Pools Buying Guide
A swimming pool creates a backyard oasis during the hot summer months, but choosing the right pool for your needs, treating water and maintaining your pool requires work. We'll help you determine what is important and choose the pool that is right for you in this Swimming Pool Buying Guide. Be sure to check with your municipality for local bylaws. Even inflatable pools may require a pool permit.
Measure and Research
Before purchasing an above-ground pool, select the area where it will be located. A spot with level ground works best. Take accurate measurements and outline the preferred placement of the pool – doing so will help determine the size required and will also provide a rough idea of the end result. Canadian Tire offers a wide range of options for large and small yards. Research the type of filtration system you are interested in using. Canadian Tire carries a variety of pumps including salt water pumps and ozone generators.
Above-ground Swimming Pool Types
There are three types of prefabricated above-ground swimming pools:
- Framed - Framed pools feature a sturdy, rust-resistant metal frame that snaps neatly together, as well as a durable 3-ply heavy-gauge PVC liner. Pools with long-lasting framed construction offer increased water capacity and depth, and a large swimming surface. Framed pools can quickly be assembled and ready to fill with water, are easy to dismantle for off-season storage, and are available in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes.
- Inflatable pools - An inexpensive, convenient, above-ground alternative that offers fast, easy set-up. Simply inflate the top ring with air, add water to the pool, and watch the walls of the pool rise. Inflatable pools are constructed from a 3-ply, heavy-gauge PVC for durability and strength. They are also easy to take down for off-season storage, can easily fit in a closet, and are available in a variety of sizes.
- Framed Inflatable pools - A hybrid of two styles – this type of pool features the convenience of an inflatable top ring, as well as durable frame support for strength.
Specialty Filter Pumps
Many pools include a specially designed filter pump for the pool’s particular size. Canadian Tire also carries a variety of filtration systems to satisfy all shoppers:
- Salt Water Chlorinators – Salt Water Chlorinators convert salt to chlorine, reducing the need for chemicals in the water.
- Ozonator – An ozone generating device. Ozone is powerful sanitizer and the use of the Clear Water System can reduce the volume of chemicals being put into the pool water.
Swimming Pool Accessories
Specialty accessories included with the purchase of pool can range from: filter pump, ground cloth, cover, solar blanket, ladder, maintenance kit, chlorinator, thermometer, chemical floater, solar lamp, pool side table and miscellaneous games.
Although not included with purchase, swimming pool covers are a time-saving investment as they act as a barrier to keep debris from falling into the pool.
Opening Your Pool
- Before you remove the pool cover, use a leaf net to remove any debris that accumulated during the winter
- Remove the pool cover, clean thoroughly and let it dry before storing, to prevent mildew and deterioration
- Use a leaf skimmer to scoop up all the surface and submerged debris, and clean dirty pool walls with brush
- Bring the pool water up to its normal operating level
- Connect pool pump, filter, hoses and any electrical connections that may have been detached
- Be sure the skimmer, filter, pumps, drains and other equipment are clean and free of winter debris
- Turn on the filter pump; be sure to prime the pump before starting the motor
- Check the skimmers, drains and filter to make sure they are functioning properly
- Vacuum any remaining debris
- Allow water to circulate 6-8 hours
- Test the water thoroughly and balance the chemistry by adding the necessary chemicals in the proper sequence
- Install ladders and diving boards; be sure to check for wear and damage
Cleaning Your Pool
During the swimming season, pools should be cleaned at least once a week using a leaf skimmer, brush and vacuum. A thorough cleaning will ensure that stain-causing debris is removed promptly, unwanted dirt build-up is prevented, and particles in the water are removed, leaving the water sparkling clean.
Testing & Treating the Water
- Testing pool water is a simple process that checks the pH, chlorine, alkalinity, calcium and hardness levels, but knowing which chemicals to add to treat algae, scale, cloudy or discoloured water, chlorine odour and eye or skin irritation can be challenging. Try our step-by-step Pool Chemical Calculator, which will help determine the right solution to maintain the proper water balance.
- All chemical treatments should be done while the pump and filter are in operation to ensure proper circulation. Be sure to read and follow dosages, directions and precautions listed on the product label before using to ensure proper handling and storage.
Closing Your Pool
Both framed and inflatable above-ground pools are ideal for seasonal use; they are easy to assemble, and easy to dismantle for off-season storage. With proper storage, each heavy-gauge lined/constructed pool may be used again and again.
To take down your pool:
- Unscrew the drain valve cap on the outside of the pool counter clockwise and remove.
- Connect the adapter to the hose and direct the other end of the hose to the area where you are going to drain your pool.
- Screw the control ring of the hose adapter clockwise onto the drain valve. The drain valve will be open and water will start to drain automatically. When draining is finished, unscrew the control ring to close the valve.
- Frame pools: begin dismantling the frame, starting with the top rails. Ensure all railings are completely dry prior to storage.
Inflatable pools: Deflate the top ring.
Framed inflatable pools: Deflate the top ring and then dismantle the frame.
- If there is any water remaining at the bottom of the pool, raise the pool on the side opposite to the drain valve, to allow all water to drain out of the pool.
- Allow the pool to air-dry.
- Before storing the pool away, always ensure that the liner is completely dry. Sprinkle talcum powder on the liner to prevent the pool from sticking together.
- Fold the pool carefully and store in a dry, warm location.
General Pool Safety
Ensure the safety of your family and guests - establish a set of safety practices around the pool and review them at the beginning of each season:
- No running, pushing or horseplay around the pool
- Keep all glass/breakables and food away from the pool area
- Never use electrical appliances around the pool area
- DO NOT swim during a thunder or lightening storm
- Reduce the amount of bacteria and contaminants that swimmers bring into the pool by having them shower or rinse before swimming
- Keep a lifesaving ring/pole, a complete first aid kit, and instructions (printed on waterproof material) for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in the pool area
- Know emergency telephone numbers and encourage all family members to learn mouth-to-mouth resuscitation procedures
- Do not leave children unattended while in use; competent adult supervision should always be provided to prevent drowning or other injury