Ready for the Chlorine Shortage of 2021?

Salt Water Pools vs. Chlorine Pools – Everything You Need To Know

If you are considering installing a pool, you may be wondering whether you should install a salt water pool or a freshwater pool.

Technically speaking salt water and freshwater pools both use chlorine. Salt water pools use salt water generators to convert salt into chlorine.

Meanwhile freshwater pool use pool chemicals with chlorine to keep the pool water clean and clear.

For this comparison guide, we will refer to freshwater pools as chlorine pools.

Table Of Contents

Now, salt water pools and chlorine pools are different on a lot of levels. This article offers you a clear comparison between salt water pools and chlorine pools.

swimming on saltwater pool

What are the main differences between salt water pools and chlorine pools?

The main difference between salt water pools and chlorine pools is the upfront cost vs. the maintenance cost.

Salt water pools will require the higher upfront cost of a salt water generator, while chlorine pools have the ongoing cost of chlorine additions and chemical shock treatments.

If you don’t enjoy a lot of ongoing weekly maintenance, a chlorine pool might not be your first choice.

On the other hand, if you are okay with the ongoing cost of shock treatments and don’t want to spend a lump sum on a salt water generator, a chlorine pool can work great for you.

The other main difference between salt water and chlorine pools is the overall types of concerns that come with each.

Chlorine pools cause concern about the amount of chlorine that is in the pool at any given time. Chlorine is already irritating to the eyes and skin and can become even more irritating and possibly dangerous if the chlorine levels get too high.

Salt water pools cause concern about the erosion of your pool walls and floor that could occur. If you don’t have an all-resin pool, your pool walls and floors could begin to deteriorate quicker than you think.

Chlorine Pool Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Chlorine is an effective sanitizer – Using chlorine as a sanitizer is effective. A chlorine shock treatment will kill all of the bacteria and algae in your pool.
  • Widely used – Because most people have freshwater chlorine pools, you will find a lot more products for chlorine pools and receive more guidance when you need it.
  • No electrical equipment needed – You don’t need any generators or electrical equipment, which makes a chlorine pool system a lower upfront cost.

Cons:

  • More regular maintenance – Chlorine pools require more maintenance time with the addition of chlorine pool shock treatments that make you wait before using your pool again.
  • Chlorine irritating to eyes and skin – Chlorine is already more irritating than salt, and it only becomes more irritating when you have too much chlorine in your pool.
  • More expensive to maintain – With a chlorine pool, you will have to put in more money to maintain your pool with chlorine shock treatments and chemicals.

Salt Water Pool Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Nearly maintenance-free – The maintenance is straightforward, and salt water pools have far less maintenance than chlorine pools. Adding salt to the water and occasionally checking on the salt generator is just about all you need to do.
  • Salt is incredibly affordable – Taking the day-to-day and week-to-week maintenance and addition of chemicals into consideration, salt is going to be a lot more affordable than chlorine additives.
  • Exceptionally low chlorine content – With the small amounts of chlorine that is generated from the salt generator, you get a more enjoyable swimming experience with less irritation.

Cons:

  • Higher upfront cost – You will have to pay for a salt water generator system that could cost anywhere between $500 and $2000.
  • Requires an all-resin pool – Salt will cause deterioration of materials, especially metal. It is advised to have an all-resin pool to avoid future problems and fixes.
  • Requires external system – You must use your salt water generator system consistently to keep your pool sanitized. This requires an electrical cost as well as future generator fixes and replacement costs.

In-Depth Comparison of Salt Water and Chlorine Pools

Before getting into the final tally, take a look at the table below to give yourself a side-by-side comparison of salt water and chlorine pool systems.

Pool type:Salt water PoolChlorine Pool
Initial investment:$500-$2000 for generator$20-$40 for first chlorine
Yearly upkeep cost:$20-$100 for salt$200-$400 for chemical shock treatments
Maintenance needs:Salt additions and weekly generator monitoringChlorine additions and chemical shock treatments
Concerns:Salt can erode pool material if it isn’t all-resin.Chlorine can irritate your skin and eyes.

You know what each pool system contains, you’ve looked over the pros and cons, and you understand the differences between the two pool systems. However, the big question is: Which pool costs more?

The short answer: Salt water pools and chlorine pools, in the long run, will cost about the same on average.

When you add up the numbers and consider all the points, the costs of each pool are in the same price range. Let’s take a closer look at how this conclusion was made.

A salt water generator will cost between $500-$2000. When you compare this to the upfront cost of a chlorine pool ($20-$40 for first chlorine treatment), it would seem that a salt water pool would cost a whole lot more.

If you have an large above ground pool, then this salt water filter system can help you save money on maintenance cost.

Intex Krystal Clear 2150 GPH Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System with E.C.O. (Electrocatalytic Oxidation) for Above Ground Pools, 110-120V with GFCI, Grey
  • FILTER PUMP: The Intex Krystal Clear filter pump with Hydro Aeration Technology improves circulation and filtration; Runs on 110-120V and weighs 54.9 pounds
  • COMPATIBLE: The Intex pump is compatible with above ground pools from 4,800 to 15,000 gallon capacity
  • AMPLE PUMP AND SYSTEM FLOW RATES: Features a pump flow rate of 2,650 GPH and system flow rate of 2,150 GPH; Equipped with GFCI for added safety that shuts off the pump if electrical current is exposed...
  • BETTER THAN A STANDARD CARTRIDGE SYSTEM: Easy operation 6-way filter valve makes maintenance easy, giving options to backwash, rinse, recirculate, drain, filter, and close system; Controlled...

Then you have to factor in the maintenance and ongoing costs. A salt water pool will require the ongoing costs of electricity to run the generator and salt that you occasionally add to your pool.

EasyGoProducts Spas – 40 Pounds Morton Pool Salt – High Purity & Fast Dissolving Chlorine Generator, White
  • Morton pool salt keeps pool water clean and contains no additives eliminating the need to handle and store hazardous chemical chlorine. The high purity pool salt offers a fast dissolving rate for...
  • This is an all-natural salt that helps your pool remain sparkling clean. High-purity salt from a brand you can trust. Easy to use, contains no additives Additive free salt, will not cause staining or...
  • Morton pool salt is gentler on hair, skin, eyes and swimwear. Salt material dissolves quickly in saltwater chlorinators. Keep your salt water pool full of sparkling, clean water with the help of...
  • Pour directly into the pool while walking around the edge to help dissolve evenly. Pool Salt should be distributed over the greatest water surface area possible to aid in the dissolve rate. Always...

A chlorine pool will require the ongoing expenses of chlorine additions and chemical shock treatments.

You may have to shock treat your pool as much as once every couple of days to as little as once every couple of weeks. This depends on how frequently you use the pool, how many people use it, and what other contaminants get into your pool.

By the end of the first or second year, the chlorine pool’s extra ongoing costs will catch up and surpass the initial upfront cost of the salt water pool. At this point, you will have spent more on a chlorine pool.

Rx Clear Stabilized Granular Chlorine | One 50-Pound Bucket | Use As Bactericide, Algaecide, and Disinfectant in Swimming Pools and Spas | Fast Dissolving and UV Protected
  • CLEAR WATER FOR SAFE SWIMMING - Swimming in crystal clear water does not mean your skin has to suffer. The granular chlorine is 99% sodium diclor making a relaxing swim not as harsh.
  • LONG LASTING - Dichlor resists UV light, lasting longer than other types of chlorinating supplies due to built in stabilizer for your swimming pool, hot tub, or spa.
  • DISSOLVES QUICKLY - Add 1 oz of this cleaning chemical to your pool for every 5,000 gallons your pool contains, daily for the best quick water treatment maintenance.
  • FEWER CHEMICALS NEEDED - Our dichlor is pH neutral, meaning less chemical adjustments to be made by you! This pool chlorinator acts as a sanitizer, pool algaecide, and disinfectant. This granular...

