How To Keep Above Ground Pools Clean: 10 Tips For Healthy Swimming

how to keep above ground pools clean

Above-Ground Pools are becoming increasingly popular because they are easier to maintain than traditional swimming pools. They are also more economical.

However, there are still several things that owners should do to ensure that their above-ground pools remain clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.

Here are some tips to keep your above-ground pool clean and safe.

1. Clean The Pool Periodically

The first thing you need to do is make sure that the pool gets cleaned regularly. If it’s not cleaned on a regular basis, algae will start growing in the water.

This can lead to an unpleasant smell and may even cause health problems if people swim in the pool or get near it.

2. Check the pH Levels

how to keep above ground pools clean

The pH level of the water in an above-ground pool is extremely important. If the pH level is too low, then the water will be acidic. This can corrode the pool’s metal parts, such as the filter system.

If the pH level is too high, the water will become alkaline. Unfortunately, alkaline water tends to damage rubber surfaces in the pool.

To test the pH level, dip a piece of litmus paper into the water. The color of the paper will change depending on the pH level.

A neutral pH level will show up as blue. An acid level will appear red, and an alkaline level will appear yellow.

3. Maintain Proper Chlorine Levels

Chlorine is one of the most effective chemicals available to kill bacteria and viruses. It is also used to disinfect the water in an aboveground pool.

There are many different types of chlorine solutions available. These include tablets, liquid, granules, and gas.

However, it is always recommended that you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when using these products.

Most manufacturers recommend adding 1-2 drops per gallon of water. This will provide adequate protection against bacteria and viruses.

4. Add Salt

what is the best above ground salt water pool?

Salt pool water chlorinators need enough salt in the water to function and reduce the risk of algae growth.

Adding salt to the water can be done manually or automatically. Manual addition involves adding salt directly to the water. Automatic addition consists in adding salt to the water via a salt dispenser.

5. Inspect Your Filter System Regularly

Your pool’s filter system needs to be inspected at least once a month. You should check this part of the pool to and/or damage (holes in filters et al) to enure that everything is working properly.

You should also check the pump for signs of wear and tear. If the pump isn’t working correctly, you should have it replaced.

6. Use a Water Testing Kit

how to keep above ground pools clean

A water testing kit is easy to ensure that your pool is safe and clean. There are kits available online that allow you to test the water’s pH, hardness, and temperature.

These kits come with all the necessary supplies needed to perform a test. Once you’ve tested the water, you’ll know whether or not you need to adjust the pH level, hardness, or temperature.

7. Check the Temperature of the Water

The water temperature in an above-ground swimming pool should be between 75°F and 85°F. If the temperature falls below this range, then the water becomes cold for swimming.

If the temperature rises beyond this range, the pool starts to get too hot. This can cause chlorine to flash out of your water faster than normal, so make sure you check your chlorine more frequently during super hot weeks.

8. Monitor the Water Level

how to keep above ground pools clean

If your pool’s water level goes down too far, you can put air into your filter line and stop circulation. In addition, your skimmers may not be able to do their job. you may need to add more water.

It is important to remember that your pool is only as deep as the bottom of the skimmer basket. 

But on big downpour days, if the water level goes over the top of your pool, the salt and chlorine in your pool water can end up killing your lawn (over time). 

Use the drain line on your pool pump to drain excess water into your local sewer line or ditch to prevent that from happening.

9. Install a Safety Cover

Installing a safety cover over your pool is one of the most effective ways to protect your family from drowning. A safety cover keeps kids and pets away from the pool’s edge.

Safety covers can be purchased at many stores. However, they’re relatively inexpensive, so you won’t break the bank when purchasing one.

10. Keep Children Away From the Edge of the Pool

how to keep above ground pools clean

Children love jumping into pools. But unfortunately, they often don’t understand how dangerous it can be to jump off a diving board.

Therefore, it’s best to teach children about the dangers of diving boards. In addition, they should never attempt to dive off a diving board without first asking a parent or guardian.

11. Make Sure Your Pool Has Proper Lighting

Your pool lighting should be installed so that it illuminates the entire area around the pool and the bottom of your pool.

This includes the steps leading up to the pool, the pool itself, and the surrounding areas. It is essential to ensure that there are no shadows where people might trip or fall.

Lighting the bottom of the pool is important for anyone who might want to dive at night.  They need to clearly see how deep it is.

