wall to keep all the sand in place, no wash out. You are also installing foam over the sand, something a little more solid for the pool to sit on

The only suggestion I would have is to use plenty of blocks under the braces and the end uprights.

Let me know how it all works for you.

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