Frequently Asked Questions
How do I maintain my pool and keep it safe?
Your pool contains a large quantity of water and is deep enough to present inherent dangers to life and health unless the following safety rules are strictly observed. First-time users run the highest risk of injury. Make sure everyone understands and encourage all users especially children to learn how to swim. Learn Basic Life Support (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation-CPR) and refresh this knowledge regularly. Instruct all pool users, including children, what to do in case of an emergency. Keep a working phone and a list of emergency phone numbers near the pool. This can make a life-saving difference in the event of an emergency. To ensure your pool is used safely you
MUST observe the following safety precautions:
NO JUMPING OR DIVING The top rail of your pool is not a walkway and must not be used for jumping or diving. Do not permit jumping or diving into the pool from a deck or the top rail of the pool. Diving or jumping into the pool can result in serious injury.
2. NEVER USE THE POOL ALONE Never permit the pool to be used unless it is attended by at least one person other than the bather. Someone should always be available to lend assistance in an emergency. Designate a competent adult to supervise the pool each time it is being used. Vigilant supervision of weak swimmers and non-swimmers by a competent adult is required at all times, remembering that children under five are at the highest risk of drowning.
NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN UNATTENDED Never leave a child alone and unsupervised in or near the pool—not even for a second. There is no substitute for constant adult supervision.
NO ROUGH PLAY Do not permit “rough-housing” in and around your pool. Surfaces can become slippery and hazardous when wet.
LIGHT THE POOL AT NIGHT If the pool is used after dusk, adequate lighting must be provided. Illumination in the pool area must be sufficient to clearly judge pool depth and all features in and around the pool. For lighting recommendations, consult your local licensed electrical contractor
RESTRICT ACCESS TO THE POOL Do not leave chairs or other furniture besides the pool that could be used by a child to climb up into the pool. Ladders must be removed whenever the pool is unattended. A fence with a lockable gate around the pool or yard is strongly recommended and may be required by law in some jurisdictions. Secure doors and windows, where applicable to prevent unauthorized access to the swimming pool. Remove all toys from the swimming pool and surrounding area when not in use to avoid attracting children to the pool. Barriers, pool covers, pool alarms, or similar safety devices are helpful aids, but they are not substitutes for continuous adult supervision.
NO ALCOHOL OR DRUGS Never drink alcoholic beverages, use any intoxicants or medication which could hinder your judgment and reflexes.
KEEP YOUR POOL CLEAN AND SANITARY Your filter system will remove suspended particles from the water and the surface skimmer will remove insects, leaves, and other debris from the water surface. Use the correct pool chemicals as directed to destroy harmful bacteria and prevent the formation of algae. Remember, unsanitary water is a serious health hazard.
KEEP OFF TOP LEDGES Do not walk on top ledges. They can be slippery and they are not a walkway.
POOL COVER SAFETY The cover must have a tamperproof locking retainer cable that positions the cover around the pool wall and keeps it securely in place. Never allow anyone, especially small children on the cover. Asphyxiation or drowning could result. Be sure to remove the pool cover completely from the water surface before entering the pool. When purchasing any pool cover, please consult a swimming pool professional.
ELECTRICAL HAZARD Never touch or attempt to service electrical equipment, including the filter when your body and/ or the ground is wet. Electrocution or permanent injury due to high voltage (120V AC) could result. The pool should be bonded per Section 680-26 of the National Electrical Code. For further assistance contact your dealer or a local licensed electrician. Do not use the pool during electrical or rainstorms.
SAFETY EQUIPMENT Keep a safety rope 1/4" by 50" with a flotation buoy with an outside diameter of 15". Have accessible in a prominent area by your pool. Keep a pole not less than 16 feet (4,88m) long with a blunt or hook end available at the poolside in case of emergencies. Weak swimmers and non-swimmers should wear personal protection equipment when using the pool.
POOL CHEMICALS Store pool chemicals out of the reach of children. Do not place chlorine, chlorine tablets, or sticks directly into the skimmer, or winterize your pool with liquid chlorine. Damage to the skimmer, pool liner, and filter will result. Failure to obey this instruction will void all component warranties. Always follow Chemical Manufacturer’s instructions when storing, handling, and dispensing pool chemicals.
CHECK FOR DAMAGE Periodically check your pool and ladder components for damage and wear. Be sure all screws are in place. Replace all damaged or worn components and tighten all screws before you use the pool, deck, or ladders. At first, sign remove rust and touch up immediately.
