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Thread: how to get the most cost effective temps

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    Join Date
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    how to get the most cost effective temps

    Hi all,

    Just bought a house that has an in-ground pool. I can probably count on my fingers the number of times I've been swimming in my life, so I have no clue what to put in my signature here to help y'all out.

    I hope that I can work with our local pool store to balance the chemicals. I've poked around and it seems like vacuuming and maintenance should be simple enough. I'll check tomorrow to see whether the pool store is open to test chemicals for me.

    Here's what I know:
    Location - NW Georgia
    Average temps - (http://www.weather.com/weather/wxcli...ly/graph/30701)
    Pool - Inground, vinyl
    Filter - A big black bulb with a missing pressure gauge
    SWG - Jandy
    HP - How do I determine that? It has a AO Smith timer with up to 3 different timer settings
    Size - 18' wide by 36' long plus steps at the shallow end
    Depth - I'd guess 3' shallow end and 8' deep end
    Age - pool was dug in the 80s. SWG and pump are less than a year old. No information about the filter.

    I just took the cover off. Previous owners winterized it but left us no chemicals or anything.
    It looks remarkably clean.
    I poked around and played with the pool settings. I brushed the pool and a slight film or perhaps settled dust brushed clean. Then I ran the Creepy Crawly for 24hours. Cleaned out the basket at the filter.
    The water is maybe a little cloudy. The pattern of the vinyl in the deep end is a little less distinguishable than the shallow end, but I'm impressed. The water seems very clear otherwise.

    We have a large light blue blanket with bubbles on it like heavy duty bubble wrap. I'm assuming this is the solar cover? The cover measures 15' by 28' so it won't cover the whole pool.
    Just guessing based on observation that the pool gets about 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. Huge row of Georgia Pines to the east, a single maple tree to the south, and our two-story home to the west. Previous owners say the pool temperature is only decent from June through August.

    I'm frugal but will spend money of quality items. I don't think an electric/gas heater in Georgia would be worth it. I don't honestly think those little solar coil heaters could make a difference for this big of a pool with so few hours of direct light.
    Does the bubble cover make a difference for temps or is that only to prevent losing heat in the evenings? The cover is not on a reel if that makes a difference.

    Thanks for any feedback!
    26900 gal IG Vinyl (18'x36', 3' shallow end and 8' deep end plus steps)
    sand filter and 2.7hp variable speed timer
    Jandy Ei SWG (2yr old)

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    First step would be to test your water and post a set of test results. Secondly, replace that pressure gauge with a liquid filled. earch "liquid-filled" here on the forum and you'll find a good one for under $10.00.

    The solar cover mostly retains heat at night but it also prevents evaporative loss at all times.

    If you are looking for the best pool heater you can get and don't want to pay HUGE gas bills, take a look here on the forum of the many topics on solar heat.

    Solar heat really works for pools....I am not a big fan for other applications but it is ideal for a pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    Welcome to TFP!

    I'd start off by reading thorugh pool school (link in my sig) and investing in a quality test kit. Most here prefer the TF100, but the Taylor k-2006 will also do the job. While there may be exceptions, DO NOT rely on the pool store to balance your chemicals. It's one of the main reasons this board has 30K+ memebers. Most of us have at some point been "pool stored". Invest in a good kit and while you await it's arrival, study through pool school. That my recomendation to save money, frustration and time.

    As for heating, since you are in GA, I would wait to see how warm the pool gets this season and then if you still want addt'l heat, I would suggest solar panels, or if natural gas if accesible.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    Thanks, y'all.
    I ordered the recommended pressure gauge. Seems like a great price.
    I've read through the pool school a couple of times. I'm not sure that I understand it all yet, but it doesn't seem too complicated.
    The local pool store tests all the things that are requested for test results. Are their machines/results not accurate?
    26900 gal IG Vinyl (18'x36', 3' shallow end and 8' deep end plus steps)
    sand filter and 2.7hp variable speed timer
    Jandy Ei SWG (2yr old)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    Quote Originally Posted by keep-it-simple
    Thanks, y'all.
    I ordered the recommended pressure gauge. Seems like a great price.
    I've read through the pool school a couple of times. I'm not sure that I understand it all yet, but it doesn't seem too complicated.
    The local pool store tests all the things that are requested for test results. Are their machines/results not accurate?
    That would be an understatement.

    Remember, they are in business to sell chemicals. Getting pool-stored once will end up costing you more than a test kit. There's a bit of a learning curve, but within two weeks, you'll understand pool chemistry by testing and treating it yourself, and after that it's just a couple minutes every couple days. Less time overall than a drive to/from the pool store once a week.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    Quote Originally Posted by keep-it-simple
    Thanks, y'all.

    The local pool store tests all the things that are requested for test results. Are their machines/results not accurate?
    Depending on the pool store (all are in business to sell YOU stuff) thier test results may help the store to resupply the chemicals they sell the most or push the ones they don't.
    Not saying the pool store is not a good reference but testing it yourself with the TF-100 increases your personal knowledge and ability to maintain your pool.
    Read up on the BBB method and use the pool calculator and your pool will remain beautiful and trouble free.

