I was wandering through Toys R Us a couple weeks ago with my kids and noticed that they had a ten foot pop up pool on sale for $50. Fun, right? YAY!
I got it home, set it up, and started filling it with water. Both my kids were so excited that it looked like they were vibrating. After they swam in it for an hour or so and went to bed, I sat on my back porch staring at this thing and realized very quickly that I really don't want to have to keep dumping it out and refilling it every other day and I had absolutely no idea how to take care of a pool. At all. So, being the wonderful father that I am in not wanting my children to die from some odd form of dysentery or whatever, we made a trip to Leslie's Pool Supplies the next day. I was sold a $40 tub of Chlor-brite and a $30 bottle of algecide and went on my disgruntled (pronounced "cheap") way. The guy at the store tested the water for me and he said everything looked ok and that was all I needed. So, for the past week I have been following the instructions on the tub and adding the Chlor-brite as directed.
Fast forward to yesterday. Took some water into Leslie's for testing. No cholrine. None. 0. And I, a relatively educated man, stood there staring at this guy with my mouth open. He explained to me very slowly that ultra-violet rays generated by the sun magically fly through space, penetrate our atmosphere, and murder chlorine molecules in bed while they sleep. So he said that what I needed to do was buy something to lower my pH (which was now 8.6) and a water conditioner, to which I replied "No, what I need to do is light this thing on fire and dance around it until someone carries me away, and not give you $45." He slowly backed away and went to help someone else. Ugh.
There's another pool supply place down the road a bit, so I loaded up the kids and went there. The lovely gentleman at this store told me pretty much the same thing. He explained to me that the most unfortunate thing about those pop up pools is that the little filter/pumps they come with are grossly insufficient, even for only 1800 gallons, but with the right determination/stubbornness we can keep this pool going chemically. He told me to finish going through the dry chlorine I bought, but then after that just to use liquid bleach (I thought it was pretty decent to explain that to me instead of immediately trying to sell me something), and took the time to explain some of the chemistry involved instead of just barking numbers at me and throwing buckets of chemicals at my head. He said I can bring my little bottle full of water in whenever I want and he will test the water for me and try to help the best he can. So, I guess I'll go to him from now on.
I have no idea what the point of this post is. Venting, I suppose. I really like the idea of my kids having the pool to play in, but now I really kind of want to jump into traffic.
I guess I'll ask the question......any way to upgrade the pump/filter on this thing without spending 4x what I spent on the pool to begin with?
P.S. I, of course, found the suggestion to put the conditioner in a sock instead of directly into the pool after I had already just dumped it directly into the pool. So, maybe that stuff will just eat through the bottom and "DARN! THE POOL IS RUINED!" Here's to hoping.