First off, I must say, I love this site! I plan on delving in more when I can find a few hours of uninterrupted quiet time.
A little background…I live in the FL panhandle w/my hubby and two young boys. There are NO local pools around and who wants to trek to the beach every day for a quick swim? I have always wanted a pool growing up and begged the parents but it was a no go. Then, I get married and the hubby didn't want one either, been-there-done-that, so….he finally gave in (somewhat) and bought a kiddie pool last summer. The boys were thrilled and I'm secretly thinking this may be the first step to a "real" pool! Only downside to this oversized bathtub - I can't dive and can't swim laps. But, it keeps the kiddos occupied and I can at least cool off in this heat.
Moving on - set up the pool last year without leveling the ground and missed a few rocks/sticks. It sat lopsided from May to November and never had an issue. As soon as it was filled, I went out and bought every type of chemical I could find on the shelf and some guess strips. I winged it for the entire season and all was well. The little filter/pump worked well enough, the water was, ahem, mostly clear, and no burning eyes. No one got sick and we were all happy. Then I found TFP. Drained the pool in November.
Come March this year, hubby didn't feel like properly leveling ("it's a throw away!") so I filled the pool in the same spot. Big mistake. The thing leaned worse than it did last year and I just couldn't live with it. Drained the pool. Talked him in to leveling because if we can possibly get 5+yrs out of it, why not? Set it up in a better spot in the yard but it's under a tree branch. Filled the pool, 2nd time this year and the water company called thinking we had a leak, ha. Got it up and running, adjusted the chemicals and again, all was well. Hubby started building a small deck about halfway around (still in building process) and I decided we needed a sand filter. Bought one a couple weeks ago from the pool store, set up per instructions, but had to purchase longer hose from Home Depot due to where it sits. No bueno on the hose. Ribbed hose w/no smooth ends and the clamps don't tighten enough. Have a few leaks from the sand filter/pump which we plan on fixing soon. In the two weeks we've had this filter, the water has gone from clear to cloudy. I have a bad feeling it may not be the filter but because I added too much CYA, along with unknowingly using trichlor pucks. I had bought some more test strips this season and just today noticed they expired last year (CYA kept registering close to 0 after about a week but I don't believe it). And yes, after reading many posts here, they are worthless. Ordered a TF-100, hopefully it'll be here in a few days. So, I'm not going to worry too much about anything until I get it and can test properly. May be overkill on cost for my "disposable" pool, but I want to do it right. Heck, we've already spent more on the deck alone than what the pool cost, what's another $70? I also plan on converting to the BBB method and will end up tossing out most, if not all, of the chemicals I still have. May even have to fill a 3rd time!
In closing and lastly, sorry this is lengthy, but I wanted to at least introduce myself because I'm sure I'll have many questions arising. Very happy to find TFP!