How to set up an inflatable pool.

How to set up an inflatable pool. Includes how to smooth the ground, what to place the pool on, inflate the top, fill with water and more tips!

How to set up an inflatable pool.

I wanted a grown-up yard this summer.

With all the yard improvements we’re doing, I just wanted the opportunity to sit in my backyard and enjoy my flowers and junk. Which really means, I didn’t want to stare at the ‘big blue smurf pool’ for two months again.

Talked myself into it I did! We were gonna go CAMPING. LOTS. We would not need the pool. Spend the chlorine funds on campground fun instead. We had it all planned out.

And then it got hot. REEEELLY hot. Like in one day.

That did it! Big Blue, (our inflatable above ground pool) was making a return appearance once again.

How to set up an inflatable pool.

Have you been curious about these things? Everyone and their dog has one by now so if you don’t, quick, get’tem while they’re still… BLUE. In fact, you can have mine. I’m waiting for something a little more in keeping with the yard surroundings myself.

Truth be told, they’re pretty easy keepers and well worth it vs. getting heat stroke. You can either treat them with chlorine (which we do) or you can get a salt water system. A salt water system is easier to keep up but the apparatus costs more than the pool itself and is a bad idea if you’re camping. They stop working if the salt is too low. And no one likes a green water pool.

Our above ground pool measures at 4′ high by 15′ feet and the brand is Easy Set. This is our second and I like this size much better than the one smaller. This one caters to an adult floating around on something as well, which is nice.

So… here’s how we put one of these up.

Leveling the ground is the first step to setting up an above ground, inflatable pool.

How to:

1. Level the ground first.

  • Ensure the ground / lawn / soil is smooth.
  • Use a shovel to dig out bumps, and a rake to smooth things out.
  • Remove every rock you can find.

I didn’t smooth the surface last year. Just plunked the works down. And stubbed my toe all summer long on this big rock underneath. It pays to take some time and make sure the ground is level and as smooth as possible.

Chances are you won’t have dirt to deal with. The first year we didn’t either. But with the pool returning each summer to the same spot, the pool indeed has its special dirt spot now thanks to the dead lawn underneath. When the pool comes down at the end of the season, I just move the trampoline over the same spot which measures about the same size. Works out well.

A tarp is needed underneath an inflatable pool to protect the bottom from tears.

2. Spread out a tarp.

  • Position the tarp where you desire the pool to sit.
  • Place something on all 4 corners to weigh it down.

Our pool came with a tarp. But if yours doesn’t, I suggest to put one down. You can always cut it down to desired size after the pool is set up.

We ensured the lawnmower could get around the entire tarp easily.

Location near an electrical source should also be considered, if you plan to use a pump.

Repair any tarp tears or holes before placing an inflatable above ground pool on top.

Check for any rips or holes, and patch with duct tape where needed.

The idea is to protect the bottom of the pool, not for the pool to be on the ground, which can lead to punctures.

How to set up an inflatable pool. Includes how to smooth the ground, what to place the pool on, inflate the top, fill with water and more tips!

3. Position the pool in the centre of the tarp, adjusting to ensure the pump apparatus is facing power.

Pull at the edges of the pool bottom to flatten the bottom out completely. Take some extra time ensuring the bottom is completely smooth, or you’ll feel ripples underfoot when you use the pool once full.

How to set up an inflatable pool. Includes how to smooth the ground, what to place the pool on, inflate the top, fill with water and more tips!

4. Inflate the top ring.

The pool instructions will likely suggest to fill the ring with air using a hand pump, which is safest.

I personally used our air compressor turned on at the lowest setting, paying special attention to not over inflating it, or the ring will pop.

How to set up an inflatable pool. Includes how to smooth the ground, what to place the pool on, inflate the top, fill with water and more tips!

5. Do a thorough cleaning of the inside of the pool before filling with water.

Kick off your shoes because you’re goin’ in. Wipe the floor spotless, while removing all soap if any is used.

