Buying an above-ground swimming pool that is used is not very popular in Orlando, but people do successfully sell, take down, sell, move, and re-install them.
A big advantage an above-ground pool has over an in-ground one is that it can be taken down and out of the yard.
For the most part, people in Orlando keep their above-ground pools. Life happens though and even if the percentage of people selling a used AG pool is low, with 2.7 million people living in the greater Orlando area, there will be some for sale.
You can save a lot of money buying a used above-ground pool instead of a new one, but there are some major things that you should know about them first.
10 THINGS TO KNOW WHEN BUYING A USED ABOVE-GROUND POOL IN ORLANDO
1 You will need a new liner
It doesn’t matter if the liner is only a month old. It doesn’t matter if the liner and the pool are a week old. If the pool was up, the liner installed, and then filled with water, you will need a new liner when re-installing the pool.
You can get a really good deal on a used above-ground pool, not that old and is in great shape. And many want to keep it a great deal by not having to buy an expensive new liner for it. I get that for sure.
But how good of a deal is the pool if the liner has wrinkles in it, leaks at the skimmer (or somewhere you can’t find), and will need replacing in a short period of time?
I don’t replace used liners. EVER! And nobody who has any experience at all with above-ground pools will either.
So, you will either be replacing the used liner yourself or having someone do it who doesn’t have much experience (which will be a trade lesson learned for him).
Please just buy a new liner for your used pool.
Most buy liners online, but you can buy locally in Orlando at some Pinch-A-Penny stores, a couple of Leslie’s stores, and Unique Pool and Spa has a limited inventory.
2 Find out how old the pool is
As a general rule, the older a pool is, the harder it will be to take down and re-install.
And the older the pool, the greater the chance for rust and broken parts.
Checking the original purchase paperwork of the pool is the best( and maybe only real) way to tell how old the pool is.
Taking the seller’s word for it is not ideal. I’m not saying they will lie about how old their pool is (although some will). People are often very optimistic about how new their pools are though.
I have had plenty of people tell me I installed their pool two years ago only to discover it had been five years and so on.
3 Rust/corrosion on the pool’s wall is the biggest issue
An above-ground pool can have rust on the frame parts and be fine. Not ideal, but fine and lasts for years.
An above-ground pool’s wall rusting through though is the number one killer of pools. It’s the heart disease of AG pools.
Ideally, you don’t want to buy a used pool with any rust anywhere, but it can have some and it still be OK.
Some surface rust on the wall can be OK too, But if rusting all the way through the wall anywhere, don’t buy the pool.
4 Used OVAL-SHAPED pools are much more problematic
While round-shaped above-ground pools are fairly simple in design, ovals are not. There are a lot more parts to an oval pool and some of them will be in the ground a little.
Oval pools are harder to disassemble, keep track of the parts, transport, and re-install.
Age and condition of used ovals are very important. It’s not uncommon for someone to buy a used oval pool that looks great, but they couldn’t get it to come apart because it was too old and some of the buttress’s parts were fused and couldn’t come apart.
In my opinion, only buy a used oval-shaped pool two years old or less and was installed professionally.
5 Sand-type filters are heavy and hard to transport
Fortunately for those in Orlando, sand-type pool filters are as popular as cartridge-type.
If you are buying a pool with a sand filter though, it will be a bit of a job to move to the new pool location.
Sand filters can have anywhere from 50 lbs to 300 lbs of (wet) sand in them. And they are quite awkwardly shaped for moving.
6 Some pool installation add-ons may not be reusable.
There are lots of pools with foam coving, wall foam, and/or liner guards/floor pads. While these install upgrades are nice to have, they most likely will not be reusable for the re-installation of the pool.
Some will successfully save these products and re-install them. More than likely though, they will have to be replaced with new ones.
The good news here is that these items are just upgrades and not necessary. So if on a budget, don’t worry about replacing them.
7 Consider who will be disassembling and transporting the pool
This is not like buying a used car or boat or a gas grill. Used above-ground pools have to be taken down, transported in pieces, and then re-installed.
Taking down and transporting a used AG pool is more of a pain than you may think. By the time you collect all the parts of the pool’s fame, the wall, pump and filter, ladder/steps, and any extras thrown in with the purchase (floats, toys, cleaning equipment, chemicals, etc), you have a lot of big bulky things to move.
Typically, it takes more than just one pick-up truckload to transport even a round above-ground pool because of the bulky components.
Knowing who will be taking down and moving your new used pool ahead of time is important. And don’t assume the seller is going to do it. They usually just want to receive money and have the pool gone from their yard.
8 If you plan on using an installer, find one before buying the pool
The greater Orlando area doesn’t have many above-ground pool installers to begin with. And during the busy summer season, the few of us that are here get backed up with new installs.
This means that you may not find anyone to install a used above-ground pool during the 7-8 hot months of the year in Orlando.
And in truth, I will only install a used pool if I’m not busy AND the pool is newer and in great shape.
So, before pulling the trigger on that great deal, find out who will be installing the pool first.
NOTE: In many cases, the pool installer will take down and transport the used pool in addition to installing it. You will pay extra for that though.
9 If already disassembled, make sure all the parts are there before buying
It’s very common for someone to buy a used pool, go to install it, and discover that some of the parts are missing. This is not good!
Most of the frame parts of an above-ground pool are very unique to its maker and model. So, if something is missing, you will have to find the exact replacement part. Don’t think you can just go to Home Depot and figure something out. You won’t be able to.
Count all parts of the pool before buying. Period.
Also, when pools get transported, parts get lost. When pools are stored, parts get lost.
If you are taking down, transporting, and temporarily storing a used above-ground pool, be very careful and organized. If storing, box or tape things together and keep them in an area where there’s not a lot of traffic or shared space.
If you discover that some parts are missing, you can try to find parts this way.
Just putting the pool in your already full and unorganized garage until it gets installed next month is not a good idea. Things without legs, will somehow grow them and walk.
10 It is better if the pool was previously installed professionally
RE-installing an above-ground pool that wasn’t installed very well to begin with can be tough. If a pool was put up egg-shaped and/or extremely off-level, then the parts will have a memory of that misshapen.
Then, when trying to install those parts in the correct shape, they will fight you because they were used to being off. An installed above-ground pool’s parts have a memory.
For an experienced installer, this can be worked out and may be just a nuisance. If installing yourself though, it may be confusing as the pool will want to go up mis-shaped.
And you may not know what is correct versus how the parts want to go together.