Top Three Reasons Swimming Pools Sink  

by Pool Builders on 03-08-2012 in Articles

An above ground swimming pool could sink for many reasons, but over the course of the last twenty years I have seen that there are three reasons that outnumber all the rest.

The third most frequent cause of a sinking above ground swimming pool is sinkholes. Sinkholes beneath your pool could be caused by underground drainage, but most often are the result of buried trash piles. When homes are constructed, many times the builders will use construction debris and debris such as tree limbs and stumps to fill in low areas in a home's yard. Over time as these materials shift and degrade what once was solid ground begins to sink. It is almost impossible to know if you have a buried trash pile until you see the results of the trash pile shifting. The results of a shifting or sinking trash pile are large, deep cracks that appear in the ground. There are two ways to fix this problem. One is to have your yard graded and the trash pile removed and the hole filled in with dirt. This is a very expensive route to take. The second, less expensive way is to fill the cracks that form on the top of the ground with concrete. This can be done with bagged concrete and is very effective.

The second most frequent cause of sinking is drainage from above the ground caused by rainwater. If you have areas in your yard that receive excessive amounts of water this flow of water can sink a pool two ways. One is by saturating the ground beneath the pool. A 24' above ground swimming pool will have nearly 14,000 gallons of water. This equates to roughly 112,000 pounds of water weight. When the ground becomes too wet to support the weight a full pool sinking occurs. To combat this, our company pays close attention to drainage issues when we grade a pool site; making sure to direct water away from the pool. If your pool is already constructed another way to counteract ground saturation is to have French drain installed. Regardless of the route you take the idea is always the same: to funnel water away from the pool.

The number one most frequent reason for an above ground swimming pool sinking is that there are not blocks under the upright verticals around your pool. In the installation instructions for every above ground swimming pool specifically states that patio blocks must be installed under the uprights to maintain the warranty on the swimming pool. I have found that following this simple rule virtually eliminates all sinking. If your pool does not have blocks under each upright vertical then it was not properly installed. This is normally an easy fix. Blocks can be put under each upright without taking the pool down, however the pool would have to be drained so that blocks could be installed.

The truth is that with thorough planning, careful grading, and proper installation a sinking pool and the headaches that can accompany it can be avoided.

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