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Pool Blog Posts

We have a 24-foot round above ground pool. Every once in a while, I'll blog about our experiences on what works on keeping the pool in mint condition.

Pool Blog Posts

We have a 24-foot round above ground pool. Every once in a while, I'll blog about our experiences on what works on keeping the pool in mint condition.

July 25, 2021

Chlorine Tablets

This year there is a shortage of 3-inch chlorine tablets. Places around us only have small containers. They are limiting one container per customer. (I think the prices are a bit higher this year.)

Turns out the shortage is related to the Chlorine Plant that provided a large portion of the supply burned down in August 2020. Supply got worst early this year when the mainstream media started reporting on the shortage and people started stocking up.

We use the Hayward In-Line Chlorinator. We purchased it last year, and it survived being outside in the harsh New England winter. I think this Fall I'll move it to the basement just to protect it from the elements.

Hayward Chlorinator

Chlorine Tabs

I am able to fill eight tabs in the chlorinator container. I have found that that it lasts for 10-days when the setting is on high. I tested this a couple of times and can verify that it lasts 10-days when you fill the container up.

We have a 24-foot round pool that holds about 14,645 gallons.

The average pool season in Massachusetts is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In 2021 that's 98-days. That means that we'll be using roughly 72 choline tabs.

The pool is looking great this year. The only issue is that the water has been too cold to swim in.

January 17, 2021

Protecting the Pool Cover

The weather in January is very cold in New England. The last thing on people's minds is their pool.

January Pool Desktop
Pool cover being drained from a recent rain storm.
January Pool Mobile
Pool cover being drained from a recent rain storm.

It's important to keep up with the pool even on the coldest of days. In particular, it's a good idea to keep the cover as clear as possible.

A nice clean cover has lots of benefits:

Makes it easy to open the pool when there are no leaves that could fall in.

The cover will last more than one season. We have had difficulty with pool covers ripping because of the weight of water and ice.

Thinking About Summer

Anytime I am out in the backyard with the dogs, I am checking the pool cover. If there's water, and it's not frozen, I manually siphon the water off.

In February it may be difficult to keep up with the water on the pool cover as the weather is much cooler. But I am doing my best now.

October 11, 2020

Closing Pool 2020

This weekend we closed our above ground pool. Ya. We know it's late - we have been busy on the weekends.

The pool has not gotten much use since Labor Day weekend.

This year we did things differently- trying to make sure we have a good spring opening.

Pool Closing 2020

Five Things We Learned

Rakes the Pool - Just before closing the pool we did a final rake of the pool. We tried to get as much of the leaves out as we could.

Clorox Bleach - liquid shock is in short supply we went to BJs and purchased a three-pack of gallon size Clorox bleach. This should hold out for a few months. Clorox Bleach isn't as strong as Pool Shock - but it's a good alternative to get the job done.

New Cover - We usually purchase our cover at Ocean State Job Lot. This year we got ours from Swimlike. We selected a one-year cover because in the past we found the expensive 10-year covers don't last a whole season.

Winter Cover Saver - We are protecting the cover with a 'Saran wrap.' Basically, we took a roll of specially made wrap and wrapped the edges of the pool. We purchased a 500-foot roll and that allowed us to go around the pool 3 times. After wrapping the pool, we used the inner tube to flatten the wrap top.

New Pillow - We got a larger pillow. We got a 4.5 ft by 15 ft pillow. This is about twice as long as we get at Ocean State. The pillow took a long time to inflate. We think it will help reduce the number of areas where water piles up.

Not Done Yet - We still need to close out the skimmer basket and out spout. That's a project for another weekend. It was more important to get the cover on now before more leaves fall.

August 26, 2020

Pool Pump (Part 2)

Last week post I talked about some issues that we had encountered with the Pool pump, you can read up on the orginal story.

We ended up buying a new Hayward pump. It's basically the same pump - just the latest version. There's a "backstory" to getting this new pump in the pandemic era. We think there's some price gouging going on. That's a blog post for a different day.

