19 Common Problems and Solutions for Failures in Above Ground Pools - Zealux (2023)

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A backyard swimming sanctuary may be enjoyed conveniently and affordably with above ground pools. In the sweltering summer, they offer hours of amusement, relaxation, and family enjoyment. However, much like other pool types, above ground pools can occasionally run into problems. To maintain a clean, safe, and fun swimming environment, pool owners must comprehend and solve these typical issues. This article will examine some of the most frequent problems that occur with above ground pools and provide workable strategies to resolve them.

Leakage and Water Loss

Water leaking is among the most frequent problems experienced by owners of above ground pools. Leaks can result in water loss, which is a hard issue to handle. Perform a comprehensive examination of the pool’s parts, including the liner, pump, and filter, to locate the leak’s cause. Keep a cautious eye out for any obvious tears, holes, or weak connections. Patching kits and sealants made especially for above ground pools can be used to stop leaks once the cause has been found.

Algae Growth

In above ground pools, algae may rapidly become an annoyance by turning the water green and hazy. Inadequate filtration, poor water movement, or low chlorine levels are frequently the causes of algae formation. To avoid algae, make sure the pump and filter are operating at peak efficiency, maintain adequate chlorine levels, and routinely brush and vacuum the pool to get rid of any debris or algae accumulation. Algaecides can also assist preserve clear water by preventing algae growth.

Low Water Flow

Low water flow can lead to poor pool circulation, resulting in stagnant water and potential algae growth. Check the pool skimmer and pump strainer basket for any clogs or debris that may be obstructing the water flow. Clean or replace the pool filter if necessary, and ensure the pump is functioning correctly. If the issue persists, consider upgrading the pump or seeking professional assistance to troubleshoot the problem further.

Cloudy Water

Cloudy water is a common issue that can be caused by various factors, including improper chemical balance, high levels of debris, or inadequate filtration. Regularly test the pool water and adjust the pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels as needed. Properly clean the pool using a skimmer and vacuum to remove debris and prevent them from clouding the water. Additionally, consider using pool clarifiers to help improve water clarity.

Uneven Pool Surface

An uneven pool surface can be both unsightly and unsafe for swimmers. Ground shifting, inadequate pool base preparation or poor installation can lead to an uneven pool floor. To address this problem, drain the pool and carefully inspect the pool liner and floor. Smooth out any wrinkles or folds in the liner and ensure the pool base is level and well-compacted. If needed, seek professional assistance to correct the pool’s base and ensure a smooth and even surface.

Pump Priming Issues

When the pool pump fails to prime or loses its prime, it can lead to low water flow and inadequate circulation. Check for air leaks in the pump’s intake lines and ensure all connections are tight and sealed. If the pump continues to have priming issues, it might be time to replace the pump’s gaskets or seek expert advice to diagnose and fix the problem.

Unbalanced Chemicals

Maintaining proper chemical balance is essential for pool water safety and clarity. Unbalanced chemicals can lead to various issues, including skin and eye irritation, algae growth, and poor water quality. Regularly test the water and adjust the chlorine, pH, and alkalinity levels as needed. Consider using pool water testing kits or take a water sample to a pool supply store for professional testing and recommendations.

Pump Motor Failure

The pool pump motor is a critical component that ensures proper water circulation and filtration. If the pump motor fails to start or stops running, it can disrupt the pool’s functionality. Check for any electrical issues, such as blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers, and ensure that the pump’s power source is functional. If the motor still doesn’t work, consult a pool professional to inspect and repair or replace the pump motor.

Fading Pool Liner

Over time, the pool liner may start to fade or discolor due to exposure to UV rays and pool chemicals. While this doesn’t affect the pool’s functionality, it can impact its aesthetics. To prevent fading, use a pool cover when the pool is not in use to shield the liner from direct sunlight. Additionally, avoid using excessive amounts of pool chemicals, as this can accelerate liner degradation.

Rust and Corrosion

Above ground pools with steel components are susceptible to rust and corrosion, especially in regions with high humidity or frequent rain. Inspect the pool’s metal parts regularly, and apply rust-resistant paint or coatings to protect them from corrosion. If you notice significant rusting, consider replacing the affected parts to maintain the pool’s structural integrity.

