Swimming Pool Blog
by Rob Cox, June 12, 2011
How to Save Money around the Swimming Pool
Lots of ways to spend money around the pool, no doubt about it. There are also ways to economize around the pool, make better use of resources which also results in a smaller footprint or impact of owning a pool. That's a win-win-win!
Swimming pools can be expensive to maintain and operate. There are some shortcuts to reduce your pool maintenance expenses. Lowering pool ownership costs, and reducing these barriers to ownership is a big part of what we try to do at poolcenter.com.
We think that swimming pools should be affordable to maintain, and fortunately, they are! Here's some tips of reducing the cost of pool maintenance. If you have your own tips, please share below in the comment box!
Save Water around the pool:
- Avoid draining the pool of water, if at all possible, or drain and refill only a portion of the pool water.
- Cartridge filters, which are not backwashed, use less than 1/4 of the water needed to backwash a sand or DE pool filter.
- Use of a solar cover or liquid solar blanket or automatic pool covers greatly reduce evaporation loss, which can be as much as 1/4" per day.
Fix any leaks that occur in the skimmers, pool liner or around the filter pump.
Save Electricity around the pool:
- Run the filter pump as little as possible. Reduce until water becomes hazy, then increase filter run time by 4 hours per day.
- Keeping balanced water and proper filter operation can reduce the hours needed to run the pool pump.
- Install LED pool light bulbs, lifetime bulbs with colors and very low energy usage.
- Run pool cleaner booster pumps as little as possible. Most pools need only 2-4 hrs daily.
Save on Pool Chemicals:
- Pool covers, solar blankets and even wind blocks reduce evaporation of your pool chemicals.
- Chlorine should be "stabilized" with Cyanuric Acid. It's like sunblock for the chlorine molecule.
- Salt systems, chlorine generators reduce the amount of tablet production, transport, storage, use.
- Balanced pool water, and a lower pH will extend the efficacy of your chlorine, saving chlorine.
- Algae problems? Try a phosphate remover chemical to reduce chlorine demand.
- Shocking pool when chloramine levels are >.3ppm will increase your chlorine efficacy.
- DE powder can be rationed by "bumping" the filter 2-3 times before doing a full backwash. A bump is simply a short, 15 second backwash. Usually, this will lower the pressure for a few days to a few weeks, increasing the length of time between full backwash.
Save on Pool Heating Costs:
- Turn it down! Lowering your pool heater thermostat by just 1 degree, can save as much as 10% in fuel cost.
- Turn off the pool heater when you will not be using the pool for several days.
- Use of a solar blanket, automatic cover or liquid solar blanket dramatically reduces heat loss.
- Switch to solar pool heat (free) or consider a pool heat pump ($1 per day).
- Disconnecting the pressure switch wire is a slick way to prevent unauthorized pool heater use.
Save Costly Pool Repairs:
- If you have a salt chlorine generator, use a good cleaner on your salt cell regularly to extend the life.
- Keep your pump motor dry, cool and well ventilated.
- Keep a clean pool heater, use a winter pool heater cover and clean annually.
- Make prompt repairs to tile and coping grout, expansion joint caulking.
- Keep pool water balanced to avoid problems with your pool liner or plaster finish.
Winterize properly if you need to, and in all areas, be prepared to run the pump all night long when temperatures are forecast to be below 32 F. Water expands when it freezes!
What tips do you have to reduce chemical, electrical costs? Or saving on pool heating costs or the cost of tap water. How have you economized in recent years, finding ways to reduce the overall cost of pool ownership? Or for my dear readers in the pool industry, share your tips from some of the many pools maintained.