5 Common Pool Tips to Avoid
As you know, the internet has completely changed how people do things. Perhaps the most dramatic example of this is the rapid growth of the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement. After all, how many hundreds or thousands of dollars do we waste every year paying experts to do jobs that we could do ourselves? And while I'm certainly not recommending you rebuild your car's brake system from scratch, you should understand that there's probably a video out there showing you how.
But what happens when the advice these DIY experts offer is wrong? I mean, there's no one evaluating YouTube content to make sure users aren't giving bad advice. So, if you think about it, you're just as likely to come across bad information as good. And, boy, have we seen some bad information in our day.
In fact, we’ve constructed this article to highlight some of the worst pool “tips” we’ve come across on the internet. Whether they come to you from a YouTube "expert" or the guy at your local pool shop, you need to avoid following this advice at all costs.
Run the Pump Just a Few Hours a Day
No matter what anyone tells you, your pool pump should run at least eight hours every single day. Generally, eight hours is enough to filter all the water in your pool, and when you installed your pool and filter system, it should have been calibrated with this functionality in mind.
So, when some "expert" comes along and tells you that you can save money and electricity by only running your pump for half the time (or less), do NOT listen to them. Failing to cycle all the pool water through the filter every 24 hours is a surefire recipe for a green, algae-infected pool. Not only will it be slimy and gross, but if the infestation gets bad enough, it will also be unsafe for swimming.
Oh, and all that money you saved? You now need to spend that on shock treatments for your personal pond water.
Chlorine Tablets in the Pump Basket
It makes sense when you think about it. All the water in your pool will at some point pass through your pump, so why not just put the chlorine tablets in there to dissolve? Your skimmer or pump basket will keep the chlorine tablets in place, and there's no worrying about waiting for them to dissolve, right?
But here's the thing: your pump and filter don't run 24/7. And once they shut off, the water doesn't keep flowing. This means the dissolving tablets are just sitting in there, creating super acidic water. Then, when the pump does turn back on, this acidic water is passed right through your filter, where it can damage your gaskets, O-rings, and more. Chlorine tablets in the basket will also eat the basket up over time, literally dissolve it.
You could also get a floating chlorinator. These simply bob around the pool, dispersing a constant flow of chlorine. Some are even designed to flip over once they're empty! It couldn't be easier (or cheaper). If you're not happy about free-floating tablets, the better solution is to purchase a chlorinator. These devices are super easy to install and work with your pump and skimmer in a way that won't harm your pool.
These tips are for all swimming pools but since we focus on above ground pools
or vinyl liner pools I want to add a couple of things. Chlorine is much stronger than bleach and it's very important to dissolve any solid, powdered or granular chemicals before adding them to the water of a vinyl liner pool. Failing to do so will cause damage to the vinyl, usually in the form on a huge white spot on the floor of the pool. It can get worse and cause you to have no choice but to replace the pool liner. Definitely get at least a floating chlorinator.
Bigger Pumps = Less Run Time
The worst type of fake pool experts out there are the ones that try to sell you products that you don't need. One of the most common scams we see is the "if you get a bigger pump, you don't have to run it as often" trick. Though common sense might seem to indicate that this argument makes sense, it's actually a bunch of bunk.
You see, the pump size won't matter a bit if the plumbing and filter set up don't change along with it. In fact, in attempting to save you money by toting "lower run times," this advice will actually cost you a ton due to the increased energy needs of your larger, higher-horsepower pump.
To further make my point. You can only force so much water through a given size opening. Even if you increase the size of the pipe, the throat of the skimmer or the opening on the return jet remain the same size. You would have to add additional return fittings and main drains along with the larger pipe to increase the ability to properly use a larger pump. Besides, a 1.0 to 1.5hp pump is all most residential pools need.
You Can “Smell” a Clean Pool
This one is so bad that it's almost laughable, but I hear "experts" make this claim all the time. You see, the smell of your pool is indeed a good way to tell if something is wrong, but oppositely from how these people claim. Indeed, a healthy pool should not have a strong chemical smell at all, let alone "reek of clean."
You see, when smelling a local or pubic pool, what you're actually inhaling is chloramines. These are produced as the chlorine cleans the sweat, body oil, cosmetics, and – yes – urine of the hundreds of bathers a week who use the pool. If you smell a similar odor at home, it means your chlorine is working overtime, battling high levels of contaminants. This means you've put your pool environment in danger, and your chlorine is trying to keep up.
Do Your Research
Not everyone out there who's offering bad pool-related advice is necessarily trying to scam you, most are not. They might even mean well, but have access to bad or incorrect information. Either way, it's important to develop a sort of "radar" for tips that are likely to do more harm than good. As a rule of thumb, if it sounds too good to be true (or if you've never heard anyone else talk about it before), you'll want to do some additional research before you consider putting the advice to action. Trying finding literature from manufacturers or other pool authorities as your source.
Check out our blog for other information about above ground pools at https://www.poolsaboveground.com/