Expert in a pool store?

What is floc, clarifier, stabilizer, cyanuric acid,
algaecide, brightener, dichlor, sodium hypo,
sodium bisulfate, ....??
czechmate
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Expert in a pool store?

Postby czechmate » Tue 01 Dec, 2009 22:40

I decided to share this interesting experience with all of you that will try to solve your algae problems next summer.
After draining about 2/3 of pool volume, I put 5 pounds of high grade cal-hypo in friend's 16000 gal pool and started filling with 2 hoses. Since i needed quart of new sequestrant, I took a sample of water and went to nearby Leslie's store. I mentioned to the guy there, that I put 5pounds of chlorine in the pool to kill the existing algae.
And this is where it got interesting:
The guy in his early thirties behind the counter asked me : "why so much"?
"The CYA was over 100", I replied.
"But CYA has really nothing to do with the chlorine", he replied convincingly.
"100 ppm CYA does not present any problem for your pool".
"Who told you that? "I asked.
"Sir, I am a chemical expert" he goes.
"Really"? "And how long you been doing this "?, I asked.
"17 years!", he proudly proclaimed.
"Well, so you really did not learn much in those 17 years" I said.
He turned red in the face and looked quite upset.
So I offered to explain him in less than 3 minutes,what he did not learned in all those years and what also may be some of the most important knowledge in combating algae problem.
At 100ppm of CYA, it takes 10ppm of chlorine just to ward of the algae formation. And if it slips bellow that for a while, 40ppm to kill it. Not only 10ppm is way too high to swim in, it is way too much for most people pocketbook in the year round maintenance.
Then after very expensive super-shock, explain to the kids that they have to wait 4-5 days for chlorine level to come down.
Moral of this encounter: Not all pool stores have the right staffing and it always pays off to do your own studying in the world of pool chemistry. It can save you some serious bucks and even more frustration!


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Expert in a pool store?

Postby Larry » Wed 02 Dec, 2009 01:04

:lol: Thanks for the great story czechmate

I think that rather than being the exception, the "expert" you encountered is probably typical of the pool people out there giving advice to ignorant consumers. After all, they are trying to make money and a little misinformation does the business no harm. Unfortunately it's the pool owners that suffer the consequences.

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Expert in a pool store?

Postby chem geek » Wed 02 Dec, 2009 01:57

There was a similar story that I responded to in this thread . The ignorance is really not the fault of the pool store. They mostly just learn from their manufacturer's reps, manufacturer literature, industry newsletters and magazines, and sometimes from NSPF CPO or APSP TECH courses. The chlorinated cyanurate industry has intentionally ignored this 1974 paper and all of the studies I linked to in this post or at least poo-pooed these studies by claiming that this science doesn't happen in "real pools". It is true that real commercial/public pools with high bather loads have a lot going on, including higher monochloramine levels that would tend to obscure some of the CYA effects since monochloramine doesn't bind with CYA, but in residential pools and other low-bather load situations, the CYA effect is seen in many different ways including, most noticeably, algae prevention (or lack thereof when the FC/CYA ratio gets too low).

By the way, 10 ppm FC with 100 ppm CYA is technically equivalent in active chlorine (hypochlorous acid) concentration to around 3 ppm FC with 30 ppm CYA or 0.1 ppm FC with no CYA so it really isn't a problem to swim in unless you were to drink or otherwise ingest the water in large quantities. It's difficult to manage a pool with high CYA since any algae that gets started requires extraordinary levels of chlorine to kill it and that is the main motivation towards lowering the CYA to more reasonable levels.
czechmate
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Expert in a pool store?

Postby czechmate » Wed 02 Dec, 2009 07:32

I would like to point out that initially I was reluctant to write this here, since there is a lot of true experts in the supply stores throughout the country and I did not mean to offend them.
Also the pool store cannot be blamed for individuals for their ignorance.
At least not entirely.
But as well as the real estate industry and it's individual brokerage institution educate their salespeople in added seminars and always caution them not to give a legal advice, the large pool store chains could do likewise.
I suspect, that most of the fresh personnel do not have hardly any formal education in the field of pool chemistry and get easily overwhelmed with all the information about chemicals involved.
And of course there always gonna be some guys, that will be able to disperse info about things they not have a clue about.
My intent here was to caution new pool owners,that as in most other fields, second opinion is always worth the trouble.

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