POOL PARTS Never modify the pool or accessories or remove or drill holes in the pool, deck, or ladder components unless instructed. Your pool wall is made of thin metal, there is an inherent cut hazard with metal so use gloves during installation. Always use Original Equipment Manufactured parts for your replacement parts.
Is there a way to cool down the water in my pool?
One of they best ways to help cool down your water is to get a fountain.
Fountains help circulate the pool water, making them a quick and easy solution to pools that can get overheated quickly.
The unique 3-tier fountain will add a lovely display of cascading water to any above ground or in ground pool. Its clever design allows it to easily be attached to your pool’s existing pump using only a pair of pliers. The spray height is adjustable from 7 to 16 feet, and installation usually takes less than 5 minutes. Use this fountain indoors or out. Comes complete with a fountain head, fountain base, flexible plumbing kit, and anchor.
How do I properly winterize my pool?
The summer has come to an end and it's time to close the pool. Here are the steps you will need to take in order to ensure your pool equipment is properly winterized.
During the winter your pool is subject to more stress than in the summer, and any breakage that is caused by incorrect winterization will not be covered by a warranty.
Before closing down your pool for the winter you must make a complete inspection of the pool.
Check all the connections to make sure everything is tight and in good condition
Check to see that the liner is snugly held in place over the wall
Check for any indication of rust or deterioration in any part
IF ANY OF THE ABOVE IS FAULTY YOU MUST CORRECT THE SITUATION IMMEDIATELY.
Test your water chemistry several days prior to the day you plan on closing your pool. You will want to make sure your chemicals are adjusted to acceptable levels.
Vacuum & brush the pool. The water level will have to be lowered and vacuuming is a great way to knock out 2 birds with one stone.
In addition to adjusting your ph, alkalinity, & chlorine levels, you will want to add a bottle of preventative algaecide & shock the pool. The amount of shock will vary depending on the gallons of your pool. During the winter the pool requires the use of an equalizer to allow for the expansion and contraction that occurs when ice is formed and to hold the cover-up. This can be a product manufactured for this express purpose and is available at your swimming pool dealer. Also, the use of a winterizing agent will simplify the startup of your pool next season.
Lower the level of water to about one foot below the skimmer intake and return holes. Throughout the winter you must continually check this level, as it must not reach the skimmer holes at any time during the winter.
Remove all drain plugs from the pump, filter, chlorinator, & anything else that holds water, and drain any water from hoses or piping.
Plug the return lines and skimmers with the appropriate plugs/winter plate.
Cover the pool & secure it with winch cables under the top ledge.
Have a cover pump handy to pump water off of the cover as it gathers over the winter months.
After your pool has been winterized and all steps carefully followed, the following checks and procedures must be strictly followed during fall, winter, and spring seasons.
Your pool warranty will be invalid if the pool has been improperly winterized and the following procedures not strictly adhered to. Pools that have been incorrectly winterized have been known to collapse under the tremendous pressures exerted by ice and snow.
Maintain a strict inspection of the inner skimmer housing to see that water is not leaking at the gasket. If the skimmer was not removed, water should not be allowed to collect in the skimmer housing as the water will freeze and crack the housing and cause possible damage to the wall.
Should ice, or anything else, cut your pool liner allowing the pool to empty, be sure to release the cover thereby removing the weight from the top of your pool. Failing to do so can cause your pool to collapse.
During the winter, the liner may pull out of it’s coping. Due to freezing and thawing of the ground, the ground sometimes sinks and the liner with the weight of ice or water will sink also, thus pulling the liner out of it’s coping.
Be sure to pull off all excess snow and ice from the winter cover.
Buying an Above Ground Pool
How do I know if a specific pool is in stock?
If you're on a product page for the size and shape of the pool model you're interested in and it says "call for availability" it is either out of stock or very low in inventory as of that morning. Read more below for COVID-19 exceptions.
DUE TO COVID 19 operational impact, you can assume that all above ground swimming pools are "out of stock" and have an estimated 8-12 week lead time
You can still place an order for a "call for availability" pool but it may not reach you in as timely of a manner as you would prefer.
Once you've selected the size, shape, and model of your favorite pool, if you do not see "call for availability" you should* be good to go!
*Please note that during peak season pool models can become out of stock quickly and just because it does not say "call for availability" it does not guarantee that the pool you selected will be in stock by the time your order is processed. If for any reason you order a pool that becomes out of stock after you place your order, a Hometown Pools & Spas team member will contact you ASAP with alternative options within the same price range as the pool you selected.
What do I need to know when buying an above ground pool?
