Should I buy a used above ground pool?

PSC Ep. 52: Should I buy a used above ground pool?

In today’s episode of Poolside Chat, Rob and Matt tackle another common swimming pool question:
  • Is it a good idea to buy a secondhand above ground pool?

Is it a good idea to buy a used above ground pool?

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is try to find out the make, model, and age of the pool. If it’s more than 5 years old, be careful. There may be corroded or damaged parts. Older pools are more likely to have parts that are obsolete. Most people will assume that the above ground pool parts are universal but that is not the case.
  2. Manufacturers to stay away from are Muskin, Buster Crabbe, Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller Pools. These are no longer made, meaning their parts are extremely difficult, if not impossible to find. Also, stay away from Doughboy pools because parts are only available through licensed Doughboy dealers, making them pricey.
  3. Make sure to count all the parts and make sure that none are missing. Most pools will have the same number of parts. For example.. a 24’ pool may have 16 uprights. This means you should also have 16 top caps, 16 top rails, 16 bottom rails and so on.
  4. And lastly, check the walls for rust. If you see a moderate amount of wall rust, Run, don’t walk away from the seller. A weak wall can lead to this (insert video of pool exploding). Also, replacement walls are very expensive to replace difficult to find a dealer that will sell them to you. You’d be better off getting a new pool.

We understand getting a great deal on an above ground pool is hard to pass up. But that great bargain can turn into a money pit real fast. Instead of buying a used pool, save for a brand new pool, or if the kids are begging for it, get “just-for-now” pool like a soft-sided pool.

If you need to identify a specific pool model, check out our article titled “Identify My Above Ground Pool“.

9 thoughts on “PSC Ep. 52: Should I buy a used above ground pool?

  1. WE BOUGHT A LIGHTLY USED DOUGHBOY 24′ ROUND ABOVE GROUND POOL IN 1996. HAD TO BUY A NEW LINER DUE TO VINYL MEMORY ISSUES BUT THAT WAS IT. KEPT IT UP UNTIL LAST YEAR WHEN WE FINALLY REPLACED IT DUE TO JUST WANTING A NEW POOL FOR A CHANGE (AND THE FACT THAT WE CAN NOW AFFORD A NEW ONE) THAT AND IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE WE’D HAVE TO BUYS A NEW PUMP AND FILTER ANYWAY. I’D SAY THAT $400 WE SPENT 20 YEARS AGO WAS A GREAT INVESTMENT~!

  2. The home I purchased at the end of 2014 came with a 16×32 oval Doughboy that was installed in 2000. Spring of 2016 the pool failed due to washout of the sand base the pool was built on. What luck.

    I just got to rebuild the pool. I did have to spend some money at the dealer replacing rusted parts but wound up with everything I needed to put it back up. The only issue was the instructions. I had to use the instructions for the “newer model” of the same pool – the dealer said it was the same pool, and didn’t have the ones from my exact model.

    Turns out the instructions weren’t the same. Due to different geometry of the side supports, my pool wound up 16.5 feet wide instead of 16. We had already bought a beaded liner, and are having a tough time installing it. I’m wondering if it’s really possible to get 5″ of stretch across the middle of the pool, and if so, how to do it. We dropped over $600 on the liner and bead receivers, I’d really like to make this work.

    We were able to get it in the track all the way around, but on the flat sides, it bulges out several inches away from the wall. We got about a foot of water in the first time and only one side made it to the wall – the other never got within 6″.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    1. I’d contact who sold you the liner and advise them the liner is ill-fitting. There is not much else to do other than that when the liner is already installed.

      This is an example of why we say not to buy old pools, the amount of money spent on buying replacement parts and liners on top of the cost of the pool almost equals the cost of a brand new pool.

      1. Thanks Matthew. We’ll give them a call.

        If the pool hadn’t come with the house, we’d have bought a new one. We even considered it before rebuilding this one. Live and learn.

  3. Hi Matthew,

    I actually had amazing luck with a used KD Pools Dynasty Rectangular 26’X13’X52″ pool I bought locally for $900. It was only one year old in 2004, the year I bought it, and it is still going pretty strong as of 2018. The pump motor failed, and I ended up buying a 2500 gph Bestway Intex-type pump/filter setup, which works OK. I had a tiny leak in the liner, which I managed to patch underwater.

    I’d like to keep this pool going, since it seems to be very durable. It has also survived wind and rainstorms. I have noticed that the pool belt is starting to lose its top coating in places. The underlying mesh fabric seems to be OK. Do you know what Zodiac boat fabric the liner and belt are made of? I know that there were two types: Hypalong and Stronglan PVC (?). The belt and liner are gray.
    Can I re-coat the existing bare mesh spots without having to remove the belt? I do know that you have an available belt for a Royalty 24″ round pool, which, I calculated would be about 84 ft long, and would more than fit my 23×13. Would that take the weight?
    Your other belt for a 20″ Dynasty round pool is only about 70 feet, and wouldn’t work.

    Are there any sources for replacement liners for this pool? I can take pictures if thdat would help Thanks for your time and patience in reading this. Yes, I am an engineer, which has helped keep this pool going.

    Clare Piper

  4. This is Sunrise Pools, LLC. Just wanted to let you know we install your above ground pool liners within a 100 miles of our zip code 19067 on a regular basis. We refer our customers to you because the quality of your liners is just as good as the others but at a third of the cost.

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