Shopping for an Above Ground Pool

When Shopping for an Above Ground Pool...

Having an above ground pool in your backyard will give you, your family and friends countless hours of enjoyment, games, exercise and refreshment this swim season, and for years to come. To help you select the above ground swimming pool that will be perfect for your family, your backyard and your budget, we'd like to offer a few planning suggestions - things to consider as you shop. If you have any questions about the information below, please feel free to contact our Above Ground Pool Experts at 1-800-288-7946 for friendly, professional answers and advice.

Pool Budget

Above ground swimming pools are a great value, and can be significantly less expensive than an inground pool of the same size. It's still important however, to have a budget in mind as you shop. Consider not only the cost of the swimming pool itself, but also the equipment you'll need in order to start swimming and enjoying your new pool - and then shop within that budget. In addition to the swimming pool, you will need a vinyl liner, a pump and filter system, a wall skimmer & a way to enter and exit your pool - either a ladder or step system. At In The Swim, you'll save significantly over the competition when it comes to purchasing a complete above ground pool kit. Our above ground swimming pools are all top-quality, very competitively priced, and each one comes complete with a skimmer at no additional charge.

Yard Space

The next thing to consider after budget is the amount of available space in your backyard for a new above ground pool. Make sure that the pool you choose is appropriately sized in relation to the overall yard - including landscaping, existing decking, driveway, fencing and other permanent features or obstructions. Consider the specific location within your yard for your pool too... don't make a hasty decision, plan it out so your pool is convenient and easy to use. We suggest actually going out to your backyard with a measuring tape and either stakes & string or spray paint - measure out the pool dimensions and mark the area where you'd like the swimming pool to be located.

Style & Shape

In addition to the amount of yard space your new above ground pool will take up, you should also think about how you and your family will use your new pool. For example, is a 48" side wall sufficient for your needs, or should you consider an extra-deep 54" style? Are your swimmers experienced or novice? Will they mainly splash & jump (in which case a round pool might be sufficient) or do you intend to use the pool for water games or exercise (in which case an oval shape might be preferred). Will your new pool attach to a deck or platform, or be free-standing? This will impact the type of style of ladder and/or steps you will need.

Power Source

Your swimming pool will require access to electricity, to power the pump & filter system, plus pool lighting and other optional equipment you may want to include. We recommend you run a new, dedicated 110V electrical line for your pool, and trench it underground (add the cost of this to your pool budget in these cases). This is also a great time to consider whether your pool will (either now or in the future) include a heater or heat pump. Warmer water will not only extend the length of your swim season, but will also let you enjoy more nighttime swims, too. Gas pool heaters are powered by propane or natural gas, but there are also pool heat pumps available that run on electricity or heating oil.

Pool Water

You'll need to think about where the water will come from that you use to fill our swimming pool. In most locations, you can simply use your existing water supply and fill the pool using a standard garden hose. If your pool is located in a remote area (in relation to the hose), if you have well water or simply do not want to use "tap water" to fill your pool, you can contract with a water supply company to truck in water for your pool.

Local Ordinances & Permits

Many municipalities & states have specific requirements and regulations that must be adhered to with regarding your new above ground swimming pool. These could include issues of size, location within your yard, pool fencing and / or pool ladder specifications, etc. In addition, some towns may require that a permit be obtained before installing your new above ground swimming pool. Be sure to verify all local, state or federal requirements before you select and install your new above ground pool. A little advance planning could save you from a hefty fine - or worse, having to re-install a finished above ground pool.

Installing your Aboveground Pool

You may have companies in your area that will install a pool you bought on the internet, but there aren't too many. Most of our aboveground pool customers plan a weekend where they installed their own pool, with the help of family or friends. First you prepare the ground and make sure it's level. For a complete description of the steps involved in a DIY aboveground pool installation, see our article Aboveground Pool Installation Guide.

Pool Water Maintenance

You will need to treat and sanitize your pool water before swimming. There are several water sanitizing methods available - the most common of which are chlorine and bromine. Equally effective alternative methods include mineral sanitizers, Ozonators and salt chlorine generators (also known as Salt Systems). Which is best for you will depend on your specific preferences. If you have any questions about water sanitizing, please feel free to call our Pool Experts for prompt, friendly advice.

Filter System Information

When buying an above ground pool, you’ll also have to consider purchasing a pool filter system. There are three types of filters to choose from including Diatomaceous Earth (DE), cartridge and sand filter systems. Below is information about each pool filter type along with advantages and possible disadvantages for the three types of filters.

Here are more facts and details to help understand pool filter systems.

  • Debris particles removed from your pool water by the pool Filter System are measured in microns - the smaller the particle, the smaller its measurement. The human eye cannot see particles smaller than 35 microns.
  • Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occurring chalk-like sedimentary rock that's used as the filter medium for DE filter systems. It's typically composed of silica, sodium, magnesium, iron, and has an abrasive pumice-like feel, and is very light and porous.
  • Filter Sand substitutes are also Silica-based (silicon dioxide, or Si02), a common component of sand in inland continental and non-tropical coastal settings. Silica is widely available as a pool filter medium from pool supply sources.

Pool Packages

Pool Packages Often Include Some or All of the Following:

A-Frame Ladder: The swing-up outer ladder can be locked (padlock is included) to prevent unauthorized access to the pool while it is not in use.

Vacuum Hose: Our 1-1/2" vacuum hose features full flow, smooth inside walls, UV protections and a leak-proof swivel cuff.

Vacuum Head: Weighted vacuum head features a unique brush pattern that channels debris directly to the suction for easy removal.

Vacuum Pole: This vacuum pole extends from 5 ft. to 15 ft., easily adjusting with a heavy-duty split collect locknut.

Skimmer Net: This large volume rake won't bend or break. Pro-Strength model includes a leading edge for extra scooping power. Thermometer Magnified Pool & Spa Thermometer lets you quickly & accurately check the temperature of your pool or spa water.

Thermometer: Magnified pool and spa thermometer lets you quickly and accurately check the temperature of your pool or spa water.

Start-up Chemical Kit: Our Spring Start-Up Chemical Kits are pre-measured for your pool size and use only the most powerful chlorine-based Shock, for fast, proven results.

3" Pool Chlorine Tabs: Our 3-inch, 7 oz. pool chlorine tablets are powerful, top-quality stabilized chlorine for superior pool water sanitizing.

Pool Shock: Slow dissolving for consistent pool chemistry maintenance and ideal for automatic feeders or floaters.

Super Algaecide: This powerful, high-quality copper-based algaecide eliminates most types of algae in a matter of hours.

Stain Away: Use powerful Stain Away to eliminate metal stains, brown water, and calcium build-up & prevent them from coming back.

AquaChek: Simply dip one AquaChek test strip into the water. The pads on the strip will change color to indicate the chemical.

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