In the hot summer months nothing can replace the feeling of swimming in your cooled pool after work. Pools are often considered as the privilege of the rich but nowadays when we can buy all sorts of above ground pools for reasonable price, everybody can have a pool in their backyard. If you want to have a nice long lasting above ground pool you need to know all about it, how to mount it, where to mount it and how to maintain it with equipment such as an automatic pool cleaner.
In this article we will explain you all you need to know about above-ground pools.
Positioning of the pool
First of all you need to find the location for your pool. It all depends of the size of your backyard and the size of the pool you want to mount but in every situation there are some ground rules that have to be followed. Don’t put your pool under trees, shade may seem as a good idea but when you start to clean leaves, branches and bugs from the pool you will realize that the umbrella is much better solution if you want shade over your pool. Also try to locate the pool in the wind protected area of your backyard. Normally you can’t eliminate the wind but it is much more comfortable to exit the pool when there isn’t to much wind and there is far less dirt in the pool. When placing the pool try to avoid underground pipes because the weight of the water can damage them. Pool are considered as the private place for relaxation, so you try to locate the pool in the part which can’t be seen from your neighbors yard if possible.
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Preparing the site for above ground pool
When you decided what pool to buy and where to place it, you must prepare the site for mounting the pool. You can place the pool on the soil, sand or concrete but it all depends on the size of the pool. By our opinion concrete is the best and cleanest solution but it is not a necessity if your pool is under 5 cubic meters. If you decide to make concrete base make sure that it is at least 4 feet wider than the pool. If you decide to mount your pool on soil you must follow some rules. First of all you have to dig the hole 2 inch wider than the pool and 10 inches deep. Then you need to clear all the branches, stones and other hard objects from the hole and pour 1/2 inch thick layer of sand in the hole and level the entire hole. Be advised that you have to put Pool Ground Cloth under the pool regardless of the type of the foundation used for the pool because the pool foil can’t be put on abrasive materials like sand, concrete or asphalt.
Pumps and filters
Depending on the size of your pool, you will need the adequate pool pumps and filters. Don’t buy the cheapest pump and filter because it may not be sufficient for your size of the pool. Always check the maximum volume of water for your pool and buy the pump and filter accordingly. There are three main types of filters: Cartridge filter, Sand filter and D.E. filter. The cheapest solution is the cartridge filter and it is good enough for pool up to 10 cubic meters. For bigger pools you will need sand filter or D.E. filter and a stronger pump. D.E. filter is the best solution if you want a crystal clean water because it removes particles up to 3 microns. Take notice that every filter needs to be operational at least 4 hours every day if you want your water to be clean, and for optimal results pump must run at least 8 hours every day. Also you will need a Leaf skimmer to remove leafs and bigger dirt from your pool.
Pools contain large amounts of water and that water is being polluted constantly while using the pool. The filter removes particles from the water but the water must be chemically treated as well. The water is usually disinfected with Chlorinating Tablets and it is the best way to keep your water chemically clean. Some people use salt for disinfection of the water but we don’t recommend that because salt destroys metal elements of the pool and bleaches the pool foil. It is advised to check the quality of the water every few days with PH water tester. Ph values must be between 7,4 and 7,8, alkalinity of the water must be above 80 ppm, hardness of the water must be from 200 to 400 ppm and concentration of chlorine must be between 1 and 3 ppm. If all those values are met you will have a perfect pool water. The last thing you need to know about water treatment is to keep the algae away from your pool. Pool are basically small lakes and if you don’t treat the water with Algaecide you will end up with algae in the water. If that already happened don’t panic, algae are living organism and they are not toxic, just empty the pool, clean it manually or with an above ground pool vacuum, check vacuumist’s pool vacuum guide.
Algae are living organisms and they are not toxic, just empty the pool, clean it. Pool cleaners do a great job in removing algae, so buying one should be a part of your plan. For example, Polaris pool cleaners require a little extra care but are definitely the best choice for a robotic pool cleaner. Cleaning can be done manually or with an above ground pool vacuum; check the vacuumist’s pool vacuum guide around this. After the cleaning fill it again and treat it with algaecide.
Choosing the pool
After we covered everything you need to know about above-ground pools it is time to choose what type is best for you. There are a lot of good brands like Bestway pools to choose from but it’s good to research what your needs are first. The cheapest ones are pools with inflatable ring and they are easiest to mount, you just have to level the surface and put the pool ground cloth, inflate the ring and pour the water. On the other hand, those type of pools are not solid and they are easily punctured because the foil and the ring are unprotected. The Metal frame pools are a much better solution because they are usually much bigger and deeper than pools with inflatable ring. For those pools you will need to prepare the foundation carefully because they can hold large amounts of water. These pools lasts longer and they can’t be punctured so easily but the foil is also unprotected on the outer side. The best choice are Ultra frame pools with metal or plastic frame on the outside so the foil is completely protected and those pools can last for years if they are properly maintained. We recommend that you put those kind of pools on the concrete base or to dig it into the ground like in the picture below. If you want to take your above ground pool experience to the next level then we recommend that you construct a deck on one side or around the entire pool. Check out ho easy is to make a pool deck from our DIY pool deck tutorial.
Don’t forget to protect your pool if you want your water to stay fresh and clean longer. Many people cover their pools during the night and that is good because you don’t have insects and leaves in on the surface the next day. But you must be careful not to leave your pool covered during the day in the summer because your water will become stale and full of algae despite the chemicals. You don’t have to cover the pool during the night and it will even cool your water a little but you must clean the surface manually or with the skimmer every morning. If you want to leave your water in the pool during the winter then drain on quarter of the pool and cover it in the late fall. Don’t forget to uncover the pool in the early spring to prevent algae growth. After you learned everything about above-ground pools it is time to get one and enjoy yourselves!