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We thank you for your purchase of our steel wall pool. We think you will find it quite simple to install. We would like, however, to impress upon you the importance of reading these instructions carefully in order to acquaint yourself thoroughly with the drawings, and acquire an understanding of what building a swimming pool involves. By following these instructions step by step, we are sure that you will have a very gratifying and rewarding experience and a pool, which will provide pleasure for your entire family.
This manual is for illustrative purposes only. CARDINAL SYSTEMS, INC. makes no representations, warranties or guarantees of any kind, expressed or implied, regarding the information contained in this manual. CARDINAL SYSTEMS, INC. makes only those representations that are stated in its written warranty. Any other representations, statements, or contracts made by the dealer and/or the contractor to the customer regarding materials and supplies by CARDINAL SYSTEMS, INC. are attributable to the dealer and the contractor only. The dealer or contractor who sells or installs your pool is an independent contractor and not an agent or employee of CARDINAL SYSTEMS, INC.
ITEMS TO CONSIDER PRIOR TO INSTALLATION - A Photographic Journey of Typical Inground Pool Construction
Check the building code in your area, and any regulations governing residential pools. Many communities have no regulations, but a building permit is generally required. Back to Steel Wall Inground Pools.
It is best to locate and engage an excavating contractor well in advance of the time you intend to begin your pool. It is necessary for him to coordinate his schedule to yours, and to check the accessibility of the location you have chosen, in order to move his equipment to the job site.
Selecting the location for your pool is a very important decision to make. Remember this will be a permanent installation. It is best to locate your pool in a sunny part of your yard where you will be able to enjoy it most. Keep in mind that trees obscure the warm rays of the sun, as well as litter the water with leaves and other undesirable debris. There are several areas in your yard to avoid. First, stay away from low spots that might flood during certain seasons of the year. If possible, avoid a high water table area, or ground seepage will make it difficult to form the deep end of your pool. Secondly, the location of the pool must not lie over sewer lines, septic systems, buried pipes, or wiring. Thirdly, it must never lie beneath telephone or electrical wires.
After you have selected the site for your pool, stake it out so that you can study it more carefully before excavation begins. Keep in mind that you may at some time desire a walkway around the perimeter of the pool, or a patio for lounging. A diving board requires more space at the end of the pool, as it can project as much as eight feet from the pool wall, depending on the type of board.
It is also good to keep in mind the access to dressing facilities. You may wish to locate your pool near a door to your house that may be used for this traffic, or you may plan to build a bathhouse. The final grading around the pool should be planned so thatsurface drainage, rain, and splashed water will run away from the pool walls.
Placement of the filter system is of utmost importance. Bear in mind that the closer it is to the pool, the more efficiently it will operate. A maximum of twenty feet from the pool is recommended. In addition, it should be elevated no higher than six feet above the water level, or the efficiency of the pump will be impaired. The filter can be hidden behind bushes, or placed in a filter house, which also diminishes the noise in the swimming area.
Please remember that if you have any questions, your dealer is prepared to help you with any technical information.
These dig dimensions comply with the National Spa and Pool Institute suggested minimum standards for residential Type I or Type II pools. WARNING DO NOT DIVE IN SHALLOW END.If diving boards or slides are to be used with these pools please consult the manufacturers instructions and the National Spa & Pool Institutes minimum standards prior to installing diving boards or slides on these pools. For information concerning NSPI minimum standards, write: National Spa & Pool Institute, 2111 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314 *703/838-0083.
1. LAYOUT OF EXCAVATION Drive two sets of stakes into the ground. The first set will represent the four corners of the swimming pool and the second set will be an area that will allow three feet all around the pool in order to define the area of excavation. The excavation is three feet outside the actual pool dimension in order to allow working room around the pool. See Illustration 1.Choose a fixed point from which to begin your measurements. An existing building, fence, or well-defined property line from which you can measure will prove to be a guide to keep your pool lines straight. When driving stakes use good lumber, 2" x 3" or a 2" x 4" piece of scrap lumber sharpened at one end. The 18" rebar included in your pool kit may also be used as stakes. Keep in mind, however, they will be needed later on during the installation.The first set of stakes will represent the four corners of your swimming pool. It is extremely important that the stakes form absolutely square corners. Using the chart in Illustration 1., check the diagonal of your stakes with the diagonal of the same size pool.The second or outside set of stakes will outline an area 6 larger than the pool proper, and will represent the overcut or working area around the pool. Make sure that the second set of stakes are also square by checking your diagonals with the chart in Illustration 1.
