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How To Maintain an Above Ground Pool

Our pool experts at The Pool Factory have put together the following tutorial to teach you how to maintain an above ground pool on a ongoing basis.
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Maintaining one’s pool could seem complicated at first but our specialists at The Pool Factory™ have put together the following tutorial to teach you how to start-up your new or existing swimming pool and how to maintain an above ground pool on a ongoing basis.

Before starting please remember to...

1. Read entire label of each bottle and use in accordance with precautionary statements and directions.

2. All chemicals should be handled by adults only, and kept out of the reach of children. Filter system must always be on and running when adding chemicals to pool.

3. All chemicals should be added to pool separately and must not be mixed together.

4. For existing pools, remove cover, connect filter to pool and remove any winter plates and plugs. Add water if needed, and clean and vacuum pool.

Above Ground Pool Swimming

Pool Start-up for New or Existing Pools

Step 1:Make sure pool is filled up to the top of the skimmer opening. Refer to instructions supplied with pool filter if you have questions.
Step 2:Follow directions on test strips and use test strips to measure the total alkalinity of the pool water and adjust to proper range of 80 to 120 ppm. Add Aquamate Alkalinity Plus (to raise alkalinity) or Alka Down (to lower alkalinity) as necessary, following directions on container.
Step 3:Use test strips to measure the pH level of the pool water and adjust to proper range of 7.2 to 7.8. Add Aquamate pH Plus (to raise pH) or pH Minus (to lower pH) as necessary, following directions on container.
Step 4:Add liquid shock by pouring into skimmer with filter running (Liquid Shock is purchased separately, or is supplied with new pool package) at a rate of 1 gallon per 5000 gallons of pool water. Granular shock can be substituted for liquid shock, follow directions on label.
Step 5:Add Algaecide per label instructions.
Step 6:Continue to run filter at least 8-12 hours.
Step 7:Use test strip to make sure that chlorine level is in safe range of 1-3 ppm (this usually takes about 12-24 hrs after adding shock). Add chlorine stabilizer at a rate of 8 oz per 3000 gallons. Add chlorine stabilizer to skimmer with filter running.
Step 8:Add 2oz of Super Clarifier per 5000 gallons directly to pool water with filter running.
Step 9:Begin adding your regular dose of chlorine sanitizer (i.e. Chlorine powder or tablets) to keep your chlorine level in the safe range on your test strip. (Chlorine sanitizer is purchased separately, or is supplied with new pool package.

Pool Maintenance (Ongoing)

Step 1:Always keep chlorine level in the safe range on your test strip. Test after daily. Run your pool filter at least 6 to 8 hrs every day.
Step 2:Test and adjust Total Alkalinity and pH levels weekly.
Step 3:Add maintenance dose of algaecide per label instructions weekly.
Step 4:Add 2 oz of Super Clarifier per 5000 gallons of pool water each week.

Rain, hot weather and heavy use affect you pool water’s chemistry. Typically, you will need to add more chlorine and run filter longer after such.

Rain also usually causes Alkalinity and pH levels to go down, which causes cloudy water. Using water test strips – test your Alkalinity and pH levels after it rains.

Shocking the pool with liquid shock weekly or every other week will also help keep your pool sparkling clean.

Pool Chemicals Mentioned in this Article

Alkalinity Plus
Alka Down
Test Kits/Strips
Pool Shock
pH Plus
pH Minus
Super Clarifier
Chlorine Tablets
Algaecide
Chlorine Stabilizer
COMMENTS 8
  • June 1, 2014 at 8:27 AM
    TIM

    How long do you have to wait before going in a pool after putting Alkalinity Plus in your swimming pool.

    • June 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Alkalinity plus is not harmful but allow the filter to run for a few hours after adding to make sure it gets dissolved into the pool water and then you can resume swimming.

  • June 5, 2014 at 3:39 PM
    Russ Chapman

    Do you have any information on how to start up and to maintain an above ground pool using salt instead of chorine?

  • May 11, 2015 at 1:30 PM

    Sometimes after I clean the pool with my whale Wanda, after I take her out and put the filter back on regular, sand (I assume it’s sand, it’s brown looking) shoots back into the pool. What am I doing wrong and how do I get the sand out from the bottom of the pool.

    Thank you for your assistance.

    Paula Dillon

    • May 13, 2015 at 11:55 AM

      Hi Paula,

      The brown looking stuff that you are describing is sediment that is too fine for your filter to catch. A scum sock installed on your skimmer basket while vacuuming will solve the problem.

      If you are using a sand filter, try back washing immediately after vacuuming:

      1. With the pump turned off, move the valve handle to the backwash position and turn the pump on. After the filter has backwashed for 3-4 minutes, turn the pump off again and move the valve handle to the rinse position and turn the pump back on for 1 minute.

      2. Rinsing the filter for 1 minute will help reseat the sand and get your system ready for filtration again. Finally, unplug the pump and move the valve handle back to the filter position, plug in the pump and you are filtering your pool water again.

      Fo additional details you can view our full post here on how to backwash a sand filter system.

  • June 2, 2015 at 9:52 PM
    Mike

    Step 4: “Add liquid shock by pouring into skimmer with filter running (Liquid Shock is purchased separately, or is supplied with new pool package) at a rate of 1 gallon per 5000 gallons of pool water. ” — Do you need this for saltwater pool as well?

    • June 5, 2015 at 3:04 PM

      Hi Mike,

      You do not normally need to shock a saltwater pool. However, if your pool has turned cloudy or green and you want to clear it up quickly, liquid shock is a great choice for a saltwater above ground pool.

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