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Thread: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change that.

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    cbodie's Avatar
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    Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change that.

    Today I opened the pool. The guy came over did a great job changing the sand in the sand filter and getting everything up and running. Just before leaving he dumped (3) 1 lb. bags of shock (turbo Shock), and 20 lbs of Bioguard Optimizer Plus in the pool. Didn't test the water before adding anything. So the pool looks really nice right now, but I think I'm getting taken to the cleaners with all the stuff they sell me and I want to take control of this chemistry deal with the pool. I know some basics which boil down to keeping some chlorine sticks in the floating skimmer, I was told never to put them in the pool skimmer because it's too much chlorine going into the heater and it will corrode it prematurely? Last year the store told me I should add borates to the pool because it would keep things in balance, so I did. I use Pool perfect Plus Phos Free once a week in addition to the Turbo shock and skimmer chlorine sticks. I try to take a water sample to the store every other week during the season, but of course each time I end up buying something. I do use Muriatic acid to balance PH when they tell me too.
    So If someone has suggestions please feel free because I'd really like to simplify in addition to hopefully save a little money. Thanks!
    26,000 gallon pool. Gunite, white plaster. Pentair Tangelus 24" sand filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS 3050 pump, and RayPac digital Natural gas heater, 336 BTU.

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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    You will be saving tons money when these guys get you all set up!
    35,000 Gal. - 40x20x8 - Plaster - SWG Pentair IC 60 - Barracuda G3 Vacuum - Hayward c1750 Cartridge Filter - Blue Torrent VS 1.5hp pump - Pool is 45 years old.

    "I'd build a deck over my pool if I didn't have a SWG"

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    Oh my...where to start? I'll just add comments as I see need-

    Quote Originally Posted by cbodie View Post
    Today I opened the pool. The guy came over did a great job changing the sand in the sand filter and getting everything up and running. Do you change your filter sand often? We actually don't recommend that...its held up for a bazillion years already, what's a few more? Very rare to actually need to change sand. Save your cash.

    Just before leaving he dumped (3) 1 lb. bags of shock (turbo Shock), and 20 lbs of Bioguard Optimizer Plus in the pool. Didn't test the water before adding anything. So the pool looks really nice right now, but I think I'm getting taken to the cleaners with all the stuff they sell me and I want to take control of this chemistry deal with the pool. Yay! A motivated pool owner has more interest in taking proper care of a pool and its equipment and water than some service that relies on fast in-and-out service and selling you chemicals which you may or may not need.

    I know some basics which boil down to keeping some chlorine sticks in the floating skimmer, We don't recommend the routine use of chlorine pucks/sticks or powders because along with the chlorine they contain *unwanted* ingredients such as Cyanuric Acid (CYA, the stabilizer) or Calcium. Both can get so high in the water without you realizing it until one day your pool is green from too little chlorine unbalanced against too high CYA, or scale develops on the pool walls from too much calcium.

    I was told never to put them in the pool skimmer because it's too much chlorine going into the heater and it will corrode it prematurely? They are acidic and can be damaging to gaskets, pumps and heaters when added that way.

    Last year the store told me I should add borates to the pool because it would keep things in balance, so I did.
    I use Pool perfect Plus Phos Free once a week in addition to the Turbo shock and skimmer chlorine sticks. Cha-Ching!$$ None of that is part of our routine pool care. Who could afford it!?!

    I try to take a water sample to the store every other week during the season, but of course each time I end up buying something. Yup, those free water tests get kinda expensive don't they? We recommend you obtain your own pool test kit (aprox $68) but it will saves you hundreds of dollars in the long run. I promise. I'd suggest the TF-100 from TFTestkits.net and add a speed stir device to make the testing all the much faster and consistent.

    I do use Muriatic acid to balance PH when they tell me too. Yup, appropriate when you need to drop your pH and/or TA.

    So If someone has suggestions please feel free because I'd really like to simplify in addition to hopefully save a little money. Thanks!
    -Get the test kit ordered pronto. Either Taylor's K-2006 <no other one> or the TF-100. They have the necessary tests. No other kit is as complete.
    -While waiting for the test kit to arrive, take out any pucks, sticks and don't add any powders. But start adding a gallon of liquid chlorine each day (bleach! from the laundry aisle) untill you can give us a full run down of tests results.
    -Start reading Pool School articles found at the top of this page.
    -Come back with more questions

    WELCOME to TFP You'll be glad you found us.

