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Thread: Best pool investment

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    Best pool investment

    So i have several things I would like to do to the pool this year, but will most likely be limited to one due to the budget. I would like the input of the community if possible on which one you think should be the top priority.

    The first item as stated in another thread is to drain, acid wash, and paint the pool. Based on cost of supplies and re-filling the pool the estimated cost is approximately $900. This would provide the greatest improvement in the apperance of the pool, but not much else as the only real issue with the pool is some staining.

    The second item would be to add a Robotic Pool Cleaner, I have 2 very large Birch trees which over hang the pool and contantly drop buds and leaves into the pool, so vacuuming and cleaning are a daily thing. Cost of decent Robotic Pool Cleaner is also approximately $900.

    The third item would be to convert to a SWG system. I have not done a lot of research on this except for the cost of the equipment and replacement cells. However by moving to a SWG I estimate I would save about $300 a year on chemicles (including $90 on a Nature 2 mineral cartridge). The estimated cost for this is once again around $900.


    A little bit about the pool, it is a 25,000 gal. Gunit pool with a water fall that can be turned off and on as wanted. When the pool is used it is used by a lot of people at one time, especially kids. However this is only about a dozen times during the summer. I use a 60 sqft DE filter, however I use FiberClear instead of DE. The pump is a new Pentair SuperFlo single speed 1 1/2 HP.


    So out of the three items which do you think would be the best to pursue first or would be the most benifical? Also as I enjoy day dreaming about all the great things I can do the house and pool so please feel free to add any suggestions as well.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    poolsupplysales's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool investment

    There are stain removers avalible to remove the stains in your pool so you will not have to paint. The average life of the salt cell is 3-5 years so the money you save on chlorine you will need to save to replace the salt cell in 3 years. A good cleaner will make the maintenance of your pool easier I would go with a good cleaner

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool investment

    There's a few other questions to answer to yourself.....

    1. How bad are the stains, and what caused them?? Do you have a link to the thread with some photos??

    2. How much does vacuuming the pool by hand bother you??

    3. Does work or any other responsibility take you away from from working on the pool on a daily basis? If your away from home for several days at a time, then a SWG is great. As the other post stated, a SWG will never really "pay for itself".....but it would make your life easier by having to worry less about daily chlorine additions. To me, this responsibility isn't a difficult one....but to others it can become an issue.

    4. Why are you using a "Nature 2" system?? They're a waste of money......quit it!

    My best suggestions to you would be to first read pool school. Even if you have read it....read it again. I read it at the start of every season now, as there's always something new I seem to learn. Plus it's free!! After that, and assuming you have a good test kit, I'd suggest answering the three questions above. Each has a few merits of their own....and none jumps out as a clear winner just yet to me.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool investment

    Painting the pool because of staining would be a poor investment. You'll need to repaint frequently to maintain a decent appearance. It would cost you money in the long run.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Re: Best pool investment

    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo
    There's a few other questions to answer to yourself.....

    1. How bad are the stains, and what caused them?? Do you have a link to the thread with some photos??

    2. How much does vacuuming the pool by hand bother you??

    3. Does work or any other responsibility take you away from from working on the pool on a daily basis? If your away from home for several days at a time, then a SWG is great. As the other post stated, a SWG will never really "pay for itself".....but it would make your life easier by having to worry less about daily chlorine additions. To me, this responsibility isn't a difficult one....but to others it can become an issue.

    4. Why are you using a "Nature 2" system?? They're a waste of money......quit it!

    My best suggestions to you would be to first read pool school. Even if you have read it....read it again. I read it at the start of every season now, as there's always something new I seem to learn. Plus it's free!! After that, and assuming you have a good test kit, I'd suggest answering the three questions above. Each has a few merits of their own....and none jumps out as a clear winner just yet to me.
    Wow very fast and great responses, thank you everyone.

    1. The stains were caused by a copper algaecide that came with a pool opening kit. One day after vacuuming and shocking the pool the power went out for 11 hours so the shock sat at the bottom of the pool and the next day there were dark stains where the shock settled. I have been unable to remove them since. No picture as the pool is currently closed and the safety cover is on. As I begin the stain removal process in April I will most certainly post here. However most of the stain removal items I have read so far include absorbic acid which is primarely for Iron, correct?

    As for the paint part, my understanding is that after an acid wash the plaster on the pool becomes rough which can be pretty tough on the feet, legs, and arms. So paint would smooth the surface and allow more enjoyment of the pool.