After having staked out your pool and overcut, outline the overcut with line. This will give your excavator a visual boundary to dig within.It is now time to establish the finished height of your pool. If you are installing the pool near a sidewalk, deck or patio, you may want the pool slightly higher (3/4" to 2") than your existing area.Keep in mind when establishing a finished level for this pool that the panels must be placed on virgin soil. You should not put panels on ground that is filled in. The purpose for this is that filled ground will settle. If you install panels on filled ground, you panels will settle as the ground settles making your pool out of level.Once a finished grade has been established it is time to begin your excavation.2. EXCAVATION It is preferable to secure an excavator who has had experience in digging swimming pools. It is important that your excavation is level. The best instrument to use to maintain a level during excavation is a transit level. There is an excellent chance your excavator will have one. If not, tool rental stores usually carry them. If a transit level is not available, a builders level can be used as can a line level.You should now be ready to excavate. Using the finished height established previously, shoot that grade using the transit and measuring stick. You will excavate 44 inches below this point (42 inches in your panel height and 2 inches is for your concrete receptor copings). Do not over excavate. The pool should be placed on undistributed ground, especially along the 3 border around the perimeter of the hole.There should be two other people present, if possible, when the excavator is digging. One person is to hold the measuring stick, the other to look through the transit. This should be done with some degree of frequency to make sure that the depth is accurate and the hole is not overdug. Two people will enable the excavator to stay in his machine, thus minimizing his digging time.Be sure that you plan where the excess dirt from the pool excavation is to be stock piled in your yard. If necessary, make arrangements for the excess soil to be removed. This should be done prior to digging, preferable at the time your excavator and you agree to the conditions and terms of the job.During your excavation make sure you allow 2" for your bottom material in the hopper. Your bottom material can be sand, vermiculite and cement, grout mix (sand and cement), or stone dust (screenings). Whatever material you use it must be finished smooth with no sharp edges protruding. Remember the liner rests directly on top of your bottom material.3. INSTALLATION OF SIDEWALLS Using an indelible magic marker, draws a line 2" up from the bottom of each panel. See figure #2. This line is where your bottom material will finish. Before lowering the wall sections into the excavations, a perfectly level foundation of undisturbed earth should be provided beneath the bottom where the wall sections will be installed. The final grade is established by carefully shaving the higher spots to form a level area. Slight over digging can be corrected by bringing low spots up to level with the addition of well-compacted fill.
Starting with a corner section (see figure 2A), work in two directions. In this way, the wall panels will tend to be self-supporting as each paned is added. Be sure to place the panels that have the holes for light, inlet and skimmer in their proper places. Check for level in relation to the first corner section. Be sure to install "" frame assemblies as each panel is added. As each panel is leveled and the inside surfaces are flush, bolts may be tightened. However, the bolts for the "A" frame assembly should be made only hand tight at this time. When the walls have been completely assembled, the pool should be squared by obtaining equal diagonal measurements from inside corner to inside corner of the pool. After this is accomplished, plumb these corners with a carpenters level and again check the level of the walls. Fix their positions by driving a steel rod through the hole in the bottom of the panel. Make sure all panels are set in a straight line. A string line stretched from corner to corner will help.After the panels are set in a straight line, be sure that the "A" frame assemblies are resting on solid ground.
INSTALLING STEPS Place the step in the shallow end where a space has been provided. Brace the step to a proper height so that the top of the step is level with the top of the concrete receptor coping, approximately 2" above the top of the panel. Clamp the steps to the steel panel using C-clamps or vise grips. Drill out the bolt holes in the step using a 3/8" or 7/16" drill bit and bolt steps to panels using nuts, bolts and washers provided in the kit. See Figure 3.
Figure 3After the steps are bolted to the panels, stabilize each step thread using concrete blocks as in Figure 4 or using the optional stair support unit as in Figure 4A.
SHAPING THE POOL If you have worked carefully with the excavator, the pool bottom and hopper should be roughly to size. For finishing accurately, hand trimming is most likely necessary. Refer to the drawings of the pool you are installing in the back of this booklet to locate the corners of the hopper.By stretching string lines across the top of the pool at the appropriate locations and measuring down from the string lines one can locate the corner of the hopper exactly. See Figure 5.After locating the hopper, drive a stake in the ground at each corner and mark each stake at the finished depth of the pool. Your excavation should be at least 2" below the mark on these stakes.Using a string line from the mark on each stake to the line 2" up from the bottom of each panel will give you the finished grade of you bottom material.
