Congrats on getting an above-ground pool. Now you just need to take care of it so it can last for months of fun. They are not difficult to maintain, if you know what to do, otherwise the pool can quickly become green and slimy. Read on to keep your pool crystal clear all summer long.

Why an Above Ground Pool?

Intex 12-foot pool

First off, here are some great reasons to have an above Ground Pool.

  • Fun – Yes it is fun. Our children ages 5-17 (and yes, us parents too) all enjoy the pool.
  • Convenience – It is great to have the pool right there in the backyard. No loading everyone up in the car.
  • Budget-Friendly – It is much cheaper than other pool options.
  • Temporary – To get your yard back to normal, all you need to do it plant some grass seed.

We have the Intex 12-foot above ground pool and it is very sturdy and easily handles active children jumping in and out of the pool. The design of the pool makes it flexible against waves and splashes.

Underneath the pool, we put 12-foot by 12-foot exercise mats. These are not required but they serve a couple of purposes. First, they protect the pool from sticks or rocks which may puncture a hole in the bottom of the pool. Second, the exercise mats make the bottom of the pool softer for walking or sitting in the pool.

The Filter and Pump

intex pool filter and Innav8 hose sprayer

Filters Do Not Last Forever

The pool filters do get dirty. We have found spraying the filter off with a hose can keep it clean and help the filter to last longer. Daily cleaning of the filter can help the filter to last 2 to 4 weeks depending upon the pool usage. Notice the picture, it is easy to see which portion of the filter has been sprayed with the hose.

Replacement filters are available and we use the Innav8 hose sprayer (although any hose sprayer will work).

Chemicals and Chlorine

clorox pool shock xtrablue

The Chemicals Needed

The chemicals are not as complicated as expected. Clorox Pool Shock XtraBlue is all that is needed. For the 12-foot Intex pool, we used just less than 1/4 cup ever other evening. Sprinkle it into the pool right by the filter pump inlet. Adding the pool shock in the evening is recommended as the sunshine can counter the affects of the chlorine in the pool shock. Plus, it gives the pool shock plenty of time to work its magic. Technically, the pool is swim-ready just 15 minutes after adding the pool shock.

Smart test 4-way pool test strips

Testing the Pool Water

Testing the pool water is easy with Smart Test 4-way Test Strips. Once you remove the test strip from the container, you hold it under about 6 inches of water for a few seconds. Then you remove it from the water and hold it next to container. Ideally, the colors on the strip should match up with the middle colors on the container. The colors on the strip in the picture look a bit low, so the pool needed some more of the Pool Shock from above. Test in the morning before you plan to swim. then you can add more pool shock if needed.

Using a Pool Skimmer

pool-skimmer-net-gkanmore

Cleaning leaves and crud out of the pool

Without a cover, you will definitely need a skimmer. It is great for collecting leaves off the top of the pool or for cleaning anything that sinks to the bottom.

We use the GKanMore Pool Skimmer.

A Pool Cover

These come highly recommended. We have used both. There are basically 2 types of covers:

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Enjoy your Pool!

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About the Author: Ryan Swanstrom

Live Shopping Expert, Data Scientist, Good Guy

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