Best above ground pool go to buying guide and review 2023

Searching for the best above ground pool is nearly undoable if you don’t know exactly what to look for. With hundreds of different types of above ground pools on the market, an informed decision is harder than ever. Price, durability, safety, design—these are some of the main features to consider. 

To find out the most delicate products our team talks to industry experts and real-life users from all over the US and come out with one of the best above ground pool reviews available on the internet in 2020.  

Disclaimer: Although you can buy a pool in-store, getting it online is the smarter choice—and for many reasons.

First off, most online sellers offer free shipping, so you won’t need to put yourself through moving a whole pool around.

Second, variety is online, not in-store, due to the limited display capacity in physical stores.

Third, online discounts!

Therefore, after persistent research, I want to introduce to you the 9 best above ground pools sold online:

Top above ground pool your go to buying guide

When readers of this site buy through our link, we may earn an affiliate commission. Therefore this affiliate commission never biased our product recommendation. Our motto is to promote the best products for consumers, through detail research and market analysis.

9. Intex Ultra Frame Pool Set 14ftX42in

Intex Ultra Frame Pool Set 14ftX42in
Intex Ultra Frame Pool Set 14ftX42in

This nearly 3400-gallon pool is suitable for smaller families. Around 5 people, that is. When building, its makers focused on durability; therefore, this above ground pool comes along with steel frames for added strength.

Also, this pool set includes all the basic materials: removable ladder, ground cloth, filter pump, and debris cover, to name a few. If you’re looking for a strong circular above ground pool, this one is the way to go.


  • Very strong and durable
  • High-quality filtration technology
  • Removable ladder
  • All parts are replaceable


  • Only 2 sizes in stock (14 ft x 42 in) & (16 ft X 48 in)
  • Relatively expensive
  • Can choose filter pump/sand filter pump/sand filter pump& saltwater system for different sizes / The only available pump option is “filter pump” for 41 ft x 42 in

What are the customers saying?

On a bed of mostly positive reviews, there were some negative ones also. For instance, some people claimed to receive their item with a hole in the liner. Some others claimed that their pool died down in just 2 weeks.

This is cause for worry; Intex offers a replacement to all parts of the pool, especially if it’s broken before you install it. All in all, more than 70% of the reviewers were highly satisfied by its quality and smooth installation process.

8. Intext Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool set 32ft X 16ft X 52in

Intext Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool set 32ft X 16ft X 52in
Intext Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool set 32ft X 16ft X 52in

This 8400-gallon above ground pool is quite expensive (nearly $4000). However, it is well-worth the price when you consider its size and quality equipment.

It comes along with basic ground pool materials like removable ladder, ground cloth, debris cover, filter pumps, and cleaning kits.

Not only that, though, but it is also equipped with an entire volleyball set! Personally, I really like the idea of being able to play water volleyball from the comfort of your home.

Generally speaking, if you are seeking an above ground pool with high capacity, this product has got to be the best quality for its price.


  • High capacity
  • High-quality filtration technology
  • Filter pump and saltwater system
  • Deluxe maintenance kit
  • Volleyball set
  • New dual suction to improve water circulation


  • Relatively expensive
  • Takes at least an hour to be ready for water
  • Some claim that the ladder is too small for adults

First, a lot of the customers recommend that you should dig up your backyard (if it is grassy) and level it out for the pool. Although this should be done for all above ground pools, it’s more crucial in this pool’s case. That is, given its quite large perimeter.

Now, some customers—of whom I am one—were disappointed in the quality of the ladder. It is, indeed, a bit small and unstable. Still, around 80% of the customers are highly satisfied by its durable material, strong filter, and nearly great size.

7. Intex Swimming Pool Easy Set 8ft X 30in

Intex Swimming Pool Easy Set 8ft X 30in
Intex Swimming Pool Easy Set 8ft X 30in

Yes, I know, this is the third Intex product in a row. But, then again, the company does have a variety of ground pools with great reviews. This 639-gallon above ground pool, it seems, is no exception.

As an inflatable pool that doesn’t cross the $100 bar, it’s extremely affordable. That is, if you’re looking for a short-term pool that you’ll use for a couple of years or so.

