Just can't seem to trust the pool stores.

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Crimson
Pool Enthusiast
Pool Enthusiast
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu 21 May, 2009 12:07
Location: Seminole, FL

Just can't seem to trust the pool stores.

Postby Crimson » Tue 26 May, 2009 19:38

I'm sure this is a kind of a 'Well, no kidding' type of post but I need to rant a bit. I am in the Tampa, FL area and we have a few different pool chains around here that I have been going to. I recently purchased a forclosure house with a pool that had to be drained, replastered, and refilled. Being a first time pool owner I went to the internet and to the pool stores for information.

THANK GOD I didn't listen to them or my chemicals would be all messed up. They would have had me add way to much stabilizer, shock the hell out of it for no reason, and generally just don't seem to know WTF they are doing. Good thing I read sites like these before I went with their recommendations. My pool is doing well but I am still learning.

I haven't purchased a test kit yet but plan on doing so soon (I do have a cheap one that does pH and chlorine levels). The 2 stores I have been going to have been giving me in some cases radically different results. One store says my CYA is around 35, the other says 50. One says my TA is 150, the other says 110. One suggests I switch over to all solid chlorine, the other says all liquid.. How irritating not to be able to get consistent results or answers between the stores.

I guess the only answer is to do it myself. I don't know who to trust on the test results, and I can't seem to trust them on chemical recommendations or I would be all over the place.

Thanks for these forums, they have saved me a lot of money and trouble. Hopefully I can get a test kit soon and only need the pool stores for some of the chemicals. The prices on the chemicals seem reasonable here, I imagine because of the competition and number of pool stores so I don't really seem to save money going with the store bought regular bleach route.


chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Just can't seem to trust the pool stores.

Postby chem geek » Tue 26 May, 2009 21:01

Some pool stores are great and some aren't so great. I'm sorry you can't seem to find one that you trust in your area. You can read the Pool School to get yourself better educated on how to maintain your own pool. Be sure and get a good test kit, either the Taylor K-2006 or the TF100 from tftestkits.net.
RMS1
Pool Care Proficient
Pool Care Proficient
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat 15 Aug, 2009 10:49
Location: Oregon

Just can't seem to trust the pool stores.

Postby RMS1 » Mon 17 Aug, 2009 23:31

Crimson wrote:I'm sure this is a kind of a 'Well, no kidding' type of post but I need to rant a bit. I am in the Tampa, FL area and we have a few different pool chains around here that I have been going to. I recently purchased a forclosure house with a pool that had to be drained, replastered, and refilled. Being a first time pool owner I went to the internet and to the pool stores for information.

THANK GOD I didn't listen to them or my chemicals would be all messed up. They would have had me add way to much stabilizer, shock the hell out of it for no reason, and generally just don't seem to know WTF they are doing. Good thing I read sites like these before I went with their recommendations. My pool is doing well but I am still learning.

I haven't purchased a test kit yet but plan on doing so soon (I do have a cheap one that does pH and chlorine levels). The 2 stores I have been going to have been giving me in some cases radically different results. One store says my CYA is around 35, the other says 50. One says my TA is 150, the other says 110. One suggests I switch over to all solid chlorine, the other says all liquid.. How irritating not to be able to get consistent results or answers between the stores.

I guess the only answer is to do it myself. I don't know who to trust on the test results, and I can't seem to trust them on chemical recommendations or I would be all over the place.

Thanks for these forums, they have saved me a lot of money and trouble. Hopefully I can get a test kit soon and only need the pool stores for some of the chemicals. The prices on the chemicals seem reasonable here, I imagine because of the competition and number of pool stores so I don't really seem to save money going with the store bought regular bleach route.



Pool operator at the YMCA

chlorine 1.5-3.5
pH 7.6-7.8, not 7.2. too much acid
Alkalinity 80-100
Calcium Hardness 150-250
Cyanuric acid 50-70
Taylor DPD, not OTO test kit. Get the swirling technique down. Very important.

This will save money and headaches.

Calcium Hypochlorite for chlorine. It's granular, safer, lighter, and more effective than bleach or liquid chlorine. Drawback, higher pH at 12, which means you'll need to keep an eye on your pool's pH after adding Cal. Hypo.

2nd, if you use it to shock you'll have a film of calcium that will need to be vacuumed.

Keep tab floater full and never put tabs in the skimmer.

http://clean-pool-and-spa.com/index.html
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Just can't seem to trust the pool stores.

Postby chem geek » Tue 18 Aug, 2009 00:27

Cal-Hypo is NOT safer nor more effective than bleach or chlorinating liquid. It is more concentrated so the part about being "lighter" for the same amount of added Free Chlorine (FC) is true, but this doesn't make it more effective.

For every 10 ppm FC added by Cal-Hypo, it will increase Calcium Hardness (CH) by 7 ppm. So if you want to increase your CH, then it's OK to use but otherwise there is nothing wrong with chlorinating liquid or bleach. If your CH gets too high, then your pool can get cloudy from over-saturation of calcium carbonate and can also develop scale.

All of these hypochlorite sources of chlorine have a high pH, but the rise in pH is temporary only after addition because the usage/consumption of chlorine is acidic so the net effect is pH neutral. If you find the pH rising over time, then your TA is too high. In a pool with lower TA or with a pool cover, the pH is very stable even when regularly using chorinating liquid, bleach, Cal-Hypo or lithium hypochlorite. I only add a small amount of acid every month or two in my own pool yet I only use chlorinating liquid and it only costs me around $15 per month for my 16,000 gallon pool.

If you keep your tab floater full then you must be recommending using Trichlor pucks/tabs. For every 10 ppm FC added by Trichlor, it also increases CYA by 6 ppm. If you don't dilute the water, then the CYA will build up quickly. Even at 1 ppm FC per day from Trichlor, this will increase CYA by 100 ppm in 6 months if there is no water dilution. If you go this route, then with the higher CYA level you'll need an algaecide. The link in the previous post recommends No Mor Problems which is sodium bromide and will turn your pool into a bromine pool which will prevent algae growth, but if the pool is exposed to sunlight then this can get costly as bromine breaks down faster in sunlight than chlorine protected by CYA (plus No Mor Problems isn't free).

Read more about maintaining your own pool at the Pool School and use The Pool Calculator to calculate chemical dosages and for the saturation index.

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