Advanced Fiberglass Pool Installation Process 

How Pool Pros Installs Fiberglass Pools The River Pools Way

Crushed/Chipped Stone Backfill Material


What is backfill material?

It is simply the material that we place under the pool and around the outside of the pool shell after it is set in the excavated hole.


The use of clean, crushed stone backfill is imperative to the long-term success of a fiberglass pool installation.


Sand is the traditional material used in the industry, and it works well in areas with pure sandy soils. But it doesn’t take a soil specialist to understand what happens to sand when it becomes saturated with water: it liquifies.


Consequently, we've experienced a much higher percentage of fiberglass pool installation issues when using sand as a backfill material:

  • The pool shell settles after installation

  • Leaks develop from pressure on plumbing as a result of sand settlement

  • The side walls of the pool shell bulge


These are challenges we faced and fixed early on, but they virtually went away overnight the moment we stopped using sand and began using clean, crushed stone as our backfill material.


The plumbing is encased in stone as well, which prevents plumbing settlement.


Unlike sand, the right stone backfill will not move or settle. This creates a condition for long-term plumbing success.

It drains better, it doesn't move, and doesn’t change its properties when wet.

All Schedule 40 PVC Hard Pipe


When installing a pool, there are basically two types of plumbing pipe to choose from: hard pipe or flexible pipe.


Installing pools The River Pools Way, we only use hard pipe.


Because it does not flex and bend with the contours of the pool, it does require more effort to install. But because flexible pipe is actually not rated for underground use, we don’t feel it's worth the risk.

Plumbing Straps Secure Plumbing

to the Pool Shell


One of the major causes of pool plumbing leaks is movement.


When pipes shift, this sets in motion a chain reaction that puts undue stress on the pipe, plumbing connections, and the attached components of the pool such as return jets, skimmers, and drains.


In The River Pools Way, we secure the plumbing by fastening the pipes to the pool shell using a strap system. This ensures no stress is placed on any component of the plumbing system.

Our "River Rod" Fuses the Fiberglass

Pool Shell and Patio Together


One area of concern is where the pool shell and patio join.


We developed our River Rod to fuse the fiberglass pool shell and patio together to prevent shifting, settlement, or movement of any kind that could result in structural failure.


The River Rod is a 12-inch-long composite rod that we install into the top of the pool shell. It becomes encased in the concrete bond beam that we pour around the perimeter of the pool.

Plumbing Encased in Stone to

Prevent Plumbing Settlement


Unlike sand, the right stone backfill will not move or settle. This creates a condition for long-term plumbing success.

12” Thick Concrete Bond Beam

Around Perimeter of Pool


All inground fiberglass pools require some concrete to be poured around their perimeter to stabilize the pool shell.


With The River Pools Way, this concrete bond beam is poured extra thick and flows under the lip of the fiberglass pool shell and encases the Rhino-Rod.


As this concrete “bites” around the Rhino-Rod and the lip of the pool, it “locks” everything into place, ensuring the pool and patio will be structurally secure for many, many years.

Sump Pipe for Monitoring/

Removing Ground Water


Eventually, all fiberglass pools will need to be drained.


You must be able to inspect and remove any groundwater around the outside of the pool shell to prevent damage.


Because we think long-term, The River Pools Way includes a sump pipe so you can do just that.

Green Bay, WI