    Yippee
    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 pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    Welcome to TFP!

    Time to cut the cord! +1 on getting a TF100 from TFTestkits.net or a Taylor K-2006C. It needs to be a C so that you get enough reagents.

    Start here jn Pool School, Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    So glad you found this site! The TFP method is spot on, easy, and cheap. The hardest part is wrapping your head around it and making sure not to do half measures. You cannot combine pool store advice with the TFP method, you must go cold turkey with the pool store. That said, get a good test kit (TF100 will be the one recommended the most) and do some reading in the pool school section and learn to use the poolmath calculator (both on this site) and you are on your way to a much less costly and cleaner summer.
    - Matrioux

    2007 18K pebble IG pool - Wincor Pool Systems automation & SWG (under development) - DE Jandy DEL60 Filter - Jandy 1HP Pump - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    You just saved yourself so much money just typing that first post

    TF100 test kit, Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer (love mine and for some reason, everyone who gets one loves it also ) and xl option (i know it says a green monster, but you will test more starting out and you will love that you got this) , best money spent EVER TFTestkits.net

    Dump 1/2 gallon bleach (normal cheep stuff, no splashless, frutie smell) in a day untill you recieve your test kit

    once you recieve your test kit post up all your numbers here and we will get you going in no time
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    Welcome!

    The others gotcha covered.

    You're doing the right thing. Buying my own vacuum and hose and test kit was a chunk o'change, but I recouped it in less than three months by not paying for poll service. Now I spend maybe $300 per year on the pool. not counting the electricity for the pump, which I would have had to pay for even if I still had a pool service.
    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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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    I just wanted to say HI! You are on the right track with finding TFP and posting. The others have you well covered!

    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: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    I don't think that the pool store people are trying to scam you, they're just trying to help. Pools can be expensive to maintain, no one ever said it would be easy. They are professionals after all.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    Quote Originally Posted by fightinfrenchman View Post
    I don't think that the pool store people are trying to scam you, they're just trying to help. Pools can be expensive to maintain, no one ever said it would be easy. They are professionals after all.
    Pool stores are not trying to scam you BUT they are trying to make money off of you.

    Most of them are only going by what they have been taught by others. They are hourly employees that really do not understand the whys and whats of BALANCED pool water. They have a script they follow without really knowing how everything works together for a clear, balanced pool.

    There is a reason we say you are not able to use the pool store and TFP guidelines together...........they do not match. TFP is based on science and THOUSANDS of daily users. Their's is based on what they have been taught by the vendors selling them the chemicals to sell to you.

    They have money to be made off of a pool owner.

    TFP has only smiles and Thank Yous to be given from a pool owner.

    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: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    I mean if the pool store method didn't work at all they wouldn't stay in business. And I know some of the employees there actually own pools so they know what they're doing.

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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    From what I know about this forum, it is to help get you away from the pool store and taking care of your own pool. Once you know how to do that, they (pool store advice) are not necessary at all. Of course they have some benefit for those who do not wish to do it on their own, but their main purpose is to profit, just like any other business. The OP obviously wants to quit relying on them based on his post. Good for him, he's come to the right place.


    ~14K gallon - AquaRite AQR15 SWG - pool Newly plastered on April 9 2016
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    Pool water supply from on site water well = CH of ~350 and TA of ~350
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    Sundance Altamar Hot tub separate from pool / central Oklahoma

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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    Quote Originally Posted by fightinfrenchman View Post
    I don't think that the pool store people are trying to scam you, they're just trying to help. Pools can be expensive to maintain, no one ever said it would be easy. They are professionals after all.
    That made me laugh The kid straight out of high school I don't think is a pro... he or she may have seen a pool but most pool store employee's do not even own a house... at least some of them have taylor chem's and some of them pay attention but they still recomend crazzy stuff...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    cbodie's Avatar
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    Thank You all!!!! OMG I am floored with all your responses and I appreciate them so much. I am also a bit embarrassed that after all these years instead of being an expert I'm a novice, but well it's never too late to start. I did order the TF-100 kit yesterday, will possibly be here tomorrow. Brushed the heck out of the pool today and even though the pool store tested the water I did not add anything that they told me to add. I also purchased a cheap little fountain/aerator that basically connects to the Polaris line and moves the water constantly.
    I took my sample in a glass jar and it was being tested within 30 minutes of being collected, maybe of no consequence.
    Saturation index: 0.5, TDS 500, CYA 75, Tot. Chlorine: 7, Free Chlorine: 7, PH: 8.2, Tot. Alkalinity: 110 Adj. Tot alkalinity: 87, Tot Hardness: 190, Borates: 33, Iron: .01. New sand in filter done on March 26, 2016. That day also added 25 pounds of the bioguard Borate ( at 65.00 for it) ouch!! I have on hand now muriatic acid, baking soda, 1 bucket Clorox xtra blue tablets and 1 box 24 count Clorox shock ( both unopened). Pool temp this morning was a cool 52 degrees, and although we have a Raypac heater I don't want to start it till the water is nice and balanced.
    Thank You for all your input.
    26,000 gallon pool. Gunite, white plaster. Pentair Tangelus 24" sand filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS 3050 pump, and RayPac digital Natural gas heater, 336 BTU.

