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Old 09-14-2016, 01:11 PM
 
340 posts, read 682,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick974 View Post
Replacing the water is usually a last resort. That's not typical. If you keep everything in line, you shouldn't have to replace your water for many years. The biggest problem is calcium, not salt. If you get a sand filter, there are no filter cartridges therefore nothing to replace. The sand is the filter media and you just clean the sand occasionally by back washing it. Easy, peasy. Very natural, clean, inexpensive and absolutely no chemicals whatsoever. As an added bonus, you drain and replace a little water while doing it so it helps keep your calcium levels in check at the same time. Two birds with one stone. A win, win if you will. As a double bonus, if you use the tablets that constantly add CYA, back washing also helps keep the CYA in balance.
Just a heads up on the heater. Regardless of the type of heater, you'll pay a small fortune every month to keep your pool warm enough to swim in winter. In my case, I hand made some solar heaters. In conjunction with a solar pool cover, I can effectively keep my pool north of 80 degrees almost to December. I finally have to admit defeat but I heat it up to the 80's starting in March and all that is done for no cost except for the original one time cost of the solar heaters which in my case was around $200.00. If I was comfortable swimming in 70 degree water, I could probably extend those time by a few weeks to a month on both sides of winter.
OK...you have my attention about the sand filter. I am assuming after paying an extra $1500+ for a salt system it will have a filter of some type. The sand filter would replace the existing one and where would one purchase this?

Yep...we actually had a pool many years ago when we first moved to Tucson. We paid up for a 400K gas heater as my grandchildren from Hawaii where coming that winter and we had a pool/spa combo. It did the job however I remember our gas bill was well over $100.00.

Do you have an in ground spa with your pool? The water evaporation factor in the heat of summer is a concern with my high water bills so a cover would be a good option especially a solar which can do dual service. Would it not keep the water warmer without extra heaters?

Thanks..
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Old 09-14-2016, 01:55 PM
 
238 posts, read 315,840 times
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We started using a pool cover for the last month or so and it definitely keeps the water a bit warmer that it otherwise would be. Not a huge difference, but some.


Staying on top of the pool chemical testing and making regular adjustments is huge. When you have that down you'll be able to avoid buying all the alphabet soup of stuff Leslie's or other pool stores will try to sell you.
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Old 09-14-2016, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,182 posts, read 1,959,996 times
Reputation: 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudydog1 View Post
OK...you have my attention about the sand filter. I am assuming after paying an extra $1500+ for a salt system it will have a filter of some type. The sand filter would replace the existing one and where would one purchase this?
You will always have some sort of filtration. The usual alternatives are sand, DE, or cartridge.

If you have a salt water pool then there is an additional cost for the salt cell and the controls. I'm not sure of the price, but $1500 sounds about right(?).
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:17 PM
 
1,463 posts, read 2,889,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudydog1 View Post
OK...you have my attention about the sand filter. I am assuming after paying an extra $1500+ for a salt system it will have a filter of some type. The sand filter would replace the existing one and where would one purchase this?

I'm sorry but your assumption is incorrect. A salt water generator doesn't contain a filter. It's just some electronics and a cartridge that is plumbed into the piping but it's not a filter. Also, you should be able to get a SWG for much cheaper than $1500.00.
You can purchase a sand filter almost anywhere that offers pool equipment. Beware thar most places will try and talk you into the other types of filters because they can then continue to sell you the expensive filters and/or the filter powder (DE) FOREVER. An old school sand filter uses nothing but sand and when the day comes (maybe 5 to 8 years)to replace the sand, it's easily done with $100.00 or less, a shop vac and 15 to 30 minutes of your time. Do your own research but I'll sum it up briefly.
A DE (powder) type filter actually filters the best but it comes at a cost and most cities and even some states are now either banning them outright or restrictions how you can dispose of the discarded filter powder. Personally, I don't have a problem with the powder as it is basically just little dead sea creatures but what do I know. You should consider what may happen in the future when deciding on this type of filter.
Next up is the cartridge style of filters. The cartridges do a good job of filtration but need to be replaced every couple of years or so. These filters are not cheap. To me, this type of filtration is the least desirable because of cost and they are kind of a pain to clean which needs to be done once or twice per season. Trust me, it's not a fun job. Fairly easy but no fun at all. Lol
Now we come to a good ol' fashioned sand filter. This is basically a big tub of sand that your water runs through. No costly filters, absolutely no chemicals or powders. It's just sand. It's very good sand but still just sand. If it's good enough for mother nature, it's good enough for me. Now some people will tell you that a sand filter doesn't filter as good as a DE filter or the cartridge style of filters and these poeple would be correct. Sand filters don't filter quite as good but they certainly filter good enough. Besides, it doesn't matter. If you keep your pool properly sanitized at all times, a sand filter is way more than adequate to keep your pool crystal clear and the other filters are just over kill.
If you ever worked with different kinds of pools, you would find that cleaning out the DE is a gooey disgusting mess and cleaning those cartridges is sometimes a day job. Not fun,at all. I have a good friend that has to replace his cartridges every two years to the tune of $800.00
I've had my sand filter for 5 1/2 years now and I've not spent one red cent on it and it still works great. I back wash now and then by turning one valve and out comes some dusty water for a few minutes. Turn the valve back to its original position and I'm done and I haven't put anything bad into the environment.





