Completely new- looking to revitalize abandoned pool


New member
May 19, 2020
Memphis, Tennessee
Hi all!

I am completely new to this forum and new to any type of pool care.

Hoping this is a judgement free zone....

I recently have been quarantining with my family, and it looks like they have completely let the pool go in recent years..

I want to be able to help them enjoy their pool again, or at least not have an eyesore to look at in their beautiful backyard.

1. Everything surrounding the pool tend to drain into the pool as it is concaved in... is there a way to fix this? Digging draining trenches around the poolm (sounds very unattractive)

2. Their pool filter (according to my dad) seems like it is leaking? Is that a complex/expensive fix? Who do I call? Can we DIY?

3. Their pump may also need to be repaired or replaced, how much would that cost?

4. Should they drain the pool (they already have done so a few times, but it just gets dirty within 2 days)

5. Should we buy a pressure washer to clean the bottom of the pool? If so, can you recommend a model?

6. I've heard of people transitioning their pool to a salt water pool, is that less maintenance? Is it possible to do? Diy or pay someone? If so, what's the cost?

7. Being that they rarely use the pool, is it even worth keeping the pool or should they look to fill it in? And how much would that cost (ballpark)?

I understand that is a lot of questions, would appreciate any guidance you can offer!! Thank you so much in advance!!!

They have some tiles falling off the sides, how much would it cost for someone to repair that, who do we call, what all does the labor entail? Getting the whole pool retiled??

The pool is now green and sometimes even has frogs living inside!!

I have included some pictures for reference (no judgement please!)


Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: That pool looks like it was the place to be at one time, and there's no reason it can't be the hub of family summertime entertainment again. But let's be realistic, it will take some effort and perhaps some money to get it running and to ensure it stays that way all year long. So if you folks are ready to make that happen, here are my initial responses to your questions:
1 - Probably a French Drain system. Not unreasonable and conceals well in landscaping. Retaining walls and grading may also help.
2 - Tell us what type of filter it is and where it is leaking. A pic might help. Also update your signature with all your pool and equipment info.
3 - Same as above, Tell us what you have now and/or post a pic.
4 - Might be beneficial in your situation based on the unknown chemicals added to the water in the past and potential staining that may be easier to clean once exposed.
5 - With caution maybe. Depends on the condition of the existing plaster. Too much pressure could dig right in.
6 - A salt water generator is great to eliminate the need to manually add bleach/chlorine each day. It can be a DIY project to add to the plumbing, but there is an initial expense to purchase the SWG.
7 - It would be a shame to see that thing get filled-in. Cost to have it filled I could not say. But going back to my opening statement, the family there needs to care for the pool if it remains open.

Tiles can be reattached and grout lines fixed. There aren't too many things that can't be repaired with a pool, but the owners have to want it. Once clean and refilled, you may find more equipment issues or potential leaks. Again, all of these things can be fixed if the desire is there.

Anyways, that's a start for now. Others will reply I'm sure. Let us know how else we can help.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
Tallahassee, FL
What a beauty that could be again! Pat has you covered for questions. I will touch on the filling it in.............many people have thought the same thing when they come here to see if the pool can be saved or filled in...........when they priced out the filling in they found it was wash in the much to fill in as it was to get it up and running again.



Well-known member
Aug 18, 2015
North Kingstown, RI
Who knows about the mechanical parts, but doesn't look to be in too bad a shape. looks better than mine did when i bought my house. Tile/grout/plaster is fixable, deck looks fine, and it's jut green because no one is maintaining it. Testing/SLAM/maintaining will bring that part back quickly.

Salt Water pools are awesome, if you have the money to put in. Ballpark $1500-ish for the kit, plus installation if you can't do it yourself. Probably about a wash on cost over several years of chemicals, but the obvious win is the lack of upkeep compared to testing and adding bleach every day. If my pool is running, it's maintaining the FC level automatically. I check once a week or so, but pretty much worry-free. And because that level is kept in check, you don't have big swings that allow things to grow, can't forget a day, etc. I love mine. Plus I feel that the water feels a little 'softer' and less chemically harsh.

