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!