As mentioned above, this pool’s capacity is only around 640 gallons, which would fit up to around 2 children and 1 adult. Moreover, a filter pump is not included with this size, but there are different sizes that have one. All in all, affordability and ease are the two main features of this pool. If you’re looking for durability and size, this pool isn’t the right fit.


  • Extremely affordable (Under $100)
  • Easy to install/Ready in 10 minutes
  • Easy to clean


  • Filter pump not included
  • Not too durable; made mostly of vinyl

What are the customers saying?

Many people have had to go the extra mile to buy a filter, as this pool comes without one.

Despite the fact, people are loving the product! And many said that it was installation and maintenance were extremely easy. Also, most customers who bought this for their kids have claimed it to be the perfect size.

6. Bestway Steel Pro Frame Pool Set 12ft X 30in

Bestway Steel Pro Frame Pool Set 12ft X 30in
Bestway Steel Pro Frame Pool Set 12ft X 30in

Bestway is another big name in the pools department. Bey the way, like Intex, come in a variety of sizes for each one type. And, through this pool in their lineup, they have provided an option for those who want something small but at the same time deep.

Most notably, this 1710-gallon above ground pool has been Amazon’s Choice and has nearly 200 reviews (2018). It’s too deep, though, and it really is quite durable. That’s because it’s made with steel frames. Capacity-wise this pool can take up to 2 adults and 4 children, give or take. It really is a decent pool, with a little bit of everything: decent size, affordable cost, effective filter pump, and durability.

There are 3 sizes to choose from, but the cheapest (and most popular) one is the 12 feet by 30 inch pool.


  • Affordable
  • Rust resistant
  • Steel frames
  • Comes with filter pumps
  • Easy to set up and clean


  • 60 minutes to set up
  • Pump can wear out with time

What are the customers saying?

Customers are saying that this product is perfect for for the spectrum from senior adults all the way to grandchildren. Many people are loving the size and durability and have been keeping this pool for several years.

One of the biggest complaints, however, is that the filter pump is too small for the size of the pool. That meant that many had to add buy a new filter pump, adding to the overall cost. But overall, the general consensus is that this pool is extremely affordable and well worth the price.

5. Intex Metal Frame Pool Set 24ft x 52in

Intex Metal Frame Pool Set 24ft x 52in
Intex Metal Frame Pool Set 24ft x 52in

A 4,400-gallon above ground pool that swears by its strong durability, this pool is coming in with something to show. It’s stated, and rightly so, to be “triple strong,” and the laminated sidewalls are “reinforced with an all-around band.”

The pool comes with a filter pump, ground cloth, removable ladder, and a debris cover. Coming in at around the $500 bar, this pool has certainly posed a challenge for for pools at the same price tier.


  • Laminated sidewalls are twice as tough as normal pool walls
  • Convenient drain plug
  • Rust resistant
  • Steel frames
  • Easy to set up and clean


  • Filter may be small for the size of the pool

What are the customers saying?

Customers were happy with this pool and stated that it was easy to set upand required low maintenance. In other terms, most people agreed that this pool was a fantastic investment.

The most common negative reviews claimed that the pump has stopped working in a couple of uses. But as I said before, the company will provide you all the necessary replacements if this ever happens to you.

4. Cornelius Pools Phoenix 24ft x 52in

Cornelius Pools Phoenix 24ft x 52in
Cornelius Pools Phoenix 24ft x 52in

Every part of this product is manufactured with steel to promote its sturdiness. Furthermore, the company claims to have the longest warranty in the market with no extra charge.

My only downside to this product is the expensive cost and the fact that they sell their liner and skimmer separately, unlike other companies. There aren’t a lot of reviews either, but according to the existing ones, this above ground pool is well worth the price.


  • 52 inches deep
  • Easy to assemble
  • Steel construction for extreme durability


  • Nearly 1000 dollars
  • Liner and skimmer are sold separately

What are the customers saying?

There is no report of any negative reviews, and happy customers say that the shipping was fast and the pool was in amazing condition.

3. iPool D Set

iPool D Set
iPool D Set

iPool is a compact swimming pool that is specified for those who want to exercise. This product is especially perfect for athletes that are seeking to recover since swimming minimizes the harm to your joints, and helps you work out every part of your body.

They have a band that attaches to the body, so you can keep swimming in one place. The pool also comes with a water heater to provide a therapeutic, relaxing medium for your muscles all year long.


