My wife and I are purchasing a house in SoCal, with a 25k gallon pool+spa. We're pool newbies.
The seller directed me to a nearby store where he gets his supplies, and advised me to do what he did - have them come out a couple times and learn from them how to maintain it myself. So I dropped in at to store recently and spoke with the store owner (henceforth referred to as 'the salesman' so as not to confuse with the owner of the current home). We're looking at upgrading the equipment sometime in the next 6 months (the heater, pump, and filter are getting on in age, and the valves leak a little bit), so I'd like to establish a good relationship with a store who can handle this for us.
My biggest concern is getting 'pool stored', as I'm entirely new to this, and there is so much info out there. I've read up on the BBB method some as well.
I was a bit surprised by some of the advice - both positively and negatively.
I was told that pool maintenance routines and advice is regional - that what applies in Florida doesn't apply to California, New England, or the midwest; though I haven't read this previously, this makes some sense to me regarding conflicting information I've read from otherwise authoritative-seeming sources.
I was advised that a salt water generator can be more hassle than it's worth - more maintenance, pricier, and when [not if] it stops working I'll be looking at expensive replacement. I have been considering this change, based on recommendations from various people, though I have never been in a salt water pool. I was told that if any of the pipes are copper, then it's a no-go.
The salesman also advised me to have them come out a couple times, so they can teach me how to do all the maintenance myself.
Basically, I was also suggested to maintain with the following:
- 12% chlorine (~$20 for a 4-gallon case), which (paraphrase) "is usually actually much stronger, upwards of 17%, in a fresh batch, and drops to about 12% by the last drop of the last bottle". Price wise that seems somewhat reasonable, though I imagine I can get 6% chlorine bleach for less than $2.50/bottle. The house seller uses about 1 bottle/week. Store rotates it's stock to keep it fresh.
- For high pH problems, muriatic acid
- For low pH problems, sodium bicarbonate. When asked about regular arm and hammer baking soda, the salesman said that in his experience different brands of supposedly the exact same stuff will perform differently, and the one they sell is one they have found to be very reliable. Didn't ask about the price.
The salesman brought up ammonia, and there was discussion of shocking. He recommended using a chemical that I believe might have been potassium monopersulfate; it's label called it "shock oxidizer", and it was told to me that soon it would just be listed as an 'oxidizer'. Costs $8/pound, the bag recommends "1 pound per 10k gallons every week", the salesman said he thinks if people routinely used a bag (1 pound) every other week they wouldn't have to worry much about shocking. This stuff was new to me, I haven't researched it yet.
All in all, this seems on the level - but am I walking into being 'pool stored' ?