Cutting pool costs

measure_twiceMay 11, 2005

Pools are an expense, no question. The previous owner's annual operating costs were about $600. We got ours down to about $150 or less.

- By balancing the chemical makeup at the beginning of the year, we save money throughout the year because the chlorine hangs around and the pH does not bounce. We got a complete chemical measuring kit that allows us to measure hardness, alkalinity, and cyanuric acid (stabilizer) as well as pH and chlorine.

- We run the pool pump on a timer instead of all the time. This cuts our electric cost in half or third.

We get many chemicals from the grocery store instead of the pool store. Same chemicals.

- Chlorine bleach. 1 gallon (standard 5%) replaces about 1 lb of "shock". If you get the "Ultra" bleach in the smaller container, you are paying more for the chlorine but it is close enough.

- Sodium carbonate is baking soda. Same stuff as the pool store.

- Calcium chloride is used to increase pool hardness in the summer and is packaged as ice melter in the winter.

- 20-mule team Borax is cheaper at the grocery store and is the same borax as in the pool store.

For more info, I use this site for reference to maintain my pool:

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Measure, thanks. How many hours a day do you run the pool pump?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 10:56PM
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run 2 periods a day so the pool doesn't get too stagnant in the off pump period. For example 11am to 7pm and 12 midnight to 6am. You can alter these to suit your schedule. You need 4 notches on the timer. 2 ons and 2 offs. Use skimmer socks and flush them out every day with hose to cut down debris reaching filter.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 5:12PM
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A local guy was in the Rockies and saw the sparkling clean lakes, learned what chemicals keep them that way, and makes a bucket that he calls "C-Pool" that reduces by a great amount the amount of (other) chemicals, especially chlorine, that one needs.

Some who use it like it.

When I sold it, a few years back, I bought (not edible quality) baking soda at the feed store - for about $10.00 for a (40 lb.?) bag, to go along with it.

As you say ... it doesn't need to cost a mint to operate a pool.

And, of course, as I live on a farm, if I choose to travel to a municipal pool, often there's a fee ...

... but there's also the problem of using more precious (and expensive ... but about to get more so) energy to get there ... plus adding to not only global warming, but pollution.

My landlord is pleased that Uncle's farm that he bought over two years ago has two ponds, as he wants to irrigate his sod.

And he's paying $90. per hour for the last couple of days to have a guy with a shovel dig one of them (which is dry now, as it's been dry this summer) a whole lot deeper.

The shovel was down so far yesterday after noon that one could scarcely see the boom from the house.

I hope that he doesn't dig it so deep that he can't get out.

Maybe I can go for a swim in one of them (the shallower one).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 7:38PM
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Thanx for the gving me the information about the measurement of the how we save money in i use this prevention measures..:)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 3:58PM
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Good example that being frugal doesn't mean you have to save every penny all the time. As long as you can afford it, there's nothing wrong with splurging on a luxury or two for yourself! And I also like the common sense approach you're using. Borax is Borax, Soda is Soda, etc. Kind of like the much more expensive "100% Cornstarch" body powders being far more expensive than the others... and of course much, much more expensive than just buying a box of cornstarch!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 6:21PM
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We bought a salt-water chlorine generator with our pool, and it's amazing! We've not had to add ANYTHING to it except salt, which we purchase for a few dollars per bag at Lowe's. The water is more clear than I've ever seen a chlorine pool, it never turns green or brown or cloudy, it FEELS wonderful and doesn't sting your eyes or ruin your hair, and we've already made back our money many times over for the generator. Highly recommended! (We have our pump on a timer too, turned on during daylight hours.)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 12:52AM
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"run 2 periods a day so the pool doesn't get too stagnant in the off pump period. For example 11am to 7pm and 12 midnight to 6am. "

That's still 14 hours a day, and very long IME.
We run around 10 hours a day in the summer and 8 hours a day in the winter South Florida. I suppose if you have a smaller pump you might need to run it a longer time, but honestly 14 hours is a lot. It doesn't need to be running in the dark anyway, does it?

The best way we found to keep expenses down was to keep a very close eye on things to begin with so we hardly ever needed to shock, add soda, or buffer.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 10:30AM
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Hi see Arby's hail,

If you lived around here, you'd better get the water out of your pump before about October ... or you'd have water gushing out of the pump body, come spring.

It seems that ice and metal pumps don't get along very well.

Engine blocks of cars, either.

Have yourself a great summer ...

... what's left of it.

Slept in the car last night.

Needed to start the engine to use the heater, before sun-up.

Me being someting of a chicken, that is. Or, should I say, that I like my comfort ... though I do keep my house rather chilly in winter. But my short-sleeved shirted arms told me last night that it just ain't winter, yet.

They must have gotten spoiled, over summer. Too used to the good life, maybe.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 3:40PM
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Sodium carbonate is NOT baking soda. Bading soda is sodium bicarbonate, and there is a huge difference.

The bicarb is used in baking to make cakes, cookies, etc rise. It's also used to relive acid indigestion. Sodium carbonate, called "washing soda," is used as a laundry adjunct. It is extremely caustic and is a deadly toxin when ingested..

People have lost their lives because they've mistakenly used toxic sodium carbonate, instead of edible sodium bicarbonate, to relieve acid indigestion.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:09AM
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That salt generator sounds really good. where did you get one? how much did it cost?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 8:46AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana


This is a 3 year old thread and the OP is not getting follow-up replies emailed to them. You might want to start a new thread or do a search over at The Pool Forum.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 9:50AM
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