Inground Pool Liner Replacement Guide

Replacing an inground pool liner isn’t cheap. On the other hand, leaving an old, worn-out liner in a pool for too long can cause problems and can even lead to serious damage to the pool structure. Today, we will discuss how you can tell when an inground pool liner is in need of replacing before it becomes an issue.

How Long Do Pool Liners Normally Last?

Inground pool liners typically last between 10-15 years before they need to be replaced. There are several factors that can increase or decrease that lifespan, however. These include:

  • Water Balance. Pool water that isn’t properly balanced can greatly reduce the life of a pool liner. Over time, poorly balanced water can stretch the liner, cause wrinkles to form and can turn the liner hard and brittle.
  • The Fit Of The Liner. If a liner wasn’t made specifically to fit the pool it will not last as long. Improperly sized liners need to be stretched into place. This means that a liner that was once 30mil thick might be as thin as 15-20mil once installed. This leads to weak points in the liner and a reduced lifespan.
  • Ground Water Problems. In areas with high groundwater levels, water can seep in under the liner, causing it to “float”. While the liner will settle back down when the groundwater recedes, it never goes perfectly back in to place. This leads to stretching, wrinkling, or the liner coming completely out of the coping.

When Should You Replace Your Pool Liner?

So how can you tell when it is time to replace your inground pool liner? There are several obvious signs that a pool liner is past its prime, the most obvious of which are:

1) Fading or Staining

Probably the most obvious sign that a pool liner is aging is when the colour and pattern of the liner fades. While most pool liners today resist fading from UV, they’re not completely immune to it. Over time, the coloured finish of the liner will begin to fade, and with it the plasticizers that make the liner pliable.

As these plasticizers deteriorate, the pool liner becomes more and more brittle. A faded liner is, therefore, a good sign that the liner is becoming brittle and will start cracking and tearing soon. If you notice that your liner is badly faded, be sure to regularly check for cracks or rips in the liner and for potential leaks.

As liners fade they should be monitored more closely for cracks, especially at the water line.

2) Cracks and Rips

Vinyl pool liners slowly deteriorate from a combination of UV radiation of the Sun and pool chemicals. As they deteriorate, pool liners become more brittle and are much more susceptible to rips and tears.

Cracks in pool liners generally form at or very near the surface of the water, as UV damage is most prevalent in that area. If your pool liner is beginning to crack or tear around the water line, chances are that you will need to replace your liner in the very near future.

This isn’t to say that just because your pool liner has a small leak it is time to replace it though. The odd leak is fairly normal – especially for older liners – and can be easily fixed with a pool liner patch kit. The real sign that the pool liner needs to be replaced is when you notice several cracks forming in one place, or rips that begin appearing in different parts of the pool.

3) Water Loss

Just looking for rips in the liner isn’t enough though. Rips in the pool liner that are below the surface of the water are very difficult to spot and can often go unnoticed for a long period of time. That it is why it is a good idea to monitor how much water your pool loses, especially if your liner is more than 10 years old.

How can you tell what water loss if from evaporation and what is from a potential leak? For that, you will need to perform the bucket test.

The Bucket Test

If you suspect that your pool might be losing water due to leaks, simply place a bucket on the entrance steps to your pool and fill it with water to the same exact level as the water in the pool.

After 2-3 days check the water level in the bucket vs the water level in your pool. If the water level is lower in your pool than it is in the bucket, you have a leak. This is because the water in the bucket evaporates at the same rate as it does in the pool. Any difference between the two levels is therefore caused by leaks in the pool.

4) Stretching and Wrinkles

In some cases, especially in areas with groundwater issues, your pool liner may stretch after it is installed. This causes wrinkles to form in the liner and can even pull it out of the coping track at the top of the pool.

If you notice that your pool liner is beginning to slip out of the coping, you can try to pop it back in. If it won’t go back in, or if the problem keeps coming back, you should replace your pool liner as soon as possible. In these cases, the problem likely cannot be solved and will only get worse with time so replacement is the only option.

When Is The Best Time To Replace A Pool Liner?

Spring and fall are the best times to replace your pool liner. There are to reasons for this:

  • The liner replacement process generally takes at least 2-3 weeks. Replacing your liner in the early spring or fall means that you can still enjoy a full, uninterrupted swim season.
  • Pool retailers generally have better deals on during these months as they are not as busy as in peak pool season.

