An above ground pool can be an excellent addition to your home and your outdoor fun in the summer. Maintaining your pool can become a challenge, especially if you let if go for any length of time. It's best to perform regular maintenance so that your pool water remains clear, clean and healthy.
Pumps and Filters
Your pool pump is at the heart of your maintenance. The pump cleans the debris out of the pool by circulating the water through the attached filter. Keeping the water in your pool circulating prevents bacteria from forming. When your pool is in use, you should run your pump eight to ten hours per day for optimal performance. It is also important to keep your filter clean. Sand and diatomaceous earth filters need to be backwashed and you should change the filters in a cartridge filter when they get dirty. Many above ground pools come with very small cartridge filters that do not do the job of maintaining the pool. It is a good idea to check into getting a larger sand filter and pump.
You should check the pH of your pool water once a week to make sure the pH level remains between 7.2 and 7.6. If your pool is outside of this range, then your pool chemicals will not be as effective. Daily swimming in the pool adds contaminants to the water. Pool Shock (or chlorine) is used to oxidise the contaminants, which frees up the chlorine in the pool and keeps your water clear. Shock also kills the algae in the pool. You want your chlorine to be in the range of 10ppm. You can purchase simple test strips that will test your chlorine and alkalinity at any pool supply store or where they sell pool supplies. Use 1 bag of shock every week for every 10,000 gallons of water. Most above ground pools will only require 1 bag.
Every time you shock your pool, you will need to vacuum and run the filter for at least eight hours. If your water has got cloudy, it's best to run your pump continuously until the water clears. You should also add an algicide once per week to make sure that algae does not have a chance to grow. You will need to scrub the sides of your above ground pool weekly and make sure anyone that is getting in the pool has clean feet. Maintenance can extend the life of your pool. It's never a good idea to drain your pool as this can cause the liner to dry out, and it will need replacing.