Above Ground Pool Where Old One Was

by John

Just bought a house and there is an area in the yard where a pool was installed. It looks fairly level and sand still remains. The pool we are putting in is a 27' round. There is plenty of room in this spot.

I was wondering if the old sand needs to be removed completely so that we can check level or is it possible to move sand to one side and check for level? I have read some other posts here and from what I gather the rail and bottom plates need to be on solid ground.

Is it possible to move the old sand in a few feet and install the bottom rail level? We are using patio blocks for the plate support. Thanks and any suggestions are appreciated.

Hi John

Most of the time when we get to a job where there was an existing pool the sand base is level. This is not always the case and if it is too far off we pretty much start from scratch with the leveling and new sand. It is very difficult to move sand out of a pool area and then try to move it back and reuse it. Sand gets contaminated with dirt, rocks and debris so easily, it is much better to order a new load. It is also not a good idea to use the existing sand for any type of leveling, dirt should be used instead.

When the sand base is in good shape, like what I think you may have, most of it can be left in place. We clear an area about three feet wide around the outer edge. The sand gets either sent towards the center or to the outside of the pool, depending on the condition and amount of contamination.

At this point we would lay out the rails, connect them to the footplates, making it round as we do it. When the rails are laid out and perfectly round we would dig under each footplate and insert the blocks. Then each block gets laser leveled and the space between blocks get any touching up needed to place the track on firm ground.

Having cleared out an area of 3' allows you room to unroll the sidewall without getting it into the sand. Unrolling a sidewall on firm ground is easy, in sand it is a great big pain in the rear.

So, it sounds like you are on the right track and what I have said just reaffirms what you already knew.

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Build Pool On Clay Or Remove

by Sara

We just picked up a used 15 X 30 foot pool. We live in an area with heavy clay soil. What is best for a base?

Remove grass layer, place concrete blocks with crushed limestone and sand mixed with dry concrete on top? Or should we be pouring a concrete frame. The pool has 6 supports on each side.

Thank you, Sara

Hi Sara

You should be just fine by removing sod and leveling your existing ground. I would recommend blocks under the end uprights and under the braces. I would then use a sand base to install the liner over. If the clay is not workable as far as leveling goes then you can remove some from the outer edge of the pool. This can be replaced with crushed limestone to make leveling easier. Usually an area one foot wide and about four to five inches deep works fine for that.

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Placement Of Above Ground Pool

by Amy
(Beloit, WI)

My husband and I purchased a used 18' above ground metal framed pool. We are planning on setting up come spring (We live in Wisconsin).

Previously, we had an Intex 18' pool that you inflate the top ring and fill. We had fixed the area for that pool by using a lot of sand to level the area, then we built up a hexagon retaining wall about 8" tall with landscape timbers, all the way around the area to help hold the sand in.

My question is, what would be our best bet for installing our permanent pool? Should we pour concrete over the area while it is still set and make the area a cement platform? or would we be better to take all or most of the sand out and level it that way?

Thank you, Amy

Hi Amy

I think concrete makes an excellent base for an above ground pool. Make sure the pad is perfectly level. When setting a pool on concrete I recommend using pre-formed pool cove. You should also use some sort of pool pad. Carpet felt works good for this, or any of the ready made pool pads.

Your second choice is to remove the sand and start with level dirt. If you screen your sand you might be able to reuse some of it for the base under the liner. Another possibility is to line the outer perimeter with patio blocks. As long as the entire frame work of the pool were sitting on blocks it would not matter if there was sand under them.

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Installing Above Ground Pool Near Spring

by Mike Barton
(Enola PA)

I live in a heavy spring area. I dug out the pool area 33' for 30' above ground pool. One area is not drying up, I assume due to the springs.

I tampered it several times and still the ground is a little spongy. I am worried if I continue the pool will not last long. Is it possible to install a concrete pillar under that area about 3 feet deep, or should I install several inches of stone under the sand, or is there anything that I could do for this? I tried to hire a pro but no one here in PA wants to work I guess, they don't even return calls.

Hi Mike

It sounds like you have some good ideas. A concrete base would sure do the job. A little less expensive would be a base of patio pavers. The frame could be set on the pavers and sand added inside the frame to cushion the liner.

I am not sure the extent of your springs but it is also possible that several inches of crusher run or crushed granite would pack good enough for a nice pool base.

I know what you mean about people not wanting to work; there is a lot of that going around.

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Replacing Large Inground Pool With Smaller One

Can you replace an old large inground pool with a smaller one? Will it sink?


Replacing an above ground pool that has been set in the ground, with a smaller one, is an ideal situation. It's important when building an above ground pool to be able to walk around the outside of the pool as you are installing it. Installing a smaller pool should give you plenty of room to work.

There should be no reason why the pool would sink. If that is a concern, be sure to use patio blocks under the uprights.

If the pool was set up on a sand base I would pull the sand back into the center of the pool so that all the pool framework is setting on firm level dirt.

above ground pool in ground

I have been assuming you meant an above the ground pool set in the ground, replaced by an above the ground pool set in the ground. If you are talking a concrete pool inside of another concrete pool I would have no idea. I have, however, installed above ground pools into old concrete pools. Some of the pools were completely filled with dirt while others were just leveled off with fill dirt, before the above grounds were installed.

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