However, you then have to consider that your salt water generator isn’t going to last forever. Salt water generators will commonly last for about three to seven years, depending on how good of a system you have. You will be required to either get your system fixed or purchase a new salt water generator.

At this point, it’s difficult to tally the exact cost associations between each type of pool. You could get lucky and have a salt water generator that lasts you ten years. Or, it could last you two years.

You could get lucky and not have to add as much chemical treatment to your chlorine pool and save a lot of money in maintenance and ongoing treatment costs. Or, you could have to add treatment more frequently in larger quantities.

With a long-term outlook, a chlorine pool and salt water pool will cost about the same amount of money.

Final Thoughts on Salt Water vs Chlorine Pools

Because salt water pools and chlorine pools will cost about the same amount of money in the long run, your decision will be based solely on taste and upfront vs. ongoing costs.

If you have enough money to invest in a salt water generator as your substantial upfront cost, you may consider a salt water pool.

If you’d rather save the money and use it for your ongoing chemical shock treatments, you may consider a chlorine pool.

If too much chlorine makes you irritated, that’s also something to consider when making your decision.

If you don’t have an all-resin pool that could erode from a salt water system, that will be a determining factor in what you choose.

The best thing you can do is ask yourself – Using the information from this article, which pool sounds more enticing to me?

Frequently Asked Questions About Salt Water and Chlorine Pools

Which is easier to maintain salt water pool or chlorine?

When it comes to maintenance, the edge goes to salt water pools. They are easier to maintain and will not require weekly cleaning. Since the chlorine generated by the saltwater generator is sufficient to prevent algae build-up in your pool.

You can also check out our guide on how to clean saltwater above ground pools to have an idea on how to maintain this type of pool system.

What’s cheaper salt or chlorine?

Salt is more affordable than chlorine. If we’re going to compare the yearly cost for each. Salt water pools will need $100 worth of salt for the whole year. It could be less. While chlorine pools may need $300 to $1000 worth of chlorine products to maintain your pool for a single year.

Do salt water pools taste like the ocean?

If you were expecting an ocean type of water on your salt water pool, then you would need to spend on a truckload of salt first.

The salt in your salt water pool is almost undetectable. It will not taste too salty since the salt level in your pool is not near the salinity level in the ocean which is more or less 36,000 ppm. That’s equivalent to 36 grams of salt per one liter of water.

Photo by Coppell Pools salt water pool

How To Keep A Kiddie Pool Clean – Our 7 Best Tips

You may be surprised to know that there are quite a few ways that you can keep kiddie pools clean. Here are the tips we’ll cover in this article.

  • Keep the kiddie pool covered
  • Use chlorine to keep the water clear
  • Remove floating debris with a net
  • Sweep the bottom with the AquaBroom
  • Eliminate sunscreen buildup with ScumBalls
  • Keep the kids’ feet clean before entering
  • BONUS – How to make the kiddie pool last longer!

Keeping a kiddie pool clean can be a real chore if you don’t know these tips!

How To Keep A Kiddie Pool Clean

No time to read the article? Here is our product picks.

What to Do

What to Get

Where to Buy

Use Chlorine

Clorox Pool&Spa Small Pool 1' Chlorinating Tablets 1.5 lb

Chlorine Dispenser

GAME 17201-BB Derby Duck Spa Chemical Dispenser, Yellow

Use a Small Pool Vac

Intex 28620EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum, Grey

Skimmer Net

HydroTools by Swimline Aluminum Handle Pool and Spa Skimmer

Cover the pool

OUTOUR Garden Pond Cover Pool Cover Protector with Netting Tent Dome Netting 13x17 Feet, 3/8 Inch Mesh -Protection from Debris and Pests

Remove Sunscreen Build-up

Horizon HV-SB2PK Scumball Pool and Spa Scum Eliminating Ball (2 Packs of 2)

Keep Feet Clean

Poolmaster Anti-Skid Swimming Pool or Spa Textured Foot Bath Foot Wash

You know the drill…your kids want to go out and splash in the pool, but you take one look at that water and say NO Way!!!

These pools can be great fun for the kids, but many parents get frustrated when the water gets dirty and the kids stop playing.

Start off the summer right by getting the best kiddie pool for your little ones. Read our best kiddie pools roundup here. Heck, you might even be using your kiddie pool for the adults!

How to keep kiddie pool water clean? Use chlorine

You may be surprised to know that you can use chlorine for kiddie pools! In small quantitities of course, chlorine tablets are great to fight bacteria and algae in your kiddie pool. 

Chlorine is a natural chemical element. It is one of the most potent elements we have to destroy and deactivate infections, viruses, and other illness-causing bacteria, according to the American Chemistry Council. We’ve been using it for over 150 years, and it’s one of the only things that can be used to fight things like E. Coli and Salmonella.

How to keep a kiddie pool clean, use these chlorine tablets
These small chlorine tablets can be used to help
keep your kiddie pool clean.

You can use small chlorine tabs that are meant for a spa tub or small pools.  They are 1″ in size and you can use these chlorine tablets for kiddie pools.  These should only be used in pools that hold 100 or more gallons of water.

You should use one tablet per week for a kiddie pool of 200 gallons or less, and two tablets weekly for kiddie pools of over 200 gallons.

An additional benefit of using chlorine in the kiddie pool is to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in the pool.

The correct way to use these chlorine tabs in your kiddie pool is to use a chlorine float dispenser.  The dispenser below will hold one or two tablets and you simply let it float in the pool when the kids are not using it.  Do NOT just throw the tablets directly into the pool.

Here are some chlorine and dispenser options for kiddie pools

Clorox Pool&Spa Small Pool 1" Chlorinating Tablets 1.5 lb
HTH 42031 1-inch Chlorinating Tablets for Swimming Pools, 5 lbs
U.S. Pool Supply Pool & Spa Floating Chlorine & Bromine 1" Tablet Chemical Dispenser, 5" Diameter, Collapsible Floater
GAME 17201-BB Derby Duck Spa Chemical Dispenser, Yellow
Clorox Pool&Spa Small Pool 1" Chlorinating Tablets 1.5 lb
HTH 42031 1-inch Chlorinating Tablets for Swimming Pools, 5 lbs
U.S. Pool Supply Pool & Spa Floating Chlorine & Bromine 1" Tablet Chemical Dispenser, 5" Diameter, Collapsible Floater
GAME 17201-BB Derby Duck Spa Chemical Dispenser, Yellow
-
-
$46.99
$97.37
$8.96
$19.99
Clorox Pool&Spa Small Pool 1" Chlorinating Tablets 1.5 lb
Clorox Pool&Spa Small Pool 1" Chlorinating Tablets 1.5 lb
-
$46.99
HTH 42031 1-inch Chlorinating Tablets for Swimming Pools, 5 lbs
HTH 42031 1-inch Chlorinating Tablets for Swimming Pools, 5 lbs
-
$97.37
U.S. Pool Supply Pool & Spa Floating Chlorine & Bromine 1" Tablet Chemical Dispenser, 5" Diameter, Collapsible Floater
U.S. Pool Supply Pool & Spa Floating Chlorine & Bromine 1" Tablet Chemical Dispenser, 5" Diameter, Collapsible Floater
$8.96
GAME 17201-BB Derby Duck Spa Chemical Dispenser, Yellow
GAME 17201-BB Derby Duck Spa Chemical Dispenser, Yellow
$19.99

Keep the kiddie pool covered

There is no better way to keep your kiddie pool clean than by covering it to protect it from airborne debris.

There are a few different ways to accomplish this. One way is to use a special kiddie pool cover or tarp to protect the pool when it is not in use. Another way is to set up your kiddie pool under a shelter to protect it from debris.

If you have a small kiddie pool, then you can use a camping style tarp to cover the pool when it is not in use.  Don’t forget to use some bricks or pavers to weigh the tarp down so that it does not blow away. Just like a full-sized pool, a cover can really help in keeping leaves, bugs, bees, and other debris out of your kiddie pool. 

Here is one of our favorite kiddie pools that has its own fitted cover that makes putting in on super easy. Also, a tarp for any other kiddie pool that needs covering.

