Must Have Accessories for Above Ground Pools

There is a core group of essential pool supplies that every pool owner will need at some time during the season. These 'must-have' pool essentials are tools to respond to the latest pool crisis, or ways to avoid pool problems to begin with.

I've owned an above ground pool for a long time now, over a decade, so I have become comfortable using certain chemicals and equipment to open the pool, keep it clean and clear (usually) all summer, and close it down in the fall.

So here is my list of "Desert Island Pool Supplies" ~ If I was stranded on a desert island, with a nice swimming pool, these are the must-have items that I would absolutely need!

Good Pool Brush


Brushing regularly not only lifts visible dirt, but invisible scale and films too, and does wonders for circulation. A few years ago we started carrying the Supreme pool brush, with 20,000 (!) bristles. It is so much more efficient and easier to use, especially with an above ground pool, where you may be standing outside, but at the same level as if you were inside the pool. I LOVE the Supreme pool brush!

Good Set of Pool Poles

Why do I have to have two (2) good pool poles on my desert island? Because hopefully I'm also stranded with a nice person to help me keep the pool clean! Having two poles makes it much easier to call in reinforcements when needed, after a storm for example. It also means that you don't have to change attachments so often, but can keep your net or brush on the pole, ready to go!

Good Leaf Rake skim net

Leaf Rakes for Pools

Speaking of pool clean-up after a storm, nothing skims and scoops leaves faster than a pool leaf rake. Flat style skim nets are ok for light surface skimming, but when you need to clean the pool surface completely, or scoop leaves from the bottom, Pool Leaf Rakes are the way to go. They also come in handy for cleaning winter pool covers, scooping leaves from the surface.

Pool Equipment Hooks

aluminum hooks for pool poles

To protect your nice poles, brushes and nets, you've got to be careful where you store them. Keep them out of the sun and rain if possible, and mount them off the ground. Go ahead and buy these $10 plastic Pool Equipment Hangers, or kick-in another fiver and go for the all-Aluminum double Pool Pole Hangers. Having your poles mounted will look nicer and make your stuff last longer!


Debris Skimmer Skim-It

For number five - which could rank higher in terms of my love for this little gadget, the Skim-It or Debris Skimmer is a must have pool accessory for thousands of aboveground pool owners. The skimmer arm attaches to the inside of the skimmer and reaches out in the pool to grab leaves passing by, and direct debris into the skimmer. I use mine for spring clean-up and then for the last few weeks of the year, or to finish up a storm clean-up.


seaklear natural clarifier for pools

Clarifiers act as coagulants to clump together hundreds of microscopic particles into a larger size particle that can be removed by the pool filter. In this way, Clarifiers work to help the pool filter. As is the case with many above ground pools, the filter is often undersized and overworked. Clarifiers can help an under-performing pool filter run more efficiently, at a low cost per dose. I usually use SeaKlear Natural Clarifier, but any type will do.

Taylor Troubleshooter pool test kit

Taylor Test Kit

The Taylor Troubleshooter test kit, aka Taylor K-1515, is a great kit for the above ground pool owner. This pool water kit is Dr. Pool approved, so you know it must be highly accurate! You can test for Total and Free chlorine, to see when Combined chlorine levels are high enough to shock the pool. Also tests for pH and Total Alkalinity, and for Acid Demand, to know how much acid is needed to lower pH. All that for less than $20.

Nature2 Express

nature2 express for aboveground pools

Another secret weapon I employ to manage my pool is the Nature2 Express, a mineral purifier with a 6-month cartridge that I replace annually. Nature 2 does such a great job on my 14,000 gal above ground pool, that I only use one chlorine tablet at a time, replaced every 5-7 days! My chlorine level is never above 0.5 ppm, except after opening when I shock it hard, and then about every 3-4 weeks during the season, I shock the pool with In The Swim Pool Shock, my go-to shock treatment.

Leaf Bagger

image of leaf gulper, our garden hose powered pool leaf remover

You know, since I've become so proficient in my use of the pool brush and skim net, and because I have an automatic pool cleaner doing the heavy lifting a few times per week, I haven't actually vacuumed my pool in years! But, I do have a Leaf Gulper - connects to a garden hose and pole, and the water spray lifts leaves and sticks up into the debris bag.

Skim Bag

The Skim Bag skimmer accessory for above ground pools

The Skim Bag is a fine mesh filter fabric that you drop into your skimmer basket during times of heavy leaf litter or heavy pool use. I use mine in spring, when the Poplar trees drop their tulip stamens, the Skim Bag prevents pump and filter clogging, and acts like a second filter. I also use it during pool parties or during weekends of heavy pool use. Also useful for wildfire conditions,  to trap soot that falls on the water.

And there you have it - 10 essential pool accessories for above ground pool owners. Every pool is different, so you may rely on certain other supplies or tools or pool gear that you could not live without - if you were stranded on a desert island, with a pool.

In The Swim makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and In The Swim assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. In The Swim assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.