  • Swimming exercise at home
  • Pool heater
  • Compact size allows you to place it indoors if necessary


  • Small size only allows exercise
  • Installation process may be a hassle

What are the customers saying?

There has been a couple of negative incidents where the customers found a leak in their pool or had trouble with the heater. But don’t worry because it’s less than a fraction.

Most customers are highly satisfied and are claiming that it’s worth every single penny. Furthermore, many people seem to be satisfied about the pool’s heater, while only a few had some trouble making it work.

2. Wilbar Impressions Oval Above-Ground Swimming Pool (Resin Pools)

Wilbar Impressions Oval Above-Ground Swimming Pool (Resin Pools)
Wilbar Impressions Oval Above-Ground Swimming Pool (Resin Pools)

Whether you want to socialize with your friends or exercise, this beautiful 17,000-gallon oval-shaped pool is perfect for any circumstance. Yeah, that’ really something!

This pool features a super-strong steel frame for longevity and durability. Additionally, it comes with a bedrock pattern liner, which gives you the feeling of being surrounded by pebbles and seashores. That’s really something! Again!


  • Resin coated steel
  • Aesthetic bedrock pattern liner
  • Big size is suitable for any circumstance


  • Does not come with a ladder
  • Expensive

What are the customers saying?

The customers are happy with the aesthetics and durability of the product. There has been no complaints so far, so this is a safe option to go for if you are searching for an oval shaped above ground pool.

1. Summer Waves Elite Wicker Print 16ft X 48in

Summer Waves Elite Wicker Print 16ft X 48in
Summer Waves Elite Wicker Print 16ft X 48in

This 1,500 gallon above ground pool comes with a filter pump, pool cover, ladder, ground cloth, and a maintenance kit. They even have a built-in skimmer vacuum system, which will make your life a lot easier.


  • Highly durable metal frame
  • Under $500
  • Provides everything (filter, pool cover, cloth etc.) along with the pool
  • Removable ladder


  • May have weak filter

What are the customers saying?

There aren’t any notably bad reviews, but some reviews claim that the filters are too small for the size of the pool.

This has been noted with other popular brands like Intex as well, and it seems to be a common downside for many brands. Most of the reviews are positive and affirm the pool’s durability, and others even say that they had it for years without any trouble.

Complete Buying Guide

Before the big decision

So, in short, what is the best above ground pool? What is the best above ground swimming pool to buy? Which portable swimming pool is the best?

The same questions in different words have the same answer.

Yeah, I know these are the questions roaming in your head now. Here is the answer in short and to the point.

You’ve seen all the best above ground pools above, and now you have to filter them out according to your own needs. Here are some major things anyone should consider when buying above ground pools.


This is a big one. Everyone wants something that is high quality and within budget. What is your budget? Are you able to afford a $1000 pool? If you have the money and you plan on buying one of the expensive options above, I will tell you to go for it because it’s well worth the money! However, if you’re like me and you want to play it safer, choose the more affordable ones.

Best Cheapest Above Ground Pool: Intex Swimming Pool – Easy Set, 8ft.x30in.”

Best Expensive Above Ground Pool: Robelle 18-Foot-by-33-Foot Oval Above-Ground Swimming Pool

Overall the Best Affordable Above Ground Pool: Bestway Steel Pro 12’ x 30” Frame Pool Set


Think of your purpose for buying the above ground pool. Is it to have a party with a group of friends? Or is it for play-times with your child? You probably already have your answers—more people, bigger pool. But the number of people using the pool shouldn’t be the only factor to determine the size of your pool.

For instance, are you buying a pool to sit around in the hot sun or are you thinking of making laps back and forth? If you want to exercise and make laps around the pool, go for the rectangular one. If you want to paddle a bit and just float around, get an oval/circle shaped pool.

Best Circle Above Ground Pool: Intex 15ft 48in Metal Frame Pool Set

Another is “Best Oval Above Ground Pool: Wilbar Impressions 18-Foot-by-33-Foot Oval Above-Ground Swimming Pool

Best Rectangular Ground Pool: Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool”


Safety is largely relevant to whether you have a child or not. If the above ground pool is safe, it should at least have a height that is higher than a child’s, so it prevents them from accidentally falling inside. Just make sure to check if your above ground pool’s description states that it’s suitable for your child’s age.

