The Easy Guide To Above-Ground Pool Maintenance

This year we opted for an above-ground pool for the backyard. This was 100% a great choice for our family but it did come with some unexpected challenges. You see I have only ever had a pool where someone else could do the maintenance so learning how to maintain an above-ground pool is a lot more work than I had expected. But Over the past few weeks, I figured out how to maintain our pool with as little stress as possible.

These tips will help make it easier to maintain your above-ground pool and save you some of the hassle and mistakes that I had to deal with.

Set up your pool for success

When you first buy your pool you are excited and may find yourself wanting to get it set up and going right away without thinking ahead. We learned the hard way and even had to drain our pool to fix this mistake. Set up the ground for success from day one.

You may have cleared away all sticks and rocks but after the water seeps under the pool erosion leads to rocks deeper down and moving up. you can purchase ground covers for your pool or get a couple of thick tarps to layer under for a level of protection. This will keep rocks and other things under the surface of the ground from moving up into your pool floor.

Consider the ground around your pool. Adding pavers or pebbles around your pool in the areas where your family will work the most will greatly reduce the amount of work it takes to keep your pool clean. The less your kids are running through the mud the cleaner your water will stay.

Put together an entry point for your pool with a foot bath. If your pool is not deep enough for a ladder you can add a pallet or other base and place a foot bath there. If you have a larger pool that has a later these foot baths that attach to the ladder are amazing.

Get a pool maintenance kit

We started out with just a basic skimmer and while it helped there was a lot of gunk at the bottom of the pool at the end of the day that took a lot more effort to clear away. A pool maintenance kit that comes with a vacuum head is a great way to take care of this.

Skimmer socks are a must.

Even if your above-ground pool does not have a skimmer in the filtration system you can still get a lot of use out of skimmer socks to help keep the fine particles lite dust and pollen out of your pool water. If your pool does not have a pool skimmer you can attach them inside the little baskets on the side of your pool where water goes into the filter. Leave off the screw that holds the basket on if you go this route.

Change filter socks daily and be sure that you are using a pool clarifier in your water to help small particles bond together so the filter and filter socks can catch even the smallest particles.

Get familiar with pool chemicals

this is one area I struggled with. As someone who tends to avoid clorine due to some childhood trauma, I hate the pool chemical part of having a pool but we do keep the levels low enough that it doesn’t smell like when my mother made me clean with it or even like the high school pool back when I was on the swim team.

:: I learned that chlorine tablets in a floater is the easiest way to keep levels up when the pool is not in use. Due to the fact that it does not have a stabilizer this chlorine wears off fast in the summer sun but does help maintain between shocks. We have a pool floater with lights that we leave in for night swimming but tend to take it out during the day so the kids are not bashing into it.

:: We use Clorox Extra Blue 6 in 1 Pool Shock and it does a great job of helping to keep levels up. We shop after the kids have had a long day in the pool and after big storms to help keep chlorine levels up and reduce how much time I need to spend adding other chemicals to keep it balanced. The stabilizer in the shock helps keep the chlorine balanced for quite a while. and I only have to add more clarifiers after several very hot days in a row where the kids and their friends are getting in and out all day.

:: Clarifier helps to clear up cloudy water. This is great if you get a lot of dirt in the pool and for use during fireworks season, high pollen periods, and even if you are unlucky enough to be hit by dust storms to help keep your pool water clean and clear. Most shocks and even some tablets will have clarifier built in but keeping a bottle on hand just in case is well worth the under $10 price tag to keep your water clean.

:: For larger pools, you may need to play with a chlorine stabilizer like CYA to help keep the chlorine in your pool from disappearing too fast. I use baking soda to keep the pool PH levels up for alkaline water that doesn’t leave skin feeling dry and makes your pool more hospitable to algae growth.

Remove large debris

This can be a tedious task. Even more so if your pool is in an area that has a lot of leaves and bugs. when your pool cover is off. A pool cover when your pool is not in use helps to reduce the workload but doesn’t limit it. A pool skimmer can be used throughout the day to control things floating in water.

The coolest trick we have found is that at the end of the day, we have the kids make a whirlpool in the pool before hopping out. As the water settles all of the gunk and hair in the pool will ball up and fall to the center of the pool. This can easily be scooped up and removed from the pool saving your filter the work and keeping your pool cleaner.

All in all, having a pool is a good bit of work but the end result is well worth the time and effort. We spend the hot heat wave days in the pool instead of heating up the house leaving the house cool and ready for sleep when we come in at the end of the day.

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