Above Ground Pool Steps: What to Consider

pool steps for above ground poolsYour above-ground pool needs a simple way to climb into it. The height of the sides makes it darn near impossible to crawl over. So the fix? Above Ground Pool Steps sold by many manufacturers of pool supplies. The cost ranges from $150 to $2600 (with a safety gate attached.) Most installation is simple enough – taking between one and two hours – but there are few things to watch for when you go to purchase.

What to look for before you buy above ground pool steps

* Flimsy handrails – are they strong enough to hold anyone up (kids to dad). Do the handrails loosen up over time?
* Watch for any sharp edges or moving hinges to catch little fingers.
* How steep are the steps? Will this be difficult for small children and elders to climb? Can you adjust the angle of the steps?
* The surface area should be comfortable and anti-skid under foot.
* Are the instructions are not complete or clear?
* Is the composition of the plastic and any metal compatible with salt water pools?
* Check to see if the stairs are sturdy enough to hold the weight of your family.

Once you get home with your new steps

Do you think you can put the steps together yourself or will you need another person to help? Sometimes parts need to be ’tapped in’ with a rubber mallet. That ‘tapping’ might take more strength than you have; in reality it’s ‘pounding’.

The only tedious part is filling the steps with sand to weigh them down inside the pool so they don’t float away. Examine the opening where the sand goes in. Is it large enough to fit a good sized funnel or scoop? Will it take forever to fill with sand because the opening is small?

Check to see if you are instructed to fill with a ‘play sand’ that has moisture in it or dry sand. What’s the difference? Dry sand is easier to pour. Play sand is heavier and will weigh the steps down more initially than dry sand.  Get ready to rock the steps to fill them with water in addition to the sand. Rocking gets air bubbles out after the steps are filled with sand. It can take a day or so for everything to settle and the steps might be floating until the air works its way out.

How will you lift the stairs out of the pool at the end of the season? The steps are very heavy when they’re filled with water and sand.

Read the reviews. Most step retailers have online ratings on their product pages. Reviews can give you a heads up of problems others have had. Take a look at Leslie’s Pool Supplies or In the Swim for reviews.

Photo credit thanks to Vinyl Works Of Canada