Archive for the ‘Swimming Pools’ Category

How to buy an above ground pool

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

How to buy an above ground pool


Buying an above ground pool can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. In fact once it is broken down into reasonable steps, it is actually quite a simple process. As always, the experts at eFamilyFun are available to assist you every step of the way. Our goal is never to make the sale, but to help you select the right components that meet your unique requirements. We know from experience that if we can help you manage the process, and if we are competitive, the sale will take care of itself.


So let’s get started. These are the basic steps:


        Take a good look at the area where you intend to install the pool. You will ultimately need to have a completely level surface for the installation. Depending on how much work you are prepared to do, this can be the single biggest factor in determining the size and shape of your pool. If you do not have a flat area, or if it is not flat where you want to locate the pool, you can still install it with the understanding that you will need to excavate a base until it is flat.  You can also chose a pool that can accept partial or complete in ground installation, but please know that these are special features and not all pools can be installed in ground.

         Now that you have picked a shape and size, also consider depth. The most common choices are 48”, 52” and 54”. While these depth variations might sound minor, they actually make a fairly significant difference. Consider that upgrading from a 48 to a 52 is more than an 8pct increase. While none of these sizes are ever suitable for diving, a bigger pool will give you a different overall experience. Since you are already leveling the area, building the pool and equipping it, the relative cost increase for a deeper pool is a relatively minor part of the total cost. Also keep in mind that the water level will on average be 4″ lower than the pool walls ( so a 48″ is 44″ deep ). For this reason we find that many people do choose to upgrade the depth.

      Now consider what the pool is constructed of. Having chosen size, shape and depth, the universe of options begins to get smaller and the pool of your dreams starts to come into focus.  There will be different choices for the walls and the top rails, although sometimes these are of the same material.

a)      Galvanized steel is strong economical choice. Steel construction can be found in our Atlantis round , Atlantis oval , Aegean Round, and Aegean Oval where it is used in both the sidewalls and the rails. The width of the rail also increases as you move up in quality.

b)      The next step in quality is a polymer or resin pool. These are manufactured from high quality stabilized resins. They are strong, light and do not corrode. The Aruba Round and Aruba Oval are examples of great polymer pools. The Tahitian Round and  Tahitian Oval are hybrid pools that combines steel sidewalls with resin top rails. The resin feels better to the touch and is generally considered more attractive.The stell is stronger and therefore these hybrids combine the best of both.

c)      The last option is aluminum, which has the advantages of being very strong and not corroding. These are the only pools that should be installed semi or fully in ground. The Bermuda Round and the Bermuda Oval are outstanding aluminum pools.

When selecting quality and materials, an easy rule of thumb is to look at the warranty. The longer the warranty, the better the underlying materials are going to be. While you might not need a 30 year warranty (for example), it is a strong indicator that you can expect a trouble free ownership experience. This is obviously a huge consideration as your pool is going to be source a relaxation and recreation, not a new source of work!

         Select a liner .So now you have selected a size, shape and construction material. At this point it is time to move inside the pool and select a liner and any padding or cove strips:

a)      Gorilla padding: This is an excellent idea that will protect your liner and make your pool more comfortable. The gorilla pad is pre cut to the size of your pool. It is made of a super strong material that will prevent liner cuts resulting from rocks, roots and plant growth. It will provide an extra layer of protection that will feel good on your feet and prevent footmarks from forming in the bottom of your pool.  If you do not use gorilla padding you will need a foam alternative that will need to be cut, shaped sized and taped. Since this involves more work and an inferior result, we strongly recommend the Gorilla pad.

b)      Cove strips make a nice transition from the pool bottom to the pool sides. They go under the liner and their sole purpose is to make the pool fell better on your feet. They are a small investment with a nice return on comfort, so most people do install them.

c)      Liners cover the inside of the pool going over the walls, the padding and the cove strips. A lot of sellers claim mil thicknesses on their liners that are not actually accurate. Over the last several years some liners have gotten thinner but the quality has still improved. We therefore suggest finding a pattern that you like with an installation style that works for you and a warranty that evidences quality. There are three basic liner types:

1)      Overlap: For these liners you need to select your pool shape and diameter, but the depth is not a factor. The top of the liner goes over the side wall of the pool under the top rail. They are secured with coping strips (very inexpensive but must be purchased). The excess liner on the outside of the pool is trimmed off and the top rail is replaced or installed. An overlap liner is the most economical solution.

2)      Unibead: This kind of liner is sized for depth, shape and pool size. The top end of the liner has a built in bead that runs the entire circumference. This bead has a grove cut in it where the liner installs in the pool wall. The top rail is installed over the bead.

3)     Beaded : A liner with a bed ( like unibead ) that rests on s hooks that installs under the rail. Once the hooks are in place, you are able to remove and replace your liner without ever having to remove the top rail again.


Remember that a liner will have a big influence on the overall appearance of your pool. Pick one that is going to create the outside look that you are after.


