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Above Ground Swimming Pools

Above Ground Pool Problems and Treatment Options.
 
The Pool and Spa Informational Website
askalanaquestion.com

Solving Problems and Making Better Choices.
 

Scroll down to browse through some archived SWIMMING POOL questions and answers.  Please click the Pool Topics Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Pool Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Pool Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Pool Glossary. Use the other links to access additional subject information. More information about some new and unique products, for pools and spas, can be found by visiting The Website Store. You'll never know what you'll find and that's always fun. Be better prepared and avoid costly problems!

 

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How to care for an Above Ground Pool?  Above-Ground Pools are a very popular choice for a variety of reasons. These pools come in a multitude of sizes and shapes to suit the space requirements or budget. Above-ground pools are constructed from a variety of materials. The quality above-ground pools should be expected to provide many years of enjoyment. The quality constructed above ground pool are frequently equipped with the same of filtration and sanitation systems, as inground pools, and should be able to provide ideal water quality. However, the least expensive types of above ground pools can expect to experience difficulties in filtration, vacuuming and maintaining proper pool chemistry. If problems arise, refer to the Pool Problems Page, as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into various categories.  Scroll down the page and click on the linked keywords, catch phrases or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.

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▼     Helpful, Problem-Solving Information, in a question and answer format.     ▼


How Many Gallons In My Pool?

The pool, we just ordered is a 21' round, above ground pool. To make sure that we properly approach the pool water chemistry, we want to be certain of the water capacity. Thank you.

Hank E., Toms River, NJ, 3/2/2014


You are better off with the correct water volume, as it should help with the chemical balancing. You failed to include the depth, so you will have to do some simple calculations. Go to this page: Calculating Pool Volume. You'll find the simple calculations for determining the water volume of any type of swimming pool. Enjoy the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/2/2014
 

Green Algae?

This is our first year of pool ownership. The pool is an 18' round, above ground pool. We seem to have developed some algae on one side of the pool. I use a chlorine floating feeder, with 3" tablets and have been very careful about the pH, alkalinity and stabilizer. I clean the cartridge filter weekly and run it for 8 hours a day. What went wrong? Please help because I won't let the kids in the water.

Barbara L., E. Northport, NY, 8/23/2012


You have the most common type of swimming pool algae problem. It does sound like you are taking good care of the pool. Still, bad things can happen to good pools! This is really not that bad a problem - just an inconvenience. Algae is always present in swimming pool water. If the conditions are right, it will begin to grow. That means, if the chlorine level has bottomed out because there wasn't enough in the water or the demands of the bathers was just too high, algae can start to grow. From your letter, I cannot determine the actual cause, but I can make an educated, insightful guess. The chlorine
The Circulator for all types of pools. floater may not always be able to supply all the chlorine that the pool requires, because the tablets are slow dissolving. Floaters are popular with above ground pools, but are not necessarily the best way to add chlorine. It may be necessary to supplement the chlorine floater, by the addition of a quick dissolving product: sodium dichlor, liquid chlorine, lithium hypochlorite, non-chlorine, shock, etc. This can be used to give the chlorine a quick boost, during those periods of high bather usage: like when all the kids are in the water for hours at a time. Test the water for Free Chlorine, several times a day, to gauge the requirements of your pool, during these periods of peak activity. I suggest that you use an algaecide to help prevent the growth of algae. To get rid of the algae, add 2 pounds of shock, per 5000 gallons of water. Circulate continuously. Test the water for Free Chlorine and keep the level at 2-3 PPM or higher, until the algae is gone. Thereafter, resume normal chlorination and filtration. Because the algae formed on one side of the pool, try and direct more water to that area. Adding The Circulator - a circulation booster - will help improve circulation and sanitizing. Swimming can resume, when normal chlorine levels return. If the water is cloudy, this can be due to dead algae and organic debris: adding a "Blue" Clarifier will help improve the water clarity. To help maintain better water clarity, in an ongoing basis, the addition of a Nano-Stick Clarifier would be a positive addition.

