Above Ground Pools
With so many above ground pools on the market these days, it’s easy install a pool in your yard quickly and cheaply. This type of pool has it’s advantages and it is usually the first step many people take when considering a pool. There are several types of above ground pools that will fit nearly everyone’s budget. The seasonal soft sided pools are great when you don’t want a permanent installation, and the large round & oval hard sided pools complete with decks and outdoor kitchens can look absolutely beautiful when integrated into your yard landscaping.
What to consider;
Above ground pools are just as easy to maintain as an in-ground pool and sometimes they are even easier. You still have to maintain a correct water balance, and a filter cleaning routine just as with an in-ground pool. However above ground pools tend to hold less water by volume and therefore chemical costs tend to be lower. Also the equipment for an above ground pool is generally cheaper to maintain or replace if necessary and a typical homeowner can upgrade their above ground pool equipment easily as piping and equipment are not buried in the yard.
Another point to consider when looking at above ground pools is design aesthetics. Depending on where you live a hard sided above ground pool may be allowed in your neighborhood whereas a soft sided may not. It pays to do some research and checking around first before purchasing a pool.
Now for some tips!
Most above ground pools are installed with low end pumps and a small sand filter with flexible hoses for the suction and return lines. These will work just fine at first and I suggest that you enjoy your pool for a summer before drastically changing anything. Yes, you will probably fight algae as this equipment is just not capable of doing a proper job of filtration and water circulation. By waiting a little while, you will get a feel as to what it takes to maintain a pool and you can get adjusted to having a pool in your yard. If after a season of swimming you find yourself want something a little better then here are some ideas.
- Get rid of the flex hoses first! You can rest assured that those thin plastic hoses will rot and bust which will lead to complete pool failure while you are not at home. The first thing to consider is replacing the flex hoses with standard 1 1/2″ PVC piping. Depending on your style and model of pool, you may have to get some hard piping adapters that will let you attach the hard PVC piping to your pump and pool. Check around as I see these on Ebay often.
- Install a Pentair Tablet Chlorine Feeder. This will go a very long way towards keeping your pool water sanitized and clear. You can read my article about the Pentair Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder and then install it on your return line just before it enters the pool. Since you are hard plumbing the pool anyway, that’s a good time to do it.
- Make sure your pump is big enough. On most hard sided pools the pump is usually around 1 or 1 1/2 HP which is usually sufficient to keep the water moving properly. If you want to upgrade your pump then a Hayward Power-Flo is a great choice. This is a very good pump and thousands of them are in use and the price isn’t going to break the bank. If you are running a small soft-sided seasonal pool with a pump and filter combo, this would be a great upgrade as well.
- Get a better filter system. Either a sand filter or a cartridge filter will do a good job. I do prefer a cartridge filter for ease of cleaning and it requires less effort and additional parts to install vs a sand filter. a Hayward Sand Filter is a good choice as well as a Pentair Cartridge Filter.
- Put your new pump and filter were it’s convenient. A huge advantage when upgrading and hard piping your pool is that you can now move the pump and filter away from the pool and in the yard someplace so that it is out of sight and quieter. You can even bury the suction and return lines if you choose. One important point to keep in mind is that you want to locate your equipment out of the way of any future pool deck projects or similar. Try to visualize the whole picture of what you want to achieve in your yard first, and then place the equipment around that idea. A wooden sound screen or shrubs will help conceal the sound of the pump also.
Wrap it up
Now that you have hard plumbed your pool and added a chlorinator, new pump and filter, you can rest assured that your pool will work at it optimum efficiency and you have good quality equipment and piping that will last for years. Your pool water will be easier to maintain and keep clear and sanitized. The sky is the limit on above ground pools when it comes to designs and installation ideas. Do a quick Google Image search and you will be both inspired and amazed!
Be sure to click the homepage icon at the top of this page for more articles and tips like this one from me to help you with questions that you may have about your pool.