Note: If you’re planning on replacing your pool liner in the spring, it is important to get the process started as early as possible. Most people that want their pool liner replaced in the spring start their buying process in March or April. By this time though, many pool retailers already have several liner replacements booked and won’t able to install the new liner until the mid-summer. To get at the front of the line, we recommend that you start your liner buying process no later than the end of January.

How To Extend The Life Of Your Pool Liner

So how can you ensure that your pool liner lasts as long as possible? Here are a few tips that will help you extend the life of your inground pool liner.

  • Make Sure You Buy The Right Sized Liner. The most important thing when buying a replacement liner is to make sure that the liner is custom made to fit your pool. The best way to do this is to first remove the old liner and then empty the pool before measuring for the new liner. This allows for more accurate measurements and greatly reduces the amount of stretching needed to get the new liner in place.
  • Balance Your Water. Keeping your water balanced within the recommended ranges slows down the natural deterioration of the pool liner. Proper water balance also keeps the liner soft and supple so that it won’t crack as easily as it ages.
  • Patch Leaks Immediately. When liners leak, water gets in behind them, rusting the metal structure behind and, if left long enough, damaging the concrete bottom of the pool. The longer you wait to repair a small leak, the more damage is done to the pool. You also run the risk of a small tear becoming a large tear, growing to the point where the liner is no longer repairable and will need to be replaced.
  • Get A Good Winter Cover. Covering your pool for the winter not only keeps debris out of the pool that could cause potential damage to the liner, it also protects the liner from the UV radiation of the Sun.

8 Essential Pool Opening Tips

Spring has finally arrived! At Aquacade Pools & Spas that can only mean one thing; pool opening season! Here are 8 of our best pool opening tips to help you open your pool easier, faster and better.

Open Your Pool As Early As You Can

Our first pool opening tip is also the most basic; open the pool as early as you can. Pool water will start to grow algae as soon as it reaches 60°F. If left alone, this algae will spread rapidly and the water can go from clear to green in as little as a few days. Adding chlorine to the pool water is the only way to prevent this.

Although you likely added chlorine before closing the pool, by the time Spring hits that chlorine is long gone. To prevent your pool from turning green you should, therefore, open it as soon as the weather stays consistently warm. In the Sudbury area, this is usually around late April.

For most people, this can seem a little early. In fact, most people open their pools in mid to late May. While running your pool for an extra month might seem like a big waste of money, the added cost of running your pool for those few weeks is actually less than treating a green pool would be.

At this time of the year, the water is still relatively cold. For that reason, you will not need to run the pump for very long to keep it clear. For the first few weeks that the pool is open running the pump for around 4-6 hours per day is enough. You also won’t have to add nearly as many chemicals to keep the water clear as chlorine isn’t used up nearly as quickly in colder water.

Altogether, you’re probably looking at around $75 in added running costs to open your pool a month early. Not only is this less than the average cost to clear a green pool, it also saves you the time and effort that goes into fixing a green water issue.

Clean Off Your Pool Cover Before Removing It

One of the biggest pool opening mistakes that we see is people pulling the cover off of their pool without first removing the water and debris sitting on top of it. More often than not at least some dirty water and debris will end up in the pool water. This can turn a crystal clear pool into a cloudy and green nightmare.

Pool Opening Tip #2 - Clean Your Pool Cover

Cleaning your pool cover before removing it will save you a lot of headaches down the road.

To remove your winter cover properly you’ll first need to get a small submersible pump. Use this pump to drain the water off of the pool cover. While the pump is running you can also begin removing as much of the debris as you can with your skimmer net. Once the pool cover is free of water and relatively freezing of debris, slowly remove the cover. Be careful not to dump any of the remaining debris into the pool water. Having at least one person help you remove the cover will make this a whole lot easier.

Properly Store Your Pool Cover

The best way to extend the life of your winter cover is to make sure that you properly store it over the summer. To properly store your pool:

  1. Spread the cover out on your lawn.
  2. Pour around 1/2 a bottle of pool cover cleaner on the cover.
  3. Brush off the cover using your pool brush, making sure to remove any remaining debris.
  4. Rinse the cover with your garden hose.
  5. Store the cover in a plastic bin (plastic trash cans work well) and add in the remainder of your pool cover cleaner.

Along with cleaning the cover, pool cover cleaner also helps to keep the cover soft and hydrated. Without the cover cleaner, pool covers can dry out and become brittle over the summer. Dried out covers won’t stretch properly and will need to be replaced before the pool can be closed.

