All of us at Campbell Pools hope this guide will be helpful to both the first buyers and seasoned veterans of swimming pools. It is particularly helpful for those who just bought a pool from us. If you are thinking of buying a pool, this will allow you to know what to expect from us.
You Buy an Above Ground Pool - Next Steps
1. Building PermitIn most townships and cities, you are required to get a building permit for the installation of your pool. First, visit your city or town hall and get all the permit requirements. Most places will hand out a prepared document. This will consist of all the by-laws that must be respected when setting up a swimming pool, everything from the distance between the pool and your property line to the noise restrictions of the pump. We highly recommend that you begin this process early since, in some areas it can take a couple of weeks to obtain your permit. To speed up this process, make sure you meet all the requirements and have all the necessary information. Don’t be afraid to ask us questions if you happen to be in the store.
2. Position of the poolOne detail that often gets overlooked until the last moment or even after the installation has begun is the positioning of the pool. The first thing to do is to ensure that the pool will fit in your yard, taking into account all of the township and city by-laws. In every case, they will specify the minimum distance the pool must be from your fence, property line or other object. The best way of doing this is to draw out a diagram of your property and include all the restrictions. This will then leave you with the portion of your yard that you can actually use for the pool. Once you have this rough diagram in hand, use a long extension cord or garden hose to actually lay out the shape of the pool in your yard. This will really help to visualize the pool. Just remember that it will always look slightly smaller than the real thing. Next, when laying out the position of the pool, you need to take into account the position of the filter and the pump. The standard installation is with the pump and the filter about 3 to 5 feet away from the pool and placed anywhere around the perimeter of the pool. Always remember that you will need access to the equipment for regular maintenance (discussed later in the guide). For that reason, we don’t recommend placing the equipment under a deck or other small enclosure unless steps are taken to allow easy access. Also remember that some townships or city by-laws will place some restrictions on placement of the pump and filter. In some cases, our customers prefer to place the pump and filter a distance from the pool. This can be done, but there are some considerations to take into account. Of course, this type of installation may involve extra cost for material and extra labour (consult the salesperson with these details to ensure there is no confusion). One situation we encounter quite often that can cause some concern is the existing decks. In almost every instance where we have installed a pool with an existing deck, it has proved impossible to get everything to fit just right – from the height of the pool to how close we can get it to the deck. The installers can, in most cases, get it pretty close, but a perfect fit is nearly impossible and should not be expected (Even if the new pool is technically the same size as the old one). Don’t hesitate to ask questions even if they might seem ridiculous. Often it’s the smallest details that cause the biggest problems. And most importantly, communicate with us.
The installation of your PoolNow that the preliminaries have been taken care of and everything is ready for the installation crew to come over and get it done. What’s next?
Excessive slope/gradeWhen you purchase the pool, the installation price that is given includes the yard preparation. Our standard method of installation is having the installer use hand equipment only. Therefore, if the slope is only a few inches, having the installer do it is not at all that expensive. However, if you are looking at over 12” of slope, having an excavation company come in with a small machine might be worth it. At this point it is important that we discuss how we level off a sloped yard. Some of our customers want us to dig down and build the pool from there. Others want us to build up completely while others want us to dig halfway and build up the other half. It would be easy if there were a uniform standard, but unfortunately, there is not. In most cases the installation crew will dig down halfway and build up the other half using “stone dust” and sand (stone dust being very good at creating stable compacted surface quickly). Exactly how much they dig down and how much they build up can vary depending on the type of soil, and other conditions. It should be known that building up is usually easier than digging down. Therefore, the installation crew will often prefer this option.
Make sure you do not cover the area around the poolWhen a pool is installed, it is important to remember that it cannot be backfilled at all. What it means is no part of the pool can have any type of soil against the wall. Because we cannot backfill the wall, it creates an area between the pool and the undisturbed earth where water can accumulate. During the summer this is not much of a problem usually. However in the late fall and especially in the spring, water which accumulates in the problem area can freeze, thaw and refreeze. This action can, in some cases, cause damage to the pool, which can be serious enough to make it collapse. Having water pool into the problem area can also cause the soil to become very soft (a situation known as soil saturation), so soft that the pool could possibly start sinking in that area. The solution to this is to have drainage pipe installed. Talk to our sales staff for more details.
Preventing ErosionThe next problem occurs when the pool is built up rather than dug down. This however is more aesthetic than structural. This type of installation may cause the build-up portion to erode, if not taken care of. Two options are possible here. First, a retaining wall can be installed to hold back the ground and prevent erosion. This also opens many landscaping possibilities, which go beyond this guide. The second option, and more popular, is to bring in fill to build up you yard grade to a more normal angle. This option might require quite a bit of material to be brought in; therefore, it might be a good idea to have a small excavation company do the work. No matter how the slope is in your backyard, the important thing to remember is to communicate with the installer on how you prefer the work to be done. While it is possible for some details to be taken care of with the salesperson you deal with at the store, things like the grade of the yard can really only be done right if you, the customer and the installer, talk it over first. Once the pool is installed, there’s no way to change it. One final word about slopes and grades; in many townships and especially in cities, it is illegal to change the grade of your yard due to drainage questions. To actually change the grade, you need to have the city approve a new set of plans drawn up by a certified engineer. This doesn’t mean you can’t install a pool, only that you can’t change the entire grade of your backyard. Remember if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.