If this website was helpful, in solving your problem, please consider joining our E-Letter Mailing List.  You'll receive 1-2 E-Letters a month, with helpful information, new product updates, suggestions and sale announcements.  I hope that this information will help to get the kids back into the water. Glad to be of assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/23/2012


Round Or Oval Pool?

Hello, I came upon your website while trying to research some information regarding the stability of oval above-ground pool walls. I have heard in the past the walls will be more unstable, and more likely to collapse because of the water pressure distribution, as opposed to a more even distribution of water in a round pool. Is this true? Thank you

Sandy T., Kansas City, MO, 8/27/2010


What you are saying is true, based up the physics involved. However, manufacturers have taken this into consideration when designing oval or rectangular pools. Quality pools have supporting structural members, to keep the walls from bowing outward. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/27/2010


What To Do About Using Well Water?

I am going to be filling a new 12,000 gallon pool, using well water, that I know contains some iron. I am afraid of stains that might result. I don't have a water softener. Any good suggestions? Thank you.

Barry G., Easton, PA, 7/1/2009


It does pay to plan ahead, in your situation, to try to avoid common Pool Well Water Problems. If you add the well water thro
METALTRAP Filters remove iron, copper and manganese.ugh a METALTRAP Filter, the heavy metals will be permanently removed. When the pool needs to be topped off, pass all the water through the METALTRAP Filter. Removing metals, as the pool fills is the best insurance against future problems. Remember, always use the METALTRAP Filter to treat all new water! There are chemicals means to treat metal problems and/or remove the stains they cause. Not all of these chemicals are equally effective, some are ineffective at higher pH levels (over 7.8) and others contain phosphates, which can lead to other problems. Liquid METALTRAP is phosphate free and works over the full pool pH range and beyond. Adding this chemical can help avoid staining and/or discoloration. Good luck and I hope that I've been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/1/2009


Vacuuming A Splasher Pool?

I have an above ground pool that is a 10' diameter round and is 2.5" deep. I guess this is considered a splasher pool. It has a filter pump system that filters the water and is chlorinated and I have been able to keep the chemicals right for over a month now. The problem we have is I need a good vacuum for it. We live in West Texas and our dirt is smaller than sand and the vacuum that I have (one that uses the garden hose and a filter bag) doesn't work. Do you recommend an automatic cleaner/vacuum? How do I get the dirt off the bottom of the pool?

Farrah M., West Texas, 5/10/2011

Batter-Powered Leaf Vacuum.
The type of vacuum and bag, that you are using, is intended to remove coarse debris and not fine particulates. Try using finer material as a collection bag. Another option would be to disconnect the intake line, seal off the opening in the wall and attach the intake hose to a vacuum head and pole. This way the dirt can be removed by the filter. To do this you may need some adaptors and an extension hose. It may take some tinkering, but should work. A better option, for small pools, would be a rechargeable, hand-held vacuum or battery-powered Leaf Vacuum. They have a self-contained filter and the smaller models are frequently used with spas and hot tubs. I hope that I have been helpful. Good luck.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/11/2011
 

Testing The Pool Water?

We just bought our first pool - a 12' x 24' above ground model. It is being installed next week. Can you suggest a good source of chemical start up information? How about a pool water tester? I have seen those color-matching ones and would like something else. Thanks for any help, you can offer.

Jenna S., Cary, NC, 5/12/2011ColorQ digital water analyzer.

Welcome to the world of backyard swimming. You will find information on maintaining the important pool water parameters on the website page: Calculating Chemical Additions. If you want to eliminate the color-matching and avoid the guesswork, the ColorQ all-digital water analyzer is what you're looking for. It is easy-to-use and will do all the tests you need. I hope that this information proves helpful. Enjoy the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/13/2011


Have Pool Will Travel?

I live in the North Texas area. I will be moving to Canada (Toronto) in about 6 weeks. We purchased an above ground 24' pool last April (brand new). We would like to take it with us. It is only 6" in the ground. Can you give me some tips on taking this pool apart and preparing it for my move? Thank-You.

