Fiberglass Pool Installation Guide

Tools & Material Needed:
Excavator
Track or Wheel Loader or Dump Truck if room
Sight or Laser Transit  (Do not use water / mason level)
Grade Stick
Purple PVC Primer
Rain-or-Shine cement for below surface pipes
2” PVC
Necessary Permits Approved
Utility Lines have been Marked by your local One Call
Well Pointing has been performed if high ground water.

  1. Start unloading of all supplies needed for job (hand tools, machines)
  2. Take all tools needed for marking out deck and pool to the backyard for marking out deck.
  3. Do an access path safety check to make sure you will not destroy any permanent fixtures or utilities or power lines.

First Grade Deck to proper height

  1. Check deck Length / Width numbers on dimensions of homeowner’s house and patio to make sure deck does not end on a window, spigot, or outlet (so screen enclosure wall can mount to house without obstruction)
  2. Trick to marking out deck: If deck follows angle of house (deck starts at corner of home), start your string line 2-3 feet past the house using a 3” nail or screw on house.  The string line should be 1” off the house on the nail/screw, now take string line out past the house the depth of the deck. Have your helper measure the string line at corner of house. It should also be 1”. If it’s more or less than 1”, then the person at opposite end of deck needs to move left or right until the string line is the same distance off the house at the corner as it is at start of the string line 2-3’ back. Drive your stake here and spray paint the ground below the line. Now you can use a framing square (the bigger the square the more accurate) to mark off the other side of the deck.
  3. Set transit in a spot will not be in way of work preferable looking long way down pool. Transit or Laser tripod must never be moved until pool set.
  4. Start scraping the top layer of grass once all corner pins are driven and transit/laser set up, if land raises in back make sure to dig out a 2-foot swell around pool deck for water pour off.
  5. Once land is scraped of all grass and is hauled off, shoot slab (patio or preexisting deck for slab number) using transit or laser. This is to get the height of the existing deck. You then need to grade your Deck for correct height building up or cutting dirt out. Most likely you’ll lose your spray paint deck lines, but corner stakes should stay set. If finished deck elevation is an existing patio, then your pool deck will be graded for either concrete (minus 3.5” from existing Patio) or Pavers (minus 2.5” from existing Patio).   Set your grade stick adding the 3.5” or 2.5” to whatever number the existing patio was.  Move the grade stick around the deck and grade the dirt until the height of the dirt hits the grade stick measurement.

