Round Pool Deep Ends is a page that will add more information to the topic started at Above Ground Pool Deep Ends. Oval Pool Deep Ends is more information for oval pool owners.
Deep ends for round above ground pools fall into two categories. One way of doing this is to have a deep end and a shallow end. The other way is to make as much of the pool as possible at a deeper level.
Deep ends can be dug to any depth. A 52" wall pool is going to give you approximately 46" of water. If you really wanted a full 52" of water then you should dig out about 6" inches of dirt. If your family is all around the six foot height then you may want at least five foot of water. To get five foot of water with a 52" wall you would need to dig out an additional 14" or so of dirt.
The actual water depth is determined by taking your wall height and subtracting 6". This allows for the water needing to be lower than the top of the pool to fall into the skimmer area correctly. It also allows a couple of inches for a pool base.
You can see that it is very possible for your normal water level to fall way below chest level for most adults. This may, or may not, make any difference to you. But if it does, the problem is easily taken care of with an expandable liner and a lot of digging.
Over digging your deep end is not a good idea. It is better to dig it right the first time and not having to do any back filling. Round pool deep ends are pretty easy to lay out and avoid over digging. The way I prefer doing it is to lay out the bottom rails, connect them, make sure they are round and level them. Now you know exactly where the edge of the pool will be and you know exactly what ground level is. Ground level is the level that each of your footplates is set at and the level the top of the ledge should be at. I place my heel at the bottom rail and the heel of my other foot at the toe of my first foot. I start the slope just a touch beyond my two feet.
Another way to determine where to start the slope on a round pool deep end is to use a tape measure off the pool center point. If you have a 24' pool the radius that the rail will sit at is 12'. The hole should start sloping at the 10' mark on the tape. If you start your slope at 10' it will probably grow a little before the final shaping is done so you will still wind up with at least a 1' 6" ledge.
If you are digging a deep center area the ledge will remain the same all the way around the pool. The slope down to the deep section will also remain the same. This type of deep end should be as symmetrical as possible.
If one third to one half of the pool is to remain shallow the ledge will be used just around the deep section. The shallow end can range from just a few feet wide to half the pool, that is up to you. The slope on this type of deep end changes as you come up into the shallow area. A more gradual slope is used for the deep to shallow transition.
When installing the liner into an excavated deep area you will probably get the best results by stretching it.
Round pool deep end photos and expandable liner instructions can be found by following the link.