These days, above ground pools can easily last 15 years or more with proper care and maintenance. With improved materials such as cast resin fittings and protectant-coated steel in use, pools have become more durable, and this increased longevity means more pool owners find themselves needing to move an above ground pool to a new location.
Whether you’re buying or selling a used pool, or moving your pool along with your household, here are some tips for ensuring a successful transfer:
- Check building codes for the new location: Some areas require pools to be located a certain distance from buildings and property lines. You’ll want to make sure you actually have enough room for the pool before you move it.
- Level the ground by removing, rather than adding, dirt: While adding dirt or sand may seem like the easier route, the only way to ensure truly level ground is to determine the lowest point and remove dirt from other areas. Any new dirt that you add will quickly become compressed under the weight of the pool and won’t maintain its level.
- Be prepared to buy a new pool liner: Once you drain an above ground pool the liner will shrink up and become difficult to work with. Trying to save the old liner will be more trouble than it’s worth, so use the move as an opportunity to replace the liner, which should be replaced every few years anyway.
- Be extra careful when disassembling plastic parts: If your pool is an older model and uses plastic, rather than resin parts, be aware that years of sun and chlorine can weaken these parts and make them susceptible to cracking. If this is the case, go slowly and be gentle when taking the pool apart, as these old parts may also be difficult to replace.
- Keep track of all your parts: Manufacturers often make minor tweaks to pool construction and components from year to year, so even if you think your same pool is still on the market and replacement parts should be readily available, you might be surprised. The best way to make sure you keep all the parts together is to label and inventory the pieces as you disassemble the pool, then load the parts directly into the back of the truck you’ll be using to move the pool. Place any screws into plastic bags, and tape the bags to the pieces the screws belong to.
- Disassemble the pool from the top down: After removing accessories and disconnecting the filtration system from your drained pool, begin taking down the pool by removing post caps and upper railings, numbering the pieces as you go. Remove the liner, then detach the filter panel from the wall and roll the wall up with the help of a partner. Un-dig the filter panel and any other support posts and remove them from the ground. The pool should now be fully ready to transport to its new location.
- Empty the sand filter: If your pool uses a sand filter, it likely contains 100 to 200 pounds of sand. The easiest way to move the filter is to empty out the old sand, then replace it with new sand when you get to your new location. While you can certainly attempt to lug the filter to the new location as is, moving an empty filter will be much easier, and replacing the sand will only help you keep your pool in good condition.
Following these steps will help ensure a smooth, easy move for your above ground pool and give you many more years of enjoyment out of this classic source of backyard entertainment.