After purchasing the pool, you should take in consideration of the water quality and pH levels to maintain a safe environment for everyone. However, since you haven’t purchased your above ground pool yet, you should start thinking about the specs of your potential pool.

Best Child-Safe Above Ground Pool: Intex Swimming Pool- Easy Set, 8ft.x30in


Let’s say you bought a cheap pool of a low quality. If you plan on using it for the long term, it won’t work out pretty well. You’ll end up spending extra money on repairs, so be considerate of the above ground pool’s quality before you make a purchase.

Nowadays, a lot of above ground pools are made with resin material, which is known to be highly durable. Vinyl and plastic are easily ripped and they also leak a lot, but they are greatly considered due to their affordability.

Best Durable Above Ground Pool: Intex 15ft X 48in Metal Frame Pool Set

Cornelius Pools Phoenix 24′ x 52″ Above Ground Swimming Pool

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best above ground pool filter?

Let’s find out the best above ground pool filter. There are three main filters when it comes to above ground pools: sand filter, cartridge filter, and D.E. filter. Sand Filters are most common and are noted as the standard because they are highly effective and have the lowest cost. They use a special type of sand called silica sand, which is designed to capture microscopic debris in the pool water.

This sand does not capture smaller particles like a cartridge or a D.E. filter, but it still helps maintain a healthy water system. Furthermore, this system is easy to operate and allows you to easily switch between various operations such as backwashing.

Cartridge Filters can capture super microscopic debris that a sand filter can’t catch, but it still has trouble catching anything smaller. A D.E. filter is suitable to catch anything smaller than super-microscopic debris. This filter is built quite similar to an air filter, but it uses different materials to catch the debris in the pool water.

Cleaning a cartridge filter is easy and all you have to do is remove the tank and spray it with a garden hose. One major drawback is that when the water gets dirtier than usual, the cartridge filter can get clogged pretty easily.

D.E. Filters do the best job in removing the smallest debris that other filters fail to remove. The D.E. stands for “diatomaceous earth” and it uses a powder with extremely small openings to perform like a sponge. Though it’s highly efficient in removing the smallest of microscopic debris, it isn’t the most recommended filter system due to its high cost. In terms of cleaning, you must be able to clean the system properly according to the guidelines to avoid any damage.

Each of these systems can be optionally closed for the winter. This is called “winterization”, and each filtration system has a different method for preparing for the winter.

A sand system must have all the water and drain plugs out of the tank. If you fail to remove all the water from the tank, you might end up bursting the tank.

The cartridge system’s winterization method is quite similar to the sand filter’s method. You need to first drain out all the water and bring it inside for the wintertime.

The D.E. filter should be taken apart, and all its water and powder must be removed. It should be kept indoors for the winter, and you should constantly pay attention to the lining system inside the filter and make sure to replace the item if necessary.

There you have it! The difference between the 3 main filters for your above ground pool and the generic steps to take care of them during the winter. I have made a quick chart for you to summarize my points.

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Do I need to be a professional to install an above ground pool?

Nope! Whether you’re a work-at-home mom or a busy student, you can install it without much of a hassle. Most above ground pools you see online are DIY (Do It Yourself), and many of them come along with an instructional DVD.

However, if you are still concerned, you can definitely hire an expert. Check out this link ( to find a professional installer in your area. Above ground pool installers are highly in demand, especially during the summer. Therefore, if you choose to use their service, make sure to book a little bit earlier.

What about hiring a professional to maintain the cleanliness of my pool?

It is recommended to hire a professional if you don’t have enough time to do thorough research on maintaining your pool. If you fail to put enough care into your above ground pool, you will end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars to fix it, and you may even end up throwing the whole pool away. Thankfully, you can avoid all of this by hiring a professional! After all, maintaining a pool is not an easy task.

How do you install an above ground pool?

The instructions vary depending on what you have, of course. But let me tell you the generic steps.

Before you start building your above ground pool, it is ideal to mark its position on the ground. I don’t recommend using paint, because it will probably stay on there for a long time. Funny as it sounds, you can try placing toilet paper in the designated areas. If that’s too ridiculous, you should consider putting some flowers or leaves to mark your pool’s position. I recommend using anything that won’t permanently change or ruin your yard.

