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

Last Updated on August 23, 2020

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.

above ground swimming pool photo
Photo by anjanettew

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.

Intex 18ft X 48in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover
  • 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
  • Package Includes:
  • 18'x54" Round Swimming Pool and Pool Liner
  • Wide Mouth Thru-Wall Skimmer
  • 15" AquaPro Sand Filter System with 1 HP Pump

Photo by CTPoolLiner




4 thoughts on “How Long Do Above Ground Pools Last? – Info to Make Your Best Decision”

  1. I have all the items (filter pump, ladder, etc.) but I need just the 15′ X 42″ inflatable pool. How much would that cost? Is that available without the other items?

    Reply
  2. I bought an intel 90*90 inflatable pool and there was a small air leak lasted about 24 hours this was 2 days after purchase. I bought another one same pool. And there is another leak in this one. Won’t last ten hours. What am I suppose to do buy another one? Disappointed

    Reply

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