Not sure how handy you are, and how much money you want to spend vice trying to do things yourself, but may be worth having a pool company come by and check things out? Couple hundred bucks will get you a pool inspection (like if you were about to buy the house) and they'll check out the mechanicals, pressure test the lines, and anything else they can get their hands on. Should be able to help with estimates to fix or replace items as well, and then you can decide what you want to be in for. Again, looks to be in ok shape, and it's not so big, so if you can get it rehabbed for reasonable money, and spend on some automation, should be relatively easy to keep going.

In addition to the salt water system, also recommend a pool robot. Expensive (700-800ish, but can vary depending on what you get), but another huge time saver. Sounds like pool was abandoned because it was taking too much effort compared to the amount of use. The more you can remove on the effort side, the less they may hate the pool overall, and start enjoying it. Manually vacuuming the pool is the worst. Takes forever, doesn't feel like it does a good job, etc. I toss the robot in, and 2 hours later i hose him off and dry the filters, pool is totally clean. Even better during openings, when i do that like once a day as the bleach is slaying algae and whatnot. Can't imagine an hour+ a day vacuuming the pool...

Pics of the filter and pump may help with evaluation as well, plus seeing what's going on on the plumbing side. May be easy fixes, may require new equipment (but chance to upgrade and get better stuff), hard to say without details. But doesn't look like you're starting from too bad a place, other than the family not caring to maintain the pool themselves...

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
I have to agree, that is a beautiful pool and if you get it back up and running it would be a magnet for everyone. We need pictures of the equipment pad, have you try to run the pump? You can start by looking at Test Kits Compared if you decide to bring it back to life. My suggestion would be to clean the pool and get it running just like it is. Dont worry about the tile just yet. If you like our method and its not too complicated for your parents then you can follow up on the fixing.


Sep 19, 2018
Ocean County, New Jersey
I was in a similar situation when I bought my house 1.5 years ago. The house had been foreclosed on earlier and the pool sat for over a year with no maintenance. The sellers were including it "as is" so I had to do my best to determine how much it would cost to get it running and factor that into the price of the house. To complicate things, the pump was completely seized and someone had removed the old filter entirely--there were literally sawed off PVC pipes and a big empty space where the filter used to be. So there was no way to truly know the condition of the liner and plumbing until we got enough equipment hooked up to get it running.

The biggest positive was that the pool was holding water. The water was so green and filled with leaves that the bottom wasn't visible, but it hadn't drained out either. And it was clear that the pool had been closed properly prior to being abandoned so there was less worry about cracked pipes from freezing.

I hired a professional to come and quote out the necessary equipment and repairs because I wanted to have it up and running right when we moved in--did not want to look at a green swamp in the yard for months. Here's what it ended up costing in my case:

$580 - Hayward sand filter
$260 - Pool opening (including vacuuming a ton of leaves and waste from the bottom.
$1900 - Salt Water Generator and all installation/plumbing

With taxes it all came out to about $3000. Certainly a decent chunk of change, but it went from a swamp to a swimmable pool in one day. Here's the before and after, same day:



New member
May 19, 2020
Memphis, Tennessee
Wow. Thank you all for the responses. I am so sorry for the delayed response! I will ask tomorrow what kind of pump and filter they have, and hopefully try to get photos!! Thank you so much again!!


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
lest you think i'm being judgmental...... what kind of skill set do you have? are you handy or willing to learn some hands on skills or will much need to be hired out? are there funds for that?

who uses the pool and will they want to maintain it after you are gone back home? or will it go to pot again? You may be able to get it usable for the summer yet know it still needs repairs down the road.

filling in a pool often requires permits and such, as well as disclosure when the house is sold

maddie....makes judgments about lots of things daily. is it too cloudy to swim? is this chicken still okay? do i need a pedicure?