Now, once you have placed the markings, you probably won’t be quite impressed: most people tend to think the size is too small and different from what they had imagined. However, most of these people get surprised once the above ground pool is finally built up. Trust me, the actual above ground pool looks bigger than the markings you see on the ground.

Here, I will show you the generic steps of installing a pool. Your pool might not even have some of the equipment mentioned here, so make sure to read the instructions that come along with your kit. It takes up to 2 hours to do this entire process.

  1. If you have a grassy yard, you should get rid of the grass in the pool’s area and level it out like in the picture below. Skip this part if you have a cement or rocky surface.
  2. After this part is done, lay down the pool’s tarp if necessary. Some instructions don’t recommend using tarps, so use your best judgement.
  3. Then, lay down the pool’s liner.
  4. If your pool comes with poles or braces, start putting them inside the pool liner. In this part, you’re basically building the frame of the pool.
  5. Connect the poles’ joints and secure them with pins.
  6. Put in the vertical support poles to make the pool stand up.
  7. Further secure your above ground pool with bands if necessary.
  8. Stretch out the bottom of your pool (liner) so that it doesn’t become permanently wrinkled.
  9. Begin to fill up the pool with water.
  10. Insert your outlet, hose, and inlet.
  11. Connect the pump to the hoses.
  12. Install the skimmer and connect the hose.
  13. Fill up your filter with appropriate material (example: fill sand filter with sand).
  14. Enjoy your time inside the pool!

How long does an above ground pool last?

Though most above ground pools last for around 5 years, the best quality pools can last up to 20 years!

What is the best permanent above ground pool?

The best above ground pools which have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years is called the best permanent above ground pool. Most of the above ground pool we picked in this review has excellent durability.

Who makes the best above ground pools?

Several reputed above ground pool manufacturers are doing their business for decades. Most are popular. We know the names, some of the names may be unfamiliar to you.

Atlantic Pools

They started manufacturing in 1930, one of the world’s oldest above ground pool producers. They segmented their above ground pools into 2 categories- 1. Atlantic Pools, 2. Specialty Pools.

Aqua Leader

Started their operation in 1975, situated in Montreal, Canada. Invented the synthetic resin above ground pools in 1986. Variety, durability, and design is their strength. They are the sister concern of Wilbar Group.

Intex Pools

Probably, Intex is the most common and famous name in the above-ground pool industry. They manufacture- ground pools, airbeds, air furniture, floats & toys, pumps, spas, and sporting goods. Intex started its operations in 1970.

Fitmax pool

Fitmax above ground pool is designed to bring a new concept to the industry. Its size can easily fit in your home, garage, or backyard. Easy installation, affordable prices, and some fitness accessories make it a unique brand. Fitmax is a California-based company.


It’s corporate headquarter is in Connecticut, the store is located on Washington street Auburn and Central Avenue Colonie. Namco manufactures all kinds of the above ground pools, accessories, chemicals, and related products.

What kind of surface should I place my above ground pool on?

Okay, so I noticed that some people install their above ground pools in their grassy backyard, but this is probably not the best choice. The grass will keep growing under the pool and stick in between the liners.

This environment leads to attracting a bunch of insects and especially a lot of bees! If you have grass in your backyard, then make sure to get rid of it in the area where you’re about to place your pool. You should be able to place your above ground pool in an area with solid, levelled dirt.

Most above ground pool instructions also advise avoiding mushy and soft surfaces like mud, sand, and loose soil. Placing it on such mediums will make your above ground pool unstable and rather wobbly. So, what is the best surface to place the pool on? The best surface to place your above ground pool on would be a surface of a rocky and solid texture. If you have artificial grass, that is also fine as well since the grass won’t grow into your pool.

What is the best size of an above ground pool?

This completely depends on what you have and what you want. If you have a big yard and enough money, you should definitely go for the bigger size. Even if the pool is for just 2 people, I would rather purchase a big one where I can always host larger groups—or even just swim back and forth! If you are on a budget or have a small yard, you should go for the smaller and more budget-friendly ones.

How big does my yard need to be?

It depends on the shape of your above ground pool.

Round pools are designed to hold the water pressure in the pool pushing out against the wall. This means that they don’t need any additional braces to hold in the pressure, therefore you can simply add 3 feet to your round pool’s diameter to estimate your yard’s size. For example, if the diameter of your round above ground pool is 25 feet, you will need at least a 28 feet yard. That extra 3 feet of space is all you need to fit your desired above ground pool.