Getting Extra Depth by spooning of the poolAnother part of the job that may require extra excavation is the center spooning of the pool. The standard is 2 to 3 inches in the center. This can be dug down a little deeper if you wish (depending on the size of your pool and the type of liner). Again, depending on the total depth you wish for, having a small excavation company do the work might be worth it. This option, once again, needs to also be discussed with the installer prior to the installation.
Getting your pool installed - Setting a Date?When a pool is bought from Campbell Pools, certain things begin to happen. Within a short time, your sales contract is processed at our head office. From this point the contract is assigned to an installation crew. When the sales contract is finalised, a tentative installation time is written down.
This date of course is tentative since the weather can affect our plans.It is simply not possible to install a swimming pool when the weather isn’t co-operating. This can be rain, wind or low temperatures. If it’s raining, well it’s quite obvious we can’t do the work. This may also cause a few days/weeks further delays due to wet yard (it is not possible to install a pool when the ground is too soft/wet). Wind can also delay work since the pool is quite vulnerable to a gust of wind before water is added to it. Next are low temperatures. This comes into play only in the spring and fall. What happens here are problems with the stretching of the liner. When it’s cold (anything around 0-15 Celsius depending on liner), the liner simply won’t stretch. When a liner won’t stretch, it can’t be installed. The installer will give the exact date of your installation. When they receive your contract, it’s their responsibility to call you and work out the exact date. Next you will receive a call to set-up the delivery of the material. Don’t worry if this call doesn’t come until just a few days before the installation. Since the installation schedule is ever changing and prone to weather delays, the pool is normally delivered only a few days before installation. In certain areas, the pool may be delivered up to 10 days before. It is important to remember that payment is due when pool is delivered. For more details about this, talk to our sales staff. Since most people work during the week, it’s quite possible that the delivery will occur while the customer is not at home. This is a situation we deal with everyday and should not cause any concern. The pool is normally delivered in the backyard with the invoice left in a secure place. If it’s not possible for our customers to be at home for delivery, we ask that arrangements be made for payment by credit card or check (postdated for the day of delivery if you wish) with one of our stores.
The installers are in the yardWhen the day comes for the pool to be installed, certain details need to be taken care of. Apart from the normal things like where the pool is being installed and so forth, the installer will need to know certain things from you. By being prepared, the entire installation process can be more efficient.
Getting the Water for the PoolAbove ground pools require quite a bit of water. There are two options for filling the pool. First by using a garden hose. Of course this can be rather slow and, in some areas with water meters, expensive. It is possible that there will not be enough water (especially with the larger pools) to finish the installation. If this occurs, the installer will have to leave the installation incomplete until your garden hose can fill it up enough. In most cases, the installer will return the next day and complete the installation. If possible, try to have some of your neighbors lend a hand by sharing their garden hoses. This will speed up the filling process quite a bit. The second option is to hire a water haulage company. With this option, the problem is associated with having enough water to complete the installation are resolved. It does require a little more planning though. The first step is to shop around. Water haulage companies can have varying prices for different sizes of trucks. When you are shopping for water, always remember to ask for the quantity of water being hauled. Ask our sales staff for recommendations. We usually have a few good water haulage company phone numbers to give you. Once you have decided on a certain company, ask them how much notice they require. This is important since you will need to reserve their services. Once you get your installation date, call the water company, reserve them and confirm how many hours notice they need. Some companies do not allow for flexible times. If this is the case, you may want to look for another water haulage company. When the installer arrives, have the phone number ready for him as well as the number of required hours of notice. Since you have already reserved your water truck for that day, it’s only a matter of the installer giving the company a call to confirm the exact time the water will be needed.
Pump and Filter PositionHaving the position of the pool and filter determined in advance is also important. If you wish to make any type of major changes regarding the distance of the pump and filter from the pool, remember to discuss this with your sales staff before the day of the installation. Our installers are carrying limited quantity of extra material, but it may not be enough to permit the changes you wish. If there are by-law concerns that must be addressed, please ensure that they are discussed with the installation crew before they start the work. If a machine excavation has been decided upon, it may be necessary for things like fence posts and so on to be moved beforehand. These details should be addressed before the crew arrives. Ensure that there is a clear path available for the machine. This also applies to manual excavation. Make sure that the installers will be able to move freely from their vehicle to the pool site with a wheelbarrow. When the installer leaves your backyard, the only things that are left to do are the installation of the fence, the installation of your ladder and the solar roller. You should keep in mind that the installer will leave the boxes of all the equipment to give you the chance to take all the information that you need (owners manual, warranty papers, etc.) from it. The sod from the excavation work will also be left in a nice pile. Also if there is no electrical outlet within 20 feet from the pool the installer wont plug in the equipment for the simple reason that we don’t recommend it to be on a extension cord. The help of an electrician will then be needed. The same thing applies for the gas or propane connection of your heater. Our pool specialists are not certified to do that kind of work.
Congratulations! Your pool is now installed, and ready to be used.
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