Everything you need to know about making a
GREAT DECISION for you and your family can be learned by downloading the
YOUR GUIDE to ABOVE GROUND POOLS
Tips, Tricks, ,and Hacks
Insights for creating the perfect backyard oasis
A new pool is a big investment and shouldn't be rushed into without a bit of research. We help make that process easier. Whether you're looking for a new inground, above ground, or semi-inground pool, we have the resources for you to make educated choices when designing your new favorite staycation.
The first thing you need to determine is what in kind of pool you're wanting to splash in.
This choice is typically made based on budget, the space available, and local codes (i.e. what's allowed in your neighborhood). Once you have an idea of what kind of pool you're seeking use our resources to make sure you know the ins and outs of buying a pool! This includes commonly asked questions as well and not-so-commonly asked ones that SHOULD be considered. Let's break it down based on pool type. Click the pool type listed above that you're planning to add to your homescape!
What is included with an above ground pool kit?
Hometown Pools & Spas, every above ground pool kit comes with the pool (walls, verticals, rails, hardware, etc) a vinyl liner, a standard skimmer, an A-Frame Ladder, a standard pump, sand filter, sand, maintenance kit, and a winter cover. This kit is valued at $349. You can upgrade or add items to the kit as you like.
JUST ASK US!
Which is better... a round or oval above ground pool?
The simple answer is.. it all depends. Several factors to consider are things like the size of your backyard and the area that the pool will be installed, slope of the ground, etc. In general, round pools are better because they hold more water and are known to be stronger than an oval-shaped pool. There is some physics behind it.. but we will leave that to the scientists and engineers.
Can Above Ground pools be heated?
While one of the most common ways to heat an above ground pool is with a solar cover/blanket, it may not be the most efficient as these rely on the sun or warm weather and there are plenty of options available for external heat sources to keep your above ground pool warm regardless of where Mr. Sun is during the day. Just like inground pools, above ground pools can have both heat pumps and gas heaters added. Plus, installation is a fairly simple and straightforward process.
For the easiest installation, we recommend a heat pump since they operate through thermal transfer instead of by burning propane or gas. This means all you'll need to do to install one is add it to your pool's existing plumbing and then provide a power source. Plus, as a bonus, many heat pumps (like the Hayward HP50HA) also have a "chiller" option - which allows you to lower the temperature of your pool water should it get too hot from the summer sun!
GOOD TO KNOW: since heat pumps rely on the transfer of ambient air, they loose most of their effectiveness when the outside air drops below 50 degrees.
How much does it cost to install an above ground pool?
Due to the rise in demand caused by the pandemic, pools in general are experiencing delays in manufacturing and shipping. If you are looking to buy a new pool in the next couple of years you may have a longer wait time than anticipated. It's important to shop early. While pools traditionally purchased in the Spring or even late Summer can usually have a couple of weeks of use that same year, the entire industry is currently delayed by several weeks and in some cases several months. The best plan you can have is to purchase your pool at least 3-6 months before you'd like to start building and even then, the more flexible you are the more options you will have.
How Much Does An Above Ground Pool Cost to Build?
Putting in a new above ground swimming pool is a great way to get more enjoyment out of your summer. You'll have the convenience of a pool in your own backyard, which means you can play, lounge, and cool off whenever the desire strikes.
Elements to Consider
The cost of an above-ground pool will vary based on a variety of factors. Before you dive in, consider whether you will need:
Landscaping in this sense isn't just the pretty flowers you add after your pool is ready to go. It also includes the excavation of the land. Because before you put in your pool, you need a place to put it. This needs to be a solid stretch of level ground where there are no tree roots sticking out of the ground or bumpy spots that will make your pool less comfortable. You will not want your pool to be uneven! The more landscaping is required, the more expensive your pool project may be. For example, if you need to excavate and remove debris from a rocky terrain you could spend upwards of $2,000 to level out a yard like this. However, most yard landscaping can be a simple DIY project if cleared of stumps and rock. This could keep your landscaping cost easily between $0-$500 (depending on if you need to rent any equipment).
Now that your yard is clear, how much space do you have for your pool? Above ground pool cost increases with the size of your pool. The larger you want your pool to be, the more you can expect to spend--but also, the more space you'll have to swim with your family and enjoy the great outdoors throughout the summer!
Thankfully, once you choose you the pool model you prefer, you can compare the pricing of the different sizes and see that its is not very expensive at all to go for the increased swim space. Depending on the model and pool liner, this can be as little as $50-$100 to go up a size!
There are plenty of cheap above ground pool kits on the market every year. Unfortunately, those kits aren't designed for longevity, especially with more playful families. In many cases, they might not even last the summer while in other cases, they'll need to be replaced regularly--and you may find yourself dealing with maintenance challenges on a regular basis.
