Swimming Pool Buying Guide
Above Ground Pools 101
Types of Pools
Pool Safety Tips:
• 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
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.
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.
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:
• 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)