Should we or shouldn't we--AG pool at a weekend place?


New member
Jun 29, 2008
Hello everyone! I found this site last night and spent several hours on it already--what a wonderful and helpful group! I hope you can help me with some advice.

My husband and I have an IG pool at our home in Austin, so we are pretty familiar with the requirements and operations of that. However, we know nothing about AG pools and need your thoughts and advice.

We have a small "ranchette" about 100 miles northwest of Austin where we spend most of our weekends. Never thought we would want a pool there, but 20 days of 100+ so far in June and we are dying! We don't want to spend the money on an inground pool out there, so we have been looking at AG. But after researching, my head is swimming. Can you help clarify some things?

1. In terms of quality and durability, how do resin, aluminum and steel stack up? I get the impression that resin is the best of the options, but one sales person said it was aluminum. Thoughts?

2. Our pool at home is relatively maintenance free, but how do AG pools compare? Since we are only out there on the weekend, is it a mistake to put in a pool? Our ranch is in a very small town, so there is no one to service it. We would be brining people in from Austin for problems.

3. I really like the wood pool another poster (also a Texan!) is getting because it looks a little more "ranchy", but I am wondering if there is anyway to buy a resin or aluminum pool and "wrap" the outside with wood (as an alternative to decking.) I would really like for this to look like a big wooden tank.

4. Do AG pools come with automatic chlorinators? I am a little confused by that?

5. TOTALLY confused on what kind of filter to get--sand, DE or cartridge.

Any thoughts, advice, suggestions you can provide as we try to decide whether putting in a pool at a weekend place would be much appreciated! Thank you and happy swimming!


Well-known member
Mar 31, 2008
Irmo, South Carolina
Hello and welcome to TFP. I can't chime in with which pool is best. We personally have steel with resin top rail. We have a cartridge filter and love it. I have a friend who has a DE filter and he says it does an awesome job on his pool water but it is a pain in the rump at cleaning time. Another friend has sand and he thinks I am nuts for having a cartridge filter. I think as long as the pump and filter are sized properly for the body of water they are proccessing, all three will do a good job. Later, Calvin.


LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Okay, some people may not like what I'm gonna say.

I see no reason not to get an AG pool out there, it'll come in handy on those 100+ days. Maintaining and AG pool is basically the same as an IG pool. Yes, you can get an auto-chlorinator, and if you are gone all week, that's actually what I would recommend (I can't believe I'm saying that). But here's the catch. You will have to constantly maintain your PH and CYA levels because the pucks for the chlorinator will lower your ph and raise your CYA. So I would go with a good sand filter, since backwashing will help keep your CYA level down (you don't backwash with a cartridge filter). We have an aluminum pool. It's ok, I see a couple spots where it's showing it's 7 years, probably a result of my letting the chemistry run amok two years ago.

Water loss from evaporation may be an issue if you don't use a solar cover....using a solar cover for long stretches like that could result in a build up of cc's. So also consider an automatic water level system if possible, or a neighbor to check on your levels? You don't want to lose so much water thru evaporation that your pump runs dry.

As long as you understand the chemistry of your pool water and have a good test kit, I think it would be ok to go that route and you'll do fine. I've seen plenty of pools in the midwest "wrapped" or enlcosed in various forms, wood etc., the biggest issue is accessibility to perform maintenance on your pool equipment and deal with any potential issues. So I'd keep that in mind.

Good luck!


LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
Dec 22, 2007
Central New York
frustratedpoolmom said:
Okay, some people may not like what I'm gonna say.
It's a vacation home. I wouldn't want anymore work to do on the weekend then I have to.
You have a pool at home. Save your money and keep the work load low.

I vote with your husband... No.


Well-known member
Apr 8, 2007
You know, you COULD have a pool service for the weekend home...

There are LOTS of options.

First off, ultimately, caring for an AG is the same as an IG--they are both a big pot of water. However, an AG is a little simpler to maintain because it's usually a simpler pool.

Now, what do you want the pool for? Are you going to have pool parties, swim laps, have scads of people? Or do you just want a simple dunking pool to get cool in and to float around in together as a couple? So...what size and shape meet your needs.

(Trust me: I have a 40x16 rectangular pool and used to have a 15' round Intex--when you are floating in a lounge chair with an iced drink, listening to your favorite music or a ball game, the size and shape of the pool doesn't matter. It's cool water and you're in heaven).

Next, are you willling to invest in a salt-water-chlorinator? They make really small inexpensive ones for little pools. It will cut down on maintenance because you aren't there everyday--and you won't face the Tri-chlor problems of an Auto-Chlorinator.

Next, cover the pool when you aren't there. It makes a HUGE difference. The Intex donuts have SUCH a tight-fitting cover that they may not need chlorine for a week at a time--mine didn't.

An auto-cleaner will also let you enjoy the pool more. There are lots of inexpensive choices.

All these things will reduce the maint on your weekend pool so you have more time in it.


Well-known member
Jun 22, 2008
Central MD
Might want to think about hard plumbing it as well. Those flexible plastic hoses that the pool stores sell only last so long in the hot sun here in MD- I imagine a much shorter life in the TX environment. If one of those splits, you'll lose all the water in the pool to the level of the skimmer / return and likely burn up a pump too.


New member
Jun 29, 2008
Well, Mr. Romandub thinks he wants a water tank (the kind that feeds cattle) with a deck around it for swimming. We know some folks who have that arragnement. The problem is that we have a small tank now and it gets gross on the bottom. We've never tried to chlorinate it, which is what our friends do, but I am just having a hard time envisioning that being a workable solution. So, the debate continues..... :-D