Pools are like the oasis of your home. They’re where you go to relax, spend time with your family, and cool off during the summer weather.
However, this oasis can quickly turn into a disaster zone if you don’t take the right steps to properly maintain it and keep it clean.
While cleaning your ground pool is important, it’s also equally important to put the same amount of work into above ground pool maintenance.
Above ground pools are just as susceptible—if not more—to becoming hives for bacteria and other microbes if you don’t properly clean it.
So where should you start? Read through this guide for a walk through of the necessities of pool maintenance.
What do I need to maintain my above ground pool?
To start off with, let’s talk about materials. Not everything you use to maintain a ground pool applies to this situation, but some things are similar. Here’s a list of the items you should have on hand with you when caring for an above ground swimming pool.
1. Filters. Even when you’re not actively cleaning your pool, your filter is. It removes all the debris that you don’t want floating around in your pool, like bugs, small leaves, twigs, etc. That’s why regularly changing out or cleaning your filter(s) is incredibly important.
2. Brushes. The walls of your pool are probably dirtier than they look. Even if you can’t see it, there’s a lot of grime that can get stuck to the walls as well as film. Brushing regularly, about once a week, removes that gunk, reduces the odds of algae growth, and improves the overall health of your pool.
3. Skimmer. Skimming is one of the most important parts of pool maintenance. Ideally, you want to be skimming the surface of your pool on a daily basis. This will both keep your pool looking clean and prolong the life of your filter.
4. Pool Cleaners. Pool vacuums are the saving grace for many pool owners because it means that you have to do less work keep your pool clean. In fact, the best robotic pool cleaner picks up things in the water that you can’t even see, like fine particulars and sand.
5. Pool pump. Water circulation is the best method when it comes to how to maintain a pool. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for a lot of bacteria, algae, and other microbes. The solution to that problem is a pool pump. It keeps the water circulating for a sustained period of time usually anywhere between 8-10 hours a day.
6. Chlorine Tablets and PH stabilizers. Chemicals are an important part of keeping your pool healthy. They sanitize the water and kill off odor-causing germs.
How much chemicals/powders do I need to maintain my pool?
When it comes to the chemical treatment, the solution really depends on the amount of water in your pool and the size of the tablets.
For example, if you have a smaller pool that's only about 2,500 gallons of water, you never want to add a full tablet. Instead, you should add about 2-4 oz once every week.
For larger pools, such as 5,000 gallons, you’ll need to be using about 1 tablet every week.
Also, don’t overlook the importance of adding products such as sodium hypochlorite to keep the PH levels of the water stable. Remember, too much chlorine can actually hurt and can cause damage to your pool, so you’ll want to balance it out.
How do you test if your pool is safe to swim in?
The best way to check if your pool is safe for swimming is to use a water tester kit. These usually come in the form of strips that tell you the PH levels of your pool.
In your pool, you always want your PH levels to be 7.4. Anything above that means there isn’t enough chlorine, and anything below that number means that there’s too much.
Make sure you always test for PH levels after adding chemicals to your pool. Failing to do so can be disastrous.
Ideally, you should use at least two testers when testing for PH levels. If the two provide about the same results then you’re probably good to go. If the results are different, it’s probably a sign that something is off.
How much does it cost to maintain an above ground pool?
While inground pools are notorious for being both expensive to install and maintain, above ground pools are typically only a fraction of that cost.
Especially when it comes to maintenance, the above ground pool maintenance cost is less because you’re only looking at the cost of chemicals and occasional filters. Typically, you also spend less on these products because an above ground pool is smaller, so you use fewer chemicals that you would in a 20,000-gallon pool.
Additionally, there’s less above ground pool maintenance service that you have to do. While inground pools are prone to big problems that you can’t solve on your own, servicing an above ground pool doesn’t always require a professional.
What are the do's and don’ts of maintaining your above group pool?
When you’re installing your above ground pool and even debating how to maintain a pool, the most important thing to keep in mind is location.
It’s never a good idea to place your pool under trees because they can actually drop excess debris. Likewise, your pool should never be downwind of a tree or brush.
Also, never use mulch around your pool, since this can attract carpenter ants. These particular ants can and will chew through the material in your pool.
Ideally, while above ground pumps don't require a lot of maintenance, you do want to check up on your pump periodically to take sure it's working properly.
More importantly, don’t overlook the importance of knowing how to take care of an above ground pool in winter.
You want to invest in a pool cover to help maintain your above ground pool care for the winter.
How do you prevent algae growth in your pool?
Remember, you keep algae out of your pool by regularly cleaning it. Make sure you regularly brush your walls, vacuum, and add chlorine to your pool.
Algae can be hard to fight, however.
As another preventative measure (which is an especially good idea if you live in hot, humid regions such as Florida), you want to add algaecide to your pool. This product will help prevent the growth of any algae before it begins forming in your pool.
What is the best way to clean up a pool filter?
When it comes to swimming pool maintenance, cleaning your filter is one of the most important steps you can take.
While you can purchase replacement products for your filter, these can replacements can add up in terms of money over time.
Cleaning your filter is an easy and inexpensive way to make the most out of each cartridge.
Wondering how to maintain a pool filter? Well, there are a few ways. First, you can start by spraying down the filter with a garden hose. That will usually get the majority of debris caught in the filter.
Another way is to manually remove the debris using a scraper or brush. Most importantly, however, you want to remember to disinfect your filter by letting it sit in a bucket of chlorinated water for about a week.
How frequent should you add bleach and chlorine to your pool?
When it comes to Intex above ground pool maintenance, you don't want to overuse chlorine or bleach. Remember, too much chlorine can prove to be disastrous.
Instead, for proper swimming pool maintenance refer to a chart that tells you the amount of bleach or chlorine you should be using in correlation to the amount of water in your pool.
For above ground pool maintenance, the ideal frequency is about one per week. If you swim on a daily basis in the summer season and the weather gets extremely warm, you may want to shock your pool (using the "shock" chlorine chemical) daily.
How do you remove stains from your pool?
Getting rid of stains in your pool is going to depend on the type of stain. For most swimming pool maintenance the answer can be as simple as a adding a bit of chlorine to the stain.
For other situations, such as metal stains, getting rid of the stain can be a bit more complicated.
The best course of action is to first identify what kind of stain it is. Organic stains left by leaves are easily removed with chlorine, while some metal stains can go away by using citrus acid (usually in the form of a vitamin c tablet).
Overall, pool maintenance is all about taking the steps that help keep your pool clean. It takes a bit of dedication and can be difficult to remember at times (especially if you’re not used to having a pool) but keeping up on the maintenance is definitely worth the effort.
You’ll feel the difference in the quality of your pool and you’ll also prolong its life.
Additionally, taking these measures ensure that you side-step a lot of the problems that are often associated with above ground pools.
Given that there are so many benefits to maintaining your pool, there’s little reason not to.