There's much more information over there and many answered questions about salt pools and salt cells.
I'm sot sure of the money exchange from U.S. to Australian currency, but for chemicals, you can expect to spend about $15 - $25 per month on chemicals.
Time cleaning the pool is dependent on the weather, but normally anywhere from 20 - 30 minutes per week. This includes sweeping, netting out any debris, taking and adding any needed chemicals. Obviously if you have a bad wind storm you're going to need to vacuum.
The chemical testing kit you'll want to get is the Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 kit.
How Much Liquid Chlorine Do I Use Just To Maintain My Pool
I have a 16,000 gallon in ground pool in CA. Recently, I have become one of your biggest fans. I was struggling to keep my pool from turning green all spring until we left on vacations do we came home to a swamp. We had the water tested and cya was off the charts. We drained the pool, refilled it, and I followed all your instructions on how to get all the chemicals back in order. Cya is now 30 ppm and my pool looks great, however I am scared to death of having the cya go back up again. I currently have tabs in the pool, but am wondering if I need to take them out and only use liquid chlorine to not affect the cya level. What is your opinion? And how much liquid chlorine do you use ona 16,000 gallon pool just for maintenance?
Thanks for the question Sarah and for the vote of confidence. Tabs contain trichlor and that is chlorine and CYA. For every 10ppm of FC added with tabs you increase the CYA 6ppm. It's a slow process of increasing the CYA but it depends on the amount of tabs you use. There are a couple of ways you can go. First is to not use any more tabs and maintain a CYA of 30 - 40ppm BUT you must be very diligent in taking your FC reading 2Xs per week and dosing your pool with liquid chlorine when it needs it. Your CYA will come down due to rain, splash out and topping off of the pool. Easy way to add some CYA is granular CYA from your pool store. Maybe 1 lb. or so will increase it back up to 30 - 40ppm. 2nd is to use tabs and test the CYA once per month. If it starts to climb up to 60 - 70ppm it'll be time for a partial drain and refill. CYA is one of those necessary evils.
Next is to remember that only under certain situations should you use any kind of granular chlorine. Liquid chlorine will do fine for weekly maintenance and super chlorinating of your pool. Now, for how much chlorine will you go through. That depends on some factors such as sun, heat, usage, splash out, large amounts of organic matter in the pool, etc... All of these will quickly eat up FC. Remember that your pool and your situation is not your neighbor's issues and situation. Yours is unique. But, everything being equal, I'd say you would use 1.5 - 2 gallons a week on average to maintain a FC level of 3 - 4ppm. Two gallons will superchlorinate your pool when you put it in all at once.
If you feel your situation is more complex than this, I do phone and/or SKYPE consultations. It makes things go much faster and many people have found it extremely beneficial, saving them time and money in the long run. All your questions will be answered. I have nothing to sell you so you know I'm not bias. If you purchase a personal phone consult you'll get all 3 eBooks for free.
Without knowing the size of the pool it would be difficult to give an estimate, but I will assume that the pool will be heated and used year round.
If the pool has a conventional pool heating system, shop around for a high efficiency pool heater. You can find high efficiency gas heating systems with steady state efficiencies as high as 97%. Electric heat pump pool heaters are also available with coefficients of performance (COPs) in the 6.0-8.0 range when your operate them in warm weather.
A COP of 6.0 is 600% more efficient than an electric resistance heater. If you give the salesman the pool size and the killowat per hour in VA. he could help out.
Also consider a solar swimming pool cover when you're not using the pool. This will decrease evaporation and chemical use.
Get a Taylor Reagent FAS-DPD K-2006 pool water test kit.
A few things about indoor pools that you need to know. Check for fresh air returns, exhaust, and dehumidification. Look for condensation everywhere in, on, and around the pool area.
Look for mold in every crack, crevice, and corner. Feel the walls. Do they feel dry or soft and mushy. A soft wall might have mold behind it.
Literally get down on the floor and sniff around for Clorox or other cleaners. This might be a cover-up for mold. Check up in the attic or area above the pool and the rooms adjacent to the pool. Look for condensation everywhere; under the insulation, on the wood or boards.
Do they feel dry or mushy? Is the ceiling or underneath the insulation wet? If they are wet you'll have a big problem with mold later on. If there's any metal in the pool area or attic, is it rusted?
All this could mean the air returns, exhaust, and/or dehumidification is not working. Find out why and what they're going to do to fix it.
Listen for any abnormal humming, grinding, etc... from the dehumidifier or exhaust system. Have them turn on the system and watch it work.
This is 3 years experience of being the pool operator (80,000 gallon indoor pool) at the YMCA and years of having a route of 50 residential and commercial pools in Arizona.
Hope this helps and good luck with your house and indoor swimming pool.