Fill & Clean The Pool

If you’ve followed the previous pool opening tips you should now be looking at a relatively clean, clear pool (some dirt or slight cloudiness is normal).

It’s now time to start filling the pool to a regular operating water level (about 1/2 to 2/3 of the skimmer hole). This will likely take a few hours. To save some time, you can start filling the pool while you’re removing and cleaning the winter cover.

As the pool is filling, remove any debris that you can with your pool skimmer and give the pool liner a good brush with your brush. Once the pool is full you can start up your pump and give the pool a vacuum.

Clean Your Pool Right After It Is Opened

The longer that leaves and other organic debris are in the water, the more of a problem they cause. Although all this cleaning may seem like a lot of work, it will save you even more work down the road.

Check For Leaks

Once the pool is up and running, take a look at all of the pool equipment (pump, filter, heater, etc) and check for leaks. If you find any leaks, try to find the source of the leak. More often than not, the leak will be on a connection point. If that is the case you can:

  1. Try tightening the leaking connection slightly.
  2. If the connection is already tight, or if tightening doesn’t fix the leak, apply some silicone lubricant. Do not use Vaseline as it will damage the rubber and make the leak worse in the long run.
  3. If it is still leaking, replace the o-ring or seal in the connection point.

If the leak is not coming from a connection point and is either coming from the plumbing or from somewhere inside a piece of equipment, call your local pool supply store to get the leak repaired ASAP.

Add Your Opening Chemicals

Once your pool is running it is time to add your opening chemicals. Start with a chlorine-based “shock” to kill any contaminants in the water and prevent algae growth.

Along with chlorine shock, you should also add at least three other chemicals.

  1. Algaecide. When used with chlorine, algaecide helps to manage algae growth in the pool. Algae naturally produce a slimy protective “shell” around itself. Algaecide breaks down this shell, allowing the chlorine to more easily and effectively kill the algae.
  2. Stain & Scale Control. This chemical coats minerals (such as calcium) and metals (such as copper and iron) in the pool water. This coating helps to prevent minerals from combining together to form scale as well as helping to prevent metals from causing stains on the pool’s surface.
  3. Enzymes. Enzymes are naturally occurring proteins that speed up the process of breaking down non-living organic materials such as dead algae, oils and lotions. Adding an enzyme product to the water helps to keep the water clear and remove any oils and lotions that build up on the waterline.

Note: Since enzymes are an organic product, they are negatively affected by shock. To get the most out of your enzyme treatment, wait at least 2 days after shocking your pool before adding it.

Test The Water

Around 1 week after you’ve opened your pool it’s time bring a water sample into your local retailer for testing. Water balance is key not only to providing you with a comfortable swim experience but also to extend the life of your pool and it’s equipment.

Pool Opening Tip #6 - Test Your Water

Testing your pool water after it has been opened is critical to maintaining clear, clean water for the rest of the pool season.

Consider Changing To A VS Pump

Variable speed (or “VS”) pumps are a kind of pool pump that allows you to vary how much water they move. Although they cost more than single speed pumps, variable speed pool pumps have skyrocketed in popularity recently as they are able to save pool owners up to 90% on their pool’s energy costs!

If your pool pump is costing you too much to operate, or if it is approaching the end of its life, we highly recommend making the switch over to a variable speed pump. Not only are they cheaper to run, they are also quieter and last much longer than a single speed pool pump.

Wrapping Up

While following these pool opening tips may seem like a lot of extra work or added expense, in the long term they will save you a ton of time, headache and money. If you still have any pool opening questions, or if you would prefer some professional help, please feel free to contact us anytime.

Swim Spa 101

Although they were almost unheard of just a few years ago, swim spas have exploded in popularity in recent years, becoming some of the best selling pools in Canada. But what are swim spas anyway, and how do they differ from a regular pool?

What Are Swim Spas?

A swim spa is a small pool that is made out of a molded acrylic shell. They are insulated similarly to a hot tub and are designed to be used year round; even during the long, cold Canadian winters. Originally designed as the perfect fitness pool, most swim spas also include large jets that generate a current for people to swim against.

Are Swim Spas Heated?

Yes, all swim spas are equipped with electric heaters. This allows you to maintain a comfortable swimming temperature, no matter how cold it is outside! If you prefer to use your swim spa for relaxation and hydrotherapy, you can set the temperature as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit to loosen tense muscles and promote better circulation.

How Much Do Swim Spas Cost?

