How to save tons of money on your swimming pool
Feeling like it would be better to drain the pool, fill it with dirt and lay grass over the money pit? You are not alone. I hear it all the time, "my pool pump is costing me a fortune in electricity!" or, "I just spent $300 on chemicals at the pool store this month..." Or, "Nobody told me owning a pool would be so expensive!"
So at least you are not alone. I've put together some tips that will save you a substantial amount of money on both your electric cost and your chemical costs.
Tip #1 & 2: RUN YOUR POOL PUMP AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE
I talk about running your pool just one cycle per day. You will need to know your pool size so here is a video on how to calculate it:
Calculate your pool volume (how many gallons): http://youtu.be/LArc7puehAk
You will also need to know your pump's flow rate. Here is a link to a cheat sheet listing most pool pumps by brand and hp and flow rate:
You also need to factor in Total Dynamic Head (TDH) - resistance to flow. Here is a good write up on it:
Once you know your pool size (gallons/liter of water), how many Gallons Per Minute (GPM) your pool pump pulls and the resistance to flow, you can get a pretty good idea of how long to run your pool pump to achieve one cycle. Not rocket science but it takes some calculating. You can shave off $20-$100 a month on your electric bill by doing this.
Know Your Flow: Here is the best flow meter on the market today. It is easy to install and with this flow meter, you will know the exact GPM going through your pool which translates into money savings.
I also have videos on installing the FlowVis in your pool and how to use the FlowVis to calculate how long to run your pool pump.
Tip #3: GET A TEST KIT AND TEST YOUR POOL WATER
Getting a good test kit will eliminate your need to run to the pool store each week to have it tested. If you go into a pool store you will buy something, generally something you don't need. Keeping your water balanced is essential to saving money on your pool.
Tip #4: USE THE BBB METHOD OF POOL CARE:
Using the BBB Method is a good way to save lots of money on chemical cost and to also avoid the expensive shocks and products found at your local pool store. For example a 1 lb bag of Cal-Hypo 73%
shock is not any stronger than one gallon of 8.75% Clorox Bleach. And it is at least $2.00 more in price. You will also find Alkalinity Up (it is just Baking Soda in a fancy bag) to be twice the price or more of just plain Baking Soda
Tip #5: CLEAN YOUR POOL EVERY WEEK
Sounds like a no brainer but you would be surprised. If your pool is full of dirt and leaves the chlorine will be
used up faster and that will cost you money. Removing organic debris each week is essential and this is often overlooked. Keeping your pump and skimmer basket clean and free of debris will allow your pool to run more efficiently thus increasing circulation.
Tip #6: INVEST IN A GOOD AUTOMATIC CLEANER
Time is money. So if you can save 20-30 minutes each week from cleaning your pool the initial cost of an automatic cleaner and future parts and repairs will be negligible. If you can spend that time working you can pay for that cleaner quickly. It is important to choose the right cleaner for your particular pool so I have put together a playlist featuring just about every automatic cleaner that is good and on the market today.
Tip #7: INSTALL A VARIABLE SPEED PUMP WHEN YOUR PUMP DIES
I don't recommend trashing your existing working pump but when the motor dies the pump starts to have
issues, replacing it with a Variable speed pump makes sense. Running at 1500 RPM will be about 200 Watts in electricity. For the average pool running it at that speed for 8-10 hours will give your pool one complete cycle. That is 2000 watts over that time period. About one hour of a standard single speed pump. Wow. So there is quite the savings on electricity cost for sure. The upfront cost is high but the savings are of course substantial.
Tip #8: DON'T USE YOUR POOL HEATER
Heating your pool for even one day can be costly. Heating it for a week expensive. Heating it for a month, insane. Since pool water temperature is always dropping, especially overnight, heating your pool is like throwing money away. If your having a pool party and want to bring the temp up from 75 to 82 that is fine. But to heat, your pool on a regular basis will cost you big time. Try it for a week and you will see... in my case I like to heat my pool maybe 5-6 days a month. My gas bill will go from $40 to $160 just for that small time period. It is pretty crazy.
Tip #9: MAINTAIN YOUR POOL YOURSELF
Pool service is a luxury and not a necessity. If you are on a tight budget then you can't hire a pool guy, gardener or housekeeper. Bummer. No pool service means you save $800-$1,200 a year, no gardener add another $800-$1,500 and no house cleaner $2,500. Life will suck but you will save several thousand dollars a year.
TIP #10: WATCH MY YOUTUBE VIDEOS:
I have over 350 videos and counting so it is a great resource to do it yourself and save even more money on your pool.
So if you follow these tips you can feed the kids again, maybe go out to a nice movie and dinner and drive by the pool store and shake your head in memory of all the money you lost.