          Pump, filters and Equipment packs. There are really only three more things that you need to do before you can swim. You need to select a pump, a filter and a ladder. After that you will want some tools to keep your pool nice and clean. Fortunately we simplify this process with our optional equipment packs. These include a pump, a sand filter , a ladder and cleaning tools. We recommend a 1hp pump for any pool up to 24’ round. Anything holding a greater volume of water should then use a 1.5hp motor. The filters are sand, although cartridge options are available. Some people prefer the cartridge because they are lower maintenance, but they do require greater frequency of cartridge changes.  Any ladder must have a fold up or lock out option for safety. The better ladders have greater capacity and are more comfortable with a less vertical assent. Our packages can be seen in detail at these links:

a)      Good

b)      Better

c)      Best

        Maintanence :The last piece of business is a regular maintenance program to keep your pool sparkling and clean. Please review our chemical options and – optionally- our chlorine generators.  You might also want to consider a heater and solar blankets to extend the season and increase your enjoyment. When the season is over, don’t forget to visit our winter cover section so that your pool is in great shape and ready to provide years of enjoyment


Ready to go shopping? Click Here to see the eFamilyFun selections. Have questions? Give us a call at 877 358 5579 and we will start getting you answers!

Chemical Packages Comparison Chart

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

This is a usefull guide to chemical packages that are offered as an option with our pools



Pool comparison chart

Friday, June 4th, 2010


We came across this chart which I thought was really useful. Is shopping for a pool confusing or what!

How Many Gallons Are In My Pool

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
How many gallons does my pool hold?

Before you can start any kind of chemical treatment of your pool water, you will need to know how many gallons are in your pool. There is a simple way to calculate your pool volume that only requires 4 basic numbers:

  • The length of your pool
  • the width of your pool
  • The average depth
  • the multiplier factor

The formula is LENGTH x WIDTH x AVERAGE DEPTH x MULTIPLIER = The number of gallons in your pool!

length and width are easy measurements that you get with a tape measure. For round pools the “length and width” will be the same and is just calculated as the longest measurement you can get going from one side to the other.

Multiplier is just a factor that depends on the shape of your pool. A rectangle, square or free form pool has a multiplier of 7.5 . A round or oval pool has a multiplier of 5.9

Average depth is just what is says.The average depth of your pool. Take the deepest point plus the shallowest point. Add them together and devide by two. ( For example : shallow end 3′ deepest end 9′ = 12′ feet combined devided by 2 = 6′ average depth ) For above ground pools take 4″ off of the height of the sidewall ( so a 52″ pool has 48″ of water. A 48″ pool has 44″, etc ).

Example: a 10′ x 20′ rectangle pool with an average depth of 6′ would calculate the water volume as follows: 10 x 20 x 6 x 7.5 = 9,000 gallons !

The charts bellow show the water content of standard round and oval above ground pools, as well as some common size in ground pools. Once you have determined your pool volume, Click pool chemicals to see the eFamilyFun solutions for a perfect sparkeling pool!

Above ground pool 48″ wall
12 ft Round  ~2,975 gallons 12′ x 24′ Oval ~ 5,948 gallons
15 ft Round  ~4,646 gallons 15′ x 30′ Oval ~ 9,293 gallons
18 ft Round ~ 7,646 gallons 16′ x 32′ Oval ~ 10,573 gallons
21 ft Round ~ 9,106 gallons 18′ x 33′ Oval ~ 12,267 gallons
24 ft Round ~ 11,895 gallons    
27 ft Round ~ 15,054 gallons    
30 ft Round ~ 18,585 gallons    
33 ft Round ~ 22,488 gallons    


Above ground pool 52″ wall
12 ft Round ~ 3,398 gallons 12′ x 24′ Oval ~ 6,797 gallons
15 ft Round ~ 5,310 gallons 15′ x 30′ Oval ~ 10,620 gallons
18 ft Round ~ 8,602 gallons 16′ x 32′ Oval ~ 12,084 gallons
21 ft Round ~ 10,408 gallons 18′ x 33′ Oval ~ 14,019 gallons
24 ft Round ~ 13,594 gallons 18′ x 40′ Oval ~ 19,116 gallons
27 ft Round ~ 17,205 gallons    
30 ft Round ~ 21,240 gallons    
33 ft Round ~ 25,700 gallons  


In ground Pools
12′ x 24′ 7,600 8,600 9,700 10,800 11,900
14′ x 28′ 10,300 11,800 13,200 14,700 16,200
15′ x 30′ 11,800 13,500 15,200 16,900 18,600
16′ x 32′ 13,400 15,400 17,300 19,200 21,100
18′ x 36′ 17,000 19,400 21,900 24,300 26,700
19′ x 38′ 19,000 21,700 24,400 27,100 29,800
20′ x 40′ 21,000 24,000 27,000 30,000 33,000
22′ x 44′ 25,400 29,000 32,700 36,300 39,900
25′ x 45′ 29,531 33,750 37,968 42,187 46,406
25′ x 50′ 32,800 37,500 42,200 46,900 51,600
30′ x 50′ 39,375 45,000 50,525 56,250 61,875