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Inground Pool Help

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am totally clueless how to maintain the chemicals at our new house. Is it really crazy and expensive to get it at the pool place, vs ordering it online, or a store like Lowe's or Home Depot? We are having a service come and open the pool for the summer, and they claim that any and all chemicals from places such as Lowe's or online retailers are not as good as what they have. I kind of feel like this is not really true - chlorine is chlorine, right? The ones they sell are sooo expensive. Does anyone know?

TIA!!

Amy
post #2 of 13
I think they're BSing you. I have a pool and all I ever worry about is the salt ppm (we have a saline pool that makes its own chlorine), the pH, and the alkalinity. If you don't have a saline pool, you'll need to add chlorine, and the stuff from Lowe's or Home Depot is fine. If the pH, chlorine, and alkalinity are in line, it should be stable. And be sure to brush it at least once a week, and clean the filters and skimmer.

Those pool places always offer "free" water testing and they'll always tell you you have too much calcium and all sorts of other elements that only they can mysteriously measure. I think this is a load of BS to get you to buy more and more chemicals. Just my opinion.
post #3 of 13
Oh puh-lease yes they are FOS and BSing you. I wouldn't even bother buying pool chemicals online, I don't even want to think about the shipping costs. We used to buy our chlorine at Costco, the only bummer is they tend to only carry it in the summer, even down south where we live where people do not "close' the pool for the season.
post #4 of 13
Oh yeah, and I don't think you could ship most pool chemicals anyway, let alone buy online!
post #5 of 13
Yeah many of them would probably be considered hazerdous materials.
post #6 of 13
Okay, I'm going to have to disagree We've found that the more expensive stuff does work better and lasts longer. We bought chlorine pucks once at the Home Depot or whatever and they didn't even last 2 days, the pool store ones last us nearly a week. The algaecide from the pool store also worked waaaaay better and required less of it to work properly. We buy liquid chlorine in 20 L jugs at the pool store, which is pretty cheap (you bring your jug, they fill it). We use 10 L a week (to shock) and 20 L at opening and closing.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks - I thought as much. They do offer free testing, and the one time last year we did it before we closed the pool, they had us paying big bucks for all kinds of stuff, and they won't tell you how to use them, you have to schedule a $200 "pool orientation" appointment.

So how do you know its balanced then? I know how to manage the chlorine, but I don't get the other stuff. Alkinity and whatever - do you just add the various chemicals at regular intervals? At the end of the season last year I woke up one morning to find fuzzy algae all over it.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleCrisp View Post
Thanks - I thought as much. They do offer free testing, and the one time last year we did it before we closed the pool, they had us paying big bucks for all kinds of stuff, and they won't tell you how to use them, you have to schedule a $200 "pool orientation" appointment.

So how do you know its balanced then? I know how to manage the chlorine, but I don't get the other stuff. Alkinity and whatever - do you just add the various chemicals at regular intervals? At the end of the season last year I woke up one morning to find fuzzy algae all over it.
You can buy testing kits, they are pretty simple to use and understand.
post #9 of 13
A test kit costs 2 bucks. It has two seperate tests, one for chlorine and one for pH. Test everyday. If you are way off, bring a water sample to the pool place (alot of them do water analysis for free) and ask them what you should use to balance. My dh did it last year and they gave him a nice printout of everything with all the info he needed and he didn't even have to buy anything.
post #10 of 13
We always used Omni pool products. We tried the big box store stuff and had problems. We usually bought everything we needed for the year when we opened the pool. If we had the pool company do the opening, everything cost us about 5-700 bucks. We learned how to open and close the pool on our own and that saved a lot of money.

Its worth having the company show you how to open and close it. If you have a regualr winter cover that collects water on top of it, you'll need a small pump to get the water off. After that you just get the filter up and running and add chemicals, vacuum out the nasties. Closing is more involved. If you live in a cold winter climate you must blow the water out of the lines. I'm not sure but I think we used a shop vac to do this.
post #11 of 13
I've never heard of someone "opening" or "closing" their pool. What does that mean? Is that something you do in colder climates?
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBinTEX View Post
I've never heard of someone "opening" or "closing" their pool. What does that mean? Is that something you do in colder climates?
Yeah, we have to do that because the pipes can freeze if they have water in them and burst. Not good We blow out our lines with a shopvac and put in pool antifreeze, then some foam tubing stuff and plugs to keep it all in. The pool is drained below the lines.
post #13 of 13
ok I misunderstood, I thought you meant the pool service you were hiring was claiming they had some special access to products not available at a regular pool store. I've never bought at Home Depot or Lowes because the pool place is closer to our house or I already stocked up at Costco.
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