Essential Backyard Prep for Your New Above Ground Pool
Even during the cold months, you can start saving and planning for summer. If you want to install a swimming pool in your backyard, you’ll have to plan – months ahead. While the installation process of an above ground pool may seem intimidating, taking it one step at a time and committing to the project is crucial to its success.
The base of a great above ground pool means a stable and level base. The pool’s size should be in proportion to the size of your yard. When you have chosen the right sized above ground pool for your property, the ground needs to be even before you can set up the pool. It is essential that the ground is compressed, evenly leveled, and horizontal. To level the ground, you can also use concrete or sifted sand to create this leveled base for your above ground pool.
For a deep end swimming pool, you’ll need a bit more preparation. A deep end oval pool, the most common, can be as deep as 6 to 7 feet. Deep above ground pools require a flexible pool liner, and a powerful pool cleaner or vacuum. With a deeper pool than usual, homeowners should consider such safety measures as a heavy-duty swimming pool cover or a deck around the pool.
Decks for wood swimming pools are a common structure for many families. Most often, wood is used to build a pool deck – whether an above ground pool or inground. Some woods can be expensive, but as the material can last for years when taken care of properly. As well, a wood deck or floor around your above ground pool can help to hide the water’s filter or purification system and other pool accessories and toys. Wood pool decks around any swimming pool are not only practical but attractive.
Several accessories are necessary for any above ground swimming pool. From filtration systems to pool kits that include everything you need to clean your swimming pool, preparation is much more than a level ground – although that it is crucial. Depending on your pool and your family’s needs, chemicals are often used to keep the water within your swimming pool safe and clean for your family to use. Alternatively, saltwater pools use a saltwater filtration system that is preferable for those who want to use as few chemicals as possible.
Whether you choose one of many styles of saltwater above ground pools or deep end oval swimming pools, know that there is a lot of preparation necessary. While inground pools take much longer than above ground pools, choose which is best for your home and budget regarding voluntary investment.
5 Proper Pool Maintenance Steps for Saltwater Pool System
Are you performing the 4 most crucial proper saltwater pool system maintenance steps?
What Are Saltwater Pools?
Saltwater pools are not like the ocean but instead use a salt chlorine creator for decontamination.
Saltwater pool systems can benefit people who are allergic to chlorine since they do not use chlorine chemicals.
Also, because they do not use pool chemicals, they are less drying for your skin.
It does not mean that there is no chlorine in these pools, but it is a natural chemical process from a saltwater chlorinator or a salt water generator.
The chlorine generated by this electrolytic process is not as harsh as the traditional “tri-chlor” chlorine used for pools. It does not smell like bleach, is very gentle to skin, hair, and swimsuits which makes it a much better option for some. Also, the water feels softer.
4 Most Essential Steps In Maintenance For Saltwater Pool System
Maintenance for saltwater pool systems must be done regularly but here the 4 most important steps you need to follow.
1. Test your pool water weekly for chlorine and pH quantities. It can be done with strips or a test kit that you drop pool water into. Your chlorine should be between 1-3 ppm, and your pH should read be between 7.2-7.6. If your pH is high, it can be reduced using muriatic acid, but if it is low, you can raise the level by using soda ash or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).
2. Test your water monthly for salt, pH, stabilizer, and calcium which can be done using a strip. Please check your owner’s manual for the manufacturers recommended levels.
3. Every three months you should open your salt chlorinator and examine the cell. You will be looking for buildup (scale) or debris; if there is none put it back in. If you find it accumulating, use a garden hose that has high pressure to wash it off; if it does not come off, use a plastic or wooden tool to scrape the deposits off (never use metal) gently.
4. Keep the sieve, impeller, and skimmer clean as if it is full of debris it will reduce water flow, and chlorinator will stop creating chlorine.
Winterizing Your Saltwater Pool
It is important that you winterize your pool chemical dispensers.
For swimming pool salt systems, most manufacturers advise that the stream switch and salt chamber be taken out of the system and kept inside where it is dry and warm.
You can purchase mock cells to put in the place of your real ones during the cold months.
If you live in a warmer climate and do not typically get below freezing, you must make sure to allow the pump stream continuously if it is going to be freezing or below.
So just because you have a saltwater pool does not mean you do not use any pool chemicals, you just do not need to you the harsher traditional “tri-chlor” chlorine.
Pool Maintenance Tips for Opening a Clean Pool This Spring
Is your pool ready for swimming when you open it in the spring?
Follow tips below if you want to have your swimming pool ready for spring and without shocking it or placing chemicals:
Swimming Pool Maintenance
Regular swimming pool maintenance helps keep your pool in right balance during the summer season but if you continue through the fall-winter months with a few things it could be ready to go as soon as the pools cover is taken off.
