Don’t you think it is more difficult to maintain something than owning it? Well, it goes the same with having a pool in a house. While installing a pool whether it is above ground pool or in ground pool it is always better to think about the maintenance before choosing the way of installation. There are some common above ground pool maintenance mistakes that can be troublesome for you later. So, while installing an above ground pool you must have some considerations and maintenance ways not much similar to the in ground pool. But there are some similar maintenance tactics for both types of pools available.
Top 14 Common Above Ground Pool Maintenance Mistakes
Above ground pools are made way above the ground unlike the in ground pools. So, for proper maintenance, it requires some extra considerations and maintenance tactics. At first, while deciding to buy an above ground pool you must consider few things like durability, easy to set up, and most importantly maintenance over time. Swimming pool maintenance for beginners can be tricky but with time they can get to know about all the nitty-gritty of it. There are so many pool maintenance kits available in the market. There are also so many swimming pool maintenance companies to help you out.
However, in this particular article, we would like to cover all common above ground pool maintenance mistakes as well as major common mistakes for all sorts of pools. Along with the mistakes there come some solutions too. What is the point of making mistakes when we fail to learn anything out of it. Learning in the process of rectifying the mistake is the biggest achievement of them all.
Those maintenance mistakes and solutions to those mistakes are:
1. Draining the Pool with Water Completely
Unlike the in ground pool draining the pool with water completely can be absolutely a bad idea. It should not be done at any time unless it is done by a professional. Like an in ground pool, an above ground pool doesn’t have a solid wall or surface. This feature makes it vulnerable enough. This pool’s overall structure depends on the volume and weight of the water. So if it is drained it can cause danger of collapse.
For avoiding this mistake you should drain the water in the pool according to the advice of a professional. Moreover, when you decide to close an above ground pool for winter, you should drain the water some inches below the skimmer. This will assure the water doesn’t go inside the pump or other components during that time.
2. Standing on the Edges of the Pool
This is undoubtedly one of the most common above ground pool maintenance mistakes. Above ground pools are designed opposite to those of in ground pools. So naturally, the wall or the edges of the pool can’t hold the weight of a person. Any sort of weight above them can cause serious damage to the pool. This can compromise with the structure and create a serious slipping hazard.
With the built-in design of the above ground pool it can be very difficult for you to enter into the pool without harming the pool as it is much above the ground. But with the help of the above ground pool friendly ladder or any adjacent deck, you can enter into the pool without causing any harm to the pool. This will provide easy and safe access to the pool to the swimmers.
3. Avoiding to Kick Off the Sides
An above ground pool has a different installation process. After being properly installed an above ground pool can handle regular swimming activities. You can easily maintain your every day swimming activities in an above ground pool. Yet, unlike an in ground pool, there is not much wall support for an above ground pool. So if the swimmer kicks the side of the pool it will gain momentum. Enough of such repeated force against the wall can cause the havoc of the collapse of the pool. It can be extremely dangerous for the swimmers and the home nearby.
To avoid such accidents the swimmers are advised not to kick off the sides of the pool. Stay far from the sides of the wall while swimming will be safer for you.
4. Neglecting Landscape while Installation
Ground pool installation is not an easy process to do. There are so many small details should be considered while installing it. For installation, it is always better to hire a professional. A professional with his experience can build it without error.
At the time of Installing above ground pool creating a landscape around the pool is important. Trust me, if it is not done the grass can grow through your pool liner. It will eventually cause leaks. Thorns from trees and other natural stuff can also pose a threat to your pool. So for keeping these things safe, it is advised to hire a professional.
Hiring a professional is the only way out. He will be able to figure out ways to avoid such common above ground pool maintenance mistakes. A professional pool company or a professional will completely flatten and compress the land where your pool will be installed. These works will prevent the growth of unwanted grass under the pool. Thus, it will reduce the chances of damage to the above ground pool of yours.
5. Adding Chemicals to Pool Water Directly
One of the common above ground pool maintenance mistakes is, adding chemicals to the pool water directly. Pool shock is s prominent chemical used in pools. It is concentrated chlorine. This concentrated chlorine can bleach anything that enters your pool. Even, if the concentration is high enough it can change the color of your clothes.
The alarming part is adding pool shock or chemical directly to your pool can be dangerous at times. Having a vinyl liner inside your pool can be disastrous. Then the shock granules will go under the surface of the bottom and bleach out your above ground pool liner. This bleached area eventually becomes brittle, feeble and will cause leakage.