Ovals are quite different. By nature, an oval-shaped pool will want to pop out like a circle when experiencing pressure. That’s why many pool companies have straps and bracings to lock the sides together and prevent the shape from popping out.  If you give a look at the picture below, there are braces on the sides of the pool, but not at the tips of the oval.

We can use the same logic above and add 3 feet to the area that has no braces. So, for example, if your oval pool is 17 x 33, you should add 3 feet to the long end (33 feet +3 feet). On the sides, however, we should consider adding more space, since there are braces. Most braces should come out shorter than 3 feet.

Though not all oval above ground pools come with braces, you should still consider adding 3 feet to the sides because the structure of these pools has a security bar underneath. Many people assume that it is okay to “squeeze” an oval-shaped pool into their small backyard just because it doesn’t have braces.

As mentioned, this simply won’t work because of the bars underneath the ground. You must always take in consideration of the structure and familiarize yourself with the product before making a purchase.

Rectangular pools also have braces just like the oval ones, so you should consider adding 6 feet to each side as well.

Here is a summary:

Circle  Add 3 feet to the diameter.

Oval Add 3 feet to the ends and 6 feet to the sides.

Rectangle Add 6 feet to the sides.

Which is better for sanitization, Salt or Chlorine?

You should choose what to use for sanitization before you even start installing your above ground pool.  A lot of people debate on which is better, but in my opinion, they are quite similar.

As a matter of fact, salt (sodium chloride) produces chlorine; therefore, you’re actually using chlorine in both cases. When you ionize salt, you are left with chlorine. In other words, the chlorine that is sold in stores is made from salt!


Let’s start off with salt. First, you must have an all resin pool and an external saltwater system to use this method. If you are considering using salt for the sanitization system when you don’t have the right materials, that will lead to more damages and you’ll end up spending more money in the long term. So, let’s get to the point.

Most people worry that their pool water will become salty like seawater if they use salt as their sanitization. Actually, after using salt for sanitization in the pool, the pool’s water will still be around 20 times LESS saltier than seawater, and therefore you won’t even be able to tell that there’s salt in the water.

As the saltwater pumps through your filter system, the salt gets ionized and you’re left with chlorine. The chlorine from salt is far less (only 30%) than using chlorine directly to sanitize the pool, thus many people use it as a “healthy” alternative since too much chlorine can harm your skin if used improperly.

Furthermore, using the salt method requires less maintenance than using the chlorine one—just throw in salt at the beginning and add a bit more every month or two.


Chlorine has been around forever and is more popular in the pool business because of its reliability and effectiveness. The crazy thing is that the moment you put chlorine into your pool, it will kill all the bacteria in less than 0.5 seconds (don’t forget that salt can also become chlorine but has much less concentration).

You should always be aware that chlorine is still a harsh chemical, and, if abused, it will cause harmful effects, such as skin irritation. Using salt reduces this risk because it produces only a fraction of chlorine.

Here is a quick chart for those of you who don’t have enough time to read all of that:
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In my personal opinion, the only downside to using salt for the sanitization system is that it requires an external system, which can cause problems if used improperly.
Here is a quick chart for those of you who do

What are the best above ground pools with decks?

Most above ground pools we picked come with a ladder. But for your comfort and beautification, you can choose your preferred deck from a wide range of varieties on Amazon.

What is the best above ground pool for dogs?

Ohh, we love our pets. Dogs? They are the members of our family. We care for them. For this reason, our team researched and picked the best above ground pool for dogs only, please read the article in our blog.

Daily Checklist To Maintain Your Pool After Buying an Above Ground Pool

Setting up your pool was a lot of work, but don’t think that you’re completely done. Having a pool requires a lot of care unless you’re willing to spend some extra cash on hiring professionals to do this for you.

Still, you should check the status of your pool at least once a week to maintain it in a healthy and safe condition.

Here are the main things you should check daily:

  • Test the pH level
  • Test the chlorine level
  • Check the colour of your pool
  • Run the filter for 12-18 hours if necessary
  • Check if vacuuming is required
  • Check filter’s operation
  • Brush the pool if necessary
  • Use algaecide/metal control/stain removal/clarifier if necessary
  • Check pump operation and water circulation

How to clean a cloudy pool?

