Best DIY Pool Options
If you are a swimming pool owner looking for the best DIY pool options you can buy and install on your pool right now then this page will help you identify some possible areas for improvement. With that being said it must be first mentioned that, for the most part, upgrades to swimming pools and swimming pool equipment is largely left to the professionals.
Much like with a car, there is a lot know about how to safely and effectively work on a swimming pool. Lighting would be a prime example of an area in a swimming pool where a DIY enthusiast should not be putting their fingers. If you get overly intrepid and do some rewiring in or around your pool you could end up hurting yourself or someone else. Some things really are just best left to the professionals. Gas installations would be another great example of a time where trade experience is needed to perform the work safely.
So if you are not "supposed" to do those other things, is there anything you can do to your pool without risk to yourself of others? Quite possibly, yes. Obviously the validity of this list will depend on your technical ability. While it is important to not overestimate or be overly confident with your technical know-how, the majority of items on this list are upgrades to a swimming pool that just about anyone could do.
Starting with something easy enough that absolutely every pool owner can do themselves is to add this ingenious FrogLog critter saving escape ramp. Nothing spoils the moment of enjoying your pool more that having to heartlessly pull the bloated remains of all manner of critters from your skimmer strainer baskets. Actually finding the critters mostly dead but still just enough life left in them to put up a fight is the worst. Why not just avoid both of these potential situations with one kind gesture to the wildlife of your neighborhood. Easy, self serving, plus you get to feel good about yourself in the process...a trifecta of win.
These pool skimmer socks are fantastic for when you have a lot of trees and leaves in and around your pool - and even more so if you have nuisance items like pine needles that fall into your pool. Many people use these skimmer socks in both the pool skimmer strainer baskets as well as in the pump strainer basket. I am definitely a fan of these, especially with cartridge filters which can be a pain for pool owners to open and clean. Regular use of these filter socks will reduce how often you need to open and clean your filter element grids, as well as reducing on the amount of debris and pine needles that can make it through the manufacturer strainer baskets all the way to the pump impeller where they can become lodged. While a great addition to a pool system it is critically important that you check, clean and replace these socks regularly. Failure to do so, and running your pump with the flow severely impeded with leaves or debris will put an undue strain on your pump motor. If you starve it for water completely you could burn it out, so be sure to clean out your strainer baskets often.
This anti electrolysis zinc disc is something that absolutely every swimming pool should have. This disc goes inside your skimmer and even comes with a plastic wrap tie to attach the disc to your skimmer to stop it from falling out every time you knock out the debris in your skimmer basket. What's more is that it also serves to weigh down your skimmer basket to prevent it from floating, which can cause you to lose some debris back into the pool water. This zinc product functions as a sacrificial anode and will be consumed by corrosion every few years. When the disc reduces in size by half it is due to be replaced. If you are wondering if you really need to have this, because you have not had one up until now, you definitely should have one. In fact, this is already the short cut version of the more involved inline sacrificial anode that gets a permanent bonding grid connection. You should have an inline anode, in fact you should have both this disc as well as an inline anode, but if you have neither then you can at least get this one right now and drop it in your pool the day it arrives in the mail. For more information about why you need one of these things you can read this entry article into a complicated subject, galvanic corrosion, with this relatable article about is salt water bad for pools?
Are you still vacuuming your pool yourself like some kind of pleb? Ditch the pole, at least for the most part, and upgrade your pool maintenance program to include an automatic robotic pool cleaner like this Nautilus model by Dolphin, which are a line of automatic pool vacuum cleaners by Maytronics. Maytronics are almost universally considered to be the best automatic pool vacuums on the market and this is a perfect example of where it would be acceptable to buy something online and set it up yourself, versus paying a premium to have an industry professional deliver one for you at a premium fee. Simple robotic vacuums like this one, especially ones without a cart needing assembly, come pretty much ready to use out of the box. Just put the filters in, plug it in, and drop it in the pool - margarita time!
Pool owners do not need any help at all deciding which toys, floaties, pool noodles etc. that they want for their pool. The only problem is that pool toys these days are made so incredibly cheaply that if you look at them wrong they are likely to break. If you are the type of pool owner that leaves (or lets your kids leave) your pool toys laying all over your yard, then you probably have a pretty high failure rate for these items. This product helps to solve this problem. This pool toy storage bin will help you to keep your lard looking neat and organized, which as a pool professional I can tell you we certainly appreciate, but you will also find that you get much more life out of your toys by storing them away safely at night.
Staying with the same pragmatic and organizational theme this is a great little accessory to help keep all of your vacuum heads, brush heads and leaf strainer nets up and off the floor. This pool accessory holder is a simple concept for solving a common problem. 99% of accessory heads for your telescopic pool pole break because they were left out and stepped on, not when they are being used in the pool. As much as you could also just take care of your accessory heads, or put them on a shelf when not in use, the reality is that their awkward size and shape, and the difference between each head, makes storage on a shelf inconvenient and likely to have something accidentally fall. These plastic accessories will almost certainly break if they fall or are stepped on, and replacing them a single time would cost more than this easy storage solution.
