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How Anyone Can Take Down an Above Ground Swimming Pool

Updated on April 5, 2016
Stacie L profile image

Stacie L became a DIYer for many reasons-mostly to save money. She has tips that she has used herself to help with your DYI projects.

above ground swimming pool
above ground swimming pool

Splish splash in the backyard

As a youngster, I enjoyed the water very much and always looked forward to the dog days of summer. I would spend most of the day in the water, playing with my friends until we looked like wrinkled prunes. No one gave it a second thought to the maintenance involved, or the costs of floats and toys, chemicals to keep the water sparkling or the increased electric bill for the pump filter. Children only see and dream about the fun of jumping in, doing "cannonballs" , diving and practicing backstrokes.

Then one day someone noticed that the liner is worn out and needs replacing, or no one is interesting in using it anymore or the chemicals are running over $100. a month.The day came when the decision was made to take it down. Removing a backyard above-ground pool by yourself may sound like a Herculean task, but I promise that it can be done. Before taking on this job, you must have the right mindset. It will not be done in 1 day; 3-4 days from start to finish is a more realistic goal. Organization and patience are the greatest needs. I will offer an easy alternative at the end.

Cooling off in my own pool up until a few years ago was enjoyable until I had to do all the cleaning, winter storage, chemical maintenance and upkeep of the parts. It seemed that the filter, and pump parts were costing more and more. The equipment such as the leaf skimmer, intake filter, ladder too, were wearing out faster than I remembered as a kid.

my sorry looking pool liner and the rust behind it
my sorry looking pool liner and the rust behind it | Source

Moment of clarity

I started to realize that the fun part was shrinking and the work part increased. My moment of clarity arrived one morning after watching the pool level drop for the third day after filling the pool with water.

Actually the decision to discard the it came after emptying the water to replace the worn out liner and seeing the rusty holes of the interior walls! The photo below is my actual pool and how it looked when the walls were taken down. What fun that was!

Pool down

my backyard pool,l flat on the ground
my backyard pool,l flat on the ground | Source

Tools Needed

Here is the list of tools needed to take down an on ground pool.

  • heavy duty metal cutters
  • cordless drill
  • cordless screwdriver
  • Phillips head and straight edge screw bits
  • sump pump
  • 50 foot garden hose
  • rope
  • bungee cords
  • large boxes

Steps Required to take Down a Swimming Pool

The following steps will help make the job a lot easier:

  1. Connect the hose to the top connector on the sump pump and lower the pump in the middle of the pool. Be sure to walk the end of the hose as far from the pool as possible.
  2. plug in the sump pump to the outside outlet and check to see that water is coming out of the hose. This may take three days if you have a large pool such as a 24' x 4' pool.
  3. When the water is so low that the pump is sucking in air, then unplug it. Remove sump pump and remove the hose from it.
  4. Remove the filter hoses, clamps, intake and pool filter away from the pool, if you haven't already done this. Set the filter and pump aside, put it out of the way.
  5. With the sharp scissor or knife, begin cutting the liner all around the top edge. Walk around the pool outside or inside ;whichever is easier As the liner drops,begin to pull it towards the middle,away from the wall
  6. Start removing the top connecting panels of the pool with a cordless drill or screwdriver in reverse to remove the screws. As each panel is removed, place them in a large box
  7. Now start unscrewing the wall, where it meets These bolts or screws will be larger and may require some help. After the wall is opened up, start cutting 3 foot sections of it with the heavy duty metal cutters. This will make the job of removing the pool wall much easier.
  8. After cutting and removing the sections of the pool wall, the bottom metal rim that held the wall up will need to be disassembled. Start pulling it up out of the dirt or sand and unscrew the bolts. A few large boxes will probably be needed to store the pieces.

How NOT to take Down a Pool

Tips to Make the Job Easier

I have some tips to make your job and life a little easier.

First, please have enough patience for this job and be organized for this project.

It will take at least three to four days from start to finish. Don't try to rush this process, as it is bigger than you and it will win.

Next,be prepared for problems. Rust can make the job tougher. Metal pieces will break off and bolts don't always unscrew.

Lastly,You may need help to lift the metal wall sections out and roll up. They are heavy so don't strain yourself. If you cut the wall into smaller parts, roll it up and tie it with a rope or bungee cord, it will be much easier to remove.

You may want to take the parts down to the local dump if allowed in your area.

I'm not sure the trash collector would be so happy to see all this at the curb.

I know you can do this job by yourself, since I did it by myself.

If you can get help, then do so! make a party out of it. Offer refreshments and have a BBQ..

How to Set up Inflatable Pool Video

An Easy Alternative to the traditional backyard pool

If you really miss the fun of the backyard swimming pool and can't deal with the work, then here's the perfect solution. A good replacement pool that is easy to assemble and take down in the winter is the soft sided, inflatable pool.

It is lightweight, doesn't have the traditional steel walls, and supports to assemble, much less expensive to maintain.

There are several brands on the market and most large box stores carry them. Intex seems to be the most popular brand of soft sided inflatable pools so check their products first.

© 2010 Stacie L


Submit a Comment

  • Stacie L profile image

    Stacie L 16 months ago

    I bought the house with the pool so I was unsure. A thinner metal cheaper pool with start to rust out faster.

    My last pool was 22 years old and the wall collapsed from the ice build up. I know many people with pools that are almost 30 years old!

  • profile image

    WCBurr77 16 months ago

    How old was your pool? Ours is 20 and I'm pretty sure this will be the last year.

  • Stacie L profile image

    Stacie L 4 years ago

    Thanks for stopping by and reading. Pools are fun and a lot of work so think before installing on

  • swimfan profile image

    swimfan 4 years ago from United States

    Really useful info here. I've never owned an above ground pool and had no idea what was involved in taking one down.

  • Stacie L profile image

    Stacie L 5 years ago

    @lawahe : thanks for reading my hub on taking down a pool

    If you want to link to my hub that would be great.

  • lawahe profile image

    lawahe 5 years ago from United States of America

    I'm adding your hub to mine, "A dreamer's step by step guide to Creating an Outdoor Apartment." My article is on what to do once the pool is gone. You've covered step one, which I plan on just mentioning. Now I can rest, knowing that readers will be able to tackle that job. Great stuff! Thank you!

  • Stacie L profile image

    Stacie L 7 years ago

    thank you reading and commenting twogroce.

  • twogroce profile image

    twogroce 7 years ago

    Good advice Stacie, I added you as a link to my hub on swimming pools. Great job!

  • Stacie L profile image

    Stacie L 7 years ago

    Thanks Dana for the comments.

    Pools are a lot of fun and work! =)

  • profile image

    Dana 7 years ago

    Thanks! We just bought a house with one of these and planned to take it down on Sunday. Now I won't be surprised when it takes us longer that one afternoon to do it. :) Also need to start draining!

  • Stacie L profile image

    Stacie L 7 years ago

    thanks billyaustindillion...

    that really was my pool! LOL

  • billyaustindillon profile image

    billyaustindillon 7 years ago

    Great hub - love that shots of the old pool!

  • Stacie L profile image

    Stacie L 7 years ago

    oh yes!,this is what you have to look forward to! LOL

    you can baby it for a few years before the walls completely rot away>..;-0

  • profile image

    whatsiz 7 years ago

    Oh, NO! That is what is facing me as my pool is now 19 years old!! NO! NO! Thanks for the information,but I think I will buy another piece of equipment - something like a solar heater? Maybe just more to take down?