Facts on Purchasing an Above-Ground Pool

An above-ground swimming pool provides an easy-access spot to cool off in the warm summer months. While above-ground pools are generally less costly than an in-ground pool, they’re still a significant investment of money and time. Before you plunge in, do a little research to find out just how much effort — and money — it’s going to take you to purchase and take care of the pool.

Water Supply

Above-ground pools typically call for a lot of water. A cubic foot of water includes 7.5 gallons. A pool that’s 6 feet deep, wide and long requires at least 1,600 gallons of water. The homeowner must provide this water, so your pool has to be installed close enough to a water source to accomplish this. Water evaporates over time, so you must top off the water levels occasionally, as well.

Price and Installation

It is best to hire a professional who is familiar with local building codes and bylaws and who is experienced in troubleshooting and resolving possible problems, such as sloped landscapes, to install your pool, and this can increase your prices. Once installed, all of pools need upkeep, and this involves the use of equipment and chemicals that increase the long-term expenses. Another element that can increase prices is the liner. Above-ground pool liners, which fit within the pool to hold the water and stop it from spilling over the sides, can be damaged through routine use. These have to be repaired or replaced, depending on the degree of the damage. This can add to long-term expenses.

The Legalities

Towns and cities commonly call for a construction permit for the installation of any type of pool, and every one has its own requirements for placement and setup. California law says that all pools installed after January 1, 2007, are required to possess at least one of seven required safety features, including a wall or fence around the pool using a gate that’s self-closing, self-latching and equipped to be secured, or a pool alarm, which sounds when the pool is accessed. This law says that above-ground pools need to have a fence that’s at least 60 inches tall, with spaces between the fence slats that are less than 4 inches wide, and there must be no protrusions or other physical structures close to the fence that would enable a child below the age of 5 to climb over it. The distance between the base of the fence and the ground has to be no more than 2 inches high, and gate latches cannot be less than 60 inches in the ground.

Cleaning and Maintenance

It is typical to spend at least six to eight hours weekly on pool maintenance, including checking the pH balance of the water at least once a week and checking the amount of chemicals such as potassium and chlorine at least once a month. Maintaining the pH of the pool helps prevent the formation of bacteria and algae. Maintaining the calcium level helps decrease corrosion or scale buildup in your pool components and relieves skin and eye irritation. You also have to skim debris from the water and clean the skimmer baskets each day and clean the walls and bottom of the pool every week using pool cleaners, brushes and brushes recommended by your pool manufacturer.

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