How To Install In-Ground Swimming Pool Kits

Frequently Asked Construction Questions

 

Swimming Pool Kit Excavation Questions

 

Q

How deep should I excavate the shelf/shallow end of my swimming pool kit?

 

A

Once you establish the pool kit elevation/benchmark, excavate 42″ down, which is the height of the Hydra, Pinnacle, or Cornerstone polymer or Samson steel pool kit wall panel without the pool coping attached. This is the depth of the shelf around the entire swimming pool where the pool kit panels will sit. This shelf is the same in the shallow end as well as the deep end. The entire shallow end should be excavated to the same depth as the shelf. You will constantly be using two terms, dig dimensions and finish dimensions. Be sure you understand both terms and how to move between than during the construction of your in-ground pool kit.

 

Q

How deep should the pool hopper in the deep end be excavated?

 

A

Always dig the pool hopper in the deep end 2″ deeper than the pool kits finish depth. Example: If the finish depth of deep end is 8′, dig hopper area to a depth of 8’2″ from the benchmark or the top of the 42″ pool kit wall panel without pool coping installed. This will allow for the installation of 2″ of bottom material, such as vermiculite (pool krete) or sand-and-cement mixture in the bottom of the pool hopper.

 

Q

Will excavating the shelf area around the swimming pool leave enough room for the pool kit wall braces?

 

A

The swimming pool kit wall panel line you have will dictate the brace size and the amount of overdig in the shelf area. Requirements are as follows: Hydra pool kit wall panels require a 24″ overdig, Cornerstone pool kit wall panels require a 24″ overdig, Pinnacle pool kit wall panels requires a 36″ overdig, Samson Steel pool kit wall panels requires 30″ overdig, Extreme requires a 24″ overdig. These are minimum requirements to allow room for the pool kit wall brace and to work in the shelf area.

 

Q

The pool kit installation manual advises not to over dig, what does this mean?

 

A

Extreme care should be taken when digging any depth or slope of the swimming pool, especially in the pool hopper or deep end of the swimming pool. Carefully mark the shelf area where the pool kit walls will sit using marking paint or strings with pins. Do not let the excavator dig past your marks or strings. You may want to hand shovel (trim) during this procedure to keep the excavator away from the shelf, thus keeping the shelf edge intact where the pool kit wall panels will sit. Keep in mind that all walls in the hopper area slope at various angles, thus the term “hopper bottom”.

 

Q

When digging and encountering groundwater, what are some options?

 

A

The most common option is to use a self-priming pool pump like the one for your pool package. All plumbing should be schedule 40 PVC installed as shown in the pool kit installation manual. Cap the pipe and drill as many 3/8″ holes as possible in the tailpiece buried in the gravel/rock below grade. Make sure all plumbing joints are tight so you can pump the maximum amount of groundwater from beneath the pool during the construction of the pool kit.

 

Swimming Pool Kit Finish Dimensions Questions

 

Q

What do finish dimensions refer to?

 

A

Finish dimensions refer to several areas of the swimming pool. Most of the time they refer to the interior of the
pool, both length, and width, as well as depth measurements. Example: A 16′ x 32′ rectangle in-ground pool kit that is 40″ finish in the shallow end and 8’ finish in the deep end would measure 16′ wide and 32′ long on the interior of the pool kit walls. The depth of the swimming pool would be measured from the top of the wall (without coping attached) to the finish bottom material. The pool bottom material comes 2″ up the pool kit wall panels to the finish grade following the entire inside perimeter of the swimming pool kit. Polymer swimming pool kit wall panels have a scribed line at the 2″ mark.

 

Q

What standard dimensions are on the drawing you receive with your swimming pool kit package?

 

A

All dimensions on your pool kit drawing are finish dimensions, with the exception of the panel-shelf detail. Remember to add 2″ to all depth dimensions to allow for the 2″ of bottom material needed later. This applies to the panel shelf as well. The swimming pool kit wall panels are 42″ high, and the finish inside the pool is 40″, up 2″ on the pool kit panel. All depth measurements are from the top of the pool kit wall panel with no pool coping installed.

 

Swimming Pool Kit Wall Panel Installation Questions

 

Q

How tight should the pool wall panel bolts be?

 

A

All pool kit wall panel lines need to have the bolts tight and secure. Do not over tighten. Two of the swimming pool kit wall panel lines properly connect one panel to the next. One of the pool kit wall panel lines (Pinnacle) has stud/socket alignments.

 

Q

How level should the swimming pool kit wall panels be?

 

A

As with any construction project involving walls and footing, the swimming pool kit wall panels need to be level, square and plumb (perfectly vertical) before the footer/collar is poured. After the pool wall panels are bolted together, they need to be leveled by using the transit to level all panels to every other panel. While this step is progressing, continue to square the pool kit also. After the swimming pool kit wall panels are level and square, make sure they are plumb. After this is complete, and after the pool wall braces are all set, it is time for the concrete collar to be poured.

 

Q

How do I bolt the pool kit wall panels to the pool step, in-wall ladder, cozy cove spa or swim out?

