How to maintain an above ground pool (tubular or freestanding) ?

With summer come the moments of relaxation in the family swimming pool. To enjoy it in good conditions, remember to maintain your above ground pool. Whether tubular or self-supporting, the maintenance rules can be summed up in a few words: filtration, cleaning, wintering. Let’s go for a little reminder of good maintenance habits…

Before commissioning: a thorough cleaning

The right time to thoroughly clean your pool is before you fill it. As long as it is empty, start by cleaning it thoroughly.

  • Check the weather: you need at least two or three days without rain.
  • Bring a brush, soap and a garden hose for the big wash of the bottom and the walls.
  • When the pool is clean and shines in the sun, let it dry for several days (at least 2 days). The PVC canvas must be perfectly dry when it is put in the water.
  • You can finally fill your pool. Use mains water, which is cleaner than that from a well; it will cost you less in treatment.
  • Once you have filled your above ground pool, plan an initial water treatment before first use. Check the pH: it should be close to 7.4. If the rate is correct, you can carry out an initial disinfection of the water with chlorine (a shock treatment) before starting the filtration.

Your priority: water quality

Maintaining a swimming pool begins with great vigilance over the quality of the water. This is a particularly crucial point for above ground pools. Since they are generally small, with a fairly low volume of water, the water heats up there faster. The quality of the water is therefore more quickly threatened by the proliferation of algae and bacteria. With an above ground pool, there is no automatic water control system; we will have to roll up our sleeves to deal with it.

Filter the pool water

Swimming pool water is not renewed. It must absolutely be filtered regularly to avoid the development of microorganisms. Water filtration alone ensures 80% of its sanitation.

  • Use the maintenance kit supplied with the pool: you will usually find a pump filtration system there. Otherwise, go to a pool manufacturer to get a filter pump or cartridge system. Or a sand filtration system.
  • As bacteria and plants develop under the effect of the sun and heat, you must activate the filtration during the day. Filtering the water at night is not helpful.
  • Filtration should be done daily. Three points make it essential: the water is at least 15°C, the pool is uncovered and it is used regularly.
  • How long to leave the filtration running? It depends on the water temperature. Use this formula: “water temperature” divided by 2 + 1 = minimum filtration time. For example, if the water is at 26°C, the formula is as follows: 26/2 + 1 = 14. Your filtration must therefore operate at least 14 hours a day. The hotter the water, the longer it needs to be filtered.
  • As a precaution, turn off the filtration when swimming in the presence of young children. It is better to avoid any risk of accident (for example the hair of a child sucked by the suction strainer). With teenagers or adults, the filtration can continue to operate without danger.

Maintain water quality

In addition to daily filtration, ensure proper water balance. The pH depends on the treatment to be used.

  • Check the pH of the water: it should be between 7.0 and 7.6, the ideal being 7.4. If the water is too acidic (between 0 and 6), you will need to use a “pH +” product to rebalance it. Between 8 and 14, the water is too basic: use “pH -“.
  • Measure the level of product present in the water (chlorine, bromine or active oxygen, depending on what you are using). This allows you to adjust the dosage of the treatment.
  • Treat the water with a suitable product. You can use the ones that come in your inflatable pool cleaning kit. The classic products are chlorine (which loses its effectiveness when the water becomes too hot), bromine and active oxygen. Water can also be treated with ozone or electrolysis. Chlorine quickly destroys algae, bacteria and fungi. Bromine is a disinfectant, oxidant and anti-algae product. Active oxygen has the advantage of not irritating the skin or the eyes.
  • Be rigorous in the dosages. To find out what quantity of product to use for water treatment, scrupulously follow the instructions in the instructions. In an above-ground swimming pool, the water is unstable and can very quickly become corrupted. Vigilant treatment will help you balance it permanently.

Clean the water surface

If we are not careful, the water quickly becomes polluted on the surface. Since an above-ground pool is installed outdoors, it picks up debris from the environment, especially leaves and insects.

  • To keep the surface of the water clean, use a landing net with a telescopic handle. You will have no trouble picking up all the dirt floating on the surface.
  • Before installing the pool, try to find a corner away from the trees. You will limit the natural pollution of water. It will be less cleaning time…
  • Install a footbath at the bottom of the pool. If everyone rinses their feet before bathing, you will have a lot less weeds and dirt from the ground.

Drain the water regularly

Water treatment is not everything. It is useful to completely change the water in the swimming pool from time to time, otherwise you will have to use more and more chemicals. With consequences on the skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and possible allergies…

  • The frequency of emptying depends on the size of the pool. A large swimming pool is drained once a month. If your pool is medium-sized, drain it every 10 days.
  • If you have a small pool used by children, it is better to drain it daily than to treat the water. You can water the plants in the garden with the water from the swimming pool.
  • Are you going on vacation? If you are away for more than a week and your pool is not maintained during that time, empty it completely before leaving.

Pool cleaning in 3 points

You now know how to maintain the pool water. Yes, but you also have to watch out for the structure, whether tubular or self-supporting.

The walls and the bottom

You need a few tools, including a side and bottom brush and a pool broom.

  • Every week, scrub the sides and bottom of the pool with a brush. Insist on the interstices between the sausages. This will prevent the development of algae, which makes the pool slippery and the water green. yuck.
  • With a pool broom, clean the bottom of debris and impurities accumulated by swimming.
  • After brushing, you can also use the services of a pool vacuum (suitable for small above-ground pools) or a robot. Especially if your pool is large. The pool vacuum cleaner is perfect for removing residue deposited on the bottom of the pool and on the walls.

The water line

The water line is an area that clogs quickly. To clean it (at least once a week), use a magic sponge! It will help you quickly clean the pollution deposited at the level of the water line. You can use your magic sponge with a special gel designed to dissolve dirt. Go slowly, even if your pool is of the liner type, you risk damaging it.


Regular cleaning of equipment ensures that it functions properly.

  • Clean the filtration system filter weekly. Change it as soon as it shows signs of wear.
  • Empty the skimmer baskets and the pump pre-filter often.
  • To limit cleaning, cover the pool with a protective tarp whenever it is not in use. This cover has other advantages: it prevents the water from cooling too much and it limits its evaporation.

To keep your swimming pool in good condition: wintering

Out of season, what to do with your above ground pool? Leave it in place or take it down? It depends on several things: the type of pool, its size, the climate of your region…

  • Do you have a self-supporting above ground pool? Better to take it apart to store it away from the cold. Plastic does not tolerate cold well, unlike wood or steel.
  • Do you have a tubular pool? Dismantle it to store it in a dry place, a cellar or an attic, where the temperature remains above 10° C. Don’t forget to dry the liner before storing it. It will remain flexible.
  • If you live in a mild area where winter temperatures don’t often drop below freezing, you can leave your pool outdoors. As a precaution, remove the filter pump and install floats that will prevent the water from freezing. Equip your pool with a winter cover; this will protect the water from contamination.
  • When refilling the pool with water, at the end of wintering, have a few good reflexes. Clean the water line. Check the pH and correct it if necessary. Do a chlorine shock treatment to disinfect the water. Launch a filtration of 24 hours minimum. As long as the water is not of top quality, make a filtration of 8 hours per day, the time necessary. After all that, you can use it and resume the usual maintenance rhythm.

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