I used a cloth covered sponge for this cleaning task. Worked great!

How to set up an inflatable pool. Includes how to smooth the ground, what to place the pool on, inflate the top, fill with water and more tips!

6. Hook up the pump hoses to the pool and pump.

The hoses have clamps, so all you need is a screwdriver.Two hoses hook up directly to the pool and two hoses hook up to the pump.

How to set up an inflatable pool. Includes how to smooth the ground, what to place the pool on, inflate the top, fill with water and more tips!

The hoses are labeled as to which go to the pump and which to the pool. Refer to your pool manual, and look for the + and – symbols.

Don’t plug the pump in until the pool is full. You need water running through the pump first.

How to set up an inflatable pool. Includes how to smooth the ground, what to place the pool on, inflate the top, fill with water and more tips!

7. Use a water hose to fill up the pool.

I removed the spray nozzle off the water hose and allowed the water to free-flow into the pool.

Happy kid tip: Allow desperately hot child to lay down and watch the water flow in because it makes him happy. Which makes you happy. And yes, I waded in there too.

How to set up an inflatable pool. Includes how to smooth the ground, what to place the pool on, inflate the top, fill with water and more tips!

How to set up an inflatable pool. Includes how to smooth the ground, what to place the pool on, inflate the top, fill with water and more tips!

How to set up an inflatable pool. Includes how to smooth the ground, what to place the pool on, inflate the top, fill with water and more tips!

8. Fill pool until full. It took us 1.5 days with the water turned off at night.

Throw in pool noodles while the pool fills because you’re DESPERATE.

It’s like watching paint dry. Best to go do something else because you won’t be swimming today unless you just want to sit.

How to set up an inflatable pool. Includes how to smooth the ground, what to place the pool on, inflate the top, fill with water and more tips!

9. Once pool is full, add chemicals, and place pool cover over top.

Uncover during the day so the water can warm up from the sunshine! And with any luck, you’ll be swimming as soon as you can handle the water temperature.


10. Welcome home Big Blue! We’re back in business!

And then it rained.

Whatever. At least we aren’t hot anymore.

Who else has one of these inflatables? Any tips on how you set up an inflatable pool?

Other pool posts you may enjoy:

Pallet pool noodle organizer

A pallet organizer for pool toys

A pretty pool sitting area with towel hooks

Visit all my other pool posts HERE

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Categories: Junk Drawer

40 thoughts on “How to set up an inflatable pool.

  1. Nice that you have a big spot for this. I am thinking of getting a little wading pool for the dogs. How hot is it there? It’s been over 100 here for at least three weeks and probably will remain that way for another two months. Like 109 degrees hot. It was only 103 today, though. The sun is just burning up my landscape. Really, bushes that have been fine every summer are scorched this summer.

  2. Daughter is a monitor at a kids summer camp, son is a lifeguard at a community pool…so they get plenty of swimming opportunities. I, on the other hand, get to sit in front of the electric fan or the AC, and take showers…
    Somehow your kid’s yard with smurf pool seems a blessing to me. Enjoy!!!

  3. We don’t have any kids at home any more and we are talking about getting a pool. With the temps consistently in the upper 90’s with heat index of 115Β° we think more and more about one. At least then I could still enjoy being outside πŸ™‚

  4. OK…it is freezing here, cant even imagine swimming at the moment as I wipe ice off the cars windscreen!!! But I bought (or Santa did) a smaller version of this pool last summer for my 8 year old and she was so excited but I hadn’t thought it through….my backyard was on a slight slope so in the baking heat on Christmas day I tried to figure out how much I needed to cut and fill… way too much. I gave up!!

  5. My sis in law has a salt system on her pool, gotta say it is awesome! When you get out of that pool you feel like a million bucks! Your skin is so soft, and smooth feeling. I love it! Plus, your hair doesn’t get dried out from the chlorine, no more green tips on the kids either! Don’t worry, your yard matches everyone else’s now!

