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Thread: Cheapest way to keep a mostly unused pool open

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    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, AZ

    Cheapest way to keep a mostly unused pool open

    Hi Everyone,

    I've been a long-time lurker and have reaped many benefits from the info shared here. I've been running our pool with the TFPC method for several years, with highs and lows, but mostly success.

    We bought this house with a pool because we just moved to AZ for the first time (10 years ago), thought having a pool would be "fun" and many of the houses we looked at had pools already anyway. A few years in, we both wished we had gotten a house without a pool! We don't have kids and our dogs don't even like to swim. We have to really make an effort to use the pool even once a week in the summer. You could say we're just not that in to our pool.

    So, it takes more time, money and effort to run the pool than it's worth. I've thought about emptying it, decking over, or whatever, but it's more $$ than we want to spend. We will probably sell this house in 1-5 years so it seems smart to keep the pool functional.

    I'm trying to figure out the absolute cheapest way to run a pool that is rarely used. I have to consider electricity cost, cost of the few chemicals and test materials needed, cost of water, cost of my time, and grossness/safety- i.e. I can't have a green pool filled with mosquitos in our back yard.

    I would appreciate any and all ideas to help me decrease the costs of running our pool. Is just draining it and leaving it empty an option? We live in Phoenix, so practically no "float" factor and people falling in is not a concern as our yard is secure and no kids around. Would leaving the pool empty for multiple years damage the equipment or surface? Is it better to run it but figure out a cheaper way to do so?

    Thanks for your help!
    11,800 gallon in-ground Pebble-Tec pool, Hayward Aqua-rite SWCG, Single-speed pump, Sand filter, Kreepy Krauly pool cleaner.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: Cheapest way to keep a mostly unused pool open

    Welcome to the forum Sally, good to have you join up!

    I'll just tackle one of these by saying leaving the pool empty for the time period you're talking about will damage the plaster/finish whatever it is. Especially in your environment.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    TF-100 Test Kit, ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Flagstone, 36"SF, Pentair VS Pump, EasyTouch W/Remote, Rheem 400KBTU Htr

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Cheapest way to keep a mostly unused pool open


    The cheapest way to keep it open is to adopt our methods.

    My pool stays nice and clean with the pump running three hours a day. I've never bothered to check what running it costs, but it's miniscule compared to the air conditioning. If you have tiered electric rates, run it at night.

    My chemical costs run about a buck a day. Your pool is smaller, so you should be able to do it for the same or less.

    There's an initial outlay for a test kit. But that will keep you going for a year, and the refills aren't anywhere near that expensive. Certainly cheaper than what it will cost to hire a pool service to do just one algae cleanup.

    What it will require is a few minutes a day for testing and dosing. Once it settles into a routine -- maybe a month -- it is just a simple chore to dump in the usual amount of chlorine and testing a couple times a week to keep tabs on it. Brushing is good for fifteen or twenty minutes a week, which will tighten up the biceps. Vacuuming is about the same, but then again, if you don't even use the thing you might not be bothered by a few stray leaves or a layer of dust. If you don't have a lot of landscaping that sheds, maybe even that won't be necessary.

    You can buy yourself some insurance by adding poly 60 algaecide in case you get lazy about daily chlorine additions, but that really only buys you a little breathing room - maybe a day or two - if chlorine levels drop. It's not a substitute for maintenance, and it does need to be replenished. It's not an expense I've ever bothered with, though.

    As my signature says: 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.
    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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