Advice For First Time Pool Owner

by Hugh
(Burlington, Ontario, Canada)

I just bought and set up my first above ground pool. It is metal frame, 15ft x 42" (approx 4,000Gal). I filled it 2 days ago and put in the chemicals yesterday. I put in SHOCK and also an algaecide.

I have a few questions and would really appreciate some advice on running the pool.

Q1 - How many hrs a day do I need to have the filter running...
a - if pool is not in use?
b - if pool is in use?

Q2 - As mentioned I SHOCKED the pool and it is now between 3 and 5 ppm Chlorine. The Ph is in the ideal range. I have not yet put separate Chlorine in as I need to buy a floater. Do I need to use SHOCK going forward combined with Chlorine OR just Chlorine or just SHOCK. I am confused as to the difference between the two and what they each do.

Q3 - my filter states that it is never to be used when the pool is in use, but it also comes with a sprinkler attachment which is presumably to shoot water in the pool for fun. Why provide an attachment to be used for fun in the pool if you are not allowed use the device when the pool is occupied?????

Q4 typically, how many times a week to do I need to check the pool with a kit?

Any other simple steps to run a fun pool for the spring and summer are most welcome.



Hi Hugh. You should probably test the water every couple of days for a while. Soon enough you will know just once the pool needs and be fine with a once a week testing. Me, I never test, I know by looking at my water just what it needs. Please, don't ever think you are that smart, cause it is not the correct way to maintain a pool.

The sprinkler thing is an aerator meant for cooling down the temperature of the pool, not for playing under. If you use it all night, which is the best time to run the filter, the cool air gets brought back into the water lowering the temperature. You will want to use this during the hottest months of the year. In my case, I never used one, even in Arizona, the water stayed just right all summer long.

It is a good thing to shock your pool every couple of weeks during the hottest part of the summer. Once a month is recommended the rest of the year. This should be done in addition to your normal chlorine.

The first time you fill the pool it is recommended that you use a stabilizer. This is a one time deal to keep the sun from eating away your chlorine so fast.

The length of time to run the filter will vary. It varies from month to month, pool to pool, and filter to filter. Here are some good rules of thumb. The bigger the system the less hours a day you need to run it. The hotter the outdoor temperature is the more hours a day you need to run it. You may start at six hours a day and graduate to twelve during the hot months. It’s very possible that fifteen or more is what it takes to keep the water clear.

If you start having water clarity problems, and the chemicals test OK, run the filter more hours a day. This is usually all it takes.

Here is a tip few people know. If your water turns cloudy, or green, or any other color, leave the pump running twenty four seven until the water is clear. It is not uncommon for people with smaller systems to run them twenty four hours a day all summer. If that's what it takes to keep the water clean, and the kids swimming, that's just what it takes.

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