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Thread: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    If you could name a couple of Items that were the biggest help you've found here, what would they be? Jot down one or two, perhaps another if it comes to you later.

    For me it's pretty easy, but it wasn't Chemistry so much as it was with Equipment. When we built, we were going with a pressure cleaner until Duraleigh encouraged me to look hard at substituting a top of the line Robot instead. Even having been here a while, I hadn't dug too deeply into this subject and I honestly wasn't sure how they could be so great. The more I looked into it, the more I got interested and warmed up to the idea, especially considering the elimination of an additional pump from the equation. This is what we did, and simply traded the cost of the PC system for the robot, which turned out to be within $50 of the original plan. No Brainer on a Pool Build....


    As it turns out, I still think this was the single biggest/best decision we made on the entire build. Not just for the build cost/decision but long term this has made things so much easier. With the dust and leaf debris we get, it's paid for itself already without a doubt. I don't want to even think about what a chore our pool would be without one. Had I built without coming to TFP, I might have a very different outlook on every day pool care.

    Although smaller, another tip I picked up here is skimmer socks. Having seen what they do, I won't run without em' if I can help it at all.

    So, what comes to mind for you having to name some things?
    TFP Moderator
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    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    The table on contents here as well as so many people just waiting to help by answering a question no matter how small it might be!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    This should be a great thread!

    The biggest help for me is pool math. Even though I know what the levels should be, without Pool Math, I would be in big trouble not knowing how much of something to add or not. Its an invaluable tool.

    Next is the FC/CYA.

    Next was the info available here on pumps. When I started thinking about building a pool, I was researching pumps. It was the pump search that landed me a TFP. Even though I dont need it, I love my intelliflo, and I learned a lot about the pros and cons of them here.

    After that, different ways a pool can be plumbed. Through TFP, I decided that every return, skimmer etc, in my pool would all be plumbed individually back to the equipment pad with a valve on each of them. None of that loop pluming for me!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    lefty51's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    Gosh Patrick, I don't think I'm allowed enough space here to list them all.

    In no particular order, pool school (abc's, pool math, chemistry, the whole setup)

    The people on here helping. The patience and teaching that goes on, all with a smile.

    But the best would have to be Dave and his personal advice with how to help on here and with testing
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
    TF-100 with speedstir

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    Awesome guys! Come back and post as many as you like lefty, we have plenty of room, but if we run low, Duraleigh will buy some more real estate.
    TFP Moderator
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    MARCO...polo's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    Pool math, second Patrick_B on skimmer socks and mostly don't get obsessed with any one number; look at the overall "health" of your pool.
    13,000 gal.Peanut shaped IG Plaster (med. gray) w/ 7' raised spa. ALL Pentair: Intelliflow 3hp VS, Cartridge filter, 400,000 btu heater, 2.0hp spa motor, Easy Touch control panel & is4 spa side switch, Intellichlor 40C SWG, Paramount PV3 In Floor cleaning system, spa spillway and two sheer descents. Solar: 10 FAFCO panels 1.5hp booster. Testt kits: K-2006 & K1766 (Chloride/Salt) Fill date August 15, 2114.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    Excluding all of the chemistry stuff, here some other items to mention, in no particular order

    Using Solar Salt insteal of "Pool" Salt
    Skimmer Angel
    Substitute firehose for the crappy blue backwash hose - 5 gold stars for this one
    Glycerin filled pressure gauge
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    I'm going to repeat the Skimmer Sock mention. Surrounded by trees (lots of pine) the spring pollen drop is monumental. Those skimmer socks get full of that yellow fluffy stuff and it saves my sand filter and water as I don't have to backflush it all out later.

    Next best up is the testing kit! A good testing kit saves bundles of money in the end, y'know?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    The testing kit is what brought me to TFP. I bought it before I bought the pool! LOL I had to make sure I COULD do the testing before I spent the money on the pool.

    Not having a good test kit so relying on the pool store is what caused my first pool to fail I was NOT going through that again!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    Without a doubt, Chem Geek's and JasonLion's contributions to the forum. I always finding great information in all the old threads that they have contributed to. I miss having Jason around as he always had a simple and right to the point answer it seems for everything.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    Awesome thread, Patrick! I plan to start copying these posts and paste to a word doc to keep in my pool binder.


    I can't say if these are in order of importance to me - so many are of equal importance!

    * Support during my pool build. Some people were/are key, and ya'll know who you are. I can't name names, because it was everyone's help and support that added up to my survival. Thanks a million!

    * Test Kits and Speed Stir recommended by TFP - 'nuff said.

    * Special help and guidance on water maintenance (and thanks for all the future help) I know these first two aren't really tips, but they were critical to me surviving building a pool. So going to TFP is my first tip to friends who are considering building a pool.

    * Pool Math: wow, ingenious!!! I'd be bugging everyone to death on TFP without Pool Math.

    * from Patrick: Rosie (my robot pool cleaner - Dolphin M500). She's one of my best friends!!!! She's also entertaining to watch while she does her work! I just wish I had a Rosie for inside the house....