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    cbodie's Avatar
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    Hi, The store told me the sand in the filter should be changed every 5 or so years so I did have it changed. Oh well it's done. No additions in there right now because my test kit will hopefully be here tomorrow or Saturday. I do have some Clorox tabs and shock I just bought last week, but haven't opened them so once I get organized I can return them. What is a speed stirrer?? I found Peladow on Ebay, 50 lb bag and made an offer. I think I will be needing to adjust my calcium hardness soon. Thanks for all your suggestions.
    26,000 gallon pool. Gunite, white plaster. Pentair Tangelus 24" sand filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS 3050 pump, and RayPac digital Natural gas heater, 336 BTU.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    I would go ahead and lower your PH with muriatic acid. Enter those numbers in Poolmath and enter your PH target as 7.6. Add the MA with the pump running and test again in 15 min. You might need to add more. The rest can wait for your REAL test kit!
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    Welcome to the forums and you are well on your way to a true trouble free pool! Please post your test results from the TF-100 kit once you get them.

    If PH is truly 8.2 or over, use pool math to reduce from 8.2 to your target PH. This may not work the first time as the test shows 8.2 even if your PH is higher. Don't try to add extra though because the 8.2 might be accurate just do it multiple times with a minimum of 30 minutes of pump running time between adding acid and testing again.

    Speed stir is a device that spins a magnetic pill inside your sample to help stir the sample. I LOVE mine, but make sure you add your test water to the graduated beaker before you add the pill or the volume of water will be off.
    - Matrioux

    2007 18K pebble IG pool - Wincor Pool Systems automation & SWG (under development) - DE Jandy DEL60 Filter - Jandy 1HP Pump - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    I'd hold off on any adjustments until you can test with your TF-100. Maybe could address the pH as pool stores aren't too far off on that, usually. It's a great kit. Might be a little intimidating at first but after a few rounds of testing, you'll have it down. The CYA test is the most difficult to master, just be sure to read the instructions and do that test on a sunny day as it's a visual and light subjective test. Once you have it, test your pool water and post the full set of results here and we'll let you know what to do. Best to format it something like this for readability.

    FC
    CC
    pH
    CYA
    TA
    CH

    If you have any questions about the tests, feel free to ask. There are also more detailed test instructions/pointers here: Extended Test Kit Directions
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    Sweet on ordering the good test kit!

    You just thought your water was clear before. Wait until you see how it looks after TFP gets done with it!

    There are videos of all of the tests. Here is a link of them AND we will talk you through them as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/tf100te...e=results_main

    I would also like for you to buy a plastic, white plate to help with the PH test. I find if I hold the test tub in front of the white plate and pull the plate back and forth it helps me see the color match.

    When you go to do the CYA test let us know first as it can be kind of tricky. We have some tips to make it easier.

    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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    cbodie's Avatar
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    Re: Twenty years with this pool and still depending on pool store. I want to change t

    Thank You!! I will do that. I did purchase a bag of the Peladow which should arrive in the next week or so. I don't have any kind of stabilizer/Cyanuric acid on hand but I guess I can run down to the local pool store and pick some up this weekend, once I get a reading with my new kit. Thank you also for the suggestion on the format for the tests, I'll make sure I list the results in that manner. I also took some pictures of the condition of the plaster, but can't figure how to upload a picture. If you don't mind sharing that info. I would be very grateful.
    26,000 gallon pool. Gunite, white plaster. Pentair Tangelus 24" sand filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS 3050 pump, and RayPac digital Natural gas heater, 336 BTU.

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