Chemicals Needed To Keep Your Swimming Pool Water Clean
Chemicals for starting up a pool can be really overwhelming! Especially if you are not a pool "expert". According to a technician at hth.com, you can start out fairly easily with the HTH Popup Pool Starter Kit, available at stores selling hth.com products. What you are getting in this kit consists of
- Stabilizer - 15 ounces, used once per season
- Shock N Swim Treatment - 16 oz, used once per week at 5 oz per time. So you get a little over 3 weeks use from this kit.
- Granules - 16 oz of 2 oz tablets, used one tablet per day. So you get 8 days use from this kit.
- Test Strips - 10 Strips
This means you will need to get more chemicals. Granules go for about $9/pound or a little over a dollar a day. Shock N Swim goes for about $13 for 2 pounds so you pay about $0.30 per day for this treatment. You will need to get a 50-pack of test strips, at about $10 or $0.20/day.
In summary, you will be spending about $50 per month on chemicals. One of the few places you can order the HTH Pool Chemicals Starter Kit online at discount is at ebay - see link below.
A note about chlorine tablets: Do not use the 10 ounce tablets in a 15' or smaller pool. Also do not use straight bleach. Doing either of these can destroy your pool liner in a season due to excessive chlorine levels! Use the 2 ounce granules as directed.
The Intex Saltwater Chlorine Generator Option
If you read through reviews of the the easy-set or other above ground pools, you will discover a common theme . . .. Get the salt water chlorinator! This system uses ordinary salt and generates chlorine automatically. We ended going this route as it would pay for itself in less than 2 seasons and be a lot simpler, saving you money on pool chemicals in the long run. See a complete list of pros and cons of the saltwater chlorine generator here. UPDATE: My 4 yr-old salt system is still running strong, and in fact this summer it was on auto-pilot most of the summer! One site visitor who had excessive iron in his water (turning laundry brown) said the salt system did not work so well. So if you have that kind of hard water (and no softener), this generator may not work well. Our water is hard and has a lot of calcium and some iron, but we have not had problems.
We followed the instructions provided for setup. Here is a summary:
- Connected all hoses as directed. Note that there is a small strip of tape holding on the o-rings as shown here. Make sure to remove this tape or your hose may leak! We were left with extra o-rings and hose clamps after all was set up. These were simply spare parts provided. You will need to temporarily plug the inlets and outlets to the pool as you connect the chlorine generator (to prevent loss of pool water) - our pool plugs were too big so I plugged the openings temporarily with other means. (a bunched up washcloth will work fine).
- After all connections are made, we ran the filter only to see that water is flowing from pool to filter, from filter to chlorine generator, and from chlorine generator back into the pool.
- Placed recommended amount of salt (pure NaCl = Sodium Chloride) around perimeter of pool (see pic). Use only pure sodium chloride salt designed for pools or water softeners. We got our salt from a hardware store nearby - we used water softener salt - it cost about $5 per 20 pounds and we used 100 pounds (recommended for our pool) for startup as recommended in the manual. Do not use road salt or iodized salt or any other salt containing compounds other than sodium chloride.
- We ran the filter only (not the chlorinator) for 24 hours. To help dissolve and mix the salt, used a clean kitchen broom to sweep the salt around in the bottom of the pool.
- After 24 hours, started the chlorinator according to directions. It is super-simple to program - see this short video clip showing how to program the salt chlorine generator. Just remember the sequence LEFT (beep), RIGHT (beep), RIGHT (repeatedly to set hours), LEFT (until it beeps), RIGHT (until it beeps) It will then automatically turn on daily for the recommended number of hours. Ours is set to run for 3 hours in the late evening after swimming hours - running at this time allows chlorine levels to drop a little by the next time - running the chlorine generator in the morning may result in too high of chlorine levels when you want to swim.
UPDATE: We are starting our 3rd year with our Salt-Chlorine generator and it still seems to be working fine! I again cleaned the plates at the end of the 2nd season, as shown at this salt-chorinator maintenance page, and the chlorinator worked as good as new at the start of the second season! And quite honestly we don't even bother testing the water very often anymore.
Where To Buy This Salt System Chlorinator
We bought our chlorine generator at Wal-mart for $199 as it was the only place we could get one immediately. We could have, however, bought this same generator at ebay for as little as $165. Our kids didn't want to wait for shipment though and our summers where we live are short enough as it is!
Remember Your Testing Strips!
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Whether you use chemicals or a salt system chlorinator, you should test the water every day or at least every other day with your testing strips. Make adjustments as needed or stop by a swimming pool supply shop for needed advice and chemicals.