12. Use a Quality Pool Filter System

how to keep above ground pools clean

Using a quality pool filter system is critical to keeping your pool clean. Filters trap dirt and debris after they get into your pool. 

Most pool systems use the same filter media, but if you have very specific or unique contamination issues like algae blooms or leaves dropping from an oak tree, your filter media choice can be important. 

Finer-mesh media do a better job of trapping smaller debris like algae and other biologicals but put more strain on your pump due to the higher backpressure.

Looser-mesh filter media can be used when debris issues are light and biologicals are not as big of a deal.

13. Avoid Using Too Much Salt

Using too much salt in your pool can damage metal components in your pool and your pool filtration system.  Never exceed 5000 ppm of sodium chloride.  Optimal levels are 3,000-3,500 ppm.

14. Maintain a Healthy Balance of Phosphate and Nitrate

how to keep above ground pools clean

Phosphate and nitrate are two different types of minerals that affect the biological health of your pool because they literally feed algae and bacteria.

High phosphate levels contribute to algae growth in your pool.  You can remove them using a special phosphate remover from your local pool store.

Too-high nitrate levels are harder to remove without diluting your pool water.  Try to keep nitrates below 40ppm if at all possible.

15. Maintain Proper Maintenance Schedule

Maintaining a proper schedule will help ensure that all aspects of your pool remain in good working order.

For example, you should maintain a weekly cleaning schedule.

This means that you should vacuum the surface of your pool every week, preferably with a dedicated pool cleaner. The three primary types are pressure-side, suction-side, and robotic pool cleaners.

16. Keep Your Pool Free From Mold Growth

how to keep above ground pools clean

Mold growth is one of the most common problems associated with above-ground pools.

To avoid mold growth, you want to eliminate biological debris like twigs and leaves. To do this, employ pool skimmers and a dedicated pool cleaner for an above ground pool.

17. Have a Professional Service Your Pool at Least Once A Year

Having a professional service in your pool at least once every year is highly recommended.

This will ensure that everything remains in top condition and will help you identify expensive components that are about to fail.

18. Make Sure That Your Pool Is Safe

how to keep above ground pools clean

Make sure that your pool is safe by following these safety tips:

• Never leave children unattended near the pool.

• Do not allow pets to swim in the pool.

• Ensure that there are no sharp objects around the pool.

19. Consider Adding a Safety Netting Around the Edge of Your Pool

Safety netting around the edge of your pool will provide additional protection against falls, especially for small pets and children.

For the protection of small children, however, it is best if you also consider installing a lockable fence around your pool.

20. Install an Automatic Skimmer

how to keep above ground pools clean

An automatic skimmer will help keep your pool clean. It will automatically skim floating debris from the water before it sinks and stains the floor.  Mold prevention is another benefit.


Q: How often should I test my water?

A: You should test your water at least every month.  Weekly is recommended.

Q: What is the best way to check for chlorine levels?

A: Check your chlorine level using pool water test strips or a digital chlorometer.

Q: How do I know when it’s time to change filters?

A: Generally speaking, you should clean or change your pool filter at least every 6 months.  If the back pressure on your pool pump exceeds your manufacturer’s recommendation, then shut the pump down and clean it.

Q: How long does it take to repair an above-ground pool?

A: The vast majority of most pool repairs take less than 2 hours.  The main exception is the replacement of major components like pumps and pool filters.  Repairs to structural issues and replacing the pool liner will take a bit more than that.

Q: Can I install an automatic pool cleaner in an above-ground pool?

A: Yes, but make sure that you buy pool cleaner designed specifically for an above-ground pool.  The good news is, that most above-ground pools are smaller and require less-expensive cleaners.

Q: Does an above-ground pool require regular maintenance?

A: Yes. An above-ground pool requires the exact same water maintenance regimen as any inground pool.  In addition, because they are held within a structure, above-ground pools may need regular inspections and minor repairs to ensure the structure remains safe to use.

Q: How can I find out how old my pool is?

A: You can look up the age of your pool online.  Most above-ground pools will last 10 or more years with proper care and maintenance.

Q: How many gallons of water does an above-ground swimming pool hold?

A: Most above-ground swimming pools hold between 3,000 and 10,000 gallons.  In comparison, an inground pool tends to hold between 10,000 and 50,000 gallons.  (source:

Q: What type of pool cover should I use for an above-ground pool?

A: There are several types of pool covers available, including vinyl, canvas, bubble wrap insulating, and fiberglass.


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