Sand Outside Of Pool

by Donna Connolly
(Manville, NJ USA)

I found a small pile of sand next to my above ground pool. What could be causing this?

Hi Donna

That would all depend on the type of base you have for your pool. If the liner is set on Styrofoam sheets it is probably nothing to worry about. If you have a sand base for your pool it probably means you have a leak.

Sand on the outside of the pool will usually accompany a wet spot and an indentation on the inside of the pool, usually in or near the cove area.

Check the ground carefully for any signs of moisture. Check inside the pool for any signs of an indentation in the sand. If a sink hole is found there is usually a hole in the liner, right in the middle of the indentation.

There are also times when critters could be removing sand from the pool. Gophers cause sink holes that do not always come with holes in the liner. They burrow up from under ground and the sand collapses down into the hole. The liner sinks down about 6 - 8 inches and usually hangs on at this point. If you push on the liner you come to the strange realization that there is nothing under the liner, it's a strange feeling.

I have seen ants move sand from the inside of the pool to the outside without making any holes. They did leave a very large sink hole under the liner.

My guess is if you are seeing sand outside the pool you are probably missing some on the inside. You need to find the damaged area, find the cause, stop it and fix the damage.

Comments for Sand Outside Of Pool

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May 28, 2020
Foam tile
by: Anonymous

Can you use foam tiles instead of sand under your pool. Do you need anything to go along with the tiles?


I would use the preformed pool cove to go along with it.

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Sand Leached Out From Under Above Ground Pool

by Connie
(Paxinos, PA)

This would be the third summer for our 24' x 52" above ground pool. Last year we had more rain than usual and there are spots where the sand has leached out from under the pool. Some spots are a few inches deep and several inches long.

We have just installed drains around the entire pool and stone to prevent this from happening again. We now need to know what is the best way to replace the sand under the pool edge. Is there a way to do this without draining the pool?

Hi Connie

There really is not any way to fix this with a pool full of water. It can be done with about 6" of water still in the pool but not much more than that.

You need to be able to pull the liner back just far enough to dump some sand behind it and to then get a broom in there to smooth it out.

I would examine the low areas to make sure the liner is not resting on the pool frame. If the liner is in contact with the bottom rails or footplates I would drain the pool immediately. The metal could tear the liner and you could loose all the water in a matter of minutes.

If you still feel sand between the liner and the pool frame it is probably safe to leave them alone until the next time you need to drain the pool.

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Sand Seeping Out From Under Wall

by Paul
(Harrisburg, Pa)

I put in a pool this summer and after a few days of rain we finally got back into the pool and the sand was soft around the cove. After stepping on it some the sand squished out onto the outside of the wall. There is still a lot of the cove left and definitely not a leak.

Should I be worried? Will it be fine once it dries out? Is there anyway to fix this problem or return the little bit of sand?

Hi Paul

It was probably all the rain that made the cove feel soft, so that in itself, is not a problem. Sand washing out is usually caused by a leak in the liner but if you are sure that is not happening I'll rule that out.

The only thing is could be is the rails not sitting firmly on solid ground. This is very important. I would make sure there is solid dirt under all the bottom rails. The next thing I would do is to put a small dirt cove around the outside of the pool. This will help to keep the sand in the pool and the rainwater out of the pool.

Repairing the damage can only be done by draining the pool. When this is done be sure to leave a few inches of water in the pool. The liner can be pulled back and the cove repaired without completely draining the pool. Leaving water in the pool keeps the liner from shrinking and shifting.

It sounds like the damage is not so bad that you would need to drain the pool. As long as the liner is not resting on the pool framework I would leave it alone, that is the only time you need to make repairs ASAP.

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Sand Leached Out From Under the Pool Liner

by Jenny
(Lambton, NSW, Australia)

Our above ground pool sprung a leak through a hole in the bottom of the liner and a 1 meter square of the sand leached out.

This area of the pool is now a lot lower than the rest of the there any way that we can get the sand back under without having to empty the pool and lifting the liner?

Thanks so much. Jenny

Hi Jenny

Draining the pool is the only way to properly make this repair. Draining the pool can also shrink your liner, so do it wisely. By this I mean leave some water in the bottom of the pool. Do not drain it all the way.

With a couple of inches left in the pool the shrinking will be held to a minimum. Once the top rails have been removed you will then need to remove some top rails in the area nearest the base damage. Someone will need to be inside the pool holding the liner back while someone else makes the repairs to the pool base.

Leaving water in the pool will limit the shrinking and it will also keep the liner from shifting, so you will not need to be resetting the entire thing, and hoping that it still fits.

removing rails for liner base repair

The other option would be to leave it as is until the next time you need a new liner. Unless the liner is resting on the metal of the pool frame it is probably not in any danger. It would just depend on the extent of the damage and whether or not you think it is dangerous.

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