Resurrect above ground pool neglected +2 years. ?


Above ground pool purchased with a deal nephews would maintain. They moved. Pool left uncovered over 2 years. I was told all it would need was shocked and no worries. The plug had gone under pool and couldn't be emptied. I bought a pump. Nothing. Son in law had broken femur 2x during this and grandson even now is only 8. I want to resurrect it. I don't have a lot of money to use. Have pump. Pumped out. What can I use to clean inside walls and floor of pool? I can get a new cover, a new filter set up (I am pretty sure that one will not work anymore). Hoping it would be biggest expense. Would LOVE to do salt water but I realize that may be impossible price wise but maybe I am wrong. Could I replace the liner? Would that be way expensive? And I would still have to clean pool so maybe a waste of money? Then again, maybe the only way to have the pool be usable and safe health wise? Due to injuries to adults, abandonment by totally ungrateful young adults, age of minors, health conditions of the only one mobile (me who has SEVERE osteoporosis, gastroparesis, nerve damage, WEAKNESS, and struggles to stay a 3 digit weight (over 100#), it's not too much the fault of the current residents and NO FAULT AT ALL TO THE MAIN BENEFACTOR -- my 8 yr old grandson that I desperately want to have a pool as we are in rural area around Baton Rouge, LA, so you can imagine the heat-- any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  11 answers
  • You can try mopping the liner with a mixture of vinegar, hot water, and baking soda, but it may just be easier to replace the liner. You will also want to fill it right away so the liner doesn't shrink. Check with a local pool supply company for their advice.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jun 13, 2021

    Removing the liner may be the easiest way to clean it, here are some ideas on how to do this:

  • Deb K Deb K on Jun 13, 2021

    Hi Jennifer, baby steps, a nylon or rubber brush is the correct choice for scrubbing the sides of a soft-sided above-ground pool. A large pool brush makes quick work of the job, but you may need a smaller brush to clean corners. Hope this helps you out

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 13, 2021


    Get ready to get your hands a little dirty! The first step in restoring any pool that has been left unattended is fishing out as much debris as you can, using a pool vacuum or your skimmer net. Use the skimmer to remove dead leaves, fallen branches, wayward garbage and anything else that would probably not make it through your filter. If the water is murky, it may be hard to find the debris you are trying to get out; do the best you can.

    Scrub the lining on the wall and floor of the pool with a pool brush and use a pool vacuum to try and remove as much algae as possible.

    To ensure that your filter system does not malfunction after you have cleaned it out or replaced the parts, check it frequently, especially at the beginning. Clear your filter system out as often as necessary to avoid clogging. You may need to replace the filter several times over the course of your cleanup.

    Sometimes it is possible to use the water that is already in your pool, without draining it. Sometimes you aren't quite so lucky. While it can be surprising how much filtration and chlorine can do to save your water, if it's a deep murky color that strikes fear into you at the very thought of getting into the water, you may want to just drain and refill it. It will be expensive, but you'll have greater peace of mind.

    If you want to try your hand at restoring the water that's already in there, good for you! Buy pool shock (be sure to read the instructions or get assistance to be sure you are buying the right kind and quantity for your pool) and add it to the water. The chlorine will work to kill algae and anything else living in your pool. While the pool is being shocked it is unsafe to swim; don't be fooled if the water starts turning clear. You will need to wait until the pool tests safely.

    A water test kit can be purchased at any pool store. After 24 to 48 hours (see the instructions on your pool shock), test the water for chlorine levels and pH. Follow the instructions to adjust if necessary. You're almost there!

    Other Problems

    Stagnant pools are known for the problems they can cause. Keep an eye out for leaks and dramatically lowering water levels; a small leak in your pool can, over time, create the perfect conditions for a sinkhole to form right underneath your swimming pool.Another common problem with poorly maintained pools is cracks in the lining. While these can sometimes be patched up and repaired, often a significant crack will be cause to drain and reline the pool.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jun 14, 2021

    Pool parts and products are not inexpensive, and having a backyard pool requires ongoing diligent cleaning and maintenance. Instead of spending money on the cost of purchasing required materials to get the pool up and running, and to keep it in good condition, I would suggest instead that you consider purchasing your grandson a seasons pass to a public swimming pool or to purchase swimming lessons for him.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jun 14, 2021

    I would get some estimates to convert to salt water. At least that is free. You could also get estimates on cleaning and replacing the liner. They will normally inspect it to make sure it isn't damaged. However, this is a busy time of year so you might be waiting a while. If they say it's ok to be cleaned, that is going to be a very physical job. You might look for someone to clean it. May a couple of college students.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Jun 14, 2021

    drain it, clean it thoroughly and then put in a new plug, fresh water and start over

  • Sharon Sharon on Jun 14, 2021

    There are a 101 videos on YouTube on how to clean a nasty above ground pool..... I would start by watching them to see what's required.... the wet and dry vac looks to be key to getting it clean..... maybe get all the people together who plan to use the pool this summer to come help get it clean.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Jun 14, 2021

    maybe hire some teens to clean out the pool or ask your nephews who didn't take care of it to do it for you