Yep...we actually had a pool many years ago when we first moved to Tucson. We paid up for a 400K gas heater as my grandchildren from Hawaii where coming that winter and we had a pool/spa combo. It did the job however I remember our gas bill was well over $100.00.

Well, to heat a pool with gas here in the Phoenix area during the winter WILL cost you hundreds of dollars a month. Many will tell you they pay well over $400.00 per month just to keep the pool warm. If your going up in altitude to cooler areas, be prepared for the costs as it could get scary expensive very quickly.


Do you have an in ground spa with your pool? The water evaporation factor in the heat of summer is a concern with my high water bills so a cover would be a good option especially a solar which can do dual service. Would it not keep the water warmer without extra heaters?

Yes, a cover will keep you pool warmer but if you use it during the summer to keep evaporation in check, it also will heat your pool, perhaps to an uncomfortable level. If I left my cover on in summer, my water would easily get over 100 degrees.


Thanks..
Hmm. It won't let me post unless I put something here. Ha
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:47 PM
 
340 posts, read 682,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick974 View Post
Hmm. It won't let me post unless I put something here. Ha
OK...this is me right about now... I am so confused. Two pool companies I am considering are telling me I need to make up my mind for a chlorinated system or salt? The salt will cost me over $1500.00. So what I am understanding from your comments is I can get sand filters instead of the salt after the initial install when needed? Still purchasing the salt system thought vs chlorine correct?

The pool cover could be an attractive option especially if we go with a separate above ground spa which in itself is more cost savings. This in addition to not having to have a heater period.

Cover would be good for water evaporation however I hear what your saying about too much heat, can't stand bath water in a pool accept for the winter at 40 degrees. Might just have to go without for a year or so to see how things work out once I make up my mind.

Thanks again for all your info...I am receiving an education.
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Old 09-15-2016, 01:49 AM
 
1,463 posts, read 2,889,792 times
Reputation: 2693
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudydog1 View Post
OK...this is me right about now... I am so confused. Two pool companies I am considering are telling me I need to make up my mind for a chlorinated system or salt? The salt will cost me over $1500.00. So what I am understanding from your comments is I can get sand filters instead of the salt after the initial install when needed? Still purchasing the salt system thought vs chlorine correct?

Ok. I think I see where your confusion is. Separate the salt system and all the filtering systems. First of all, you need some way to sanitize your pool. Sanitizing is different from filtering the water so you need to decide how to sanitize. When i say sanitizing, that simply means you are adding something to your water to kill bacteria and bad things in your water. Chlorine is about the most sensible way to do that so there are 3 choices on how you are going to get chlorine into your pool. The first choice is a salt system. That is an electronic gismo that gets the chlorine from the salt that you add to your water. It's a pretty cool system actually and works very well. Big up front costs and you can count on buying a new salt cell for it every 3 or 4 years and those cost anywhere from 2 to 6 hundred dollars depending on size and manufacturer.
Next is a simple floater that you keep these chlorine pucks in. As the pucks melt away over the course of a few days or up to a week, they release chlorine into the pool and kill all the little buggers in your water. A lot of people do it this way as it is insideoysly easy. Unfortunately the pucks do some undesirable things that totally screw up your water chemistry. Please stay away from these regardless of what the pool store tells you. They make a TON of money from selling those to unaware pool owners. They work for a while but in a few months you'll find that it gets harder and harder to keep your pool clean. If you question my opinion on this, just ask them this question. "How am I supposed to keep my CYA in check when the tablets are constantly adding CYA to my water?" You don't even have to know what CYA is at this point but that question makes them stumble every time because they don't have a good answer for you. I've had pool store guys tell me that having CYA IN the 200 range is fine when in reality, it should be in the 40 to 60 range. So you know, CYA is something you rarely add to your pool but is very important. It kind of slows down how your chlorine does its job. Chlorine without CYA in your water would get used up in minutes without CYA but too much CYA make your chlorine ineffective thus allowing your pool to turn green even though you have enough chlorine in there.
Anyway, enough about those chlorine tablets and CYA. Please don't let the pool store talk you into that.
The last way to sanitize is old school. Manually adding liquid chlorine. Not expensive but the cost is continual so it adds up over time.
If you ask me, you have only two choices, not three. A salt system or liquid chlorine. Either one is fine and both are effective. With a salt system, the cost is high up front but the system does all the work and doesn't need attention very often.
Liquid chlorine has no up front cost but it's costs are constant and you must be able to add a few cups almost every day. It's easy and takes no time at all but you can't go more than a few days without adding chlorine or you will have a green pool in no time.
Now with all that said, I need to simplify things. Basically, you have two choices of sanitizing. Remember, Sanitizing is different from filtering. Your choices are a salt system or doing it manually.
Then you have one more choice as to filtration. A DE (powder) filter, cartridge filter or a sand filter.
If I was building a new pool, I'd defiantly get a salt system with a sand filter but that's just me.
Also, if you chose to do liquid chlorine but found later that perhaps you would have liked a salt system better, it is easy to install a salt system to the existing equipment. You can do it later if you want.
I hope I didn't confuse things even more for you but if I did, don't hesitate to ask.
Also, these are just my opinions so please do your own research on this stuff.