Before pouring shock to your pool you should dissolve the entire ingredients in a bucket of water. It will allow this chemical to distribute evenly in the water, protecting all the components of the pool.
Can you over shock a pool?
No, you should not do this. Also when you try to common above ground pool maintenance mistakes you should always add chemicals to the water and never water to it. Fill a bucket with water then start adding pool chemicals in order.
Using warm water in the bucket is always a good idea for working it out perfectly. There are some above ground pool safety kits like a chemical mask, eyewear, and chemical protected hand gloves that should be considered.
6. Not Keeping your Pool Clean
The pool has to be clean all the time. In the pool season, it is really important to keep the pool even cleaner. Especially the filter has to be clean. A dirty pool will never attract the swimmers. Moreover, it is not healthy as well. Swimming in a contaminated pool can be dangerously impactful to your health.
The regularity of cleaning will depend mostly on the filter type , amount of pool use and contamination amount of that area. The best way to know when to clean the filter is when the measure on the filter rises about 10 PSI more than what it was when it was uncontaminated.
Different types of filters have different PSI readings when they are clean. So it is important to read the PSI measurement of a filter when the water of the pool is clean.
7. Daytime Shocking of Your Swimming Pool
Shocking your swimming pool during the daytime is not a good idea. The best time of day to shock pool is night. There are several reasons behind it.
Chlorine in the pool attaches itself to contaminated particles it wants to destroy. In the process, it leaves behind a chemical compound called chloramines. This chemical is irritable to skin and eyes. So clearly it shouldn’t be in your pool.
The shocking procedure produces chloramines and with time it helps to bring your pool’s chlorine level to a balanced 3 parts per million (ppm).
As daytime is great for swimming, it is a wrong time for shocking your pool. A shock to your pool releases unstabilized chlorine. During this time the sun doesn’t seem friendly to the pool at all by burning off 1 ppm each hour.
Night is the absolute suitable time for the shock of your pool. Shocking your pool on a routine basis is good for maintenance of it and you can use so many test kits until you are at or near balanced 3 parts per million (ppm).
8. Turning off the Pump
Turning off the pump means no water is going to your pool. It happens when your pump is off. In such a situation, your pool can be a perfect home for bacteria growth.
When the pump is on the water is flowing and it is not settling. This process doesn’t let the bacteria grow. This is the job a pump does. During the hot summer days, the sun helps the bacteria to grow. Even this is the perfect season for swimming. In such times, it is very much important to keep the water flowing. Thus, it helps to resist the growth of the bacteria to your swimming pool.
Very common questions are:
How long should I run my above ground pool pump? Should Pool Pumps run continuously?
However, the answers depend.
If you have a frugal mindset of saving the electricity bill, leave the pump on for 7-8 hours a day at least. Closely monitor the water quality if bacteria are not growing and the water level is the same. If that doesn’t work, keep the pump on 24*7 to keep the water clean. As there is no point in having a pool if it contains contaminated water.
9. Not Running Pool Filter System At Least Eight Hours A Day
So many people tend to ask, “How long should I run my pool filter each day?”.
Well this is a very important question to ask. Your pool’s filter cannot carry on its job if it is not running. Contamination of your pool water can be controlled by running the filter for at least eight hours a day. Also, this timing depends on the size of the pool and the capacity of your filter.
The only solution to avoid contamination of pool water is to run the filter for at least 8 hours a day or more.
10. Not Testing Your Pool Water
Pool water needs testing regularly. Preferably once in a week testing pool water is good. Owning a pool requires a lot of tasks to do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Among all the works if you are prone to not testing your pool water weekly, you are about to face some difficult consequences. Testing your pool water ensures all the elements are in the balance of your water.
Testing your pool water once a week is a must. You can do this using so many kits. There are so many types of liquid test kits and test strips available in the market. These can easily serve your purpose.
You can take a sample of your pool water and take it to your local pool supply store. This way you will be able to get a detailed analysis at least once a month.
11. Not Brushing your Pool Surface
If your water flow circulation system is not very good enough not brushing the surface can be very threatening for contamination. Brushing down the surface can eliminate the algae problem. This is a quick fix for algae in the pool. Keeping your pool’s surface will save your money significantly.
Using brush while cleaning the surface of the pool can keep the pool’s water and the components out of danger in so many ways.
So, it is the cheapest solution to the algae problem to your pool.
12. Wearing Random Cloths to Swim
Trendy clothes while going swimming is not very good for the pool. These clothes can introduce chemicals, fibers and other contaminants to your water.
