Above Ground Pool Tips

Help For Pool Owners

In this section of above ground pool tips I will answer questions regarding filling your above ground pool, going on vacation, filter hose and more topics regarding your pool.  For a complete list of questions about above ground swimming pools visit the questions index page. Hundreds more above ground pool questions are answered in the ask the pool pro section.  Your pool questions are more than welcome and have helped to build the best above ground pool resource on the web.

35. How big of a hole can be patched in a vinyl liner?

I have patched holes the size of a skimmer opening on many occasions. So unless your seam split wide open, or a tree fell in your pool and caused a three foot tear, or the top 6" of your pool is dry rotting and tearing all around your pool, the hole can probably be patched. With a hole the size of a skimmer I would take the liner out and place it on a small piece of plywood. Then I would glue the patch on the backside of the liner, put another piece of plywood on top and weight it down with a heavy block. In 24 hrs. your pool liner will be ready to reinstall. With smaller holes that you can see it is best to leave the liner and the water in the pool. Use goggles and place the patch over the hole and when you come up for air stick your big toe on the patch and hold for a couple of minutes. The hardest ones to patch are the ones you can't see. Holes caused by cleaners or grass can be a real pain. What you do is drain the pool completely, remove three top rails, crawl in underneath the liner and examine the underside. You can easily see any holes because they will be the only rays of light in a very dark area. Once you find them go ahead and patch them from the underside of the liner. Done that way the patches will never be seen and will last forever. Cut your patches in 1" round shapes. When working underneath a liner, clean any sand away from the area, then apply the glue directly to the liner. Hold the patch in place until it stays by itself. When working with multiple holes, like 25-50 or so, it is very important to come out for fresh air occasionally. The fumes are very powerful and can create quite a buzz. Always use liquid patch glue. The stick on patches never work for very long, emergency use at best. The brand I like best is Boxer. It comes with clear vinyl for patch material but it is not long before the vinyl becomes discolored. The original vinyl from your liner is the best patch material. I can think of three ways to get original vinyl. You can save the material from your skimmer and return openings for later use. You could remove a couple of top rails, rods and coping and get some of the liner that should be overlapped to the inside of the pool wall. Or some dealers save a few defective liners for the purpose of cutting into squares and selling as patch material. Please note that when draining pools the vinyl will shrink the longer the pool sits empty. Do your repairs quick and refill as quickly as possible and never drain the water down into a deep area.

Boxer - 4 oz Vinyl Swimming Pool Liner Repair Kit  (#ad)

36. Is it o-k to let my dogs swim in my above ground pool?

That question quickly brings two customers to mind. The first one was a man with a big German Sheppard and a 16' x 32' above ground swimming pool. Every day they would swim 30 laps together. They both loved it and it was great exercise. The second one I'll never forget is the lady who built a set of very large steps leading up to the pool. Many times of day her three dogs would walk up the steps, jump into the pool, swim to the ladder and climb out. They were in for all of 10 seconds but that was enough to cool off. Last year I forced my Husky to come for a swim with me, with me holding on to her, but before she could get out she had torn a nice hole in the side of the pool liner. My wife used to raise swimming cats. So anything is possible, just go slow and be careful. As far as the hair and extra dirt and stuff, the filters sold with above ground pools are usually high quality state of the art devices that don't mind a little dog hair or extra dirt. A pool pet ramp might be helpful also.

37. Does the size of the top rail really matter?

above ground pool top rail
Good question. I have installed pools with 2" top rails and pools with 12" top rails. Properly installed they will hold up equally well. So the difference would fall into two categories. First being looks. The wider the top railing of the pool the nicer and richer it looks. The second being use of the railings. The wider and stronger rails can be walked on and sat on with no damage. Thinner or smaller rails will not hold human weight without causing damage to the rail itself or even the pool wall.

38. My only source of water is my well. How should I fill my pool?

That is my situation also. I took my time and filled my pool over a period of several days. I didn't want to completely delete my holding tank or overwork my main or secondary pumps. Most of my customers don't want to wait that long to use their new pool. Water haulers will normally charge between $50.00 and $75.00 for 2,000 gallons of water. They will pump it directly into your pool and normally it just takes a few loads and you can be swimming the same day. The kids like that.

39. What is the best type of hose to use for the filter hookup?

pool filter hose
I love the flexible PVC pipe. It lasts a lot longer than the flexible hose most often sold with above ground pool filter kits, and still gives a little flex to the pool walls that the solid PVC pipe does not. Flex PVC is used a lot in the spa industry for wrapping around the exterior of spas and hooking to all their jets. It comes in a 11/2" width that adapts to all swimming pool plumbing. For a Doughboy system you would need to buy the hard plumb adapters and use 11/2"couplers to convert to flex pipe. Most all filters accept 1/1/2" male adapters at their intake and return ports. Above ground swimming pool filters are more often than not coming equipped with automatic timers. These are great but if your flexible hose cracks in the middle of the night causing your filter to run dry for hours, that could be costly. My advice would be if you are using a pool filter timer be sure to use flex PVC.

40. What should we do with our above ground pool when we go away?

If you have your chlorinator full of tablets, your filter timer set, a water leveler and solid or flex PVC plumbing on the filter your pool should be able to take care of itself for a couple of weeks. The most common problems people have with leaving pools unattended are as follows. If the filter does not get run daily the water could turn green. If the water level gets too low the filter will run dry and burn up. If the pool does not get enough chlorine the water will turn cloudy or green. If a flex hose in the filter system springs a leak the filter will run dry and burn. Of course having someone check in on your pool every few days is a great idea, and be sure to take all the safety measures you can. Make sure your gates are locked and the ladder is out of the pool or in the safety position.

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