• Add midwinter algaecide if the fall season is mild and warm you may wish to add more chlorine and algaecide at the start of the cold season run the pump for 24 hours and then shut the pump off and winterize
• Make sure your cover is secure and stays secure during the winter season
• Add enzyme chemicals to break down contamination of non-living organic material
• Open the pool before the water starts getting too warm, many people wait until late spring to open the pool and find more algae or biofilm than they would have had they opened the pool earlier before the water got so warm to begin algae or biofilm growth
Pool Maintenance Supplies
You need the correct pool maintenance supplies when you clean your pool. These supplies include;
• Filter system (either sand or filter system)
It is best to do the instructions that were included in your pool. The manufacturer’s instructions on pool maintenance will tell you exactly what supplies you will need which you can purchase the same place you purchased your pool or here at Pools Above Ground.
Pool maintenance kits will usually contain everything you need to get started.
The economy kit above contains a skimmer, a vacuum brush, a vacuum head, a thermometer, and a duo test kit. Also, a sectional three piece 4-12’telepole, 1.25″ x 36′ premium vacuum hose box with swivel and 1.5×50′ backwash hose
Below is a standard pool maintenance kit which contains; a skimmer, vacuum brush, vacuum head, thermometer and duo test kit and Sectional 3 piece 4-12’telepole, 1.5″ x 40′ premium vacuum hose box with swivel and 1.5×50′ backwash hose.
Deluxe 8 Piece Pool Cleaning Kit
This kit includes; 5 Piece Premium Vinyl Maintenance Kit a skimmer, vacuum brush, vacuum head, thermometer and 5-way test kit, sectional three piece 4-12’telepole, 1.5″ x 40′ premium vacuum hose box with swivel and 1.5×50′ backwash hose.
By following these tips and a regular maintenance schedule along with winter maintenance even if you get a pool cleaning service to do it, you should be able to open your pool and have it ready for swimming in the spring.
Choosing the Best Cover for Your Swimming Pool
There are three primary types of swimming pool covers on the market. There are fundamental differences between each category, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. To decide what type of pool cover is right for you and your swimming pool, understand what each type is about and what it can do.
Choosing a solar cover for your swimming pool is ideal if you are looking for a cost-effective way to heat your pool. Solar covers use the energy from the sun to not only heat the pool but keep currently running heat in the pool. Solar pool covers, however, should not be used as a safety cover and, if you have small children and pets, they will not be supported by it. It can be used over a mesh cover or on its own.
Solar cover reels are a great way to keep your solar cover safe while not in use, and a reel makes it much easier to install when you need it. Solar pool cover reel can be used for other types of swimming pool covers as well. They can be automatic and work with the press of a button, or use a crank and take a bit more work.
While some pool owners are lucky enough to have the weather to swim in all year round, those homeowners who experience colder winters have to shut down their pool for this off-season. Winter covers are the second type of pool cover, and they protect a swimming pool’s underwater surface during the cold months and tend to be exceptionally durable and are primarily marketed as a protective covering that can withstand the harshest of elements.
Safety pool covers are the third type of pool cover, and it has three primary purposes. It is, of course, a safety cover, it will keep debris out of the pool, and it helps to maintain the temperature of the water. There are many advantages to choosing a safety pool cover, especially if you have small children or want to heat your pool on a budget properly.
There are types of pool covers available. For example, leaf nets are a great option when you have a yard with several trees or a lot of natural debris such as leaves and twigs. They are mesh-style covers, and they are often less work than solid pool covers. Mesh pool covers are also great for areas that get plenty of rainfall (and snow during the off-season) that is not allowed to accumulate on the surface. Leaf net covers may let the smallest of debris in, but it is easily cleaned through routine maintenance.
There are several types of swimming pool covers available. Speaking to the experts at Pools Above Ground will not only help you decide which type of pool cover is best but also information on how to install and maintain it.
In Or Out: Mesh Versus Solid Pool Covers
In Or Out: Mesh Versus Solid Pool Covers
An above ground swimming pool can be an incredible investment. While there is a lot that goes into installing and caring for your homes’ above ground swimming pool, there is much to be taken from fun summer memories and an added family gathering place. It is why you have to invest in the most critical above ground swimming pool accessory: the pool cover. While pool covers come in several varieties, there are two primary types, mesh, and solid covers.
Quality swimming pool covers have several advantages. One of the top causes of loss of pool water is evaporation, and a pool cover will keep this to a minimum. When you routinely use a swimming pool cover when the pool is not used, you prevent unnecessary loss of water and can save several hundreds of gallons over the swimming season – mainly if you live in a warm place such as Arizona and California.