Thankfully, you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to identify why your pool became mysteriously cloudy one morning. There are two main reasons why you have a cloudy pool.

If your pool became cloudy suddenly without you even noticing it, it is likely because of the high pH levels. If your pool became cloudy gradually, this is due to the microscopic debris in the water. For better diagnosis, we need to first test the water with the pH water.

Any human or animal that swims in a pool with a pH higher than 7.7 can develop intense skin irritations and red eyes. Therefore, the pH level of any pool must be between 7.2 and 7.6. When you put in a lot of chlorine (white powder) into your pool, it will dissolve, and you won’t be able to see it until the water’s pH level gets high.

When the pH level increases, that dissolved white powder turns quite milky, and that is the cause of your cloudy water. In order to prevent this from happening, purchase a pH decreasing solution (like muriatic acid) and pour it according to the size of your pool.

But what if your pool’s pH level is normal? Then your pool is likely cloudy from microscopic debris. There are different solutions to different variations of cloudiness caused by microscopic debris.

If your pool is mildly cloudy and has a sand filter

You will have to buy a water clarifier. Once you’re done with the purchase, you should then backwash the filter, pour the required amount of water clarifier and run the pump constantly until the cloudiness clears out.

Keep in mind that this method only works for mild conditions. It’s also very important that you have a sand filter. Make sure to constantly backwash once a day until your pool clears up. Or else, the circulation in your filtration system will stop working!

If your pool is mild to extremely cloudy and you have a cartilage or D.E. filter AND you are in a rush:

Is your birthday party coming up soon and you have to clean the pool ASAP? Or do you have some friends or family coming over for the summer? This method is best if you are in a rush. First, clean your filter and purchase a pool floc. Then, pour in the required amount of floc into your pool and run the pump for at least 3 hours.

After you stop the pump, the floc will make the pool’s microscopic debris become much denser, and that will allow it to sink to the bottom overnight.

You will see that your pool looks much clearer, but it will now become a bit unclean at the bottom. All you have to do now is vacuum the debris. If you use a sand filter, there is a risk of vacuuming the debris right back to your filtration system! There should be a setting for “waste” in your sand filter.

The filter will suck the water through the vacuum system and shoot the debris right out to the backwash port. Since you’re losing a lot of water in the vacuuming process, it is ideal to fill up the pool a bit higher than usual.

If your pool is mild to extremely cloudy and you are not in a rush:

If you have a couple of spare days and want the pool to clean on its own, use this method because it’ll be far less work for you. First of all, clean your filter like always. Then shock the pool ONLY if your free chlorine level is low or normal. There is really no use in shocking the pool if the chlorine level is already high.

Shocking the pool will basically oxidize all of the microscopic debris in your pool and dissolve the existing debris forever. A high chlorine level is ideal to eat up all the microscopic debris in your pool.

After you shock the pool, run the pump without stopping until the pool clears up. Furthermore, you must continue to clean the pool’s filter twice a day until the pool is cleared up. This speeds up the cleaning process and makes your circulation strong and healthy.

Forever Avoid A Green Above Ground Pool

If your chlorine level drops below a certain level, algae will start forming inside of your pool’s water. It would be impossible for algae to remain in your pool if your chlorine level was at the right spot.

Sure, you can use all the products that kill your algae, however, the main root of this problem lies in the chlorine level. So, here are the three main reasons why your chlorine levels are dropping:

Heavy USAGE of the pool: I’m not talking about one person simply swimming for 5 hours in the pool, but I’m mainly talking about different people staying inside of the pool all day long. If 20 people are going to sit inside the pool all day, I can guarantee that your pool’s chlorine level will drop.

Extreme amount of RAIN: Do you happen to live in an area like Seattle where it rains all day long? I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re at a risk. If your above ground pool receives continuous rain for days, the water’s chlorine level will drop drastically.  

Extreme amount of HEAT: I’m mentioning extreme heat that goes on for many hours.

If this case describes your situation, you should let your pump run all night and add a bit of chlorine powder into your skimmer or water. If you use a salt system, you should be able to turn your switch to shock your pool, so it pumps the chlorine back in.

*You should use this method in only extreme situations. If you regularly use this in mild or normal circumstances, your chlorine level will start dropping more quickly and fail to withstand extreme environments.

