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Thread: Newbie IG Pool Owner - 34 foot plaster -- need advice pls! :

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    Newbie IG Pool Owner - 34 foot plaster -- need advice pls! :

    Hi, everyone! My family and I purchased our new home last year with an IG pool in the yard. This is the first time either of us have owned an In-Ground pool so we have no idea what we are doing, lol . Here are the specs that we've been able to put together:

    In-Ground Plaster Pool
    34 feet long by about 14 feet (slight bean shape so i'm assuming custom by prior owners?)
    12 feet at deepest spot
    Sand Filter

    The pool doesn't appear to have been used nor winterized last year so we have drained it completely and have shoveled out the muck kat the bottom, plus gave it a quick surface cleaning. It appears to have a few surface cracks in a few areas but has maintained the water level so we are assuming it is nothing major. Here are my questions:

    1. Is it impossible or crazy expensive to correct and repairs minor cracks at the surface?
    2. Are cracks typical of plaster pools?
    3. Does anyone have a similar sized pool and if so, can you give an average on what you pay per month on chemicals, electric, etc? We're trying to decide what we're in for if we do clean, repair and open the pool.
    4. Can Sand filtered / plaster pools be converted to Salt? And if so, would you recommend it or against it?

    As I said we are complete newbies to pool ownership so I'd appreciate any help we can receive! Thanks and also we love in Delaware County PA adjacent to Springfield.


    Pool Specs: IG Plaster, approx 34 feet long and 14 feet wide, Sand Filter, Installed at least 15 years ago we believe

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Newbie IG Pool Owner - 34 foot plaster -- need advice pl


    First, glad your pool did not come out of the ground with a full drain ... that could have been a disaster

    1. Cracks could have been a result of being empty of water. Probably not worth trying to fix until you want to redo the entire surface
    2. Not usually
    3. Impossible to estimate. Greatly depends on your pump size, electricity costs, and amount of dirt you see in the pool, and how much you use it. You can plan to use 2-3ppm of FC per day. If you get a 2-speed or variable pump, you can save a LOT of electricity money on lower speeds.
    4. Any pool can be converted to salt. Most people that have them love them as they are not having to haul and add bleach everyday. You need to realize up front it is not necessarily going to be cheaper. And realize the cell needs to be replaced every 3-5 years.

    You can learn a lot by reading Pool School (button in upper right) and asking question about what you do not understand.

    One of the first things you should buy is one of the recommended test kits which will help you maintain your pool WITHOUT the often confusing and expensive recommendations of pool stores.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    BoDarville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    DFW, Texas

    Re: Newbie IG Pool Owner - 34 foot plaster -- need advice pl

    Hi Jenny:

    I'm a fellow newbie to the forum, but have been using BBB for almost a year now. My costs are much lower with BBB vs. previous methods and with better results, so you have come to the right place . Your pool is roughly the same size (in gallons) as mine, so let me take a stab at your question #3 and share what my recent costs have been. Keep in mind, my pool is properly maintained so the numbers below show what it takes to keep it that way. You indicated that you may have some work to do to get your pool in shape, so your costs may be higher initially, but will come down once you have the pool where you want it to be.
    • I use bleach exclusively for chlorination and am averaging about $36/month. I purchase 6% Clorox that comes in a package of three 182oz jugs from warehouse clubs. I have not had a need to shock based on frequent Overnight Chlorine Loss Testing (OCLT) - refer to Pool School for more info on OCLT.

    • I run my pump an average of 5 hours per day. The electrical plate says it uses 1,840 watts, which is 1.84 kilowatts. My current cost of electricity is 8 cents per kilowatt/hr, so this works out to 74 cents per day or about $22 per month, figured as 1.84 kilowatts*.08 per kilowatt/hr * 5 hours * 30 days = ~$22/mo. To get a more accurate estimate of what your costs would be, plug in the wattage of your pump motor(s) and divide by 1,000 to get kilowatts, your electric rate per kilowatt hour, and an estimate of how many hours per day you plan to run the pump.

    • Add another $7-8 per month for Muriatic Acid (MA) during the warmer months to keep pH in check. My pool's pH tends to rise due to waterfall from spa into pool.

    Based on other posts, I seem to run my pump less than most. However, it works for me as the water is crystal clear and I can tell that the main drain (10 ft below the surface) is held in place by Phillips-head screws. I am also fanatical about removing any debris (leaves, etc.) from the pool and keeping the skimmers & pump screens clean. Each pool/situation is different and you will need to experiment with what works best for you. I started by running the pump for 12 hours and gradually cut back until I noticed a degradation in water clarity. In my case, there was virtually no difference, but again I skim/vac/brush the pool more frequently than most. I settled on 4-5 hours since that turns the water over once.

    Hope this helps!
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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