Above Ground Pool Maintenance

You have an above ground pool so summer heat is not unbearable anymore? Days are filled with relaxation for the fun for you and your family and friends? Your household budget is now free from added costs of going to a public pool, tickets, gas, food and refreshments included? Well, good for you and we wish you years and years of enjoyable summer time ahead!

You did make a considerable investment in making your summers relaxing and memorable so now’s the time to keep your investment in excellent condition by regular and proper maintenance.

How to clean above ground pool

Proper maintenance isn’t easy, but it’s not difficult either. The joy of cooling off in the summer and watching your friends and family have a great time will definitely make regular maintenance and, as SwimUniversity also suggests, pool chemistry balance at optimal levels worthwhile.

We’ll certainly do our best to help you with our detailed guide. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps to keep your pool clean and healthy.

keeping pool clean is very important

Aboveground pools are no different than inground pools and the pool equipment is usually easier to operate.

As for maintenance, pools need regular cleaning, vacuuming, filtering and a constant care of maintaining your pool water chemistry well balanced.

Keeping your above ground pool clean requires a scheduled maintenance work routine similar to cleaning an inground pool while the tools and techniques are much the same. You need to skim, vacuum and brush your pool regularly to keep the pool and the water clean.

Prevention is also helpful so we recommend buying a pool cover which will keep all debris out when you’re not using your pool.

How to skim your pool efficiently

A good skimmer will get most floating debris, although a wind storm will be too much for it to handle. In such case, you’ll need to use a manual skimmer attached to a pool pole and pull it across the surface to get rid of larger debris. A bag-type skimmer will do a great job when you have lots of leaves, and you can use it to scoop stuff from the pool floor, too, provided that your pole is long enough. A flatter skimmer net will do OK for a quick skimming of a few leaves.

How to vacuum above ground pool

You will do yourself a favor if you get an above ground vacuum cleaner which will do a terrific job for you with no hassle. Depending on your budget, you can choose a vacuum which will keep your pool clean. If you can afford a pool, you can definitely afford a robotic pool cleaner, your ultimate cleaning solution.

Although you should definitely go for automated vacuuming, you can still vacuum your above pool manually.

A vacuum head (also called vac head), a telescopic pole to attach the vac head, a vacuum hose long enough to reach every area of the pool and a skim vac or vacuum plate (if necessary). 

When it comes to manually vacuuming the pool, slower is always better. If you rush vacuum in order to finish quickly, it will just kick up debris, which will then settle back down so you’ll have to do it all over again.

How to vacuum an above ground pool step-by-step:

Step 1

Start by attaching the vac head to the open end of the telescopic pole.

Step 2

Now take one end of the hose and attach it to the top of the vac head. Use a hose clamp if the hose tends doesn’t stay fixed and often slips off.

Step 3

Place the vac head, the pole, and the hose in your pool all the way to the bottom. Make sure that the vac head rests on the floor of the pool.

Step 4

With the pool pump and the filter running, take the other end of the hose and put it up against a return jet of your pool. This will force water through the hose and get all the air out.

Pay attention to air bubbles coming up from the vacuum head on the floor of the pool. Once the bubbles stop appearing, all the air is out of the hose.

Step 5

If a vacuum plate is not being used, remove the basket inside the skimmer, use your hand to block the end of the hose that has been filled up with water, and bring it over and into the skimmer. Make sure the hose is inserted into the suction hole at the bottom of your skimmer.

If a vac plate is being used, attach it to the end of the hose which was up against the return jet, block the opening, and bring it over to the skimmer. Be sure to create a good seal so you don’t lose suction. This will create the suction from the vac head, through the hose, into the skimmer, and through the filter system. You are now ready to vacuum the pool.

NOTE: If you lose suction, you need to repeat steps 4 and 5.

We hope you now know more how to vacuum Intex above ground swimming pool or any other model, in fact. However, we still recommend buying an automatic cleaner.

How to clean algae from above ground pool

Start by cleaning equipment and pool accessories, and sanitize them. Use chlorine or bleach solution to do this. Make sure you thoroughly wash and dry all bathing suits.

Get your water tested to make sure you have the proper pH and alkalinity levels. It’s always recommended to wait until the late afternoon or dusk to brush the whole pool.

Pay special attention places which are hard-to-reach, like under the pool ladders for example.

cleaning algae from pool

The next thing to do is turn on your filter and keep your pump running 24/7. Shock your pool with the correct amount of shock for the size of your pool. Make sure you cover the entire pool with shock without leaving a single spot out.

Let your pool run overnight as sunlight can destroy up 1ppm of free chlorine every single hour.

Shocking at night will allow the chlorine shock to do a more efficient job cleaning algae from your above ground pool.

Brush your pool for the next couple of days and do it as often as you can. Make sure you keep a proper level of pH, alkalinity, and chlorine during the algae removal process.

