Pool Chlorine questions

After digging around in the newsgroups a bit it seems that this group has the highest ratio of pool questions so here it goes.
We've just set up a 16ft by 4ft above ground framed with liner pool and I'm working on getting a handle on how to properly maintain the chlorine levels. I was thinking about getting one of the chlorine 'floaters' to automatically dispense chlorine throughout the week but am wondering if it will work properly if we keep the cover on most of the time.
Can anyone give me an idea if these floaters work out ok at all or point me in the direction of something that does??
I'm trying to avoid daily having to remove the cover to add chlorine by hand especially if we have rain and would like something in the set it and almost forget it family, hence the chlorine 'floater'.
Having to take the cover off to add chlorine might be a moot point as my kids (ages 5,7 and 9) have vowed to swim EVERY DAY so it's possible that most of the time the cover will be off in the evening so I could add chlorine or whatever I need but I'd like to cover my bases if the pool is used but maybe not as much as projected.
Since this is my first pool I'm up to my eyeballs in 'facts' and 'information' that I have to sort through so any help would be appreciated.
Bill
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fred snipped-for-privacy@bigmailbox.net says...

They work fine, but measure your *free* chlorine level every day and adjust the number of tablets you put in the floater and perhaps adjust the chlorine with bleach after swimming. In hot weather you'll use more chlorine than cool. It takes a while to get used to the pool's needs.

Measure the chlorine in the skimmer (don't add chlorine to the skimmer). Use store-brand (the cheapest you can find) unscented bleach as shock. Give it a good whack once a week (maybe more in hot or rainy weather) at night after you last use the pool.

Sine this is your first pool, let me give you a hint: TOTAL ALKALINITY; keep it right and everything else pretty much drops in place. Get it out of whack and all sorts of strange things happen. I once had to add 3/4 gal. of muriadic acid to _raise_ the PH into its normal range (7.2 ideally).
--
Keith

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I learned this on my first new in ground pool -
Stabilizing the water is important. That is, the addition of cyanuric acid (pool stabilizer) to cut down on the amount of chlorine that is given off into the air. The stabilizer slows this down a lot.
Take a water sample to your pool store or Home Depot. They will tell you what is up with it, and try to sell you all sorts of things. The one thing they didn't try to sell me was stabilizer, as they wanted to sell me a lot of chlorine tablets over the time.
A stabilizer test kit is a good investment, and you only have to test it about once a year.
After you get the water stabilized, you can then test ph and all that other stuff and buy what you need as you need it. Since one thing usually works against the other, does it really make sense to buy all those things?
Start
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Bill wrote:

since the kids are in the pool every day, don't get a floater or anything that is inside the pool space.
the solution is an inline chlorine dispenser, hayward makes the easiest to DIY install. essentially it's a little container that sits on the supply side line, after your pool pump and after your filter. They make a couple models, mine is the type where I installed a couple elbows (1.5 inch) into the supply pvc line with a bypass line (to reduce backpressure) around the container. Once a month, I load the container full of the best quality (don't use cheap tablets!) chlorine tabs and they slowly dissolve there as the pump runs. Normally 12-16 tabs last one month. the hayward models cost about $80
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Depending on where you are and what kind of cover youre referring to, its likely you will be leaving the cover off most of the summer. One, its a nuisance and two, it will likely make your pool too warm. And most kids dont care if the waters a little cool to begin with.

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I'm in Pennsylvania and the cover is the standard one that came with the pool not a solar cover. The pool is under an oak tree canapy so I'm guessing I really should keep it covered whenever possible to help keep it clean. Since it is partially blocked from the sun part of the day I'm hoping it wont get too warm. Yes, my girls don't care much if its cool or even cold, but dad sure does. I got it up last Saturday and finished filling it Sunday morning, we went in that afternoon..... I think I was technically gender neutral for a hour or so...brrrrrrr...but they loved it :)
Bill
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My son had a pool for some years. He got an excellent book on the topic. I had a spa, and simply check the bromine level once a week, and adjusted the feed in the "floater" to give me the right level from week to week. If I had heavy use (grandchildren), I simply gave it a heavy shot of bromine. Not rocket science...
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