For this reason, Hometown Pools & Spas, only carries safe, durable, and time-honored Above Ground Swimming Pool brands. While different models of these brands will have different durability levels, they are much more likely to stand the test of time with proper maintenance and care.
Do you want a large deck to go around your pool, or do you already have a space that you can use? The reason being, relaxing by the pool is sometimes just as enjoyable as relaxing in the pool. For that reason, you'll want chairs or possibly loungers beside the pool. For many pool owners this ends up being a deck so they can sit back and enjoy the look of the water or watch their children instead of just a pool wall.
Keep in mind though, the more decking you build, the more expensive it can be. A large, expansive deck can significantly add to the price of the pool while t a smaller deck which simply allows you space to get in and out of the pool may be much more affordable.
Do you have small children at home? Pets--or neighborhood children--who might need to be kept out of the pool when not supervised? As you're deciding what you want for your pool, think about safety features: a surface alarm that will sound if the surface of the water is broken (for example, if a child or pet falls into the water), a fence that will help keep out anyone who isn't supposed to be in the pool, or a pool cover that will help keep curious pests (or people) out.
Make sure you have considered which safety elements you plan to use so you can factor them into your initial budget.
Total Cost of Installation:
Assuming you are within our local travel distance here in the Capital District and already have a place picked out for your pool, professional installation for a standard round pool ranges from $900 - $1300. Oval pools typically cost more for installation due to additional labor vs. round pools. Keep in mind that this will be in addition to the cost of the actual pool, equipment, landscaping, and any decking you would like to have added.
To view our current above ground pool models, click here
*Please note that the prices listed are current as of April 2021 and are subject to change. For up-to date prices or to compare the cost of installation for different sizes and shapes,
CONTACT US and we will guide you every step of the way.
Am I able to finance my new Above Ground pool?
With the the demand for swimming pools higher than ever the importance of purchasing early has never been more important. Thankfully, there has never been an easier time to finance your dream backyard! You can now have the luxury of making easy and low monthly payments, or even choose to just pay for your pool a couple months after ordering it! We will spend the amout of time you need to help find the best financing options available for yoru budget and your family.
Do I need a permit to have my Above Ground pool installed?
Yes. In order to have your above ground pool installed, you will need to get a permit from your local jurisdiction.
How often should I change the water in my hot tub?
Lots of people aren’t sure about how often the water needs changing in their spa or they don’t want to take the time to do it because the water still looks clear. After all, you don’t need to drain a swimming pool, why do you need to drain a spa? Let us convince you…
Change Your Spa Water Every 3-4 Months
As you add chemicals they are adding to the saturation of the hot tub’s water. It’s like the high school chemistry experiment where you add a tablespoon of sugar to a glass of water and it dissolves. As you continue to add more tablespoons, they start to dissolve slower and slower until the sugar doesn’t dissolve and drops to the bottom of the glass. That water is saturated. The same thing starts to happen as the hot tub’s water gets “older”. The water will start to get hazy and you might even experience grit on the shell. You also might have a harder time keeping the water chemistry balanced and you might even notice a bit of a ‘funky’ smell.
A spa contains a much smaller amount of water than a pool—and the more people you add, the more “leave behinds” in a smaller volume of water. One of the many benefits of using a hot tub is that you detoxify your body through sweating. The sweat is removing deodorant, lotion, perfume, etc. which doesn’t dilute very well and can lead to foaming and/or cloudy water.
Temperature also plays a big part. Spas are kept very hot and this affects what you need to do to keep your water clean and clear. As the hot water evaporates, it leaves behind any added solids: chemicals, bather waste, etc all adding to the saturation of the water.
As the hot tub water gets older and the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) raises you will notice your filter may need to be cleaned more often. The filter is trapping the partially dissolved solids that can reduce the energy efficiency of the hot tub’s heater.
Okay, Okay So How Can I Tell When to Change The Water?
You should be testing the water regularly anyhow. If the water stays in balance, you should be able to make the 3-4 month mark before you need to drain and change. If you have consistently cloudy water, grit, or an odor develops, it’s time to drain the water.
You can also use this formula:
Find out how much water is in your spa. (Roughly: 2-seater spa holds 200 gallons, 7ft x 7ft hot tub holds 300 gallons, 8ft X 8ft hot tub holds 400 gallons)
The next thing you need to know is the ‘bather load’ of your spa—how many people use it and how often.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to calculating how often to change the water in your hot tub is to divide the total number of gallons of your hot tub by 3, and then divide it again by the number of daily users. This formula will give you an approximation of the number of days that you can go between changing the water in your hot tub. For example, if you have a 480-gallon hot tub and have 3 average daily users, you should be changing the water in your hot tub approximately every 53 days.