Second Dig the pool hole

  1. So now your pool deck is the correct height. The top of the pool coping should always be at least 1” higher than the finished deck. This is because the pool must be the highest point of the deck, so water drains away from the pool. USA building code is ¼” to ½” per foot fall between house and pool. So, on a 5’ deck around the pool, the maximum height allowed for the pool is 2.5” higher than the deck (5 x ½” = 2.5”).
  2. You already know the finished deck height (should be same as existing concrete / patio / lanai) measurement on the grade stick, the pool would just be at least 1” higher (reminder on a grade stick you would subtract that 1” from the figure so grade stick is raised higher) depending on your slope calculations talked about step #9 above but always at least 1” for proper water drainage so you have no concrete bellies holding water and water runs away from the pool to deck deck-o-drain between pool and house or edge of deck.
  3. Once the top of pool height on grade stick is figured, drive two additional pvc pins or stakes into the ground until the height of the stake is the height of the pool elevation. These stakes would be set just outside the new pool deck the distance from house to pool. You will run a string line between both pins/stakes. When you set the pool in the ground, now you want pool coping to just be touching this line at the edge of the coping. This will make sure the pool is at correct height and distance to house.
  4. Drive a second set of pins just outside the deck and against the house where the end of the pool will go and run a string line with the grade stick set on top of the pins to make sure the pvc stakes and pins are the correct height (or notch the stake or pvc pin and put grade stick on the string line itself to make sure string line correct height).
  5. Start the dig once all “mark out poles up”. Make sure to check dig number by shooting every once in while till to depth number then clear for room to work in hole while digging.  Use the dig plan to determine how deep you need to dig the hole from the top of the string lines. So, if pool dig plan says deep end is 66” deep at that corner, you should be 66” deep from top of the string line.
  6. Reminder to dig your pool hole 1-2 feet wider than the pool so you have room to run pipe. The string lines should be floating over open air until pool is set by crane and then just barely touching the string line.
  7. Once you have the hole roughly dug with excavator, now is time to drive wood stakes into the bottom of the hole at all 4 corners of the pool. You drive the stake into the ground until the height of the stake is where the grade stick says the pool should be dug too. Then run a string line crisscross X between all 4 stakes. Use a shovel and rake so dirt just barely touches the string lines.  
  8. NOTE: IF you have water coming into the hole you must dig out an additional 2-3 inches of dirt and add 2-3 inches of shell or pea gravel to bottom of hole to firm up the bottom of the pool hole. Still use Stakes and String Line to make sure height of gravel or shell is where it needs to be for pool.    IF water can’t be controlled with a sump pump, you will need to well point or dig a 1’ deeper than pool depth trench few feet away from pool hole between water source and pool hole. Make sure to stair step the trench hole so the sides don’t collapse. Now you can add a semi-trash pump with 3” hose to suck out water from this trench hole to keep water out of the pool hole (or drive PVC lines and well point instead of a long deep trench).
  9. Once you have driven all depth pins to where they need to be and grade is at or below string line do one last “fluff” of bottom adding some loose sand that will compact down.
  10. Prepare for crane gather supplies needed for main crane make sure cranes set up tag line an shackle are on ground for hooking up
  11. Plump main drain before pool is lifted off trailer.
  12. Be ready to fly pool (guys hydrated and, in the hole, ready for hands on once pool reaches hole deep end)
  13. After pool is in before and detached, shoot elevation with grade stick on top of pool coping (and again pool coping should be 1-2” above deck (Remember, pool coping will have concrete or pavers on top of it so if your deck is already graded to handle concrete or pavers, your pool would just be the ¼” to ½” per foot slope height higher than the deck) to make sure pool is at top of pool number or lower(if not pick up pool with crane and fix where needed). You should always consider setting the pool on the dirt then lifting back up with crane to see if all parts of pool bottom have contacted dirt. If you don’t see dirt on bottom of pool, that is a section that needs built up with sand.
  14. If all is good with numbers (pool corners must be within ½” of each other) release crane.
  15. Hand pack at bottom radius and stairs if pool coping at correct height.

Sand Wash if needed.

  1. If the pool settles or crane can’t stay. You can place 3 bottle jacks on both sides of the pool. Make sure to use a 2×4 between jack and pool coping that is at least 1 foot long to spread out the force. Under the bottle jack, use a 4×4 post between bottom of pool hole and bottle jack. Jack up the pool so coping at the correct height elevation. You can now sand wash (use a long 1” pvc pipe with 90-degree elbow at end hooked to water house) to wash sand under the pool (you will be dumping sand against the pool bottom and then using water jet from the sand wash pipe every few inches the length and width of the pool all 4 corners.  When you think enough sand has been washed under the pool, lower the bottle jacks, and see if the pool moves or settles. If it does, jack it back up and sand wash more.  
  2. Sand washing is a last resort and not recommended. It is usually only done to raise one corner up within the ½” variance of all 4 corners.  It takes more work to sand wash a pool in, than just have crane raise the pool back up and you add dirt to that corner.
  3. Once jacks removed, have 1-2 feet of water added to pool and then start packing dirt down under the bottom pool radius. Once you have the pool dirt and pool water about the same 1-2 feet height, double check coping height elevation one last time. If still solid and within variance, you can begin filling up the pool with water while you fill in dirt on outside. Pause the water once you get to the height of bottom of skimmer so you can plumb skimmer and pool returns in shallow end to equipment pad. Pressure pipes and hold pressure for 15 minutes you can finish backfilling if inspection does not require open pipe inspections.
  4. If you backfill dirt faster than water, you risk the pool walls bowing in

There is an LED light in this picture. An electrical conduit will be added once set in the ground with an electrical connection box located close by. LED lights are disconnected in this above ground box, then pulled out through the pool if LED light ever replaced (Connect pull string).  Once pool is set in ground, the vent pipe will be plumbed nearby with an elbow so rainwater does not enter drain.  To drain pool, in the above picture, you would run a bypass hose connecting pump directly to main drain through the skimmer.

Heater, Filter, and Pump

Note: Pool Heater & Salt System with Heater bypass valve.  Skimmer & Drain plumbed to pump. Return inlets on pool are plumbed on left (connected to Salt System / Auto Chlorinator or to Heater or pump if no Auto system used)