Direction Needed In Maintaining An Easy Set Above Ground Pool

by John
(Melbourne, Australia)

I have been watching your you tube videos and then came to this site as you recommended. The videos were well done and easy to follow. I have been reading through web sites and have spoken to our local hardware store (no knowledge available there unfortunately)and am finding it difficult to locate information specifically relating to easy-set above ground pools like the INTEX 3.05 meter x 76cm high walls pool set. It comes with a pump which you will see in the pictures.

This is my first pool to set up at home. It is only temporary and will be packed away once the weather becomes regularly too cold for the children to swim in. The issue here is what exactly do I need to maintain this pool for the two or maybe three months that it will be used.
A local pool store recommended I test only for PH and chlorine levels as the pool won't be up for long at all. I have a net which the children use to remove any large items and I clean the cartridge filter every two hours of running.

The pump is left on for around five hours. When cleaning the filter it is usually getting quite dirty. Dirt dust from the children's feet I suspect. Oh I use a chlorine tablet floater for chlorine distribution. No extra chlorine is added.
The water looks clear but there is a very slight dusty look to the water and the children cannot make out my fingers from more than 3 feet away under water.

I have been reading all sorts of things about algae building up on the pool lining and how I should shock the pool, get some CYA and use some sunscreen etc etc. My head spins with all the acronyms used as well. Wish there was a simple dummies guide to all this. The pool only cost $150.00!! :-) So sorry for my dribble there Robert but this is my confusion. Can you help me get my head on straight?? I just want the children to be able to enjoy safe clean water. I think it is at the moment. I hope.

Thanks for the question John. First is we need to remember that size doesn't matter (for pools). The same parameters that are set for a $150 pool are the same parameters for a $150,000 pool. The only differences are the measurements and the amount of chemicals that are added. You have a suction side (the skimmer), the filter, then the return side. All pools have this. And the chemical levels are all the same. Chlorine is 2 - 4ppm, pH 7.2 - 7.8, TA 80 - 120ppm, Hardness 150 - 250ppm, and CYA is 30 - 50ppm. You have a cartridge filter. Simply spray it out once per month or when needed.

The answer to the question, though, is very detailed and expansive. How do I take care of my pool? There are several kinds of chlorine but all of them fall into only 2 categories: stabilized
and unstabilized. Which one do I use and when? Why is one better than the other? What happens if I use too much? How do I shock the pool and when? What does "shock" mean? What will it do? What's the best product to raise the TA? The pH? Are they the same? What amounts do I use?

Taking care of a pool is easy when you have the right information and are willing to take the time to study the information. I would only spend about 20 - 30 minutes per week per pool on my pool route in Arizona. I'm not trying to scare you nor trying to sell you something. I don't sell products on my site. You can find many pool products in your grocery store such as bleach, 20 Mule Team Borax, and Arm & Hammer Washing and Baking Soda.

How would you learn about a pool? The first thing is to listen to someone who has proven himself. I know there's much information on the internet about pools, and many YouTube videos. People have a green pool and immediately type in "green pool". Ah, there's a video and that guy seems to have "cleared it up". But it more than likely is not balanced and will go green again within a month. Also, his pool is not mine. He's on city water and I'm on well water that has metals. He has a DE filter and I have a cartridge filter. His CYA is at 120ppm and mine is 0ppm. His pH is 6.8 and my pH is 8.8. Each pool and situation is different. What you need to do is become an expert at YOUR situation and YOUR pool. Many things are the same such as bleach is an excellent choice for sanitation, regardless of the size of the pool or where you live, be it America or Australia. Keep the pH between 7.2 - 7.8 and TA at 80 - 120ppm. The detailed answer would include what products to use, how much, when, how do you test it and how often, what's the best kit to use and why, how to use the kit, etc... That become very time prohibitive. My entire site and over 1200 answered questions are about that very subject.

I do offer detailed eBooks and personal consults to those who wish to have personalized assistance. I also follow with a summary of our conversation and a detailed email. I have SKYPE which is probably the best way to go being an international call would be expensive.

I will tell you that there are many people who will say "Oh just do this and that" and you'll be fine. The problem is when you do it and the pool turns green, then what? You're left with a green pool and then it'll take 3 times the amount of money to clear it up. What we're dealing with is chemistry and that can't be messed with. It's a constant and each pool is subject to the same chemistry ranges.


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