Swim spa prices can vary quite a bit depending on their size and build quality. Most are priced between $20,000 and $35,000; comfortably between the price of an in-ground pool and an above-ground pool.

Not only are the purchase costs of swim spas cheaper than in-ground pools, they’re also much cheaper to maintain. Trying to extend a standard pool’s swimming season into November or December can easily cost an additional $500 per month in heating alone. The insulation and small size of most swim spas allow them to run at a fraction of that price, no matter what it’s like outside.

Even in the warm summer months, swim spas are still much less expensive to operate. Since in-ground and above ground pools are so much larger than swim spas, they require more chemicals to keep the water clear and much larger pumps and heaters to run properly. These larger pumps and heaters come with equally high running costs. In fact, a standard single speed pool pump will generally cost between $2-3 per day to run. Standard swim spa pumps, on the other hand, run at a cost of around $1 per day with some ultra efficient systems, like those found in Hydropool Swim Spas, costing as little as $0.33 per day!

Why Have Swim Spas Become So Popular?

Compact Size

With backyards seemingly getting smaller and smaller every year, not everyone can fit a traditional pool in their backyard. The more compact size of swim spas mean that they can fit in yards that other pools can’t.

The unique construction of swim spas mean that they can also be installed above ground, in ground or anywhere in between. This allows them to fit in nicely with any backyard design.

Longer Swimming Season

A big reason why more and more people are buying swim spas is the short swimming season in Canada. Unless they are willing to spend a fortune to heat their pool, most pool owners in Ontario can’t get more than 3-4 months of swimming. Since swim spas are both heated and insulated they can be run year round, without costing you an arm and a leg. In fact, most swim spa owners are swimming 6-9 months of the year, with some using them year round!

Swim spas are the perfect pool for people that want to extend their swimming season.

Not all swim spas are created equally however and some handle the cold weather better than others. If you’re planning on using your swim spa in the winter, you’ll want to take a good look at each swim spa’s insulation system.

Most swim spas use a thin layer of spray foam to insulate the shell of the swim spa. While this does help to keep heat in the water, this insulation system leaves the pumps, electronics and some plumbing exposed to the cold winter air. In the event of a power failure these components are liable to freeze, potentially causing quite a bit of damage that isn’t covered by a standard warranty.

Some swim spas – like Hydropool’s Self-Cleaning Swim Spas – prevent this potential problem by adding an additional layer of insulation around the cabinet of the swim spa. This added insulation keeps the air in the cabinet of the swim spa warm; protecting the plumbing, pumps and electronics of the swim spa while also increasing its energy efficiency.


People today have less and less free time available to them. Nobody wants to spend what little free time they have brushing, vacuuming and skimming a pool. Fortunately, due to their compact size, swim spas require a fraction of the maintenance of a standard pool.

Some – like Self-Cleaning Hydropool Swim Spas – are designed to be virtually maintenance free. They do this by adding floor vacuums and pressurized filtration to greatly increase the efficiency of the filtration system, and further reduce the amount of maintenance needed to keep the water clean and clear. In fact, Hydropool swim spas will generally only need 5-10 minutes of maintenance per week!


Another reason why a lot of people are buying swim spas is for fitness. In many ways, swim spas are the perfect fitness pool. They allow people to swim against a current that can be adjusted to their needs, and many also include specialty aqua fitness packages. Although sometimes written off as a workout for the elderly, aqua fitness is an amazing workout routine for people of all ages. It is very low impact and when done properly can give you an incredible full body workout.

If you’re looking to use your swim spa for fitness, pay close attention to the swim current system as many swim spas suffer from at least one of two potential problems;

  • Speed. Many swim spa currents are underpowered. Others lose a lot of the power they create due to inefficient plumbing design.
  • Turbulence. Most swim spas rely on round jets to power their swim current. When combined, the various jet streams interact with each other negatively, causing turbulence that makes it hard to stay in the proper swimming position.

Fortunately, there are some swim spas that can deliver a truly great swimming experience. Hydropool’s new V-Twin swim current system is the next generation of jetted swim spa currents.

AquaTrainer swim spas use special V-Twin jets to power their swim. These jets spread the current evenly over a wide area and include special fins that break up the rotational turbulence caused by the jet pumps. Together these create a smooth, powerful and turbulence-free swim current.

Hydropool’s V-Twin jets are the next evolution in swim spa jet technology; delivering the smoothest, widest swim current in the industry.

