Wet Sand and Used Liner

by Brad
(Wheeling, WV)

Hi-Thanks for your great web site!!

We are installing an 18' above ground pool.(Aqua Leader). The manual says to use a compacted crush and run type base under the pool wall if your ground freezes-we did that.

Inside the base we have put a 2" layer of sand and are using the happy bottom and foam pool coves that came with it. Does the sand inside the bottom need to be dry before putting the happy bottom on top of it and then the liner? Or will it stay wet anyway from the pool water? It just rained here yesterday and the sand is very wet.

Also, if the liner has already been cut for the skimmer, etc, what precautions should we take when placing/filling the liner so it won't stretch at the skimmer and leak? Thanks-Brad

Hi Brad.

Wet sand is always easier to work with. It will smooth out easier and pack better. If you do a good job of packing the wet sand you will make less footprints in it when doing the rest of the pool.

As for the liner, I would not recommend that anyone try to install a used liner. Liners shrink when they are emptied and many times the liners end up being to small for the pool. Lining up the skimmer and return holes can be difficult and they can be impossible at times to get the wrinkles out.

But if you want to try, here is how to do it. Once the wall is up you will be on the inside of the pool with the liner. Open it up and pull the section with the openings over the wall and cloths pin in place. Line the skimmer opening up as best possible with the wall. The skimmer should be installed using all of the existing screw holes in the liner. It takes a person on the outside of the pool to help

with this. When the skimmer is installed do the same with the return.

Your outside person needs to hold the wall up for this next step, because you will be pulling on it. You want to open the liner up and go directly across the pool from the skimmer and pull the liner over the wall. The liner should be resting on the cove under the skimmer. If you can go across the pool and have enough liner left to go over the wall you should be OK to proceed with the installation.

Let the area across from the skimmer drop back down, you need to go back and start pulling the liner over the wall, starting at the skimmer location. Work your way around the pool pulling just a couple of inches over the wall and holding in place with cloths pins.

With all the liner over the wall, work on getting the bottom centered. Most of the time, the liner will have shrunk, meaning it will not go back in exactly as it was before. It is critical that you set the liner in the proper position under the skimmer and work from there. The entire liner may be offset to one side, but that is the way it has to be. I have seen liners where the area across from the skimmer may only have an inch or two of overhang. In other cases, where the liner was used for less than a season, the entire pool was pulled over in the exact location it had been before.

Take plenty of time setting the liner before you start adding water. Once the water is turned on the liner will not be easily moved, get it right before you turn on the hose. Once the pool is filling, finish smoothing out the bottom. When the water is near the edge of the pool the final adjustments can be made to the overhang. Then the coping can be installed and the pool finished.

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