Moreover, the chemicals in the water can ruin your clothes. The quality of the pool water will be compromised. Simply, it is not a very sound idea.
Only wear a swimsuit in the pool. This dress is the only perfect choice for swimming in the pool.
13. Not Maintaining a Balance pH and Alkalinity Level
From our very first education on science we got to know about the significance of a balanced pH level to our ecosystem. It includes your health and pool as well. It is all known to us that a low pH level implies acidity whereas high pH level implies alkalinity. Neither is good for the overall ecosystem.
With less pH level your pool level is acidic. This seems completely okay at first. Algae and other bacteria may have a hard time making your pool their home in such water. The water may seem clean and pure.
But at times appearance can be deceiving.
Lower pH or acidic water can significantly damage your important pool equipment like; pool pump, vinyl liner, solar blanket, heater, automatic pool cleaner, etc.
Balanced pH level is important for pool water. For doing so, regular water testing is important.
You can adjust the pH level with pH increaser and alkalinity increaser. This will help to maintain balance.
14. Not Balancing the Calcium Hardness in Your Pool Water
Balancing calcium hardness just pH level of pool water is essential. This ensures a clean, clear and safety of a swimming pool . However, a little hardness can extend the lifespan of a few pool maintenance equipment like vinyl liners, plaster, fiberglass, and filters. This is one of the most common above ground pool maintenance mistakes. So many pool owners forget about it until they face the outcome.
You can add calcium hardness increaser for keeping the calcium hardness of your pool at the recommended level. The expert’s recommendation about it is to keep it from 175 ppm to 225 ppm. You can add it to get the level you think suitable for you.
Or you can use calcium hypochlorite shock. It helps to keep the equipment of the pool safe and prolong the life span of those types of equipment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How can I cut down swimming pool related maintenance costs?
Answer: Cutting down your swimming pool depends mostly on how much you are willing to pay at the time of installation. You can lessen a lot of your after installation expenditure by mostly not being frugal at the time of installation.
Some of the major points are:
- Cleaning the pool regularly.
- Keeping the water in balance.
- Run the pump and filter accordingly.
- Have an ultraviolet system fitted.
- Installation of automated chlorine and pH dispensing system.
The cost will also depend a lot on the locality you are living in. If you are living in big cities you are expected to have more costs than the people who are living in rural areas.
Question: How much money does it cost to maintain a swimming pool?
Answer: The maintenance cost of a swimming pool mostly depends on the size and the type of your swimming pool. The cost will increase according to the size in general. The cost of maintenance will also depend on where your pool is located.
If you decide to hire a professional, that would also cost you a fortune. With conscious choices, you can lessen your maintenance cost significantly.
Question: Why does the water in my pool look green?
Answer: No matter how much you try, your beautiful pool’s water can turn into green with time. This happens mostly for algae attack in your pool.
You can get rid of this problem by taking all the necessary steps.
Question: Is ionizing a valid method for pool maintenance?
Answer: It is a great way of keeping your pool algae free.
The pool ionizer releases the mineral ions into your pool that stops many bacteria also algae to grow.
This system works and not a whim and science has given proof to it.
According to modern pool maintenance ways, it is more convenient for the pool owners to ionize their pool. It lessens the need to expose more chlorine to your water. This means you don’t have to worry much about the irritation of your eyes and your clothes getting faded.
Before getting an ionizer for your pool, get to know about the brands available in the market. Choose the best one that is suitable for your pool.
Question: Is it safe or harmful to swim in a pool with algae?
Answer: Pool water turns green for so many reasons with time. At some point, all owners of pools have faced this problem sooner or later. There can be an algae growth problem, not having enough chlorine in the water last but not the least falling of nearby grass and trees can discolor the water. Where everything else can be solved, getting rid of the algae problem can be a tough one.
Swimming in an algae affected pool is not a good idea. Swimming in such water is not life-threatening at all. Though there is a possibility that you will end up having itchy skin and hair problems.
So, do yourself a favour by not getting into such water. Test the water if it is contaminated treat it then considers swimming into it.
To err is human. We are supposed to make mistakes. While owning an above ground pool it is not very uncommon for you to do these above-mentioned mistakes. So this article aims to give you an overall idea about the most common above ground pool maintenance mistakes that you are going to make. Even if you make these mistakes or a different one, always remember there is always a way out.
What matters the most is if you have learned something from your prior mistakes. Keep making mistakes and keep learning from it. Remember not to repeat the same mistake. Just the way Dory from “Finding Nemo”, “Just Keep Swimming”.