Sharon G., Texas, 4/23/2004


Obviously, you should clean everything, after it taken apart and make sure that all the water is drained. Empty and clean the filter. The main problem is going to be the liner. If it dries out, it will shrink, making it difficult-impossible to match up the various cutouts. All I can suggest is that you put some wet towels in with the liner and seal everything in plastic. If the liner stays moist, you might get by. If not a new replacement liner should be readily available in Toronto. Good luck with the move.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/23/2004


Inflatable Pool Air Leaks?

I have one of those pools with an inflatable top ring. Seems to have a leak and I am slowly losing air. Any suggestions about locating the leak and fixing it? I appreciate your time and effort.

Aimee, New Jersey 5/22/2005


Look for signs of bubbling, where the ring is covered with water. That will indicate the location. If you don't see bubbling,
Boxer Adhesives pool and Vinyl Repair Products. the leak is above the water level. Get some swimming pool algaecide that contains dimethyl ammonium chloride. Make a solution of one part algaecide and 3 parts water and stir it up with a 1-2" brush so that it lathers a bit. They use a technique like this to find a leak in a tire. You don't want to use soap, because you don't want it to end up in the pool water. Brush it on the seams and other areas, until you find the leak. Once found, clean the area with rubbing alcohol and allow to dry off. With this type of thin walled pool, you cannot use a traditional vinyl adhesive and patch, as this can damage the vinyl. Boxer Adhesives offers a complete line of vinyl repair products, including an adhesive patch that is intended to be used with pools just like yours. If necessary, it can even be used under water! I hope that this information will prove helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/22/2005

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Problem Down Below?

WE HAVE A 18 INCH ABOVE GROUND POOL AND NOW THE SAND HAS SHIFTED DUE TO TREE ROOTS FROM 11 YEARS AGO SINKING. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO FIX THIS PROBLEM?

Michele M., 5/11/2004


You have two choices. You could drain the pool and make sure that the liner remains wet as all times, so as not to dry out and shrink. You might have to do some disassembly to move the pool, so that repairs to the ground can be made. After repairing the problem area, put everything back in place and refill the pool. The pool and liner are 11 years old. I'm not certain the liner will survive. However, if the current situation is something that MUST be corrected, there is no choice. Otherwise, I am inclined to suggest that you wait until you're ready to replace the liner. I hope that it all works out.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/11/2004


Pool Liner Replacement Type?

We bought our house last year and the above ground pool has been a problem since then. After spending the entire summer and too much money messing with the chemical composition in the pool & learning how to change the sand in the filter, we thought we were done all of our pool challenges, then came the holes in the liner, (3) of them. So here is my question, I am replacing the liner because I made the mistake of draining the pool and leaving it empty for a few months. I know this was bad. I am now looking at buying the new liner, I have a j- hook liner now, but in looking at pricing, it seems that overlap liners are much cheaper. Do you know if I can buy an overlap liner and use on my j-hook channel? Also do you have any recommendations for what chemicals I need to add after it is filled? I live in Houston and for some reason last year, I just could not keep chlorine in the pool. We have very hard water so I am hoping that this will help in keeping the chlorine in there, but what else should I add? I was spending around $100.00 a month in chlorine, is this normal? Thanks so much for any help you can offer.

Jeanette in Houston, 4/18/2004


A pool that utilizes an overlap liner, has a top rail that covers the vinyl. With a hung liner, such as you have, the liner stops below the rail. You can't simply use an overlapping liner in a pool that requires a beaded liner. My guess is that you won't be
Solar-powered salt chlorine generator and mineralizer, for all types of pools. able to use that type of liner, but check on the type of rail to be certain. A $100.00 a month for chlorine is way too high! The question to be asked, is where is all the chlorine going? Are there kids that are urinating in the pool? Is the whole neighborhood using the pool? Is there algae growing and causing the requirement for lots of chlorine? Bad water chemistry? There has to be an answer. Your requirements should be far less that that. Upon refilling, I suggest that you start with a clean slate. Adjust the water chemistry, pH, TA and stabilizer, and keep tabs on the pool usage and free chlorine readings. The answer is somewhere. One of the limitations of chlorine is controllability. If you are using a granular product, the level will rise and fall, based on product addition. If you are using a feeder, it is not a simple matter to get more chlorine quickly, as it is supposed to be slow-dissolving. A salt chlorine generator would help solve the cost of chlorine problem, after the initial investment. In addition, it should prolong the life of the liner and give you better water quality. Your sand filter may not be providing the necessary level of filter effectiveness. You might consider replacing the sand with ZeobriteXtreme: a sand filter replacement media. It will provide better water quality and is quite modest in price. In any event, don't backwash the sand filter unless the pressure is too high, as frequent backwashing is a mistake. I hope that this year turns out better.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/18/2004

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Waterline Problems Getting Worse?

