Swimming pool maintenance


Hi there --
I'm considering buying a home with a swimming pool, but I'm concerned about the monthly cost of maintaining the pool.
Is it difficult to maintain a pool's chemical balance yourself? If you hire someone to maintain the pool, what is the amount you normally pay per month?
Any information about this will be appreciated.
Thanks --
FA
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In SoCal...
I paid (in 2005) ~$100 / month (the pool guy supplies all the chems)
if you develop a rhythm & keep a handle on the water chemistry its easy
add extra chlorine if it rains, a wind storm blows in a bunch of leaves or if the pool gets heavy use
cheers Bob
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I have a 15000 gallon in ground concrete pool in Florida (12 month operation). It costs me about $40 a month to keep the pump going and I figure about another $25-30 a month for chemicals averaged over the year. It is higher in summer, less in winter. Keeping things balanced is really pretty easy as soon as you get your routine established. I put 2 tabs in the floater once a week in the winter and 3 in the summer. I shock it once a week in the summer with 1.5 gallons of liquid chlorine in the summer and about a gallon in the winter. Occasionally if I see it clouding up a little I super shock it with 5 gallons. When the pool was new it was eating a half gallon of acid every week but that tapered off and now it seems to be getting along with minimal pH problems. (4 years old) In a liner pool I imagine you will have the opposite problem and be adding soda ash all the time. I don't really put anything else in there now. When I was using all the acid I needed some baking soda now and then to get the total alkalinity up above 100. That has calmed down too.
From what I see watching my neighbors, they have more problems with too many chemicals more than not enough. You don't need to use everything the pool store might try to sell you. I like my pool guy, since he doesn't push things on me I don't need (Curtis at the San Carlos Pinch a Penny, great guy and good pool man) Most of the time the pool is swapping water with the spa so the spa is basically free.
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Assuming it's a chlorine pool it's pretty easy. Go to a pool supply store and develop a relationship with them. Have them test your water for you and they will tell you what to do.
I have a Polaris which makes mine very easy to maintain. Hopefully yours will too. You need a pool vacuum at least.
Keep your chlorinator full and shock about once a week.
My pool is pretty small and I run the filter 12 hours a day. The cost to run isn't very much. I get away with about $200/year on chemicals. In the winter I turn it off and put the cover on. Water here is pretty expensive and that is probably my highest cost.
If you have problems post here. There is lots of advice here. Beware of supply guys. Some will sell you anything. I don't like to talk to the store owner. I think it's best to find someone who doesn't care as much about selling and just getting you what you need. You'll be able to tell.
I was nervous when I bought my house with a pool but it turned out okay.
Jim
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The cost isn't so bad--- but it takes time.

No-- but you need to keep at it. 15 minutes a day will save you spending a whole day/weekend, draining and refilling. I second the robo-vac suggestion.

Did you ask the homeowner all these questions? If they had a pool guy, talk to him. If not- ask where they got their supplies.
Jim
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wrote:

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for all of these fantastic, informative posts. I really appreciate your assistance and feel a lot more comfortable moving forward with getting a home with a pool.
Thanks again --
FA
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wrote:

It's just like a yard. You can keep it up week to week or let it go to hell, and then have big problems every few months, and an unusable space.
Steve
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