Can An Above Ground Pool Sit Empty

by Kay Carroll

How long can you leave the liner out of an above ground pool before replacing it? Will the wall collapse if it is left out for more than a few days?

Hi Kay

That is an impossible question to answer. As a rule of thumb, put a new liner into the pool as soon as possible.

I have installed hundreds of liners for customers. Some of the pools had been empty only a day or two, while others had been empty for years.

above ground pool sitting empty

I would tell my customers to have the pool completely empty before I got there to install the new liner. Many, many times it was not empty. This was so frustrating to me. What is so hard about having a pool completely empty so the old liner can be removed and the new liner installed?

The problem was usually a combination of two things. The customers did not want the pool sitting empty any longer than absolutely necessary for fear it would blow down. And secondly, they had no idea how long it would take to siphon a pool dry. It takes days, in most cases.

I got to where I would tell my customers to start draining the pool about a week ahead of my appointment. I would tell them how to hook up a siphon hose, or two, and about how long it would take to drain. I would then tell them to stab holes in the liner to completely drain the pool. Siphon hoses will take the water down to an inch or so, we needed it completely empty.

So often the customer was just a little on the not so bright side, or they were terrified the pool would blow over, but it just amazed me the number of times we showed up to install a new liner in a pool that was still being drained. But, in over thirty years of installing pools, and liners, I never once had to repair a pool because of damage, between the time I told them to drain the pool, and the time I showed up to install the new liner.

Back to your question, there is no way of telling when that one, very rare, wind will come along and damage an empty pool. It could be next week or it could be in five years. Sooner or later it's likely to happen. In Arizona, it's usually during the monsoon season that starts in early July and last a month or so. During this time of year it's best to have your above ground pool full of water, or it could wind up in your neighbors yard.

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May 15, 2015
How long can a new liner sit without water
by: Chris

I'm getting ready to install a new 25g liner on my 15'x30'x54" above ground pool and was curious if its ok to let it sit for 2 days with minimal water. I plan on installing it on a Saturday then adding 1 or 2 feet of water, but since I'm on a well I have to have a water truck bring water to finish the job. The water truck can't arrive until Tuesday, so should I be concerned about any shrinkage?


Hi Chris

Your liner will be just fine with a foot or so of water in it. Your only concern would be a strong wind blowing the pool over. This is not likely but does happen. Fill it as much as you can as soon as you can.

Oct 18, 2019
Ripped Liner
by: Frank M

Can I use sand bags to hold up an above ground pool? To keep it from blowing away. It ruptured, but needs a new liner. Problem is, it's cold weather.


That should work just fine.

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