Above ground pools are a popular choice for those who want to enjoy a swimming pool without the commitment of an in-ground version or prefer a cost-effective alternative. But what if you want to bury an above ground pool partially or completely? Is it possible, and if so, what do you need to know before getting started?
All above-ground pools can be buried 1-2 feet in the ground, but going beyond that depth can cause serious complications if the pool isn’t rated for partial burial. Semi-inground pools are made to be partially buried for up to 3/4 the height of the pool.
In this article, we will provide more in-depth answers to common questions concerning whether you can (or should) bury your above-ground pool. As you read, you’ll learn what depth is safe, what factors to consider beforehand, what qualities your in-ground pool should possess to withstand these conditions, and more.
It comes as no surprise that not all above-ground pools are made the same. This makes it challenging to determine what depth is safe to bury yours.
This is great for instances where you need to dig several inches in order to level your terrain enough for a proper installation. Another scenario would be if you want your pool to be level with a nearby deck but find that it is slightly too tall when installed completely above-ground.
But what if you want a completely in-ground pool? Can you purchase a budget-friendly, above-ground pool and bury it up to the rim? Unfortunately, this is highly unlikely.
Few above-ground pools are built with the necessary features and highly durable materials necessary to efficiently withstand the pressure, increased moisture, and other conditions that come with burying it completely in the ground.
Even if you’ve purchased the highest quality, above-ground pool on the market, most experts advise not to bury them beyond halfway (if at all).
Here’s a video showing how to bury any above ground pool using a retaining wall:
If you want the best of both worlds in terms of purchasing a pool that is cheaper than the standard in-ground pool but is also durable enough to bury, then you’re going to want to look into purchasing a semi-inground pool.
Yes, there is such a thing as a semi-inground pool, and they’re amazing. These versatile models were specifically designed to give owners complete freedom regarding installation depth. You can bury it completely, not at all, or anywhere in-between.
Most are installed partially in the ground and partially above to provide a more subtle look than a standard above-ground pool without requiring the same degree of maintenance and financial investment as an in-ground model.
Semi-inground pools are more durable than standard above-ground pools, as they are built with thicker walls and a reinforced steel frame to help them endure the elements found in in-ground pool conditions. It is also common for the pool to be encased in a concrete collar.
This helps to protect the walls from shifting and provides additional stability.
Ultimately, if you haven’t purchased a pool yet and are undecided on which model is best for you in terms of aesthetic and installation terrain, we highly recommend investing in a semi-inground pool, as it will provide unlimited placement options compared to the two alternatives.
Whether you intend to sink your above-ground pool a few inches into the ground or several feet, there are several things you should know and keep in mind before you make any final decisions and begin the installation process.
Some of the top factors you should consider before you bury your above-ground pool include:
- Confirm your pool’s recommended sink depth
- Check all regulations and warranties
- Consider pool materials and installation environment
Careful planning will make all the difference in safeguarding your pool’s integrity during the installation and over several years of use. Failure to take the factors listed above into account could put your pool’s users at serious risk and might even cost you more in repairs and fees than if you had simply investing in a professionally installed in-ground pool.
Because pools can vary significantly in terms of design, size, materials used, etc. you’ll want to check its user or instruction manual for the manufacturer’s recommended sink depth.
While it is generally safe to bury your above-ground pool several inches in the ground with proper drainage, the manufacturer might increase or decrease this range.
Always adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendation for your pool over any online source or pool shop employee. They have chosen this depth specifically for the sake of your pool’s longevity and the safety of its users.
Before you start excavating a site for your above-ground pool, you’ll want to research your region’s rules, regulations, and/or codes on these features.
Most codes pertain to your pool’s maximum size and where it can be installed in relation to nearby structures (ex. house, shed, etc.), but some will require additional planning and funds. One example of this would be if your region requires all pools to be surrounded by a fence or another legally acceptable barrier.
You’ll also want to check any warranties that came with your pool before burying it. Some manufacturers void protection and/or compensation provided via warranty if one of their pools is improperly installed (burying it to any degree would count here if the company does not advise this for their products).
You’ll want to confirm that your above-ground pool is constructed with materials that can withstand the pressure of being underground before you start to bury it.
Look for high quality, durable, and non-corrosive materials like vinyl, concrete, or fiberglass. This will ensure your pool’s exterior doesn’t degrade from the increased moisture found underground and makes it less susceptible to damage induced by acidic soil.
It is also important for your pool to have walls that are at least 2 inches thick so it won’t buckle and collapse/cave-in from the interior pressure from being filled with water and the exterior pressure from being buried.
It might be tempting to bury your above-ground pool in your backyard, but unless you only intend to sink it a foot or so, it probably isn’t the best idea. Most above-ground pools aren’t designed to withstand being buried more than a few inches, with a rare few allowing up to halfway.
If you’ve yet to purchase a pool and know for a fact that you want one you can bury, we highly recommend investing in an in-ground or semi-inground pool instead of taking the risk and burying an above-ground model.