5. INSTALLING THE BOTTOM OR MAIN DRAIN The main drain can be better described as a bottom circulation or suction port. The drain is hooked to the suction side of your pump and motor and is located in the center of the hopper at the lowest point in the pool. Run string lines at your depth mark across the corners of the hopper; where the strings intersect will be the center of your drain.
When you remove the drain from the box, notice that there are 2 1½" plug, 2 gaskets, a faceplate, and inside grill or a cover plate and 10 screws. Take the main drain body and install the plug in the bottom threads. Next, using a 1½" adapter fitting, from make thread to 1½" pipe, install one fitting into the side from the outside, again using teflon tape or permatex on the threads.
Using duct tape, cover the entire top on the drain, including the entire outside perimeter (covering the screw holes and the center opening). This is done to keep dirt and/ or bottom material from clogging the screw holes or dirtying the face where the gaskets and face plate will sit.
Position the main drain under the intersecting strings and dig your pipe in below the existing grade and up under your panel wall. See Figure 6.
Be sure all glue joints or clamped joints are tight.
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You should pour a small square of concrete with the drain in the middle to secure it in place. If done properly the drain will help considerably with the circulation in the pool. If the drain is installed poorly, it can cause considerable aggravation.6. SECURING THE POOL IN PLACE After the main drain is installed, recheck the walls and corners for level alignment and squareness. If everything is satisfactory, it is recommended to pour a concrete collar around the perimeter of the pool at the base of the walls. A collar can be created by simply pouring a thin concrete mixture about 6" deep around the pool wall. Footer mix or 2500 lb. Mix can be used. As a rule of thumb, put 4 yards of concrete around a 16 x 32, 5 yards around an 18 x 36, and 6 yards around a 20 x 40. More or less concrete may be needed depending on the excavation. Refer to Figure No. 7.Be sure when pouring concrete that any large openings under the pool walls are filled. Do not allow concrete to come up into the light opening (only applicable where a light is being installed).
8. FINISHING THE BOTTOM After the concrete collar is dry, the bottom can be finished. As mentioned in Step #2, your bottom material can be sand, vermiculite and cement, grout, or stone dust. Whichever material is used, the outcome should be approximately the same, a smooth finished bottom.
Because your rough grading is at least two inches deeper that the final grade, you should have a minimum of 2" of material on your bottom. Vermiculite and cement or grout will give you a more permanent bottom. However, that is more costly and should be installed by an experienced mason. Sand or stone dust is somewhat easier to install but can leave footprints under the liner. (Footprints under the liner do not effect the use of the pool or the warranty of the liner. They are just a place where dirt will collect. )
You should finish the bottom at the line 2 inches up from the bottom of the panel. If you have a main drain, the bottom should be finished flush with the top, but not higher than the top. Before you finish the hopper bottom, pull the stakes from the corners of the hopper and smooth with material.
9. INSTALLING THE SKIMMER, RETURN FITTING, AND LIGHT - Set the skimmer and light niche in place with holding screws. The light niche is inserted through the wall opening from inside the pool and fastened from behind. The skimmer is installed behind the wall, as per the skimmer instruction sheet and held in place with two screws on the inside of the wall. The return fitting is inserted in place with a large mounting nut applied behind the wall.
Take notice of the threaded hole in the back of the light niche. This hole is for conduit to a junction box and should be installed by a licensed electrician who is familiar with the codes concerning swimming pool wiring.
After the light niche is securely fastened in place and just prior to the liner installation, take one of the 2 gaskets provided and glue it (rubber cement can be used) to the face of the niche. Be sure that all holes are properly aligned.
10. COPING INSTALLATION Start at the corners and begin attaching the coping. Use a variable speed drill with a 5/16" hex head attachment or a screw gun with a 5/16" bit. The hardware provided for the coping is 1 inch #10 hex head drill screws. The screws will drill their own hole. Make sure that the flange on the coping is snug to the wall and that the screws are approximately every 12 inches. Do not tighten the screws or the heads will snap off. A snug fit is all that is required. Next, place coping clips over the space between the coping sections.
11. LINER INSTALLATION - You will need a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner rated for continuous service. Make a final check of the pool bottom and sides to be sure there are no twigs, stones or other sharp objects which might tear or puncture the liner. You may run a 2" strip of masking tape down the seams between the panels on the inside of the pool. If you have a hard bottom, be sure to remove any rough edges with a stone trowel and thoroughly sweep and vacuum the bottom. These precautions are necessary to protect the liner against tears.
