Pool removal: Should you DIY?

You have decided to get rid of the pool sitting in your backyard and costing you a lot. You picked up the phone and got some quotes. Looking at the quotes and comparing them you think, “Didn’t know it’s this expensive! I will just do it myself”.
You went online and googled DIY pool removal. You will come across multiple search results and you may think that you can do it. You’ll get the equipment, list the procedure and get started.  

There are plenty of Youtube videos showing a one-day job from demolition to newly level yard. What these videos don’t show is in a couple of months or years later when the ground begins to settle, or sinkholes appear, or improper water drainage creates a swamp.

If you’re reading this, chances are, you’ve thought about it or maybe done some of what I’ve mentioned above. BUT you are still weighing why would pool removal companies charge that much and what does it actually entail?
I will enumerate some of them here.

A neglected swimming pool that needs pool removal
A neglected swimming pool

DIY Pool Removal Do’s and Don’ts

1. Correctly draining the pool water.

Here are some steps as told by Kennards Hire,

“A submersible pump can be used if you have a concrete or gunite pool. However, if your pool is vinyl-lined or made from fibreglass you should think twice. It is better to call in the professionals as these linings can tear, rip and collapse if the job is not done correctly. Before you begin to undertake this task, you must think about where the water will …” Read the full article here.

2. Punching holes at the bottom of the pool.

Correct drainage is just one of the most essential factors in a pool removal. For a partial pool removal, it is needed to cut openings in the bottom of the swimming pool tooth cavity. Depending on the council, they will have requirements on how big the hole/cut is supposed to be.

3. Getting the appropriate machinery.

If you have to break the ground inside the swimming pool, you will require a powerful tool. You’ll have to get a heavy duty equipment that can efficiently break through the solid and stubborn materials. Note that it is expensive, so the wisest thing to do is to rent it out. Another thing to take note of is the labour that goes with it.

A pool removal professional cutting a pool shell
A professional pool removalist cutting a pool shell

4. Gas and water lines.

According to an article created by Blue2Green,

“One of the things that can create trouble for you is the presence of water, gas or any other lines, which may cause a problem in your house. The dangerous part? You will not be able to make out until you break on through. This is something that professionals have to keep in mind as well because the water and/or gas lines can’t be detected until they are damaged. It is important to use proper tools and techniques to ensure that the water and gas lines are safe and functional.”To read more, click here.

One of the most important things for me is to consider hiring a professional plumber or electrician, before you DIY pool removal. You can choose to spend a couple more dollars to make sure it is done professionally or spend it on repairs or hospital bills.

5. Unknown fill.

You throwing just any building product at the bottom of the swimming pool is ruled out as an improper fill. Some councils require a specific type of fill. The Hills Shire Council stated that,

“Only clean fill, or Excavated Natural Material (ENM) can be used for filling of the pool excavation. The filling must be well compacted. It is not permitted to leave remnants of the pool shell in the ground or to use portions of the pool shell and coping as filling within the pool excavation….” Check fact sheet here.

6. Unloading the sand from the truck directly to the pool.

This is a problem with some DIYers that may not know how the process works. If you are, you should compact the dirt in sections to make sure it is progressively packed.

A successful pool removal - hole filled and compacted
Pool hole completely filled and compacted. Ready for landscaping or building

These are no-brainer preventive steps professional removalists take at EVERY swimming pool removal job. Doing it yourself or hiring a person who is without insurance, unlicensed and unskilled may easily cause an accident. DIY pool removal may or may not be for you. If you need more info, please let us know.