Tips to Maintain an Above-Ground Swimming Pool


In-ground pools are beautiful, but they can be difficult to install in your backyard. This could be due to the cost, space or type of soil. However, an above-ground pool could be a good option to enjoy the water in warmer months.

There are many options for above-ground pools, from budget models to luxurious and expensive ones. You can enjoy them all year. Some use saltwater systems which are more popular than in-ground pools. There are also options for solar heating and energy-efficient covers for above-ground pools.

Modern models might have more advanced features than in-ground models. These include pumps and filtration systems that keep them clean. Even above-ground pools with built-in systems require some maintenance to keep them in top condition.

Maintain a Maintenance Checklist

Although it may be tempting to ignore above-ground pool maintenance, you will end up paying for it in the form of costly repairs or water damage to your pool liner. Follow a weekly and daily pool maintenance checklist to ensure you are taking good care of your pool.

These tasks should be completed daily

  • To ensure pH levels between 7.4 to 7.6, test the pH.
  • Check the chlorine level. It should be between 2.0 – 4.0 ppm.
  • The water level should be at or near the middle of the skimmer.
  • Empty the pump and skimmer baskets.
  • Make sure to check the pressure of your filter and the operation of your pump.
  • You can skim the surface of water.

These tasks should be completed once a week

  • To ensure that your total alkalinity is between 80 and 120ppm, test it.
  • Dosage should be done with algicide, clarifier, or metal control.
  • Take care of the pool deck, and its surrounding areas.
  • Add chlorine tablets.
  • If the pressure gauge is reading 7 to 9 PSI, you should backwash the filter or clean it.

Water circulation

Algae can grow quickly in above-ground pools due to poor water circulation. This is especially evident in dead spots in the pool. These areas include behind ladders, around steps and under the skimmer.

Although the pool pump circulates water, it can sometimes fail to do a good job in dead spots. Multi-directional return jets can be installed to improve the situation. However, you should also keep a pool brush handy in order to manually circulate water.

Protect the Pool Wall

As important as the pool’s water, the pool’s walls need to be maintained. It is important to not allow guests to sit or stand on the edges of the pool or the top rail. This can lead to cracking, creasing and even collapsing the sides. Rust can fall into the water if it isn’t covered by the top rail. You can find replacement rails for your model at your local pool store or online parts supplier.

The pool wall could also be damaged by other hazards:

  • Falling tree branches
  • Under the top rail, nesting insects
  • Poking wildlife from ground level
  • Not mowing too close to the wall, or shoving debris off the mower at the wall
  • Bicycle riding too close to the pool can cause accidents


Birds will use the top rail as a perch, so keep it clean.

Properly winterize the pool

You must winterize the pool at the end each year if you don’t plan to use it for more than one swimming season. This includes:

  • Thoroughly cleaning the pool and adding winter chemicals to the water.
  • Clean up chemicals and cleaning supplies.
  • You should run the filter for at least one hour before you disconnect the pump and motor.
  • Reduce the water level to the point below the return and the skimmer. You shouldn’t drain the pool completely as hydrostatic pressure can cause damage from ice conditions.
  • To keep water from leaking into the pipes, add pool antifreeze to the plumbing (not automobile antifreeze).
  • Winter cover of the appropriate size for the pool

Run the Pool Pump Daily

Even if you only plan to use your pool for a few days, it is important to run the filter and pump for 12-18 hours each day. Both work together to maintain clean water. To remove any dirt or debris, the pool pump pumps water into the filter. It is important to keep the water moving in order to prevent algae growth.

Clear the Impeller

The pump and filter will be stressed if they are not used daily. Don’t panic if the pump stops working. The problem could be as simple as a blocked impeller in the pump. This is something that many owners of above-ground pools don’t think about.

The impeller is a small component of your pump that creates water flow from the pump to the filter. It can get clogged with leaves or other debris, which reduces the flow of water and sometimes stops it from flowing. Turn off the motor to unclog the impeller. With the help of the owner’s manual, locate the impeller. Grab the basket and use a screwdriver to get rid of any leaves or debris. Once the clog has been removed, your pump will be able to work properly.

Clean and patch the Liners

You might be tempted to ignore a tiny tear or pinhole in your liner, especially if they are above the water line. These problems should be repaired immediately. If they continue to tear and cause leakage, it is best to fix them as soon as possible. Keep a pool repair kit with an underwater pool liner adhesive in your arsenal.

Vacuum more than once a week

Your pool should be vacuumed at least once per week. However, it is a good idea to vacuum the pool more often than that. The filter will not remove all dirt and debris from your pool, particularly the ones that settle to the bottom and remain there. It can be difficult to vacuum an above-ground pool manually. A robotic cleaner is a much more efficient and stress-free option.

Use a solar blanket

A solar pool cover can be used to protect your pool from the elements. The following are the benefits of a solar blanket:

  • Keeps water clear of insects and debris, especially on breezy nights.
  • To maintain stable levels, reduce water evaporation
  • You can extend your swimming season by making the water warmer

Shock the Pool

Don’t hesitate to use shock in your pool if you are using other chemicals. To get rid of stubborn algae in your pool, shock is a good idea and sometimes necessary. For water treatment, shock is a granular form of chlorine that is mixed with water. It can be used separately or at different times than other chemicals.

A pool can usually be shocked only so much that you don’t have to add too much powder. To ensure safety, you should shock the pool at night. The sun won’t melt it. You can also abstain swimming the next day.

Protect your home from water leaks

National and local building codes mandate that above-ground swimming pools be placed at least six feet from your home for electrical reasons. However, it is important to consider what to do in the event of a pool failing and water gushing out at high speed. Your basement and ground can quickly become flooded. To protect your home from water damage, install a sump-pump in your basement.


Dia is the Editorial Assistant at, covering Exterior, Kitchen, home Yard, Poolhouse, and more.

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