Next remove the tape from the main drain. The screw holes should be free from any dirt and the faceplate should be clean. Place 1 gasket over the main drain matching the holes in the gasket with the holes in the drain. Take 2 of the 8 screws and screw down into any two holes opposite one another. This will hold the gasket onto the main drain while the liner is being installed. Disassemble the white cover strip, the faceplate and the first gasket, which is loose from the step. Place this 8 section of plywood at least 42" wide in front of the step. You will tape the liner to this board at the top to keep the liner from sagging in front of the steps.
Make sure that all panel joints, skimmer and return openings, plumbing lines, and stairs are taped against air leakage.
To facilitate the installation of the liner, five people are required. With the help of an assistant, place the box containing the liner at the center of the deep end outside of the pool. The box should be set so that the arrows printed thereon are pointing toward the shallow end. This is extremely important because the liner is fanfold for ease in stretching across the pool. Carefully remove the liner from the box and place it on the coping just as it comes from the box. Next, have two people unroll the liner from the center toward each corner of the pool. This being done, the liner is ready to be stretched the length of the pool. Position three more people, at the deep end, one at each corner and one in the center, with instructions to prevent the liner from being pulled into the pool by the two men at the leading edge. When pulling the liner, it is advisable to bunch the material for a better grip. Care should be taken not to walk or fall into the pool, as this would spoil the finish. Do not drag the liner along the bottom of the pool keep it suspended until stretched the full distance. The corners of the liner are marked and should be used for correct placement. When the liner is stretched to the shallow end. Lower the liner into the pool, keeping on assistant at each corner. A considerable amount of pulling and tugging may be needed to properly place the liner. Starting at the shallow end and working toward the deep end, insert the beading in the track until all the beading is in place.
Unhook the liner approximately halfway down the long wall and insert the vacuum hose about three quarters of the way down the wall. Take some duct tape and tape the openings around the vacuum hose so that no air can get behind the liner. Turn on the vacuum. If all openings have been properly sealed, the vacuum inserted between the liner and the steel walls will pull the liner into place, removing all the wrinkles. If wrinkles still appear, the vacuum should be shut off and liner adjustments made with a pool brush or tugging where necessary.
Note: The liner will be easier to install on a warm, sunny day.
12. INSTALLING PLASTIC PIPE All plumbing should be done before you start to backfill. Whether you use black poly (coil pipe) or PVC schedule 40 pipe, it should lie along the top of your concrete collar. If the concrete collar is very rough put a couple of inches of sand down under the pipe. Run your pipe from each fitting (skimmer, main drain and return) back to the filter. Be careful to avoid overbending or kinking of the pipe. If sharp turns are necessary, plastic elbows may be used.
When installing the pipe, put pipe compound or non-hardening permatex on the thread of the adapter, then slip two pipe clamps over the end of the plastic pipe. Push the pipe over the barbed end of the fitting until it is in place. Heat applied to the end of the pipe will allow for easier insertion. Tightened clamps will "set" in about 15 minutes and should be retightened. IMPORTANT: Do not strip the clamps by overtightening. Should this occur, you must replace the clamp.
13. FILLING THE POOL After the vacuum has sucked the liner in place and you are happy with the fit, begin adding water to the pool. When there is approximately 4" of water in the bottom of the hopper, it is time to cut the main drain in.
Find, through the liner, the 2 screws used to hold the gasket onto the main drain. Back the screws out of the holes and through the liner. The hole in the liner should be only big enough to fit the screw through. When both screws are removed, install the faceplate and gasket to the body of the main drain. The liner should be sandwiched between the two gaskets. After the outside faceplate is secured in place, cut the liner around the inside circumference of the faceplate. Next, screw the inside grate or cover to the two remaining inside holes on the main drain body. After completing the installation of the main drain, continue to fill your pool.
IMPORTANT** - Continue to run the vacuum as long as you continue to fill the pool. If you must shut the vacuum off, shut off the water. When returning the vacuum into operation, allow 15 minutes before you begin to refill the pool.
When the water has reached approximately 2 to 3 inches in the shallow end, remove the vacuum from behind the liner and insert the liner into the track. Should there be any wrinkles in the shallow end, you can work them to the sides of the pool at this time. The more water in the pool, the more difficult this becomes.
