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What is a Metal Frame Pool?

J.M. Densing
J.M. Densing

A metal frame pool is a temporary above ground swimming pool that can be installed up by the homeowner. It is made up of a snap together metal frame and a very strong pool liner. Designed to be assembled without tools, it can be erected just for the swimming season and then taken down. A metal frame pool is usually much less expensive than a traditional above ground pool and offers several other advantages as well as a few disadvantages.

The metal frame pool market is currently dominated by a single large manufacturer, with a few smaller companies trying to compete. This product is also known as a frame set pool, easy set pool, or metal set pool. Round pools are most common, but rectangular and oval models are also available.

Two young boys
Two young boys

The typical pool of this kind has a metal frame consisting of a top rail and supporting legs which snaps together without the use of tools. The top rails of the frame slide through a pocket in the upper section of the liner, so that the liner is supported by them. The liner is also secured to the frame's legs around the mid-section of the pool.

The liner of the metal frame pool consists of three layers of vinyl: an outside layer, the extra strength middle, and an inner layer that forms the inside of the pool. There are different grades of liner available, but all claim to be extra strong and difficult to puncture. The highest grade premium liner is supposed to be as strong as Kevlar®, the material which bulletproof vests are constructed from.

Installation of a metal frame pool is typically a do-it-yourself (DIY) project; the most physically demanding part is leveling the ground under the pool. The rest of the installation is a simple process and can often be completed in one day. Once the pool is assembled, it can be filled with water. Then the filter system needs to be set up, and chemicals like chlorine added to the water to maintain the proper chemistry and prevent the growth of organisms such as bacteria and algae. The system then needs to be maintained just as any other above ground pool, including routine tasks like vacuuming out debris and checking chemical levels.

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a metal frame pool is financial, since the initial cost is substantially lower than traditional above ground pools. In many areas, there is also a tax advantage, since this type of pool usually doesn't increase property values the way a permanently installed model would. Another advantage is that it can be taken down after the season, which is a great feature for those with smaller yards who have no need for a pool all year round. Some disadvantages include the work involved in the installation process and that these pools are less durable than a traditional pool.

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