Taking Down an Above Ground Pool for Transport
(Grand Rapids, MI)
We just purchased a 28' Doughboy. What are the most important things to know about taking it down so when we have it installed, there won't be any issues?
Let me walk you through the way I do it, and I have done it hundreds of times. If you have read any of my stuff you know I never leave a sidewall without support. The same thing applies to taking it down.
I normally have a couple of helpers with me. Their first job is to remove all the decorative top caps and top rails. Those get loaded into the wheel barrel and taken out to the truck. No, I do not number the parts, that's not needed. The rails are all the same, they can go back anywhere, and be just fine. Unless it's an oval, then you have a few options, but still, it is not necessary.
While the rails are being removed I am disconnecting the filter, skimmer and return. We then get all of that out of the way and loaded into the truck.
Next comes the removing of the wall seam. I spray both sides with WD 40 and attach a pair of vice grips to the bar. I use a hammer and tap up on the grips until the bar comes loose. It usually takes resetting the grips many times to get the bar off the wall, but this must be done. It should be done without wall damage, so be careful.
I now have a wall supported by the top
rails, top caps and uprights. As I roll the wall up, my helpers are removing uprights, top caps, metal rods and coping ahead of me. These parts are set aside as we are moving fast.
Once the wall is rolled up it is tied with a rope. Now all the pieces are gathered and loaded. With that done we go after the bottom rails and footplates. These can be buried in sand so make sure you get them all.
After having left a couple of bottom plates buried in the sand, in my early days, I now count them all. You need the same number of bottoms as you have tops. The same number as you have bottom rails. Just double check, make sure you have everything.
All of this I can, and have, done by myself. The heavy parts are the wall and the filter. A dolly moves the wall and a little lean and lift gets it into the truck. Draining the water out of the filter is usually enough to allow me to lift it. If that fails I can always remove the sand. I seldom deal with filters I can't lift, but it has happened.
As far as making it easy to reinstall. Make sure you have all the parts and don't damage anything. Don't let the wall fall down, be careful with it. Don't damage the bottom rails and footplates. Don't force them out of the ground, use a shovel and remove some dirt. Rusted pool parts bend and break easily, take it easy on them and they will be just fine to reinstall.