Our above ground pool is about 5 years old and we see fading and discoloration around the waterline area. It seems worse on the side of the pool, that gets the most Sunlight. We have tried cleaners, vitamin C tablets made into a paste, tile cleaners and nothing makes a difference. It seems to be getting worse. Is there another solution, that you might suggest?

Paul J., Cary, NC 8/30/2011


You pretty much have tried all that I would have suggested. I believe that what you are describing is the vinyl being degraded by
Adhesive pool borders. the Sun's UV rays. It is not reversible and will only get worse with time, to the point where the liner can become brittle. However, there is a solution. You can apply a vinyl adhesive pool border to create a new waterline. It will restore the pool's new look, protect the area from further UV damage and add strength to the liner. It is easy to apply and should last about 3 seasons. At that time, it can be removed and another set applied. The product is available in 6" and 9" heights, each in 3 attractive designs. The inks and adhesive have been thoroughly tested, for this application. Just lower the water to a few inches below, where the new liner will be installed, clean with rubbing alcohol for good adhesion and peel and stick. You will get years more of life, from the existing liner and not have to go through the hassle of draining, installing and adjusting the chemistry. I have been selling it for at least 7 years and the feedback has been excellent. So why not give the pool a makeover, next spring? I hope that this information is helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/31/2011


Steel Or Aluminum Pool?

Alan, I'm looking into purchasing an above-ground pool for our family. What is better to buy, durability wise, steel framed or aluminum? Thanks!
Susan L., 3/31/2004


I am not the best person to answer this question, inasmuch as I do not have access to specific data. However, I can provide some anecdotal input. Steel is stronger than aluminum, but strength is based on fabrication and gage, as well. Aluminum is more resistant to corrosion. However, modern steel products are treated to provide much better corrosion resistance and longevity. A lot has to do with how the pool is cared for and maintained. Good drainage around the pool perimeter and protecting the walls and liner are important considerations. Good luck with your decision.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/1/2004


Added Chlorine And Pool Turned Rusty Color?

We had a 18' pool installed and it took more than a day to fill the pool. Everything was OK, until I added some chlorine. The pool turned an rusty-brown color. We have a well and added a bottle of some metal treatment, as the pool was being filled, as per the dealer's advice. Can we solve this problem?

Janice H., North Haven, CT, 6/5/2009


Pools that turn amber to rusty, brown or blackish, after addition of chlorine or pH raising chemicals, usually have iron and other heavy metals present. This is especially true, when well water is used. Whatever you added was not enough. If you had filtered the well water,
Stain Reversall Kit.used to fill the pool, through a METALTRAP Filter, the heavy metals would have been permanently removed. When the pool needed to be topped off, all the new well water could have been passed through the METALTRAP Filter, to prevent new additions of metals. Removing metals, as the pool fills is the best insurance against future problems. There are chemicals means to treat metal problems and/or remove the stains they cause. Not all of these chemicals are equally effective, some are ineffective at higher pH levels and others contain phosphates, which can lead to other problems. Liquid METALTRAP is phosphate free and works over the full pool pH range and beyond. Adding this chemical can help avoid staining and/or discoloration. If staining has occurred, it can be removed with METALTRAP Stain Remover. This 100% ascorbic acid products helps to reduce and solubilize heavy metals, so that Liquid METALTRAP can keep them in solution in a chelated state, which is less colored and more stable. Following up with a recirculating treatment, using the METALTRAP Filter can permanently eliminate the metals. All you need is a garden hose and a small pump to do the recirculation. Good luck and I hope that I've been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/5/2009


Need Better Circulation?

