lemonademanJuly 12, 2012

Just bought a house with a pool and hot tub. Just spent hours cleaning and emptying it out, and now I am filling it up. I was just wondering if there is anything I need to do. What chemicals do I need to buy? Cleaners? Brushes? Nets? Any tips would be helpful, this is my first pool, and I am very excited, but worried it will turn green!

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Hi Lemonade! Welcome! I am 7 months more experienced at pool ownership than you, so feel fully qualified to offer expert advice. :)

The 1st thing is yes, it will turn green if you don't add sanitizer (chlorine or alternative). Not turn green right away, but depending on outdoor temps and organics and how your fill water is balanced (either by your city, or if you're on rural/well water) sooner or later, it will go green if you don't do anything. Don't worry, you can avoid this! You will first need to add stabilizer to the pool to help your chlorine "stay" better, presuming your pool is chlorinated and not using an alternative sanitizer (baquacil I've heard of and I think there are others). There are full directions on the website I reference below.

The best thing I found was to go to the website trouble free pool dot com and read Pool School. It has everything a newbie needs to know. Personally, I am a dunce at chemistry and was overwhelmed by the water testing info, so had to reread it several times over the course of a few weeks for it to finally sink in and make sense.

What sort of finish is your pool - marcite (plaster)/gunite/concrete (all sort of the same thing) or vinyl liner? Or above ground? Different brushes for different types. Approx. age? What kind of filter (sand or cartridge or DE)? Do you have a salt water chlorine generator (is yours a "salt" pool)? Does it have an automatic cleaner or a booster pump designed to have an automatic cleaner attached?

We have a 35 year old plaster pool that came with our house when we bought it in December. We took it from Swamp Thing to Sparkling Oasis (um, actually more than once while we get the hang of things) using the directions on that website.

To save our marriage (ha ha!) we invested in a robot to vacuum the pool for us. This was a month ago and we LOVE IT. We still use a leaf rake (different than the leaf net in that it has more of a bag shape to scoop leaves into it rather than a mesh stretched taut over a frame) for daily skimming, we have lots of leaves and the robot only gets them off the floor, not off the water surface. We have a brush (bristles for a plaster pool) but it is old from the previous owner and the bristles are breaking and floating in the pool now, so I am going to buy a Whale Tale brush next weekend. When we have had an attack of Swamp Thing and have to bring it back to balance, we use the regular skimmer port vacuum to vacuum to waste. Our robot doesn't handle this well, so it's better to use the traditional vacuum. So that's our tool kit: robot, leaf rake, brush, manual vac. Oh, and for the initial clean out after the winter, we didn't drain the pool (with a concrete pool, it's not a good idea to empty it, it can heave right out of the ground) but we bought a "leaf sucker" (I think the brand name of ours is Big Sucker) which is kind of like a vacuum you attach to a garden hose. It has a mesh bag and can pull lots of leaves into it.

Excited for you! Good luck and let us know how it goes and any more questions!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:19AM
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Thank you so much for your help!! I was amazed at how much there was to learn about what I am getting myself into. I currently live in Mesa, AZ and so the pool will be turning green very quickly. I am going to go to that website you referenced and hopefully learn all that there is to know. I think a robot sounds like a great idea. We have a lot of people in the valley who do pool care, and I would rather save the money and do it myself. The good news is, I dont get many leaves. I am not sure the type of filter I have, or any of the other mechanics yet. I have a waterfall type thing, and I hope I can make that work as well. I just worry I am going to break something! Thanks so much for your help.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:51PM
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