How to Choose the Best Frame Swimming Pool
A frame swimming pool is a fantastic option if you lack space in your garden but still crave a dip on hot days. Frame pools are far less expensive than traditional swimming pools, while the shallower depth makes them the perfect spot to sit and relax with friends and family.
There are a lot of frame pools on the market, with different models suitable for different situations. If you want to make sure you’re buying the best frame swimming pool, check out the following advice.
Choosing the Right Depth
Not all frame swimming pools are the same depth. On this page I’ve recommended frame swimming pools with depth ranging from 30 cm to 122 cm.
Shallower pools with a depth of just 30 cm are less like a swimming pool, and more of a paddling pool. These are suitable for younger kids to sit and play in and have a splash around. If an adults sits in a pool that’s 30 cm deep, the water will just cover your thighs.
Pools with a depth of 45 – 65 cm are a good option for families, especially if you have younger children with a range of ages. These tend to be better for sitting and relaxing but, again, are difficult for adults to swim in. In a pool that’s 65 cm deep, younger children will be able to swim. Adults will find that the water is shoulder/chin level on them.
Pools with a depth of 75 cm will allow most adults to swim. In these pools, adults will be able to use a swimming bungee for tethered swimming. The ideal depth for swimming will depend on the lengths of your arms – ideally the pool will be deeper than your arm length, to allow for front crawl. This depth is also good for older kids who want to swim from end to end.
Deeper frame pools will have a depth of around 122 cm. When standing, this water will come up to chest height on most adults. This depth is only suitable for adults and older children who are confident swimmers. Younger children won’t be able to stand in the water.
Keeping the Water Clean
Bacteria can quickly form in standing water, so either your pool will need regular draining and refilling, or you’re going to need to invest in a pump and some chemicals.
Some swimming pools come with a filter pump included, but many don’t. A filter pump will be your first line of defence for keeping the water clean. Most frame swimming pools will have a valve on the side where a pump can be fitted, even if they don’t come with a pump included.
If you don’t want to keep changing the water in the pool over summer, you will also need to use purifying chemicals like chlorine. Chlorine tablets will rapidly kill the bacteria in the water. Chlorine can be used alone, or used with bromine or ionisers.
It’s possible to purchase a ‘start up’ kit for your frame swimming pool, which is a good option if you don’t really know where to start when it comes to chemical cleaning. This set usually comes with a ‘shock’, which will kill algae, chloramines and bacteria, plus pH test strips and a pool treatment guide.
You should also aim to balance the pH between 7.4 and 7.6. Adding sodium carbonate will raise the pH, whilst sodium bisulfate will lower the pH.
The amount and type of chemicals to use in your pool will depend on the size and brand. You should only ever add chemicals according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and add them one after another – never at the same time.
Frame Swimming Pool Shape
Frame swimming pools are usually round, oval or rectangular.
Rectangular pools can make the most out of available space, fitting better into corners of the garden but capitalising on the area available.
Round pools are great for socialising, as everyone can sit/stand around the edge and face inwards, but you may find that you don’t end up with as much ‘surface area’ of water as you might with a rectangular pool.
Some of the deeper pools are round, so you may need to make a choice between depth and water surface area.
Frame Swimming Pool FAQs
Where should I put my frame swimming pool in the garden?
Choosing the right location and surface for your pool will 1) extend the lifespan of your pool, 2) make it safer to use, and 3) prevent damage to your garden.
It is absolutely crucial that a frame swimming pool is positioned on level ground. If the ground is uneven, water will flow more towards one side than the other. This will create uneven pressure that will put unnecessary strain on side seams.
If you put the pool on grass, it can be positioned directly on the grass itself. As is often the way when putting anything on grass (pools, sandpits etc.), there will likely be discoloration of the grass when you move the pool. Make sure there are no sharp stones sticking up from the grass.
Concrete will be a good surface for frame swimming pools because it is usually completely level. However, you should place a protective layer between the pool and any hard surface. Otherwise, it may snag and puncture.
Many people choose to put a material underneath their frame swimming pool in order to extend its lifespan and make it more comfortable underfoot. The material should be breathable, puncture resistant and comfortable. A ground sheet, carpet or interlocking foam tiles are all good options, offering protection to the bottom of your pool.
How long do frame swimming pools last?
Their lifespan depends on how well the frame pool is looked after, including the quality of the pool.
The better quality frame swimming pools, with the right maintenance, can last over 10 years. It’s best if they are taken down in the winter. If you’ve got a pump, ladder and filter, this may need replacing sooner.
The main reason your pool may not last as long as you like is down to rust. Look for an anti-rust frame, and some metal parts may need to be treated on a regular basis to prevent rust from forming.
To keep the frame strong, you shouldn’t sit or jump off the rails. Whilst strong, these aren’t designed to handle the weight of a swimmer and may bend and weaken.
Finally, ensure you keep your pool on a completely flat surface. If your garden is even slightly sloped, pressure will be put on one side of the pool. If you’re going to be putting your pool on grass, ensure it is fully levelled before filling the pool with water.
How often should you change the water in a frame swimming pool?
You should consider purchasing a pump, filter and a cover for your swimming pool. Many people also choose to use chlorine tablets, or a combination of chlorine with bromine or ionizers in order to stop bacteria growing. The amount to use will depend on the size of your pool.
If your pool is properly filtered and the right chemicals added, you should only need to change the water every few weeks, or even less frequently. A cover can help prevent leaves and debris from getting into the pool, while chlorine and a filter can prevent bacteria from forming.
If your pool doesn’t have any sanitation, you should drain and refill it every 2-4 days. Bacteria can grow in the water, which can be a health hazard if accidentally ingested. Stagnant water without chlorine can become harmful in just a couple of days.
Should I take my frame swimming pool down for the winter?
Although many people find that they can leave their frame swimming pool assembled over winter (emptied and covered) it will be more protected from the elements if it is packed away over winter.
Freezing temperatures can take their toll on the materials used to make temporary swimming pools. Both the liner and the frame have the potential to be damaged by extreme weather conditions.
One of the primary benefits of a frame swimming pool is that it’s easy to set up, and therefore also easy to take down. Try to store your pool in a garden shed or garage over the colder months.