An above-ground pool is something homeowners like to try to install on their own. The majority of the work is labor. There is some electrical and plumbing for the pump and filter that you will need to complete. To avoid spending every summer repairing problems, make sure to purchase an adequate size pump and filter that match. Use the correct filter media and high-grade plumbing parts.
The pool will have a pump with a suction side and a discharge side. Depending on the style of pool, it can also have a skimmer and a main drain. The hoses will be flexible and above ground. Once the plumbing is lined out, label it with permanent marker using the function of the pipe for its name and arrows for the direction of the water. Write any information on the plumbing that will help you or a plumber complete repairs later, including information about the pump and filter. If you are using a sand filter, be sure to only use sand that is labeled as filter sand. If you live where there is a lot of direct sun in the summer, paint the PVC pipes with a UV-resistant paint. If you live where it will be cold in the winter, be sure to winterize the PVC pipes.
The Suction Side of the Pump
Each pool, filter and pump combination will have its own unique set-up and recommendations from the manufacturer on installation. In general, you should connect the suction side of the pump to the skimmer and the main drain with rigid PVC pipe. Flexible pipes can be used once the rigid pipe is past the pool boundary. Make sure that connections and fittings are high quality to ensure you are not making repairs on a regular basis. Use a PVC male adapter and a PVC union with a three-way valve on the suction side.
The Discharge Side of the Pump
The discharge side of the pump can be a flexible line that runs from the top of the pump to the pump-in port on the filter. Fittings at the directional valve are generally rigid; glue together fittings and unions using PVC cement. Once all the plumbing is in place, prime the pump to add water to the system. This is necessary to create the vacuum effect that makes the water flow through the filter and pump. To prime the pump, take the cover off and pour water into the volute until it is full. Replace the cover and turn on the pump.