Wrapping Up

With all of the amazing features that switch spas offer, it’s no wonder that they have exploded in popularity over the last few years. Whether you’re looking to save money, extend your swimming season, get in shape, reduce your weekly pool maintenance, or simply relax; a swim spa might be what you’re looking for! Learn more about our Canadian made swim spas here.

Your Guide To Winter Hot Tubbing

Many new hot tub owners are wary about using their hot tubs in the winter. They worry that the hot tub might be damaged by the harsh conditions or even freeze. Today, we will answer some common winter hot tubbing questions and give you a few winter hot tub tips.

Can You Use Your Hot Tub In The Winter?

Absolutely! Winter is one of the most enjoyable times of the year to get into a hot tub.

Won’t The Water Freeze?

As long as the hot tub has power there is no chance of the water freezing. The insulation in hot tubs not only keeps heat in, it also keeps cold out. While water in the plumbing will get a few degrees colder over time, hot tubs are programmed to regularly turn on the jets and flush out the plumbing. This prevents the water from even getting close to freezing.

Won’t My Energy Costs Skyrocket?

Hot tub heating costs will increase in the winter months, though usually not nearly as much as some people think.

While some cheaper hot tubs can definitely cost an arm and a leg to run in the winter, quality Canadian brands like Hydropool Hot Tubs are affordable to run year round. In fact, Hydropool’s Hydrowise insulation system is specifically designed for harsh Canadian winters and they come standard with money saving programming options; such as the ability to only run the hot tub during off peak energy rates.

If you’re looking for ways to further decrease your running costs, you can purchase a floating insulation blanket to sit on top of the water. This blankets act as a 2nd layer of insulation, keeping more heat in the water while also reducing heat loss due to evaporation.

Hydropool’s Hydrowise insulation system utilize 2 layers of insulation to trap waste heat generated by the pumps and heater; increasing the energy efficiency of the hot tub and protecting the hot tub equipment from harsh winter conditions.


Winter Hot Tub Tips

Don’t Use A Shovel To Remove Snow From Your Cover

Heavy snow loads on a hot tub cover are never a good thing. Over time that added weight can begin to “cup” the cover; pushing down the centre of the cover and lifting up its edges.

When removing the snow from your hot tub cover, avoid using sharp tools like snow shovels. If you’re not careful, shovels can dig into the cover, ripping through the vapour barrier and causing the hot tub cover to quickly take on water. Not only will this dramatically reduce the lifespan of the hot tub cover, it also dramatically reduces its ability to insulate.

Instead of using a shovel, clear snow off of your hot tub with a broom or a brush (like the one that you use to clean snow off your car). If there is an ice storm or freezing rain coming, the best thing to do is tarp the hot tub. Once the weather clears up a bit, remove the tarp and the ice should come with it!

If you don’t have a tarp and ice does build up on the cover, you can try to lightly tap on the ice to try and break it up a bit. Don’t hit the cover hard though as the foam insulation can easily dent, reducing it’s ability to insulate.

Make Sure That Your Cover Is In Good Shape

Worn out hot tub covers can cost you a ton of money, especially in the winter. As winter approaches, you therefore want to make sure that your cover is in good shape. If your cover is starting to cup or has become waterlogged and heavy, you should really consider replacing it before the cold weather comes.

Although new hot tub covers will cost you hundreds of dollars, the inefficiency of a worn out cover can easily cost just as much in the span of just one winter.

Wear A Toque

Wearing a toque helps your body regulate its temperature better and keeps long hair dry; leaving you comfortably warm while you enjoy all the benefits of using your hot tub in the winter!

Keep Your All Of Your Jets And Waterfalls Open

As we previously stated, water in the plumbing of hot tubs won’t freeze because the hot tub periodically turn on to flush out the lines and put new, heater water back in the plumbing. That said, some small lines – like those that supply water to your jets or waterfalls – can still freeze if these lines are kept closed for extended periods of time.

The lines that feed your jets and waterfalls are controlled by valves on the top of the hot tub. As you move these valves, it opens and closes various lines to increase or decrease the power of your jets or waterfalls. If a line is closed, warm water is no longer allowed to move through the line. This means that the water in the line will continue to get colder and colder until it eventually runs the risk of freezing.

To prevent these small pipes from freezing up, make sure to keep all jets and waterfalls valves open when you’re done using your hot tub. This will allow the new, heated water to flow through the pipes, all but eliminating the chances of your pipes freezing.

Keep your waterfall valves open when you’re not using the hot tub to make sure that the water trapped in the plumbing doesn’t freeze.