Draining Your Above Ground Pool

If you have a main drain that comes with your above ground pool, draining your water should be fairly easy.

If you don’t have a main drain, then you should use a “sump pump.” You basically put this pump on your cover and pump your water after connecting the hose. I personally don’t recommend that you purchase a brand-new sump pump because they can get pretty pricey (around $300), so you should consider renting one instead for about 40 dollars a day.

If you don’t want to use either of these methods, throw in a garden hose and get the siphon going! You have to do this manually and constantly make sure to not swallow any water.

Furthermore, some people like to slash their liners to drain the pool, but I never recommend this to anyone. It will take forever to drain hundreds of gallons of water through that slash and ultimately, it will completely mess up your ground. You’ll be stuck with so much mud if you do this on a dirt surface!

Moving Your Above Ground Pool

Okay, so you had your above ground pool for about 5 years and you want to sell it online or give it to a friend. You might be wondering if this is even possible.

Before we start, you have to first accept that you are going to damage your liner (regardless of its age) when you’re removing the water from the pool. Buying a new liner is not even an option when you’re considering moving your entire above ground pool; it’s mandatory.

If you had your pool for long enough, the material must be worn out due to chlorine’s acidic components. Therefore, you should realize beforehand that the pool is much more fragile than when you first bought it. You should be more gentle with them when you pack or reinstall your above ground pool.

One of the biggest problems that people have when moving their above ground pools is losing small particles that are essential to the pool’s structure. So when you’re moving your pool, always keep this in mind and double-check before you make the next move!

*If you have a sand filter, your filter may already be holding up to 250 pounds of sand! You should try to drain and dump the sand out before you move the filter around. Once you set it back up at your new location, you can then fill up the filter with sand again.

Main Winterization Methods

Woah! Is it winter already? Many first-time above ground pool users hesitate when they approach their first winter. “Is it okay to leave my pool as it is? Will my filter freeze? Will something explode?” Hopefully, I can answer all of your concerns about winterization in this one section.

If I miss anything, please feel free to tell me in the comment section. Here are the four ways people treat their pools in the winter.

  1. Leave the pool open

This is becoming more popular as the trend of chilling—quite literally—outside in the winter gains more momentum. Some people don’t like the idea of having a cover on top of the pool, so they add a fountain for aesthetics.

If you happen to like this option, you must continue to periodically manage your pool and sanitize it.

You will be doing everything you have done throughout the summer, but with much less sanitiser since algae can’t grow under 60 degrees. When you’re leaving your pool open for the winter, you must have your pump and filter system running constantly (24/7), or the plastic will burst out from the weather.

You do NOT want to start off your season by purchasing a new filter pump that can cost more than $500!

  1. Leave a thick winter cover on top of your pool

This method is one of the most common methods out there. A solid cover dedicated to a pool’s winterization (it’s basically like a round tarp) will prevent rainwater, snow, or any debris from getting into the water.

Since these elements add weight once it starts piling up on top of your winter cover, you must remove and brush them out periodically to prevent it from tearing the cover apart.

  1. Leave a mesh cover on top of your pool

People go for this option because they don’t have to pump the water off the cover throughout the winter season. The mesh cover will allow rain to drop into your pool. It will also collect any leaves or particles flying around in the air. If you use this method, however, there is a high chance that you’ll start your spring season with green water.

Try to close your pool late and open it early so that the algae won’t have enough time to build up inside of the pool.

  1. Leave a mesh cover AND a solid winter cover on top of your pool

Now, this method requires buying two covers, and you might be wondering if this is even necessary. Of course, it’s not necessary, but it’s the most effective method if you tend to get a lot of winter debris! And trust me, using this method will make your life a lot easier.

The solid cover will be put down first and it will block out any substance like rain or snow from getting into your pool. Then, the mesh cover will collect debris (like fallen leaves). You will be able to easily remove the covers once again.

The Bottom Line

Nowadays, you don’t have to drive 20 miles just to cool off at a beach in the steaming summer. If you invest in an above-ground pool, you can find this same experience in the comfort of your own home.

All above ground pools we mentioned here are proven to be high-quality and effective. But at the end of the day, the best above ground pool comes down to your own individual needs. I simply hope that this article helped you narrow down your selection and gave you insight into maintaining your new product.