Another great kiddie pool parent hack is to set the kiddie pool up within a protected area that is covered. Using a screen canopy can both help to keep the pool clean and also provide much needed shade for the children to play extended hours. This is hands-down the best way to keep your kiddie pool clean and free of debris. Be sure to get the appropriate size for your kiddie pool to fit within.

how to keep a kiddie pool clean

Keep the kiddie pool free from floating debris

One easy way to ensure the kiddie pool water stays clean is to remove the floating debris like bugs, leaves, and other dirt.  Simply use a handheld net each day to remove the debris.

On Sale Now!
HydroTools by Swimline Aluminum Handle Pool and Spa Skimmer
  • Comes with a 12" aluminum handle
  • Ideal for use in small pools and spas
  • Ideal for skimming leaves, insects as well as other trash from surface of water
  • Keeps your pool thoroughly clean

Keep the kids feet clean before entering

How many times do the kids get in and out of the kiddie pool? Lots! And each time they exit and enter the pool they bring new debris on their feet. Simply set this feet cleaner outside the pool and have the kids step thru it before getting into the pool! Make it a game!

On Sale Now!
Summer Waves P5E001500 Outdoor Backyard 22.5 x 20 x 3.5 Inch Non Slip Pool Foot Bath Tray Accessory for In Ground and Above Ground Swimming Pools and Spas, Blue
  • DEBRIS-FREE POOL: Get a debris-free pool with this foot bath, an essential accessory to wash off your feet prior to entering your pool and perfect for in-ground or above-ground pools
  • 2.8-GALLON CAPACITY: Holds up to 2.8 gallons of water so you can be sure to wash off any unwanted grass, leaves, or sand
  • NON-SLIP DESIGN: Textured, anti-slip embossed bottom provides stability and minimizes slips or falls
  • HOOKS IN PLACE: Top portion hooks in-between pool ladder to keep in place while in use

Regularly clean debris from the bottom of the kiddie pool

We took care of the floating debris with the net above, but eventually, there will be debris accumulated on the bottom of the kiddie pool.  You can try using the net to clean the bottom, but it is likely that it will not completely suffice.

We found this really awesome mini pool vacuum that works great for kiddie pools.  We suggest using this weekly (if using the pool cover) or more often (if you are not using a pool cover).

On Sale Now!
Intex 28620EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum, Grey
  • Suitable for use with all pure spas and above ground pools up to 18' Diameter
  • Includes two interchangeable brush heads, USB cable for recharging, 94" Lightweight telescoping Aluminum shaft, & SHAFT adapter to fit longer/wider telescoping aluminum shaf
  • Automatic shutoff feature when vacuum is not submerged in water, IPX8 waterproof switch for added protection against water submersion
  • Keep pool water clean by vacuuming out dirt and debris

Keep sunscreen build up off the sides

What do you do right before the kids head outside to the kiddie pool?  Cover them in sunscreen of course!

The damage caused to our skin from the sun is well documented, so using the best sunscreen is important.  No matter what sunscreen you use, you will surely see a film of oil on the top of the water surface soon after the kids enter the pool.

There is nothing inherently bad about this, but over time you will see a build-up of this sunscreen oils on the sides of the pool.

There are two ways to combat this build-up.  You can either scrub it off when you are draining the pool, or prevent the build-up in the first place.  To prevent the build-up, we recommend the “Scum Ball”!

Horizon HV-SB2PK Scumball Pool and Spa Scum Eliminating Ball (2 Packs of 2)
  • Helps eliminate scum line from body oils, lotions and make-up in your pool or spa
  • Increases time between cleanings
  • Specialty patented foam absorbs 43 times its weight in oils / lotions
  • Includes 2 Scum Balls per pack
YouTube video

Make sure the kids are clean before entering the pool

Another way how to keep a kiddie pool clean is to first make sure the kids are clean!

The CDC says that one of the most beneficial ways to reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria is to wash your kids off BEFORE they swim.

Years ago, summer camps and public pools would have a shower room you had to walk through to get to the pool. These rooms rinsed you off before you got in, which helped reduced the spread of many germs. 

Now, showering before entering is almost always optional, but it’s a great idea if you’re swimming with other families to hose kids down with a light body wash before they hop in the pool. 

Drain the kiddie pool and scrub it down when necessary

Sometimes when attempting to keep your kiddie pool clean you will just simply need to drain the pool, clean it thoroughly, and re-fill it.

This makes it especially important to choose a kiddie pool with a built-in drain.  Without a drain, you need to find a way to dump the water, or even worse, bucket it out!

BONUS: How to make your kiddie pool last longer

Your kids LOVE that splash pool, right? They would stay out there all day long if you let them. We also know that kiddie pools can sometimes “spring a leak” or otherwise end up failing before the summer is over.

Most kiddie pool leaks are from punctures on the bottom of the pool. Stones, pebbles, and anything else that is trapped under the pool, can puncture the bottome.

One way to avoid this is to put something smooth under the pool to protect the bottom. We suggest using interlocking foam tiles for this.

If you have an Intex kiddie pool, then you should check out our guide on what to put under your Intex pool.

Here are some that will work great. You will likely need about 40-60 square feet depending on how big the kiddie pool is.

We Sell Mats 48 Sq. Ft. Charcoal Gray 2' x 2' x 3/8" Interlocking Foam Floor Mats
  • DURABLE MULTIPURPOSE FOAM FLOOR TILES: High density, foam tiles available in 24” x 24” tiles in 3/8” thickness for firm cushion to lessen the impact of exercising and playing.
  • EASY INSTALLATION & CLEAN-UP: Assembles in minutes over any hardwood floor or flat indoor surface for extra padding needed throughout the home. Wipe clean with soap and water and air dry to finish.
  • KIDS PUZZLE MAT FOR PLAYROOM SAFETY: Designed for peace of mind when kids play on the floor. Use in playrooms, daycares or classrooms, for extra thick padding that makes playtime safe.
  • VERSATILE USAGE: For all lifestyle and activity needs, our Multipurpose flooring provides safe cushioning for light fitness exercises, yoga, playroom flooring, Cosplay costumes and support while...

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Kiddie Pools

u003cstrongu003eWhy Do Kiddie Pools Need Cleaning?u003c/strongu003e

How to keep a kiddie pool clean

Many people fill their kiddie pools with water from a backyard hose and call it a day – which, we might add, is a perfectly fine start. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eActually, many towns and cities include ingestible amounts of chlorine and other chemicals in their water supply as a way to keep citizens healthier. If you have well water, you may already know exactly what is in your water.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eNo matter your water content, though, once little human bodies enter the equation, all bets are off because although kids are adorable they are also tiny hotbeds of germs. At any given time, they may be carrying a virus in its incubation stage. They can unwittingly pick up viruses or colds virtually anywhere – the grocery store, daycare, the park – and whatever is on your child before they get in the pool goes into the water.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eMost kiddie pools do not have a filter or circulation system and that means it is a body of standing water just waiting for debris, bacteria, and algae to find its way in.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eSo don’t fill the pool and forget it! Although a small pool is still considerably less work than a large pool, you should do a little more upkeep to be sure your kids stay healthy.

Can I use bleach in a kiddie pool?

The short answer is YES, you can use bleach to help keep your kiddie pool clean.  We recommend using very basic bleach.  Be careful when using the Clorox brand, as many now contain additives such as scents. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eUse generic bleach or Clorox Regular Bleach.  Use 1/8 cup for every 100 gallons in your kiddie pool.

How do I get rid of Algae in a kiddie pool?

There are a few ways to try to rid your kiddie pool of algae using chemicals.  However, we recommend simply draining and cleaning the pool which can be easier than fooling with the chemicals.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eDrain the pool, then create a cleaning mixture of 5 parts water and 1 part bleach to scrub the pool.  Allow the pool to dry completely before re-filling.

How do I keep a kiddie pool clean without chemicals?

