A swimming pool can add hours of family fun to your backyard. Caring for a pool, however, can add extra expenses to your family budget. According to CNN Money, the average cost of swimming pool chemicals alone is $300 to $400. This does not include the expense of installing the pool, purchasing equipment and the electricity needed to keep the pump running. There are ways to keep your pool costs down. Using a solar blanket can keep the water warmer and decrease heater usage. In addition, using common household products in place of expensive pool chemicals can cut your costs drastically.
Refer to your pool manual to confirm the number of gallons of water it holds when filled to the proper capacity.
Test your pool water to determine the current chlorine, pH and alkalinity levels.
Balance the alkalinity using baking soda if it is too low. Use 1 1/2 pounds of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water. This will raise the alkalinity by 10 ppm.
Use Muriatic acid to lower the alkalinity of your pool water if it is elevated. Use 1.3 pints per 10,000 gallons of water to decrease the alkalinity by 10 ppm.
Increase your chlorine level by adding non-scented household bleach to your pool water. One half gallon to 10,000 gallons of water will raise the chlorine level to five ppm.
Raise your pH balance by adding Borax to your pool water. Use 1/2 cup, dissolved in a bucket of water, per 10,000 gallons of water. You will need to test your pool water to determine how much additional Borax to add because pH levels are based on a number of factors. Once you determine how much is needed in your pool, jot it down for future reference.
Turn on pool filter after adding chemicals and run for at least eight hours
Re-test the pool water using a pool test kit before swimming in pool to determine if chemical levels are safe. Adjust chemicals accordingly if needed.