Removing the Old Pump

When I removed the pump, I was able to look underneath to see what was going on. It turns out the pump had a sizeable crack underneath the basket area.

Check out what I encountered:

Pool Pump Crack Desktop
Pool Pump Crack Mobile

We are not sure how the crack occurred. It's possible that it was moved around a lot. But the pump was running fine for weeks after the new pool was installed. I wonder if there was too much pressure in the basket area that caused the crack.

August 19, 2020

Hayward Pool Pump Leak

This summer we encountered an issue with a leak with the Hayward Pool Pump.

We have the Power Flo Matrix 1 HP. This seems perfect for our 24-round above ground pool. Previously we had a MagneTek Proline Pump - Model # SD-10-1N11CB. That pump lasted about 4-years.

The Hayward pump was purchased in 2009 - it close to the end of life. In my investigation. I discovered that the pump might be leaking water, as I see the dirt around the pump wet. Every place else is dry.

Hayward Pump Desktop2
Hayward Pump Leak Mobile

Investigating Steps

I have performed the following steps around the pump to see what could be happening:

  • I doubled checked all the joints and there's leakage.
  • I ran the pump to make sure that there's no issues while the pump is running.
  • I cleaned up the dirt around the pump to see if its leaking and where it could be leaking.

Watching the Water Level

Pool Measure Desktop
Pool Measure Mobile

One of the additional steps that I took was to measure the amount of water in the pool. I did this over a few hours - it definitely confirmed that we were losing water. Our leak is a bit slow.

Next Steps

Since I identified the problem, I disconnected the pump from the pool, so that we wouldn't be losing any more pool water. There is some water in the pump and sand filter, but that is the least of my concerns.

I'll be checking some local pool places in the next 24-hours to see if anyone has any pool pumps. Because of COVID-19, there are some pool supply shortage.

If I am not able to find something. I can investigate the leak a bit more and see if that a water seal could be a temporary fix. I don't know if something like Flex Tape would be a good short term solution.

August 12, 2020

Gorilla Leaf Rake 2.0

A quick followup to the August 3, 2016 Blog Post - Gorilla Leaf Rake.

The Gorilla Leaf Rake is still going strong.

Gorilla Leaf Rake Desktop
Gorilla Leaf Rake Mobile

Yes, that is the same Leaf Rake that I purchased back in 2013. My $35 investment is still holding strong. After many years of pulling out leaves and sticks from the pool, the Gorilla Leaf Rake looks good. I can't remember anything else that I purchased for the pool that has lasted that long.

Not only that the leaf rake got some serious use over those years.

While I complained about the purchase back in 2016, I can safely say that it was a good investment.

Buying a Leaf Rake

The only place I have see the Gorilla Leaf Rake was at Leslie's Pool. However, they don't appear to have any in stock at the moment. Maybe they will get some in by September for people that may need the pool rake

There are similar pool rakes on Amazon called FibroPool Professional Leaf Skimmer Net. They cost about $32. I don't know about the quality of the plastic.

August 5, 2020

Pool Tools for Installation

Recently we took on the task on putting up an above ground pool. After enduring the long task of putting it together, there are some tools that we wished we knew about before starting the tasks.

So here are the tools we wished we knew ahead of time. Luckily we had many of these tools on hand, but a few of them we had to go and buy.

Pool Wall Desktop
Pool Wall Mobile

Ten Tools that We Wished We Knew About

Steel Poles - these are handy to have when putting up the walls of the pool. They help keep the tracks in their positions when your trying to get the beginning and end of the pool together. Basically you position them around the inside of the pool to help widen the pool.

True Temper - This helps level the ground on the pool. This is needed so that the ground is nice and flat when the liner goes in.

Garden Poles and Clamps - These are needed to keep the walls up while your trying to put the walls together. Make sure to get plenty of poles around the pool - at least 6 for a 24" round pool.

Outdoor Vacuum - This is needed when you want to get the dirt out of the wall rails. You can use a brush, but we found that an outdoor vacuum was more effective.

Lots of Screwdrivers - Have plenty of screwdrivers so that people can help put up the walls.