If you simply do not want to use chemicals to keep your kiddie pool clean, there is an alternative.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eRather than chlorine, use Distilled White Vinegar. Add 1/2 Cup for every 100 gallons of water in your pool.u003cbru003eu003cbru003e*u003cstrongu003eImportantu003c/strongu003e: If you choose to use this method to keep your pool clean, then it is important to note that Vinegar is a known weed killer.  If you drain your pool in your grass, expect your grass to yellow severely.  Alternatively, drain the pool in the driveway.

How long can you keep water in a kiddie pool?

If you use the advice given in our guide, using a chlorine float and keeping the pool covered from debris then we recommend changing the water every 3-4 weeks.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIf you do not use our advice, then you will likely need to change the pool water every few days.

How can I test the water in my kiddie pool?

You can use the same types of test kits/strips that are used for larger pools.  Here are some u003ca href=u0022https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001E6E9PG?tag=ownthepool-20u0026amp;linkCode=ogiu0026amp;th=1u0026amp;psc=1u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 aria-label=u0022inexpensive test strips (opens in a new tab)u0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopener nofollow sponsoredu0022 class=u0022rank-math-linku0022u003einexpensive test stripsu003c/au003e that test everything you need.

Additional Information

OK, So What is The Scoop on Poop (in the Pool)

1 out of 4 adults say that they’d go swimming even if they have diarrhea, according to this survey. It’s pretty certain that if those adults have kids, they’d go swimming if sick, too.

If you or your child have any diarrhea, the answer to that question needs to be no.

Swim diapers are made to keep solid waste in while not soaking up all the water in the pool. However, they do not keep bacteria from poop from getting into the water, whether the poop is of the normal variety or filled with a virus or bad bacteria. The only thing that works well for containing that mess is covering a swim diaper with tight-fitting plastic underwear. 

In the case of an “accident” in the kiddie pool, the only solution is to drain and clean the pool.

 

Before You Buy Your Kiddie Pool

Make this your new habit: when you buy your pool, buy the supplies you’ll need to keep it clean.

We hope this guide was useful in keeping your kiddie pool clean.

Photo by larrywkoester how to keep a kiddie pool clean

Ultimate Kiddie Pool Setup – An Entire Summer of Fun Under $100

Let’s face it, summer is a time for fun and splashing in the pool, but it can be quite expensive to install a pool at your home.  One super alternative is an inflatable kiddie pool to keep the kiddos active and busy all summer long.

However, many parents get frustrated when purchasing the traditional cheap kiddie pool, filling it with water, then watching it sit unused all summer because it is dirty, leaky, and forgotten about.

We came up with some great kiddie pool ideas so that you have a great experience this summer.  You can put a kiddie pool in your yard, on your deck, or even in your driveway.

Here is everything you need for a fun and safe kiddie pool experience this summer.   All for under $100!

 

Intex Swim Center Family Inflatable Pool (~$30)

This Intex inflatable kiddie pool isn’t your parent’s kiddie pool.  At 10ft long by and 6ft wide, this pool can provide hours of fun and entertainment for 1-3 kiddos.  If you have read our reviews, you know that we think that Intex makes the best inflatable kiddie pool.

We like this pool because it is made of 15 gauge vinyl which will hold up for multiple summers if cared for correctly.

Intex Pool Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

The drain plug makes water changes easy.  The comfortable and wide sidewalls make lounging fun for kids and even the adults (but we won’t tell!)

The pool holds approximately 300 gallons of water and makes a terrific play area for your children.

Intex Swim Center Family Inflatable Pool, 120" X 72" X 22", for Ages 6+
  • 120" x 72" x 22" large family pool
  • 3 air chambers each with double intake and free flow exhaust valve
  • 264 gallon capacity
  • 15 gauge vinyl. This product does NOT come with a pump.

Intex Rectangular Pool Cover (~$15)

One of the most frustrating aspects of having a kiddie pool is the amount of debris that collects.  Dirt, leaves, bugs, etc…  Intex makes this great cover that completely takes care of this problem!  This cover is custom-fitted to the pool, so putting it on and taking it off is quite easy.

With this cover, you can keep your kiddie pool clean all summer long and save much of the hassle with changing the water all of the time!

Having a cover is one of the secrets to keeping a kiddie pool clean

Intex Rectangular Pool Cover for 103 in. x 69 in. or 120 in. x 72 in. Pools
  • For use with 120in x 72in or 103in x 69in Intex Inflatable Pools
  • Comes with draw strings to close tight

Clorox Small Pool Chlorinating Tablets (~$20)

When you have a full-sized in-ground or above-ground pool, you use lots of chemicals, cleaners, and vacuums to keep it sparkling clean.

When you have a kiddie pool, there is no filtration or water circulation to help keep the water clean.  Without any of this, kiddie pools are prone to dirty and cloudy water.  Neither the kids nor the parents are too excited about playing in dirty and clouded water.

Clorox makes these kiddie pool chlorine tablets that are meant for small pools and spa tubs.  We find that they are perfect to use in this kiddie pool to keep the water clean; killing bacteria and fighting algae.

Kiddie pool chlorine tablets

Do NOT put these tablets directly in the water, instead see the chlorinator float below.  Simply put one tablet in the float per week and let it dissolve.  Your water bill will thank you since you will no longer need to continuously drain and re-fill the kiddie pool.

Clorox Pool&Spa Small Pool 1" Chlorinating Tablets 1.5 lb
  • Kills bacteria and prevents algae
  • Protected against sunlight to last longer
  • For pools up to 5, 000 gallons
  • NOTE: Packaging may vary*

Floating Mini Tablet Chlorine Dispenser (~$5)

If you are using the Clorox tablets listed above, then use this dispenser rather than putting the tablets directly in the pool.  Just pop 2 tablets in the dispenser and it will gradually dissolve over about one week and keep the water crystal clear.

This will really minimize the number of times you need to drain and re-fill this pool!

We recommend taking the dispenser out of the pool while the kids are playing.

On Sale Now!
HydroTools by Swimline Floating Mini Tablet Spa Chemical Dispenser
  • Designed for use with 1" Bromine or Chlorine Tablets
  • Automatically releases sanitizer into your pool
  • Adjustable for custom dosage amounts
  • Blue and white design that blends into any spa

Here is what the ultimate kiddie pool setup looks like with the chlorine dispenser

kiddie pool

6ft Sunshade Umbrella

With the kids enjoying the kiddie pool this summer, we need to protect them from the sun!

Simply install this umbrella next to the pool to keep the kids cool and protected.

Rio Brands Deluxe 6' Sunshade Umbrella - Blue/Turquoise
  • Aluminum undercoating for added sun protection. Spf50 sun protection Factor
  • Powder coated steel pole and ribs
  • 76 denier polyester fabric
  • PVC carry bag with shoulder strap

That’s it!  Everything you really need to have the ultimate kiddie pool setup this summer for under $100!

Here are a few extras that you don’t NEED but may WANT

Electric Air Pump for Inflating Pool

Although the Intex pool can certainly be inflated manually (fun activity for the kids anyone?), having this air pump can make it easier and quicker.  This is the same type of pump that is used to inflate an air mattress.  If you already have a pump for an air mattress, then no need to buy this one.

WEY&FLY Quick-Fill Electric Air Pump for Inflatables Air Mattress Bed AC 100-120V Black (8218)
  • AC Electric Pump: This small pump is perfect for indoor use with 110V AC socket. The cord length is about 1.3M/4ft, and the air pressure is 0.68psi, you can inflate the Queen-size/King-size air...
  • Quick-fill: The hand-held air pump fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, and the max CFM is 21.8, which works fast inflation/deflation with your inflatables
  • 3 Nozzles to Choose: This electric pump allows you to inflate/deflate with different items, no need to buy extra nozzles
  • Wide Usages: This high-volume low pressure electric pump can be used with large inflatables, airbed, air mattress, pool, boat, raft, sofa, bathtub, water bed, swim rings

EZ Up Shade Tent

If your kids are really enjoying the kiddie pool setup this summer and you are concerned about sun exposure, then all the sunscreen and basic umbreallas just might not do.  You can step up your sun-protection game with this shade tent.

