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No. of Recommendations: 5
I have a 20k gallon pool with a salt system on it. I had it built about 11-12 years ago. It is a salt water pool. It has a vinyl liner. Around age 9, I had to replace the liner. It was about $4500. I replaced the pool pump a year ago with a variable speed pump for the lower cost of operation.

The salt levels in the pool are usually between 2800 to 3200 ppm. I never have to add salt unless there has been a lot of rain. I have a sand filter and heat pump on my system. The maintenance on the system isn't that bad. I throw the Polaris pool cleaner in the pool once a week to vacuum. You can test the water yourself or take it to a pool supply place for testing if they are not far away. I prefer a Taylor testing kit over test strips because it uses liquid reagents which I feel are more accurate.

Generally, I only need to add cyanuric acid, a chlorine stabilizer, in the spring when I open the pool. Sometimes the pool can go a month without any needed chemicals but if there is one outside of normal range, it is the pH which gets too high so you need to add some acid to lower it. I would have no concern traveling for several weeks.

I never have to brush the sides of the pool for algae. In the 12 years, I've only had one algae bloom in the pool and I attribute that to getting some soap in the pool when I powerwashed the concrete around the pool. The phosphates were way off the chart and it took several bottles of phosphate reducer to get the levels back down. Over the years I have had to replace the heat pump, salt cell, circuit board to salt system, and pool pump. I also needed to replace the anchors in the concrete to my hand rails and ladder because the original ones corroded because they were metal. Today they install plastic ones.

Due to my wife's arthritis, the pool is the main source of exercise for her during the spring, summer, and fall. She swims one hundred laps every morning. The pool is 17'x37'.

Since I know you like to do extensive research, visit Trouble Free Pool where they have sections on Pool School, PoolMath and forum.

I cannot say how much the pool costs me. The main costs are the electricity cost for the heat pump in spring and fall and the pump during the pool season. It's hard to isolate that cost from the cost increase for the AC in the house during the same time period.

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