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Country Discussion Topics
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Above Ground Pool?
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walt    Posted 08-22-2003 at 15:51:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
Going down to look at above ground pools tomorrow. 24'. Anyone own one? Sand or Cartridge filter? Pump size? Heaters, solar or electric? If you own one, what would you get or not get when you bought?



Hal/WA    Posted 08-24-2003 at 15:05:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
We had an 18' round Doughboy that a friend gave us when she got divorced and had to move. For the price of a new liner (about $150 at the time) my kids had a place to keep cool for the 8 years we used it. I quit using it because my children got up into high school and lost interest in the small backyard pool and because the filter blew up and I couldn't get replacement parts for it anymore. I let the pool sit unused and covered for a couple of years and then gave it away to a relative. They will need to get a new liner and probably a replacement pump and filter, which can probably be scrounged up used somewhere.

I think an above ground pool is a good choice for someone who wants to decide if they really want a swimming pool long term because they don't cost all that much, don't take too much site preparation and if you decide that a pool is not something you want, it doesn't take much to restore the site to about the same as before you started. An above ground swimming pool does not increase your property taxes in my area like an in-ground pool does and if you decide to sell the property, an above ground pool will not affect potential buyers as much. Lots of people will just about NOT buy a house that has a built-in pool, and the real estate people I have talked to have said that an in-ground pool will not increase a house's selling price, but actually might decrease it. An above ground pool can be disassembled fairly easily if a buyer doesn't like it.

Any pool costs money to maintain. It takes electricity to run the pump and filter and chemicals to keep the water clear and at proper levels. A pool takes a bunch of water over a season to replace water lost to splashing and evaporation. In my area, the water needs to have added heat beyond solar heating if you are going to use it before the middle of June or much after mid September. To get the solar heating to work during that time, you have to have a solar blanket on the surface of the pool all the time except when people are swimming in it. And taking care of the pool is quite a bit of effort, sweeping every couple of days, doing backflushes or filter cleaning and tinkering around with water tests and adding appropriate chemicals. I would estimate that I spent about $200 per year on various chemicals to keep the pool looking good and the water safe and comfortable for the swimmers.

You might want to discuss a potential pool with your insurer. They might have requirements for coverage. I would suggest that you build a serious security fence around any pool. Kids will want to get in it, authorized or unauthorized, and it could put you in a position of huge financial liability if a tragedy occurred. You also have to protect the pump and filter as well as the electrical hazard and chemical storage. Nothing could be worse than losing a child, especially if you believed that it was partly your fault. I did not put up my pool until my youngest children were good swimmers and were tall enough to "touch" in the deepest part of the above ground pool.

If you still want to have an above ground pool, you might check around for someone who has one and no longer wants it. Many pools trade hands this way and much less than new cost, or maybe even free. And sometimes decks that fit around the pools can be included to make the above ground pool much more like having an in-ground pool. If you get a used pool, I would suggest getting a new liner for it, as they don't move as well as the rest of the pool. A pump and filter should be included. There are different kinds of filters, but probably sand filters are the cheapest to keep working correctly. You might need to replace the sand occasionally, but usually it is cleanable in a backwash and does a pretty effective job filtering.

Unless you live where a pool could be used year around, your pool needs to be "put to bed" for the seasons where it is unused. You have to keep most of the water in an above ground pool all year to keep the sides from blowing over if it gets windy. But for the winter, the water level is lowered to about 2/3 full. I used a plastic winter cover with an inflatable pillow under it on my pool after the water had been lowered. The cover had several inches of water over much of it and kept out leaves and most of the dirt from the water under the cover during the winter storage. But if the weather got warm, the water above the cover got really green and yucky with algae. Later in the Spring I would actually have problems with frogs getting into the water above the cover. When I opened the pool each Spring, I would have to bail out most of the contaminated water with a pail and then try not to let very much of the solids on the cover get into the good water underneath when I took the cover off. This was not an easy or quick job and was very messy.

My children really enjoyed the above ground pool and I probably would do it again if I had it to do over. On the other hand, nothing could ever convince me to put in an in-ground pool in this area. Good luck!


Ana    Posted 08-23-2003 at 06:29:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
We had the largest above-ground pool you can buy. It was okay, but very hard to maintain and very expensive. Not only the chemicals which I had to buy on a weekly basis, but in the five years that I had it I replaced parts on the filter every year, parts on the pool every year, and did anyone mention the expense of all that extra water that you add almost daily? It blew down in the wind storms we have here the last three years: this year there was no repairing it and I'm glad it's gone! The best thing I bought for it was the bubble cover that heated it with solar heating. Worked good. Every pool around here has to be fenced and did you check with your insurance company? We had to shop around for one that would even accept a pool. I"d say the kids enjoyed it, but I sure couldn't get anyone to help with the daily maintainance. Good luck.


