The Very Best Above Ground Pool –
Last summer we bought a Summer Waves Elite 16′ x 48″ swimming pool from Walmart, and I can’t even begin to tell you what a great decision that was. I LOVE this cheap metal frame Summer Waves swimming pool! I think I might enjoy this pool even more than the kids do if that’s actually possible. Everything about this Summer Waves metal frame pool is so convenient and easy, but it’s also a great source of summer fun for the whole family.
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At the time that I last updated this post, this pool was out of stock at Walmart.com (likely to do COVID-19 keeping everyone at home). Many Walmart stores are still showing the item available for pick-up. You can check availability at your local Walmart here.
13 Reasons Why . . . You Need this Cheap Pool
1.) Low-Cost Swimming Pool
This Summer Waves easy set pool is not a fancy pool. I don’t even have any desire to have a fancy pool. If I were to spend the money on a fancy pool, I would have to be stressed out about taking care of the pool properly.
I don’t want a pool like that. If I were to invest a few thousand dollars into a pool, I would have to worry about whether the kids are doing something too rowdy that’s going to tear it up or burst the liner or whatever else destructive my kids might find to do in their wild pool adventures.
I wanted a pool that is big enough and nice enough for the whole family to swim in comfortably, but not so expensive that I have to constantly stress about what the kids are doing to it. We paid around $300 for this Summer Waves Elite pool, and we’ve already gotten enough use out of it that I don’t feel like it owes me anything.
I don’t have to be a mean mom constantly yelling at the kids for hanging on the sides or jumping over the edges because they might break my super expensive swimming pool. I can relax and let them have their fun, and then when they go inside I can enjoy the pool.
I actually didn’t even pay the full $300 for the pool in the first place. A lot of times if my kids want to buy something big that we consider a fairly useful purchase, we’ll offer to match them on any money they save toward that large purchase. The younger girls saved up enough money last summer to pay for half the pool, and we kicked in the rest.
There are smaller versions of this pool for even less than $300, so this is an item that most families can afford. You don’t have to be a millionaire to own one of these pools.
If you’re on a budget, you’ll also want to check out my related post 7 Cheap and Easy Dollar Store Pool Hacks!
2.) Low Effort Pool Maintenance
We’ve owned several easy set-up pools over the years. These babies have really evolved from the time I was a kid until now. The one we had when I was about 10 was made from this flimsy plastic roll that made a circle and then held a liner. I’m not even sure how that thing held water.
Then those inflatable ring pools became the fad. Our inflatable ring pool did not last long once the cats decided they should jump onto that ring and drink the pool water. Plus we didn’t get the ground very level, and level ground is even more important with the inflatable ring pools.
We had a metal frame pool similar to the one we have now when the kids were little, but it was only 2-feet deep. That was perfect for our needs then because everyone could stand up and still have their heads above water. I could sit in the pool or right beside the pool while the kids played. The kids always pretended to be dolphins, and I had to throw pretend fish at them after every trick. They were very talented dolphins.
We tried a larger metal frame pool a few years ago. I think we bought it at the end of the season at 50% off, but I could never get the water to stop being brownish-green after filling it with our well water. It had the old style of filter that sits on the ground and doesn’t have nearly the power of the pump on our Summer Waves Elite pool.
Fortunately, I’ve also discovered the secret of dealing with rust since then. You can read all about it and see the video tutorial in How to Easily Remove Rust from Your Pool without Harsh Chemicals. You’re never going to believe how simple it really is! My simple solution for cleaning rust from your swimming pool is a hack that costs only $1.
The best feature of the Summer Waves Elite is the amazing filter. It’s so much better than the older style that sat on the ground. The Summer Waves Elite filter pump hangs from the side of the pool.
The ones that sat on the ground always made me nervous because there was always water getting splashed out of the pool, and then the pump was sitting there in a puddle with the cord coming out the back of it.
That older style filter pump also required you to cap the holes where the hoses went in and out of the pool and then unscrew the lid on the top of the pump just to change the filter. It was a tedious process, so I never ever wanted to change the filter. This meant every pool I’ve owned before this one was always nasty all the time.
