We have installed a large above ground swimming pool, so thought I would share the best way to get it setup and some tips we learnt along the way.
The swimming pool is by home leisure it is a 18ft circular pool that is 42′ deep, the top is made up of a inflatable ring, the sides are made of a tough 3-ply laminate made of 2 sheets of heavy PVC Laminate with a inner grid sheet made of nylon & polyester, it is very solid, it has to be to take the amount of water in it at over 4000 gallons. It came complete with a external filter pump, pool cover, ladder and a maintenance kit, This pool has a RRP of £299. The picture above is from the advertising from the retailer we brought from. This is classed as a easy up pool, the box shows 5 simple steps, but isn’t as easy as makes out if your ground isn’t perfectly level.
Where I was installing it the ground wasn’t by no means level and not really good solid grass, so the first thing that had to be done is to mark out the area needed and take up the turf. This was done by measuring the to the centre of where the pool was going to go and putting a stick into the centre with rope measured out to half the diameter ie 9ft in this case and painting a line by rotating the string to give a 18ft diameter circle shape, Then the hard work started of taking up the turf. On this ground was harder than i expected as in some major parts there was a lot of large stones/bricks under the turf.
Once all the turf was up, it is then the job of leveling out as much as the soil as possible, the best way I found to do this was to but some stakes around and then some string across, think of slicing up a pizza, once the string was attached I leveled the string with a spirit level. the string was approx 2 inch of the soil level, so you could see the level. Then you remove the larger bumps in the soil and fill in the low points. This doesn’t have to be perfect as we was putting sand on top of the soil to make perfectly level. But the more you can get this level the better as you wouldn’t need as much sand.
Once we had leveled the soil as much as possible and taken all of the stones of the surface and that are protruding out of the soil, This is particularly important that all sharp objects are removed. It was then time to put the sand down, now because we did this over the bank holiday weekend, didn’t have time to get sand delivered, so we got bags of sand from a local supplier, now we used approx 35 bags of building sand. If would have thought in advance definitely would have got the sand delivered as would have been cheaper and easier.
I started putting the sand down and leveling off, this is best done by starting one side, putting sand down as you go and with a large spirit level pulling the sand and checking the level as you go. And making sure the level was correct from left to right and top to bottom. This is very important that this is level as this is the last base for the pool to sit on.
Now the sand was level was the time to start getting the pool setup, the pool comes with a ground sheet to go underneath the pool, so once the we was happy the sand was level the ground sheet goes down over the sand and then the pool on the top. We started to set the pool on on not really a warm day, but still was ok to stretch it out. I would Recommend doing this on a warm day so that the pool liner is more flexible. We stretched out the pool and flattened the base of the pool as much as possible. Once this was done the top need inflating with approx 75% of air. Then the water started to go in, at this point we had to try and get the bottom of the pool as flat as possible, by gently kicking the liner to the sides by getting in the pool without shoes and socks on.
Then we just had to leave it filling up for the start of filling up approx 10hrs we put some plastic garden chairs inside to the pool to hold up the inflatable ring, this was just until the pool gained its shape and to make sure water wouldn’t run over the ring. It took around 2 days to fill up to a good level of water. Once most of the water was in we then fully inflated the top ring.
The external pump filter attached to two pipes that connect to valves on the side of the pool. Be warned that the cable on this pump / filter has only a 1.5mtr lead, so we had to get electrics down by the pool, I had to use 25mtrs of electric cable that was feed through a solid plastic pipe and buried into the found with 2 eternal sockets around 3mtrs away from the pool. This was then connected to a RCD circuit breaker into the existing outdoor electrics.
This was all the hard work done and then all we had to do is treat the pool water with the chemicals that we had brought to get the chlorine and pH levels correct, this is easily done with a water kit that contains all the chemical treatments you need and test strips to keep checking the water. We found that it is worth running the filter for around 2hrs before you are going to use the pool Don’t use the filter while you are in the pool. Cleaning the pool of debris is easy with the supplied net and water vacuum to clean the bottom of the pool.
We used to the pool for the first time a few weeks after it was all up and running and because we had amazing weather the pool was really warm all through out the day. It is a great pool and once all the effort is done getting it right will give you loads of pleasure throughout the summer, that is as long as we have good weather throughout the summer 🙂
We had the pool up for a good few weeks and used it a few times, but we then hadn’t used it for a week or so and the water was completely pea green. It went like this for a few reasons : we hadn’t topped up the chlorine levels (hadn’t done this as the level was bit low but because we wasn’t using it I didnt think it mattered) We had a good down pour of rain over a few days, so introduced fresh water and another reason we hadn’t put in the algaecide chemical.
Now because was so green, the water couldn’t be cleared up using chemicals, so the best thing to do was to empty it fully and clean, now the outlet valve at the bottom is there to drain the pool, you would attach a hosepipe and let it drain using gravity to your drain, but because I service fish pools for a living, I put one of my powerful pumps in so could empty quicker, then using pressure wash cleaned it fully out then filled back up again.
So as you can see from the above, it is very important to keep up with the chemical levels even if you think you arn’t going to use it for a few weeks, as if you don’t you have the hassle of cleaning it fully.
Hope anyone reading this find this information informative and helpful, if you have any comments please leave them.
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