Less Water in Above Ground Pool
We are considering new 24' above ground pool but they all seem to be 52". My wife only wants a MAXIMUM of 36" of water. With the level that low the water will not reach skimmer.
1. Could the metal pool be cut down in height?
2. Could the bottom be filled with 12" of sand and then install the liner?
I would have to say no to both of your questions. I would not recommend for anyone to start cutting away on a new sidewall. That sounds like far more trouble, and potential problems, than it's worth. Filling the inside of a pool up with dirt or extra sand is again asking for trouble. In both cases the list of bad things that could happen is a long one so lets just say don't do it.
I do, however, have a much better idea. There are still some 48" wall pools out there so you may just want to look until you find one of them.
Before you put the liner in this pool steal one of your wife's cookie sheets and cut the edges off with tin snips so it is flat. Grab a pie pan while you are at it and do the same to it. Now you have a patch to go over the skimmer opening and one for the return. Using duct tape, put these on the inside of the pool, covering the openings.
Before you laugh too hard at this idea let me just say that Doughboy has been doing this for forty years or more. Long ago, thru the wall skimmers were an option, not standard equipment. Above ground pools were equipped with over the wall
skimmers. Every Doughboy wall came with a set of plates for covering the skimmer and return openings. Even today, on their large pools requiring two sidewalls, each wall has a set of openings and a set of plates. The filter uses one set of openings and the second set gets covered over with pieces of metal. So, yes, this is safe.
Now you just need to get the filter hooked up. In the days of the over the wall skimmer the flexible pool hose went over the wall and was held in place by pieces of wire closely resembling a custom bent cloths hanger. That was long before filter systems were made with 1 1/2" PVC compatible inlets and outlets. Now it is very easy to use solid or flexible PVC pipe with a few elbows and avoid the cloths hangers.
This was my pool at one time. I was filling it with a well, just a few inches a day. I took my time because as you can see at the far end of the pool, my filter was hooked up. You can also see the pool was clean and being used daily. It really did not matter how long it took to fill.
The only problem left is keeping the leaves and bugs off the top of the water. The days of the over the wall skimmers are long gone. They can not be found anywhere. There are two pretty decent options. A hand held skimmer, operated manually, for not more than twenty minutes daily, does a pretty decent job. Another option is a product called the Pool Skim. This could easily be plumbed into the PVC pipe going over the pool wall. In The Swim carries them for around a hundred dollars.