Don’t Change Your Water If It Is Very Cold Outside

While we normally recommend completely changing your hot tub water every 3-4 months, in the dead of winter this isn’t always the best idea.

While fresher water does make for a more enjoyable hot tub experience, changing your water in -20C weather is never a good idea. When it is that cold, it doesn’t take long for water to freeze. If you’re not very quick filling it back up, you run the risk of any remaining water in the hot tub freezing solid and potentially causing damage to the plumbing.

If you absolutely need to change the water, do so in small batches. Remove 6″-12″ of water at a time; refilling and reheating the water in between these partial drains. While this won’t get you the same results as completely draining and refilling the hot tub, it will get you by until the weather starts to warm up.

Don’t Forget About The Hot Tub

Our last winter hot tub tip is the simplest; don’t forget about your hot tub.

For most hot tub owners, there are times in the year when you’re just too busy to use your hot tub. While there is nothing wrong with this, you don’t want this lack of use to turn into a lack of maintenance.

Even if you’re not using the hot tub, check on it at least once a week and add your maintenance chemicals. Doing this can save you a massive headache later and makes sure that your hot tub is ready to use when you’re ready to start using it again.

Wrapping Up

At Aquacade Pools & Spas, we believe that the winter is the best time of the year to enjoy a soak in a hot tub. There’s nothing quite like relaxing and enjoying a soothing massage on a cold winter night.

Following these simple winter hot tub tips will allow you to enjoy your hot tub in the winter, without worrying about any damage brought on by the cold weather.

Above Ground Pool Buying Guide

Choosing The Right Above Ground Pool For Your Family

With all of the different sizes and types of above ground pool currently available, it can be difficult for many first time pool buyers to pick the right one for their needs. With that in mind, we thought we’d share our top tips to help you buy the best above ground pool for your family.

What Is Your Backyard Like?

The first thing you need to consider when buying a new above ground pool is what your backyard is like. There are two things that you really want to look at:

  1. Size. How big is your backyard? Is there anything that would need to be removed (gardens, play structures, trees etc) in order to fit a new above ground pool? Measure your available space before shopping for pools to better determine what size and shape will work best for your yard.
  2. Slope. Is your backyard relatively flat, or is there a large slope from one side to the other? If your yard is severely sloped you’ll be limited in the types of above ground pools that you can buy.

What Shape Should Your Above Ground Pool Be?

One of the most basic questions you need to ask yourself when buying a new above ground pool is what shape should it be? There are 2 basic shapes of above ground pool, each with it’s own pros and cons:

  1. Round. Round pools are larger than oval pools, and are also cheaper to buy. Their circular shape can make them harder to fit in some backyards however.
  2. Oval. Oval above ground pools are smaller and more expensive than round pools. Their long, narrow shape fits better in some backyards and gives them a more premium in-ground pool look.

If you have a narrow yard, or are looking for that in-ground pool style, oval pools are probably your best bet. For larger backyards where pool size isn’t an issue, the lower cost of round pools can make them a better choice.

What Size Should Your Above Ground Pool Be?

One of the most common questions we get asked by new pool buyers is “what size should my above ground pool be?”. The answer depends a lot on your backyard and your local bylaws.

Yard Size and By Laws

Before purchasing a pool, we recommend looking into your local bylaws to see what setbacks, if any, you need to adhere to. Subtract this setback from the total size of your backyard to see how much available space you have to install a pool into.

For example, most cities and municipalities have a setback of 5′. This means that the distance between your property line to your pool – or you pool’s pump, filter and heater – has to be at least 5 feet. If you have a backyard that is 40′ x 40′, you would therefore have an area of 30′ x 35′ in which to build a pool (40′ width minus 5′ from the left property line and 5′ from the right property line. 40′ length minus 5′ from the back property line).

What Else Do You Want To Do In Your Backyard?

You should also consider if there are any other activities that you would like to do in your backyard, and make sure to include room to do them as well. If you’re a gardener, make sure to leave enough room to work in your gardens. If you have pets that need room to run around and play, make sure your backyard isn’t completely used up by your new pool.

How Will You Use The Pool?

Another factor when deciding how big your pool should be is how you’re actually going to use the pool. If the pool is simply for you and your significant other to cool off and relax, a small pool will do just fine. If you’re a family of 5 and are planning on having guests over to use the pool, you should probably try to get the biggest pool that will fit in your available area.

