15 Money Saving Tips For Your Pool
Use these simple money-saving swimming pool tips and watch the dollars stay in your pocket while enjoying your pool.
1. Get A Variable Speed Pump (VSP)
Do you have a regular pool motor? When it dies, perhaps you can get a variable speed pool motor. Many regular pumps run at a constant 3000 RPM, or about 1800 watts. At low speeds, many VSP run at around 750 - 1500 RPM, which translates into about 100 - 300 watts.
Another benefit of variable speed pumps is they tend to last longer. The motor doesn't need to work as hard to do the same amount of work. It also may not over-heat and the bearings last a bit longer. You could see a yearly electrical savings of $100 - $400.
2. Use A Solar Cover
Want to swim 1 month earlier and 1 month later? Get a solar cover. Solar covers are a great way to keep the heat in your pool, among other things. Solar covers can:
- Trap the heat in the pool
- Be used with a pool heater for maximum benefit. This allows you to run the heater in shorter intervals saving TONS on your gas or electric bill.
- Conserve water by reducing evaporation by 30% - 50%. Remember, evaporation means more topping off of the water. More water means more money out of your pocket.
- Reduce the pool's chemical use by 35% - 50%. Just like above, more chemicals in the pool means less money in your pocket.
- Reduce cleaning time by keeping dirt and debris out of the pool, saving money and time.
A solar cover can also be cut to fit those unique shaped pools.
3. Use Your Pool Heater In Tandem With A Solar Cover
Do you want to save money on your pool heating? Use a solar cover with your pool heater. The cover acts similar to insulation in your home. The heater will heat the pool and the cover keeps the heat in. Using a pool heater will significantly raise your gas or electric bill. Keeping your pool at 82 degrees can cost you $100 - $500 depending on your local rates and personal use. Don't use your heater at night, as no one is using the pool.
4. Use Baking Soda To Raise Alkalinity
Baking soda is great to increase the alkalinity instead of using “TA Up”. Use 20 Mule Team Borax or Arm & Hammer Washing Soda to increase your pool's pH level instead of using “pH Up”. Savings can run between $50 - $100 per year or more, depending on your pool size, usage, full or partial sun, heat, etc. Keep your CYA between 30 - 50ppm to maximize the efficiency of your pool's chlorine which is 2 – 4ppm. Limit your time in the pool store and save money.
5. Maintain Your Own Pool
Taking care of a pool should be enjoyable. Getting out in the fresh air and a little sun is beneficial. A good pool guy might charge between $80 - $100 per month, depending on your pool size and usage. By taking care of your own pool, you can save $960 - $1200 per year. Having a pool service is great, but now that you understand how easy it can be to do it yourself, you can save that money for something else.
6. Get A Good Test Kit
Do you want a perfectly clear and balanced pool? I think everyone does. Owning a good test kit is where you need to start. You always want to invest in a good test kit. The one I've used since 1999 is the Taylor Reagent K-2006 pool water test kit. In my opinion it's the best on the market and will give you the most accurate chemical readings. Having accurate readings will allow you to make the right adjustments, use the right chemicals, at the right time, in the right amounts.
Doing this can save money on over-use and needlessly wasted chemicals.
7. Keep Debris Out Of Your Pool
No pool owner likes a dirty pool, so you need the right tools for the job. Those little blue skimmers are fine for light debris on the top of the water, but you should still have a good wide mouth deep pocket leaf rake in your arsenal. It makes removing debris from your pool much easier.
A good leaf rake makes getting leaves and other debris off the bottom of the pool much easier. You should also brush and vacuum when your pools needs it.
Remember that anything that goes into the pool uses up chlorine. By consistently removing as much debris as you can, you will be assured your pool won't be needing as much chlorine.
8. Remove Pool Toys When Not In Use
What’s more fun than having a bunch of pool toys while you swim? But anything that goes/falls into the pool will use up chlorine. This includes rafts, goggles, and dive sticks. Save money by removing toys after swimming. This allows your chlorine to kill bacteria instead of your boogey board.
9. Keep The Pump & Skimmer Basket Cleaned Out
An easy way for your pool's pump motor to wear out and overheat is to NOT clean the baskets. Clogged baskets will cause your pump motor to work harder. The pool filter can become compromised and the water will not be filtered properly. Leaves and debris get caught in the skimmer and pump baskets. That's what they are there for, but, baskets with leaves and debris will also use up the chlorine, increasing its demand.
By cleaning the basket out, the pool pump will be allowed to run more efficiently and at a maximum flow rate. The skimmer basket is the first line of defense for removing debris from your pool, so clean it once per week, or when your pool demands it. The pump pot basket catches leaves and debris as well, so check that every so often.
10. Get A Good Pool Cleaner
Would you like to have personal pool guy that never complains, is always on time, and does a great job? Get a good pool cleaner. Not only will a good cleaner cut down on physical cleaning time, but it will keep debris off the bottom of the pool. This is important because any debris that falls into the pool will use up chlorine. 30 minutes of manually vacuuming per week equals 26 hours per year. That's a lot of hours physically cleaning the pool.
11. Keep The Chlorine Cell Clean & Working
The absolute best way to ruin a perfectly good chlorine generator is to NOT clean it. Inspect your chlorine cell on a regular basis and keep it clean and free of calcium build-up. Scaling is the most common problem for a chlorine generator. This is due to the fact that salt and calcium deposits typically form on the chlorine cell plates. Undetected, it can cause problems. Scaling lessens the effectiveness and life span of the chlorine cell. This can lead to premature cell replacement. A new chlorine cell can start at $600.
12. Maintain The Correct Salt Level In Your Salt Pool
Most chlorine generators have a forgiving salinity range, normally between 2500 – 4500ppm. By keeping your salt pool’s salinity in this range, your chlorine cell will have enough salt to do the job. Too high or low salt level and the cell won’t work. Check your owner’s manual for specifications.
13. Run Your Pool Filter At Night Or Off-Peak Hours
Your pool pump can be one of the largest users of electricity. You have an excellent opportunity to save money and energy by running your pump motor at night or off-peak hours. Demand for electricity in the Winter is normally from 6:00 am - 10 :00 am and in the Summer from 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm. Some states may charge a higher fee for electricity during these hours. Check with your local power company to see if your area has on and off-peak hours of electrical operation.
14. Store Chemicals Away From Sun & Heat
Pool chemicals stored improperly can cause damage to you, your pool filter system, and home. Have a designated dark cool area to store your chemicals. Make sure they're away from children and pets.
Never store liquid chemicals over dry. If the liquid leaks onto the dry chemicals, it may cause an explosion, or at minimum, toxic fumes. Save money by making sure chlorine is stored in a dry covered place, well away from other chemicals.
15. Watch For Sales At Your Pool Store
Who doesn't like a sale and saving money? Especially on pool chemicals. Keep an eye on your local pool supply store for weekly and monthly sales. Many will run specials at the beginning of the Spring and Summer. You can buy the chemicals in larger quantities at the start of the season, such as chlorine, tabs, and calcium chloride.
Watch your grocery store for sales on soda ash (sodium carbonate) and baking soda. Generic brands work very well. They'll last for years.
Become A Money-Saving Pool Pro
If you utilize these money-saving swimming pool tips, you'll be well on your way to becoming a professional money saver, and have a perfect pool all swimming season.