Pool not used anymore but not ready to fill it in...? Any options?

grahadp

Member
Apr 15, 2015
11
Huntsville/Alabama
Hi guys,
My pool liner is worn out--it developed a leak about half way down in the fall, and now I am undecided as to whether I should just fill in my pool. Nobody has used my pool for the past 5 years, but I'm not sure if I am ready to fill it in. I have been told it will cost between $6000-$15000 to fill it in, and it should be around $7000 or so for a new liner, new Polaris & pump, and new cover. Everything pretty much broke at once :( And I haven't had the chance to really figure out if filling a pool in is going to look awful.
Anybody got any ideas about that?
My real question though--could I just go ahead an drain it and put a safety cover on it this year? I believe those let the rain thru, so I might have a mosquito problem (I live in Alabama). But can a small sump pump be used under one of those covers? I've had some serious health issues the past 3 years and its been very hard for me to keep up with my house and pool and animals on my own. It would be a real help for me to delay opening it right now. Thanks for any advice.
 

duanebe

Well-known member
Leaving it empty would create a high risk for collapse... the pressure from the surrounding earth and groundwater would push the walls in and crack or collapse the floor as well.

Been there, done that... I bought a house with a collapsed pool. The previous owners had removed the liner and it wouldn't hold water, so it just filled with groundwater and broke itself up over time. Fixed now, but it was esentially more work than a brand new install.

No suggestions for you otherwise... I debated this myself last season as the freezing temps were approaching and I didn't have my liner installed yet... no good options that I'm aware of other than just biting the bullet and fixing it. Maybe others will have better suggestions for you.
 

CountryBumkin

Bronze Supporter
Jan 9, 2017
124
Orlando/FL
I don't know why it is so expensive to fill it in. Maybe access to the yard is difficult (fencing, terrain, etc.).

A large dump truck holds 12 to 14 cubic yards of dirt. I cubic yard of dirt is equal to 2800 gallons (dry volume so maybe a little different for water). But that means you need around 9 truck loads of dirt (126 cubic yards).
Dirt (topsoil) is going for (delivered) around $31 a cubic yard, you need 126 cubic yard so that is around $3,900 (at the $31/yd price). You should be able to get "clean fill dirt" cheaper. http://www.stoneplus.com/Retail_Big.pdf

Call you local dump truck operator and get a price for clean fill dirt for your area. I'd say you could get the pool filled in for less than the "lower quote" you received.
 

mac4lyfe

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2007
212
Houston, Texas
What are you being quoted for the cost to repair the liner, polaris, pump and cover separately? You can probably save some money changing out some parts yourself.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,661
Evans, Georgia
Filling in a pool can be a huge liability risk if not done properly. Some places may even require a permit and inspection. It entails cutting holes in the pool bottom among other things. Could be a real headache if trying to sell the house and it wasn't done well and disclosed.

Yippee :flower:
 

CountryBumkin

Bronze Supporter
Jan 9, 2017
124
Orlando/FL
Filling in a pool can be a huge liability risk if not done properly. Some places may even require a permit and inspection. It entails cutting holes in the pool bottom among other things. Could be a real headache if trying to sell the house and it wasn't done well and disclosed.

Yippee :flower:

Yes, you need to jack hammer some holes in the pool bottom to let groundwater pressure equalize. I don't know what else needs to be done that adds so much expense. Never heard of needing a permit, but I'm learning/asking here. I know for sure that if you ever ask the County if you need a permit they will tell you yes every time (it's like asking a lawyer if you need a lawyer - if you have to ask, the answer is yes).
 

bownut

Gold Supporter
May 7, 2016
64
Fayetteville
I might get more than one quote on new equipment. Depending on your commitment level to your pool a Polaris is a nice accessory, but not necessary. I clean my pool with a brush and get leaves out with a Leaf Master and leaf rake. Those cost me less than $200 total. As far as the liner, I have a 20x40 and we got a quote because we thought we might have to replace it, it was $2700. However, we had a guy come with a LeakTrac and he detected the 1 cm diameter leak. That was $180. I just got a good vinyl repair kit recommended on TFP, which was approximately $18. Lastly, the pump. I'm sure there is somewhere on here about the best pumps and installing them yourself. But new pumps can be less than $1000. Mine is the Hayward 2302VSP and it is on Amazon right now at $769 (just to give you an idea of cost. They come with very good directions for installation. Depending upon if/when you might want to sell your home, having a pool can add some value. You might want to take that under consideration.

