Empty Pockets Are Leading To Empty Swimming Pools - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Empty Pockets Are Leading To Empty Swimming Pools

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During tough financial times, saving $200 or $300 a month could make or break a family's budget. In this Your Money report, the pros and cons of draining your swimming pool in order to save some cash.\r\n\r\nFor the Pitcher family, their pool has been the source of 15 years worth of backyard fun, but now they want to see if their utility bill can take a dive instead of them.\r\n\r\nWith a utility bill that averages about $280 a month, Bill Pitcher pulled the plug on his pool, hoping to save some money.\r\n\r\n"I'd like to see $100 off of it. That would be nice. We drained the spa at the same timeÖ we'll see," Bill said.\r\n\r\nNow covered and shut down for the winter, his experiment begins. \r\n\r\nA.J. Wilson from Like New Pool Cleaning says in tough times, pool owners start getting creative.\r\n\r\n"I think they are misinformed. I think before doing that, they need to ask some questions," Wilson said.\r\n\r\nWilson says when you drain an above-ground pool, unused pipes can crack and clog.\r\n\r\n"Just like a car, like our bodies, it has to be worked all the time or something can go bad," he said.\r\n\r\nHe also says below-ground pools left empty can create high dollar damage.\r\n\r\n"There's a chance that the pool may pop up," he said."They don't come all the way out; they may come out two or three inches, maybe even a foot. It would cost more to resettle that thing than to build a new pool."\r\n\r\nAlthough Wilson recommends leaving water in the pool and hiring a trained professional to manage the equipment and chemicals, some people are letting pools turn into polluted swamps.\r\n\r\nThe City of Chula Vista has launched an aggressive foreclosure crackdown that fines people who let water turn to waste because of West Nile concerns and possible drownings.\r\n\r\n"I've worked cases in other cities where kids drowned, and you couldn't find them for a few days because you can't see into these pools. I don't want that happening here," Doug Leeper of Chula Vista code enforcement said.\r\n\r\nAs for the Pitchers, who never use their pool during the winter months, they'll finally be able to see just how much of their money was going down the drain.\r\n\r\n"With the times the way they are, money is getting tighter. We want to see if I can save $50, $100 there. That's better for us," Bill said.\r\n\r\nBill says he'll monitor his pool pipes during the winter months, but if you're thinking about going dry, you might want to speak with a pool professional.\r\n\r\nHealth officials say it's better to drain your pool than to allow it to become a murky mess. A green algae-filled pool can help breed mosquitoes and create a West Nile virus hazard.\r\n\r\n
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