We have a soft-sided, vinyl pool that holds about 4000 gallons. Every time the kids jump in, the pool clouds up. My free and total chlorine and pH are good. When I rinse the filter out it washes out sort of dirt. I think the problem is sediments on the bottom, which cause cloudy water when disturbed. The filter doesn't seem to help with the sediment and my vacuum (garden hose type) is useless, for anything but leaves. Got a good suggestion or two?

Mavis L. Columbia, SC, 6/1/2009

The Circulator improves pool water circulation.
You have a filter that is barely effective. When the kids use the pool, they stir up silt that has accumulated on the bottom. The filter can remove only what enters the system. By adding The Circulator, a circulation boosting accessory, you can get more of the silt removed and the water will steadily improve. The Circulator was originally designed for inground and standard above ground pools. However, now there is an adaptor that allows it to be used with soft-sided pools, from the leading manufacturer. Adding a weekly dose of a Blue Clarifier, should help, as well. I have been told that The Circulator can make a huge improvement in water quality, in pools like yours, in particular. I hope that this information will prove helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/1/2009


Off On The Right Track?

Alan, I recently bought and installed a small above ground pool for my kids (15 ft diameter x 42" deep) and filled it about 6 weeks ago. I read all of the info on your site and have been keeping the free chlorine at 1-2ppm using a chlorine "float" filled with Trichlor tablets (I know about the float, but I had to start somewhere-see below) and shocking the pool every Monday (pool gets most use on weekends). I run the cartridge filter about 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours later in the afternoon on a timer and vacuum 1-2 times per week just to try to keep the bottom mostly clean. I test the water every couple of days just to make sure the floater has about the right amount of chlorine in it. The floater seems kind of variable - it's easy to have too much or not enough chlorine in it, so I just bought an automatic in-line chlorinator and plan to install it this weekend. I did add pH down once and might have to again. Otherwise I haven't really worried much about the TA or the other measurements, just chlorine and pH. Hope I'm not missing something. The time to do all this: less than 30 minutes per week. The result so far: Crystal clear water. No algae. No chlorine smell. The water is just beautiful! The kids and my wife think I'm some sort of pool expert! I'm pretty sure that my wife thought that we would have pea soup within a matter of weeks. Thanks for all the good info. I really appreciate it! Best regards.

Thomas. S., S. Pasadena, CA 8/28/2003


Glad to hear that everything is going well for you. When using trichlor tablets, it is normal for the pH to drop. You mentioned adding "pH down." Was that a typo? The tablets used in chlorinators are acidic and that frequently requires additions of pH Increaser on a regular basis. Enjoy the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/28/2003


Pad Or Hard Bottom?

What would be best to put on the bottom of our Above Ground Pool 24, have heard about a hard bottom along with the Gorilla Pad?
L. S., 8/27/2007


A hard bottom would probably be instead of a pad or on rough ground. If you start with a smooth, level base, a pad should be all you need. Just make sure there are no erosion issues to be concerned about. Enjoy the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/28/2007


► Unsuitable Base?

Dear Alan, a friend phoned and said she had requested sand to be delivered and the delivery was construction sand. I told her she could not use it because of the texture of it, i.e. small pebbles in it. Wouldn't that kind of sand cause holes in the liner after water got in it and people started walking around, or would the weight of the water possibly push the pebbles down enough for the pool liner to be smooth after filling it? I most certainly agree with you about a liner remaining empty for a while. I wish I had a video of my family trying to use a liner which had been standing in an empty pool for about three days. We tried every method any of us could possibly think of. Every time we would get it about filled, the liner would leave the wall. We placed drums filled with water to try and keep the liner in place. It could not be done. We spent about three weeks of filling and pushing liner, etc. I finally had to buy a new liner. Just let everyone know "never let your pool remain empty" for any length of time. Without sifting the construction sand, are there any suggestions for using construction sand as the base for a pool? My advice was "don't do it, but I am not an expert. Thank you for your reply. Sincerely.