We recommend setting up the pool so that 1/2 in the tent.  Set up the tent in the right direction so that it protects your little ones from the hot afternoon sun!

Easthills Outdoors Instant Shader Enhanced Pop Up Beach Tent Instant Sun Shelter with UPF 50+ UV Protection Double Silver Coating for Kids & Family Sky Blue
  • UPF 50+ PROTECTION: You love the beach, but blazing sun and sunburns? Not so much. The Instant Shader is specially designed with a double silver coating that effectively blocks 97.5% of UVA and UVB...
  • FAMILY SIZE: Take shade and comfort wherever you go. With a super-spacious interior of 99" W x 53" D x 57" H and 53” front porch, even 4 adults can sit and lay down comfortably inside. Enjoy as long...
  • PATENT-PENDING OPENING MACHANISM: End the frustration of putting up and taking down large beach tents. The Instant Shader’s patent-pending opening mechanism allows to set up and disassemble with...
  • GREAT AIRFOW: Some outdoor tents can get stuffy and humid on hot days. Not the Instant Shader. Large mesh windows and double guyout points let you enjoy great ventilation and breezes, while staying...

Handheld Leaf Skimmer Net

This small leaf and debris net is an easy way to clean the pool daily of any leaves, bugs, bees, or debris floating on top of the water.  It has a 12″ handle and can easily reach to clean this pool.

U.S. Pool Supply Professional Spa, Hot Tub, Pool Hand Leaf Skimmer Net with 12" Aluminum Pole - Deep Ultra Fine Mesh Netting Bag Basket, Clean the Finest Debris - Pond Small Kid Kiddie Inflatable Pool
  • Enjoy a Clean Pool: Ideal daily use hand-held 2 foot long leaf skimmer that provides fast, easy and efficient cleanup of leaves and debris in spas, hot tubs, ponds, small swimming pools or a...
  • Sturdy Lightweight Net: Net frame dimensions 11" wide x 12" long with 6" deep durable ultra fine mesh netting basket. Includes a detachable 12" aluminum pole handle, making the total length 2 feet...
  • Skim The Finest Debris: The large volume ultra fine mesh netting bag basket allows it to collect more debris at a time, and is also very effective at holding the leafs within the net bag while...
  • Safe & Easy to Use: The durable plastic frame is safe for use in all types of pools and it won't mar pool liners.

Water Tech Pool Blaster Aqua Broom

If you really want to go all-out in making sure the ultimate kiddie pool setup is as clean as can be, then the Pool Blaster broom will help tremendously.

The net above will do a great job in skimming the loose debris from on top of the water, but the Aqua Broom will help in getting those things that have collected at the bottom.

Battery powered, and using a fine filter, your kids who are squeamish about the bugs on the bottom of the pool will thank you for this one!

On Sale Now!
POOL BLASTER Water Tech Aqua Broom, Battery-Powered, Cordless Pool Cleaner, Spa Vacuum and Hot Tub Cleaner for In-ground, Above Ground and Soft-Sided Pools
  • DEEP CLEANING: The Aqua Broom offers a more intense particulate cleaning of Sand & Silt than most vacuums for the Hot Tubs, Pools or Spas.
  • RUN TIME: The Aqua Broom is designed to run up to 3 hours and is powered by Five D-cell batteries.
  • EASY OPERATION: Simply twist the switch ON to operate. No forced-air operation, pumping or water hook-up required. Lightweight and easy to use by hand or attach to any standard telescopic pool pole....
  • TRAPS DIRT: The Pool Blaster Aqua Broom traps dirt better than other vacuums. Our patented Retention Valve design stops the return of debris into the spa.

Scum-Ball Pool Water Clarifier

When the kids are outside in the kiddie pool, sunscreen is a must!

However, when the kids enter the pool with sunscreen, the water soon looks like an oil spill zone! Over time, those oils can build up on the side of the pool and cause a nasty looking scum.

Don’t fret!  Once the kids are done, just toss one of these Scum Ball cleaners in to float and soak up the oils.  They can be left in for 30 days, then just remove and clean before using again!

On Sale Now!
POOL BLASTER Water Tech Aqua Broom, Battery-Powered, Cordless Pool Cleaner, Spa Vacuum and Hot Tub Cleaner for In-ground, Above Ground and Soft-Sided Pools
  • DEEP CLEANING: The Aqua Broom offers a more intense particulate cleaning of Sand & Silt than most vacuums for the Hot Tubs, Pools or Spas.
  • RUN TIME: The Aqua Broom is designed to run up to 3 hours and is powered by Five D-cell batteries.
  • EASY OPERATION: Simply twist the switch ON to operate. No forced-air operation, pumping or water hook-up required. Lightweight and easy to use by hand or attach to any standard telescopic pool pole....
  • TRAPS DIRT: The Pool Blaster Aqua Broom traps dirt better than other vacuums. Our patented Retention Valve design stops the return of debris into the spa.

What are 5 Good Reasons To Drain a Swimming Pool? – Every Pool Owner Should Know

Let’s face it, you own a pool so that you can relax, enjoy fun and games, and provide entertainment and hours of activity for your family.

However, sometimes pool ownership means needing to drain the pool for maintenance.

Draining your swimming pool might be a necessary task for a variety of reasons.

Before draining your pool, read this article to understand the reasons for draining as well as to decide if draining your pool is necessary.

Draining your swimming pool comes with an increased cost in your water bill when you fill it back up with water. Having a legitimate reason for draining your pool is necessary.

Here are the top reasons to drain a swimming pool.

Why do I need to drain my pool?

You must drain your pool for a variety of reasons:

  • Dry climate
  • Routine heavy pool cleaning
  • Calcium buildup and staining
  • Pool repair or painting
  • Unsafe stabilizer readings
reasons to draining swimming pool

The following will explain more details about these reasons for draining your swimming pool, as well as how to prevent the need to drain your pool frequently.

Reasons to drain a swimming pool

There are a variety of reasons for draining a swimming pool. Be sure about your reasoning for swimming pool draining, because a pool drain does come with added water costs when you must refill it.

In some cases, the cost of draining your swimming pool will be necessary because the benefits will outweigh the possibility of future extreme pool maintenance and repair.

Dry climate

Various locations have drier climates than others, and these dry climates can cause more water to evaporate than you’d like in your pool.

The hotter and drier the climate is, the more water will evaporate and cause your pool to lose water.

When this happens, you will need to fill your pool with water more often. If you don’t fill your pool and the water level drops too low, it can cause the water to become “hard.”

This causes the chemical balance of the pool to be more challenging to balance. In some cases, you can add water to the pool and add your chemicals to adjust the pool back to a safe balance.

However, once you do this enough times, draining the swimming pool and filling it up with fresh water might be easier and sometimes less expensive than continuing to add chemicals.

Routine heavy pool cleaning

Experts recommend a complete pool drain every five to seven years to give it a full clean. Even pool water that has been treated with chemicals regularly can become impossible to clean with chemicals after years of use.

To fix this, you will have to drain your pool and refill it to give it a fresh start.

Pool water is exposed to harsh chemicals over the years, which over time, can cause pool water to be more challenging to clean. If you and others use your pool often, there are also biological remains like oils from people’s skin and hair, and dead skin cells.

On top of pure biological remains, there can also be chemical remains like hair spray, sunscreen, makeup, nail polish, and tanning lotion, among others. Sometimes you can drain and refill the water only, while other times, you may have to clean the floor and walls of your pool.

Calcium buildup and staining

Calcium buildup and staining are other results that occur when your pool water loses its ability to stay at safe chemical levels.

The two types of calcium buildup that can occur are calcium carbonate and calcium silicate.

Calcium carbonate is easier to clean than calcium silicate, but both may require draining the pool. While both of these types of calcium can cause your pool to become chemically imbalanced, it is calcium silicate that causes most of the staining on the surface area of the pool walls.