If you’re hoping to swim laps in the pool, we recommend making sure to buy a pool that is at least 24′ long. Any smaller and you will only get the chance for a couple of strokes before you have to turn back and go the other way. A 24′ round or 12′ x 24′ oval would both work equally well for this purpose.

Frame Style

Once you know what size and shape your new above ground pool will be, it is time to pick out what style of pool frame to buy. Above ground pools are constructed using many different frame designs. The most common are:

  1. Metal Support Frames. The least expensive above ground pool frame design is the simple metal support frame. This frame style consists of a thin metal top rail and bottom rail with metal support legs roughly every 3 feet. A thin metal sheet is then installed on the inside of the pool to hold the liner in place.
  2. Resin Support Frames. Resin support frames look almost identical to metal support frames. The difference being that the top rail, bottom rail, and support legs are all made out of thick resin rather than metal. While more expensive than metal support frames, resin pools tend to last longer because they are much less susceptible to rust and have thicker, stronger supports.
  3. Galvanized Steel Wall Frames. More commonly known as “on-ground pools”, these pools are built with solid walls of 14 gauge galvanized steel that are much stronger than other above ground pool frame designs, while also being resistant to rust. This added strength allows them to be partially or fully sunk into the ground and backfilled against. It also makes them the most expensive type of above-ground pool available.

If your backyard is relatively flat (less than 2-3 feet of slope between one side of the pool and the other) you can choose from any of the above frame styles. If your backyard has a large slope to it however, the galvanized steel “on-ground” pool is your only real choice.

onground pool install

If your backyard has a large slope, on ground pools are typically best as they can be partially installed in the ground.

How Deep Are Above Ground Pools?

Above ground pools also come in several different depths, from 48″ tall to 54″ tall. To get the best swimming experience, we recommend buying a pool with a depth between 52″ and 54″. If you’re looking to get some extra water depth, ask your pool retailer to “dish” the bottom of the pool during install. They will then dig out the middle of the pool another few inches, giving you a “deep end” in the middle of the pool and a “shallow end” around the edge.

Pool Accessories & Filtration System

Before buying an above ground pool it is important to know exactly what you’re getting, or not getting. Nothing is worse than getting your new pool installed only to realize that you’ve now got to go out and buy a bunch of extra stuff to be able to properly maintain it. Worse yet is having to replace the pump after only a year or two because the company that sold it to you gave you the cheapest available pump.

At Aquacade we make sure that you get everything you need to properly run your pool from day 1. Our complete above ground pool package includes a quality, name brand pump and filter system, premium accessories and a starter chemical package.

Wrapping Up

With so many different shapes, styles and options out there, buying an above ground pool can seem daunting at first. We hope this guide helps you find the perfect pool for you and your family! If you have any further questions about above ground pools, give us a call and talk to one of our above ground pool experts. We’ll be happy to walk you through the above ground pool buying process, and can even come to your home for a free site inspection to help you pick the right pool for your backyard.

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Whether you’re an athlete or just starting your fitness journey, The Swim Spa WaterWatch® is designed for all fitness levels.

Sudbury’s Best Swimming Pool Dealer

Thank you, Sudbury! Once again, you’ve voted Aquacade Pools & Spas as the Sudbury Star’s Best Swimming Pool Dealer!

It is with great appreciation that we accept this award for the 9th time, and we would like to thank everybody that took the time to vote for us. We’ve been servicing the community since 1976 and we take great pride in the relationships that we’ve built with our customers over the years. We’ve been overwhelmed with the love and support that we have received!

So once again, thank you for voting Aquacade!

And remember – Paradise is Closer Than You Think!

Sudbury’s Best Swimming Pool Dealer

Thank you, Sudbury! Once again, you’ve voted Aquacade Pools & Spas as the Sudbury Star’s Best Swimming Pool Dealer!

It is with great appreciation that we accept this award for the 9th time, and we would like to thank everybody that took the time to vote for us. We’ve been servicing the community since 1976 and we take great pride in the relationships that we’ve built with our customers over the years. We’ve been overwhelmed with the love and support that we have received!

So once again, thank you for voting Aquacade!

And remember – Paradise is Closer Than You Think!

Pool Games & Activities

6 Fun Pool Games & Activities for Kids

It’s Saturday and the kids are all fired up to get outside, enjoy the sun and splash around in the swimming pool. But as every parent knows (or learns eventually), the kids won’t stay entertained by the same routine forever! Try out these 6 Pool Games & Activities this weekend to keep the good times rolling!


