5 EASY Ways To Maintain An Above Ground Swimming Pool

The critical components of your pool’s health are:

1. Filtration

  • Filter back washed or cleaned
  • Pump basket cleaned
  • Skimmer basket inspected daily and cleaned

2. Circulation

  • water levels maintained
  • pump cycle and duration adequate

3. Sanitization

  • Balance pH and chlorine

Daily Above Ground Swimming Pool Maintenance

above ground pool above ground swimming pool

  • Inspect your pool daily for any problems
  • Run the pool filter for 16 hours daily. Your filter and pump should be able to replace/recycle the entire volume content of your pool within 8 hours.
  • Water level should be around mid-skimmer; not too high, not too low. Too high; the surface debris will not be sucked in, Too low; the pump will vortex and suck air.
  • Test pH level, should be between 6.8 - 7.6.
  • Test chlorine level, should be between 2.0-4.0 ppm.

Pool Water Test Strips

  • Empty skimmer and pump baskets, as needed.
  • Inspect filter pressure and pump operation.

On a daily basis, your pool pump needs to operate, for at least 12 to 16 hours (longer when the water becomes warm), to push the water through the filter, and prevent stagnation.

Weekly Above Ground Swimming Pool Maintenance

  • Skim the surface, vacuum and fully brush the pool, in that order. The water may become somewhat cloudy or greenish. The filter will take care of that within 8 hours.
  • Clean the pool deck and surrounding areas, helps keep the pool clean.
  • Add C-Pool & Spa for your 5 point chemical maintenance.
  • Add liquid chlorine or tablets to refill the floater or chlorinator.
  • AVOID: Harsh chemicals that may bleach or discolor vinyl liners.
  • Backwash or clean filter.


To clean your above ground pool, you'll need SOFT pool cleaning tools, like a tele-pole, skim-net or leaf net, pool brush, and a vacuum hose and vacuum head for vinyl pools. Brushing is important to remove films and dust particles from surfaces, where they can be filtered out of the water. Products like POOL BLASTER, Hayward AQUA BUG, and Zodiac RANGER are safe for pool scrubbing and cleaning.

Pool pH is very alkaline dependent. And your chlorine effectiveness is very pH dependent. If the pH is over 7.6, the efficacy of chlorine is diminished. C-Pool and Spa CLEAN & CLEAR is very important for above ground pools, which can quickly turn swampy if chlorine goes to zero or filtration slows down. C-Pool CLEAN & CLEAR is known for its ability to act as a backup to such situations, and CLEAN & CLEAR helps small filters immensely, to prevent cloudy water and algae blooms.

Add enough chlorine tablets to raise the chlorine level into the 2-4 ppm range, and strive for consistency. Most above ground pools use 2-4 of the 3" chlorine tablets per week, in a chlorine floater or chlorinator. That is cut in half ( 1 - 3 ) if C-Pool CLEAN & CLEAR is used also.

Monthly Above Ground Swimming Pool Maintenance

  • Test calcium hardness level, should be between 200-400 ppm. High calcium (CAUTION: Calcium hypochlorite is not recommended) causes cloudy water and possible vinyl liner stains.
  • Test cyanuric acid level, should be between 30-50 ppm. High acid levels make chlorine less effective.
  • Shock the pool in the evening, (CAUTION: avoid powder shock treatment), using liquid chlorine, also known as sodium hypochlorite.
  • Check for hidden algae which can form behind steps and ladders.
  • Clean the water line and inside skimmer walls with Tile & Vinyl Cleaner.

Calcium hardness is a measurement of the hardness (or softness) of your pool water. Not as crucial for above ground pools, but water that is too soft can make it easier for vinyl liner stains to appear, can cause foaming, and can interfere with proper sanitation. Add Calcium Hardness Increaser if below 150 ppm. (This should not be necessary if CLEAN & CLEAR is used).

Cyanuric acid is a chlorine stabilizer, protecting your chlorine from the sun. Chlorine tablets contain a small amount of cya, but CLEAN &CLEAR helps stabilize your water without adding a chemical stabilizer.