The filter pump on the Summer Waves Elite is so easy to maintain. You slide back the cover and pull out the filter and swap it for a different one. I have a couple of filter cartridges that I rotate – one to be in the pump and one to soak for cleaning. You can see how I clean my filters on this video on our YouTube Channel. Seriously, it’s so easy!
This Summer Waves pool pump is extremely powerful. Just look how strong the jet is! This filter system really does a great job. The Summer Waves pool vacuum attaches directly to the pump and makes cleaning so simple.
The Summer Waves pool cover comes with the package as well, but we rarely use the cover with ours.
Because this is a very common pool that many people own, it’s not difficult to order Summer Waves pool parts or additional Summer Waves pool accessories by searching online for the specific replacement part.
3.) Easy Summer Waves Pool Set Up
The Summer Waves Elite sets up very quickly and easily. The kids set the pool up this year mostly by themselves. We probably shouldn’t have let them. We were intending to get the tractor and level the ground a little more, but when my husband went to get the tractor, the battery was dead.
The big kids didn’t want to wait for the battery to charge, so they just started putting up the pool anyway. It’s a little lopsided, and that’s not ideal, but it’s still functional.
It probably took about 20 minutes to get the frame together. Then we spent some time washing the sides since it had been in the garage all winter. We always fill our pool with our hose, so we try to spread that over the course of two days running the hose for a few hours and then giving the well pump a break to keep from burning that out.
If we have enough good hoses, we run one hose from the back of our house and one hose from my parents’ house, and that fills the pool really quickly.
Really if you are planning to fill your swimming pool from your well, be sure to check out How to Easily Remove Rust from Your Pool without Harsh Chemicals. You will thank me later!
4.) Non-Permanent Pool Location
The location of your Summer Waves Elite pool does not have to be permanent because most people take these down every year to store for the winter months. I know some people may consider that a negative. I actually consider it a positive.
Last year we started with this pool on the other side of our garage. We didn’t really like that location. We also needed that spot to store the pop-up camper, so we weren’t stuck with leaving our pool in place in our yard that just wasn’t working well. I like this flexibility which I wouldn’t have with a larger, permanent pool. This Summer Waves pool from Walmart has given us a great deal of freedom with our yard.
5.) No Pool Entry Fee
Before we had this pool, I used to try to take the kids to a community pool once or twice a week. One day a week at the community pool here is Free Day. We used to go for Free Day as often as we could, but sometimes the kids had athletic practices on the day the pool was free, so we would be forced to go a different day and pay an entry fee.
If you have four kids, and then you also end up bringing along a couple of friends, the entry fee can really add up. It doesn’t take very many visits to a public pool to rack up the $300 I paid for this cheap above ground pool.
6.) Save Gas
The cost of visiting a public pool is not limited to the entry fee. We live at least a 20-minute drive from EVERYTHING! Gas is expensive. Wear and tear on your vehicle can eventually be expensive. Save some money, and save the planet. Buy your own cheap pool. You won’t regret it.
7.) Weather Is Unpredictable
When we used to plan weekly visits to the public pool, we were always at the mercy of the weather. We would often have only one day a week where there was a large enough block of time with none of the kids having scheduled athletic practices that we could even think of driving to the pool for a few hours.
If it rained that day, we lost our only option for a pool day. I can’t even tell you how many times, we drove the 20 minutes to the public pool only to have the whistle blow a half hour later because storms were moving into the area.
By owning our Summer Waves Elite pool, we aren’t as likely to fall victim to the weather. The kids can swim everyday. They often have some type of training in the mornings and then another type of practice in the evenings, but that gives them plenty of time to swim between practices. If it rains in the morning, they can still swim in the afternoon or vice versa.
8.) Pool is Open 24/7
Not only are we not at risk of the weather wrecking our only option of a pool day each week, we also aren’t subject to the public pool hours. None of the public pools here stay open very late. We love having the freedom to swim at any hour.
