Taking care of a Pop-up Pool
We have had a framed pop-up pool in our garden for 7 years, and taking care of it isn’t a chore as we follow a few basic guidelines. Whether you already have a small to medium swimming pool or are considering buying one, I hope this post provides you with the information you need to help you with your pool care.
We have a Bestway pool* which measures 12ft by 4ft – we decided to ‘splash’ out and buy the biggest pool we could afford at the time. Was it worth the money we spent? Undoubtedly! It has lasted 7 years with countless children bouncing around in it, and being transported in and out for the shed for the winter. (This is the first year we have had to patch up two pinprick holes in the sides with duct tape.)
We wanted a pool deep enough so that adults and teenagers would be able to lift their legs off the bottom and actually swim and the 4ft depth makes this possible. The 12ft diameter makes a good space for a number of kids and adults to swim at the same time.
When my husband first suggested that we buy a pop-up swimming pool I thought he was crazy, as the climate here in Ireland isn’t exactly swimming friendly. We are originally from South Africa where having a swimming pool is a more common feature than here – you wouldn’t normally associate this climate with heat, sunshine and outdoor living! However, we have had so much use out of our pool, it has honestly been one of the best buys for our family.
We have had a number of kiddies birthday parties, end-of-school-year parties and summer barbeque parties in ours and now I think we have started a trend in this little corner of Ireland! Since we got our pool, more and more families have been buying them too after their kids went home and told their parents how much fun they’ve had in ours – at last count there are now 6 other swimming pools amongst our friends.
Although we live only 25 minutes from the beach I love that we have a pool at home on the hotter days as our garden is always less windy and warmer than the beach. It’s obviously also handy having your bathroom and fridge full of icecream easily at hand, and there are no sandy feet or swimming togs to clean off afterwards, or baking hot cars to travel home in.
One of the best things about having the pool in my opinion is that I feel like we are on holidays when we are still at home. I pull out a garden chair, hat and book and lie next to the pool when the kids are swimming. And when they get out I take a quick dip myself. How about saving the money you would have spent on holidays and other treats and use it to buy a pool instead?
So have I pursuaded you to get a pool yet? YAY! 😀 Here are some guidelines to help you take care of it.
Tips for taking care of your Pop-up Pool:
A pool needs consistant and regular care to make sure that the water doesn’t start to turn green. Depending on its size you will need to check it every day or every second day. I’d recommend that this becomes the reponsibility of a specific family member!
Use a filter
Our pool came with an electrical filter pump which is necessary for a pool of this capacity. It is plugged into an external power socket on the house and keeps the water circulating through the pool. The filter cartridge needs to be cleaned every 2 weeks. Our filter pump came with a couple of disposable filter cartidges which look like paper concertina cylinders. Once those became unusable after too much use, we ordered a reusable filter cartridge which resembles a hollowed out cylindrical blue sponge.
Cover the surface
Our pool came with a cover but we are not very good at using it to be honest. It is a good idea to use it especially on windy days if you have trees nearby that drop leaves or blossoms. It is also necessary for pool safety, especially if you have younger children who cannot swim.
Our cover is not a thermal cover, there are mixed reviews as to whether these really make a difference. We do have a floating pool thermometer and in the summer the water temperature goes up to about 21 – 23 deg C. (We heat the pool using a solar heating system – see final points below).
If you don’t cover your pool you will be doing a lot more of the following:
Skim the surface with a net
We have a net on a long handle* for skimming the surface of the pool to help keep it clean. Skimming removes debris like leaves and blossoms as well as any tiny unwanted swimming creatures (the 6 or 8 legged kind!) It also helps prevent any larger items from getting into the filter.
For a large pool, some form of water cleaning additive is necessary as you won’t be able to easily and quickly replace the water. We use chlorine tablets which we order online called Relax 5Kg Multi-Chlorine Tablets Large 200g Swimming Pool Sanitiser*
We place the tablets in a floating dispenser* which is specifically for this purpose.
It is important to keep the dispenser stocked up to prevent the water from becoming discoloured. Make sure that if any tablets get knocked out of the dispenser for any reason (like boisterous play) that they don’t get left lying on the bottom of the pool as this could damage the pool surface.
Make sure children don’t touch the chlorine tablets.
Final points that are good to know about taking care of a pop-up pool:
- The pool needs to be placed on a level and smooth surface to prevent damage to the pool structure. You may need to prepare an area first by removing any large stones and spreading a layer of sand to make it smooth.
- We pack our pool away in the Autumn and bring it out again at the begining of May so we get about 5 month’s use out of it. You need to consider that you will need a space big enough to store your pool out of season. We use a power hose to clean off the pool before we pack it away. Make sure the pool is dry before it’s folded up and stored.
- As an optional extra you may wish to purchase a pool heater. We heat the water in our pool using the heat from the sun by connecting a length of coiled black tubing to the filter pump. The water is heated in the black pipe as it is pumped through. We have the filter pump connected to a timer switch which stops the pump at regular intervals. This allows the water to lie in the pipe and be heated by the sun shining onto it before being pumped back into the pool.
- Finally, pool toys make great gifts for your kids, we have bought inflatable rings and lilos as well as diving toys which encourage swimming competence. Our kids would love a slide into the pool next!
For some brilliant guidelines on swiming safely with children read this post: 10 Water Safety Tips From a Mom Who Investigates Drownings
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