How Long Does an Above Ground Pool Last in Orlando

Above-ground swimming pools are more popular in Orlando than many think. Tens of thousands of Central Florida backyards have them (and some front yards too).

But how long does an above-ground pool last here in Orlando? How do they fair in this intense sunshine and long, brutal summers?


When I started installing above-ground pools, there was only one kind. Then Walmart started selling a pool with soft sides for way cheap. A while after that, AG pool manufacturers started making pools designed to go in the ground some of that were way expensive.

So, as I see it, there are three main types of above-ground pools

1 Soft-sided pools made by Intex, Bestway, Coleman, etc.

These are the cheapest pools that you can buy and most are bought through Walmart.

These pools usually come in just one big box, have poor equipment (pump, filter, ladder), and are easiest to install.

In Orlando, soft-sided pools last an average of one or two seasons (summers).

These pools are good for those with the least amount to spend for a pool OR if they just want to see if having a pool is good for them. Many start out with one of these and then graduate to a metal-walled pool later.

2 Metal-walled (hard-sided) pools

When someone says “above-ground pool”, this is usually what they mean. These pools come in several boxes, usually have decent equipment, and are harder to install.

In the Orlando area, metal-walled pools last an average of between 10 – 20 years.

Traditional metal-walled above-ground pools give you the best value for what you get as they provide a nice swimmer experience, can come with good equipment, and will last many years.

3 Above ground pools designed for semi-inground (partially in the ground)

About 25 years or so ago, it started to become common for people to buy an above-ground pool and sink it in the ground some. This was (and still is) a good, inexpensive alternative to having an inground pool.

Since above-ground pools are designed to go above the ground (duh), a drawback to sinking one in the ground is that it can cave in when you drain the water from it.

To answer this demand, AG pool makers (namely Wilbar) designed pools with walls that were sturdier (for being in the ground) and didn’t corrode to failure. These special walls were usually made of thicker, extruded aluminum and came in sections.

Semi-inground above-ground pool models will last for decades

The big negative to this type of above-ground pool is the price. They are usually two to three times the cost of a traditional metal-walled above-ground pool. And this is usually not worth the added life you will get out of it.


Lately, with the surge in concrete inground pool prices, a hybrid pool has become an option. This is a pool that can be completely out of the ground, in the ground some, and all the way in the ground.

These hybrid pools have paneled walls made of either resin or steel, are bolted together, and are supported by a concrete collar at the base.


The Reasons?

1 Almost 100 percent of people who buy this type of swimming pool will put it in the ground some. In contrast, most above-ground pools will be installed above the ground.

2 This type of swimming pool has no real top rail. Something has to be added to the top of this pool to make it look complete. Actual above-ground pools don’t need anything beyond their frame and top rails.

3 This type of pool has very plain and unfinished walls. Above the ground, these walls look out of place and unfinished.

4 The cost of this pool is closer to an inground cost. This type of pool kit costs tens of thousands of dollars. Way too expensive to be considered an above-ground pool.

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