Above Ground Pool Help

Answers To Your Questions About Pools

In this section of above ground pool help I will cover topics like heating an above ground pool, tools to install an above ground, heating your above ground pool and more.  For a complete list of questions about above ground swimming pools visit the questions index page.

9. What can I do to keep grass from growing through my vinyl liner?

Before a pool can be installed the ground must be treated for whatever kind of growth you had to clear out. Most importantly, always keep a 2' barrier around the outside of the pool free of any vegetation.

Nut grass can be particularly hard to kill.  The use of plastic under the sand base can help.  But plastic will not take the place of grass killer, you must use both.  I have seen cases of nut grass so bad that it took a concrete slab to control it.

The use of pool pads can also be helpful.

10. Do you ever give advice for do it yourselfers?

Yes. After 12 hrs in the field working I come home to 20-30 calls from customers wanting to schedule jobs or get advice on their projects. Anyone trying to do it themselves will always get all the advice I can give them. Why, well, long ago I fixed my wife's sewing machine. I thought I had done a great job, but several hundred dollars later the sewing machine repair man told my wife not to ever let her husband work on the machine again. If I had had someone to call when I had that sewing machine all over the table in a bunch of pieces I bet I could have put it back together. I don't mind being that person.

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

I have an entire section of this site designed to answer your questions.  Your question has probably already been answered if you take the time to check, if not then feel free to ask me at Ask The Pool Pro.

11. Can I install my above ground swimming pool in the ground?

above ground pool in ground
I do that a lot. It usually voids the manufactures warranty, but that's only on the pool wall, and from what I've seen, they last as long in the ground as on top. I do recommend leaving at least a foot out of the ground, 6" min. A rule of thumb is always have the water level way above the dirt backfill level. The ground on the outside of the pool tends to cave in without the weight of the water pushing against it. You should also dig the hole at least 3' bigger than the pool all the way around to facilitate installation. And never ever leave the pool sit empty.

12. Can I heat my above ground swimming pool?

Yes, there are several different options available for heating vinyl lined pools. The least expensive would be the solar cover.  For a hundred dollars or so you can expect to swim an extra month at the beginning and end of the season. They will raise the water temperature by about 10 degrees. A solar cover is a must for using any other type of heater because they help heat the pool by day and prevent heat loss by night. The next option to add are solar panels.  Your filter pumps water through the panels and back into the pool. The bigger the pool the more panels you will need. The panels can be mounted on the ground or on a roof. The most expensive way to go are the electric or natural gas heaters.  They get plumbed right into the filter system and can heat the water to any temp you desire. For colder climates and year round swimming this is the way to go.

Here are a few more things to consider when deciding how to heat your pool.

  • Solar Pool Heater: Solar pool heaters use energy from the sun to heat the water in your pool. They are eco-friendly and can help you save money on energy costs. Solar pool heaters are easy to install and require minimal maintenance.
  • Heat Pump: Heat pumps use electricity to transfer heat from the air to the water in your pool. They are energy-efficient and can heat your pool quickly. Heat pumps require professional installation and can be more expensive to operate than solar heaters.
  • Gas Heater: Gas heaters use propane or natural gas to heat your pool. They can heat your pool quickly and are effective in colder climates. Gas heaters require professional installation and can be expensive to operate.
  • Electric Heater: Electric heaters use electricity to heat your pool. They are easy to install and can heat your pool quickly. However, they can be expensive to operate and are less energy-efficient than solar or heat pump heaters.

When choosing a heating option for your above ground pool, consider factors such as your budget, climate, and pool usage. Solar heaters are a popular option for their eco-friendliness and cost savings, while gas heaters are effective in colder climates. Electric and heat pump heaters are also popular options for their ease of installation and effectiveness in heating your pool.

13. What tools would I need to install my own above ground pool?

I have a tool box with the usual stuff, screwdrivers, a hammer, tape measures, some wrenches and a roll of string. I use a lot of cordless drills. It is so much faster than putting all those screws in the old fashion way, like we did in the olden days. My most important tool is my laser level. I use it to level the ground and each individual post. Don't attempt pool construction without one. They are inexpensive to rent for a day or two and the people at the rental shop will show you how to set them up and use them. The last thing I would never leave home without is my Ryan Jr. sod cutter. I use it to cut the sod and then again to chop the dirt up for leveling and once more for packing the entire pool area before my final raking. Most rental companies handle them and will show you how to use them.

14. Does my pool have to sit on level ground?

laser level for pool
Yes, that is probably the most important part of pool building. I use a laser level for the entire pool area and then again for each individual upright. Visit my page on Leveling where I get a lot more in depth on the subject.

15. How long should my above ground pool last?

Pools will normally last between 5-15 yrs. I have seen a few rust away around the bottom in just a few years. I have seen others that are 15-20yrs old, and some much older, and doing just fine. It depends a lot on the quality of the pool and the type of dirt the pool is sitting on.

Here are some more factors that can affect the lifespan of an above ground pool:

  • Pool Materials: The quality of the pool materials can affect how long your pool lasts. Higher quality materials, such as resin or aluminum, tend to last longer than lower quality materials, such as steel or PVC.
  • Climate: The climate in your area can also affect the lifespan of your above ground pool. Extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions can cause damage to your pool, such as rust or warping.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance and cleaning can help extend the lifespan of your pool. Proper water chemistry, cleaning, and routine inspections can help prevent damage and ensure that your pool lasts as long as possible.
  • Usage: The frequency and intensity of pool usage can also affect how long your pool lasts. Pools that are heavily used or used for activities such as diving or jumping may experience more wear and tear than pools that are used less frequently.

In summary, an above ground pool can last between 10 to 25 years with proper care and maintenance. Regular inspections, cleaning, and water chemistry maintenance can help prevent damage and ensure that your pool lasts as long as possible.

16. What can I do to make my pool last longer?

First of all, don't let a leaky liner stay in your pool {the water will eat the wall away} either patch it or change it. Second, every time you change the liner examine the inside wall of your pool. If you see any rust, sand it away and spray on some rustolium. And last but not least, don't sit on or jump off the pool rails. Use a deck for this.

For more above ground pool help visit the rest of the question and answer pages.

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