Above ground swimming pools are a fantastic addition to any home in Australia. They can be installed quickly and, more importantly, they are budget-friendlier than your traditional in-ground pool.
Above ground vs. in-ground pools
Installing an above ground pool might not increase your property value like an in-ground pool does, but it can still offer numerous advantages. In fact, some people believe that above ground swimming pools are better investments than ordinary swimming pools.
1. Quick installation
Forget about excavation and other hassles that usually plague the construction and installation of in-ground pools. Above ground pools can be built in just a few days, depending on several factors like the state of your yard (where you plan to install the pool), construction materials, style and layout of the pool, and the inclusion of other important features (decking, fencing, and railing).
2. Many above-ground pool options
Above ground pools come in many shapes, styles and forms. This means that as a homeowner, you are presented with a wide array of options that will suit your home’s overall theme. There are even DIY options. If you are not handy with a hammer, you can always hire a professional to build it for you. When you choose high-quality brands like Bestway pools, you are guaranteed flexible options with your budget.
Above ground pools are perfect for families with little kids who cannot afford the lavish installation of in-ground pools. Whilst the word ‘cheap’ usually has a negative connotation, this isn’t the case with above ground pools. The affordability of most pool brands does not compromise its quality. Aside from the inexpensive initial cost, above ground pools are easier to clean as they require less effort and materials for the upkeep.
7 easy steps to clean an above ground pool
Nobody likes a dirty pool. It is unhygienic and unattractive, which is why most owners allot a significant amount of time and budget to clean and maintain their pools. What most pool owners don’t realise is that the materials needed to clean above-ground pools are not necessarily the same as with in-ground pools. For cleaner and healthier above ground swimming pools, you need to follow these simple maintenance steps.
If your pool is located near a tree, chances are you’ll be dealing with some floating debris like fallen leaves. For this reason, purchasing pool accessories such as a flat and leaf rake skimmer can help you scoop up those leaves. If you have extra cash, you can try purchasing an additional pool vacuum that you can connect to your skimmer. This is especially useful to prevent or remove any algae growth in your pool. Some brands like Bestway offer a complete pool maintenance kit with an interchangeable vacuum and skimmer head as package. Other pool owners choose to invest in an automatic vacuum that can be attached to the pool’s filtration system for convenience.
Brushing is one of the most overlooked steps in pool maintenance. Nevertheless, brushing your pool floor and walls is important if you don’t like to see algae and fungi growth in your pool. Draining the pool of water and brushing it at least once a week can prevent bacterial growth and improve your water circulation. If you don’t like swimming in slimy water, then you should buy a good pool brush and give your pool a good scrubbing. With brushing, you can either use a brush head attached to a telescopic pole or a hand-held brush depending on the size and dimensions of your pool. Always brush your walls in a downward motion to rid it of algae and other stubborn grime. If your pool has a set of stairs or railings, you need to brush them as well.
The pump is the most overworked component in your above ground swimming pool for a good reason. It helps keep the water clean and clear. The pump circulates the water and pushes it through the filter to rid it of any dust and dirt that makes your water cloudy (and sometimes, sickly green). Pump run time normally depends on the pool’s size, the number of swimmers who use it, and the size of the pump itself. A good rule of thumb is to let your pump run at least 8 hours a day. You can always set up a pump timer to maintain a run schedule more easily.
Whilst both skimming and vacuuming are great ways to keep your pool clean, you still need to invest in a good filtration system. The filter gets rid of any debris that your skimmer and vacuum fails to collect (i.e. dust, dirt, and others). Because the filter catches all these contaminants, it is possible that they can get clogged easily. Therefore, it’s equally important to clean your pool’s filter. Technically, sand and DE filters can be cleaned by backwashing them, as soon as the pressure rises to a minimum of 8 psi (minimum of 7 psi for cartridge filters). Consult your seller or the owner’s manual for specifics on how to best clean your filter. Don’t forget to empty your pump basket at least once a week. A filter’s service life is not forever, so be sure to purchase a replacement from a trusted seller when the time comes.
5. Test the water
You don’t need to be a chemist to test if your pool’s water is at sanitary level. There are test strips that are commercially available in the market to test these parameters. However, the easiest way to test your pool water is to use a digital test strip. You’d need only to dip the strip in the water and insert it into the digital reader to get the numbers. There are other types of test strips that you can try. The main purpose of testing the water is to ensure that its pH, alkalinity, hardness, and total metal content are acceptable within Australian standards. The water’s properties can vary depending on the season, how many use the swimming pool, and the chemicals added to your pool. You should be aware of the correct levels for each parameter because an off specification can lead to serious consequences like severe skin allergy or infection. In general, the water’s pH levels must remain between 7.2 and 7.6. Numbers that are either higher or lower than these can reduce your pool’s service life. Low pH (acidic) can cause the scaling and corrosion of pool parts, whilst higher pH (basic) might lead to unwanted deposits and water cloudiness. Incorrect pH levels can also affect the effectiveness of chlorine in your pool. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly adjust the pH levels of your pool water. A good rule of thumb: test your pool water at least thrice a week during summer and at least once a week in winter.