Swimming pool covers also keep out dirt and debris, which can keep maintenance – a timely and financial cost – down. Because of routine support, it is essential to decide whether you want a mesh or solid cover and weigh the advantages of each.
Mesh swimming pool covers are extraordinarily lightweight and can last for well over a decade. They are said to be the most manageable type of swimming pool cover and can support between hundreds of pounds. While mesh covers allow some debris in, they were created to prevent water from collecting on top of the cover. Some trash gets in, but the woven design is tight enough to avoid significant debris from getting into the pool.
Solid pool covers do not let as much light into the swimming pool as mesh swimming pool covers do. A solid pool cover will block all light from entering the pool, which actively prevents the growth of algae and prevents evaporation. One of the disadvantages of solid pool covers is that often water will collect on the top and this will not only cause damage to the cover, but the accumulation can be a drowning hazard.
When you close your above ground swimming pool for the winter or cold season, you will need a winter pool cover. These enormously high-quality covers come in both mesh and solid types. Winter pool covers kind of pool cover is more heavy-duty than a typical pool cover and can keep your pool safe and clean during the off-season. A winter cover can handle the weight of melted snow and ice that gathers on its surface. However, if you want to avoid this accumulation, mesh winter pool covers are another option that can carry just as much weight.
Even inground winter pool covers are going to be strong enough to handle the weight of both your children and pets, and that is why this type of protection is also known for its safety features. Both mesh and solid covers have their advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential that you make the best choice for your swimming pool.
Is Your Vinyl Pool Liner Out of Shape?
Is your above ground pool liner out of shape?
No, I do not mean it gained weight; but is it looking old?
Signs Your Pool Liner Is Distressed
Have you found minor cracks?
What about leaks, are you noticing that water does not seem to stay in the pool?
Is it faded?
These are signs that your pool liner may be in need of changing.
How Long Do Pool Liners Last?
The average lifespan of a vinyl swimming pool liner is 8 to 12 years.
Many people go with what they find pleasing to the eye when deciding on a liner. However, that is not always a good idea.
The higher gauge the vinyl is, the better quality and more it cost, however, the better quality, the longer it will last if it is adequately maintained.
Pool liners like most other things require care and maintenance; if you take care of it, you will most likely get 12 years from your liner.
Taking proper care of a pool liner requires that you test the water and maintain the appropriate balance.
Do Patches Work?
Patches can help as long as your liner is not at the end of its lifespan and it depends on where the piece needs to be placed.
You find a small tear or tiny hole in your liner; it is possible to patch it, especially if your liner is only a few years old.
However, if your liner is 7 or 8 years old, it is best that you replace the liner.
Types Of Liners For Above Ground Pools
There are four types of pool liners available to choose from;
• Overlap pool liners go inside the pool, hang over the edge, very simple to install
• Uni-bead pool liners hook into the top of the pool sides
• Expandable pool liners great for tall pools also conform to any shape and can allow up to 3 feet of extra water depth
• Beaded pool liners snap into the track along the top edges of the pool walls
If you wish to have some extra water depth or a distinct shape of above ground pool, then the expandable liner is the one you want.
Make sure to get the heavier gauge for the added strength and more protection against roots or rocks you may not see when you set up your pool.
An accessory that can help keep your liner in good shape is a footbath that will hold sand, tiny stones and sharp things like mulch out of your swimming pool.
Enhance Your Landscaping With a Wood Swimming Pool
Beautiful natural wood swimming pools can quickly enhance your backyard landscaping.
As you can see, a wooden above ground pool can enhance your backyard landscaping and then you can add a stone patio or wood deck, as well as a few potted plants and you will have yourself an oasis.
Are Above Ground Pools Economical?
Above ground pools are more economical than in-ground pools for a couple of reasons:
1. You do not have to excavate an area of the yard for the pool; you only need to level the ground
2. Above ground, pools cost less because you do not have to pour concrete to form the pool bottom and sides
With above-ground wooden swimming pools, the sides are made from natural wood such as red or yellow pine, held together with resin, and 1 or 2 hoops to make it strong and durable.
Then you have the liner that goes into the wooden pool to hold the water.
Are Wooden Pools Versatile In Shape & Size?
Wood Pools are versatile in both shape and size.
Round wooden pools run 10 to 26 feet wide and 52 inches deep, but there is also the option of an oval shape that runs 10×22 to 15×31 feet wide and 52 inches deep.
Of course, there is at all times an option of partial above and in-ground pool where there is an area that is deeper than that of the above ground area.