This formula is not a hard and fast, set in stone rule when it comes to changing your hot tub water.
There are some other things that you should look out for to keep your spa in optimal operating order throughout the year. If you notice that the water in your spa is cloudy and shocking it doesn’t seem to clear it, it’s time to drain and refill. If you are developing a lot of foam and the defoamer isn’t having an effect, it is also likely time to change the water. The most noticeable sign that it is time to change the water in your hot tub is if the water begins to smell. A foul smell is a sure sign that you are overdue for changing out the water.
How do I easily remove the spa cover?
Before you can enjoy your hot tub, there’s something you have to do. You have to remove that heavy, bulky cover.
You know a cover is a necessity – it keeps the dirt and debris out of your hot tub, so there’s less to clean, and it keeps the heat in, helping it run efficiently. But my goodness is it heavy and awkward to move.
But there is an alternative solution – a cover lifter!
These handy gadgets attach to your hot tub and make it incredibly easy to remove your cover, all by yourself – with no super-strength required.
Cover lifters come in three different types: Manual pivot, shelf-style and hydraulic-assisted; and they install in one of these ways: Under, side, top and bottom mount. The type you choose will depend on your preferences and budget; the installation will depend on the cover you select, and the way your hot tub is installed.
To choose a cover lifter, you need to know how much space you have behind your spa, and on the side where the lifter will install. We can help you select the cover lifter that’s perfect for your spa and installation needs.
So, the next time you want to enjoy a soothing hydromassage and you’re home alone – no worries! You can lift that cover right off.
What is a swim spa?
A swim spa is a swimming pool alternative, combining the benefits of water exercise and the therapy of a hot tub. A fraction of the cost of an inground pool, a swim spa from
Hometown Pools & Spas can be installed in less than a day. A jet or propulsions system creates a current of water that allows people to exercise in place. Whether you enjoy swimming, jogging, or walking, you can move without really moving.
Swim spas, which are built for year-round use, also have adjustable massage jets — just like a hot tub. With the option to adjust the temperature, you can relax in warm water when lounging or lower it to the 80s for exercising.
But unlike a hot tub, there are additional therapy options. The unique set of jets targets the muscles of the back and legs to help everyone, from beginner to athlete, recover from exercise.
What is Biofilm and how do I get rid of it?
Spas offer ideal conditions for bacteria to grow because of the combination of high temperatures and organic materials brought into the water by bathers. Over time, bacteria gathers in your hot tub, on your filters and on the inside walls of your pipes in a thin film. This film can be whitish, green or black and is made of organic substances (mostly dead cells and bacteria). Once it settles in your water, it becomes much harder to maintain clear water.
Its appearance... and how to prevent it
The water disinfection of your spa is absolutely essential. No matter if you've chosen a chlorine, a bromine or an active oxygen treatment, it needs to be regular.
If biofilm has appeared in your spa, it is most likely because your water treatment isn't regular or rigorous enough, or you made a treatment error. However, biofilm has also appeared in new hot tubs after a factory leak test. When drained, several litres of water may remain in the pipes, which will stagnate until the buyer uses them, allowing the biofilm to form over time.
Follow your treatment !
Test your spa water as regularly as possible: whatever chemical treatment you choose, you must test your water to check the level of disinfectant present, and act as quickly as possible if you find that the level is not good.
We advise new spa owners to perform quick daily tests to avoid the risk of having a major biofilm problem on their hands in the future. The biofilm can spread in 8 hours.
The best way to avoid the appearance of biofilm is simply a regular and scrupulous follow-up of your treatment, a serious maintenance of your spa and of course to always take a shower before you slip into the water.
How to get rid of it
Unfortunately, increasing the doses of your normal disinfection treatment, whether it's with chlorine, bromine, or active oxygen, is not the solution. Biofilm protects bacteria from these chemicals.
The best solution is to use products specifically designed to clean biofilm: Ahh-Some, AquaFinesse Spa Clean or Super SpaClean. The biofilm cleaner disintegrates the biofilm and brings it to the surface, but most importantly it cleans your pipes.
Don't forget to rinse your filters too, or even change them if they are very dirty (see photo 2).
You must then drain your hot tub and rinse the tank while the water level drops. All you have to do is fill the spa with new water, balance the pH and, above all, immediately resume your disinfection treatment, because the biofilm cleaner does not kill bacteria.