Many people told me that they would enjoy having a pool in their backyard. However, many are also under the impression that is a lot of work and very expensive to maintain. I’ve had a pool for 28 years, and I think it’s really quite simple and not very expensive.
First of all to keep it clean, you need to vacuum. Now you can put a vacuum head on a pole, and have the hose that goes into the skimmer, and manually push the vacuum head over every inch of the bottom of the pool. Or you can spend a few dollars and get an automatic vacuum. Your automatic vacuum simply plugs into the same skimmer port, and it will automatically clean the pool for you wandering around at random. But it works.
Next you need to understand the chemicals. The chemicals that I use are basically something to raise the ph and something to increase the chlorine. Let’s talk about the pH first. Pool stores sell a chemical, usually in buckets, that’s labeled pH increaser or something along those lines. Or you can go to Warehouse clubs and get big bags of baking soda. They’re both the exact same thing. And buying at a warehouse club is considerably cheaper. When I open the the pool, I pour in two bags of the baking soda.
Now let’s talk about the chlorine. There’s a few ways to get chlorine into a pool. You can have a little device that floats around on top of the pool, and insert chlorine tabs into it. What I find is a better way, is I install a automatic chlorinator. I simply add a few tabs to the chlorinator each week, and as the filter is running, it’ll automatically add chlorine into the pool. However, sometimes you’ll need a little more chlorine than that. In which case it is time to shock the pool. By shocking the pool, you’re adding a lot of chlorine to the pool at one time. You can shock the pool by adding liquid chlorine, which is simply bleach. Or the way that I do, is powdered chlorine. You can buy the powder chlorine in two pound bags, or you can buy a big bucket of about 50 lb. I find it less expensive to buy the big bucket, and I rarely run out. I take the shock and I add it to a bucket of water. I give it a good stir and let it set. After a few minutes I’ll give it another stir and check and see if I can see any undissolved chlorine. When I cannot see particles in chlorine anymore, it’s time to throw it into the pool.
So how do you know whether or not you actually need to add either those two chemicals? Simply purchase a test kit. I prefer the pH testing strips where you just dip a strip into the pool, and the little pads on the Strip will turn to the appropriate colors. They match them up against the colors on the bottle of strips come in and it will tell you if you need to add any kind of chems. You do the same thing with a slightly different thing where you add a few drops of a chemical to the water and see what color turns. Again, I like the test strips.
Bottom line I spend usually less than $200 per year on all of my chemicals. Considering I use the pool everyday for about 5 months, it’s well worth it.