Poor Pool Circulation

Inadequate pool circulation can lead to various issues, including algae growth, cloudy water, and poor distribution of chemicals. Ensure that the pool’s pump and filter are appropriately sized for the pool’s volume and that they are in good working condition. Consider upgrading to a more powerful pump or installing additional return jets to improve pool circulation.

Pool Cover Damage

Pool covers are essential for keeping the water clear of sand, leaves, and other impurities. They could, however, deteriorate over time. Check the pool cover frequently for rips, holes, or degradation and fix or replace it as necessary. A pool cover reel may help the cover last longer and make covering and uncoveringthe pool easier to maintain.

Unwanted Debris

Leaves, insects, and other debris can find their way into the pool, causing water quality issues and clogging the pool’s filtration system. Consider installing a pool cover when the pool is not in use to prevent debris from entering the water. Regularly skim the pool’s surface and use a pool vacuum to remove debris from the bottom.

Liner Wrinkles

Liner wrinkles can form in above ground pools due to various reasons, such as settling of the pool base, ground movement, or poor installation. While small wrinkles are generally harmless, larger wrinkles can lead to premature liner wear and may require adjustment. Smooth out minor wrinkles during the pool filling process, and if significant wrinkles appear, consider draining the pool and repositioning the liner.

Above Ground Pools water temperature too low

Maintaining the right pool water temperature is essential for an enjoyable swimming experience. Inadequate pool heating can lead to uncomfortably cold water, especially during cooler months or in regions with colder climates. Consider using solar pool covers or solar heaters to harness the sun’s energy and raise the water temperature. Alternatively, turn to a heat pump manufacturer and invest in pool heaters, such as gas or electric heaters, to regulate the water temperature effectively. At this point, pool heat pumps and heat pump suppliers can ensure a satisfying swimming experience while promoting energy efficiency and environmental consciousness.

Clogged Pool Filter

A clogged pool filter can hinder water circulation and reduce the pool’s efficiency in removing debris and contaminants. Routinely inspect and clean the pool filter, or replace the filter media as recommended by the manufacturer. Backwashing sand and DE filters or hosing down cartridge filters can help remove debris and improve filtration.

Cracked Pool Structure

Over time, above ground pools walls and components may develop cracks or damage. Inspect the pool structure regularly for any signs of cracks, corrosion, or weakening. If you notice any structural issues, consult a professional pool technician or manufacturer for proper assessment and repair. Prompt action can prevent further damage and ensure the pool’s safety and longevity.

Pool Pump Noise

Excessive noise coming from the pool pump can be bothersome for pool owners and their neighbors. Noisy pool pumps are often caused by loose or worn-out parts, such as motor bearings or impellers. Check the pump for loose connections and tighten them if necessary. If the noise persists, consider replacing the pump’s worn-out components or seek professional assistance to diagnose and resolve the issue.

Foul Odors

Unpleasant odors emanating from the pool water can be a sign of poor water quality or the presence of contaminants. Check the pool’s chemical balance and adjust as needed. Ensure proper filtration and circulation to prevent the buildup of organic matter and debris that could contribute to foul odors. Shock the pool regularly to oxidize contaminants and maintain fresh-smelling water.

Pool Steps and Ladder Stability

The pool steps or ladder can become unstable over time, posing a safety hazard for swimmers. Regularly inspect and tighten the hardware of the steps or ladder to ensure stability. If the steps or ladder show signs of wear or damage, replace them promptly to prevent accidents.


Owning an above ground pools comes with its fair share of challenges, but with proper troubleshooting and maintenance, many issues can be easily resolved. Regular inspection, timely repairs, and preventive measures are essential to keep the pool in excellent condition and provide a safe and enjoyable swimming environment. As a pool owner, understanding the common issues faced with above ground pools and taking proactive steps to address them will ensure that your above ground pools remains a source of relaxation, fun, and cherished memories for years to come. Remember, if you encounter complex problems or are unsure about the appropriate solutions, seeking professional assistance from pool technicians or manufacturers is always recommended for the best possible outcomes.


