How I Built My Own Pool – Day 4: Liner & Plumbing

August 17th, 2015 | Posted by Larry in Inground Pool Kits

On Day 4 of my 5 day inground pool kit construction project, some of the guys are sore and tired this morning. Yesterday was a lot of work, putting in the pool floor and spreading around the concrete collar.

The electrician that I hired came yesterday with a helper and was successful in bringing power from the main house breaker panel to the 100 amp sub-panel next to the pool equipment pad. He also bonded the pool in accordance with our local regulations and hooked up the pool light.

Today, the crew is planning to “drop the liner” as we say, set it with a vacuum and quickly fill it most of the way with water delivered from a truck. We have the water truck scheduled for late morning, so the crew gets started right away.

7 am: We already have the Hayward widemouth skimmer and returns in place on the wall, so our first step is to roll foam over the pool walls. This helps protect the liner and gives it a nice soft feel. We use a spray adhesive on the wall, and then roll the foam over the wall, smoothing it out. Then we sweep and brush the pool floor, as a final step before installing the pool liner.


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8 am: Randy and crew bring the vinyl liner into the pool and begin to unroll it across the pool, and locking the bead into the track at the top of the pool wall.  As they pull it to the deep end, they work outside the pool, reaching over the pool wall and locking in the liner. Next, they insert Randy’s Q-Vac hose behind the liner, and use duct tape to seal up any air leaks. Turning on the blower, it sucks the liner tightly against the walls and floors. A few deep end wall wrinkles are noticed, so the vac is shut off and the liner is re-positioned (wrinkles pulled toward the sides), and the vac is turned back on.

With the liner setting pretty with no wrinkles, tight as a glove, Randy carefully walks down to the deep end and screws on the main drain ring, cuts out the vinyl inside the ring and screws on the main drain cover. Sand bags are placed in the shallow end to help hold it against the walls and steps. We drop a hose in the pool and begin to fill the pool, while we await the arrival of the water truck.

9 am: The pool won’t be full until late tonight or tomorrow, so we work on connecting the PVC pipes to the pool main drain, skimmer and returns. We use rigid PVC pipe on all vertical runs, at the pool wall and the equipment pad, coming up out of the ground – and we use the supplied flex pipe for the horizontal runs, deep underground. Just before gluing the pipe sections with couplings and 45°/90° fittings, we use a cleaner/primer to soften the pipe.

11 am: With the underground plumbing completed, and work beginning on connecting the pump, filter and heater, the water truck shows up with 2500 gallons of water. He has a long discharge hose, so he can stay parked on the curb and pump the water to the pool. The reason we use a truck, rather than fill from a hose, is to keep the project moving. Randy likes to leave the pool full of water, so he can inspect all systems. After the first load, the truck runs down to the nearest fire hydrant and brings us another 3 loads, 10000 gallons in all, for the bargain price of just 8 cents per gallon.

1 pm: The pool is now over halfway full, and the hose continues to slowly fill. All hands are now working to finish up the equipment pad plumbing, connecting the pump, filter, heater and salt system together with the valves. I chose to upgrade the plumbing to 2 inch PVC, to allow more flow and less resistance as the water moves through the equipment. I also upgraded my pool kit package to include the large capacity Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter and a Lochinvar gas pool heater, the most efficient gas heater available.

3 pm: As the plumbing of the filtration and heating systems are wrapping up, our gas company contractor shows up to connect the pool heater with a gas line from the new gas meter that was installed a few weeks ago. As we clear out to allow him some room to work, our crew begins to install the wall faceplates, now that the pool water level is 12″ over the floor. They screw on (with gaskets), the skimmer, returns and pool light faceplates. Then we install the ColorLogic LED pool light (another upgrade), by pulling the cable through the conduit, and connecting the light to the power leads in the junction box installed by the electrician.

4 pm: Another long day is wrapping up, and I’m tempted to take a swim, but I know better – we’re still being careful with walls, steps and floor, until we get the pool full of water on the inside, and full of dirt on the outside, hopefully not mixing up the two! As the gas man leaves, we make a few more connections on the equipment pad, and are ready to test it all out tomorrow morning!

Up Next – Day 5: Backfill and Start-Up



Larry Weinberg
SPP Pool Expert


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