Many property owners opt for an above-ground pool thanks to its affordability and easy installation process. However, there are some limitations that exist for above-ground pools, especially regarding the size and depth. So, can you have a deep end in an above-ground pool?
Those with round above-ground pools can dig down at the center before installation and use an expandable liner to create up to 2 feet of additional depth. Oval-shaped pools can be modified for depth, but it’s a more complicated and expensive process, thanks to the straps or braces used for support.
Let’s take a closer look at the maximum depth of an above-ground pool, how to make an above-ground deeper in the middle, and how to install an expandable above-ground pool liner.
What Is the Maximum Depth of an Above-Ground Pool?
Above-ground pools come in various sizes and depths. The depth of your pool will depend on the height of the pool’s wall and the liner used.
The walls of an above-ground pool usually come in 48, 52, and 54-inch options. However, the water line usually sits about 6 inches below the edge of the wall. So the actual depth of pool water is about 42, 46, and 48 inches, respectively.
The increased height options have, over time, diminished the need for digging a deeper floor for a lot of pool owners.
The pool water depth can also be slightly increased by filling the pool with water a little higher than the fill line indicator of the skimmer. Increasing it by 1-3 inches is generally considered safe.
The type of liners used also influences the depth of the pool. Some of the liners used include:
Often, when pool owners want to experience swimming in deeper waters, they opt for a dish-type dig at the center of the pool. A standard vinyl liner usually allows for an increased depth of 3-4 inches.
However, an expandable liner will accommodate a pool depth of about six feet. The purpose of an expandable liner is not to make a pool expand; rather, it is to add additional space to the pool. Expandable liners are made with 12 inches of extra side vinyl liners.
Once your expandable liner is installed, creating a deep end becomes pretty easy. This method can also create a deep end rather than a center. You must make use of an expandable liner any time you dig out an area to increase the depth of the pool.
A hopper liner can also create a pool depth of about seven feet. This type of liner is developed using a dig sheet. The amazing thing about this installation is that it gives your oval above-ground pool the same deep-end qualities as an above-ground pool.
An essential feature of any of these methods is to make the slope gradual so that sand can be sufficiently packed and kept along the sides of the deeper dig. Placing the vinyl liner can be tricky, especially when creating a deeper pool. You need to be careful to minimize wrinkling in the material used.
Wrinkling makes cleaning your pool harder. You should also note that adding a deep water area in smaller pools is more difficult as there’s less room for the needed gradual slope into the deep section.
Can You Make an Above-Ground Pool Deeper in the Middle?
People want deep pools for different reasons. Some feel they won’t get sufficiently submerged in shallow pools and, as such, won’t enjoy their cool bath to the fullest. Also, if you have kids that love to jump or dive into the pool, then a deeper above-ground pool is a safer option for them.
A major disadvantage of above-ground pools is that you are often stuck with one depth. This is because the pool is above ground, and it’s flat, usually with the same depth from one edge to another.
There are, however, creative methods that can be utilized to add different depths to your above-ground pool. Some of such creative methods include the following:
Adding a Deep End to a Round Pool
All you need to do to add a deep end to a round pool is to simply dig down before you set out to install your above-ground pool.
After that, you line your pool using an expandable liner. This ultimately results in the pool having an additional depth of up to two feet and is gradually sloped.
It is quite easy to add additional depth to round pools as they don’t have metal frames, which complicates things.
Adding a Deep End to an Oval Pool
Oval-shaped pools are quite different from round ones. This is because they are shaped using straps or braces that criss-cross through the pool’s center and tie the once-straight sides together.
These strands lend the frame extra support and, as such, can’t be left out. Removing or omitting a strap will affect its quality. This doesn’t imply that you can’t have an oval pool with extra depth. The implication, however, is that you will have to pay more to have one installed.
Adding extra depth to an above-ground pool is not an easy task; it should, however, be done when you’re installing the pool. Having an above-ground pool does not imply that you settle for one depth; you can use the methods above to add depth to your pool.
How Do You Install a Deep End in an Above-Ground Pool?
Oval pools with straps can be modified safely to allow for deep ends by not connecting the straps of the end you wish to make deeper and following the steps outlined below.
- Use a post hole that is a digger to dig a hole 18″ – 20″ deep directly in front of each side brace on the deeper end of the pool. The hole must be wider as it gets deeper.
- Coil the strap back tightly to 15 to 18 inches of the hold-down plate. Ensure you don’t allow space between the coils.
- Place the coiled strap into the post hole. You can place all three straps on each side in the hole for a middle deeper pool. For one end deeper pool, place two straps on each side.
- Make a bag of concrete mix for each of the holes. Ensure you check the side braces as you go on to keep the top ledges straight.
How Do You Install an Expandable Above-Ground Pool Liner?
Expandable pool liners can stretch into shape as you begin to fill the pool; they do this by slowly releasing the vinyl liner as the pool fills with water. The tools required for this include a soft push broom, rounded end trowel, set of 18-24 rubber-tipped clamps, razor knife, and screwdrivers.
Materials used in installing an expandable pool liner include an expandable pool liner that is ordered to fit the pool’s inside dimensions and depth, a new skimmer, and return faceplates and gaskets. The steps include the following:
Drain the pool and remove the liner
Use a pump to drain the pool completely once the pump shuts off or starts sucking air. Then you get to the deep end and cut the liner around the base of the wall around the pool using a razor blade.
Work around the pool and remove sections of the top rail and coping strips to remove the liner as it goes over the wall. Replace the top rail sections and not the coping strips.
Floor and wall preparation
Once the wall is bare, the next thing to do is to clean off any dust or debris. Use brooms and trowels to smooth or out the sand and reshape areas or add masonry sand if necessary.
Remove wind-blown debris or pebbles, lower the high spot, and fill the low spot using your tools. Begin from the deep end and move up to the shallow end.
Installing the liner
Installing the liner here is a unique process. To do this, you need to unfold the liner on a flat and grassy surface. After marking the seam intersections, refold it and place the liner above the shallow end top rail — four people should do this. Then, gently pull the material over the pool and carefully fasten it to the rail.
Fill the pool and let out the liner
This step requires close attention. Fill the swimming pool with water and let the liner become stretched out. For every one-tenth of water you add, release the liner one-tenth of the way.