An Easy Guide to Above-Ground Pool Care

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You’ve purchased one of those awesome above-ground pools to beat the summer heat and now you’re wondering “How do I keep this thing clean?”. Don’t fret! We will walk you through the steps in this Easy Guide to Above-Ground Pool Care!
Flippin Frog Pool

A properly balanced pool is neither too acidic (low pH) nor too alkaline (high pH) and has the correct calcium hardness level. Correct balance ensures optimal performance of your sanitizer system to keep bacteria in check.

If you’ve ever seen a backyard pool that is green with algae, this is a sure indication that the pool is not being properly sanitized.

Water Balance

Check your pool water chemistry using test strips. Your ideal ranges should be close to:

 Item  Testing Frequency  Desired Range*
 Alkalinity  Twice a week  80 – 150 ppm
 pH  Twice a week  7.4 to 7.8
 Calcium  Hardness  Monthly  200 – 400 ppm

Adjusting the Water

  • Raise low Total Alkalinity (TA) by adding Alkalinity Control.
  • Reduce high Total Alkalinity or pH by adding pH Down.
  • Low pH (which cannot be brought up into range with Alkalinity Control alone) can be raised by adding pH Plus.
  • Low Calcium Hardness can be raised by adding Calcium Hardness Treatment.

Important Note: Always adjust TA first, then pH, because TA adjustment often brings pH into line as well.

Pool Water Sanitizing

Pools require a sanitizing system to kill bacteria and prevent algae growth.

 Sanitizer System  Testing Frequency  Desired Free  Chlorine
 Flippin’ Frog  Once or twice a  week  0.5 ppm
 Conventional  Chlorine  Daily  1.0 – 3.0 ppm

Chlorine Tablets are the most commonly used pool sanitizer. These tablets are loaded into a chlorine feeder which floats on top of the water and disperses the chlorine.  However, this system requires daily testing.

Flippin’ Frog is a great alternative to the chlorine tablets and is the easiest way to keep 12 to 18 ft. above-ground swimming pools clean and clear. Flippin’ Frog uses minerals to destroy bacteria, so chlorine use can be reduced down to much lower levels. The result is soft water without bleached swimsuits or odors.

Water Clarification

Pool water can become cloudy due to oils, sunscreens, lotions and cosmetics, as well as organic matter and dirt.

Chitosan Natural Spa & Pool Clarifier removes oils from the water without the need for harsh chemicals and is compatible with all sanitizing systems.

Shocking Your Pool

When your pool is used, compounds called chloramines are formed when organic contaminants such as suntan oils, perspiration, cosmetics, and other foreign matter enter the water and then combine with the pool’s chlorine residual. This combined chlorine has no sanitizing ability and produces a strong chlorine odor. It can cause red eyes, cloudy water, and promote the formation of bacteria and algae.

Periodic shock treatments break down these chloramines and oxidize organic contaminants.  We recommend shocking with Dichlor if needed, per the label directions. (Do not enter the pool if the residual chlorine is above 3 ppm).  In addition, non-chlorine Oxy-Spa oxidizing shock is an odor free, monopersulfate (MPS) compound which also promotes cleaner, clearer water, while reducing chloramines. Safe for vinyl liner pools and may be applied several times per week to help maintain great water quality. Follow label directions for use.

Pool Cleaning & Periodic Maintenance

Keeping your pool free of dirt, scum and accumulated debris is essential for maintaining water quality. Remove floating leaves with a Skimmer Net attached.  Use a Wall Brush for the pool sides.

Maintain your filtration system, per the manufacturer’s instructions. Cartridge filters should be cleaned periodically and replaced annually.  Use the filter rotation method by keeping a clean dry spare filter cartridge on hand. Our granular Pool Filter Cleaner works on all types of pool filters: DE, Sand, as well as pleated filter cartridges.

Have questions or comments about maintaining your pool? Comment below for expert assistance!


  1. Flippin’ Frog Mineral Pool Care System looks like really good solution. Do you might know if Flippin’ Frog can be used in soft tubs too?


  2. Hi There,
    For 2,000-5,000 you will need only one Flippin’ Frog system, and 3-4 replacement blue chlorine cartridges for the summer.
    Yes, the flippin frog can stay in the pool while the kiddos are swimming.


  3. Thank you for your tips on how to manage a clean swimming pool. I just recently installed a pool in the backyard, so I’m trying to understand how filtration of pools work. How often to you think cleaning the filters should be each month? Plus do you know how to prevent filters from breaking? Thanks!


  4. Hi Alice,

    Having a pool installed is exciting! We would suggest you clean the filter when the pressure reaches about 10 psi. When you have lower pressure, the pool can circulate better or approximately every 6 months. It would be best to use a skimmer to keep the surface of your water clean in order to prevent the filter from breaking. Let us know if you have any further questions!



  5. I like the idea of using testing strips to test the pH levels. My wife and I just took off the pool tarp for summer, but we’ve noticed we may need to clean it. We probably should do the chemical tests too so thank you for these helpful pool tips!


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