    2. Vacuuming the pool daily does not bother me. However i would like to be able to walk outside and jump in the pool without having to spend an hour or so cleaning the pool first.

    3. The main time consumer for me at this point in my life is my 2 year old son. We both enjoy playing when i first get home from work, pretty much until dinner. So I normally don't get to the pool until about 10:30 or so at night (after he goes to bed). But the primary goal of the SWG was to save money.

    4. As for the Nature 2 it came with the pool when i bought the house and my understanding is that is allows me to keep the chlorine level low in the pool which is better for the kids. But i agree that i would like to stop using it as for the last 2 years the cartridge busted open halfway through the season.

    Thank you again everyone and please feel free to continue with your thoughts and suggestions.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool investment

    1. I'll let a few others chime in on this one, as I don't have much knowledge on plaster pools. I know there's a few items to help remove copper stains, but can't speak for any of them.

    2. We maybe onto something here. A good vacuum (I like the robot ones) make life soooooo much easier. The pool I maintain also is surrounded by trees, and would require daily vacuuming. I'd HATE to do it by hand every day.

    3. If your home daily, and can spend 15minutes or so a day on the pool, then I'd pass on the SWG. It won't so much save money, but will save you time. If you can spend a few minutes daily testing the water, and adding chlorine manually then I'd pass on this choice as well.

    4. Read pool school......you'll see maintaining the pool isn't that difficult once you learn to use a handful of household chemicals. No "magic" items are needed to avoid using the dreaded chlorine.

    Quick question for you however......as I've been away from the board for a few months. You do have a good test kit correct??

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool investment

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco
    2. Vacuuming the pool daily does not bother me. However i would like to be able to walk outside and jump in the pool without having to spend an hour or so cleaning the pool first.
    Try the trick I learned this year - vacuum while you're in the pool. If ya have to vacuum, then you have to vacuum. But it's a lot less like work if you do it while you're in the pool.

    Cheers!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
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    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool investment

    Play with your son more - vac less. Adding bleach is 5 mins worth of work or buy a stenner pump and tank and have it do it for you. It won't save money - it will cost money - but it gives you reduced work and does not generate more work (rising pH) that the SWGC can depending on your situation.

    Robots are an option - suction side cleaners, boosterless pressure side cleaners - etc. Robots are high maintenance over time in general from what I hear but very energy efficient and very good at cleaning. Suction/pressure cleaners without booster are medium energy hogs - and they take a bit more setup time and tinkering than Robots.

    Tradeoffs...

    A good robot even reduces the need to brush...
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Best pool investment

    My personal vote would be for the robot. Mine has saved me many, many hours and it's kinda fun to watch. SWG will not really save money, you can buy lots of bleach for $900, the the SWG makes it so easy to maintain....just my $.02..Good luck!!!!
    16,000 IG, SWG, 175 sq. ft. cartridge, 1.5 hp pump, vinyl, Charlotte NC
    TF-100, Pool School, Pool-Calc

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    Re: Best pool investment

    The next obvious question would of course be 'which robot'? I can get 3 of the Costco Kleen-Machines ones for $900... and the Costco return policy is rather attractive compared to anything else I can think of.
    24k Gallon, Plastered in ground pool with attached spa
    Pentair 420 cartridge filter with 3HP variable speed Pentair 011018
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    Re: Best pool investment

    Again, just MHO. I have a 5 year old TigerShark. Does a very good job and easy to maintain/use. I like it as it operates independent of the pump system. Climbs walls and shelves very well.
    I'm sure many have lots of experience and opinions....just my experience.
    Again, Good Luck!!!
    16,000 IG, SWG, 175 sq. ft. cartridge, 1.5 hp pump, vinyl, Charlotte NC
    TF-100, Pool School, Pool-Calc

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    Hemess's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool investment

    I really wanted a robot. My pool builder put in a booster pump and I have a Polaris 260 or 280 cleaner. Not a robot. I am so glad that I ended up with what I have. I do not have to take it in and out to have a great looking pool, and it is programmed by me to run as often as I want. Just my two cents. I wanted the robot because it would cover every inch, but again, I am so happy with what I have.
    28,000 IG, gunite, IntelliChlor IC40 SWG with SPA,
    Intellichlor/VS Pentair
    Norman, OK

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