Are Easy Set Pools Worth the Money?
I recently bought a 15 foot wide by 48 inches deep easy set pool. My family wasn’t ready for the commitment of a permanent pool and the idea of a three month pool fit perfectly for the area I live in, which has four seasons. We only have three to four months of good swimming months and even that changes drastically based on the weather, so I knew I needed something that I could put up easily and take down easily. I have three young boys ages 6, 4, and 2. I wanted something that my children could go into during the hot summer days but I also wanted a pool where my children could begin learning to swim. A “baby” pool was no longer fitting our needs.
What is an Easy Set Pool?
There are many different types of Easy Set Pools. The one I purchased is round and has a ring at the top. The company that makes Easy Set Pools claims that they are easy to install and hassle free. After reading the many reviews I was sure I could handle installing and using an easy set pool. When the pool came, I received the pool itself, a filter, a DVD, a very thin tarp for under the pool, a flimsy ladder, and a decent pool cover in the pool box. Even though this pool is NOT permanent; it was still nice that it came with a filter because I hoped this would help keep the water nice and clear during the few short months I was going to use it. The pool is made out of thicker than normal vinyl and the ring that blows up is about as thick as your regular blow pool toy.
Setting Up the Pool
One of the first things the pool directions state is to set the pool up on a flat area, because if the area is not flat the water will sit on one side more than the other, and this could cause the extra weight to pull on the seam between the pool ring and the pool liner. Thus, it will eventually cause the liner to rip apart from the ring and destroying the entire pool. I thought I knew exactly where I was going to place it, but when setting the pool out and filling water up in the pool, I soon realized that it was not level enough because the water was going towards one side more than the other. Now this is where the “easy” in my easy set pool gets taken away. If you do not have a perfectly flat area to place your pool do not bother buying this pool. Due to the lack of my perfectly level land, we had to purchase sand to set under the pool to make it more level. So now my easy set pool had now cost me a few hundred dollars to purchase and I had to cover the price of sand. After spending an entire day unloading sand and leveling it off; we then began the tedious job of filling the pool. The pool that I purchased holds close to 4,500 gallons of water, and sadly where I live we do not have city water. I feared that using my well water would cause a strain on my well, so we then decided to purchase water from a local volunteer fire department which added up to another couple of hundred dollars. So my easy set pool had now cost me around $700 dollars to install properly and to fill. After filling the pool up, we soon discovered that even with the sand that we had bought the ground was still not completely level. The sand must have settled as the water filled the pool, and now the water was slightly higher on one side. Refusing to drain all of the water out, we decided to chance it. As the water filled the pool, the ring slowly rose up with the water level, bringing the sides of the pool up as it did. However, when the pool is being filled up, make sure someone is inside the pool pushing the sides out and getting all of the creases out of the floor of the pool. Someone must continually readjust the sides of the pool and the floor of the pool throughout the entire filling up process. After the pool is filled it is time to hook up the filter. On the DVD provided with the pool it seems quite easy but the actual task of putting the parts together and attaching it to the pool are quite tedious. It took my husband, myself, and my mother an hour and a half to hook up the filter. The filter is tiny but it does the job it was made to do well.
Using the Pool
I must say I wasn’t very optimistic about the pool lasting the entire season, especially after feeling the not-so-thick liner for the pool and the thin vinyl ring. As we began using the pool we placed the flimsy ladder inside the pool. The ladder is perfect for my young children but when I climb up it, I’m afraid it is going to break apart. It is very wobbly and not sturdy at all. I have a lot of trouble when I am trying to carry my just turned two year old into the pool with me. It does not feel safe at all. The first few weeks of having the pool went good. I was very careful to let out any extra rain water from any storms we had, because I was paranoid that the water level would get to high and rip the ring from the pool liner. The directions state to keep the water line at just below the ring. We had a rainy summer, so I was often outside letting water out of the pool on a daily basis for 20 minutes at a time. In the third week we sprung a leak in the side of the pool. My children had grown to love the pool, so I couldn’t just throw in the towel not after everything we had been through so it was off to the local pool shop for a liner patch and some glue. After placing the liner patch on the inside of the pool, the leak was plugged and all was well. We are now in our second month of having the pool, and I’m still unsure whether it is going to last the whole summer. I don’t allow my children to touch the sides of the pool because I am afraid that their nails may tear into the liner or ring. It is a fragile pool, that was NOT easy to set up, and that did NOT end up being cheap.
Should You Buy an Easy Set Pool?
If you have a completely and I MEAN COMPLETELY level piece of land and no children to damage the pool I would say go ahead and give it a try. However, if you have even a slight incline of any sort in your yard do not purchase the pool. If your area is not level you will have to fill it with sand or dig down to make it level. If you live in the country, don’t bother, because you will have to pay for water to get delivered if you have well water. If you have pets or children be afraid. Be very afraid. You must treat this pool, like a newborn infant or you will end up with a leak like I did.
If I could go back and do it all over again, I would have bought an above ground permanent pool instead of my easy set pool. There is nothing easy about it. I have heard horror stories about emptying the water out and drying the pool out completely before storing it for Fall, Winter, and Spring. If the pool is not completely dry before putting away it will grow a disgusting amount of mold. So even though I haven’t completed this process yet I am not looking forward to drying 15 foot by 48 inches of vinyl. The vinyl can start to become quite heavy after you have lifted it up and down for a while and when the water is out of the pool, it just lays in a heap on the ground, so drying the pool will not be an easy task. On a positive note the little filter does a great job!