14. ATTACHING THE LINER TO THE STEP With approximately 2 to 3 inches of the water in the shallow end, carefully remove the plywood from behind the liner at the step. Using the stainless steel screws provided, install the vertical gasket and faceplate from the top down first. Make sure the gasket is properly aligned behind the faceplate. After both sides are secure, attach the bottom (horizontal) gasket and faceplate. It may be easier to work from each side into the middle. See Figure 9.
Using a sharp knife or razor blade cut the liner around the inside edge of the white faceplate.
15. BACKFILLING If your backfill material has large rocks or sharp shale rock, it is advisable to cover your plumbing pipes with sand. Be careful not to push any large or heavy rocks directly on top of the pipes as not to crush them. If you have a sufficient concrete collar around the pool you can backfill the pool before it is full of water. Should you have any doubts as to whether your concrete collar is sufficient, keep the backfill at the approximate level of the water in the pool. When backfilling, never allow any machine to ride right next to the pool on the fresh backfill. It is possible that the weight of the machine could put too much pressure on the pool wall and bow the side in.
16. SETTING UP THE FILTER Placement of the filter system is of utmost importance. Bear in mind that the closer it is to the pool, the more efficiently it will operate. A maximum of twenty feet from the pool is recommended. In addition, it should be elevated no higher than six feet above the water level, or the efficiency of the pump will be impaired. The filter can be hidden behind bushes, or placed in a filter house, which also diminishes the noise in the swimming area. Please remember that if you have any questions, your dealer is prepared to help you with any technical information.
Consult the filter installation manual. It will show the proper hookup at the filter and the manifold and valves necessary. It should be set on a firm (preferably concrete) base and sheltered from bad weather or drainage conditions. The filter supplied with the pool has been factory pre-assembled and tested and needs only to be correctly connected to the plumbing and electrical systems. Careful attention should be paid to the directions given by the manufacturer in the filter installation.
17. ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION Under no circumstances should the electrical installation be done by anyone but a licensed electrician. Every locality has an electrical code spelling out all the requirements needed for safe pool operation. A local, licensed electrician is familiar with the code and will obtain approval from the proper authorities before the pool is put into use.
18. DECK AREA INSTALLATION Due to the fact that a large area around the pool has been excavated and backfilled, a condition has been created which is not conducive to the placement of concrete. Therefore, for at least one season, we do not advise construction of concrete walks or patios without the use of optional deck support or block piers to support the concrete deck. However, patio blocks, which are laid in sand, have been used very successfully. If the ground sinks or shifts, they can be easily reset. Some pool owners have employed a redwood planking method with its many geometric designs to create a warm, textured appearance.
These dig dimensions comply with the National Spa and Pool Institute suggested minimum standards for residential Type I or Type II pools. WARNING DO NOT DIVE IN SHALLOW END. If diving boards or slides are to be used with these pools please consult the manufacturers instructions and the National Spa & Pool Institutes minimum standards prior to installing diving boards or slides on these pools. For information concerning NSPI minimum standards, write: National Spa & Pool Institute, 2111 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314 *703/838-0083.
Now that your steel wall pool has been installed, you and your family are ready for a great deal of fun.
We at CARDINAL SYSTEMS, INC., have developed a list of reminders for pool owners who will help insure your satisfaction with your pool and eliminate problems.
We call this list....
CARDINAL RULES FOR PROPER POOL USE
Dont ever drain a vinyl liner pool. The liner may shift and result in wrinkles when refilling and you probably will not be able to refit the liner properly.
Dont permit your pets to swim in the pool. In their efforts to exit the pool, they can cause damage to the vinyl liner.
Do take great care with your pool chemistry. Chlorine can bleach out the color of your liner. A PH unbalance can cause damage to all pool equipment.
Do abide by sensible pool rules. Do not permit diving in the shallow end or allow running on the deck area.
Do use a solar blanket that can reduce your pool heating and chemical cost substantially. A cover will also keep your pool maintenance to a minimum and using it during the off-season will keep the pool clean.
Do use unbreakable plastic glassware, plates, and utensils around the pool area because of the hazards of broken glass to yourself and the damage it can cause to your liner.
Do take care of your pool during the winter and off-season.This is important regardless of the climate in which you live. The extent to which your pool must be prepared for the off-season depends largely on the severity of the climate. We recommend consulting your dealer for advice.
Do drain all pool piping prior to the onset of cold weather in areas where freezing generally occurs. Make certain that filters, pumps, chlorinators, skimmers, and heaters are properly serviced for the winter.
Do enjoy your pool.