Martha D., 6/21/2004


You and I are on the same page. If they try and use that sand as a base, it could lead to a problem. The safe and smart thing to do is to remove the sand and replace it with a layer of suitable sand or vermiculite. It sounds like you had "fun" with the liner and you probably didn't get as far as lining up the cutouts for returns and skimmers. Have a good summer.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/21/2004


Losing The Minerals Battle?

We have a vinyl pool that holds about 6000 gallons. We filled it with well water and we use a paper filter system. We filled it and we were fighting hardness. We got that under control. Recently, we have been fighting very cloudy water that settles down overnight and then I vacuum the pool floor in the morning. The floor looks very dirty and you can see where you walk, and where you vacuum I clean until the cloudiness is so bad I can't see to clean anymore. When I rinse the filter out it washes out sort of green/brown. I keep my pH about 7.6-7.8, although it does want to be a little high sometimes. My chlorine is also checked daily and added accordingly. Alkalinity is about 90. Please help if you can.

Nameless, 8/1/2007


You have a filter that is inherently inefficient. To make matters worse, you are using well water. This sediment is probablyDual-Cartridge FilterSystem. passing right through the filter. There are accessories that you can attach to the return line and could help remove the silt and sediment, that is passing through the filter. This improvement, in the removal of fine particles, and the maintaining of proper chemistry should make a big difference. Better filtration is only part of the solution. Well water can contain metals and minerals of all sorts. Using the METALTRAP FILTER or the PURESTART PREFILTER can make a huge difference. Even better would be the METALTRAP Dual-Cartridge Filter, with replaceable cartridges it removes fine sediments and dissolved heavy metals. These products attach to a garden hose and remove the problem-causing metals, before they get into the pool. If you simply recirculate the water using a garden hose and a small submersible pump, you can slowly remove the metals from the pool water. This is better than adding chemicals, which sometimes break down and allow a return of the problem. Nothing beats removing the source of the problem! I hope that this information will be helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/1/2007


Needing A New Pool Wall?

Alan, need a little help I was installing a new liner in my 15' x 30' x 4' above ground pool make unknown. When I discovered my rolled wall was rotted at the ground line and wanted to change it while I'm right their but I can't seem to find anyone who sells walls they all want to sell me a new pool. The wall is aluminum 46" wide x 77' roughly. I will measure it exactly, if I have a source for a new wall. How about some help. Thanks.

Louie T, 4/21/2003


Without a pool brand it is a bit difficult. I suggest that you go to the local dealers with a photo. One of them might have sold this type of pool. Good luck.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/21/2003


Scrubbed The Liner Too Much?

A roofing nail somehow ended up in my pool, while a new single roof was being installed. I didn't notice it for at least a few days, because the pool was not being used. I add some metal remover and it did not remove the stain. So I tried to use a scrubbing pad to remove the stain and ended up scrubbing off some of the liner print. Is there any product that can be used to add some color back? Thank you.

Jeff N., Beaufort, SC, 3/26/2010

Pool Art Graphic Mosaic Mats, for all types of pools.
There is nothing that will colorize the area, that I know of. However, you should be able to cover it over with an Underwater Pool Decal or a Pool Graphic Mat. They are available in various sizes and designs. For example you could use a Dolphin or Turtle design and it would look like it was part of the pool. In the future, if you get a stain, try using METALTRAP Stain Remover and Liquid METALTRAP. I know that combination would have removed the stain, without any scrubbing. Unfortunately, vinyl liner designs are only printed on and cannot withstand harsh scrubbing. I hope that this information will be helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/27/2010


On The Level?

Hello, I purchased a 10' round splasher pool, is three feet tall, and the manual that came with it says that I have to place it in a leveled ground and pour sand below the liner. The thing is that I don't have ground to level, I have a concrete patio with a gradient of more or less 1.5" in ten feet from one side to the other in both directions. What do you suggest? is it too much inclination? In the manual says no more than an inch. Also, do I have to put sand below the liner or a plastic sheeting will be fine? Thank You

Mary Jo from Houston, 3/13/2008


If you don't install an above ground pool on level ground, you will be putting extra stress on some of the vertical supports and that may impact your warranty. In addition, the water level will not be on the level! I suggest that you consider the following. Make a square frame of 12' lengths of pressure treated 2" X 6" lumber. Add sand or pool base and level it out. Place the pool on top of the level base and fill it up. Afterwards, top off the exposed sand with gravel, marble chips or wood chips. If you place the liner directly on the concrete you will probably wear a hole in it. I hope that it works out for you. Enjoy the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/13/2008


No Longer Level?

