Decorating & Renovating
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Pool maintenance

The house we are considering purchasing comes with an in ground pool. Does anyone here have a pool and can let me know what kind of maintenance goes with one. I love the idea of having a pool in the heat of the summer, but really an mot sure what goes into owning one. All I know about is monitoring the chemicals and maybe getting one of those sucker machines that goes along and cleans it.

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Re: Pool maintenance

  • Since you live in an area that has a pretty cold winter, you will need to partially drain the pool in the Fall, and then have it refilled the rest of the way in late Spring or early Summer. You will need to pay for the water to do this, whether it comes from your own water bill via filling your pool with a hose, or whether you hire a company that specifically delivers water for pool filling.  Pool chemicals will be needed to keep both the chlorine and pH levels safe enough for swimming.  A vacuum will also be needed, and depending on the depth and grade of the bottom from the shallow end to the deep end, the automated vacuums may not work for your pool shape, and you may need to invest in one that attaches to a long pole and needs to be done by hand.  You should also consider that vacuuming the pool will need to be done weekly, and to close and open the pool will each take one full weekend, so this is an added time investment as well. If you're looking to make the water in your pool warmer, you will also need to invest in either a heating system for the pool or a solar cover, which floats on the surface of the pool and attracts the sun to heat the water.  This solar covers come on a retractable spool and can be expensive, but are optional.

    Here is some information for inspection:

    You will need to make sure that the cover of the pool is in good shape with no tears or holes in it.  The liner can be expensive to repair if it fails or rips, so make sure that there are no obvious holes or tears, or repairs to previous issues. Run the filter while you are there to make sure it is in working condition.  It should take water in through a skimmer, which will be on ground level by the side of the pool - it's the small unit that takes the water in from the pool and sends it through a basket that takes out insects and leaves, and other debris, and then runs the water through the main filtration system and then back into the pool via jets that are usually located on the walls of the pool. 

    Before/During purchase:

    Make sure that your city/town doesn't have any specific issues with pool draining. They may have certain rules due to the chemicals in the water, so make sure that your home is not in a zone where this would be an issue, and also make sure that you have a legal place to drain the water, whether it is into a side yard, or into your driveway or the street.  Ask the previous owner for information on how to run the system and the maintenance that has been done.  Ask for recommendations on pool shops that they may have used for supplies and service.  You should feel free to call them about that specific pool and ask about any issues that may have been addressed in the past.  

    Pools are a lot of fun, but can also be a lot of work and money if something goes wrong.  I hope that the information I have given you is helpful! Good luck! 

  • My cousin and his wife have an in-ground pool in northeastern Ohio - where it also gets cold.

    Their pool does not take chlorine - it takes salt, which apparently cleanses the pool the same way, does not dry out your skin/hair, and is safer overall. It also tastes better if you happen to get some in your mouth.

    Just saying this as an FYI for another option to consider.

  • My parents have an in-ground pool...and it was good for the first few years (was put in about 10 years before my parents bought, so is now about 16 years old)...but the last 3 years they have put thousands of dollars into the pool. First the pump broke...cheap fix, until the pipes froze and cracked and the pump piece didn't fit right. (After that they were advised by the pool maintenance company to kept the pool filled all winter so the water would be moving). Then the heater died, that one was expensive to replace. Then the worst one was just this year it started leaking, and the only way to figure out where it was leaking was to break the concrete and dig down about 8 ft in the ground to the pipes that drain in the bottom to figure out which one it was. That was costly and time consuming and left the yard looking like crap. Just recently they have noticed the lining is peeling, easy but costly fix. Oh and the heater stopped working AGAIN this week.

     So yeah there is day to day maintenance, but depending on the age of the pool, be sure to budget at least a couple hundred or even up to a thousand dollars extra a year when it starts getting old. Hope you have better luck then my parents!

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