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The ins and outs of pool installation and maintenance

As the weather begins to heat up, the shimmering depths of a backyard pool are more welcoming than ever. As the covers are removed from in-ground and above-ground units, homeowners new to the pool scene might be overwhelmed by the steps required to get their backyard oasis ready to enjoy. 

Jim Joyner, owner of Pools Unlimited in Washington, has some tips of the trade for current and prospective pool owners in our area.

“A big tip is keeping a close watch on the chemical levels in your pool like your pH and chlorine. Be sure that your pump is running enough each day to properly filter the water in your pool,” Joyner said. Pools can be maintained in a variety of ways so be sure to consider this when selecting chemicals to maintain your pool’s chemical balance. These amounts can also fluctuate based on the size and depth of your pool and whether it is an in-ground or above-ground unit. 

For individuals considering purchasing or installing a pool, Joyner says the main factors that separate the two is price and investment. 

“The big thing there is what your budget is, how much you want to spend. The average above-ground pool is going to be less than $10,000 and the average in-ground pool is going to range from $40,000 to $60,000. It also depends on how long you want to have the pool. An in-ground pool is a major investment. An above-ground pool can be put up for a shorter period of time and you can sell the above-ground unit or take it down very easily. An in-ground pool is a bigger investment and it’s a permanent fixture in your backyard,” Joyner said. 

As far as installation is concerned, the process for setting up these two types of pools is completely different. 

“An above-ground pool can definitely be a do it yourself project. An in-ground pool, because of the equipment needed to complete the installation, is not something most people can do yourself. It can be done but most of the time it’s not something you should attempt,” Joyner said. 

Both pool types come in a variety of shapes and sized with depths to match your current needs. Above-ground pools are one consistent depth while in-ground pools vary based on what kind of pool you install. The most common kind of pool regardless of type is a liner-based poo. .

“We don’t recommend draining and refilling the pool because this can damage the liner. In terms of lifespan for liners, an above-ground liner would last 7-10 years and an in-ground liner would last 10-15 years,” Joyner said. 

If you or someone you know is considering installing a pool to enjoy this summer, Joyner suggests going to local resources for help during the process.

“Anyone who has or wants a pool, I’d recommend having a relationship with your local pool supply store, whoever that may be. Our store tests pool water free of charge for anyone who comes in. Make sure to monitor the chemical levels and it will be a pleasure to have. If not, it can be a lot of work,” Joyner said.