TimV    Posted 08-22-2003 at 20:06:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Walt: We've had several above-ground pools. The first two were the standard little 3' x 12' dia. ones, and the last one was a 20' x 4'. A few notes: first and foremost, pools are expensive to maintain! The big expense is in chemicals, and the larger the pool, the more expensive they get, as good old "pi r squared" ensures you that the volume of the pool goes up very quickly as you go larger in diameter. Second, they don't do much for property values, and in fact usually are a detriment. However, on the plus side, they are great for recreation, and it sure beats packing the family up for a trip to the beach. Most of the larger pools have a sand filter, which works well if properly maintained. When it comes to treating the pool, make sure to stay ahead of the game--waiting for the pool to get green and slimy before taking action is a sure recipe for a couple hundred bucks worth of chemicals that may or may not help. Finally, be aware of the laws in your area--NY recently passed a law requiring all pools more than 24" deep to have a fence around them--your state may have a similar law.


DeadCarp    Posted 08-22-2003 at 18:42:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
best pool heater i ever saw was a $13 roll of 1" irrigation pipe throwed on the garage roof and wired into a circulating pump - heats a whole regular pool too well --i use one for summer hot water :)


Ron,Ar    Posted 08-22-2003 at 19:23:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey DC, how ya doing? Better we all hope.Thats a good idea about the heater,you may be a jack-of all-trades, but I think maybe also master-of-many.


LH    Posted 08-22-2003 at 17:15:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
We got a 24 foot above ground, 48 in depth. I bought the thing used for $100 complete with sand filter and pump about 6 years ago. Best invesmtent I ever made for entertaining the kids. The only thing Ive had to invest in was a second liner after a storm destroyed the first one, and a new pump this year whihc was my fault since I didnt get it properly drained and the old housing cracked. Getting the chemicals adjusted can be a pain if you have hard well water but otherwise its not bad to deal with. We dont have a heater but a solar cover is a good idea


jamo    Posted 08-22-2003 at 16:03:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have one and love it. Buy the largest pool you can for your location and go with a 52" depth. It makes a huge difference. And automatic poolcleaner is a must(they will probably throw it in if you ask they're about $100) and get want you want the first time around. It's like adding on a room. You'll only do it once.


Ron,Ar    Posted 08-22-2003 at 16:36:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
A pool can be a hole in the ground ya throw money into if not careful. Like Jamo says, buy quality, it pays. Stay away from the el-cheapos at ---mart. Unless ya only want it for a couple of years.


SeaJ    Posted 08-22-2003 at 18:35:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Yeah don't get one of them. We did. $400 for the pool and we went through the expense and trouble of putting a fence around it to keep the dogs out and for digging around it. AFter all that 5000+Gallons later found out the pool had a hole in it and had to pack it all up and take it back. Now we have a pool area complete with banana trees and no pool.EVeryime I see one of those pools in someones yard full of water I wanna poke a hole in it. arrgghh!! But that my luck. Maybe next summer we can get a good pool.


Ron,Ar    Posted 08-22-2003 at 19:18:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
I looked at your site, nice. Do you live in Liberty Tx? I know some folks there.


SeaJ    Posted 08-22-2003 at 19:21:23       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Yep. I'm in Liberty. I really still don't know too many people around here except for my b/f's family and a couple of people we trail ride with.


Maggie/TX    Posted 08-22-2003 at 19:40:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
And a couple of internet folks you met at a Buffett concert! Or do you not remember much about that day, SeaJ? LOL!


SeaJ    Posted 08-22-2003 at 20:40:19       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Oh I remember that. Its the year before last concert I don't remember. hahaha.


Ron,Ar    Posted 08-22-2003 at 19:25:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
These folks name is Danek. They are originally from Crosby.


Maggie/TX    Posted 08-22-2003 at 19:42:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ron, there are a whole bunch of folks here named Damek, but don't know any who spell it Danek.


dave m    Posted 08-22-2003 at 17:31:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
we have a 27' round and I will say it is the best investment we ever made. In the rural area where we live there is not a lot for kids to do(both handicapped) and it has been a life saver.A lot of people had said it would be costly but no more that going out for dinner a couple of times a month.We have had the pool 16 yrs and are on the third liner.I started patching this past year and it worked fine . Last winter here in upstate ny we had a tough and long one.It is the first time that the entire pool froze from top to bottom for the entire diameter.There were a number of holes on the very bottom where the liner meets the sides and with the pool drained it was easy to patch.Buy quality and it will last..dave


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