How to Clean and Maintain an Above-Ground Pool?

Maintaining an above-ground pool is essential to remain a refreshing oasis throughout the swimming season. Proper above-ground pool maintenance not only extends the life of your pool but also provides a safe and enjoyable experience for swimmers. In this guide, we will lay out the key steps for cleaning an above-ground pool.

Ensure Water Circulation

  1. Check the Filtration System: Regularly inspect your pool’s water filtration system, including the pump, skimmer, and filter. Ensure they are free from debris and are functioning efficiently. Clean or replace the filter cartridge as needed.
  2. Skim the Surface: Invest in a quality pool skimmer or leaf net to remove leaves, debris, and insects from the pool’s surface. Daily skimming prevents these contaminants from sinking to the bottom of the pool.
  3. Clean the Baskets: Maintain clean skimmer baskets and pump baskets by emptying them weekly. This prevents blockages and ensures proper water flow.
  4. Inspect Hoses and Connections: Periodically check for leaks or damages in hoses and connections. Replace any worn-out components promptly to prevent water loss and maintain circulation.

Run the Pool Pump Daily

  1. Set a Pump Schedule: Establish a daily pump schedule, running it for at least 8-12 hours a day during the summer months. You can divide this time into multiple cycles for efficient filtration. Adjust the schedule according to the pool’s usage and environmental conditions.
  2. Check for Air Leaks: Ensure there are no air leaks in the pump and filter system, which can hinder its performance. Address any air leaks promptly to maintain optimal circulation.
  3. Monitor Pressure: Keep an eye on the pressure gauge. A pressure increase of 8-10 psi above the standard reading indicates the need to backwash or clean the filter.

Brush Your Pool

  1. Select the Right Brush: Choose a pool brush with bristles suitable for your pool’s surface, whether it’s vinyl, fiberglass, or concrete.
  2. Wall and Step Brushing: Brush the pool walls and steps at least once a week, paying extra attention to areas with poor water circulation. This helps prevent algae and bacterial growth.
  3. Floor Brushing: Gently brush the pool floor to dislodge debris and sediment. Brush toward the main drain or the pool’s skimmer for efficient removal.
  4. Post-Brushing Vacuum: Wait a few hours after brushing to allow debris to settle, then vacuum the pool to remove loosened dirt and debris.

Vacuum Your Pool More than Once a Week

  1. Prioritize Vacuuming: Vacuuming your above-ground pool is crucial for removing debris, dirt, and fine particles that settle on the pool floor. It’s advisable to vacuum more frequently than just once a week, especially during periods of heavy use or when you notice excessive debris accumulation.
  2. Manual or Automatic: You can either manually vacuum your pool using a pool vacuum head and telescopic pole or invest in an automatic pool vacuum cleaner. Both methods are effective in keeping your pool clean and debris-free.
  3. Brush First: Before vacuuming, brush the pool walls and floor to loosen any debris clinging to the surfaces. This makes the vacuuming process more efficient.

Test and Balance Pool Water 2-3 Times Per Week

  1. Water Testing: Regularly test your pool water using a reliable pool water testing kit. Aim to test the water in the pool at least 2-3 times a week, especially during peak swimming season. Testing helps you monitor key parameters like pH and chlorine levels, alkalinity, and calcium hardness.
  2. pH Balance: Maintain the pool’s pH level within the recommended range (typically 7.4-7.6). An imbalanced pool’s pH can lead to issues like cloudy water, algae growth, and skin irritation.
  3. Chlorine Levels: Ensure that chlorine levels remain within the recommended range (between 1.0 and 4.0 ppm [parts per million (ppm]) to effectively sanitize the water and keep it free from harmful bacteria and algae.
  4. Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness: Keep an eye on alkalinity and calcium hardness levels. Properly balanced water prevents corrosion, scale buildup, and staining.

Shock the Pool Once Per Week

  1. Weekly Shock Treatment: Shocking your pool once a week is essential to maintain crystal-clear water and prevent the buildup of contaminants and pool chemicals. Choose a pool shock product and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dosage.
  2. Timing Matters: Consider performing the shock treatment in the evening or at dusk to allow the chlorine tablets to work overnight without sunlight interference.
  3. Shock After Heavy Use: After cleaning the pool for parties, gatherings, or increased bather load, it’s advisable to shock the pool to eliminate organic waste and restore water clarity.
  4. Brush and Vacuum After Shocking: Following a shock treatment, use a pool brush to agitate the water and brush the pool’s surfaces. Vacuum the pool to remove any debris or particles that may have settled.

Winterize the Pool Correctly

  1. Balance Water Chemistry: Before winterizing your above-ground pool, ensure that your pool’s water chemistry is balanced, with appropriate pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels. This prevents potential damage from imbalanced water during the winter months.
  2. Clean and Vacuum: Thoroughly clean and vacuum your pool to remove any debris and algae. A clean pool is easier to winterize and ensures a healthier start when you reopen it in the spring.
  3. Lower Water Level: Lower the water level in your pool to avoid damage from freezing. Follow your pool manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended water level.
  4. Drain and Plug: Drain all water from the pool and equipment, including the pump, pool filter itself, and heater. Remove any drain plugs and store them in a safe place to prevent damage or loss.
  5. Winter Chemicals: Add winterizing chemicals to the pool water, which will help keep the surface of the water clean and prevent algae growth during the winter months.
  6. Pool Cover: Cover your above-ground pool securely with a quality winter cover. This cover protects your above-ground pool from debris, harsh weather, and sunlight.

Cover the Pool

  1. Pool Cover Types: Invest in a durable, well-fitted pool cover designed for above-ground pools. You have options such as solid covers, mesh covers, and safety covers. Choose the one that suits your needs.
  2. Secure the Cover: Ensure the pool cover is securely fastened and tightened to prevent leaves, debris, or animals from entering the pool. Some covers come with tightening straps or anchors.
  3. Pool Cover Pump: Consider using a pool cover pump if you live in an area with heavy rainfall or snowfall. This pump prevents water accumulation on the pool cover, which can lead to damage.


Properly maintaining and caring for your above-ground pool throughout the year is essential to keep it in optimal condition. However, if you ever feel overwhelmed or unsure about any aspect of pool maintenance, make sure to book professional swimming pool maintenance with a reputed Lake Mary pool service company. A swimming pool maintenance company will have the expertise and tools for pool cleaning that you’ll need for maintaining and winterizing your pool correctly. A well-maintained pool ensures you can enjoy its crystal-clear water for years.

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