Buttress Posts Leaning

We had a professional (we thought) install our pool. The next day we noticed as we were filling the pool that one side was leaning. On the other side 1 buttress was leaning. The pool is level every where else. Water looks good.

Upon inspecting the foot support blocks put under the buttress brace bracket we found that they did not center them on the cement blocks and the weight of the water as it filled pushed them all down and sank them causing the pool buttress posts to lean outward. We also noticed that they used screws instead of truss hex bolts and a few screw heads popped off, some were with washers others not, and also they used 2 screws in 1 hole instead of 1 long truss hex bolt provided by pool manufacturer.

We emptied the pool to 1/2 got a saw horse straddling the buttress end brace and bottom plate, attached a lashing strap hook to the end and lifted it just slightly to slip out the cement block. We packed in more dirt tamped it level, replaced the cement block being sure it was centered under the end of the foot (brace bracket) and carefully lowered the buttress support brace, after replacing some of the incorrect bolts holding it all together.

When we were done with all the buttress posts we eye sighted down the side of the pool noting that it was indeed straight now. We started filling the pool. now, the pool is full and we noticed that the buttress bottom plates and the transition rail tracking is lifting off the ground. Why? Is this an accident waiting to happen? Do we need to start over again and lower the blocks, maybe they are too high now?

This pool has been a nightmare. This company screwed us. They didn't use the correct truss hex screws, we actually found them thrown in the yard. They stripped many of the screw heads, and we found other things they did incorrectly. They refuse to answer the phone, and have cashed the checks.. so we are left to deal with this mess alone, and out of money.


Without seeing photos of the pool I would think what you did was fine and you just need to fill in under the bottom rails with dirt.

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Bottom Rail Not On Ground

by sh

Oval Pool Bottom Rails Off Ground

Oval Pool Bottom Rails Off Ground

My husband is installing an oval 16x32 ft Doughboy above ground pool. He dug out for the footers and poured concrete. He leveled and leveled for the footers and the end posts (on pavers).

When he went to put the bottom rail on, it is about an inch and a half off the ground. We went ahead and put the sides and top rails on thinking we could backfill with sand under the rail. He is worried now about doing that and is talking about taking the whole thing down and basically starting over. Any suggestions on what to do besides that?


That is an easy mistake to make, that of setting the Doughboy side braces 1 1/2" too high.

I would dig the braces out and re-set them. There is really no way to fix the problem correctly without doing this.

It is a lot of extra work but the results will be will worth it.

The alternative is to remove all the rails and bring in some good solid backfill that can raise the area under the rails. This filled in area should be at least a foot wide, wider if possible.

When you set a Doughboy brace the entire assembly sits below ground. When the tab for the bottom rail is in place, and the bottom rail connected, the bottom of the rail should be ground level.

It is also much easier to install the wall before the uprights go on, they just fall over and get in the way if done before the wall.

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Doughboy Side Rails Leaning Out

by John

When I viewed the page by Bonnie from Illinois it looked like my pool. Our pool is 16X28 with 7.5 inch top rails. Our pool is completely surrounded by a deck. I think that the deck is keeping the pool from really bowing out.

The pool is now hard against the right side of the deck. Two of the end top rails have already pulled loose from the screws. One in the shallow end on the right side and the other in the deep end on the right side. The shallow end has moved 2 inches and the Deep end 1 inch. My question is... Can running a cable and turn buckles around the pool keep the pool from moving out further? The pool is 12 years old.


Hi John

Sides bowing out like that are usually an installation issue. The posts may not have been set with an inward tilt to allow for some push out as the pool fills, or the blocks were not set in firm ground and they settled as soon as some pressure was put on them. Another really dumb reason is the installer not using the pressure plates that came with the pool.

A pool 12 years old, now that's a different story. It's hard to imagine after all this time the blocks just decided to settle, but, stranger things have happened.

You mention a deep end so it is highly unlikely you have any straps under the liner that connect the braces side to side. When these rust and break the pool spreads.

If the pool were drained about half way you could probably push the rails back straight and shim the blocks under the backs of the brace channels. A tight belt around the pool might work also though I have never seen it done.

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Doughboy Concrete Blocks Not Flush

by Shelly
(West Richland, WA USA)

I am installing a 32' x 16' x 52" oval. Only one installer in the area and he is booked.

Everything is perfectly level. We waited to do concrete to make sure entire bottom rail was right and level. Only problem is we couldn't get concrete blocks flush to the plates. Most of the supports are close, but one is around one and a half inches at most away. Will this be a big issue? Should we fill in the cap with concrete even if it means adhering the support to the concrete?

Hi Shelly

I could not imagine not having the brace channel resting on the blocks. I would raise the blocks and do it right.

I love the Doughboy ovals, I grew up installing them. The brace system is probably the most complicated of all ovals, but done correctly, probably the best. Everything should be perfect, no short cuts.

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