  1. Noodle Battles

This is one of my all-time favourites. You don’t even have to explain the rules (because there are basically no rules), just toss the kids some foam noodles and floaties and let them go at it! If you want to stay organized and attempt to incorporate some rules, you can theme it as a medieval battle where the two sides must knock the others off of their floaties in order to win.

Noodles and floaties can be picked up from Aquacade.


  1. Treasure Hunt

Grab a handful of change and toss some coins into the pool and have the kids retrieve them as part of their “deep sea rescue mission”. Children love to let their imaginations run wild and having them believe they’re a part of a deep-sea diving team or a rescue mission will keep them entertained for an hour or so. And if they’re quick enough, maybe they can earn a buck or two!


  1. The Whirlpool

This is the most affordable activity on this list as it costs literally nothing aside from the water that is lost during the process. Instruct the kids to start slowly moving around the perimeter of the pool and continue to move around in a circular motion faster and faster until a whirlpool effect is formed. See if they can create a whirlpool strong enough to float on!


  1. F-I-S-H

This one is just like the game of H-O-R-S-E in basketball where one player performs a stunt and the other must reenact it. Stunts in the pool can be a 5-second headstand, 360 cannonball, or anything else that can be safely performed in the pool.


  1. Ping Pong

This one is similar to the coin treasure hunt, but instead of searching at the bottom of the pool, the kids will have to race to collect the most ping pong balls as they float atop of the water. It may sound simple and boring, but you’ll be surprised to see how competitive and imaginative kids can be!

Ping pong balls can be picked up at the corner store for just a few bucks.


  1. Belly Flop/Cannonball Contest

This one goes waaaaay back to a time when things were much simpler. A time when a winner was decided by the pain of a belly flop or the splash of a cannonball. Take it back to the better days and see who is the champ of the backyard with a belly flop or cannonball contest!



10 Pool Safety Tips

This summer has been one for the books and we’re not even halfway through July. Temperatures have been steady in the 30s and it seems as though the sun hasn’t gone away. This is great for those of us with paradise in our backyards as our pools have been used nonstop to beat the heat with family and friends! But with all of the fun and games that come with swimming in the pool, it’s important to remember some keys to pool safety to let the good times keep rolling! The Aquacade team of pool experts put together this list of 10 Pool Safety Tips to help you stay safe this summer:

  1. Don’t leave children unattended! This goes for most things in life, but it is especially important around the pool because children can be inexperienced swimmers and are accident-prone when playing in and around the pool.
  2. Make sure you have a proper safety cover. A properly installed safety cover provides peace-of-mind when away from the pool, so you can be sure that no debris, animals or even people accidentally fall into your pool.
  3. Install a fence and gate. It isn’t a bylaw for no reason – fences and gates are vital in preventing animals and people from falling into your pool.
  4. Ensure that all drains are covered properly. The vacuum effect in pool drains is powerful enough to hold swimmers, especially children, to the bottom of the pool.
  5. Keep the deck and surrounding areas clean and dry. “You’re going to slip and hurt yourself!” That isn’t just your mother being overprotective – when the deck is slippery and cluttered, it’s easy to slip and hurt yourself.
  6. Teach the young ones how to swim and ensure that they are comfortable enough in the water to be left to swim without assistance. This can be a good way to bond and have fun with your children.
  7. Have a first aid kit and flotation devices handy and learn CPR in case of emergency.
  8. Do not swim in the dark. Make sure that there is adequate lighting if you choose to swim during the night time.
  9. Be responsible when drinking alcohol. If you notice that a guest has had too much to drink, it’s your responsibility as the pool owner to ensure that they do not enter the pool.
  10. Keep pool chemicals and supplies out of the reach of children. Chlorine can be especially harmful if consumed or ingested.


This list wasn’t made to keep you from having fun in your pool this summer, we just want everyone to stay safe and be responsible while doing so! If you have any more pool safety tips that you’d like to offer, or if you want to talk to an Aquacade expert about pool safety, call us at (705) 566-1552!

About Us

Aquacade Pools and Spas Ltd. Is pleased to offer our many years of personalized pool construction experience to the community of Sudbury, Ontario. We have customized programs to fill your specific needs. We take pride in offering our customers personal and direct service during the construction of their backyard dream from contract to completion.

The ownership and staff always value a strict work ethic with customer satisfaction as a top priority for forty years. This dedication to excellence shows in every project.

Whether Exquisite or Simple… we look forward to fulfilling our customers backyard vision.