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Saturday, December 16, 2006

reader questions: how to get rid of a pool

I wrote about some of this a few other times -- in May and June, specifically, when we began the whole process -- but not about it as a whole, and someone asked, so I thought I'd tell you how we did it.

The first thing we did was take off the railings and most of the 'deck' planks, since they were in our way. Don started out trying, as he put it, to be 'civilized about it,' using an impact hammer to unscrew all of the bolts that held the various metal bits in place. It didn't work; the bolts all just became smooth and worn. So he got out his trusty reciprocating saw and its 'for metal' blade. Boom. Railings down. Unfortunately, we threw them away before Don's dad told us that they were worth money from the scrap metal recycling place, and after we took the deck planks off, somebody stole them, presumably to sell them to the same place. Damn!

After those large impediments were gone, we set to work draining the pool with a submersible pump connected to a garden hose, with the tail end tossed at the back of our property, in the weeds. We kept an eye on it and made sure that the ground didn't get too saturated, but since we did it during the summer it wasn't too much of a problem.

Once we'd gotten all the water out that we could with the submersible pump, Don donned his goo-proof boots and headed in with his trusty exacto knife, to cut the vinyl liner into easily-folded sections, which we then bundled into trash bags (my job was to steady the garbage can -- v. important).

Finally, it was time to really take that sucker apart. Most aluminum aboveground pools are constructed of slats which slide together on small tracks (kind of like hardwood flooring, but metal. And upright. And... uh... outside. So not like it at all, but whatever). So the trick is to slide the slats out -- they're also seated in a track which, in our case, was neatly buried under the ground. So it takes some yanking. We used crowbars, hammers, the reciprocating saw, leverage, and lots of brute force. It wasn't very fun. Some slats came out easily, others resisted until we literally cut them in half.

Finally, we (mostly Don) got all of it out, and we separated any plastic bits out -- the stairwell that led down into the pool, for one, and a few other drainage-y bits. Today, we rented a truck and loaded everything else up and took it to a scrap metal recycling center (I Googled "recycle maryland aluminum" and got a list; we chose the one Don's dad recommended, in Glen Burnie). They took the aluminum off our hands and we left $220 dollars richer (they give you 50 cents a pound! And 40 cents for the stuff that still had steel bolts in it).

So that's how you get yourself a lovely hole in your backyard, if you're interested. A lot of effort for a hole, let me tell you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your story was very funny!
I want to get rid of my pool too. I hope I will make it since I will do it alone and that I am a weak old lady...
Wish me luck!