With COVID-19 putting a strain on the budget of many Australians, it's a good idea to research ways you can minimise costs around the house. If you’re a pool owner looking to cut back on expenses, there are many tips and tricks available to help you save money and energy without sacrificing the health of your pool.
Like many tasks in life, the cheapest way to maintain a pool is by hand. Aside from needing chemicals to balance and treat the water, manually using leaf nets to remove debris and vacuuming your pool floor to waste are great ways to clean your pool without cost.
If using a variable speed pump, ensure you adjust the speed to the lowest RPM required to effectively use your equipment. In most cases with variable speed pumps, the default setting is a safe and efficient option. However, to maximise efficiency, you should run your variable speed pump for longer at lower speeds.
If using a single-speed pump, be sure to turn the water over at least once a day (run on average for 4 hours a day for most pool sizes). By reducing your pump usage from 8-10 hours a day to 4-5, you’re effectively halving your running cost. If you have off-peak power, aim to take advantage of the lower tariff rates. This is a fantastic way to save money and energy if the pool is rarely used. If you are using your pool, you will need to compensate for the bather load.
In most cases, you will be able to reduce the output of your chlorinator by 30-40% as well to save money without compromising the health of your pool. If you currently run your chlorinator at 100%, drop the operating levels down to 60%. If your pool is not being used, this will reduce the amount of sanitiser required. Remember to backwash to remove any debris build-up within your filter. This will reduce demand for sanitiser and dramatically improve water flow and overall efficiency.
Pools can turn green overnight, and this typically requires a triple shock treatment and for your system to run 24/7 to fix. If your pool is used regularly, a weekly shock is a great preventative method for saving time and money.
Monitor Cyanuric Acid Levels
Cyanuric acid (also called chlorine stabiliser) is a chemical that prevents the sun from eating up the chlorine you put in your pool. When you add chlorine to your pool via shock or chlorine tablets, the chlorine is unstabilised (for the most part). This means it doesn’t last very long in the water to fight bacteria and other harmful contaminants. When you add cyanuric acid to your water, it will help keep that chlorine in your water longer to fight what it needs to kill to keep your water sanitised.
Shorter & Fewer Backwashes
The average two-minute backwash for a typical sand filter costs you about 750 litres of water. That’s not to say you shouldn’t backwash, just that it’s absolutely necessary to learn how to backwash a pool filter properly. First, never backwash for longer than necessary. The moment the water runs clear in the sight glass, stop. Also, decrease the frequency of backwashing by maintaining a clean pool and filter system. The more dirt you force through the filter, the more frequently you’ll have to backwash. Conscientious maintenance is the key.
Baking Soda - Raising Alkalinity
Baking soda will increase your pool’s alkalinity levels. But is it really less expensive? It depends on what type of alkalinity increasers you normally buy, but it’s likely the answer is yes. This is also handy to know if you need to raise alkalinity and only have baking soda on hand. Use baking soda instead if you need to slightly raise alkalinity. Beware that baking soda is more powdery than standard alkalinity increaser and can cause your pool to cloud up.
For more information about running a more economical pool system, chat with a local pool professional using our Dealer Locator.