  6. I would love a big blue pool. But that means $200 in permits and $500+ in fencing supplies then the cost of the pool. πŸ™ maybe you could build a funky junk fence out of pallets to go around the pool to hide some of the blue? I’m sure you could think of something. πŸ™‚

  7. I love how you can make something as lame as setting up a big pool fun to read. You really are gifted!

    We never had a pool like this, but we had several smaller ones. Then, three years ago, just as our kids were getting to the point where they never hung out at home anymore, my husband decided to go all out and get an adult-sized Big Blue. We now have a permanent, above ground, 18×33 pool in our back yard. I was never much of a swimmer, but I have to say that I totally love it. There’s nothing like floating your cares away on a hot summer day.

    One perk of a Big Blue of any size: A whole lot less yard to mow!

    Enjoy the pool!

  8. I agree with Val. I was laughing through this post, especially part of ‘desperately hot child”! We grew up with really big blue pools, and one even had an excavated underground area so half the pool was over our heads. It kept us 5 kids very happy! Now I just went to KMart and bought a tiny blue pool, 7 ft square and 2.5 ft high. Perfect for the occasional heat waves, and then you can dump it out and get your yard back. But since my small yard is not level, it doesn’t work as good as it could. enjoyed this post!

  9. OHHHH I’m jealous. Our yard is small and on a continual slope! My teenager goes to his brother’s apartments’ pool when he wants to swim. I have only been to the beach twice. No freshwater swiming YET! I think its criminal!

  10. We have that pool, too. It was awesome to cool down on the hot days. But we are in Okklahoma in the middle of a streak of record breaking heat and with so many days hovering between 105 and 110 it is now as if we have a giant bathtub in our backyard because the water is so warm – it was 91 degrees yesterday. And with water restrictions in place we cannot dump water and add more. Augh!!

    But at least a wet and splashy 91 is better than a dry and sunny 111!!

  11. LOL at the ‘Smurf Pool’. Be thankful… A: it’s warm enough to need it. Chilly here…. had to get out the jeans yesterday; and B: that Cody is still young enough to WANT to be at home with mom in his smurf pool. One day you’ll be lookin’ for ways to junk up your walker and be longing for the smurf pool days! xo

  12. Hi Donna, We have a pool too. Only ours is stained with dirt on the outside and doesn’t look as nice as yours. Its also smaller – 3ft deep and 12 ft across. It sits in front of our sunroom which is in one half of our garage. The kids LOVE it. I hardly go in. We live in Calgary, so the weather is terrible. One day it’s hot, the next day it’s chilly and raining. Hate the weather here!! I’m hoping we get a decent summer. I’m on holidays for two weeks starting Friday and would love it to be nice!! Have a great day. : )
    ~ Catie

  13. Ahhhh, yes! I did forget to mention, level ground is a must. I take that part for granted.

    #18 TracyMB, I have the opposite problem. The boy won’t leave the yard. πŸ™‚

    #19 Catie, yes the outside does get stained up abit. I was scrubbing that with special cleaners like crazy once it was up and wasn’t all that successful. But I won’t give up! If it’s gonna be big and blue, I want it shiny and pretty too. πŸ™‚

    The 4′ x 15′ is big enough to enjoy your floating lounger AND have your 12 yr old kiddo be able to have a decent swim at the same time. The 3′ x 12′ was a good starter but it’s the depth that made all the diff as they grow. It went from a ‘baby pool’ to a small adult pool. I don’t have to get down on my knees in this one.

    If you live in a hotter region, these guys will help you enjoy your yard again in the summer. It’s very hard to be without once you’ve had it. It now feels like a total waste of sunshine to have to go inside to stay cool when you can actually be cooler outdoors when in the water. πŸ™‚


  14. #21 banclothing, yes, it does, but not the first year. Each year the grass diminishes more and more. πŸ™‚ I don’t bother reseeding because the trampoline sits over top that spot, then is moved for the pool once again. It actually works out for easy trimming underneath the tramp! Talk about an optimistic approach, huh?

