Mistake #1: Not having the pool correctly installed.
This one is big. An improperly installed pool is almost always harder to continue and can also be unsafe for your kids to be swimming in.
If you are doing the install yourself, be sure to follow all the instructions and be sure to ask questions if in doubt. This is the computer age, all your questions have probably been asked, and answered, it’s just a matter of finding the right information.
No matter who installs the pool, start checking the level early on, when there is only a few inches of water in the pool. Take a tape measure from the top rail to the top of the water. Do this all the way around the pool. The measurement should be well within an inch. There is no point in going any further with filling if the pool is not level.
One of the most shared questions I get asked is “my pool is x number of inches off level, is it safe?” There are too many factors to give a yes or no answer. For example, if the pool is three feet in the ground it would not matter much. But the thing is, don’t fill a pool that is not level, don’t waste the water, because whether or not the pool is safe, you will not be happy with it.
I have written so much about what to watch for with specialized installers and how to do the job right if you choose to do it yourself. No matter who builds the pool, watch it as it fills. Not only do you want to keep tabs on the level you should also be observing for anything that might not seem right. On oval pools watch for any indentations forming under the liner in the area of the pressure plates. Also watch the side braces closely, they need to stay upright and not start to bow out.
With a round pool watch the uprights, they should all be straight up and down in all directions. If they start to shift there might be trouble. Watch the bottom rails, are they all sitting on firm ground and are they staying that way. Observe inside the pool for any indentations, especially in the cove area. Anything aside from a perfectly installed pool could be red flags.
Mistake #2: Not learning how to take care of a pool.
After the installation questions come all the ones about why doesn’t my filter work, why is my water green, why are there sink holes in the bottom of my pool, and so on.
Now that your pool is installed you need to learn how to take care of it. You filter doesn’t work? Will, most of them do. It’s true, a lot of pools come with under powered units, and upgrading is a priority. But before you do try running the filter more hours a day. Some units need 24/7 to keep a pool clean. Try different run times before you give up on your filter.
Certain types of algae will blow right by most any filter, this is not your filter’s fault, you need to kill the algae. If you vacuum the pool only to find the bottom just as dirty ten minutes later, that’s your problem, algae.
In order to properly continue your pool you need to learn about filter maintenance and water chemistry. Not becoming an expert at both of these will rule to high expenses at the pool store in the years to come. Gaining knowledge in these areas will reward you with a clean, sanitized pool, that you and your family can enjoy for years and years, without going broke with repairs and buying chemicals.
Mistake #3: Not landscaping around the pool.
This is so important, and in addition so often not done. You need three feet around your pool that is grass and weed free. The best way to do this is with landscaping plastic and decorative rocks. You can build a obstacle, line the inside with plastic and fill it with rock.
Doing this will help to prevent cove wash out, weeds and grass growing up by the liner, critters getting in and under the liner and many more pool mishaps.
Landscaping is another expense, but well worth it if you plan to enjoy your pool far off into the future, like beyond next month.