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Buying an Above-Ground Pool

From entertaining guests during pool parties to cooling off in the refreshing waters of a backyard oasis, to swimming laps for exercise you'll love having your own pool. With a variety of options available, you'll want to know what model and design is going to be best for you. Learn about the different types of above-ground pools so you can make the right decision in finding your perfect pool.


Types of Above-Ground Pools

Metal-Walled Pools

The most durable of above-ground pools, metal-walled pools have aluminum, steel or resin walls and a heavy-duty frame protecting the vinyl liner. These pools often require professional installation, but they're designed to last for many years.

  • Ideal for pool parties - If you're planning on having a lot of people in and out of the pool for parties every summer, you'll want a model that's built to withstand heavy use.
  • Good long-term option - Metal-walled pools will last for over ten years, allowing you to enjoy your pool for many summers. If you're in a home that you plan to stay in for a long time, or you want your children to have a pool throughout their childhood and teen years, these pools are exactly what you need.

Frame Pools

These above-ground pools have a metal frame infrastructure that holds a vinyl liner or galvanized-steel walls in place. These models aren't as sturdy as hard-sided pools, but they're designed to withstand regular use.

  • Affordable choice - If you're longing for a hard-sided pool, but can't quite afford it, frame pools are an excellent alternative. They're sturdy enough to last for several years but less expensive.
  • Easy to install - If you want to save money by installing a new pool by yourself, frame models are simple to put together in a few short hours.
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Ring Pools

These models have an inflatable ring around the top that rises with the water level, holding the vinyl pool in place.

  • Temporary solution - If you want a pool in temporary housing or you want to throw a pool party for your child's birthday, these pools are inexpensive and reliable options for short-term use.
  • Kid friendly-designs - Ring pools are available in smaller sizes to accomodate young children.
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Features of Above-Ground Pools

Designs & Materials

  • Round, oval & rectanglar above-ground pools are available.
  • Steel-walled pools are most reliable when they are made of galvanized steel or heavily coated with resin or epoxy to protect the steel from rust.
  • Aluminum walls are a reliable, no-rust option that may corrode over time if they're not properly maintained.
  • Resin walls are the newest type of pool wall available and can be the most reliable with UV coating that protects the pool from damage.
  • Liners and pool walls come in a variety of patterns and designs to accommodate your style.

Pool Filters

Pool filters help circulate and filter water to keep it clean by removing tiny particles and dirt.

  • Sand filters use sand to filter the water, which can allow some tiny particles to be reintroduced into pool water.
  • Cartridge filters use a man-made cartridge to filter out particles and debris, but can filter smaller fragments than a sand filter.
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE) filters use a fossilized powder (diatomaceous earth) to filter out the smallest size particles.

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Pool Accessories

  • Pool heaters can extend the seasonality of your pool by several weeks for pool owners in locales with changing climates.
  • Solar pool covers use the heat of the sun to warm the pool water when the pool is not in use.
  • Pool fences can be installed along the top edge of the pool in order to keep people from climbing in over the side.
  • Pool alarms sense when people or objects enter the water.
  • Pool lighting can be installed to safely illuminate nighttime swims.

Winterizing Gear

  • Winter covers are designed to protect the inside of the pool from cold conditions.
  • An air pillow is designed to prevent freezing water from damaging the pool walls when the water freezes and expands.