Summer is here, and it’s pool season.
Hello, heat wave. You know it’s hot out when you can find ME in the pool! We’re now entering our 5th year of having a pool, and we’re onto our second (bigger) pool. Having a pool in the backyard can provide so much fun for kids and adults alike.
I get asked multiple times a week what I’ve learned from having an above ground pool, so I will be explaining here how to do it without breaking the bank.
Our First Above Ground Salt Water Pool
The first year we got a Bestway Hydrium Poseidon Above Ground Round Steel Pool 15ft x 4ft. This pool was fantastic and heavy quality steel, was about $1,400 Canadian (with the salt water chlorinator as well). It came with a sand filter and a skimmer for easy vacuuming which I loved too. I bought it at Canadian Tire, but it seems harder to get in Canada these last few years.
Here’s my son years ago the day the pool came home
We built a deck for it, too.
- Sand Filter – I like this better than the cartridge filters
- Great quality – the steel walls and ledge
- Skimmer – Makes it easier to set up a vacuum to clean
- Size – it just felt small
- Heavy to dismantle and put away at the end of the season
Year Two – NEW Salt Water Pool Set Up
We went bigger. Bigger is always better, right?
Sure is with pools! We bought a Coleman Rectangular Frame Pool, 22-ft x 12-ft x 52-in from Canadian Tire. This was about $1,250 Canadian. We also bought a new salt water chlorinator for $300 Canadian (I get into Salt water vs. Chlorine below). The other additional start up costs would be the cover, pool net skimmer, thermometer, and the salt (linked below).
I LOVE this pool. It’s simple to set up, and simply so much fun to be in!
Here’s the low down:
- Easy set up
- Nice depth (great for kids (most can touch ground age 5), but still feels deep enough)
- Rectangle length- feels spacious, even adults can enjoy
- Does not have a skimmer – this makes it harder to set up a powerful vacuum
- Outside of pool slants to keep stable, making it slightly harder to build a deck around it
- Does not have a sand filter – must purchase the pool cartridges
I recommend four places to shop for pool supplies if you live in Canada
(note: #3 is mostly for the Sea to Sky area in BC Canada where I live)
- Canadian Tire
- Pool Supplies Canada (online)
- Poolside Whistler
Of course there is always AMAZON to get whatever you need!
Salt Water vs. Standard Chlorine
We have a salt water pool. Yes, salt water pools do have chlorine in them, but with my research I’ve found that the chlorine level is typically lower in a salt water pool than in a traditional chlorine pool. Also – chlorine found in a salt water pool isn’t added externally, but rather created by a salt water chlorinator.
However, generally speaking standard chlorine pools are cheaper to run (and doesn’t have the additional cost like the salt water pool does with the salt water chlorinator). Chlorine pools require a lot of monitoring where salt water pools can mean less work as the chlorine is always being created from the chlorinator. Depending on use, you need to shock your salt water pool regularly to kill any excess bacteria. Always follow the pool supplier’s and the shock supplier’s directions! Again – I’m no professional, this is just what I’ve found by experience and research.
Personally, I find salt water pools easy to maintain and less drying to the skin and hair. Google and Youtube will be your new best friend when learning about maintenance (or just hire a pool company to do it!).
Note: With any above ground pool you buy, you will most likely have to buy the salt water chlorinator separately.
Pool Tips I’ve learned over the years
- The bigger the better. If adults will be in the pool, and growing children, get the biggest pool you can. Trust me.
- Level the ground. This is something I battle with every year because the corner of my yard slants a little bit and this year we are a bit un-level and it’s causing some issues.
- Consider fake grass (astroturf) below your ladder or at any entrance into the pool. This keeps the pool much cleaner than having any sort of gravel on the ground or real grass. Muddy feet go easily into the pool!
- Cover it with a good cover. The cover keeps the water WARM (we average 80F), lessens evaporation plus keeps any sort of debris out of the pool.
Come on over. Let’s SWIM!