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Above-Ground Pool Filtration, Accessories
Swimming Pools Features (continued)
Above-Ground Pool Filtration.Whatever type of cheap above-ground pool you buy, it's guaranteed to collect dirt, grass, bugs, and other pollutants that must be filtered, skimmed, vacuumed, and shocked with chemicals to keep the water clear and clean.
Many pool owners insist that buying a heftier pump and better filter is a worthwhile investment. But you can also step up to a different type of filter system. A sand filter is easier to maintain than regular cartridges -- Intex says the sand on its filter needs to be replaced every five years. (Note: This is a schedule that could outlast your cheap backyard pool.) But sand filters are also far costlier, starting in the neighborhood of $200.
Pricier equipment doesn't release you from weekly checks of the water's chlorine and pH balance and less frequent tests for calcium hardness, alkalinity, dissolved solids, and, depending where you live, metals. And let's not forget the need to add all the chemicals required to get and keep things right. One alternative to the chemical-based routine is a low-maintenance, eco-friendly saltwater system sold by Intex that relies on salt, rather than chlorine, to keep swimming pool water sparkling; the starting price is about $190. Intex says this system can be used on any make of above-ground pools and doesn't leave the water feeling or tasting like the sea. Based on the user reviews that we read, the saltwater system has won numerous converts.
You also need a skimmer to collect undesirable solids floating in the water. The Intex models on our list come with a floating surface skimmer that's attached to a tube feeding into the filter. The Heritage and Seaview Club pools we researched feature an in-wall skimmer, and the Summer Escapes model comes with a trademarked all-in-one filter/pump/skimmer with a chlorinator and ground fault circuit interrupter.
Above-Ground Pool Kits and Accessories.All the cheap above-ground pools on our list are sold as kits, which minimally include a pump filtration system and a skimmer. Kit components vary by pool size and manufacturer. The two framed Intex pools we researched also come with a ground cloth, pool cover, ladder, and maintenance kit that includes a vacuum; round, metal-frame Intex pools measuring 18 or 24 feet across also come with a volleyball set. The Heritage 12' x 42" and Seaview Club 18' x 42" kits additionally feature a pool liner, ladder, and porthole. In addition to the necessary pump filter system, the Summer Escapes 18' x 48" package contains a ladder, pool cover, ground cloth, and maintenance kit. To add to the fun, there are oodles of optional pool accessories, from solar covers and water heaters to floating LED lights, slides, and float lounges, that you can buy online or at stores that sell pools.
Above-Ground Pools Warranty.As with many less expensive items, the warranties for cheap above-ground pools are short and limited. Intex offers 90 days on manufacturer defects in the liner and one year on the filter pump. The Heritage 12' x 36" comes with a one-year limited warranty, as does the Seaview Club 18' x 42" model. By way of contrast, the pricier Excalibur line of pools features warranties that extend at least 20 years. Note that the warranty on a cheap pool is typically voided if it's not set up properly -- and that includes being placed on ground that's level.
Summer Escapes Pools Review
Heritage Round Pools Review
Seaview Club Pools Review
Intex Metal Frame Pools Review
Intex Rectangular Pools Review
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