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Understanding Bestway and Other Soft Sided Pool Models

Soft sided pools are a fantastic option for pool owners. These pools are relatively simple to set up, easy to relocate, and more budget-friendly than other models. While getting a soft sided pool is straightforward, they do have some special restrictions that can make determining the correct pool products a challenge.

First off, when we talk about soft sided pools, we are talking about above ground pools without a solid and continuous structured wall. The pool is typically only the liner and some additional supports. Lack of structure increases convenience overall, but the pool is more susceptible to damage. The pool also lacks some traditional aspects that solid structure, permanent above ground pools typically have.

When maintaining a soft sided pool, it is important to understand why soft sided pools need unique equipment and why even high-quality equipment for inground or above ground pools is not often compatible with your soft sided pool.

We’ll break down some of the factors that set these pools apart.

Risk of Holes and Tears

One of the most critical aspects to consider about soft sided pools is that they can rip. Even a strong, triple-layered canvas can tear in unfortunate circumstances. Avoid any equipment that could puncture the liner.

Metal components that can damage the pool are not compatible with soft sided pools, nor are they recommended. Plastic equipment with blunt, smooth edges is safer because it is less likely to create a hole. For example, a Hayward product may have exposed metallic components that can cause physical damage. While Hayward is a trusted brand with high-quality products, they are not suitable for usage with soft sided pools.

The pools are also at risk of melting. Equipment that gets very hot should never come into direct contact with the inside or outside of the pool.

Special Vacuum Requirements

Problems with rips can be even more prominent with pool vacuums. The vacuum directly touches the liner and has a high risk of tearing the liner and therefore the overall pool structure. Pool vacuums made for solid sided above ground pools are not compatible with soft sided pools.

Robotic cleaners aren’t incompatible with these pools either. The tracks that keep the cleaners working can cause rips.

It is important to note that you must use pool brushes with nylon bristles.

Potential Harm from Extra Weight

Weight is also a problem that soft sided pools face. Soft sided pools are not as strong as pools with continuous, solid structures. Hefty equipment can damage the pool, or not stay supported and break from falling.

Different Hardware

Pool covers in particular are impacted by the different hardware of soft sided pools. Soft sided pools don’t have lock in systems, and don’t have the same holding mechanisms as solid structure pools. These lightweight covers attach differently. It’s essential to use the correct cover for your soft sided pool to ensure cleanliness and safety when not in use.

Covers are not the only components that need to be accounted for when caring for your soft sided pool.

Due to their construction, soft sided pools cannot support some typical mainstays of inground and above ground pools. For example, not just any heating system will work with the Bestway Octopool. If you want to heat the water, the FlowClear Solar Powered Pool Pad is the way to go. Propane, natural gas, or electric heaters must have additional hookups and hardware to operate safely, so they are not options. Soft sided pools have a different flow rate, which causes incompatibility. The flow rate difference is caused by much smaller pipes and connections than solid structure pools. If the incorrect heater is used the water won’t travel at the speed required to run the equipment effectively or efficiently.

Other pool equipment to be mindful of includes:

  • Chemical feeders
  • Ladders and steps
  • Safety equipment

If your pool does not support these items' hookup, they are unusable to you. It is best to choose one that works with your pool, so you can rest and relax sooner!

Creating Balance

It’s also important to be mindful that Bestway and soft sided pools are almost always smaller than other types of pools. Make sure to calculate the chemical needs for your exact dimensions, because otherwise you can chance the liner becoming brittle.

Since soft sided pools need to be taken down and stowed away during winter, calcium hardness is not a prominent concern. Calcium hardness is important when trying to keep pool liners perfect for a long time. Since soft sided pools get emptied, it’s not an issue. This is one area where soft sided pools shine when compared to permanent pools! By choosing chemicals that best suit your needs, you can save time and money.

Winterizing Woes

Keeping a soft sided pool up through the Winter can present some serious problems come Springtime and should always be avoided. It is better to thoroughly clean and deflate the pool. Store it in an appropriate area to maintain structural integrity. These pools cannot endure hail, ice pellets, ice formation and rapidly changing temperatures. If you decide to keep the pool up during the harsh weather, you open your backyard and basement to flooding in Spring.

Keeping Everything Afloat

Pool season will go swimmingly if you adhere to the needs of your soft sided pools. By ignoring specific product guidelines, you will face safety and performance concerns. Be careful when taking care of your pool, and enjoy the water!

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