You can use a chemical treatment to help remove the stains, but this takes months to remove and would be better served by draining the pool to clean the stains.

Another type of stain that occurs is copper staining, which has more than one cause. Copper ions might be introduced into your pool from low-quality pool salt or copper-based algaecides.

This may also occur if you have copper piping in your pool heater. When leftover copper isn’t removed from the pool, especially if the water pH is high, this can cause the copper ions to stick to the walls and floor of the pool.

This causes your pool surface to stain and leaves a green or brown tint. Shocking your pool with chlorine shock treatments will only make this stain darker. Even if you remove the residual copper ions from the pool water, the only way to remove the stain is to drain the pool and clean the stains from the surface.

Whether you have calcium staining or copper staining, a proven way to thoroughly clean the area is by acid washing your pool surface. Any acid washing or tile cleaning will require you to drain your pool.

Pool repair or painting

When you need to repair parts of your pool, a complete pool drain is necessary. This might happen because of a crack in the pool or unknown leaking.

If your pool is leaking, it might be required to drain the pool altogether to avoid water leaking into the ground under and around your pool.

If you need to paint or repaint your pool surface, you will need to drain the pool. It is best to drain your pool on a hot, dry day, and you should let the pool dry entirely for a couple of days before painting.

Unsafe stabilizer readings

Pool owners use pool stabilizer to stabilize the chlorine in their pool to make the sanitizing quality of their chlorine last longer. However, using too much stabilizer can be detrimental to the water quality of your pool.

Too much stabilizer in a pool will lock chlorine molecules, which makes them useless in sanitizing your pool. When algae builds up within your pool, adding chlorine or using a chlorine shock usually helps to remove the algae and bacteria.

However, with too much stabilizer, the chlorine won’t sanitize your water or remove the algae. This is how your pool water becomes unsafe.

The only way to add chlorine that can be used effectively, remove the algae, and remove the excess stabilizer from the pool is to add fresh water.

The only way you can add enough fresh water to dilute the pool is to remove most of the water that is in the pool.

When unsafe stabilizer readings occur, it is best handled by draining the pool entirely and refilling the pool with fresh water to start a clean, chemically balanced pool.

When NOT to drain your pool

Aside from all the reasons to drain your pool, there are a few reasons for not draining your pool.

To avoid pool popping or cracking

Pool popping or cracking can happen when you drain your pool.

This popping or cracking sometimes occurs because the thousands of gallons of water that the pool contained kept downward pressure on the pool surface.

Draining removes that pressure and allows hydrostatic pressure from the ground around and under your pool to become heavier than the empty pool, which can cause your pool to crack or pop.

If you don’t have a place to drain the water

Never drain your pool into the ground around your pool. The area around your pool will absorb the water and lead to the sides and beneath your pool.

This can cause pool “floating,” which leads to popping or cracks in the bottom of your pool. This can lead to costly repairs.

If you have a fiberglass pool

For fiberglass pools, contact your pool manufacturer for information regarding your specific pool. When you drain water from a fiberglass pool, the walls can bulge out, and the floor can split.

Many times this can lead to expensive repair costs.

If you don’t know exactly what you are doing

To avoid costly repairs from cracks, pops, floats, and extreme damage to your pool, it is recommended to call your trusted pool repair company to assess your situation.

The last thing you want is to incorrectly drain your pool without knowing what you are doing.

Conclusion

There are reasons to drain your pool and reasons not to. Before you drain your pool, make sure you understand what you are doing.

If your pool is under a manufacturer’s warranty, many times, the manufacturer won’t cover repair costs because of the negligence of draining your pool. It’s better to be on the safe side and contact your pool manufacturer.

A trusted pool repair company may also give you advice about your situation.

Photo by daveynin reasons to drain a swimming pool

How to Keep Above Ground Pools Clean: Tips for New Pool Owners

Owning an above ground pool comes with responsibilities, and the most significant responsibility is keeping your pool clean.  After all, how can you enjoy fun & games in your pool if it is not clean?

Maintaining the cleanliness of your pool happens on a daily, weekly, and monthly period, and knowing how to keep your pool clean is vital to help avoid more expensive maintenance or dangerous swimming conditions. In this article, we discuss the main reasons for cleaning your pool and the variety of ways how to keep above ground pools clean.

Reasons for cleaning your pool

It’s beneficial to understand why you need to clean your pool. Before discussing everything you can do to keep your above ground pool clean, here are the top 5 reasons for cleaning your pool:

  1. Keeping your pool water circulated: One of the reasons for cleaning your pool is to keep your pool water flowing. Water circulation is essential when cleaning your pool because it lowers the chance of unwanted debris from accumulating.
  2. One-time debris cleaning: You might want to clean large debris from your pool that you can visibly notice before swimming.
  3. Pool water chemistry: You might want to adjust your pool chemistry so that you are swimming in water that is balanced at safe levels.
  4. On-going maintenance: You may need to provide on-going maintenance on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to keep your pool staying clean.
  5. Interior surface cleaning: Even with clean water and no visible debris in your pool, your walls and floor of your pool might need extra cleaning.
YouTube video

How to keep above ground pools clean

Whether you are cleaning debris, managing water chemistry, providing on-going maintenance, or just cleaning the surfaces of your pool, there are a variety of ways to make this happen. The following lists the different actions you can take to make sure you keep your above ground pool cleaner.

1. Get a good filter and pump

Your filter and pump are critical parts of pool cleanliness. Without a filter and pump, you will be left with debris and possibly unsafe swimming conditions because of the chemicals that can be introduced to your water. A pump will circulate the water and will push the water through a filter that cleans your water before it enters back into your pool.

Your pool filter and pump should ideally be running 24 hours a day to maintain proper water flow and circulation. However, if you can’t leave on your pump all night, consider keeping it on for at least 12 hours each day to maintain proper flow.

Tip: When installing your output jets, adjust them to help move the water in a circular motion around your pool. This adjustment further helps with pool water circulation.

2. Use a good pool vacuum cleaner

On Sale Now!
Pool Blaster Max Cordless Rechargeable, Battery-Powered, Pool-Cleaner with 10.5” Scrub Brush Head, Large Filter Bag, Ideal for In-Ground Pool and Above Ground Pools for Leaves, Dirt and Sand & Silt.
  • INCREASED POWER: The Max offers increased vacuum suction with the Water Tech P30 Motor design engineered for quick & efficient debris pick-up.
  • WHOLE POOL CLEANER: Clean entire pool or Spot-Clean in seconds. Includes a removeable 10.5” vacuum head for general cleaning or simple remove to expose nose cone head for hard to get areas. Ideal...
  • CAPTURE MORE DIRT: The Max features a large debris capture chamber and strong suction for a variety of cleaning; acorns, twigs, leaves dirt and sand.
  • CORDLESS CLEANING: Perfect for quick and easy cleaning in the Swimming pool and Hot Tub or Spa. No hoses or cords needed.

There are many good pool cleaners on the market, as well as a variety of pool vacuums that can clean multiple areas of your pool. Some vacuums require you to manually position and clean the different areas of your pool, while others can work autonomously. Cleaning your pool thoroughly with a pool vacuum cleaner will help maintain cleanliness and avoid having to perform significant cleanings in the future.

3. Frequent cleaning of pool interior

To avoid having to perform substantial cleaning of the walls and floor of your pool in the future, clean your pool interior with pool surface cleaning brushes and natural cleaning solutions. There are times when a pool may have too much calcium or have a buildup of copper, or even excessive algae at one point or another. All of these scenarios can cause staining to the walls and floor of your pool interior.

The staining usually doesn’t happen overnight, and you can avoid staining from starting or continuing by scrubbing and vacuuming the walls and floor of your pool.

4. Test your water regularly

Pool water is greatly affected by factors like weather, chemicals, how often you use your pool, and many other factors. Understanding how these factors change your pool water will help you choose how to fix it. You can test your water by using either test strips or a digital test strip reader.