The pool cover could be an attractive option especially if we go with a separate above ground spa which in itself is more cost savings. This in addition to not having to have a heater period.


I didn't mean to scare you away from heaters but I want you to be aware how much it would cost. If I had the money, I'd have the solar heaters plus the gas heater and use the solar cover to keep the heat in place.
My pool is an older plaster pool. I manually add chlorine but if my financial situation stays stable then I'm getting a salt system to go along with my 33 year old sand filter.



Cover would be good for water evaporation however I hear what your saying about too much heat, can't stand bath water in a pool accept for the winter at 40 degrees. Might just have to go without for a year or so to see how things work out once I make up my mind.

Thanks again for all your info...I am receiving an education.
I gotta stop answering your questions inside your posts as it won't allow me to post until I put something here. Ha....
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,182 posts, read 1,959,996 times
Reputation: 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudydog1 View Post
OK...this is me right about now... I am so confused. Two pool companies I am considering are telling me I need to make up my mind for a chlorinated system or salt? The salt will cost me over $1500.00. So what I am understanding from your comments is I can get sand filters instead of the salt after the initial install when needed? Still purchasing the salt system thought vs chlorine correct
There are two separate considerations.

(1) What type of filtration system do you want?
(2) How will you sanitize?

You will need to tell the pool contractor which system you want for #1 and #2.

The types of filtration I'm aware of include (1) sand, (2) DE, (3) cartridge. Some cities may restrict the type (esp. DE) that you can use.

As far as sanitation goes, you can use a salt water system which uses a chlorine generator, or you can manage the chlorine level using liquid and/or tablets (in those floating thingies). A salt water system will be more expensive to install.
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:31 AM
 
340 posts, read 682,478 times
Reputation: 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick974 View Post
I gotta stop answering your questions inside your posts as it won't allow me to post until I put something here. Ha....
OK...one more question and I will leave you alone..

You mention a plaster pool...if you were to get a new pool today, would you still go with plaster? Pebble Tec is another big ticket item. Alot of negative press about the plaster however since I do not live back east with months of freezing temps, are there still issues like staining?

I did not like the Pebble Tec we had previously as it was real rough on feet, bottoms and swim suits. However not no more from the "pool folks".

BIG thank you for the other clarification...I get it now
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:33 AM
 
340 posts, read 682,478 times
Reputation: 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikernut View Post
There are two separate considerations.

(1) What type of filtration system do you want?
(2) How will you sanitize?

You will need to tell the pool contractor which system you want for #1 and #2.

The types of filtration I'm aware of include (1) sand, (2) DE, (3) cartridge. Some cities may restrict the type (esp. DE) that you can use.

As far as sanitation goes, you can use a salt water system which uses a chlorine generator, or you can manage the chlorine level using liquid and/or tablets (in those floating thingies). A salt water system will be more expensive to install.

Thank you for your comments...I finally get it. I can't even go into a pool supply store without gagging on the smell from all the chemicals...so I will be choosing salt system to start the show!
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,182 posts, read 1,959,996 times
Reputation: 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudydog1 View Post
Thank you for your comments...I finally get it. I can't even go into a pool supply store without gagging on the smell from all the chemicals...so I will be choosing salt system to start the show!
We'll it's not that simple!

With a salt system you'll be buying and handling more muriatic acid. The pH tends to creep up more with a salt system, so you'll need to add more acid to the pool if you have a salt system.

Also, the plates in the salt cell need to be cleaned with acid pretty frequently, I think monthly or so.

You need to be really careful with acid. Should really wear gloves, eye protection, etc.

In comparison, trichlor tabs are relatively innocuous. If you touch them with your bare hands they won't burn or scar you like acid can. No spill/splash worries.

Last edited by hikernut; 09-15-2016 at 12:31 PM..
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