How to Maintain an Above Ground Pool

Nearly half of all pools in the United States are above ground. Maintaining an above ground pool is essential for keeping the water clean and safe for swimming. It also helps to extend the life of the pool.

While above ground pools are generally easier to maintain than in-ground pools, they still require regular care and attention. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to maintain an above ground pool and a maintenance schedule to help you keep on top of things.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about above ground pool maintenance!

Types of Above Ground Pools

It’s important to understand the different types of above ground pools and the specific maintenance requirements for each. The three primary types of above ground pools are inflatable, metal, and wood frames.

Inflatable pools are the most portable and easiest to set up, but they also require frequent maintenance and are not as durable as other types. Metal frame pools are made of steel or aluminum and are more durable and long-lasting. They require more time and effort to maintain than other pools.

Wood frame pools are the most durable and low-maintenance of the three types. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are customizable.

Regardless of the type of above ground pool you have, there are several key steps that you need to follow to maintain it properly.

Cleaning the Pool

One of the most important aspects of above ground pool maintenance is keeping the water clean. This involves removing debris, such as leaves and twigs, from the pool daily, as well as skimming the surface of the water to remove any floating debris.

You should also use a pool vacuum to remove any dirt or sediment that has accumulated on the bottom of the pool. Additionally, it is important to regularly disinfect the pool to kill any bacteria or algae that may be present in the water.

photo of pool cleaning products

Chemical Balance

In order to keep the water in your above ground pool clean and safe for swimming, it is important to regularly check and adjust the chemical balance. This includes the pH, total alkalinity, and chlorine levels, and adding chemicals as needed to maintain the proper levels.

If the pH is too high or too low, it can cause problems such as eye irritation or the growth of algae. The total alkalinity of the water should also be within a certain range to prevent pH fluctuations. The chlorine level needs to be sufficient to kill any bacteria or viruses that may be present in the water.

pool chlorine meter

Filtering and Circulating the Water

Proper filtration and circulation of the water are essential for maintaining the cleanliness and clarity of the pool. It is important to regularly backwash or clean the filter, as well as to check the pump and skimmer baskets for any debris.

The water should also be circulated for several hours each day to ensure that it is properly filtered and disinfected.

photo of above ground pool skimmers

Maintaining Pool Equipment

To keep your above ground pool running smoothly, it is important to regularly maintain the various pieces of equipment, such as pumps, filters, and heaters. This may include cleaning and lubricating the pump, checking the filter for any blockages, and replacing worn or damaged parts.

Covering the Pool

When the pool is not in use, it is important to cover it to protect it from animals, dirt, and debris. This will help to keep the water clean and prevent any damage to the pool itself.

Keeping your pool covered will also help you avoid having to skim it as often.

photo of a pool cover

Stick to a Pool Maintenance Schedule

In addition to following these general maintenance steps, You should also have a schedule in place to ensure that you regularly perform all of the necessary tasks.

A typical above ground pool maintenance schedule might look like this:


Each day, you should try to get the following tasks done.

  • Skim the surface of the water to remove any floating debris
  • Check the pump and skimmer baskets for any debris
  • Cover the pool when not in use

During the colder months when your pool isn’t in use, you can forgo these tasks and just leave your pool covered.

Pool Skimmer


Once a week, it’s good to check the quality of the water in your pool. This will ensure the water is safe to swim in and poses no health risks.

Use this above ground pool checklist for weekly maintenance:

  • Vacuum the bottom of the pool to remove any dirt or sediment
  • Test the pH, total alkalinity, and chlorine levels of the water
  • Add chemicals as needed to maintain the proper levels
  • Shock the pool to kill any bacteria or algae that may be present in the water
  • Backwash or clean the filter, as needed


Once a month while you have your pool open, check to see if any of your pool equipment needs attention. It’s important to keep all the machinery in working order.
Check the pool equipment, such as the pump and filter, for any issues or wear and tear, and perform any necessary repairs or maintenance. You should also check the pool cover for any damage or wear, and replace it if necessary.


How many months out of the year you keep your pool open depends on your local climate. Generally, you can expect to open your pool in the spring and close it in the fall.