    When I found this site and BBB, I asked my local pool store about it and they tried very hard to steer me towards thier products, referencing "local water conditions, etc." I still buy my muratic acid from them but my salt I got from the big box store for 1/4 the price. I compare my test results with theirs and always find thier results lean toward wanting me to buy this, that or the other thing. Never have they said "the waters balanced, keep it up" it's always buy this or that.
    I'm sticking with TFP and BBB.
    Ron- Kansas. IG fiberglass, Riviera 30 Freeform 13600 gallons,
    EasyTouch 4 w/IC20 SWCG, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp, 2 speed 220 pump, Hayward ProGrid 4820 DE filter using Eco Klean instead of DE, 2 Savi Melody 12v 5 color LEDs, Raypack 266k btu millivolt heater, Arctic Armour Mesh custom safety cover (Total self Install) TF-100 test kit w/Magic stir.

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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    Okay, thank you. I didn't consider that perspective.
    Our pool store doesn't stock/sell pool chemicals. They build pools and sell patio furniture, Big Green Egg, etc. They test water for free though. Previous owners said they tested water with pool store and then purchased online as needed.

    Thanks for the feedback!
    26900 gal IG Vinyl (18'x36', 3' shallow end and 8' deep end plus steps)
    sand filter and 2.7hp variable speed timer
    Jandy Ei SWG (2yr old)

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    Welcome to tfp, keep-it-simple

    I love your username That is what we try to do with pool chemistry on here.

    That is unusual for them to not sell chemicals, but that does not make their results reliable. You will benefit greatly from having you own timely and consistent results, and it is unlikely that you can get either from the store.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    Why run a sample down to a store when you can easily test and do it yourself, insteading of being told how to fix your problem you can develop the knowledge to fix it yourself.
    Pool school and a good drop based test kit is all you need, oh, and the pool calculator too.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
    Foam Cove, Taylor K-2006 kit, BBB method, 8'X20' Fafco Sunsaver Hard Plumb, DIY Fountain, Margarittaville Fiji


    My Build: one-man-one-pool-and-one-deck-agp-pics-t37172.html
    My Build 'To-Do' List for other DIY'ers: my-pool-build-list-t40249.html?hilit=list

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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    Thank you, all.

    Looking at the cost of solar heaters, I'm thinking I'll put that project on hold until next year. I'm trying to pay off my house this year, plus that gives me one swimming season to figure out the baseline for my pool.

    In reading here it seems the best way to use the bubble blanket is off during the day and on at night. What if we just left it on 24/7 until swim season? Does the time seem to make a big difference? What about coverage amount if I were to replace the blanket?
    26900 gal IG Vinyl (18'x36', 3' shallow end and 8' deep end plus steps)
    sand filter and 2.7hp variable speed timer
    Jandy Ei SWG (2yr old)

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    I can't comment too much about pool covers as I have an indoor pool, however I did want to point out a correctly sized solar cover should not cost all that much ($100-$200 depending on the quality). As to Solar heat for pools, it does work if you have a location with good southern exposure where you can mount solar panels, a rule of thumb for your region is you need panels totalling 50-60% of the size of your pool to extend your swim season to 7-8 months of the year, and 100% for 9-10 month, this is of course rule of thumb, and depends on how warm you want your water, amount of sun exposure, if your a morning or evening swimmer (since the pool will cool some overnight) etc. I am in the process of replacing an old set of solar panels that came down last year when I had the rood replaced with a new set, this is mostly a DIY project with some help of professional roofers, cost for (528 sq ft) 11 - 4x12 good quality panels is working out to be about $2,800, plus about another $250 in pipes and plumbing fittings will cover it, of course I already have an (optional) electronic solar controller valued at another $500, and will likely be upgrading pool pump at the same time as mine has a hairline crack in the housing .

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    Thanks, Ike. I came across a few of your posts in searching through this forum. I appreciate your feedback.
    26900 gal IG Vinyl (18'x36', 3' shallow end and 8' deep end plus steps)
    sand filter and 2.7hp variable speed timer
    Jandy Ei SWG (2yr old)

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    I just want to put in a plug for a solar covers in general. I don't have one anymore (I have an auto-cover now), but i had several over a 15 year period.

    I feel they are the single most cost effective piece of equipment you can buy.

    Saves lots of water. Without a cover, I used to lose almost an inch of water a week during the summer. With a (full) cover, no loss at all.
    Saves on chemicals. Without a cover your pool is inundated with lots of detritus that puts a heavy load on your sanitizer. Lighten the load and save some money.
    Saves on heating. The cooling effect of evaporation is tremendous. Keeping the cover on at night keeps the heat in.
    Saves the end of the season. Not a lot, but it will extend your pool season slightly by holding the heat in longer.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: how to get the most cost effective temps

    To answer your question about how long to keep the cover on, I keep ours on most of the time, day and night. If I notice the combined chlorine rising to .5 ppm then I will remove the cover during the day and the combined chlorine will usually drop right back to 0. Just a warning on the solar covers, you most likely will only get around 2 seasons of use out of the cover before it starts breaking down. Most people stick with the thin, cheaper, and lighter covers for this reason.

    The best investment money wise you can make for your pool right now is in one of the recommended test kits.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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