Your pool chemicals are as effective as the current circumstance. If the weather and external chemicals cause your pool’s pH to rise too high or get too low, you may need to use a pH reducer or pH increaser to ensure you have a proper range of pH. Testing your water and adjusting the pH accordingly can assure you that your chemicals will work properly, which makes your pool water safe to swim in.

5. Balance your pool water

Testing your pool water can help you decide to adjust your levels accordingly. But how do you regulate these levels? It happens by balancing the pool water chemistry. There are three crucial parts to your pool water chemistry.

  1. pH level: Your pH level shows you how acidic or alkaline your pool water is. The ideal pH range is 7.4 to 7.6, and going above or below this range could require the addition of pH reducer or pH increaser.
  2. Alkalinity level: Alkalinity is what avoids spikes one way or the other in your pH level. The ideal alkalinity range is between 100 to 150 ppm (parts per million).
  3. Sanitizer level: Your sanitizer level is how much sanitizing material you add to your pool to maintain proper levels. The most popular type of sanitizer is chlorine, and knowing how much chlorine should be in your pool depending on its size can determine whether or not you need to add more.

Knowing these three levels is vital in balancing your water. There are chemicals you can add to your pool to create a safe balance of cleanliness in your water.

6. Shock your pool water

Shocking is a term that means adding a concentrated amount of chlorine or other chemicals to your pool to destroy the chloramines that have built up in your pool. Shocking is also known as super-chlorination, and essentially means you are super-chlorinating your pool when needed.

HTH 52026 Super Shock Treatment Swimming Pool Chlorine Cleaner, 1 lb (Pack of 12)
  • BENEFITS: Increases the chlorine level in swimming pools to kill bacteria and algae to keep your pool water clear and ready for fun all season long
  • USE: Apply directly to pool water as needed; Test pool water and shock weekly to keep free available chlorine levels between 1 and 4ppm
  • COMPATIBILITY: Effective for all swimming pool types including pools with liners and Gunite pools, and saltwater pool systems
  • FEATURES: Increases chlorine levels; Kills and prevents bacteria and algae; Keeps water clear; See results in 24 hours; 1 bag treats 13, 500 gallons; Won’t fade vinyl pool liners

You only need to shock your pool water if it hasn’t been maintained well enough or adequately treated with the right amount of chemicals. Your water could need a shock treatment solely for excess use of your pool. Too many people in a pool can cause products and chemicals from suntan lotion, sunscreen, face cream, makeup, hairspray, oils from your hair and skin, to be added to your pool. These unnatural additives can quickly lead to excess bacteria and other chemicals that can cause algae buildup and can cause your pool to become unbalanced.

Testing your pool for chlorine and chloramine can help you decide whether or not it needs a shock treatment. Shock treatments might be necessary every week or hardly ever depending on how well you maintain your pool and how often it is used.

7. Sanitize your pool water

Sanitizing your water means exterminating the bacteria and bad chloramines in your pool with the addition of chlorine or other chemicals. Chlorine is the primary additive in pool water and can be the best and only sanitizer you need. You can decide how you add the chlorine, but one of the most popular ways of adding chlorine to a pool in a safe way is to use chlorine tablets.

Chlorine tablets are efficient because of how compressed they are. They don’t fully dissolve into the pool water right away, and instead, they help add small amounts of chlorine to your pool a little at a time. This slower approach gives you a longer-lasting chlorine treatment, so you don’t have to keep adding chlorine or shocking your pool unnecessarily.

8. Keep your water clear

Keeping your pool water clear can become a massive task if you don’t take care of it before it happens. You want water that you can see through, and at the very least, you don’t want your pool water to be colored with a green or brown tint. Any tint of yellow, brown, green, or even shades of blue can be a sign of algae formation, and you will have to purchase additional algaecides to remove already-formed algae.

The best thing you can do is get a pool clarifier liquid that you add to your pool to help maintain its clarity and clearness. These pool clarifiers help remove substances like hairspray, makeup, natural oils, and lotions so that algae and other bacteria don’t form as quickly.

If you already have a formation of algae in your pool, you will have to use an algaecide to get rid of the algae and wait until the algae is removed before entering your pool safely again.

9. Clean your pool filter

There will be times where you will need to clean your pool filter. This filter cleaning is also known as backwashing your filter. Because the filter is used to remove small debris and substances from circulating in your pool, an excess of these substances in your pool could mean your filter is full. You can check the pressure gauge of your filter to see if you need to clean the filter. Use the numbers and advice from your filter’s instructions to determine whether or not you need to clean your filter.

Some filter systems have backwashing modes that can handle cleaning in the push of a button, but many filters will require you to empty or replace the filter to be able to continue using it effectively. A dirty or full filter system could turn into the equivalent of not having one at all, so make sure it is clean at all times before you use your pool.

10. Maintain your pool during winter

If you are closing your above-ground pool during winter or any cold months, there is a way to clean your pool and get it ready for winter so that you don’t have to continue to maintain it as stringently as you would during the heat of summer and swimming season. This winter pool maintenance is referred to as “winterizing” your pool.

Here are some major steps to follow when winterizing your above-ground pool:

  1. Remove equipment: The first step is removing every piece of equipment from your pool. Remove ladders, hoses, filters, and pumps from your pool.
  2. Trash old filter cartridge: Get rid of the old filter cartridge so you can use a new one at the start of the next pool season.
  3. Clean equipment: Thoroughly clean all of your pool equipment. Some equipment can be hosed off while other pieces of equipment like hoses might need to be submerged in soapy water to remove chemicals.
  4. Drain hoses and filter tank: Make sure your hoses don’t have any leftover water in them, and drain the entire filter tank to avoid sitting water.
  5. Balance pool water: Balance your pool water as you would before you would safely swim in your pool. Test the water and add chemicals until your water is balanced.
  6. Add winter chemical kit: There are select chemicals you can add to your pool when you won’t be using it for more than a month. These chemicals will help keep your pool maintained while it is not in use without having to continue maintaining it. Get yourself a pool winter chemical kit and add these chemicals to your pool water.
  7. Cover your pool: To avoid any debris from falling into your pool and the weather from affecting your pool’s water balance and chemistry, using a pool cover to cover your pool is recommended.

Create a pool maintenance schedule

The implementation of a pool maintenance schedule will help you keep your pool as clean as it should be. Adhering to your schedule can also help avoid larger maintenance costs in the future. There are three pool maintenance schedules you can create – a “before each use” schedule, a weekly schedule, and a monthly schedule. Based on the maintenance tasks you learned about previously, here we discuss each schedule and list the maintenance tasks that should be included.

“Before each use” pool maintenance schedule

  1. Run the pool filter at least 12 hours a day (consistently).
  2. Ensure the water level is not too high or too low.
  3. Test the pH level to ensure it is within the safe range.
  4. Test the chlorine level to ensure it is within the safe range.
  5. Empty the skimmer and the pump baskets if needed.
  6. Ensure filter pressure is within the safe range.
  7. Ensure the pump is operating effectively.

Weekly pool maintenance schedule

  1. Skim the surface of the water.
  2. Brush the walls and floor of the pool.
  3. Vacuum the pool.
  4. Test for alkalinity to ensure it is within the safe range.
  5. Add algaecide, clarifier, or chlorine shock if needed.
  6. Add chlorine tablets if needed.
  7. Backwash or clean the filter if needed.

Monthly pool maintenance schedule

  1. Test for calcium hardness level to ensure it is within the safe range.
  2. Test the cyanuric acid level to ensure it is within the safe range.
  3. Add algaecide, clarifier, or chlorine shock if needed.
  4. Ensure that all equipment is performing correctly.

Your individual pool maintenance schedule could vary a little bit depending on the climate in which you live, the frequency of pool use, and how well you maintain your pool. One person might not need to shock their pool for over a month while another person might need to shock their pool every week. Some pools never have problems with algae, while other pools see a buildup of algae every couple weeks.

