Fibreglass Swimming Pool DIY Installation

Fibreglass Swimming Pool DIY Installation

“Did you know that you can provide your family with a lifetime of enjoyment and great memories in less than a week?

Most families who purchase a swimming pool have been dreaming and saving for many years. Therefore, the reward of a successful DIY installation of a fiberglass swimming pool is shared by the whole family. At Advance Pools, we will guide you step by step through our unique fiberglass swimming pool installation process that not only sounds easy but delivers a spectacular end result.

Having a better understanding of the makeup and design of a fiberglass swimming pool can make your swimming pool installation easier.

Whether you’re a builder, plumber, or a handyman, you could save money by installing your own Advance Pool. With our range of quality pool kits and instructional guide, we make installing a pool easy. What’s more, we can offer you sound advice every step of the way. So if you’re thinking of taking the plunge, come and talk to us. We can also supply you with all the extras, from solar heating panels and saltwater chlorinators to pool safety nets and heat pumps, and so much more!”

Step 1 –Plans and Municipal Approval

  • You should familiarise yourself with building restrictions and planning permissions required in your area before planning your pool installation.
  • By examining your existing building plans, you would be able to determine whether any water, electrical or sewage services will interfere with the placement of your pool. If existing plans are not available, use existing inspection eyes, manholes etc. to determine the location of services that need to be moved.
  • Consult with a draughtsman or architect to assist with a plan to be submitted to your local council, and to obtain a minor works permit, should you require it.
  • This would also be a good time to determine where you would be placing the pool pump and filter, as this will determine the size of the pump and filter you will require.
  • Note: Advance Pools require the customer to supply labour to offload the pool on site, so please ensure that there are enough hands on site for delivery.

Step 2 – Assessing the Site

  • A fibreglass swimming pool shell is a large object.
  • Site access is important when it comes time for delivery of the fibreglass pool shell, as well as excavation and rubble removal.

Step 3 – Laying Out the Fibreglass Swimming Pool

  • Layout of your new fibreglass swimming pool is done by following the suggested hole size to be dug.
  • Measure the exact dimensions of the pool.
  • Mark out the shape of the pool on the ground, allowing for a +/- 300-400mm all around excess.
  • The excess allows space for backfilling the pool.   (In clay conditions increase the excess to allow for possible  movement).
  • Ensure you also mark out the position of the weir/skimmer.
  • Once the layout is determined, a string line is normally run down the center where the pool is to be placed and measured off from each side.
  • The final grade of the fibreglass swimming pool is very important
  • It is recommended that the pool be installed so the top of the fibreglass swimming pool is below the bottom of the surrounded paving level by the thickness of the paving.
  • In other words, if the paving is 50mm thick, then the top level of the pool should be 50mm below the required finished level of the paving, or adjacent paving or existing patio.
  • This will allow room for a coping stone (which is normally 50mm thick) to be fastened to the top of the fibreglass lip and will still provide a slight fall away from the pool.
  • Use a water level (silicone see-through pipe filled with water), to determine all levels.

Step 4 – Excavating the pool

  • For those who have access to an excavator, the excavation process will be their favorite part. 
  • Excavate the pool with the sides as vertical as possible.
  • Using the measurements above, ensure that the depth is a minimum of 100mm deeper than the pool to allow for a sand/crusher dust screed.
  • If the depths of the pool shell is 1.10m to 1.75m, then the depths of the excavation should be 1.2m at the shallow end and 1.85m at the deep end, all measurements are in relation to the datum point
  • The depth of the pool before bedding is always measured by placing a string across two datum points and measuring vertically down. 
  • Take your time with this as incorrectly dug holes can cause many headaches, and add additional costs to your project.
  • Place bricks in the deep and shallow ends according to the depth measurements.

Step 5 – Setting the base

  • This is the most important part of the fibreglass swimming pool installation.
  • The excavation can be close but the base needs to be perfect!
  • You will often see builders achieve this through the construction of a “rail system”.
  • To do this, they will often build two long rails using 75×50’s and lay one on each side of the excavation. Then they fasten the rails to vertical 50x50mm stakes, and as per dig sheet specifications, tap them into position while using the water pipe level to ensure accuracy.
  • String a line between the left side deep and shallow ends base pegs and then the right side.
  • Throw a bed of river sand or crusher dust that just exceeds the required depth.
  • Thoroughly compact the sand with a heavy batten plate or boots and make sure you wet the sand so that it is easy to screed and compacts easier.
  • Check all datum and pool depths and inspect for any protruding rocks or stones in the bedding.
  • Should you have any doubts, rather repeat these tasks until you are 100% satisfied.
  • Again – this is the most important part of the fibreglass swimming pool installation, take time to make sure it is perfect.

Step 6 – Delivering and Setting the Swimming Pool

  • This for most customers is the most exciting part of their DIY fibreglass swimming pool project.
  • Whether through the air, over a house or just through the yard this is often where the oooh’s and aaaah’s of the neighbours come into play.
  • Before lowering the fibreglass pool shell into the excavated hole, it is advised that all fittings eg: weir, aimflows, lights and jets be fitted / checked and ensure that they are properly sealed.
  • When lifting the pool shell, avoid lifting on any fittings eg; light, weir, aimflow, jets or piping as well as any bay areas.
  • Only once enough hands are available, gently move the pool over the edge of the hole. (Injuries could occur if not enough hands available) 
  • Lower the pool onto the prepared surface bed and place as gently as possible.
  • Once the pool has been lowered into the excavation area, it should be pretty close to being level.
  • However, should minor adjustments be necessary, they can be made easily at this time. 
  • Once satisfied the pool is perfectly level, you can proceed with backfilling.

Step 7 – Backfilling

  • Simultaneously fill the fibreglass swimming pool with water while the backfilling occurs.
  • This is done to ensure equal pressure and maintain stability during the backfilling process.
  • Special attention should be given to all stair and seating areas.
  • Backfill using 1:7 river sand cement mix and in clay areas, crusher dust.

Step 8 – Plumbing the pool

  • Although plumbing the swimming pool is not difficult, the task is always done with attention to detail.
  • There are few things worse than to discover a leak after the paving and landscaping has been completed.
  • Position the pump and filter as near as possible to the pool and as close as possible to the same level as the pool.
  • Connect the pipes using a quality PVC cement and ensure that PTFE tape is used on all threaded pump and filter connections.
  • Tighten by hand and gently use water pump pliers to tighten with one more quarter turn.
  • Do not insert any jets until you have rinsed the pool piping on the multiport valve.

Step 9 – Electrical Connection

  • Always use a qualified electrician and ask him to issue a COC (certificate of compliance).
  • Run the cable back to the distribution box and ensure it is earthed.
  • Where the pool light is connected to twin and earth, make sure the electrician uses a resin box with two connectors to ensure the connection is waterproof.

Step 10 – Ring beam and Coping

    • At a 100mm from the top of the pool cease backfilling and lay a ring beam of concrete. This is to secure your pool edge in position and give you a secure coping.
    • The ring beam should be as wide as the coping. The coping overhang should be 30mm on bull nose coping.
    • The ring beam should be a 1:3:6 mix of cement, stone and sand.
    • Many installers would attach the pool to the ring beam with ties, drilling holes in the flange and concreting pegs into the ring beam

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You have completed your first fibreglass swimming pool installation.  

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