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)
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 utube 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?
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.
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.
22. Does anyone make a special ladder to fit on a wood deck?
For more above ground pool questions and answers visit these pages
Ask the Pool Pro any question you may have about above ground pools.