While we waited for it to arrive, we knew we had to level an area of our sloped yard, so we decided to dig the high side down instead of building the low side up because we’re cheap and didn’t want to buy the necessary materials. It’s free to dig, I declared, and I could foresee built-up material being washed out by heavy rain, and I ain’t having that.
The whole family got involved and we took photos of most of the process:
It’s been about a month since we set the pool up and there are a few things we’ve learned along the way, and plenty of things we still need to figure out:
As shown above, the hole would benefit from being a little wider and flatter.
The tarp is too small; on two sides it doesn’t go up and over the wall of dirt, and that dirt has caved in. Nothing bad has come of that, yet, but it wouldn’t surprise us if it becomes a problem before the season ends.
We thought we’d need a ladder, but even our youngest boy can hop in / out on his own.
We have no idea how long the pump should run and the manual only says Filter run time depends on pool size, weather and usage level. So, we tend to let it run for about 8 hours a day on days we think the pool will be used … but we’re not sure if it should run every day, regardless of use — time will tell as we figure this out.
Also, the chemicals … ugh, we’re still figuring that out, too. For example:
When do we need to use 'shock'?
How often do we replace the chlorine tablets?
How many chlorine tablets … which size tablets?
The instructions on these things are very hand-wavy with specifics—just like the pump’s manual, it all depends on weather, usage level, etc. So, we picked up a water testing kit and our first test showed that our water was a little too acidic; a quick search told us we could add baking soda to move the needle closer to alkaline, so that’s what we did and a few hours later the water looked much better.