Before closing the pool for the winter, clean and drain it thoroughly, and add a winterizing chemical to protect it from freezing. when it’s time to open the pool for the summer, clean and refill it, and check all of the equipment to ensure that it is in good working order

Use a Checklist

In addition to following a maintenance schedule for an above ground pool, it is also helpful to have a checklist of tasks. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t forget anything.

By following these steps and maintaining a regular schedule and checklist, you can ensure that your above ground pool is clean, safe, and well-maintained. This will not only help to extend the life of the pool, but it will also allow you and your family to enjoy it to the fullest.

How to Maintain an Above Ground Pool: Common Issues

It is important to note that while maintaining an above ground pool is relatively easy, there are a few specific challenges that you may encounter. Issues with an above ground pool will vary depending on pool type, location, and other regional factors like weather.


Algae can grow in an above ground pool if the pH or chlorine levels are not properly balanced. To prevent algae growth, make sure to regularly test and adjust the chemical levels.

Shocking the pool is another common solution for controlling algae growth. “Shocking” is the term for adding chlorine to water.

If the growth is excessive, you might use an algaecide to kill it and then brush the walls and floor of the pool to remove any remaining algae.

Cloudy Water

Cloudy water can be caused by a variety of factors, such as high pH levels, low chlorine levels, or a dirty filter. To clear up cloudy water, start by ensuring the chemical levels are in the right range.

Once you’ve checked the levels, clean the filter, and consider using a clarifier to help remove any fine particles that may be causing the cloudiness. If these steps don’t help, it may be necessary to drain and refill the pool.

photo of a pool filter


Leaks can occur in any type of pool, and they can be particularly challenging to fix in an above ground pool due to the limited access to the liner.

If you suspect that your above ground pool has a leak, the first thing to do is to check the liner for any visible holes or tears. If you find a hole, you can patch it with a liner repair kit.

If there is no visible damage to the liner, the leak may be coming from one of the fittings or connections. In this case, you may need to hire a professional to locate and repair the leak.


When the time comes to close your above ground pool for the winter, it’s crucial to properly winterize it to protect it from freezing temperatures. This involves cleaning and draining the pool, removing any debris, and adding a winterizing chemical.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pool, as the process may vary slightly depending on the type of pool you have.

By following these tips and being proactive about maintaining your above ground pool, you can enjoy a safe and well-functioning pool for many seasons to come. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pool, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you are unsure of how to handle a particular issue.

With proper care and attention during the winter, your above ground pool can be a wonderful source of enjoyment for you and your family all year.

Other Factors to Consider

In addition to the general maintenance steps and potential challenges outlined above, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining an above ground pool. Keep the following in mind on top of maintaining water quality and equipment.

Water Level

It is important to keep the water level in your above ground pool at the proper level, which is typically about halfway up the skimmer. If the water level is too low, it can cause the pump to run dry and potentially damage it.

Too much water can cause the pool to overflow or put too much pressure on the pool walls. To maintain the proper water level, use a garden hose to add water as needed.

Be sure to check the water level regularly, especially after heavy rain or if you have had a lot of people swimming in the pool.

Water Temperature

The water temperature in an above ground pool should be kept between 78 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit for comfortable swimming. If the water is too cold, it can be unpleasant to swim in and may even cause hypothermia.

On the other hand, if the water is too warm, it can lead to increased chlorine demand and potentially higher levels of bacteria. To maintain the proper water temperature, you can use a pool heater or a solar cover to help retain heat, and adjust the temperature as needed.

Safety Hazards

Keeping your pool safe is an important aspect of maintenance. This includes properly securing the pool cover when it is not in use, as well as installing a fence or other barrier around the pool to prevent unsupervised access.

It is also important to have a set of safety rules in place, such as no diving, no rough play, and no running on the pool deck, to ensure that everyone stays safe while swimming.

Keep Your Pool Maintained All Year

By following these tips on how to maintain an above ground pool, you can ensure that it is ready for use whenever you and your family want to take a dip. Don’t forget to be mindful of safety precautions when swimming.

Maintaining an above ground pool requires regular cleaning, chemical balancing, filtering and circulation, equipment maintenance, and proper cover usage. By following a maintenance schedule and checklist, you can keep your above ground pool safe and free of contaminants for years to come.

Crestwood Pools has over 125 years of combined experience with above ground pools. Contact us today to learn about the many pool designs we offer!

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