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Old 01-05-2013, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Florida
158 posts, read 416,406 times
Reputation: 116

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We are renting a home with an inground pool (screened in) starting in a couple of weeks. Both my husband and I are completely unfamiliar with how to maintain the pool and will *likely* end up hiring a company to do it. If I can save money though then I'll just have him do it How difficult is it to maintain a pool on our own? The chemicals are on clearance here in Target insanely cheap. I can stock up and bring them down with me, but I am clueless. I can google to find the basic info on chemicals, but I prefer real answers from people experienced in having a home with a pool. If you do have a pool do you maintain it or do you hire a service to come out weekly? I imagine the screen will help with not having to skim it as frequently.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:07 PM
 
5,607 posts, read 3,106,128 times
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Pool maintenance.
Imagine how many people who don't live in Florida envy you having a problem like that ?
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:08 PM
 
Location: FL
778 posts, read 1,755,056 times
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It's very easy to maintain your pool. Do yourself a favor and purchase a good automatic vacuum. Run that weekly, keep your Ph and Chlorine levels normal (I use 3" tablets in a chlorinator) and run the filter at least 6 hours a day and your pool should stay clean. At least every 3 months, you should backwash the filter and if you have DE, replenish. It's even easier with a sand filter. You don't have to replace the Sand for at least the entire season.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Florida
158 posts, read 416,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roscoe Conkling View Post
Pool maintenance.
Imagine how many people who don't live in Florida envy you having a problem like that ?
I know, right? The problems I have lol I feel very fortunate for that being one of my biggest concerns right now. It hasn't always been like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbrkr View Post
It's very easy to maintain your pool. Do yourself a favor and purchase a good automatic vacuum. Run that weekly, keep your Ph and Chlorine levels normal (I use 3" tablets in a chlorinator) and run the filter at least 6 hours a day and your pool should stay clean. At least every 3 months, you should backwash the filter and if you have DE, replenish. It's even easier with a sand filter. You don't have to replace the Sand for at least the entire season.
Thank you. So I could buy the tablets here pretty cheap right now and then buy the other stuff once we actually arrive. That is just one tablet/chemical, correct? Chlorine tablets? I know I will need to buy a pH tester too.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:01 PM
 
2,729 posts, read 4,926,720 times
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If you want to spend some time, I think you will do just fine. I do mine.


Buy the test kit. Buy the one that tests for about six or seven parameteres and larger size. You would be using it. I guess they call it a complet set. You can also take a sample to the stores and, they will test it for free. But I found that they are very loose and sometime it is not accurate what they measure but until you learn how to do it, it should be OK.


Even though there are many parameters that can be tested, just start with the two most important ones.Then progress as you get to use to it.


1) PH. Recomended levels are 7.2 to 7.6. If it is high, you add acid. If it is low, you add base.
2) Chlorine levels.


These two are enough to start unless you have a problem.The test kit comes with instruction on how much to add to adjust these depending on your pool size.


Once you know what you are doing, then you can test the stablizer, alkalinity, total calcium, bromide, and so on.



There are a lot on-line resources that you can consult to.

If you have question, post them. There are many people who do their own pool maintenance.

Good luck and Welcome!
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:20 PM
 
1,024 posts, read 1,694,881 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bree~ View Post
We are renting a home with an inground pool (screened in) starting in a couple of weeks. Both my husband and I are completely unfamiliar with how to maintain the pool and will *likely* end up hiring a company to do it. If I can save money though then I'll just have him do it How difficult is it to maintain a pool on our own? The chemicals are on clearance here in Target insanely cheap. I can stock up and bring them down with me, but I am clueless. I can google to find the basic info on chemicals, but I prefer real answers from people experienced in having a home with a pool. If you do have a pool do you maintain it or do you hire a service to come out weekly? I imagine the screen will help with not having to skim it as frequently.
Save yourself a bunch of money and go to your local Pinch a Penny store with a sample of your pool water. They'll tell you exactly what you need to do to maintain your pool. It's not difficult at all if you have a screen and an automated cleaner. We just dump chlorine tabs in ours from time to time and shock it with a pool shock chemical once in awhile and it stays beautifully sparkling clean. If my husband and I can do it, anyone can.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Courtice, Ont.
143 posts, read 229,983 times
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Bree, I've mainteined a pool for a lot of years. Had a pool all my life (damn near). Mind you this was in Canada so I'm sure there will be some differences due to climate but I'll pass a long a few pointers that will hopefully be of some use.

Don't get involved in the whole chemical game. I used liquid chlorine primarily, in hotter weather or when there is lots of rain it will burn off (dissipate) quickly so adding a stabilizer will help it last longer. The chlorine pucks usually have this built in so that may be enough of a supplement to the liquid chlorine. I used Copper Sulphate as well, it's an algaecide. I got it from the pharmacist at the drugstore. WTF the drugstore is doing with a concentrated algaecide is beyond me. They will probably give you the 20 questions when you go to buy it but as soon as I told them it was for a pool they were good. It cost me ~$5 for 500g (~1lb) - it's a blue powder. I used 2 table spoons twice a year for a 24' round x 4.5' deep pool (adjust for your gallonage accordingly). A jar of it will last a few years anyway. I used to check ph but it was never anything other than perfect so I just checked it from time to time (a few times a year) to make sure all was good and never found anything I had to do anything about. But you still don't need to actually test for it... if the water is making your eyes sting a bit then there is a ph issue, unless of course you just added liquid chlorine a few hours before or the level is way out for some other reason.

The million dollar tip is don't maintain a specific chlorine concentration too closely - let the level yoyo. A couple friends of mine worked for a high end electronics developer and setup/ran their environmental test chambers. Because they had the know-how and access to surplus equipment (and had pools), they setup dosing pumps to exactly maintain chlorine levels in their pools. Worked well for a while then they started getting a bit of an algae problem. They upped the dose a little and it helped for a bit but the problem came back every time. Neither of us are biologists so we can't offer a theory as to why a constant chlorine level became ineffective over time, but it did. I takes the right amount of neglect.

Every pool will be different so it may take some experimentation to get it right.

Hope some of that helps,
Ryan
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Courtice, Ont.
143 posts, read 229,983 times
Reputation: 93
Forgot to add that you shouldn't do anything to alter the ph directly (be it acid or base) unless you are having a pool party that day and don't wan't your guests to have bloodshot eyes. The ph only drifts if there is something going on in your water. Adding base or acid just masks the problem, find the reason it's changing in the first place. Just because there isn't some green slime in your pool doesn't mean there isn't something growing in your pool that is affecting water quality. Also dust in your pool may change ph if it's lime stone dust - not sure if that's an issue around here but we had a bit of lime dust. Vacuuming it off the bottom does nothing to help. After it's off the bottom of your pool you need to flush the filter to get it out of the water system.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Florida
158 posts, read 416,406 times
Reputation: 116
Thank you, Ryan. Awesome information. Very helpful and I really appreciate it
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:55 AM
 
46 posts, read 82,792 times
Reputation: 32
I really enjoyed reading this thread. Just got a pool and want to try my hand at maintaining it myself first.
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