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Thread: New pool owner with questions

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    New pool owner with questions

    Hello all..
    I stumbled upon this website and so far it looks like there is tons of good information here. My wife and I just bought a new home with a pool in Houston and we are very exited about the upcoming swimming season. We always dreamed of having a home with a pool, but never thought it possible. Finnally it has happened!! The current home owner has done a VERY nice job landscaping and maintaining the pool. While I was there looking at the property the pool guy was actually there cleaning the pool. He told me that this was one of his best kept pools and that the owner has put a lot of work into the landscaping and that everything was it great shape. Anyway on with the questions..

    1) Should I keep the pool guy? He takes care of all the mainenance to the pool and pump and comes every Thrusday for $30 bucks a week and he seemed like a nice legit guy. Is it worth this price or should I do it myself? I do enjoy working outdoors in the yard and would expect the same out of working with the pool. Is a pool difficult to keep? I have been looking at the BBB method and I am thinking that is the way to go.

    2) What type of impact to the electric bill should I expect to see? Since I have never owned a pool and I do try to live on a budget this would be helpful to know what to expect going into this. Do you know of any energy saving tips that you can share when it comes to pool care?

    Again thanks for any help you can offer.

    PS where is the spell check?

    JB

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    JB,

    Welcome to TFP!

    As for keeping your pool guy, that is of course up to you, but you can easily maintain your pool for less than 5 minutes a day and at a cost that is much, much lower, probably around $10-40 per month in chemical (mostly chlorine) costs, depending on pool size. My own 16,000 gallon pool (shown here and here) costs around $17 per month in chlorinating liquid and a small amount of acid, but I have a mostly opaque electric safety cover that keeps daily chlorine usage relatively low at just under 1 ppm FC per day (the pool is used 1-2 hours every weekday and longer on weekends -- of course, not this time of year).

    As for your electric bill, that depends on the size of your pool, the diameter and length of your plumbing, the size of your pump, and your electricity rates. My electricity rates are high at around 32 cents per kilowatt-hour and my pump costs used to be around $1400 per year, but I replaced a fixed speed pool pump and a booster pump for the cleaner with a single variable-speed (actually variable-flow -- IntelliFlo VF) pump and now only spend around $700 per year in electricity for the pool pump. Note, however, that I have a solar system and long pipe runs and that makes a huge difference in costs. Without solar, my annual electricity costs for the pool pump would be more like $230 per year. Of course, without solar, the gas heating costs would be way too high (we keep the pool at 88F since it is used as a therapy pool and we both like it warm anyway).

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    I'd keep the pool guy for a while until you've read this site a while, gotten your test kit and become familiar with your equipment.

    My electric costs are minimal. We pay 12 cents per kWh and my bill has gone up about $30 per month, but I only run the pump 4 hrs a day.

    The best energy saving tip I can give is to optimize your pump run time. Too many people run their pumps 12, or 8 hours a day and don't need to. Figure your pool gallons and pump flow rate and then calculate your turnover time. It is recommended that you have at least one turnover per day.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    welcome to the site... we had our pool built this past summer...I kept the pool guy for 2 months to make sure pool water was stable, etc,,,was paying about 100 bucks a month (only for chemicals, hard to realize what chemicals he was using when you know nothing about pools)...Then, I decided to take over, thanks to TFP I only spend about 15-20 bucks a month on MA (I have a SWCG and the plaster is still curing, so PH tends to run up quickly)...I ran the pump 6 hours /day during summer, electric bill went up about 100-150 dollars higher than before. Nowadays I only run the pump 3 hrs /day with little to zero chlorine generation (pools has zero load and TC is still 4-6) and this should be the case until spring and the higher temps come around again.. I test the water myself, and every so often take a sample to the pool store (watch out, they always have something to sell to you, but I figured I can spend 50 dollars a month on pools goods, save 50 (vs pool guy) and keep the PS in business (or at least do my part).

    At first you will probably be affected by new-pool-owneritis (constant monitor of the water, color, clarity), but this is not a bad thing..as time goes by, you get a good feel as to what the pool should look like and the steps to tackle any deviations in chemistry.

    Just relax, read on and enjoy the ride !!!

    serge
    Inground with 7x7 spa (spillover)
    20k gal plaster (sunstone)
    pentair 3/4 hp (filter), 1 hp (spa), 1/2 hp (features)
    cartridge filter
    SWCG IC-40
    Polaris Platinum (with booster)

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by serge
    I test the water myself, and every so often take a sample to the pool store (watch out, they always have something to sell to you, but I figured I can spend 50 dollars a month on pools goods, save 50 (vs pool guy) and keep the PS in business (or at least do my part).
    JB, Welcome. In addition to the good info provided by chem geek and ibourne, and even if you keep your pool guy around, consider buying a good test kit so you can acquire knowledge of your pool. Serge splits the difference by doing both self-testing and pool store sampling, but heed his caution regarding motivated pool store owners/employees. Some of them would sell you a bag of bricks if they thought you'd buy it!

    I don't think there's anything wrong with taking a water sample to the pool store once in a while for evaluation; but the results will vary from your own (presumably careful) testing... and depend on the type of testing conducted by the store and other variables. I don't listen very carefully when my local Leslie's owner tells me I should use Chlor-brite instead of liquid chlorine so, "you don't damage the pipes." He means well, but thanks in part to this forum, I knows better.