 

A

After leveling the pool kit step following the manufacturer’s instructions, clamp the pool kit wall panel to the pool steps so that the flanges on the side of the step align with the top and face of the panel. If wall stiffeners are in your way, mark all holes with a marker, remove the step from pool kit wall panels and drill holes where marked on pool step flanges.

 

Q

My soil is too rocky or hard for the polymer stakes, what can I use?

 

A

Steel stakes are available as an upcharge on all swimming pool kit wall panel lines. Hydra, Cornerstone, Pinnacle.

 

Q

What consistency should the concrete for the collar (bond beam) be?

 

A

When ordering concrete for the bond beam/collar, it should be 3,000 psi rating with a minimum of 5″ slump. This allows the concrete to flow around the pool kit wall braces.
NOTE: Always check walls for straightness and plumb before concrete sets.

 

Aqua Genie Skimmer Installation Questions

 

Q

How is the Aqua Genie swimming pool skimmer installed?

 

A

The Aqua Genie is mounted from the back of the swimming pool kit wall panel with the face of the Aqua Genie extending through the pre-cut hole in the pool wall panel. It attaches to the back of the pool kit wall panel using eight number-10×3/4” self-tapping screws.

 

Q

The Aqua Genie skimmer has three holes for plumbing lines, which goes where?

 

A

There are two holes below the point at which the basket sits in the main body of the Aqua Genie.
One is 1-1/2″ and the other is 2″. One will be your suction going to the front of the pump, located at the equipment pad. The other will be plugged in such a manner to ensure a watertight seal. The third hole is located under the throat of the Aqua Genie; this is where the clean, filtered water returns from the filter. Two terms used often in the swimming pool industry are suction and return. The pool pump located at your equipment pad is the center point. If you are standing over the pool pump, any plumbing lines coming from the swimming pool to the front of the pool pump are called suction lines. Any lines leaving out of the top of the pool pump to the filter, heater, salt generator and the like and eventually going back into the ground and back to the swimming pool are called return lines. We have suction lines and return lines.

 

Q

Where should the Aqua Genie skimmer be placed in the pool perimeter?

 

A

Always locate the Aqua Genie skimmer as close as possible to the center of the long wall on a rectangle pool kit. Larger rectangle pool kits may require two, L-shaped pool kits may require two or more, and free-form pool kits have specific requirements that are noted on your pool wall panel layout drawing.

 

Q

Where do I order replacement parts?

 

A

Click here: Aqua Genie for any replacement parts. An exploded view with an Aqua Genie and all parts is provided.

 

Q

How do I pressure test the Aqua Genie?

 

A

lace expanding plugs in the bottom of the suction line. Place a blanking plate on the nozzle and plug the stainless steel feeder tube. Fill the lines with air and check the gauge for any drop in pressure.

 

Q

How do I winterize the Aqua Genie?

 

A

We recommend using our Aqua Genie winter cover, part 3-H03116N, sold on PoolWarehouse.com. This covers the inlet and return of the Aqua Genie. With this cover, there is no need to remove the faceplate. Place the covers bolt through the inlet and tighten until the gasket is snug. Blow out the plumbing lines to remove all of the water. Pour a couple of gallons of RV antifreeze into the suction line underneath the basket.

 

Q

Why don’t I need separate returns when using the Aqua Genie?

 

A

The Aqua Genie has a built-in return.

 

Swimming Pool Kit Step Installation Questions

 

Q

How do I support my Sweetwater Pool Kit Steps during installation?

 

A

Your pool steps come with our new PVC and ABS step-alignment system. This is your leveling system to support the pool kit step during and after installation. This leveling feature attaches PVC legs to the injection molded tread support mounted under the step treads. The legs will be anchored in the concrete collar when poured around the pool perimeter. With the proper backfill installed, this should give you a lasting foundation for your swimming pool steps.

 

Q

When I install my pool kit coping up to the side of the pool step, the vertical face plates on each side of the steps get in the way. What should I do?

 

A

Cut the vertical faceplate and beauty strip off about 1/2″ below the liner track on the pool kit coping. This will allow the coping an easy transition from the top of the pool kit wall panel to where it butts up to the side of the pool step.

 

Q

When should I remove the faceplate extrusions from the pool step?

 

A

Leave them attached until you are ready to install the liner. Remove the beauty strip, and before removing the face plates, mark right/left and top. The horizontal strip across the bottom of the pool step should be marked right and left also. THEY CAN BE REINSTALLED INCORRECTLY. All screw holes are pre-drilled to match the faceplate. The gasket is installed and covers the pre-drilled holes. You will want to align them perfectly when installing the strips over the vinyl swimming pool liner.

 

Q

Where should I place the pool step returns if installed?

 

A

Installation should be on the flat area on either side of the step, as you walk down into the pool. Placement should be about 12″ to 15″ down from the top of the step. This fitting is #SP1023. This has three gaskets, two rubber gaskets, and one fiber gasket. The hole size for the pool step return is 2-1/2″.

