Creative Ways to get Rid of the Backyard Pool

by bizilady

Taking down an above ground pool is a big job and you soon find out who your friends are.

Having your own backyard haven is a dream for many families. Getting the right swim pool, barbeque, patio and privacy is a perfect resort for those on a budget. The problem arises when the on ground pool needs to be removed.

My swimming pool

adventures in owning a pool

Swimming pools are fun and great way to cool off on those steamy summer days. They are wonderful for exercise and playing games so they appeal to kids and adults alike. In some locales, it's a status symbol to have the luxury of owning one. Well those are the pluses but there are some minuses as well, as I will discuss.


My story is about getting rid of of my backyard on ground pool which was up for 15 years. I had wondered if her days were numbered, when I began to notice that her shiny blue and white metal sides were now dull and rusted. That beautiful sea blue liner was faded and stained. Hot days will make the water evaporate but now that’s it was autumn, and the water level was dropping quickly. I thought the old girl had sprung a leak. There's no “depends” for a pool liner. She was ancient by most standards so I had to make a decision quickly.


Anyone that takes the trouble and expense to install a pool knows when the day they dreaded has arrived. The day to retire the pool had arrived. It was going to take some elbow grease and manpower.

Plan A

Pool party!

Here's what I decided to do first. Since I couldn't wait for the water to completely disappear, a sump pump was lowered into the middle of the pool with an attached hose. The hose end was extended away from the area about 25 – 50 feet to drain that chlorinated water and I had hoped it didn't drift into the neighbor's yard. I waited for them to leave first. So it drained enough to start cutting away the top of the liner around the top rim.


Next, I planned to email everyone and invite them for a swimming party, since the weather was still very warm. Yeah, they thought I had lost my mind, but what would you do? I couldn't very well tell them that I needed help taking down the ole rusty eyesore.


So a party with a barbeque with plenty of beer, soda and burgers was planned to entice them. I asked them to bring some tools for a party game. Yeah, that's it; they had never suspected a thing. I backed out of that plan since people expected fun and not work.

Nice backyard pool

good when they are new
backyard pool
backyard pool

Plans B and C

more ideas to get help removing the pool

 No, then I tried plan B instead. My idea was to run a raffle and sell $5.00 tickets for a fundraiser. My thinking that the school PTA would want to be in on this, when I made the call. The kids would have been so excited to get a backyard pool and the parents would love the idea of a freebie. The only thing is, I couldn't decide whether to tell them before or after they won, that it has to be disassembled? No, I guessed that it was not gonna work either. On to another idea.


Plan C was a bit silly but I thought about having a pool demolition party and let people use it for target practice. Yeah, some guys may want to take out their aggression on some heavy metal! Can you just hear the bullets ricocheting? Oh, I didn't think that work either, since I'll still have to clean up that mess, and answer the police officer's questions.


I decided to go back to square one; by taking it apart, with some friends. I would treat them to a good meal and feed them. Honesty is the best policy and if they show up I'll know they are true friends.

Tools needed for the job

taking apart the pool wall


This was a big job so we needed to have some portable screwdrivers or drills, heavy duty metal cutters, scissors to cut the liner, wrenches to unscrew the bolts, and the food and BBQ grill.

Also three cases of beer, soda, hot dogs and buns, hamburgers, and buns. They could bring their own pickles and chips.

Maybe more tools were needed or more food? The more food, the more work gets done? 

my pool on the ground

my pool taken apart
my pool taken apart

Steps planned to take apart the backyard pool


Steps involved:

        1. get out the BBQ and start it up.

        2. Fill the ice cooler with drinks and save the beers for later.

        3. cook up some burgers and eat first.

        4. start unbolting the top rim covering the pool wall.

        5.unscrew the reinforces around the pool wall from the bottom rim

        6.cut around the top edge of the liner and let it drop

        7.unbolt the part where the wall connects

        8.start cutting the metal wall into 3-4 foot sections

        9.roll up the sections and put into pile

       10.roll up liner and put onto truck bed

       11.collect all pieces and load up the truck to drive to dump.

       12.or bury everything in the hole with delivery of dirt

       13.relax and start drinking beers

Man Flipping Hamburger on Grill Outdoors
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not a good way to take down a pool

How to take down a pool and save friendships

summary of how it all went down



There are pluses and minus to owning your own on the ground pool.

Well the plan was well organized but the human factor was not taken into account. The fellas started with the beer and drank too much so the job was in shambles. Joey fell over the pump, and jabbed the screwdriver into Mac's hand so we had to stop and take him to the ER. A definite minus!


Next, the kids jumped into the empty pool and pretended to be swimming on the bottom. Really! Did they get into the beer as well? And some of the women were upset because they thought it was going to be a fun day out of the kitchen They ended up cleaning up the food and disciplining the kids. Another minus.Oh well.


All in all, it was a hectic day and didn't get anything accomplished. I learned a valuable lesson; don't ask friends to help with a big job and don't have beer in sight. Hire someone to take it away and save some friendships in the process.


My next pool is going to be those blow-up kind; the ones that don’t have metal anywhere! A plus and a minus for sure!


Have you ever taken down an above ground pool?

is it worth it?
Updated: 03/05/2017, bizilady
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bizilady on 07/19/2012

janet21; I loved my pools as I grew up and wish I had one now but they are a lot of work and sometimes referred to as the "money pit." Thanks for sharing!

Janet21 on 07/18/2012

Great page with lots of humor :) We have had a our on ground oval pool for 5 years now. It is still as beautiful as the day we got it and enjoyed by our kids and their friends. We paid a bit more for a higher end pool, so hopefully we get lots more summers out of it before we need to have a pool take down bbq!

katiem2 on 05/22/2012

We've always had a above ground pool and I've taken down a few, in fact the one we have up now has one more year and then I want to add a larger pool, so I need these creative ideas to take down a pool. Great information, thanks :)

bizilady on 04/02/2012

@Dustytoes:That's an interesting observation about your above ground pool. Yes, having it break on the side away from the house was very fortunate for you. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

bizilady on 04/02/2012

@JeanBakula:Taking a pool down quickly is dangerous; yeah he probably got it down with a sledgehammer! LOL
Thanks for reading.

dustytoes on 04/02/2012

When I was a kid our above ground pool broke one winter and made a massive flood. Fortunately it broke on the side that faced away from the house, or else all the pool water would have flooded into our basement!
In Florida we had a great in-ground pool. Those are much better. Your story sounds exhausting!

JeanBakula on 03/31/2012

A few years ago a couple of dear friends divorced. They were very quiet about it, so nobody knew the details that led to what seemed a sudden decision. While the woman was still living in the house, I noticed the pool was down. I asked where it went and what happened. She acted very nonchalant, and said, "Oh, Tom took it down." I have a feeling it happened more like in your video, lol! Great advice to hold off on the beer and food too.

bizilady on 02/11/2012

Katiem2: thanks for taking the time to read my taking down a pool wizz. They are fun as long as there aren't any problems,huh?

katiem2 on 02/07/2012

Oh thank you, I have this very problem, We have an above ground pool my daughters no longer use as it's well, needs replaced as it's like five years old. We want a different one. NOW I know what to do, it's surrounded by a custom deck and in semi below ground, installed that way...

bizilady on 10/07/2011

@Holistic_ Health: yes a video would have been fun to watch but at the time it didn't seem all that fun...
Live and learn about home maintenance huh?

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