27Jun2004: With the abundance of wet weather this past season, this could be a bad year for forest fires. We've been doing a decent job of keeping brush and grass cut back near the house, but you can never be too careful.

When we split the property with the Flynns, the county supervisors made us install a 3000 gallon water tank for protection. After our close call in our last house (off Hwy 49), we figured that extra water would only be a good thing. Besides, a pool is a great way to get cooled off on those hot summer nights.

Ken took a couple weeks off from work and spent part of that time installing a 12,000 gallon Doughboy pool. The process was full of challenges. It's one of those "special" experiences, where whoever wrote the installation instructions obviously never installed a pool. Having gone thru the entire process once though, we came up with lots of ideas that would make subsequent installs much easier - anybody need a pool installed?

First, doughboy recommends getting the entire surface level to within 1". The backhoe helped a bit here, but with the hard clay, rocks and roots, this part ended-up actually taking quite a bit of time.

Ken was able to do most of the excavation with the backhoe, but was once again plagued by rocks. A couple of which just couldn't be budged, so we used the jackhammer to knock off their tops and then covered them with sifted soil. The result wasn't real pretty and even after spending many hours, we somehow managed to miss a couple of rocks that are now permanent fixtures in the bottom of our pool.

Next, we had to excavate and install foundations for the side-supports. The instructions are not great here, and the dreaded over-excavation is a reality when you have as many rocks/roots as we have - no matter how careful we were. We ended-up using dry-pack mortar to position the foundation blocks precisely to the layout instructions and so far all has worked out well.

The folks at All Seasons Pool and Spa included some light-weight foam that we used to cover the hard clay. The cove pieces were a nice addition as well, though they were assembled with low temperature glue and came apart as soon as the sun hit them.

The Mitchels delivered three tankerfuls of water and provided some useful suggestions and lent us a hand during the filling process that went more or less OK. Improperly installed gaskets in the skimmer and return line required us to drain off ~5" of water to repair.

It could have been much worse... It's hard to imagine Doughboy has been getting by with such poor assembly instructions and user unfriendly components for so long though. They definitely have some work to do on their installation process/materials.

Deb cleans-up the excavation to remove small rocks and roots.

Side-supports installed with pads ready to be covered.

Foam and coving installed in our easy-bake oven.

Initial stretch of liner.

Pump, filter and chlorine generator.

Finished product:

author: kjt_at_kjt_dot_us