    * from Chiefwej for skimmer socks (I just ordered these): Amazon.com: Disposable Hair Net, Spun-Bonded Polypropylene, White, 100 per Bag: Office Products Even though I don't have dogs in the pool, I have tons of fine debris that just glides past the skimmer basket. I didn't know I had so much escaping the skimmer basket until I decided to try skimmer socks for the visit from my granddog. I was amazed at how well they worked. It doesn't hurt to try them and see if they help.

    * from Pooldv: advice on selecting a pool finish for water color - He told me to go with Blue Granite PebbleTec, "I promise you won't hate it, and you might find you love it." He finally put a stop to my neurotic decision looping on plaster finishes. So, if you're going nuts, let TFP help decide. See, if it hadn't worked out, I could have blamed Pooldv! Hee hee!

    * from Duraleigh: don't panic over CSI, just keep the chemical numbers in the TFP range, and all will work out.

    * from someone on the thread 'Let's see your TestKits': the large syringe and tubing for drawing sample pool water to test. VvW Large Plastic 100ml Syringe +120cm (47in) handy plastic tubing: Amazon.com: Industrial Scientific

    * ordering extra magnetic beans for my Speed Stir (a great tip by itself): I kept having to dig my bean from the disposal while rinsing. It's reassuring to know I have a backup, but more than that, it's handy.

    * an extra CYA cylinder: I'm still iffy on this test, so now I can run it a second time with the leftovers in the shake bottle. It reassures me a little.

    I know there's more..... When you're as green as I am about pool ownership, everything is valuable!

    Suz.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    lefty51's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    This thread !!!
    Thanks to it I just learned about fire hose instead of "crappy blue backwash hose" Thanks Divin Dave
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
    TF-100 with speedstir

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    To fire the pool man and go buy my own vacuum head and hose. The investment has repaid itself dozens of times over by now.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    1. Taylor test chemistry
    2. SLAM process
    3. Learning about CSI
    4. Borates

    All of those have helped my pool in a significant way. Learning about the CSI helped me in a major way by allowing me to focus my chemistry balance on one single number. IN doing so, I don't obsess over having a specific pH number or a specific TA number, I just take them all together and make sure I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of -0.1 and I'm happy. Even at a CH of nearly 800ppm, I don't worry about calcium scaling. Also, adding borates was a game-changer for me in terms of chemistry as I got a really big benefit from both the added pH control and the additional algaecidal properties.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    LOL!
    Check eBay. or go by your local firestation. those firehoses in the glass cases in schoolhouses, hotels, etc.. The Fire Code requires them to be changed out periodically and have never been used.

    Quote Originally Posted by lefty51 View Post
    This thread !!!
    Thanks to it I just learned about fire hose instead of "crappy blue backwash hose" Thanks Divin Dave
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    lefty51's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    LOL!
    Check eBay. or go by your local firestation. those firehoses in the glass cases in schoolhouses, hotels, etc.. The Fire Code requires them to be changed out periodically and have never been used.
    One step ahead of you - My neighbor is the fire chief of our district ( he lent me some out of services hoses and pump to drain pool, when I had liner replaced last summer. Had him on the phone just now.

    Cut of one end, clamp it on and away I go. Thanks again.
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
    TF-100 with speedstir

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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    Being a new pool owner, buying the test kit and using pool math. Sparkling clear, cold (66F), water.
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    Really good suggestions and the main ones have been mentioned. But for me the realisation that high phosphate levels are irrelevant if you have adequate chlorine levels- and no more expensive phosphate removers.

    That pool store testing is dodgy and that a good test kit is worth it weight in gold
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
    K-2006

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    To me the most "helpful" advice I received on TFP is that pool care can be simple and cheap. We had used Baquacil for over 15 years before finding TFP and the decision to convert to chlorine is what led me to find TFP. After some reading and a few questions I found myself in the middle of a conversion that members of TFP walked me through. After this conversion completed I was amazed just how simple caring for a pool can be once you learned a few simple basics. Teaching members basic pool care still to this day is my main enjoyment on the site and I look forward to seeing more members learn TFPC in the future.

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    mariane's Avatar
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    Re: What's The Most Helpful Advice You've Gotten From TFP?

    There are so many, I can't remember them all since starting this 5 years ago. Some that do come to mind: the forum moderators know so much about pool care I have learned so much and will never ask pool store guy's advice, skimmer socks work so well I usually do not have to backwash during the summer, leaf rakes are not "rakes" but work great, how to SLAM algae blooms and make beautiful sparkly pool water, pool math for balancing chemicals, good test kit advice, etc.. ;o)
    16 x 28 Doughboy Mystic Garden AGP with 7' deep end (used expandable vinyl liner) ~11,800 gals. Deep end main drain. Thru-the-wall skimmer, one return at deep end. Media Master 150# sand filter. Doughboy PowerPak II pump, 1 hp. Pentair MinimaxCH 150m natural gas heater. Polaris 65 when it feels like working . TF-100 test kit. No longer 'pool stored' 5 years and counting. In sunny but fickle metro-Detroit.

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