    Ps thars no spellr chekn' en thes board. Sory. hafta use Word er sumthen else.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
    __
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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by lborne
    I'd keep the pool guy for a while until you've read this site a while, gotten your test kit and become familiar with your equipment.

    My electric costs are minimal. We pay 12 cents per kWh and my bill has gone up about $30 per month, but I only run the pump 4 hrs a day.

    The best energy saving tip I can give is to optimize your pump run time. Too many people run their pumps 12, or 8 hours a day and don't need to. Figure your pool gallons and pump flow rate and then calculate your turnover time. It is recommended that you have at least one turnover per day.
    I second this. I run our pump for 2 hrs and our electricity costs have gone up $10.00 or so. When we are entertaining I run all the water features. We turn the Intellibrite LED every nite and enjoy the light show during happy hr, either from the Dolphin Bar and Grill area or from the Flamingo Lounge.

    Once you learn to optimize your chemicals and electricity, total costs should be about a couple cases of beer per month. ENJOY
    5,775 gal, IG free form, Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish, 2 swim out benches, Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues, StaRite Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter replaced with Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15, Polaris 360, Pentair 300w Light upgraded to Pentair IntelliBrite (OMG what a huge difference) , Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers, solar cover, TF-100 test kit, Pentair Deck Jet, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer (Makes testing a breeze), Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Margarita Concoction Machine,
    Pics of our Spool ( Social Pool) being built Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Brentr
    We turn the Intellibrite LED every nite and enjoy the light show during happy hr, either from the Dolphin Bar and Grill area or from the Flamingo Lounge.
    I love that you've actually named the pool's adjoining rooms!
    BTW, have I posted any pictures of my media room?.... er, I mean, the Natomas Pantages Theatre Complex.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Serge splits the difference by doing both self-testing and pool store sampling, but heed his caution regarding motivated pool store owners/employees. Some of them would sell you a bag of bricks if they thought you'd buy it!
    Hey, didn't you know, bricks are the new sphagnum moss! Brick filters will be all the new rage next year, just you watch!
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Quote Originally Posted by Brentr
    We turn the Intellibrite LED every nite and enjoy the light show during happy hr, either from the Dolphin Bar and Grill area or from the Flamingo Lounge.
    I love that you've actually named the pool's adjoining rooms!
    BTW, have I posted any pictures of my media room?.... er, I mean, the Natomas Pantages Theatre Complex.
    The wife is into naming everything She even names the turkeys we cook every thanksgiving Have you seen the Dolphin Bar and Grill sign that was made for us??? We have another one being made for the Flamingo Lounge What can I say, you know that the women are always in charge and our job as men are to make them happy
    5,775 gal, IG free form, Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish, 2 swim out benches, Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues, StaRite Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter replaced with Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15, Polaris 360, Pentair 300w Light upgraded to Pentair IntelliBrite (OMG what a huge difference) , Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers, solar cover, TF-100 test kit, Pentair Deck Jet, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer (Makes testing a breeze), Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Margarita Concoction Machine,
    Pics of our Spool ( Social Pool) being built Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Ps thars no spellr chekn' en thes board. Sory. hafta use Word er sumthen else.
    Actually, all of the misspelled words have a red dotted underline when posting or editing a reply. [EDIT] This is apparently a feature of Firefox that I am using for my web browser. Not all web browsers have such a feature. [END-EDIT]
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Ps thars no spellr chekn' en thes board. Sory. hafta use Word er sumthen else.
    Actually, all of the misspelled words have a red dotted underline when posting or editing a reply.
    Richard, I wonder what I'm doing wrong... I don't see any red dotted underline. When does this occur (in preview, Post a reply edit box... somewhere else?) I've got all of the options turned on except for Flash. - Greg
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    If you use Firefox, under Edit and Preferences is the spell checker.

    Scott
    PoolGuyNJ

    PS I am using Ice Weasle, Debian Linux's version of Firefox.
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Thank you all for the help. I am sure this is one of what will soon be many questions.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: New pool owner with questions

    My advice would be to maybe keep him on an every-other-week basis, or even once a month, so that while you're learning your own maintenance techniques the pool doesn't get out of control - not trying to underestimate you or anything, I promise! Also, it's nice to lock him into the rate he mentioned rather than risking "firing" him and having to pay more at a later date.

    Best of luck to you, I'm sure you will love everything about your pool!!
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    CJ,

    What part of houston are you in? I will tell you this, I moved into a home with a pool for the first time. I asked questions here and there on this board. Read up on pool school which is here as well. I had someone come out and show me how to use all my equipment and I was set. I never had a pool boy myself and my pool was green in the beginning and now is clear as day. So hopefully that will help you out. Also on your electric cost, I used to run my pool pump 24/7 while I was getting my pool together. It did not seem to make my light bill outrageous, as it was cheaper than when I was in an apt.

    Here is my thread as to when I was getting help and getting my pool to where it is now. It is 11 pages, so it is a long read, but has a lot of information in it.

    just-getting-started-and-need-help-t17741.html

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    we are in copperfield. the thing is I know nothing about the pump system, that is the part I am most hesitant about. I have a big fancy test kit and with the help of this site I think I can keep a handle on the water...

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    If the labels on the equipment are legible post the information here and someone will be able to tell you more about it. If the labels are difficult to read then take pictures of the equipment and post them here and someone may be able to identify it for you. If you can post label info and pictures that would be fantastic!
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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