Large Tape Measure - At least 100" would have been good to have. It would be very useful to find the center of the circle and to figure out if we had a perfectly round pool.

Heavy Leather Work Gloves - Useful to handle some of the old rusted pool parts.

Drill Hex Bits - If you are removing an old above ground pool, you may find that some screws will be hard to remove. You may have some luck using a drill hex bit.

Dolly / Hand Truck - The pool wall is very heavy. Having a dolly made it easier to move it from the box to the center of the pool.

Magnetic Pick Up Tool - Very useful to skim the dirt of the pool bottom for any screws or metal bits. Don't risk the liner breaking, before putting it in, do a quick check of the pool area.

December 9, 2018

Checking the Pool Temp after Closing

The best way to check the pool temperature in the winter is to use a laser temperature checker.

Most standard pool thermostat can't handle temperature readings below 50-degrees. I have found that you'll likely get false readings.

Pool Temp Laser Check

The most accurate reading is using a laser thermometer.

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer is one such product that will give you a more accurate pool temperature reading. Yes, you can get accurate water temperature with a laser thermometer! This works well because you just need a little space to put the last dot in the pool.

Why Check the Temperature after Closing?

There's no real reason to check the temperature after closing. It's more for entertainment purposes. It's also interesting to find out what the pool temp is on the coldest day of the year.

October 14, 2018

Fixing a Green Pool Quickly

This past weekend we closed our above ground pool. We haven't used it much since Labor Day, but have been too busy closing the pool. The problem was that the pool has turned green because we haven't added any chlorine in the chlorinator. Before closing the pool, we wanted it to be in decent condition.

Color Pool

Getting the Pool Back to Shape Quickly

Here's what we did to get the pool from bright green to near crystal clean in about 24 hours:

I backwashed the filter for about a minute and then ran the filter for about 30-seconds.

Ran the Filter/pump for an hour to get the pool circulation moving.

Added 4 bags of Chlor Brite Di-Chlor Chlorine Shock. I applied the shock directly into the pool near the out filter pool return so it would spread around the pool.

24-Hours later I added 2/3rds of a bottle of the "Pool Mate 2 Lb Super Algae Destroyer for Swimming Pools." This can be purchased from Ocean State Job Lot or Walmart. (Currently selling for $10.99 at Ocean State and $24.99 at Walmart)

I let the pool run non-stop for 24-hours. I disable the timer settings so that it wouldn't accidentally get turned off.

The pool looked in great shape after 24-hours. It would be better if I ran the automatic pool cleaner (Diver Dave). I decided not to as the intent was just to get it clear for the closing. When the pool opens in the spring, I'll run the automatic pool cleaner to get it better shape.

Just before the Pool Cover Went On

The key thing I learned was to let the pool run non-stop for 24-hours. That seemed to make a big difference in getting the pool back into great shape.

I'll post pictures of the pool in the spring - probably sometime in May 2019

July 8, 2018

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in a Pool Skimmer

Using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in the pool skimmer. seems to a great idea. We hear about someone else doing it as a way to clean up a cloudy pool. We thought why not give it a try to see what happens.

Mr Clean Pool

Things We Learned Using Mr Clean in the Skimmer

  • There is little risk to using this - since we had a few spare Mr. Clean Sponges available. We simply put one in the skimmer, making sure that it was nice and tight.
  • After a couple of hours of running the filter, we checked Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and it appeared to be helping out. As you can see from the above picture, the Eraser collected some micro dirt.
  • Only the top part of the Magic Eraser was dirty, the bottom was still white. Which means that the sponge was helping clean up the pool.
  • The pool did look better, but I am not sure if it's directly related to the Magic Eraser but it didn't hurt the cleaning process, and the pump water level didn't go down at all.
  • It seems that the Magic Eraser complements the cleaning process and does clean up the pool.

Our Recommendation

Certainly use the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser if you have one available. It seems to add a bit of assistance of getting some of the micro dirt that a sand filter may not able to clean up.

Who knows, maybe you'll find the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser at your local pool supply store soon.