How To Buy A Used Above Ground Pool
So the weather is heating up and the kids are screaming for a pool, the problem is that money is tight and spending any more than needed for a new pool is a scary thought. Like many wanna be pool owners, a solution to their problem may be as close as the local Craigslist ads. For those who’ve never heard of Craigslist, it’s a free online classified ads website where local individuals and businesses list their items and services.
I’m a big fan of Craigslist and have sold and purchased many items there myself. There are good deals to be had if you know what you’re doing, and buying an above ground pool can be a good deal if you buy the right one at the right price. To help you shop for a used pool and avoid making a costly mistake, I’m going to give you some sound shopping advice.
Know What You Want
Much like shopping for a brand new above ground pool, you first need to know what size pool will fit in the space where you want to put it. Once you have settled on a pool size and shape, you should determine what brand new pools of the same size cost for some points of reference. After that, it’s time to go to the Craigslist website and start searching above ground pools for sale. Be sure to also consider looking at neighboring cities as they may offer some good deals too.
Things You’ll Need To Buy New
Buying a used pool can be a tricky proposition so you better pay close attention to avoid wasting your time and money. First thing, you need to accept the fact a new pool liner will be required for re-assembly. It doesn’t matter how new the liner is, replace it. There are many reasons why and I’ve written blogs just on this subject alone, trust me here and factor that into the total purchase price.
I’d also buy a new skimmer kit and coping strips if using an overlap liner. Don’t forget about other items like the pool ladder, maintenance tools, filter hoses and even small pieces like nuts and bolts. Account for their condition or factor in replacement costs.
Let me also mention the extra time required for installation, straightening bent rusty parts and making them fit correctly takes more time than fitting shiny new pieces together, especially when you don’t have a manual or diagram to help you. And if you’re aren’t doing the work yourself you should know many professional pool installers charge more for putting used pools up. Like any other job, time is money.
On Craigslist you may find pools that are disassembled and pools that are still up and running, each have advantages and disadvantages to them. Disassembled pools are already taken apart for you and all the parts laid out for your inspection. This is convenient but you must be sure all the pieces are there and this can be tricky if there’s no instruction manuals or parts lists available. And replacement parts for old pools can be difficult to locate, especially without part numbers. Equally important, you will also need to inspect the inside of the entire pool wall for rust. This can be a hassle but very important. Thick flaky rust or holes in the pool wall are a deal breaker every time.
Pools that are still up full of water and running have advantages too. This is the only way to really know that the pump and filter are operational and not making funny noises or squirting water out somewhere expensive. Aside from that you can account for all the pieces when you disassemble it yourself. I would do a close inspection of all visible parts, and if all check out make it clear to the pool owner that the sale hinges on the condition of the pool wall, if it’s rusty on the inside move on.
As you can imagine there are good deals to be had when purchasing a used pool from a neighbor or from a classified ad, but many times I have attempted to put up a used pool and found one or more of the problems listed above. When this happens we usually end up leaving because we can’t finish the job.
So for a gamble this big my advice is to pay as little as possible for the pool up front. Typically I wouldn’t pay more than a few hundred dollars for a used above ground pool at the most. The exception to this rule is a pool that is almost new, all the manuals and parts are there and everything is in excellent condition. Anything less can turn out to be a bad experience and cost more money and time than just buying a new pool to start with.