Is it safe to leave an above ground pool empty over the winter?

Hi, we have an 18 ft round above ground pool. The poor thing didn't have a fighting chance this past summer, we had two squirrels and a bird meet their fate in it, 8 holes in the liner and cold water so we never swam in it. We tried to keep up with it, but by fall it was filled with leaves and slimy green. We finally drained it completely, cleaned and disinfected it and then patched the holes. Its winter here now, do we have to fill it back up with water and winterize it or could we just leave it emtpy and fill it in the spring and hope for a better season? I don't know how sturdy the pool is without water and I've heard the liner could shrink and then cause it to cave in once we try to fill it again, does anyone have any concrete answers as to what to do with the pool?

Thanks!!

7 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Leave it empty and it will be easier to clean it (AGAIN!) next year.

  • 1 decade ago

    You aren't going to like what I have to say. If it's empty now and has been for more than a day, the liner is already a lost cause if it's 4 years old or more. There is also no point in filling it or covering it now if it is indeed that age. You can try, but in all likelyhood the liner will fail somewhere. If it's under 4 years, you MAY have a chance, but leaving it empty will have shortened it's lifespan considerably.

    Ideally, for any pool, proper winterizing involves draining the pool down to ONLY the level of the returns. No further. This keeps that liner in place so it doesn't shrink. Then winterize your equipment , skimmer and lines, toss in a winterizing chemical kit and cover.

    Vinyl liners, that are 4 or more years old, can't be left drained for any period of time. Even 30 minutes can be the difference between their being viable still and not. They shrink the second the weight of the water is removed. If you look at your pool right now, you'll see it's already likely happened. 4 years is the magic number because vinyl begins to lose it's elasticity after that. If you tried to refill, it'll let go at a seam or snap at the cove. It's just the nature of the beast. Start budgeting for a new liner in spring. The one that's in there is likely still holed or will be by now and will self drain if it is 4 or more years old.

    The walls won't collapse if you intend to leave it empty and go for a new liner in spring. A wall collapse only applies to empty inground vinyl pools. The top rails on yours will leave it upright and intact.

    Source(s): pool service technician / builder
  • Wendy
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    We have a 24 ft round pool just put new liner in a year ago the liner company suggested to keep water in it all year long just winterize, then drain enough water to get below skimmer and cover. This will prevent the liner from cracking and pulling down walls. I hope this helps it's alot of hard work but well worth it

  • 1 decade ago

    i do have a swimming pool but...we do things differently. I don't empty my swimming pool. I don't see any difference. And yeah we have an above ground pool as well. Maybe just to empty a third of the pool soo when it freezes, it won't damage any tubes or water conduct as ice expands. We also have a huge cover. It's like putting a pastic over a container but it's for pool. I believe that there are insale in your pool store. Putting the cover would avoid leaves, dirt, and animals to go into the water. But it is optional. I don't put anything since i don't have any trees around. Hope this helps. good luck

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  • Fergie
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    if it is totally empty now leave it but still put the cover on it to keep the liner from getting worse make sure all water from the lines are out and pump has been drained and winterized it could be done either way if you want to add water half way or leave empty the only reason we drain the pool in winter is to leave room for ice exspansion

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i don't think it would be safe, because birds could get inside after bugs or other food and make more holes. u said that u fixed the holes and as a parent myself u should cover it with a hard cover. and this winter the wind could blow enough that it may blow away.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Fill it and cover it or it will collapse.

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