take the plunge
with the right pool.
Dreaming of your very own pool to make the most of summer? Stop dreaming and start shopping. An above-ground pool can be a great investment, offering years of enjoyment. Careful planning and preparation will help you make the best choices when you buy. Here are some things to consider before you shop.
Above-ground pools are generally 48 or 52 inches tall, although taller models are becoming more common. Height is measured from the ground to the top of the wall. Deeper pools provide a better swimming experience for older kids and adults. Shallower pools may be safer for young swimmers and are less expensive.
oval & rectangular
Good for smaller yards, oval and rectangular pools are great for swimming laps and family water sports. Additional supports are needed to help these pools maintain their elongated shapes, making the installation a little more involved.
If you've got a larger or square-shaped yard, think about a round pool. Easy to install, round pools give you more pool for the money because they don't require extra pieces to support their shape.
Measure your yard and think about how much space you're willing to give to the pool and pool equipment. Consider other areas—such as patios and decks—that you might integrate with your pool.
Here are a few things to think about when deciding where in your yard to place your pool.
find a flat surface.
The ground under the pool should be level, firm and solid. Imbalances can put pressure on pool walls, which can have an impact on stability and even cause pools to collapse.
look for a sunny area.
Placing your pool in the sun will keep water temperatures warmer. Distance from trees will prevent leaves and other debris from falling in.
Wind blowing across pool water increases evaporation and decreases water temperature. Consider trees, shrubs, fences and other windbreaks when placing your pool.
position for safety & accessibility.
Make sure your pool is easy to see and access from the house. Think about walkways, patios and decks you may want to add, and be sure to leave room for them.
determine a place for the pool shed.
Small sheds are handy for storing and protecting pool equipment. They can also be an attractive yard feature. The closer the equipment is to the pool, the better it will operate. If your pool heater is housed in the shed, make sure it has proper ventilation.
today’s pools make a splash.
Modern engineering and ultra-durable materials make above-ground pools a better investment than ever.
metal frame pools.
Steel pools are heavier, tougher and more solid than other styles. Look for protective coatings that decrease the chances of rust such as hot-dipped zinc galvanized steel walls, uprights and top rails. Aluminum frames have flexible sidewalls, typically made of multiple layers of material for extra strength and durability. A level surface is important to balance the water pressure inside aluminum pools and prevent walls from buckling or falling.metal frame pools
quick set-up pools.
Portable, smaller and easier to maintain than other styles, quick set-up pools are a great value. The best part? Set-up is simple. Just inflate it with an electric pump and fill it with water from your hose. A nice feature—you can deflate the pool in the off-season and pack it away.quick set-up pools
installing your pool,
step by step.
Before you can dive in, you need to install your pool. Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, be sure to follow all the manufacturer's instructions. Deviating from the instructions can void the warranty.learn more about installing your pool
fill your pool with fun.
Now that your pool is up and running, it's time to enjoy it. Make a splash with toys and accessories that make your pool a playground.
pool toys & water slides.
Floating toys are a great way to acclimate beginning swimmers to deeper water. Keep everyone active with pool sports, dive games and other pool toys. Water slides are especially fun for smaller kids and a great addition to inflatable pools.pool toys & water slides
Always play it safe in and around your pool. It's your responsibility to make sure everyone who uses your pool knows the rules and what to do in an emergency. The helpful tips at poolsafely.gov will help you be prepared.
Covers are an essential safety item—they keep people out of the pool when you're away. They also keep leaves and other debris out of the pool, minimizing the amount of chemicals needed. Covers hold heat in the pool, reducing expenses and extending the swimming season.
Ladders are the safest way to get in and out of the pool. Many ladders feature UV protection so they won't heat up in the sun. Resin steps and easy-to-grip handrails prevent slipping.
To keep your pool enjoyable, you'll need the right equipment and a maintenance routine. Many pools come with pumps, ladders and maintenance kits to get you started.learn more about maintenance
5 steps to fun in the sun.
Step 1 planning.
Do a little research now to avoid problems later. Get to know all the municipal regulations and local codes for above-ground pools. Check local laws about construction and electrical installations. Be sure your installation conforms to all security regulations related to pool fencing and covers.
Step 2 check for parts.
Make sure you have all the necessary parts before you begin assembly. Check the manufacturer's parts list against the parts you received. If something is missing or defective, call the manufacturer for a replacement part.
Step 3 remove the sod.
Remove all the sod from the pool site to prevent grass from rotting and causing unpleasant odors. Remember to choose firm ground for your pool.
Step 4 level the ground.
A level surface will help keep your pool upright. Remove all rocks, roots and other sharp-edged objects. Level the ground to the lowest point by removing higher areas, not by adding soil to lower areas. Avoid surfaces treated with oil-based weed killers or other chemicals that could harm the pool's vinyl liner or other parts.
Step 5 assembly.
Assemble your pool following all manufacturer's instructions.
The pump is the heart of the pool. It circulates water by creating a vacuum that pulls water from the pool, through an automatic skimmer, and then through the filter and accessories such as a heater, chlorinator or cleaner. Add some fun with extras such as lights and water features.pool equipment
maintain your pool.
run the pump.
Run your pump 8–12 hours a day, during the day, to circulate all water in the pool through the filter and keep it moving so algae won't start to grow.
set your jets.
Adjust eyeball jets to keep water moving in a circular motion.
every other day.
test the water’s pH.
A digital test strip can make checking the pH of your pool water easier. Add the proper chemicals to maintain balance.
test water sanitizers.
Use chlorine to wipe out bacteria and keep water clean. Chlorine comes in fast-dissolving tablets, as well as in sticks and granules. Look for stabilized chlorine; it is more effective under the hot sun. Keep chlorine in your skimmer, floater or automatic feeder for automatic sanitizing.
More stable than chlorine, salt doesn't need to be constantly added to the pool so it's a more cost-effective solution. Salt can be less irritating to skin and eyes than chlorine, and softens the water for a more soothing experience on your skin. You won't use enough salt to create a salty taste.
clean & check filters.
Sand filters should be cleaned weekly. Cartridge filters should be removed and cleaned at least once a week, and can be partially cleaned by hosing and brushing. If the filter still looks dirty after cleaning, replace it immediately. Cartridge filters should be replaced at least bi-weekly.
remove algae growth.
Brush and vacuum pool floors and walls. Even if you use an automatic above-ground pool cleaner, brush weekly.
shock the pool.
"Shocking the pool" means using a concentrated chemical mix, usually containing chlorine, to oxidize contaminants and keep your pool water crystal clear. The process also gets rid of stubborn algae. Non-chlorine formulas and those for hard water are available.
Algaecide prevents algae from colonizing in your pool. Algae can promote bacteria growth. It also looks bad, usually black, green and yellow fuzz. To kill algae that has already taken hold:
- Shock your pool. You'll want 10 ppm of chlorine.
- Brush and vacuum all inside pool surfaces.
- Follow up with algaecide.
- Repeat daily.
- Continue to check and clean your filter regularly.