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Thread: I'm new here, going to pool school

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    ForeverNewbie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Hinsdale, IL

    I'm new here, going to pool school

    In Illinois, where I expect the season to be very short this year...

    I took the name ForeverNewbie, because I don't have a real pool yet. My DH really doesn't want to take the plunge, so year after year, I am stuck with baby pools. The dogs have their small baby pool and I get the larger of those pre-molded plastic pools, at most 10'-12" deep.

    A few years back, I had something similar to an Intex easy set ring pool, smaller though, with a filter, but the filter stopped running after a few weeks. I had only shocked the pool a few times. I was not versed on proper maintenance and had test strips. Once the filter stopped working I took it down, and went back to the pre-molded plastic pools.

    This year, I bought this:

    I put plastic sheeting down, then a tarp then the pool, and filled it. I did not treat the water. I didn't level it when it needed to be. It was fine for 2 days, but then the weather cooled here, the dogs played in it, and we had some high winds which blew a lot of debris in the pool.

    I took the pool up now and the tarp and plastic. Found the grass to be dead somewhat, with an awful odor...I am such a newb, forgive me...really, I now know I should have taken up the grass and leveled the dirt.

    So now I am thinking about another Intex pool with a filter this time...doing it right within our budget. I am thinking about a either an easy set or one with metal bars. The feature that leads me to the Intex metal bar pool, is the ability to fit the pool between these steps:

    I think if I chose a Intex easy set ring pool, it may not fit well in between the steps.

    I have a lot of questions about maintaining water condition, like do I really need a test kit costing $145+?, ...using the pump that comes with the pool vs. upgrading the pump, do I put sand down then the pool liner, or sand, then a tarp, then the pool liner?? this is who I am and where I am at with this.

    I have been reading the pool school material and will do so many more times I am sure, as well as browsing the forum. I saw these pics here and would love to do something similar, but my husband tells me that's Georgia, and that in IL, you can not use those concrete blocks, and for the job to be up to code in IL, that you have to put posts 42" deep into the ground.

    My DH would rather I just join the local aquatic center, but it's an indoor heated pool, and I really prefer not to have to drive 5 miles to take a dip.

    I may even put this off until next year, but I wanted to learn now, and get a grip on owning a pool before I actually own one...a real one. Thanks for reading...long introduction, I know...sorry about that. -ForeverNewbie
    I am looking at getting 16x48 intex AGP 5061 gal, intex sand filter,
    pentair rainbow vaccum, intex SWG

    Yes, I copied this off of another user's sig, but I have to start somewhere to begin to understand. I like the pics of the pool this user, jsf0656, has.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: I'm new here, going to pool school

    If you get a larger more permanent pool you should definitely consider a good test kit. The kit is only $70 or so. and it's well worth it. You'd spend way more than that in one trip to the pool store.

    Reading Pool School is the best thing you can do as well as reading posts on the type pool you think you'll get, as you've already been doing.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Flower Mound, TX

    Re: I'm new here, going to pool school

    Welcome to TFP!
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: I'm new here, going to pool school

    Hey, welcome to TPF and I think it was a great intro. I sincerely hope you are able to get the Intex you want. You won't be sorry I bet. We have enjoyed one for years now. It isn't a "real" pool, but it sure is nice to take a dip all summer. I wouldn't be at all happy driving to a pool center if it was at the end of my block. Hope you check back soon for an update.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: I'm new here, going to pool school

    you might want to try reading the Pool School guide to temporary pools
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Chicago, IL

    Re: I'm new here, going to pool school

    Welcome to TFP, neighbor! I'm just down the road from you in Lombard.

    I would highly encourage you to start with an Intex pool. You will get a lot of good practice balancing the water and working with the pool equipment. The chemistry and mechanics are exactly the same, it's just on a smaller scale. I had an Intex Easy Set for two or three years before we moved to our new home over the winter which came with an inground pool. I was much more confident opening the pool this summer and getting the water balanced than I ever would have been if I hadn't had the Intex experience. If you have the choice, I'd go with the frame pool vs the Easy Set. I ran into a problem keeping the inflatable ring on the Easy Set inflated after about a year and a half of use.

    I'd also recommend getting a proper test kit like the TF100 from While the kit is more expensive than the strips or basic test kits, you'll save money in long run knowing exactly what's going on with your water and avoiding a "pool stored" experience.

    Good Luck!
    28K, 20' x 40' IG - Vinyl Liner, Hayward DE Filter, 1.5HP Pump, 250K Hayward BTU Heater, Aquabot Breeze 4WD robotic cleaner

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Butterfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    South Carolina

    Re: I'm new here, going to pool school

    Welcome to the forum
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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