Our 24' round above ground pool is 6 years old and over the past few years we have noticed the south end of the pool is getting deeper (approx 2" difference now) when we topped off the pool with water. Do we basically have to start over? What are your recommendations for fixing this problem? Sincerely.

Kurt, Illinois, 4/8/2004


Sounds like the ground has settled over the course of the past 6 years. Erosion or drainage could have caused the problem, as well. In any event, there is no solution, other than properly preparing the site for drainage and leveling it. Taking the pool down could result in the liner shrinking and it would be difficult to get back in place. Make sure that it doesn't dry out. If you do nothing, you might risk some structural damage. I suggest that you seek the opinion of a local dealer or installer, who might be able to do an inspection. Good luck and I hope that I have been of some help.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/8/2004


Double Up The Liners?

Great site: From Ottawa, Canada - Simple question (probably know the answer), but: can I just put a new liner over the existing one in my 24' above ground pool? Existing one is 14 years old and one small hole. Thanks.

Greg, Ottawa, Canada, 5/3/2003


I would think that you are better off removing the liner. You don't want water collecting between the two liners. It will also allow the sand to be reshaped, if necessary. Good drainage is important for a number of reasons. Good luck with the change and enjoy the season.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/3/2003


Benefits Of A Main Drain?

I bought an above ground pool and the installer suggests a center drain. What are the advantages or disadvantages to a center drain. Thanks for your time in this matter.

Charleen O., 3/24/2009

The Circulator boosts pool circulaion.
Main drains are not common, with above ground pools. They can be prone to leaks and can freeze, if not winterized properly. On the plus side, they do help improve circulation and help remove sediment. However, there is a simple, affordable way to improve circulation, enhance filtration and eliminate the dead spots that favor algae growth. The Circulator is a device that fits into each return jets and greatly improves circulation, heat distribution and chemical dispersing. Good luck with the new pool and I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/24/2009


How Long Can My Pool Last?

My above ground pool is three years old. It has metal walls and supports - steel I believe. How long should such a pool last?

Phil K., Bloomfield, NJ, 7/23/2008


I am no expert on this subject, but it will certainly last for many more years. How well you care for the above ground pool and the pool site can play a role. Make sure that the area around the pool is well drained. All equipment should be used and maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions. Take reasonable care to prevent damage to the walls, structural members and vinyl liner. Winterizing is very important in your area, as freeze-thaw damage can destroy or damage the pool, equipment and accessories. Proper winterizing instructions can usually be provided by your pool dealer and can help protect your investment. Your pool dealer should be able to give you a better assessment, as to the expected useful life of the pool. I hope that you remain in the swim for many, many, more years.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/24/2008


Algaecide: To Use Or Not To Use?

I have never used an algaecide in my new above ground pool and have had no problems to date. My friends with pools, all seem to use algaecides and chlorine. Is it a good idea to use algaecide? Just wondering.

Jeff E., Lakeland, NJ, 6/30/2004


The best way to use an algaecide is to add it before you have a problem! That way, it can help you avoid a problem. Chlorine levels rise and fall during the course of the day, depending upon chemical additions and bather usage. When the sanitizer levels drops too low, algae can begin to grow. If an algaecide is present, it just might keep the algae under control, until an adequate sanitizer level is restored. Both above ground and inground pools should use algaecides. However, the choices may differ because of the materials of construction. I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/30/2004


Matter Of Size?