How long does an above ground pool last? ›

In general, the average above ground pool will last between 7 and 15 years. Although this may not seem like a long time for some homeowners, it is worth noting that the average person in the United States will stay in one home for nearly 10 years.

What should you not do with an above ground pool? ›

You should know that you should never drain an above ground pool without filling it back up. This is especially true if it has a vinyl liner. The pool can be drained, but typically only when it is in need of a repair or it is being disassembled. Draining the pool often can shrink the liner, and wear it out over time.

Why is the bottom of my above ground pool bumpy? ›

The causes

A dent might be because someone troweled too hard and left a mark, something fell in the pool during construction, or the liner was installed too soon. A bump comes from a rock or pebble (hard) or a ball of vermiculite (soft) that formed during troweling and rolled to the pool bottom.

What chemicals do I need for my above ground pool? ›

What Chemicals Do I Need for My Above Ground Pool?
  • Chlorine or Bromine.
  • Pool Shock Treatments.
  • pH Reducers & Increasers.
  • Total Alkalinity Reducers & Increasers.
  • Calcium Hardness Increasers.
  • Cyanuric Acid.
  • Water Clarifiers.
  • Water Testing Strips or Kits.
Jul 17, 2023

How do you know when your above ground pool needs to be replaced? ›

How to Know When You Should Replace Your Above-Ground Pool Liner
  1. Look for Rips or Tears in Your Above-Ground Pool Liner.
  2. Watch for Fading on Your Above-Ground Liner.
  3. Pay Attention to Any Leaks.
  4. Any Wrinkles Mean it is Time to Replace Your Above-Ground Pool Liner.
Mar 24, 2023

How often should you replace an above ground pool? ›

A high-quality above ground pool from Valley Pool & Spa should last between 10 and 20 years depending on how well you care for it. However, your pool liner will not last as long as your pool. Contact a pool expert at our store to see if you need a new liner before you decide to replace your entire pool.

Can my above ground pool collapse? ›

Pool Collapse – An above ground pool collapse is often caused by the results of ice damage, but it can also happen when there is too much snow accumulated on top of the pool and the frame cannot handle the weight.

Why should you not put sand under an above ground pool? ›

Adding sand is not always a good idea when building an above ground swimming pool. Sand tends to be "foot printy" and very soft due to a lack of clay. This washed sand makes for an uneven pool floor making it hard to vacuum and uncomfortable to walk on.

Is it better to drain a pool or clean it? ›

Additionally, draining increase the risk of calcium deposits, brown manganese stains, and pool deterioration. Basically, if you need to clean your pool, do so with water in it, not out of it.

What can I put under my above ground pool to make it soft? ›

Mason Sand

This brings us to the most popular option. This material provides a cushion which can be softer on the pool floor. It can make walking around your above ground pool more comfortable.

Why does my pool have stuff floating on top? ›

Water Mold is a whitish, mucous-like substance that looks like shredded tissue paper when floating in the water. It is not harmful to humans, but is unsightly, and can clog equipment. Water mold usually begins in the filter lines, and by the time it becomes visible, the growth is often quite heavy.

Can an above ground pool last 20 years? ›

Above ground pools typically last between 10 to 15 years.

Of course, above ground pools that are cared for and have lots of time, effort, and money dedicated towards their maintenance can last even longer, usually up to 25 years.

Is owning an above ground pool worth it? ›

Save Money

Cost is always the first thing on your mind when making a big purchase like a pool. Above ground pools are less expensive initially, as well as less expensive during regular maintenance. Compared to an inground pool, an above ground pool saves you thousands.

Can an above ground pool last 30 years? ›

Above Ground

These are the pools with the shortest life expectancies. A high quality above ground will generally last 10-20 years. Those years aren't without added expense. Throughout the years, you can expect to replace the liner at least once or twice, while the frame should last the full 10-20 years.

Should you take down your above ground pool every year? ›

A: It's not a good idea to drain an above ground pool for winter. Snow, ice, extreme cold and errant debris will likely cause significant damage to a pool sitting out exposed to the elements. It's also expensive and time consuming to refill and chemically balance a new pool full of water in the spring.

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