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Thread: Budgeting estimates -- new house new to pool

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    Budgeting estimates -- new house new to pool

    I am trying to rewrite my budget so that I make sure I save enough back all winter to cover the extra expenses for the pool in the summer. I live in IL so the pool is only operating not even 4 months. I need to figure out how much maintenance/chemicals will cost me. I know I will have the extra power for running pump and also water to fill and continuously top it off and those will be impossible for anyone to guess. Hoping someone can at least tell me what I expect to spend in chemicals. I have owned the house a week and have already spent a fortune in chemicals (pool store yes I know now that was mistake) and now spending quite a bit on chlorine and pool still looks bad. Hopefully next year I can start the pool off right and not spend a mini fortune.

    Pool is approx 14000 gallons (18x30x4 approx) above ground. It is in full sun all the time, no cover. What can I expect my chlorine burn rate to be?
    This past week I have been buying liquid shock (10%) at Rural King for $8 for a 4 pk which seems like a great price compared to the $3 bottle for 6% bleach at Walmart

    My TFT-100 test kit should arrive tomorrow finally. Will I have enough tests in it to last the rest of this year and all next summer? I will be doing a SLAM as soon as it arrives to try to correct my pool which unfortunately has a very high CYA level -90 (2 pool stores confirmed and come up with really close to each other numbers and old owners were using the pucks so I believe it to be accurate) but we only have about 3 weeks left of swimming weather so drain and refill is not option.

    How long should I really be running the pump? The old owners said they left it running 24x7 while pool was open. Is it worth keeping it running or should I buy a plug in timer and set it up and save on the electricity?

    I didn't really want the pool but the kids are super excited to have it. I have a 125 yr old house with lots of projects to work on so would love to keep my budget to a minimum. Anything I can do to save on electric, water, chemicals would be great.
    Like for instance would the cost of a solar cover be offset enough by the chlorine savings? how much of pain to put cover on and off? Would my 14 yr old be able to handle it? There is a cover holder thing -- old owners said it was just a pain and they stopped using a cover.

    Thanks so much. Sorry for all the questions.

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    pabeader's Avatar
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    Re: Budgeting estimates -- new house new to pool

    Once you get it balanced, all most folks need is additions of chlorine and once in a while either muriatic acid or borox. As for filter time, that really depends on surface debris. You want to run it long enough so it can skim off any leaves or whatever, that might blow in. I have mine set to twice a day for 4 hours each. But I have a SWG and that time is really for the generator to do it's job.

    Do you have a dog? Think of a pool like that. They need some attention each day, even if you aren't going to play with them.(thanks richard320) But with a balanced pool that time is usually very minimal. I spend a total of 15 mins each day, and some of that time is spent just looking at it.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Budgeting estimates -- new house new to pool

    Ballpark estimate on the 10% bleach is about 1/3 gallon per day. Even not on sale, that's going to be under a buck a day. If you open early enough that the water is still too cold for algae to thrive, I can't picture it taking more than fifty bucks to get things started in the spring. Just for comparison, my pool never closes and I spend about $300/ year on chemicals. In the winter (such as it is in SoCal), FC loss is next to nothing.

    The test kit has enough reagents to carry you through the remainder of this season and possibly through next year. If not, refills are much cheaper than the whole kit. If you're dealing with a swamp (Sort of suggested by the pool store comment) you might run out of the FAS-DPD stuff. That's why the XL option is offered; to get the refills up front because swamp-clearing burns through that stuff at an amazing rate.

    Pump run time depends a lot on how much blown-in debris you get. Even then, four to six hours should be plenty. You'll just need to experiment. Three hours is plenty for me, but my yard is mostly concrete and there are no farmers' fields being plowed for miles and miles. Some days I'll look at the crystal clear water and the clear surface and shut it off sooner.

    The solar cover will reduce chlorine losses, but probably not enough to justify the cost just for that purpose. But they do help a huge amount to retain heat. I concur that they are a pain. When mine started disintegrating, I tossed it and never replaced it. If it's cut into sections or if you have a roller, it's manageable by almost anyone.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Budgeting estimates -- new house new to pool

    Thanks for the info Richard320. We spent over $150 at the pool store the and only owned the pool/house a week. Pool is only slightly green but so murky and not clear. One said cya too high other come up with same number but their range said up to 200 was normal! I found ttp after seeing each store had different range for same chemical that was so varied. None of the stuff either of them sold me helped.
    !

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    Re: Budgeting estimates -- new house new to pool

    Im basically in CIncinnati Ohio, and have about the same climate as you. I agree with Richard, about 1/3 gallon per week. This year, I have had to add abotu $10 worth of baking soda, and spend another $20 on PH adjustments. Thats it. With the pump run time, no need to run 24x7. Especially if you dont have a variable speed pump. 4 hours or so is a good target to start with. I have had zero water issues, so all of my money has been on just proper maintenance, not crisis management of a green pool.

    As far as yoru Rural King bleach goes, sounds like a good price. But be careful of the age of the product. Bleach degrades over time, so it might not be 10% anymore if they dont sell a lot. As an example, early in teh year, I buy from Ollies, with $2.99 per gallon of 12.5%. However, they stock their shelves with bleach from April and never restock. So midway through the year, I switch to Walmart regular 8.25% bleach.

    And I will leave you with this nugget of info. A pool will not turn from a crystal clear oasis to a green swamp overnight. It takes a lot of neglect. And just like it takes a while to create the green swamp, it takes a while to clear it back up, and sadly a lot of money. So the takeaway in this is dont neglect your pool maintenance. Brush teh pools once or twice per week. Vacuum debris regularly off of the bottom. Check yoru FC every day. Or once you learn your pool trends, at least dump in a bit of bleach every day. Its this type of effort that helps keep pool maintenance cheaper.

    If you want to gives us the make and model of your pool pump, and we can help you figure out exactly ho much it costs to run your pump per hour.
    IG W/Vinyl Liner Oval 18x40, 21K gal, Oval 3'-8'
    Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump, Sand Filter

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    northrn's Avatar
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    Re: Budgeting estimates -- new house new to pool

    Very similar to Yev. I will have spent about $150 from open to close (April while it's still cold until late October/early November). I don't run my pump/filter 24/7. Usually only about 10-12 hours a day and that's just because I enjoy looking at the movement of the water.
    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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    Re: Budgeting estimates -- new house new to pool

    One last tip that I hear mentioned on here a lot. When you close your pool for the winter, try to wait until the water temp drops down to 60. And then in the Spring, try to open it before the water climbs back above 60. The theory is that any FC you add to the pool when you close is going to not last the whole season. Therefore, the 60 degree thing is based upon the principle that below 60, algae does not grow very well. SO this means that you are closing the pool once the risk of algae decreases, adn then you open it before the risk of algae starting to grow comes back. Put your pool away clean, and it opens nicely. Put it away dirty, then in the spring you will have to spend more time and money to fix the dirtier pool.
    IG W/Vinyl Liner Oval 18x40, 21K gal, Oval 3'-8'
    Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump, Sand Filter

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