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FAQ - Above Ground Pools

Do I need a permit for an above ground pool? Are there any regulations regarding above ground pools?

All cities and municipalities are different. Years ago no one required a permit, now it is not that uncommon. If this is a concern for you, check with your local planning and zoning department.


Do I need a safety barrier around my above ground swimming pool?

Yes. You can place a safety barrier around the stairs or construct a small fence around the top perimeter of the pool.


Do I need to have my above ground pool installed by a professional?

Pool installation is a task often best handled by the experts. While most above ground pools are designed to be easy and fast to install, a professional installation crew can provide you with assurances regarding getting the job done right the first time. However, spring and summer are the most hectic time for pool professional, so it’s very important to set a schedule and book a crew early if you want to make the most of your pool for the entire season. Find out when the pool can be installed and how long it will take before you make your purchase.


How do I choose an above ground pool dealer?

You’re about to make a significant investment, one that could last for decades. Choosing the right dealer is a crucial part of the process. Look for an “Authorized Dealer” that has a relationship with the manufacturer of the pool you want to buy. That way, you know the dealer has access to the right training and materials to help you with your pool.

You may find a list of above ground pool dealers in your area by using’s zip code powered dealer locator. Don’t be shy about asking the dealer for references. If you choose to use the dealer’s installation services, you should ask for photos or references from prior installation work. You’re about to upgrade your lifestyle and make significant changes to your property, so make sure you are comfortable with the dealer you’re working with!


How do I decide what size above ground pool to select?

  • Measure your entire yard - its width and how deep it is from the house to the far edge.

  • Sketch this on a piece of paper to scale (1/2" per foot, or whatever works for you).

  • Next, take any permanent features on the yard (shed, driveway if applicable, etc.) and sketch those in to see what available space you have.

  • Create cut-outs to represent different pool sizes and place these various cut-outs on your sketch.

  • Remember to factor in things like decking, landscaping and other features when you’re looking at how the pool will fit in your backyard.

  • Install the filtration system less than 18 feet from the pool, close to a power outlet. The shorter the distance between the pump and power outlet, the easier the structure will be to install.


How do I get the most life out of my liner?

Start by being very careful with hand vacuums. Scraping them against the edge of the pool will cause little holes around the outer edge. Limit the use of automatic cleaners, running them only when the pool needs cleaning and not letting them sit in one spot for to long of a time. Most cleaners will have one or two spots where they tend to get stuck or hung up. These are usually the places where holes first develop.

Be careful with the chemicals you use. Make sure they are for vinyl liners and be sure whatever you put directly into the pool dissolves before it hits the bottom.

Eventually the part of the liner that is above water level and exposed to the most afternoon sun will start to dry rot. This starts with just a little discoloring and many years later may start to tear or rip. You can either try to shade that area or assume that when that happens it's just time to replace the liner.


How long does an above ground pool last?

Pools will normally last between 5-15 yrs. It depends on the quality of the pool and the type of dirt the pool is sitting on.


How would you advise moving an above ground pool?

Start by taking some pictures of the swimming pool when it is still up. Taking more pictures as you are taking it apart could be a great help in the reinstallation process. Be careful not to leave any parts buried in the dirt or sand and try not to bend or break anything. Metal becomes very brittle when it starts to rust.

Disconnect the wall coupling before rolling it up. Doing this without removing the nuts and bolts or wall bar makes it very difficult to roll up and can cause creases that may not come out. It is best not to try and reuse vinyl liners so there are no special considerations there. It is easier to move a sand filter if you first empty the sand.

Starting the pool with a clean filter full of clean sand is a good idea. Be careful with the parts and have some help for the heavy lifting and you should be just fine.


What additional components do I need for my above ground pool?

Ask your pool dealer for recommendations regarding the right equipment for the above ground pool you choose. The size and type of your pool, will determine what size pump, what type of skimmer and so on. There are also many different types of pool cleaners, accessories and chemicals to choose from to make the most of your pool experience. Don’t be afraid to do your own research, but if you’ve found a dealer you can trust, have confidence that they will make the right recommendations for you and your pool.


What can I do to keep grass from growing through my vinyl liner?

Before a pool can be installed the ground must be treated for whatever kind of growth you had to clear out. Most importantly, always keep a 2' barrier around the outside of the pool free of any vegetation.


What can I do to make my pool last longer?

First of all, don't let a leaky liner stay in your pool because the water will eat the wall away - either patch it or change it.

Second, every time you change the liner examine the inside wall of your pool. If you see any rust, sand it away and spray on some corrosion eliminator.

Also, don't sit on or jump off the pool rails.


What do you recommend for above ground pools, steel walls or aluminum walls?

The aluminum walls don't rust the way steel walls do, but they do tend to corrode and within a couple years. The steel walls will usually start rusting at the bottom where they come in contact with dirt. This is normal and the walls should still last many years. Two other points to remember about making a pool wall last longer, if the liner leaks, patch it or replace it.


What is the best kind of landscaping for my above ground pool?

It is best not to use grass. Grass will grow under swimming pools and up through the liner or up the wall between liner and pool, or up the inside of the uprights creating great habitat for bugs and wasps. Choose some type of rock landscape and it is best to use plastic under it because the water splashing out of the pool makes any vegetation grow very quickly. Plants should only be container type plants. They are easy to move when changing liners and they don't grow roots under the pool.


What is the best way to light my above ground pool?

Through-the-wall lights for above ground pools are the most popular. The light replaces your existing pool return and acts as a pool return, water flow director, and light source.

The second option is the over the wall version. You simply mount it under any top rail. They are usually less expensive and a lot easier to install.

Another option is floating solar lights. They are the least expensive and a great safety feature. You can also surround your pool with some solar yard lights.


Where can I purchase an above ground pool?

Some pool builders sell and install above ground pools as well as in-ground pools, however, above ground pools can typically be purchased from a professional pool retailer in your area. Your above ground pool retailer can also provide professional installation for the pool or guide you through the installation process and will be able to help you with any warranty claims you may have in the future.

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