Swimming Pool Buying Guide

A backyard pool helps beat the heat and keeps the kids entertained during summer. This swimming pool buying guide outlines the various types and benefits of different above ground pools.

Above Ground Pools 101

If you’re looking to combine fun and exercise while staying cool in the hot summer months, search no further than an above-ground pool. Public pools are fine, but they can’t beat the convenience of swimming and playing water sports in the comfort and privacy of your own backyard. It's also much easier to keep a watchful eye on young kids to ensure they're safe and entertained. Installation is easier than you may think. Once in place, your pool will add a new dimension to family activities like barbecues, parties and kid sleepovers.

Types of Pools


Frame Pools

Frame Pools are a less-permanent option, more suited to renters and to families who don't know how long they'll remain in their current home. These pools have a sturdy frame structure with PVC side walls and are designed to be easily installed and taken down in a few hours. This flexibility makes them ideal for families that use their backyards for multiple purposes, such as swimming in the summer and ice hockey in the winter.

Ring Pools

Ring pools, as the name suggests, are characterized by their round design. An inflatable ring helps the pool keep its shape and provides cushioning around the upper edge. These pools take just half an hour to install: simply inflate the ring, fill the pool with water, and enjoy. Portability is also a big plus as the deflated pool is easy to transport and store. 

Pool Safety Tips:

• Always cover your pool when it’s not in use
• Don’t allow young children to swim without adult supervision
• Make sure there is a floatation device near the pool at all times, and that life jackets are readily available
• Ensure there is at least one person who knows CPR around the pool at all times
• Never dive into an above ground swimming pool

Swimming Pool Features

Size +

Above-ground pools range in diameter from 15 to 36 metres. Before buying an above-ground pool, determine the size of the space that will be dedicated to the pool and pool area. If your yard will be used for barbecues and other summer activities, you’ll need to ensure plenty of space around at least one side of the pool. It is also critical that your pool is set up on level ground to ensure stability.

Shape +

Above-ground pools are available in a variety of shapes, including rectangular, oval and round. Rectangular and oval pools are better for swimming laps and playing water sports such as water polo. A round pool is great for kid play, but adults might also enjoy using it to cool off with a beverage and conversation.

Pump & Filter Systems +

Above ground pools use a combined pump and filter system, with pump size measured in horsepower. Generally a 1 HP pump will do for any pool up to 24 feet round; any bigger and you should consider a 1.5 HP pump. There are three main types of filters. Traditional sand filters are the least expensive but only filter particles down to 20 to 40 microns in size. Cartridge filters are the most popular and have a better filtering range (10 to 20 microns) than sand filters. The cartridge can also be easily removed and cleaned by pressure washing inside and out with a garden hose. D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) filters offer the best filtration (1 to 3 microns) but are also the most expensive. Similar to sand filters, D.E. filters are cleaned by backwashing, but also require a fresh charge of D.E. after cleaning.

Pool Covers +

A pool cover stretches overtop your pool to prevent things like falling leaves and twigs from getting in the water. They can also help prevent water evaporation. Covers can be found in hard, vinyl, plastic and mesh formats. A mesh cover takes up the least amount of storage space and is easy to apply and remove. Plastic and vinyl covers can usually be locked for added security. They also help your pool retain heat. A hard cover doubles as a safety item because it’s usually strong enough to withstand the weight of a child.

Ladders +

Pool ladders are used primarily to enter and exit above-ground pools, but they also serve as a firm support for swimmers, young kids especially, to hold onto when they need a rest. Pool ladders need to be sturdy enough to handle the hijinks of swimmers of all ages as they play in your pool.

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Pool Maintenance Tips:

• Always cover your pool when it’s not in use
• Keep your pool free of bacteria by sanitizing it with chlorine, mineral cleaner or other natural sanitizers
• If you use pool salt to keep the pH level of your pool water between 7.2 and 7.6, your sanitizer will be more effective
• Use algaecide to clear up cloudy water caused by algae build-up
• For cartridge filters, it’s important to clean and/or change the filter regularly (or as needed)
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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