As spring and summer approach, it is time to start planning for summer activities, including setting up your above-ground pool. An above-ground pool requires cleaning and other pool maintenance to keep it sparkling clean all summer. You can use a couple vinyl tarps and a garden hose to help you with this.
The first step before setting up your pool is to find a level section of ground where you will set up your pool. If the ground is uneven or has holes or mounds of earth, your pool won't sit level and there will be uneven sections on your pool's bottom after it is set up. Sandy areas make a good foundation for your pool as you can smooth and level it across the ground.
You can till up the ground and smooth it back down with a garden rake. Then, use a carpenter's level to check the ground is completely flat and level. Do this by setting the level in various spots on the smoothed out sand.
Once you have smoothed the ground out, spread out a thick vinyl tarp over the ground, making sure the tarp is larger than the area of your pool. The vinyl tarp will cover the ground, protecting your pool's bottom from being punctured by any sticks or sharp rocks. A good choice for a thick-weighted tarp is around a 22 ounce weight.
Now you can set up your pool over your tarp foundation and fill your pool with water.
Now that your pool is set up, you can go swimming. Water straight from your backyard spigot may be a little cold, so you can use a tarp pool cover to heat your pool. Besides heating your pool's water, the tarp will also help keep debris from getting into your pool's water.
Just as with the pool foundation you will need to get a tarp that is larger than your pool. Use a black tarp as your pool's cover to heat your pool water using the sun's rays. When sunlight shines on a black tarp, the tarp absorbs heat from the light. As the tarp warms up, water will pull the heat from the tarp, slowly warming your pool water.
You can make a large elastic to secure your pool cover using one or two old rubber tire inner tubes to create a large elastic band.
To make the pool cover's rubber band:
- Use a pair of heavy duty scissors to cut the rubber tubes into 1-inch wide lengths of rubber.
- Tie the strips together using square knots until you have a length of rubber tubing that is 85% of your pool's circumference.
- Tie the two ends together to create a complete circle of rubber like a large rubber band.
With the help of a friend, stretch the band around the top of the pool, securing the tarp to the edges of your pool. As the sun heats up the tarp, it will heat up your pool's water. When you are ready to go swimming, remove the rubber band and remove the tarp. Be careful that you don't allow any debris to fall from the tarp into the pool's water.
Pools tend to collect grass, dirt, and other debris from swimmers and the occasional summer wind gust. When your above-ground pool begins to have an accumulation of debris on its bottom, cleaning it out can be easy.
To make a pool siphon:
- Submerge an entire garden hose into your pool beginning at one end and coiling it onto the bottom of your pool. This will make sure there is no air inside your hose.
- Then, when the hose is all underwater, place the palm of your hand over one end of the hose to keep air from getting into the hose.
- Pull the hose over to a section of your yard and set the hose down. Water will begin to flow out of the hose from your pool.
- Use the other end of hose still in the pool to suck up debris from the bottom of your pool.
Using tarps and a hose make maintaining and cleaning your pool easy. You can get tarps by visiting a retailer like Billboard Tarps.