Underneath The Pool
Last year I put up a starter pool (15 ft round), metal tube frame. For various reasons, we went thru a summer of set-up, fill, drain, take-down, set-up, fill, drain, take-down . . .. the process went on and the water bill went up.
This year I'm investing in a higher-end, bigger pool (18 ft round Diamond Star). Last year during one of the take-down, re-setup processes (we were having a blast by the way), we built a 16' x 16' square perimeter using landscape timbers, 2 high. We then filled this with bank sand, packed it down, set up the pool and wa-lah . . no more leaning pool.
So, my new, bigger pool is ordered and will be here in about 10 days. Everything I have read says not to level with sand . . . .oh no . . . that's what I have. My question is . . . . Can I enlarge the existing perimeter frame by four feet in both directions (giving me a 20' x 20' square), fill in with more bank sand, pack with one of those machines you rent that stomps, level and be okay. In addition, last year, I had a double layer, heavy duty tarp over the sand before I put the pool up, then the blocks sat on top of that and I then put the legs on top of that. (Used the tarp to limit massive water getting into the sand and washing it away thru the landscape timpers - I also was able to put deck type boards at the corners after the pool was set up for a finished look and to set the ladders on).
With this new pool, I have to put the blocks level with the surface, so I was thinking about just putting the blocks under the tarp, level with the sand which would mean there would be tarp between blocks and bottom cuff. I've looked everywhere on the
internet and my method has never been talked about, hopefully not for obvious reasons. Found your site and what a wealth of info and knew you could help. Thank you so much.
I like everything about your plan, well, just about everything. Setting the blocks level with the top of the sand should work just fine. Make sure they are all perfectly level. I would lay out the bottom rail, connect it, make it perfectly round, and then set the blocks. There is no sense setting them and then having them all in the wrong places.
The big question I have is what are you going to do about a pool cove? You might consider preformed pool cove.
Pool Cove and Foam Pads
If you are using the cove you could lay the bottom rail on top of the tarp, build the pool, install the preformed pool cove and install the liner. By doing this you have protected the bottom of your pool from washing out and causing major liner damage. That is the biggest problem with a sand base, but not if you take precautions.
Another way to go would be to lay the bottom rail and build the pool. Once the pool is up you could add a sand, or dirt, cove. The tarp would then be used over top of the cove. It would need to be trimmed so that it went up the wall about 8" or so and then taped into place. With this method you are also protecting yourself from a washout.
Once you pool is in place do something around the outside to keep all that sand in place. This can be black plastic with gravel, or bark, or something over it. It could be more sand and some patio pavers set in place around the pool. They do a great job of keeping the sand in place.
Hopefully this gave you a few ideas. Enjoy the new pool, one you do not have to take down every few weeks.