Can You Save Even on Cleaning Your Pool?

by Guest Contributor · 3 comments

Owning a pool is quite an expense, so cutting costs just makes sense. There are a few things that the average pool owner can do to reduce the expense of pool cleaning.

Maintenance is Critical

Water should be tested on a regular schedule. If the pool is used frequently, daily testing is advisable. By keeping the waters PH properly balanced, you reduce the need to “shock” it, thus decreasing your expenses. Small variations are easier for the system to absorb, so get it adjusted before it becomes a huge job.

If your filter is disposable, maintain a regular schedule for replacement. As with other maintenance tasks, staying on top of this one will keep the water cleaner and the pool in better shape.

Buying Chemicals

It is pretty rare for any pool to need “top-of-the-line” supplies. Salt is salt and chlorine tablets are chlorine tablets, so get what you can afford. While lower priced chemicals may require a bit more monitoring, they all do the same thing.

No matter what you buy, spend some time online finding the best prices. Comparison shopping will go a long way towards getting you a great price. Getting supplies at end-of-season sales is another great option if you have the room to store your purchases for the next several months in a safe place.

In Pool Cleaners

There is no denying the thrill of watching a little “robot” churn around in your pool cleaning the dirt and grime. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. You can find automatic cleaners that run $200 and those that do the same job for $1000.

Purchase the unit that is designed for a pool the size of the one you own. Keep your cleaner maintained, just like you do your pool, and don’t run it more than necessary.

Buy in Bulk

If you and a few friends own similar pools, blend your orders of supplies together. Just like in other situations, purchasing a greater quantity may pay off. Getting a large bucket of chlorine tablets is definitely cheaper than purchasing a few tablets each time you need them. Store supplies safely if you do this.

Look for Closeouts

Pool stores go out of business more often than you think. Keep an eye out for closeout sales and deep discounts. A pool store often changes to a ski store in the fall and wants to eliminate its stock to make room for new merchandise. Be prepared to snatch up supplies when they go on sale.

Pool cleaning is an undeniable expense and hassle. Just because you have a pool, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up your fun to accommodate a shrinking budget. Find less expensive options, do more of the work alone, and enjoy your dips more than ever before.

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  • Erik says:

    If finances and circumstances allow it, and you have installed (or plan to install) a regular rectangular in-ground pool, consider also installing an automatic pool cover to keep rain, leaves, insects, bird droppings, ashes, pollen, soil and other debris out of the water when the pool is not in use. Over the years our pool cover (which cost us about $5000 a decade ago) must have saved us thousands of dollars and many, many hours of extra maintenance work:

    – Less labor expended on leaf skimming and vacuuming (can add up to tens or even 100s of hours per swimming season). Cost savings here could be very significant if you employ someone to clean your pool.
    – Less water needed to top up losses due to evaporation, especially in low-humidity areas like Arizona (and hence a lower water bill)
    – Less chemicals needed to counteract organic pollutants; less breakdown of chemicals due to UV action
    – Less UV damage to vinyl liners, hence longer liner life
    – Minimizes heat loss from evaporation, and thereby extends the swimming season further into the fall (and/or enables the pool to be opened earlier in the spring)
    – Less chance of debris clogging skimmer lines
    – Less risk of damage to vinyl liner from wildlife falling into the pool and struggling to get out.

    There are other benefits too:

    – Increased safety around the pool when it is not in use: children or pets cannot fall in — particularly useful if you do not have, or do not want, a fence around the pool.
    – Rainwater can be pumped off and used to irrigate dry areas of the garden via a hose and a basic stationary spot sprinkler.

  • Erik says:

    Read the ingredient labels on the pool chemical bottles in your local pool store, or on the bottles you have already bought. You will find that the ingredients in some products are extremely common chemicals which are found in other products that can be bought for far, far less. (Use the internet to research the chemicals and their applications, and also to compare prices.)

    For instance, ammonium sulfate costs me four times less per pound when I buy it as a soil acidifier from a garden store than if I buy it as a water clarifier at the pool store, yet the product is identical in composition. Purpose-formulated sand filter cleaner is very expensive, but instead you can buy 1-gallon containers of muriatic acid (a.k.a. hydrochloric acid) from a DIY store like Lowes or Home Depot for less than $10, or circa 15% of the cost of the functionally equivalent product from a pool store.

    A general tip concerning lists of ingredients: if a product label gives only a very vague description of the composition of the contents (e.g. ‘surfactant’ on a bottle of a garden-store product that is supposed to help garden chemicals stick to leaves), the chances are that it is a generic product that can easily be substituted by something else for pennies on the dollar. In the surfactant example, dollar-store dishwashing liquid would be a perfectly good substitute. Again, do some basic research.

  • Alan says:

    Okay. I can be silent no more after reading this.

    Anyone who owns any kind of pool knows two things:

    1. Cost sink.
    2. The pool store is running a racket on supply recommendations. They will load you up with hundreds of dollars in chemicals on the counter and you’ll pay up because you have no idea what’s going on.

    Many pool owners are more than capable of taking care of the majority of maintenance tasks. Admittedly, getting into the game can be overwhelming at first but you have plenty of free expert help out there.

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