We just purchased a 24' above ground pool yesterday with installation scheduled for May. We originally started looking at a 30' above ground and ended up purchasing the 24'. I am now feeling like we should have gotten the larger pool since the difference in price was only $700 for so much more pool. I know pool size is our own preference but with so little difference in the overall cost, should we have gone with the 30' or even the 27' which was only $400 more than the 24'. Is maintenance on a 24' pool much difference than a 30' ? Will there be a huge cost difference in the chemicals needed to maintain a 24' over a 30' pool? The place we purchased our pool from said we can do a change order if we decide to go with the 27' or the 30' but I am just not sure what to do! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

J. C., Gilbertsville, PA, 3/15/2004


Obviously the larger pool will cost more to operate. However, it is not arithmetical. There will be a modest additional cost for electricity, if the pump is bigger or has to be operated for additional amount of time. If the same number of people will be using the pool, whether it is 24' or 30' the difference in chemicals will not be considerable. The amount of bather wastes will be the same regardless of the size. Some of the water balancing chemicals are directly related to pool volume, as are such things as pool covers. This pool can last a long time and I think that so long as the costs are affordable, you should go with the size that will give your family the most pleasure. Enjoy the pool!

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/15/2004


Putting A Pool In The Ground?

Do you think it is a good idea to put an above ground pool totally in the ground? Will it terminate my warranty? If it can go in what would be the recommended depth? Thanks for any info you can give.

Adam, Toms River NJ, 2/25/2005


Not a good idea! It will subject the pool to a situation for which it was not designed. There could be corrosion issues and it will surely void the warranty. It could be considered an inground pool and could be subject to permit requirements, code regulations and taxed as an inground pool. I hope that I filled in the blanks for you.

Sincerely, Alan Schuster, 2/26/2005


Worth Keeping?

We just moved to a house that already has an above ground pool. We know absolutely nothing about pools, but we do know that the liner has to be replaced. What is the best liner to get? What is the best way to install it? How do we drain the pool? What should we look for to gauge whether or not the pool is worth keeping? Thanks.

David W., 4/14/2004


You need to do some homework. Above ground pools can last for many years, depending upon the construction, the location and how well it was maintained. Inspect the pool and look for signs of corrosion or deterioration. Liners can vary in cost, depending upon the gauge of the vinyl. Shop around and compare replacement liner costs. This is something that you could install yourself or you could hire a company to do the work. And while they are on site, perhaps they could show you how to operate and set up the equipment. You could also compare these costs to that of a new pool. It's your decision. Good luck and if you ever have a water chemistry problem, I'll be here.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/14/2004


Empty The Pool Periodically?

I have a above ground vinyl pool 13,600 gallons, with a sand filter. Someone told me I needed to completely drain my pool every couple of years. Is this true? I keep it well maintained and hardly ever have a problem. Nothing but a little cloudy water every now and then. Usually use a clarifier and it clears right up. Should pool water be completely changed every couple of years? Any help would be appreciated, Thanks so much!

Sharon W., North Carolina, 5/23/2004

ZeobriteXtreme sand filter replacement media.
You do not have to empty your pool. During the normal course of the season, you will pump water out
to backwash a filter or vacuum to waste. At season's end you could pump out a third of the pool, as part of winterizing. Not really. Between backwashing and lowering to pool to winterize, you are doing partial water replacements, every season. Because of this, there is no special need to replace the water every few years. However, if the cyanuric level rises too high, it might be advisable to replace some of the water. Even under these circumstances, it is safer and better to replace a foot of water each week, until the level is appropriately reduced. You will get better results, from your sand filter, if you switch to ZeobriteXtreme. I hope that I have been helpful Enjoy the season.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/24/2004


Draining Prior To Liner Change?

I want to drain my above ground pool so I can change the liner, how do I siphon out the water to drain it?

Richard & Shari, 5/9/2004


You want to direct the water away from the pool and to a well drained area. This is important so that you're not standing on water logged ground, when the liner is to be changed. Don't poke holes in the liner until almost all the water is out. You can create a siphon with a garden hose or vacuum hose by filling it with water. Keep one end 6 inches below the surface, cap the other end with your hand and move it to a level below the bottom of the pool water level. Release the end and the water should start flowing. Move the other end to the bottom of the pool. Flow rate will depend upon the difference between the bottom of the pool and the discharge end. The discharge end has to be lower that the water level at all times. Another option would be to use a submersible cover pump and a garden hose. I hope that information helps and enjoy the new look.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/9/2004

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