How To Identify the Components of an Above Ground Pool


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Your pool will come to you on a freight truck. Before the truck leaves, take the time to open the boxes and check that you have all the parts listed on the inventory list and that none of them are damaged. Nothing is more frustrating than having a half-assembled above ground pool only to discover you’re missing a part and having to wait 2 weeks for the manufacturer to ship it. This guide shows you what the parts look like in the order they are assembled. Quantities will vary according to size of the pool and manufacturer. 

If you need to identify a specific pool model, check out our article titled "Identify My Above Ground Pool".

Step by Step


Step 1

Base Plates - The base plates are laid out first on each of the blocks embedded in the leveled ground. There can be 10 to 22 of these plates depending on the size of your pool. Note: This pool is being assembled in a warehouse for demonstration purposes so the blocks that these base plates should be placed are not shown.

Step 2

Base Rails - The base rails are inserted into the base plates. The rails form the base circle in which the wall is inserted. There can be 10 to 22 of these plates depending on the size of your pool.

Step 3

Wall - The wall comes in a coil which is unwound and placed into the bottom rail.

Step 4

Joiner - The Joiner hardware is the metal strip used to screw the ends of the wall together.

Step 5

Vertical Uprights - The vertical uprights provide some support for the wall and connect the base plates to the top rails. There are 10 to 22 of these uprights.

Step 6

Coving - optional but recommended - You will need to have a 6" tiangular wedge around the inside corner of the pool to spread the weight of the water at the corner. This wedge can be made of sand the coving strip shown. The coving strips are easier to install and more permanant.

Step 7

Gorilla Pad - also optional but recommended - Provides for a softer footing and protects the liner from sharp objects and stones that work their way up through the soil.

Step 8

Liner - The pool liner in placed inside the pool to contain the water. When you open the box containing your liner, be very careful - do not use a sharp object. Unfold the liner and spread it out, making sure the ground is clear of anything that could puncture it. Check for any holes or tears and examine the seams to make sure they are properly sealed. This is very important as you do not want to discover a defect after you’ve filled the pool.

Step 9

Coping - These are plastic tubes that fit over the liner on the top edge of the wall. They help keep the overlapping liner in place.

Step 10

Stabilizers - 10 to 22 metal tubes that fit over the coping and connect to the top plates. They provide ridgidity to the upper edge of the wall.

Step 11

Top plates - The top plates (10 to 22) sit on top of the vertical uprights and tie the stabilizers and uprights together.

Step 12

Top rails - These 10 to 22 rails are placed between the uprights and are secured to the top plates. They form a 6 - 8" surface around the top of the pool wall.

Step 13

Connectors/Top Caps- the connectors fit over the top plates to cover the union of the top plates, the uprights and the top rails. Note: these Connectors are also commonly referred to and sold as "Top Caps".

Step 14

Pump - Many pool kits are packaged with an above ground pool pump to circulate the water.

Step 15

Filter - Many pool kits are packaged with an above ground pool filter to filter the water circulated by the pump

Step 16

Skimmer - A skimmer is installed on a rectangular hole in the upper part of the pool wall to supply water to the pump and to collect debris off the surface of the pool.

Step 17

Return Port - A return port is installed on a 1 1/2 -2" hole in the side of the pool to allow water from the pump/filter to flow back into the pool.


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 Posted: 7/8/2020 

Hello. I am needing some above ground pool top caps and rails the one caps that screw in? Can you help me?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/5/2020 

The easiest thing you can do is take pictures of your wall section, which should include shots of your top cap, the top plate, the top rail, upright, and wall. The more pictures the easier it is to identify a pool.  You want to email those to We’ll take a look, we’ll try and identify the pool and send you some recommendations.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/14/2015 

Top Caps - Thanks you for pointing this out to us. You are correct. The terminology has changed. We now sell these "Connectors" as "Top Caps". I've included a note on this in the guide.

Anonymous  Posted: 5/12/2015 

In one section you call the parts "pool top caps" and in another section you call them "connectors". need to be standard term one way or the other.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/10/2012 

plants around pool - If you plant anything around the pool, use plants with none evasive root systems to keep them from getting under the pool.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/10/2012 

AG Pool Brand - This is an Alpha pool. See Alpha Pools on our web site for further information.

Anonymous  Posted: 8/9/2012 

After putting the pool together can you or should you plant any type of flowers or plants around the pool?

Anonymous  Posted: 8/9/2012 

Can you tell me the brand or type of pool in the pictures? I dont know the brand of my pool, but we are missing 3 top plates and they look exactly like the ones in the picture. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!