Pool owners usually use chlorine to sanitise, although it’s not totally unheard of to use bromine in some cases. Both chlorine and bromine are effective in killing water bacteria whilst keeping your pool clean. Chlorine products are usually available in tablet form, which dissolves slowly through a floater. If you don’t have time to replace the chlorine tablets in your floater once a week, you can always try to install an automatic chlorine feeder (or brominator, in case of bromine) which you can attach to the filtration system. This eliminates the need to always fret of whether you had replaced the tablet or not. Aside from tablets, chlorine can also come in granule or stick form. Whatever form you prefer, just make sure to purchase stabilised chlorine so that it won’t degrade from the sun’s harmful rays.
No matter how much you skim, vacuum, brush, pump, and filter your pool’s water, some debris can still dramatically change your water’s chemical levels. For example, the sunscreen or lotion washed from a swimmer’s body can contaminate your pool water. These contaminants can react horribly with chlorine, which often results in skin irritation among swimmers. For this reason, shocking your water can help boost your chlorine to acceptable levels. Shocking is basically using concentrated chemical to help oxidise the contaminants. Usually, that concentrated chemical is also chlorine, although there are non-chlorinated products that you can also use. Regular shocking can remove invisible contaminants as well as kill algae that were not removed by brushing. Afterwards, you can add some algaecide to guarantee that you won’t have any algae and fungi problem in the near future. As shocking can increase the pool’s chlorine levels, it is not recommended to swim in it right after completing the procedure. You need to wait until the chlorine level reaches the acceptable 3 to 4 ppm standards. To check if your pool is already swimmable, use a test strip.
Pool requirements: What you need when installing an above ground pool
If you are still thinking of purchasing and installing an above ground pool in your yard but are a bit fuzzy with the requirements, here are some of the things that you should know.
1. Safety standards must be met
Just like any consumer product and brand, the government of Australia has a set of standards that must always be followed. It means that portable pools must have a legible and permanent warning message to caution swimmers. For example, most portable pools bear signage that advises adults against unsupervised kids playing within the pool’s vicinity. In addition, you must also strictly follow the pool fencing laws set by your state. These laws tend to vary depending on your location, so it’s better to contact your local government to inquire about the requirements.
2. Council approval may or may not be required
For the most part, portable swimming pools do not need council approval. However, the same cannot be said for permanent in-ground and above ground pools. In general, portable swimming pools can be exempted from council approval if they are: (1) for domestic use only, (2) do not require any structural work for installation, and (3) must not have any impact on the structural stability of nearby buildings. Still, the best way to be sure if you need an approval or permit before installing a pool is to ask your local council.
3. Safety barriers are mostly required
If the pool is holding more than 300mm of water, the law requires pool owners to put up permanent safety barriers to restrict small children’s access of the pool area. The safety barrier must comply with the Australian Standard (AS) 1926, which outlines the requirements for the design and construction of pool safety barriers. The safety barrier must be at least 1.2 metres high (1.8 metres if it’s also a boundary fence), should be non-climbable (i.e. free from handholds, footholds, or nearby objects that could serve as both), and must be made of durable materials like timber, steel, or glass. In addition, some states require pool owners to install self-latching and self-closing child-resistant doors to prevent unsupervised children‘s access to the pool. As a rule, small wading pools with a depth of less than 30cm require neither council approval nor safety barriers. However, pools that can hold more than 2,000 litres of water are normally mandated to acquire both. Not following your local state laws when it comes to pool installation can be downright costly as it can lead to as much as $1,500 in legal penalties plus the removal of your beloved pool.
Looking for a quality above ground pool to beat the summer heat?
Look no further. Outbax offers high-quality Bestway above ground pools in every shape and size. We even have pools big enough to fit your entire family, and you can still invite a couple of your close friends for a weekend pool party. Best of all, our pools come with an attached filter pump so that you’ll never have to worry about the upkeep. We also offer replacement filters and other pool cleaning accessories to keep your pool in tiptop shape. Visit our site now, order your above ground pool, and get ready to have a swimming party!