Chemicals For Above Ground Pool

by Chan

I got my above ground pool last year and I fought with it all summer. I spent so much money on chemicals. (to find out that algae stays green when it is dead!)..Anyway, I have started cleaning for this summer and the best thing I could come up with is to drain it to almost empty using a vacuum so I could get all the crap out of it. Then I am going to enter the pool with a bucket and sponge and clean the sides the best I can. (over the winter it turned into a frog pond).

I had it plugged into a cord because I do not have a plug close by (I am having that fixed this year, having a line run from the breaker box to its own outdoor plug right by the pump with a timer) so last year I only ran the pump a few hours a day and some days not at all. (I think that was my biggest problem) anyways here are my questions:

1. How often should I shock the pool?

2. What is the easiest way to treat a pool?

3. I never used the ph stuff last year so what is the best way or type to use?

4. I used a pre sealed floater last year that all I had to do is put the holes in it at the mark for my pool, then when it is empty it floats on its side, is this the best way and cheapest?

5. Other than the chlorine and ph stuff is there anything else I must keep balanced? I have well water.

Sorry for all the questions but if I have to fight this thing again this year I am going to shoot holes

in it. I really love pools and love working out in a pool so I don't want to use it as target practice. If this helps I got a really big pool. It was a demo from the store so I got it for a steal! Only 800 bucks, that's why I went big! It is 54 deep and I think 32 round. Any information is a great help! I am hoping not to lose my mind this year over that pool!

Hi Chan

First off, it is not a good idea to completely drain an above ground pool. The liner will shrink and you may have to replace it. If you feel this is the only way to clean it do it quickly and get water back in it the same day. If the liner is not too old this might work.

Lack of proper filtration is probably your biggest problem. Here are two rules of thumb about filtration. The hotter it gets the longer you should run the filter each day. If your water starts to turn bad run the filter non stop until it clears up. This may take a couple of days but it is a lot cheaper than fighting algae for weeks.

My pool chemistry is very simple. I keep a floating chlorinator in the pool with several 3 inch tabs in it. I keep a container of granular chlorine handy and use it whenever my test kit reads that I am low on chlorine. Granular chlorine will give the pool a much faster boost than the chlorinator will. I also use vinyl shock treatment every two weeks all summer. If I notice any discoloration to the water I shock the pool and let the filter run until it is clear. That is all I do and I always have clear swimming water.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

How Much Liquid Shock

by Amy
(Westminster, MD)

I recently posted a question about going on vacation and not running my pool filter for 5 days while I was away. You told me to throw in a few bags of vinyl shock and keep my floater full of chlorine tabs. I appreciate the advice but have another related question.

I use liquid shock which states on the bottle that I should use 1 gallon per 20,000 gallons of water. My pool has about 11,000 gallons of water in it. How many gallons of shock can I safely put in before I leave on vacation so that the water will be okay?


Hi Amy

It sounds like 1 gallon would be a double dose, or close to it, and that should be fine. You would probably use one before you left and one when you got back.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Chlorine Filter Time

by Melissa

I have an above ground pool, 15' by 48" and I've only had it a week and I have gone through 3 chlorine tablets and the pump is barely flowing in and out of the pool. What can I use to help it work and why is it going through the tablets like this?


Here are a few suggestions. As far as the filter not flowing good, make sure the element is clean and there are no air leaks. If it is a cartridge filter, keep the cartridge clean, a sand filter should be backwashed. If you have a lint pot make sure it's clean. With everything clean, the flow you are getting is probably your maximum flow, that's what you want to try and maintain. When the flow slows down it's time to clean something.

cheap filter on above ground pool

A low flow is not necessarily bad but it does mean you have to run the system more hours a day. Some smaller systems need to run 24 hours a day in order to keep a pool clean.

Did you use stabilizer when you started the pool up? Stabilizer keeps the sun from eating up the chlorine as fast, it's a one time treatment but very important. Are you testing the water to see if the chlorine is needed or just being dissolved because it's there? If it's not needed take the tablet out part of the time.

A floating chlorinator has adjustments on the side you can set depending on the size of your pool and the amount of chlorine you want released. If you used one of these and set the openings to release only the amount you need your tabs would probably last longer.

These pages might help also.

Pool Cleaner

Above Ground Pool Mistakes

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.

Biguanide Products

I used Biguanide products in my pool the first year (2007) and pool was clear all summer. Last year (2008), I used it again and had green sides and floating white stuff in water most of the summer. I Could not even see bottom of pool. I used so much Biguanide sanitizer, algesides, and flock and nothing seemed to help. I live in Southern Illinois. Is this a bad idea to use these products in an above ground pool in Southern Illinois. If so, what do you suggest I use? My pool is 24 round, 52 deep.


My pool chemistry is very basic. I use chlorine tablets in a floating chlorinator and I use vinyl shock treatment every month. During the hotter months I shock twice a month. I always keep granule chlorine on hand for a fast boost when needed. If I check the chlorine and if it's low I add granule chlorine and refill the chlorinator with tablets. The tablets take a lot longer to raise the chlorine level when that is needed.

That's all I do and I always have clear water. One thing I attribute that to is the way I run the filter. The warmer the whether is the more hours a day I run the filter. Any time I see any sign at all of the water not being clear I run the filter nonstop until the water is clear again. That is something many people do not do when they start having water problems.

It might also be a good idea to take a water sample to several different pools stores and see what they suggest. I would visit several stores because they are all in the business of selling chemicals and it is amazing what some stores recommend to clear up your pool. Especially when all that was really needed was shock treatment and running the filter nonstop.

Check with neighbors and friends also. See what they are doing to keep their pools clean.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pool Pro.