Also, go swimming! LOL! Don't let your pool go to waste! :D
 

Rollercoastr

Gold Supporter
May 18, 2016
866
West Bloomfield, MI
Filling in a pool can be a huge liability risk if not done properly. Some places may even require a permit and inspection. It entails cutting holes in the pool bottom among other things. Could be a real headache if trying to sell the house and it wasn't done well and disclosed.

Yippee :flower:
Some family friends removed their IG pool in the burbs of Chicago years ago. The municipality didn't allow a fill-in - they had the break it up and remove everything. I was a few decades too late to tell them about TFP.
 

mac4lyfe

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2007
212
Houston, Texas
Heck, my 1.5 HP Hayward pump is like $175 to replace. I think a new pump same model as you currently have is no more than $400 but you may be able to just rebuild/repair it. Like Bownut said, you don't need a cleaner when you can clean it yourself. Just more elbow grease on your end and time. You don't need a cover either. I can't help you on the cost to replace a liner but doesn't sound like as expensive as you're being quoted. I've seen online stores that sell the vinyl liners for under $1,000. You should be able to get a local contractor to install for cheap if you already have the liner ready to install.

I think repairing the pool is always the better long term solution, especially when the cost you've been quoted is so close. I would definitely get some more quotes on the liner and figure it out from there. Have you checked the pump? Are you sure it's no longer working? Change that out, make sure the sand filter is working and you are good to go as far as circulating water. I personally like to do repairs myself. That way I know it's done the right way. I've changed out my DE filter, pump several times, added a SWG, installed solar panels, etc. I just bought a cheap ($110) pump and filter off of ebay that I'm using to clean dirt off the bottom of the pool. I hook a hose to the pump and vacuum the bottom dirt and sand. It works better than my pool cleaner because I can reach tight spots much easier/quicker. Try to do some of your repairs yourself and you will save money. Ask questions in the forums because there's a lot of people who have been where you're at and are willing to help. Best of luck.
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,698
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Sounds like you've got a difficult situation! Sorry to hear about your health limitations and challenges.

Is moving an option? Sounds maybe not as you mentioned animals (is that livestock?) If you could move, then fixing up the pool would probably make money. But moving is usually a much bigger decision, with many other factors.

If not, and funds are short, you could get the vinyl patched if possible, or replace it, and then buy a cheap pool pump, and dump a gallon of bleach in every day. The water would be murky and potentially unsafe, but shouldn't become any more than a big pond. You would need to scoop the bugs and leaves to keep it from getting gross.

But I'm with the others, devote a bit of time each day and work through it, doing whatever you can yourself, will probably be the least trouble and least total work in the long run. There are people here who would be very devoted to helping you.

Good luck with it. What a pain for you right now. :(
 

Pyrodav

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Dec 11, 2016
175
Chillicothe/ohio
I would consider patch, fill, sump pump to circulate in the pool (tie the hose off so it pushes around the pool), safety cover with a chemical hole in it to pour chlorine. Save your money and repair/replace equipment as needed. Change liner next year.
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,837
Grand Rapids, MI
While this is comparable to the cost of filling it in, if you wanted another option that would later allow for renovation of the pool, check out Deckover Pool Retirement - Home .

Best wishes on the health front...I realize this is the last thing you need to worry about. If you want to preserve the structural integrity, slapping some patch vinyl on that leak than loading it up with mosquito dunks and covering would buy you time.

My foreclosure pool sat swamp like for two years before I bought and rehabbed it ;)