Bottom Rail Installation

by Doug Montera
(Omaha, NE, USA)

I'm thinking about pouring a concrete slab/ring level with the ground to place the bottom plates and rail on. Is this a good or bad idea? I am installing a Tahitian 18 foot round pool in Omaha Nebraska. Thanks and you have a fantastic site.


Thanks Doug.

Another option is to dig down about a foot, two feet wide and fill it with a crusher run or crushed granite. This does about the same thing, maybe a little cheaper.

Some slabs leave the bottom rails sitting in water after a rain, causing rust. If your rails and plates are resin this would not be a problem. If they are steel a very slight slope on the concrete would assure some run off.

Anytime a pool sits on a slap preformed pool cove should be used as opposed to a sand cove. The sand could wash out very easily.

You may want to consult local sources to see how well the concrete would handle freezes. That may, or may not, be a concern.

Comments for Bottom Rail Installation

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May 28, 2013
Bottom Rail Installation
by: Doug

Thanks. I will take your suggestion and use the crusher run, as the bottom rail and plates are steel.

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Final Pool Roundness

by Craig
(Sault Ontario Canada)

Hi, your site is great.

I have a 20' Sharkline Matrix that is filling and at 2/3 full, it is filling at 1/4 inch of level but when I measure the perimeter of the rails it is out by two inches (or 1 " depending on how we look at it). Measure at 3 cross sections I get 19'4", 19'6", 19'4".

Should I be worried here or is this within normal specs?

Hi Craig.

I don't know how you installed the pool but if you started with a round bottom rail you should have nothing to worry about. You overall level sounds great so it appears you probably did a very good install.

top rails on above ground pool

The specs you gave seem very reasonable for top rail variance. So much of that is determined by how the top rails are screwed into place. Sometimes just loosening the screws and giving the top a little push, or shove, will fix the problem.

Another factor that effects the final roundness of the top rails is the level of the bottom plates. Overall you are just fine, but if you have two uprights that are spot on and the one between them a 1/4" low, that post will tend to bow out a little at the top. That's the small variance that can be fixed by resetting the top rail screws, or possibly lifting the footplate a hair. The center post being a quarter high will have the opposite effect, it will push in at the top.

It is probably just a matter of looks, and if you don’t notice anything you don't like, then you don’t need to try to fix it. The measurement across the top is not one I have ever used before to tell me if a pool is safe or not. If you started with a round bottom rail, and the pool visually looks fine, then simply enjoy the rest of your summer.

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Bottom Wall Channel

by Rick
(Goose Bay, canada )

I am trying to install an Expression oval pool from Trendium. There are 6 small bottom wall channel (4") sections that I have no idea how they are to be integrated into bottom wall channel system. Can anyone help?? I'm stopped completely until this is figured out.

Thanks, Rick

Hi Rick.

After spending a good hour trying to find an installation PDF file I have given up. I did determine that all the Trendium I saw had six braces, three on each side.

If that is the case with your pool each one of your 4" pieces goes at a brace. Could they be the connectors to hold the side rails in place?

If you have instructions you should be able to find them there somewhere. Without instructions you might see if you can fit them into the brace assemblies somehow.

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Help With Base Track

by Lance

I recently purchased a used 27 foot above ground pool, but I can only seem to get the base track stretched to 26 feet. Is that normal? I have left the 1/2 inch gap at each base plate.


Hi Lance.

The correct way to lay out the bottom rails is to attach a tape measure to a stake in the center of the pool. As you lay out each piece of bottom rail, set it at the 13' 6" mark. By doing this you are keeping the pool round. When you get to the end you may have some adjusting to do, normally this is not more than a few inches in or out. Be sure to go back around the entire pool moving the rail in, or out to make up the difference, but keep the pool round. It would not be uncommon for the pool to lay out at 13' 4" or maybe 13' 7". They are not all exactly the size stated.

If you use this method and get back to the beginning and find you are short about the length of another rail, it's time to recount the parts. Be sure you have enough bottom rails. They should equal the number of top rails, foot plates and so on. If you are using the correct amount then just make sure the distance form center point to rail is the same all the way around.

When you install the wall a similar situation may occur. The wall may be short by several inches or it may be to long. It is important when this happens to remove the wall and adjust many, or all, of the footplates as needed for the wall to meet properly. Adjusting a full 2" at just one, or two, foot plates causes the pool to become out of round.

Pages Related to Base Tracks or Bottom Rails

Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation

Above Ground Pool Installation Tips

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