Drowning In Pool Expense!!

POOLS!!  I DO NOT like the cost and upkeep on a pool.  We decided this year, because we were going to put the house on the market, we would look into having our pool professionally cleaned and opened.  I called around to several places for estimates.  The least expensive was $550 for a complete drain, clean, refill up to $1900.  We decided we would, once again, clean the pool ourselves.  Now, for many, $550 is not a lot of money, but it was more than we had “worked into” our pool budget, and that doesn’t include the cost of maintenance.

Before I go any further, if you are a person who squeals at alternative methods or substitutes, then you may not want to read any further.  If you want to know how we are saving several hundred dollars this year on cleaning and maintaining our pool, read on!!

We did a little research about the chemicals in the products we buy for the pool and how we could get the same chemicals in a more pure form or a more inexpensive form.  Turns out, cyberspace is just flowing with this information.  Here is what we found:

1. Being raised in a farming community, a long-time farmer told me a few years ago that I could buy Copper Sulfate at my local farm supply store and he used it in his pool.  Copper Sulfate is the chemical that is found in pool algaecide.  At a discount pool supply online, a quart bottle with 7.1% copper costs $15.99.  If you possibly would need a lifetime supply of copper, you can buy a 15 lb. container of copper sulfate crystals for about $80 at your local farm supply.  Now, you may be thinking, “That is way more expensive!” Look at this:  The 15 lbs. you buy at your farm supply is 98.8% pure.  So 1 lb. mixed with 5 gallons of water would be about 20%.  1 lb would cost $5.33.  So you get 20 one quart bottles for $5.33 (plus tax, of course).  Now, we didn’t need that much copper and because we have a low pool maintenance budget, we searched online and found one pound of 25% for a little less than $10 by the time we paid shipping.  I only used about 1/2 lb. in our pool that is approx. 40,000 gallons.  When I took our water sample into the pool supply store for analysis, my copper level was perfect!!  It usually takes us 2-3 quarts to get our pool clear for warm weather.  If we went with 2 quarts, that would be $32.  I used $5 of what we bought to get the levels I needed.  This was a savings of $27

2.  The chemical in the alkaline up is baking soda!!  That’s right, just plain ‘ole baking soda!  A 2 lb. container of 100% Sodium Bicarbonate at the discount pool supply is $8.  At your local Dollar Store, you can buy 2 lbs. for $1 and it is 100% Sodium Bicarbonate! Our levels in our chemical test show us we need 12 lbs. to bring the levels where they need to be.  That is a savings of $42 on this chemical, alone!!

3. The chemical in Shock is sodium hypochlorite.  Shock has 12.5%.  Your local store brand of laundry bleach has 8.25%.  We did find that you shouldn’t buy the scented and if it says “ultra”, it often has other products added.  You want to find the store brand that has 8.25%.  The liquid shock in a  gallon jug for $13 online and is 10%.  Most of the time, one of the local stores will have store brand bleach on sale for $1.50 a gallon (or less).  We needed about 3 gallons of 10%.  If we buy 4 gallons of the store brand bleach, the cost is about $6.  3 gallons of the pool supply brand is $39, at a savings of $33.  If I am not mistaken, one bag of shock is about the same effect as one gallon of liquid shock.  If that is the case, we needed 6 lbs of shock to bring chlorine levels up.  If we had to have 6 gallons of liquid shock, the savings would be even greater by using household bleach at 8.25%.

These are the first three we have found, but have already seen a difference in how much $102 savings just in getting the water ready for swimming!  To maintain will be much less.  If often costs us almost $300 to get our pool clean and ready.  I will post pictures of the outcome, along with analysis report, as soon as I get them!!

If you have other alternatives, please let us know!!  Happy Swimming!


This entry was posted in frugal projects, our yard/garden, Pool maintenance, Summer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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