    #22 Rhonda, NO idea when summer will arrive if ever. I have to work anyway so it can get hot may be in a week or two. πŸ™‚


  15. Donna we put up a 15′ Doughboy back in 1979 and my kids loved it. We built a deck around it with a wood fence and put a pool slide on the deck. My kids had a blast every Summer. Back then not too
    many people had above ground pools and people
    would stop by to see ours. People I didn’t know would come up the steps and scare the pooh out of me. We kept that pool for 25 yrs.,yep 25yrs. I had no idea my grandchildren would swim in it. My youngest was 3yrs. old when we put it up. That was the best investment ever. I hope you and your son have as much fun in that pool as we did in ours.
    Kids don’t stay little long so enjoy him while you can. If you don’t kill the grass underneath before you put the pool up it will stink when it starts dying. We then put sand, then back poly plastic sheeting before we put the pool up.
    It is very hot here in Louisiana so the whole family went to my son’s house and swam in his
    inground pool.

  16. Oh darlin’ – the things we sacrifice for our kids. I REALLY broke down this year though….I’ll see your blowup deal and raise you a full out installed by contractor behemoth. I’ve been sweating it out on the pool top drinking beer to forget how ugly my yard is now πŸ™

    see here:

    I remember BC days when the sun would come out and all those who wear black and shades in November running to their Starbucks patios because they didn’t recognize the big burning orb πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    You’re a good Momma.

  17. It rained so much in May and the beginning part of June that we never even had to put a hose in our pool this year. We have an inground, so it only has to fill up that last foot or so. We’ve definitely been giving the pool it’s paces though because it’s been steamy hot lately. Love the pics of your son in the pool while it was filling. SB & his best friend, the Princess do that in her smurf pool each year when her parents set it up. Thanks for sharing.

  18. lol very cute post! thank you for the laugh, i really needed it today. as i was leaving work i noticed that someone must have backed into my car – the car that i bought less than 2 months ago with the money i earned from my first big job after graduating – and there’s a big dent and scratch on the back corner! not sure how long it’s been or where it happened.

    so as i said, the laugh really did me good. thank you and enjoy your pool =)

  19. oh I want one of those smurf pools!!! however, our yard is very sloped, and also, we have a lot of shaded spots. It wouldn’t really warm up the water enough. (kinda “dold” where we live, in New England.) Pool season is SHORT here, but I still want one!

  20. I have been following for just a short time, but it is THE BLOG, I have to read everyday. Even if there is not a daily post, I visit. I read your story, on when you moved into the house from h__.
    I am so impressed with your fortitude, determination, and thankful that your prayer was answered. Love you!

  21. Yes, I have a blue thing in my backyard. I agree, the 4’x15′ is an excellent size. No longer the kiddie variety. I actually have a post in draft that I’m posting later this week on it (no tutorials though, just thoughts on the darn thing).

    We used to have the blow up ring type, but this year bought one of the metal frame ones. Now they do have the metal frame ones in a more decor friendly putty color, but it was more expensive (hence, we have the blue variety). Not sure why a nicer color makes it more expensive?

  22. Use to have one of those… but then… the kids grew up, moved away and have backyards of their own… Enjoy the time… it moves away so quickly, and you can never get it back… you can, however, get the garden back… years from now… when the big huge blue thing is no longer needed for endless hours of summer fun…

    summer blessings. Dixie

  23. My sister has had an inground for over 30 years….when my 3 kids were small we were there everyday…I do mean everyday… we live 15 miles apart and my married daughter still takes her twins 5yrs olds there a few times a week… many memories in that cement pond……that is worth so much…enjoy this time….we do not get another chance

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