AG Pool FAQs

Above-Ground Swimming Pool FAQs

There’s a lot to love about above-ground pools, but there’s also a lot to learn. Here are five of the most common questions we get about above-ground pools; however, be sure to follow the specific installation instructions that come with your above-ground pool.

How do I install an above-ground pool?

Above-ground swimming pools come in all shapes and sizes and an array of materials. As a result, installation varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. But, most above-ground pools are DIY-friendly, so they’re easy enough to install without the help of a professional.

Here are the eight basic steps for setting up an above-ground pool:

  1. Choose a spot: Select an area that’s close to an electrical hookup (for the pool’s filtration system), a water hose and the house (for visibility). Choose a spot that’s nice and sunny and check local building codes for any restrictions.
  2. Level the ground: Measure and mark the size of the pool on the ground and clear the area of all debris. Then, level the soil. You may have to shovel or use other tools to get the ground level. When leveling the ground, it’s better to dig out higher areas rather than trying to fill in lower areas.
  3. Assemble the base: Assemble the bottom wall rim and lay down a level layer of sand that’s about three to four inches thick.
  4. Attach the walls: Attach the walls, making sure everything is securely fastened.
  5. Attach the liner: Start in the center and attach the liner to the bottom of the pool first.
  6. Install remaining pieces: Attach the anchor side-wall liners and the top rail.
  7. Install the equipment: Fill up the pool halfway with water. Then, install the pool skimmer and return and connect the filtration system.
  8. Finish filling up the pool: Once all the equipment is attached, finish filling up the pool with water.

Remember, every above-ground pool is different. If you aren’t comfortable installing your pool, consider hiring a professional to help.

What’s the cost of an above-ground pool?

Technically, those little wading pools you can buy outside of any big box store are considered above-ground pools, so it’s no surprise that the average cost of above-ground pools varies wildly.

For large above-ground pools (excluding the kiddie pools), the average price ranges from $1,000 - $3,500 (without installation), or up to $5,000 with installation (according to HomeGuide).

Other factors can increase the price, too, like adding a deck and equipment, so be sure to price out the entire project with your pool professional for the most accurate estimate.

How does an above-ground pool operate?

Above-ground pools are easy to operate as long as you have a filtration system installed (which includes the pump and filter) and some kind of pool sanitizing method (like a chlorine tablet feeder or salt chlorinator). The filtration system and sanitizers work together to keep your pool’s water free of debris, grime and bacteria.

Other than those key pieces of equipment, an above-ground pool vacuum (cleaner) and skimmer will help keep leaves, twigs and other debris out of your pool.

Additional equipment that can be added for comfort and convenience include heaters and automation systems.

In addition to the equipment, it’s important to follow a maintenance plan, which should include:

  • Regular pH and chlorine testing
  • Running the pump at least eight hours per day (even if you don’t swim)
  • Cleaning out the skimmer and pump baskets
  • Cleaning or backwashing your filter
  • Vacuuming the pool’s floors and walls with an above-ground pool cleaner
What types of above-ground pools are there?

Steel is the most popular above-ground pool type, but there are other materials used in their construction as well.

Above-ground pool materials include:

  • Inflatable
  • Steel Framed
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Resin 

In addition to material types, there are also three different types of pool liners to consider:

  • Overlap
  • Beaded
  • Unibead 

Learn more about above-ground pool types here.

How do I choose the right size above-ground pool?

You want to choose whatever pool size best fits your lifestyle and backyard. Make sure to allow at least three feet of walking space around every side of the pool.

Keep in mind that the wall height corresponds with pool depth. So, if you want a deeper pool, choose a taller wall height. The most popular wall height for above-ground pools is 52 inches.

Still have questions?

Do you still have questions about above-ground pools? The best source of information is your local pool pro. Save yourself the headache and hassle of endless internet searching with a quick call to your nearest pool professional.

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