Above Ground Pool Advice

Help For New Pool Owners

In this section of above ground pool advice I will cover topics like decking for above ground pools, used above ground pools, pool installation and much more.  For a complete list of questions about above ground swimming pools visit the questions index page.  If you have a question you cannot find an answer for just ask the pool pro.  Having installed above ground pools most of my life I am sure I could help you out.

17. How do I get the most life out of my liner?

Start by being very careful with hand vacuums. Scraping them against the edge of the pool will cause little holes around the outer edge. Limit the use of automatic cleaners, running them only when the pool needs cleaning and not letting them sit in one spot for too long of a time. Most cleaners will have one or two spots where they tend to get stuck or hung up. These are usually the places where holes first develop. Be careful with the chemicals you use. Make sure they are for vinyl liners and be sure whatever you put directly into the pool dissolves before it hits the bottom. Eventually the part of the liner that is above water level and exposed to the most afternoon sun will start to dry rot. This starts with just a little discoloring and many years later may start to tear or rip. You can either try to shade that area or assume that when that happens it's just time to replace the liner.

If it is that time here is good place to look for great prices. Above Ground Pool Liners (#ad)

A few more tips would include

  • Maintain Proper Water Chemistry: Proper water chemistry is essential to keep your vinyl liner in good condition. Imbalanced pH levels or excessive chlorine can cause the liner to deteriorate more quickly. Test the water regularly and adjust the chemicals as needed.
  • Keep the Pool Clean: Regular cleaning can help prevent damage to your vinyl liner. Use a pool vacuum to remove debris from the bottom of the pool and skim the surface regularly. Remove any stains or algae growth as soon as possible.
  • Avoid Sharp Objects: Vinyl liners are prone to punctures and tears from sharp objects, so be careful when using pool toys or cleaning tools. Avoid dragging heavy objects across the liner, and don't allow pets with sharp claws to swim in the pool.
  • Be Gentle During Maintenance: When performing maintenance tasks such as backwashing or vacuuming, be gentle and avoid putting excessive pressure on the liner. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean the walls and floor of the pool.

By following these tips and taking good care of your vinyl liner, you can help extend its lifespan and enjoy your above ground pool for years to come.

18. What do I do if I buy a used pool with no instructions?

Unless you know someone with a lot of experience with above ground pools or you can find a professional installer in your area you are best off trying to find a set of instructions. You should try to contact the manufacturer and order them, or search them online. Just be careful with the YouTube videos, they could lead you in all the wrong directions. There are a few sites listed on our Pool Directions page with directions that can be downloaded.

19. What types of decking are available for above ground pools?

wood deck for above ground pool

Above Ground Pool Wood Deck

There are some prefab kits available. Here is a good place to get an idea for just what is out there. Pool Decks (#ad) Some pool manufactures sell them with their pools or have them as an option add-on. Custom wood decking is always nice. To see how nice they look next to a vinyl pool check out some of the ones we have built for customers in the past. Click here to get to our deck page. It's mostly just pictures but could sure give you some ideas. Or follow this link for our FAQ's about wood decks.

Other things to consider include

  • Wood Decking: Wood is a classic decking material that is popular for its natural look and durability. Pressure-treated lumber is a popular choice because it resists rot and decay. However, wood decking does require regular maintenance, such as staining and sealing, to keep it looking its best.
  • Composite Decking: Composite decking is a popular choice for its low maintenance and durability. Made from a mixture of wood fibers and plastic, composite decking resists fading, scratching, and staining. It also doesn't require sealing or staining like wood decking does.
  • PVC Decking: PVC decking is made from 100% plastic and is highly resistant to moisture, fading, and staining. It's also very low maintenance, as it doesn't require sealing or staining like wood decking does. PVC decking can be more expensive than other decking materials.
  • Stone or Concrete Decking: Stone or concrete decking can be a beautiful and durable option for an above ground pool. It's resistant to weather, fading, and damage from pool chemicals. Stone or concrete decking can be more expensive than other decking materials and may require professional installation.

When choosing a decking material for your above ground pool, consider factors such as your budget, maintenance preferences, and aesthetic preferences. Wood decking is a classic option, while composite and PVC decking offer low maintenance alternatives. Stone or concrete decking can provide a beautiful and durable option for those who are willing to invest more.

20. Is it safe to buy a used pool?

Used above ground swimming pools can be a real money saving bargain. Unless the vinyl liner is only a few months old plan on buying a new one. The liners shrink and become brittle when the pool is drained. Along with the shrinkage you face the problem of lining up the holes cut for the skimmer and return. New pool liners install much nicer than used ones so your pool is easier to maintain. Check the sidewall and the bottom rails very closely for rust. A little rust is pretty normal and can be sanded away, but corrosion that goes through the metal anywhere is not good. Only look at pools in the 1-5 yr. range and you should not find too many rust problems. Any older than that be very careful. Plan on replacing the skimmer and return gaskets and probably the coping strips that hold the liner in place. When you anticipate the costs of the new liner, sand for the base, gaskets, coping and possibly installation you can quickly see that you should not pay too much for a used swimming pool.

21. Should I hire a professional to install my pool or do it myself?

On a few occasions I have seen do it yourselfers build their above ground pools as well as I could of. But not very often. Usually they are not as level or the bottoms are not as smooth, either wrinkly or lumpy or both. I am called into the middle of a lot of pool disasters to either finish the job or tear down and start over. I have had to finish and/or redo after a lot of so called pros also. If you hire the work out get referrals or watch closely. If you decide to do it yourself, take your time and follow the instructions. If you live in Arizona Contact me for an estimate.

Many people have found my Consulting Service priceless when installing their pool.

Other factors to consider would include

  • Experience and Skills: Installing an above ground pool requires a certain level of experience and skills, including knowledge of pool installation techniques, plumbing, and electrical work. If you have experience with similar projects and feel confident in your abilities, you may be able to install the pool yourself. If you don't have much experience or are unsure of your skills, it may be best to hire a professional.
  • Time and Availability: Installing an above ground pool can be a time-consuming process, taking several days to complete. If you have a busy schedule or limited availability, it may be more convenient to hire a professional to do the job for you.
  • Budget: Hiring a professional to install your above ground pool will add to the overall cost of the project. If you're on a tight budget and have the skills and experience to install the pool yourself, doing so can save you money.

In summary, whether to hire a professional to install your above ground pool or do it yourself depends on your experience, skills, availability, budget, and warranty requirements. If you have the necessary skills and experience, installing the pool yourself can save you money. If you're unsure of your abilities or don't have much time, hiring a professional may be the best option.


22. Does anyone make a special ladder to fit on a wood deck?

instep ladder for pool deck
Deck Ladder
Yes, deck ladders are made. Check your local pool stores, most of them carry them or could order them. When we build a deck we will either cut down and modify the existing ladder or install the customers new deck ladder. They are just half a ladder going into the pool and mounted securely onto the deck. A popular option for a deck ladder are the wedding cake steps, or similar types that sit inside the pool and allow a place to sit.

For more above ground pool questions and answers visit these pages.

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