My kids have volleyball and cross country workouts in the evenings. We don’t get home until after 8pm. The kids can still jump in the pool in the evenings after practices. If we want to swim at midnight, we just set up the shop lights.
9.) Pool Privacy
Let’s face it. Going to a public pool doesn’t give you any privacy. You don’t want to wear that chlorine-faded bathing suit out in public, but at your own home, you can wear whatever nasty looking bathing suit you want.
You also don’t have to fight any strangers for the good chairs or endure someone else’s kid throwing water on you repeatedly. I do still have to tolerate my own kids splashing all over the place, but I usually just wait until they get out of the pool to get in myself.
You also don’t have to listen to all the drama that’s happening on all sides at the public pool. For some reason, every adolescent kid in town thinks the public pool is the place to be when they need to break up with somebody.
This actually provided hours of entertainment for my children, but I didn’t personally enjoy the repeated reenactments all the way home in the van of a complete stranger named William breaking up with another complete stranger named Chelsey which always involved a great deal of uncontrollable sobbing.
Inevitably, William would be breaking up with some other poor, unsuspecting girl the next week at the pool. It’s really hard to read your book in peace when William is in the middle of another tragic break-up. This is reason alone to just get your own pool.
10.) My Pool, My Rules
Public pools have all kinds of rules which are sometimes necessary when many, many people are swimming in close proximity to one another in a public place. Some don’t allow any floats. Some don’t allow any pool toys. Some don’t allow footballs. Some don’t allow food at all. Some allow food but only in the designated food area.
At my home, I can have my pool float which is pretty vital to my ability to read a book in the pool. We can have all the food and drinks we want near or in our pool. And most importantly, we don’t have to vacate the pool for 15 minutes of every hour for break time.
11.) No Need for Bathing
Apparently, owning a pool eliminates the need for bathing. My 16-year-old son informed me of this a couple of days ago when he announced he hadn’t showered in four days because he had been swimming every day.
He had been going to basketball training in the mornings and cross country every evening, but he still didn’t find it necessary to bath because he swam after every practice. I definitely don’t condone this behavior, but it may work out fine for little kids who haven’t been engaged in strenuous athletic training.
Here it resulted in an odd odor permeating his bedroom and his bathroom and my son being sent to shower with real soap before he was allowed to venture out in public again.
12.) Keep Kids Active During Summer
Our Summer Waves Elite pool has provided hours and hours of outside activity for our kids. Who wants to waste the entire summer sitting indoors watching television?
My kids spend 2-5 hours a day in some kind of athletic practices and then several more hours being active in the pool. If your kids aren’t involved with any sort of summer athletic programs, a pool can be a very good way to get them outside and moving.
13.) Beat the Summer Heat by Swimming
The heat index here earlier in the week was above 100. It was steamy. It was smothering outside, but our pool was perfect. Having a pool in my yard is the only way I manage to weed my garden. I just weed a little patch until I get too sweaty, and then I jump in the pool for a while. Then I weed a little more of my garden. Then I swim some more.
It’s an amazing system. You should really try it. Some parents make their kids do chores to earn screen time. I just force myself to weed parts of my garden to earn pool time.
When temperatures get in the 90’s, you need a pool! You can’t spend your whole life sitting around in air conditioning all day. I mean, I guess you can, but you shouldn’t. Get outside. Get some fresh air. Get your body producing some Vitamin D. Get off your phone. Find a good book and a comfy pool float.
It’s summertime! You need to spend it outside because before long it’s going to be winter again, and you will be stuck indoors. Make the most of these warm months.
Summer Waves Elite Pool for Spectacular Summer Fun
If you already have a pool, you need to go tear it down right now and get a Summer Waves pool because they’re so amazing. Just kidding! If you already have a pool, you are all set, but if you don’t already have a pool you love, I highly recommend the Summer Waves Elite.
Summer Waves pools come in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of every family. When I was researching easy to install, cheap swimming pools, I had trouble finding a Summer Waves pool review, so I knew I needed to share our experience. This pool has far exceeded my expectations in every area!
So what’s stopping you from getting a cheap above ground pool?
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