Efficiently Landscape Around The Pool Area
When it comes to above ground wooden pools, it is easy to landscape around them to make a beautiful retreat for your family.
The elegant wood makes the rest of the landscaping a breeze where you merely have to choose mulch or stone and what flowers you wish to place in pots.
You can add a beautiful paver patio or a deck done of wood, or a combination of both which you can place your patio furniture and table with a beautiful umbrella to provide some shade.
Remember to get your accessories as well; cover, ladder, lights, cleaning tools, and chemicals to complete your swimming pool kit.
When It Comes To Your Maintenance
Remember, when it comes to keeping it, it is essential that you keep your water in balance with the pool chemicals.
It is essential to keep the water in balance to maintain your pool liner and help it last the full lifespan so follow the directions carefully and test frequently.
How to Choose the Best Above Ground Pool Filtration System
The filter of your above ground pool is charged with a hefty task of removing debris and particles from your pool. A swimming pool filter is an important aspect that does require some thought. Many aren’t aware that there are different types of filters or even if some are better than the others. Each has their own set of benefits. One thing is for sure, pool filters are a necessary part of maintaining a healthy good looking pool.
Sand filters have been the oldest form of pool filtration used in above ground pools. One of the reasons pool owners love sand filter system kits is because of cost and reliability. Sand filters are the cheapest option for maintaining a cleaner pool. How sand filters work is also quite simple. Pool water will enter the filter trap and it will wash over the sand. The sand will then absorb debris and oils, and water will return to the pool. There aren’t many negatives associated with this option, other than overtime sand can start to seep out. The sand filters design is also more complicated than the cartridge option. It is time to replace the sand filter when sand particles begin to venture into your pool.
If you are looking for a pool filter that is easy to install and that does maximum amounts of debris of your pool, then a cartridge filter will be for you. These are a little more expensive than sand filters, but do an excellent job removing insects, algae, and dirt from the pool. As with the sand filters, cartridge filters will allow water in and remove anything that isn’t clean healthy water, and let it flow back. The most prominent disadvantage pool owners find when using a cartridge filter is they need to be cleaned every week or two to maintain optimal performance.
These filters are also the best choice for smaller pools. If you need a complete setup or just a screen, Pools Above Ground offers both filter systems and kits. The pool filter system kits are complete with everything you need to get started including:
Filter Body Mounting
Hoses, Clamps, and Fittings
What if I Own a Saltwater Above Ground Pool?
Saltwater pool systems are a little more complicated than the standard pools but also offer many benefits that regular above ground pools do not. For instance, their maintenance cost is less expensive after the initial purchase. The typical sand and cartridge type filters aren’t designed for saltwater pools; they use their saltwater filtration system. Since water is pumped through an electrolytic cell for filtration, it works differently than sand or cartridge filters. Salt mixes with an electrode charge to produce the best quality chlorine. Replacements for this part is expensive, but they can last 3 to 5 years without problems.
Above Ground Pool Skimmers
Above Ground Pool Skimmers
This brief article is about one of the most overlooked and least expensive parts of the above ground swimming pool, the skimmer box. The pool skimmer is responsible for the transfer of water from the pool to the filter system. And because it is one of the only openings cut into the pool liner and pool wall, it is often the source for leaks and corrosion. (more…)
Draining And Cleaning A Green Above Ground Pool
How To Clean A Green Above Ground Pool
Spring is in the air, or at least in the minds of many swimming pool owners this time of year. Depending on where you live, getting your pool ready for spring opening may be as simple as removing the pool cover and letting the sun’s rays warm up the water. But for many others, our unprotected swimming pool is going to require a little more work to whip it into shape for the hot summer months ahead.
Most above ground pools turn green over the off season from of a lack of chlorine and if left all winter without a pool cover, piles of debris can accumulate on the pool’s bottom making spring clean up a chore. Sometimes this mess can be overwhelming and draining the pool to clean it up is the easiest path to recovery. This is OK as long as it is done correctly.
Draining An Above Ground Pool
Start by draining the above ground pool with a sump pump, siphon, or other means. Drain the water down leaving a foot or so of water in the pool. You could drain it down even lower but you must work fast as the sun will cause the pool liner shrink in as little as a day! Once the liner shrinks it will not stretch back again, resulting in it splitting or pulling down off the pool wall. If this occurs you will need to replace the pool liner and possibly some of the accessories like plastic coping or skimmer gaskets.
A good way to get a jump on this project is to drain the pool the night before. Having it empty or nearly empty in the morning will allow plenty of time to clean it up before the heat of the day begins to work on your vinyl pool liner. (more…)