How to Remove a Scrap Above Ground Swimming Pool (And Make $300)

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Here at Scrap Metal Junkie, our goal is to help people make money from their old disowned metal products.

Unfortunately, the prospect of finding a second life for an above ground pool doesn’t appeal to most people. To those looking to get rid of their above ground pool, their most attractive option seems to be paying somebody to remove it; and if they are getting a new underground pool, then they usually pay the replacement people to take it down. (Sometimes the installers will throw the old pool in a landfill!) 

A metal above ground pool, believe it or not, is valuable as scrap. Even if it is full of water, you will be glad that you took some time out of your day to sell the metal rather than pay to have somebody else do it!

The first thing you want to do before tearing down the scrap pool is estimate its worth. If it is steel, it is worth much less than if it is made of aluminum.

Using any type of magnet, check all the metal around the pool. If the magnet sticks, then it is steel. If the magnet doesn’t stick, it is aluminum or possibly stainless steel. (This is called the magnet test).

Aluminum pools are worth selling for scrap!

Aluminum Above Ground Pool Scrap Removal

If you are looking to scrap an above ground pool, you would rather it be an aluminum one. These are the bread and butter of pools.

Aluminum pools are worth enough money in scrap aluminum that a contractor can tear them down for free, making their service a very attractive one! If you are a homeowner that doesn’t want to pay to remove it, an free ad on Craigslist will work great!

An aluminum 16 foot diameter round pool could net you over $200, or a 15*30 foot pool, today, could easily net you over $360. It is hard to quantify the value of a pool by perimeter length, because each pool has different segments, different types of braces, different supports, ect. If you need a more definite answer, do a little math to figure it out how much it will be worth. I usually pull a piece off of the pool and weigh it to see how much value is in the pool if I need to quote it for somebody. Either way, aluminum pools are very valuable for scrap!

If possible, grab these three extra items:

  1. Every pool also has a pool filter that may comes along with it. These will usually be sold as electric motors. The electric motors are worth about 35¢ per pound. Pull the motor out, possibly cut it up for copper, and you will  have another 5-10 dollars or so.
  2. Almost every pool comes with a heater. These machines can very often be chock full of non-ferrous or stainless steel. One pool heater I picked up had a 35 pound brass manifold, and $30 worth of copper tubing in it. Be sure to check all of that stuff out! Either way, the pool filter and the heater should add about $25 more onto whatever you will be getting.
  3. The pool ladder is another important and noteworthy scrap item. These ladder are often made of stainless steel, and can be worth more in weight then the aluminum. Because ladders are often made to withstand the high chlorine environment of a pool, they are often made out of scrap 316 stainless steel, which is worth more than standard 304 stainless steel.

All of these extra items, the ladder, the filter, and the heater, may be worth trying to resell if they are in good shape.

Steel Above Ground Pools Scrap Removal

A steel pool, on the other hand, may not get you much more then $50. (Again, like the aluminum pools – and everything else in the scrap business – it depends on make, model, and brand.) As I will discuss later, scrapping a pool will take some time, about a day or so, so it is important to be getting paid! Don’t do it for free if it is steel, because that is definitely not worth the time.  The actual tear down of the pool will be the same as the aluminum ones, except a little less worth while.

This brings me to my next point…

How to Disassemble and Remove an Above Ground Pool

( Reminder: be sure you have permission to use the home owners electricity.)

1. Draining
The pools you are going to be asked to remove will most of the time be full of water. So the first step will be removing the water!

Where ever I have done this, there has always been a sewer point within 100ft of the pool. If this is not the case for you, you may have a harder time removing the water. The best way to do this is to get a pump.

Since I started scrapping, I have come across many different types of pumps. These water pumps are GREAT FOR DRAINING POOLS! (That is if they have much life left in them.) Things like jacuzzi pumps, sump pumps, garbage pumps, ect:

  • Plug them in and let them run; depending on the model, this may take a 7 or 8 hours!
  • If your pumps run out 40 gallons of water in a minute then, that is 2400 gallons per hour. If you have a 10000 gallon pool, then that will take you about 4.5 hours to drain.
  • If you are afraid it will take too long, use more than one pump!
  • If you arrive early, set them up, then leave, you can get other work done before they are done draining.

Taking as much hose as you can get your hands on, run the water all the way off the property and into a sewer drain, or directly into the nearest water collection outlet.

2. Teardown
Well, this is the easy part! If you like scrapping, this is what you were born to do! All I’m going to remind you is to bring all of the tools you think you will need; electric or hand. (Again, be sure to request the use of electricity from the house your working on.)

If scrapping is not your first language, you will want to get a bit more acquainted. Sorting the steel from the aluminum is very important if you want to make any money. Do this with a magnet. (Aluminum does not sick to a magnet) Aluminum that is free from steel will get the most money from your nearest yard.

When I do this, it never fails; I eventually will bring out the sledge hammer and let that thing rip. Don’t worry about breaking anything, because the scrap yard doesn’t care if it still works as a pool when you bring it in!

3. Garbage
There will be a fair amount of garbage left over once you strip the pool of metal. There is cardboard, liners, plastic edging, ect. All of this stuff will need to be thrown out!

Depending on your deal with the home owner, you may get to throw that stuff in their garbage can. But in all honesty, that is pretty amateur. I take it with me and dispose of it as necessary. My local scrap yard has a dumpster they let patrons throw their plastic/trash in, so that may be an option for some of you who want to maintain professionalism.

4. Clean-Up
So… It’s the end of the job. You have packed up the tools, picked up the trash, ect – But now the homeowner has this giant spot of dead grass on their lawn. (In some cases there will be a shallow foundation of sand / stone)

This is why before I make a deal with the homeowner, I offer to fix that spot up for them for $150 or so. All it takes is some lawn-repair grass-seed and a little TLC. Most people will not care, not want the spot removed because a new pool is going in, want to do it themselves, or they pay me to do it! If you want to make that easy money for fixing the spot of grass, I suggest you do so wisely. Depending on how big of a pool they had, you too may not want to get involved!

Good Luck Scrapping!

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