The instruction manuals and videos included in Intex pool kits usually warn against using sand beneath your pool. However, a sand base beneath your pool can help you have a smooth, wrinkle-free floor. Even with a site that’s perfectly level across the overall width of the pool, there will be small, golf ball or baseball size bumps and divots in the dirt that are virtually unavoidable. A light layer of sand does a great job of filling these in and smoothing them out.
The reason sand is not recommended by the manufacturer is that it is very susceptible to erosion. When the sand erodes out from beneath the pool, the liner will stretch, or the pool will become off-level. These issues can result in failure of the liner which will ruin your pool and could damage property or even injure swimmers.
So how do you get the benefits of a sand base without the eventual problem of erosion? The most important thing to remember is that sand should never be used to ‘build up’ the low side of a site that isn’t level across the overall width. The surface below the sand base must be made as level as possible by digging down the high points. This will help to prevent the sand from eroding in the first place. Secondly, it’s a good idea to install a barrier around the sand preventing it from running off. The plastic barriers that landscapers use around flowerbeds are a
good option. Just install these 4-6 inches outside the circle you marked. Finally, do not use excessive amounts of sand. If there is less to erode, then any problems you have will be smaller. Just 1/2″ – 1″ of sand is more than enough to smooth out the small divots and give you a nice soft surface beneath the pool.