Use the above maintenance schedules as a guide. Find out the necessary “safe ranges” specific to your pool and circumstances, and understand how much chemicals to add based on the size of your pool and the numbers that your tests reveal. Tweak these maintenance schedules to fit your own pool maintenance needs.

Final Thoughts

Keeping a pool clean through continuous maintenance can seem like a lot of work, but it can be simplified when you create and adhere to a strict schedule. Maintaining your pool can be rewarding when you consistently have clear, shining waters that contain no bacteria, algae, or other substances that cause unsafe swimming.

Each pool is different and will require a different set of maintenance tasks. You won’t know exactly how your pool will react to chemicals, frequent use, or the climate in which you live until you start testing. As long as you understand the safe levels of chemicals and the chemical balance or chemistry that is needed in your pool to keep clean, you can adjust your maintenance as required for your unique situation.

Final tip: Keeping a handle on your pool cleanliness and maintenance schedules will help save you time and money when you don’t have to fix major problems that can happen without it.

Keep your pool clean and have fun swimming!

Photo by anjanettew how to keep above ground pools clean

How Long Do Above Ground Pools Last? – Info to Make Your Best Decision

You want your family to enjoy the fun and games, physical activity, and overall enjoyment of a swimming pool at your home.  There are generally two choices, and in-ground pool and an above-ground pool.

For yards that weren’t built to install an in-ground pool, an above-ground pool is your alternative. But, how long do above-ground pools last? We’ll answer that question first, and then we’ll tell you about the different types and how long each above-ground pool should last.

So how long do above ground pools last?

The quick answer…

Above ground pools last about 10 years on average.

However, the longevity of your above ground pool will be determined based on a variety of factors. These factors include the type of frame, type of liner, type of filter, the climate you live in, and the quality of maintenance and care you put into your investment.

Some cheap pools can last less than 1 day when not taken care of, while some better-built pools can last up to 20 years when taken care of in the right climate.

How long do Intex pools last?

Intex is a popular manufacturer of temporary above-ground pools. How long they last depends on a number of factors, but the simple answer is that the inflatable pools will last 2-4 years and the metal frame types will last between 4-8 years. The most important factors include:

  • Proper installation and a level yard
  • Whether you leave the pool set-up or take it down in the winter
  • Keeping to a regular maintenance schedule
above ground swimming pool photo
Photo by anjanettew how long do above ground pools last

Types of above ground pools

There are four significant types of above ground pools, including steel frame pools, resin frame pools, hybrid pools, and inflatable pools. The “type” of pool is usually determined on the structural frame because you can add any liner, filter system, and pool deck or ladder that you want. Here are the differences between the various types of pools.

Steel frame pools

These pools are very sturdy and can be made from galvanized steel as well as a combination of zinc and aluminum. Although very sturdy, some drawbacks include the steel frame heating and warping in the sun, being prone to warping and denting, and being prone to corrosion and rust.

Steel frame pools, on average, will last between 5 – 10 years, depending on various factors.

Resin frame pools

These pools are built using resin, which is like hard plastic. Although resin frame pools are less sturdy than steel frame pools, they are resistant to the damaging effects of sunlight and water like rust, corrosion, and warping. They also stay cool to the touch, which can make swimming in one of these pools much more relaxing.

Resin frame pools, on average, will last between 5 – 10 years, depending on various factors.

Hybrid pools

Hybrid pools are a combination of steel and resin frame pools, and give you the best of both worlds. The steel is used to keep the pool sturdy and provide extra support, and the resin is used for all the reasons that make resin great. Hybrid pools are essentially resin pools with steel parts that keep it more stable.

Hybrid pools, on average, will last between 10 – 20 years, depending on various factors.

Inflatable pools

Inflatable pools are the most affordable type of above ground pools.  While certainly more delicate than the other types, if used properly can be a fun addition to your backyard that your family will enjoy.

Inflatable pools, on average, will last between 1 – 5 years, depending on various factors.

On Sale Now!
Intex 26175EH 18ft X 48in Easy Pool Set, 18 ft x 48 in, Blue
  • Equipped with the ground fault interrupter, which is an added safety feature that shuts off the pump if electrical Current is exposed to water
  • Ready for water in 30 minutes, - simply spread out on level ground, inflate the top ring and fill the pool with water
  • Water capacity: (80%) 5, 455 gallons. Includes: Krystal clear cartridge filter pump, 1, 500 GPH (110-120V). ladder. Ground cloth. Debris cover
  • Super-tough laminated PVC sidewalls. Convenient drain plug that connects to a garden hose so water can be drained away from pool or house area

Other longevity factors to consider

Besides the type of pool structure or frame you decide to purchase, there are other factors to consider when thinking about longevity. The following lists the critical factors to consider for above ground pool longevity.

Liner

Besides an inflatable pool, the vinyl liner is what lines the bottom and sides of your above ground pool to make it last longer. There are a variety of styles of vinyl liners you can choose from, including overlap liners, beaded liners, universal liners, and expandable liners. All of these liners will give you similar quality, and the only reason for choosing one over the other depends on the style that works for your pool.

The importance of the liner lies in the thickness. Thicker liners last longer. However, your liner will commonly not last as long as your pool structure. You’ll have to replace your liner at some point in your pool’s lifetime. Your pool liner will last anywhere from 3 – 10 years, depending on how well you clean and maintain it.

Filter system

The pump and filter system you use will also help make your pool last longer. The filter system isn’t necessarily to make your pool structure last longer, and more for the liner that you put inside your pool. Your filter system will maintain the quality of your water and filter out debris so you can swim safely. Here are three popular filter systems for your above ground pool.

  1. Sand filters: This filter system includes sand, and water is pushed through the pump while the sand filter removes debris before water is pushed back into the pool
  2. Cartridge filters: This filter system has a cartridge inside the filter that captures debris as it passes through, and runs on lower pressure than a sand filter system. Many above ground pool owners use a cartridge filter.
  3. Diatomaceous earth filter: This filter system is very similar to a sand filter. However, the diatomaceous earth powder catches smaller debris particles that sand commonly misses. For those who like sand filters, the D.E. filter is a beneficial upgrade.

Where you live

The climate in which you live has a lot to do with how long your pool will last. Think about the weather changes and seasonal changes that occur where you live.  Lots of other external factors can also affect your pool as well.

Frequent weather changes and storms will cause additional wear and tear to your pool liner and structure. Harsh seasonal changes that go from scorching summers to freezing winters will also have a negative effect on pool longevity. You can have an above ground pool in any climate, but where you live will determine how much more care and maintenance you have to put into your pool. This will ultimately affect the longevity of the pool.

Maintenance

Last but not least is the required maintenance for above ground pools. The better you maintain your pool is the most critical factor in determining how long your pool will last. You must be diligent about cleaning your pool frequently, and this may require moving a ladder around the pool as you water-vacuum debris out of it. It could also mean investing in a robotic pool cleaner.

Besides cleaning the inside of your pool, to maintain your pool is to take care of your pool. Putting a cover over your pool when it’s not in use is an excellent idea. Keeping your pool safe from the elements will help a great deal. The better you take care of your pool, the longer it will last.

Conclusion: How long will my above ground pool last?

As you can see, your above ground pool can last as little as one season with a cheap structure and inadequate care and as long as 20 years with the right climate, care, and maintenance. You probably have an idea of what type of pool you are interested in. To conclude, here’s one of the best combinations of factors to make your pool last up to 20 years.

The 20-year pool: Get a hybrid pool that utilizes a combination of steel and resin. Use a thick liner. Maintain your pool by cleaning it once a week. Cover it during bad weather and use a high-quality filter to make your liner last as long as your pool structure. And most of all, enjoy your pool.

Colombia 18' x 54" Round Above Ground Swimming Pool Platinum Package
  • Salt Friendly
  • 18'x54" Round Swimming Pool and Pool Liner
  • Wide Mouth Thru-Wall Skimmer
  • 16" Sand Filter System with 1 HP Pump

Photo by CTPoolLiner how long do above ground pools last