If you own a swimming pool then there are a hundred different reasons every year to drag out your garden hose and spray something off. Whether you are trying to rinse away the bird crap on your pool deck, or spray the leaves off of your pool slide, or even cleaning black / green mold from growing on your diving board, having a good nozzle for your hose makes all of the difference in the world. Low water pressure can make an arduous task out of washing anything down, and a high pressure garden hose nozzle can vastly improve how effective you can be with your hose. At the same time be sure to pick up a package of hose washers. Also, if you are still wrestling with tangled, knotted and kinked garden hoses, then step into the future with an expandable garden hose and you will never go back to the old green snake hose again.
This is a rolling ice chest which is great for bringing the party to the backyard. Sure if you have an outdoor kitchen with a built in beer refrigerator in your cabana then you might not need this. For the rest of us something like this is both fun as well as convenient since you can just wheel it away for quick cleanup at the end of the night. If you like the idea but want a bit more style from your poolside furniture then you will probably be interested in this bestselling item, or better yet, get them both!
Stepping things up a little bit this is a highly useful item for pools to have, and you probably don't have one of these right now, but this will require installation into your pool system. Fortunately this is an analog instrumentation device, which means it does not require external power or electrical connections, wires, or other plumbing...simply drill the corresponding size hole into a horizontal section of 1.5" pipe and install this flow meter. If you have 2" pipe then you would need to use this 2" pipe flow meter. This style of meter needs to be on a horizontal plane and should be installed in rigid pipe, or a rigid pipe fitting, preferably not in an open length of flexible PVC pipe. The function of a flow meter is so you can know exactly how much water you pump moves. This is the ONLY metric that will tell you if you are filtering your water enough or not, and unless your pump is new and has a built in digital flow meter, you almost certainly have no idea how much water your system actually filters every day.
This is an inline sacrificial anode which is the better version of the zinc skimmer disc higher up on this list. Notice that there is a bonding wire connected to this anode, which must be connected to the bonding grid of your pool, so this is more involved than some of the other items on this list. That being said, an inline sacrificial anode is something that every pool should have to protect it from corrosion damage, and you should already have a bonding grid connecting to each of your electrically powered pieces of filtration equipment, and if you don't have that bonding point connection, then this is a perfect time to solve this problem as well. If this is all news to you then you might benefit from watching a few of my pool room equipment installation video series where I review the quality of pool equipment installations and one of the most commonly discussed points is bonding (or lack of bonding) on pool equipment. Pick up this sacrificial anode and install it just like the flow meter above, drill a hole in the pipe, inset this anode, and attach with two pipe clamps. If you are handy this will take less than five minutes to install.
Now we are really getting up there on this list. Adding this pHin water care monitor system to your pool means that you will get wireless messages to your handheld device regarding problems with the chemical balance of your pool or hot tub. These are simple systems that you put into the water, download the app, pair up your device to your new system wirelessly, and you are all set. This is emerging technology and there is sure to be bugs to work out of the system yet in terms of longevity for the floating controller, but if you want to be on the front lines of technology to help you care for your water balance then this is one of the best stand alone systems on the market. I mean, you could also install a complete pool automation control panel along with a bunch of acid and chlorine tanks, stenner pumps etc. and make your pool have similar acid and chlorine feed system as your local YMCA commercial pool, but this system from pHin is a lot more simple and cost effective than that. If you are a tech geek this is a must have item for your pool.
This interesting DIY pool item does not come without some controversy. I am a little hesitant to refer pool owners to buy this item but the reality is that different people have different priorities, and some pool owners might value the benefits of this device, and be unconcerned with the potential drawbacks. In short, this item is added to your skimmer basket in your pool once every six months. I don't like that it partially obstructs the skimmer, but this is a DIY or "no installation" level of product so that is one of your only options. Keep your skimmer baskets clean of leaves to mitigate this problem of potentially disrupting the flow to your pump.
Next, this system uses colloidal silver and ionized copper to help reduce bacteria and algae in your pool water. Is the technology sound? Yes. Is it all you need? No. You basically can't test if it is working, and you can't tell when it stops working other than replacing it every six months like they tell you. What I can tell you is that copper and silver will reduce bacteria and algae growth in your pool, at least to some degree, and this in turn will reduce the chlorine that you would have otherwise needed to accomplish the same thing. You still need chlorine, just less, and you also risk staining from metals in the pool. The majority of stains in pools are from metals, and you are choosing a system specifically putting metal into the water. Also is absorbing copper and silver through your skin every time you swim a better solution - I don't know. I am just a pool guy and definitely not your doctor. Still, depending on what your personal priorities are with your swimming pool, this might be just the thing you are looking for. If this topic of alternative sanitizing systems has piqued your interest then you may also like to know about the latest and greatest technology in this regard currently on the shelves in the pool industry. Not really a DIY type of system, unless you are fine with adapting your plumbing system a bit, but advanced oxidation process systems are the newest, safest, cleanest and least toxic systems for maintaining safe swimming water without adding chemical sanitizers.
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