Ready to pull the trigger and finally fix our pool. We will be restoring and building a deck around with plans for a Cabana and an addition that will walk out to the pool. We installed it DIY 9 yrs ago and researched everything well, but it was before I found you great guys and gals- so I think we did it very responsibly and smartly at the time- but putting money back into the restore I don't want to waste time or money and we did have a few issues. Pool has not been used for at least 4-5yrs. Believe it or not... our kids are huge competitive swimmers and we actually were never home because all of them were at swim meets every weekend. Never had time to keep it going or enjoy. Now we do. Ill post pics...

Atlantis Aluminum 27x52 AGP buried 2ft around
19,500 gallons
Hayward S180T sand FILTER with Variflo XL valve and 18in. tank. (I don't know if the valve or filter is salvageable or not)
PUMP need a new one

1)-Water drained out right before the winter due to a slow hole in the bottom of liner somewhere- so it has been sitting up in New England with no water in the pool. It is really strong as an ox. All the sides of pool were originally installed with a wrap of foam and then backfilled with sand and stone dust at least a 1 foot around all sides. There are only a few points along the wall that have an indent toward the water edge of the pool.Its empty and they are not collapsing. They are solid... but obviously from rainwater pooling, ground settling over 10 yrs and especially around the skimmer where is gets most water around the side... I want to sure it up the right way. We installed with Happy Bottom, cove and foam wrapped sides and only had one softspot/rock over the years on the bottom- so we will be grading and cleaning up that. Question is ... how do we reform the sides to make sure they are not indented in at all or do we just leave it as it is and water will hold it back? Thinking we could begin to fill pool with new liner and then dig out the side and try to push side back into form while it has the pressure of the water up against it? any help would be appreciated on best approach. I will post some pics of the current empty pool.

2) Filter and pump- we originally hard plumbed per recommendations and it just never worked great. I had a sand filter and had to add massive DE to keep clean- we have a big oak tree that drops pollen into the pool. No way around that. We are currently going to move filter to the side of house so we can install additional and full deck. Neither pump or filter has been used in 5 yrs and have been outside- so should we just scrap it and start fresh?

Do I try and keep existing sand filter and replace the variflo xl valve, buy a new sand filter or go DE...?

Research here says we should probably get an inground pump because the filter will be level to the top of the pool or a little above and about 20 ft away. What is the best filter/pump for our application?

3) Skimmer and inlet panel. This seems to be the weakest link of the pool install. I realize now how much water overflows from the skimmer and at times creates a 'pool' outside the pool. We have stone dust about 1 foot high around that panel but Im just afraid it is the weak part that will collapse if anything does. While we are restoring rights now- any suggestions to rectify this. Should we move the skimmer to another stronger panel can we place steel wall piece here and fortify the panel. Just not sure... but it keeps me awake at night thinking we will put all the work and money in and this dang section will start to cave in and ruin everything. Ideas, advice... hindsight being 20/20 Im trying to improve what I can.

4) Skimmer replacement. I need to replace the skimmer so if there is a better all over system- Im open to anything. What would be the best for this?

Thank you all so much for your wisdom and your energy. We want our pool back...need to get things done ASAP.

North of Boston


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Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
Houston, Texas
Hi, with all the tree debris you have I would go with a much larger filter. Take off your skimmer and check for rust. It looks like the wall may have popped out of the bottom track in a spot or two so you will need to correct that. Since you have to dig out the weeds anyway you could take this as an opportunity to dish out the bottom and add a little depth to your pool. I like to be cautious so I would spray the interior of the bare pool wall with a rust inhibitor before adding wall foam or a liner. It looks like a good quality pool to have held up this long while unused.

As for the ponding outside the skimmer, you can dig a little trench and install a french drain to move water away from the pool. You can also dig a little pit and fill it with gravel and sand and that will also give water somewhere to go.
Thanks for response. the weeds are actually not in the ground they are growing right ontop of the blue pool liner and in-between the pool They pop right out. I am just saving them to transplant into a new pond I am building at the same time. The bottom is all clean and clear under that white happy bottom liner. No rust anywhere as it is aluminum and was coated with foam inside and out believe it or not.

Yes we will double check the bottom track. I am pretty sure it is still in the track but it has soil putting pressure from the outside about a foot up. We were going to dig that away. maybe just some stone dust instead of soil? soil seems to be the problem when is becomes so heavy.

French drain is a good thought. Its below the ground level so I wasn't sure that would work- but we will relook.

Do you think stick with sand or go to DE?
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