Backwash your filter very thoroughly whenever pressure rises and if you have a cartridge filter, clean it thoroughly as well as we explained above.

After a few days, if the algae are gone and the pool water is clear, you did a good job of removing algae. This fight can be prevented with regular pool water checks and appropriate treatments.

Make sure you keep your water chemistry under control and shock your pool once a week or two with 1 pound per 10,000 gallons of water. If you are persistent and thorough in maintaining your above ground pool, you will avoid having a problem with algae in the first place.

How about brushing your pool?

All pools need to be brushed and many pool owners should brush their pools a bit more often. It will help circulation, and remove visible and invisible films and the small beginnings of algae blooms. Make sure you brush your pool at least once per week, usually from inside the pool, which makes it easier to get the walls. Be sure your pool brush is in good condition and the bristles aren’t worn down and the edges shouldn’t be too rough as that could damage your pool liner.

Filtering your pool

Run the pool pump every day for 8-12 hours (8 is a standard recommendation). If you miss a single day, the water can turn cloudy and green in no time. For best results, use a pool pump timer, backwash when the pressure gauge tells you to, and clean the baskets as often as you can.

Pump Timer

For aboveground pool pumps that plug into an outlet, the easiest timer to use is a plug-in pool pump timer. They are also the cheapest pool timers you can buy and install. Set your clock to run it about 8-10 hours a day, or longer for hot periods, or when the water looks like it needs more filtering.


Sand filters and DE pool filters have a valve that is turned to reverse so that the water flows through the filter, which flushes out all of the dirt that the filter has trapped. You should backwash when the pressure gauge is 8-10 pounds higher than the clean, starting pressure. A cartridge filter for an above ground pool is not backwashed. What you do is shut off the pump, remove the filter and hose it clean. Do this when the pressure gauge has risen 5-10 lbs, or if the water flow drops off noticeably.

Baskets needed to be cleaned

In your pool system, you have a skimmer basket and a pump basket. The skimmer basket will need more frequent cleaning. Don’t forget to empty the pump basket after vacuuming or about once a week. When replacing the pump basket, make sure that it’s positioned properly and that the pump lid is screwed on tightly.

Chemicals you need for pool maintenance

To maintain your pool water clean, you need to test the water a few times per week, to be sure that the chlorine level is constant and consistent, and to see if you need to adjust pool water balance.

Testing Water

Either test strips or a test kit are often used, inexpensive and readily available. You can go for the kit which gives most testing options in the form of strips or a dropper type test kit. 

Maintaining Proper Chlorine Levels

Use chlorine tablets in a floater to keep a constant level of chlorine in the pool. At least 1.0 ppm at all times is the right level to prevent algae from growing. If you don’t chlorinate your pool regularly, algae will thrive and you’ll get constant headaches until you get rid of them.

Use granular shock (powdered chlorine) to boost chlorine quickly if it drops near zero, or if algae are spotted.

Water Chemical Balance

Apart from testing chlorine levels, you also need to check pH, and Total Alkalinity once or twice per week. Make sure to keep pool pH or alkalinity levels at optimal values. Once a month, check the Calcium Hardness and Cyanuric Acid levels, which don’t change as fast but are equally important for your overall water balance.

Above Ground Pool Liner

You need to protect your pool liner by keeping good water balance, and by not running your chlorine levels too high all the time since this can make the vinyl brittle. Holes or punctures to a liner are caused by all sorts of things. More often than not, these are non-pool tools, toys and street clothes so be careful with that.

How to get sand out of above ground pool and how to keep pool well-maintained by following a set schedule.

As pool authorities suggest, regular maintenance schedule is crucial:


  • Run the pool filter every day, for 8-12 hours daily.
  • Water level should be around mid-skimmer; not too high, not too low.
  • Test pH level should be between 7.4-7.6.
  • Test chlorine level should be between 2.0-4.0 ppm.
  • Empty skimmer and pump baskets, as needed.
  • Inspect filter pressure and pump operation.
  • Observe pool cleaner operation, if you have one.


  • Skim the surface, vacuum to get reed of sand or other debris and fully brush the pool, in that order.
  • Test total alkalinity should be between 80-120 ppm.
  • Clean the pool deck and surrounding areas, helps keep the pool clean.
  • Add maintenance doses of algaecide.
  • Add chlorine tablets to refill the floater or your chlorinator.
  • Backwash or clean filter regularly or if pressure gauge rises 8-10 psi.


  • Test calcium hardness level should be between 200-400 ppm.
  • Test cyanuric acid level should be between 30-50 ppm.
  • Shock the pool in the evening, using 2 lb. of pool shock per 10000 gallons.
  • Check for hidden algae which can form behind steps and ladders.
  • Clean the water line and inside skimmer walls with Tile & Vinyl Cleaner.

Aleks Stanic

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