I am not only the owner/operator of the All Pool Filters 4 Less website, I am also a pool owner that maintains his own pool. I have an inground pool which is about 10 years old now. It holds approximately 10,000 gallons, which is relatively small by today's inground pool size standards. I'm very much a Do-It-Yourselfer, so I have been maintaining the pool since day one.
Until the last couple years, the pool seemed very easy to maintain. Hose off the filter every few weeks or so, add some chlorine, some acid, and occassionally sodium bicarb after a big rain and the pool was good to go. This type of fairly easy maintenance worked for over 7 years. I was even buying the same Unicel branded cartridge every time I needed a replacement. Seemed to be every 1 to 1 1/2 years.
Sure, every now and then I would run into an issue with algae that would require some special attention. Especially after the hurricanes that hit South Florida back in 2004 and 2005. My pool was a mess from those storms. But that was definitely exceptional circumstances. The last couple of years I have noticed that I have to clean my filter about once every two weeks and I have had to actually replace them every 6 to 9 months. I've also had to fight algae every summer and my chemicals seems to get out of whack almost monthly.
I take my pool water sample into the local pool store for testing all the time, I put in what they tell me and the pool looks great for several days then it needs fixing again in the next week or so. The last time I went in I asked them what could be causing these things to happen. I also told them to test for solids in the pool. Last winter the person testing the pool water just happened to test for solids, which I don't think they do most of the time, and he told me they were way too high. He asked me how old my pool was and whether or not I used liquid chlorine. I told him I had a 9 year old pool and that I had always used liquid chlorine. He stated that as pools get older they accumulate small solid particles in the water. He also stated that liquid chlorine leaves salt solids in the pool as well. So the combination of an old pool and the use of liquid chlorine could be a cause for high amounts of solids in the water. These solids can act as algae food and wreak havoc on your water's chemical balance. He recommeded that I drain at least 12 inches of water from my pool to reduce the amount of solids in the water and that this should make a big difference in my pool water.
I am going to do that this weekend. It makes sense to me that a pool that hasn't had the water changed out in 10 years could be the reason the pool is harder to maintain. I'm thinking of my pool like a fish tank. I know you have to change the water out in a fish tank to ensure the water is clean and the water's chemical balance is where it should be. Logic would have it that this would apply to a swimming pool too.
Just a tip for those having problems with their pool that can't figure out why.....