 

Q

When should I put the face plates on to secure the swimming pool liner to the pool step?

 

A

The water in the pool (shallow end) should be deep enough to push the pool liner vertical to the pool step. The swimming pool liner at the bottom of the step should be at a 90o angle from the floor to the step, no space. Once this has been accomplished, attach one vertical faceplate and then the other vertical faceplate to the pool step. Tighten and secure each screw. Once this has been done, install the horizontal faceplate. If there is any doubt as to how the face plates are to look when installed, take a picture before removal, showing step detail with beauty strips removed.

 

Q

How do I support my Sweetwater 6’ swim out?

 

A

The width tread of the 6’ swim out has a large surface area. Due to the weight of the water in this area, it is best to support it with concrete block piers. Place 4 piers across the bottom length of the swim out, where the blocks touch the bottom of the swim out. Place a treated or composite board across the whole length. When the collar is poured this will keep the blocks in place.

 

Q

How do I clean the swimming pool steps and swim-outs?

 

A

You can clean the swimming pool steps and swim-outs with a soft scrub cleanser with bleach. For stubborn stains, you can use an automotive rubbing compound.

 

Q

I need to replace my pool step screws, gasket, and faceplates. What parts do I need to order?

 

A

All parts are available at PoolWarehouse.com – The step screws are number 10 x 1” pan head stainless steel. The replacement screws are part number H01906 sold in a pack of 50. The pool step faceplates and gaskets can be ordered and they are part numbers H0543UD for the faceplates and I02631 for the gaskets (2 required for an 8’ step), holes are not pre-drilled. Use the old faceplates as a guide to drill the new faceplates.

 

Q

How do I winterize my pool step/swim out jets or main drain?

 

A

Remove the internal jet. Carefully turn the jet with slow even pressure, USE CAUTION WHEN TURNING THE JET, TO MUCH FORCE WILL BREAK THE INTERNAL TABS AND A NEW JET WILL BE NEEDED. Place expanding rubber plugs in the jet openings. Remove or open the air valve all the way. Blow air through the lines until the water is removed. For the main drain blow air until you see bubbles coming from the drains, quickly close the valve at the pump. Pour RV antifreeze through the air valve and close.

 

Swimming Pool Kit Coping Installation Questions

 

Q

Do I need to cut the coping to fit?

 

A

Both our bull-nose and cantilever swimming pool kit coping require some cutting to fit. This can be done with a hacksaw, Sawzall, jigsaw or a compound miter saw with a metal cutting blade.

 

Q

Some of the coping clips pop off. How can I correct this?

 

A

Make sure the joint where the coping sections meet is even. You may have to tap one or the other with the palm of your hand to align them evenly. Take the coping clip and bend it slightly into a tighter radius. Take a small amount of clear silicone and apply to the inside of the clip before installation.

 

Q

I have cantilevered coping. Where are my coping clips?

 

A

Cantilever swimming pool kit coping does not require clips. You will need self-tapping screws only.

 

Q

During installation, my coping was scratched. How could I repair the finish?

 

A

This can be touched up with paint supplied where you purchased. It is a specially formulated paint for the coping. It is sold in 12 oz cans and the part number is HO2974.

 

Q

Can I tape the pool kit coping to protect it when pouring the swimming pool deck?

 

A

Painters tape can be used along the pool coping edge. Apply just prior to pouring the swimming pool deck. If there is adhesive transfer, use a rag and a product called GOOP or GOO GONE to remove. This is available at most major home-improvement centers.

 

Swimming Pool Liner Installation Questions

 

Q

My pool liner is either too big or too small?

 

A

Vinyl in-ground swimming pool liners are temperature sensitive. If it appears too big, take the liner out of the track and let it relax in the bottom of the swimming pool. Wait until the early morning to re-install the pool liner. If the pool liner appears small, take it out of the track and let it relax. Wait until mid-afternoon to re-install the pool liner. In the fall, winter, or early spring keep the in-ground pool liner in a heated area until ready to install.

 

Q

What if my swimming pool liner bead will not stay in after I installed, what can I do?

 

A

An extruded product known as liner lock is available to assist in keeping the pool liner in the liner track and is available at PoolWarehouse.com, just click here, swimming pool Liner Lock.

 

Q

I ordered a safety ledge and I do not see it on my pool?

 

A

Sometimes with our pool liner design software, the safety ledge is designed into the pool, this eliminates the seam.

 

Q

Where do I find the serial number for my in-ground swimming pool liner?

 

A

The serial number will be on the warranty card and also located on the pool liner itself. Look in the deep end, on the back of the pool liner, it will be placed 1′-2′ from the center of the deep end near the top of the liner.

 

Q

How do I line up the swimming pool liner of a free-form pool?

 

A

Look for the seam at the back of the hopper where it meets the slope. Use this to line up the deep end. For the shallow end look for a seam closest to the break, it will be parallel.

 

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FAQ’s – How To Install In-Ground Swimming Pool Kits Questions?

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