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Thread: Pool Guys

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    Pool Guys

    Hi All,
    I just started caring for my own pool a few weeks ago. I was reading about the chlorination methods proposed here - primarily bleach and not using tablets due to the stabilizer build up issue.

    What I'm wondering is - if you guys and gals are adding bleach to your pools every day to get them to stay clean, how is it that pool services are able to accomplish the same thing for many people with only one visit a week?

    Call me totally crazy but I really don't want to be messing with my pool more than once a week. I have many other things I need and prefer to do. Is there something I'm missing?

  2. Back To Top    #2
    gboulton's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Guys

    The key quote here is :

    how is it that pool services are able to accomplish the same thing for many people with only one visit a week?
    They don't.

    What they accomplish is "clear" water. What they may not accomplish is stability (long and short term), low cost, and control of your own pool.

    Perhaps they use tablets or something similar...which results in a buildup of CYA that eventually results in the "advice" to drain and refill your pool, because "that's a normal part of ownership every couple of years".

    Or maybe they use algaecides which contain copper...which precipitates out and turns hair green or damages surfaces...which is conveniently blamed on chlorine.

    Or heck...maybe they advise you to install a SWCG and IT does the work, and all you're paying them for is stuff you could do yourself once a week...pH monitoring and vacuuming.

    But what happens when there's an unexpected high bather load because you invited the neighbors over? Or unusual weather brings favorable conditions for algae? Or the pool guys are not working on the exact hot long 3-day weekend you're going to stress your pool the most? What chemicals are you swimming in? Are the levels safe for that one niece who's sensitive to X? Why didn't that big does of _____ do what it claimed?

    ---

    Point being...compare apples to apples. Can you own a pool and pay someone to come once a week and generally have a good experience? Sure...thousands of people do it every year.

    But do they have the kind of control over their pools we do? Absolutely not. Can they be confident in the health and safety of their pools for the cost we can? Absolutely not.

    Your call. Control your pool, or let it control you.
    -Gordon
    Pool School helps me maintain my 13,500G 24' x 48" ASP with Sand Filtration using a TF100 Test Kit and Pool Calculator.
    Remember, the Shock Process should be followed until : 1. CC is less than 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less and, 3. The water is crystal clear.
    --I didn't buy my pool to swim in it. I bought my pool to watch my wife swim in it. :wink:

  3. Back To Top    #3
    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Guys

    Pools have a daily chlorine usage, multiply that by 7, then add more for good luck, it will bring it pretty much to shock value or slightly over, add some algicide, and other chemicals. Bill it to the customer, come back next week and repeat.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Pool Guys

    This is helpful, thanks. What do you guys think about Leslie's Perfect Weekly, Phos Free, and all-in-one chemicals like that?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, what about using less tablets than recommended and then maybe adding bleach once a week or so? Has anyone created a nice balance where the natural amount you have to add water to your pool balances well with the low stabilizer amounts added weekly? I feel like maybe that's what was going on with my pool since we did have tablets but we have a really good stablizer ppm reading. (and have never drained water from the pool).

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Pool Guys

    Quote Originally Posted by peanutsofdoom View Post
    This is helpful, thanks. What do you guys think about Leslie's Perfect Weekly, Phos Free, and all-in-one chemicals like that?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, what about using less tablets than recommended and then maybe adding bleach once a week or so? Has anyone created a nice balance where the natural amount you have to add water to your pool balances well with the low stabilizer amounts added weekly? I feel like maybe that's what was going on with my pool since we did have tablets but we have a really good stablizer ppm reading. (and have never drained water from the pool).
    Most all-in-one additives contain all manner of different chemicals and compounds - most of which you don't even need. They're designed to line the pool store's pockets and to continue to line those pockets by constantly screwing up your chemistry in one way or another.

    As for less tabs than recommended - you can certainly do that. So long as you're testing daily, keeping a close eye on things, and understand the relationship between solid chlorine products and CYA/Calcium, you can chlorinate any way you want.

    If you want to use tabs, keep the FC level above minimum for your ever changing CYA, and plan to drain partially when needed to drop CYA back down to a manageable level - go for it! The key is that you're monitoring and understanding exactly what you're doing to your chemistry over time and are taking steps to keep everything in balance.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Guys

    magic potions that are a complete waste of money.

    Where is Moraga? Please add your location (City, State or City, Country) to your profile and pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you.

    If you live in a area with a short swim season, lots or rain, and a partial drain for the winter, then the use of tablets can work just fine because the CYA will not build up too high as fast.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Pool Guys

    Call me totally crazy but I really don't want to be messing with my pool more than once a week.
    I doubt we can be of much help, then. Most of us are DIY type folks and actually enjoy the task (I know, we are the crazy ones, aren't we? )
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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  8. Back To Top    #8
    Task's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Guys

    Quote Originally Posted by peanutsofdoom View Post
    Hi All,
    I just started caring for my own pool a few weeks ago. I was reading about the chlorination methods proposed here - primarily bleach and not using tablets due to the stabilizer build up issue.

    What I'm wondering is - if you guys and gals are adding bleach to your pools every day to get them to stay clean, how is it that pool services are able to accomplish the same thing for many people with only one visit a week?

    Call me totally crazy but I really don't want to be messing with my pool more than once a week. I have many other things I need and prefer to do. Is there something I'm missing?
    Peanuts,

    I'm no expert on pool maintenance. I found this forum a few years ago when I had my pool built because I had never cared for a pool before and I wanted to be able to care for the pool I invested so much money into. After reading through pool school several times, browsing countless threads about swamps, high cya and people getting "pool schooled", I decided to order a TF100 and follow the practices taught on this site.

    I don't view TFP as strict guidelines of adding this and that each day or each week. I view TFP as an understanding of your water chemistry. If you want to chlorinate your pool with puck or shock or whatever other method suites your lifestyle, go ahead. But by doing so, you just need to monitor your water chemistry, and take the appropriate actions to keep the chemistry balanced.

    By following TFP methods, I've successfully owned my first pool, starting my third season, and I've never had an algae outbreak, never had cloudy water, never even had to SLAM (except immediately after I took control of the pool when construction was finished).

    My point being, don't think of TFP as a set of rules that you have to follow to keep your pool balanced. Think of it more as an understanding of what your pool needs to stay sanitized and safe for swimming.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
    TFTestKits, Pool School, ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Chlorine/CYA Chart, PoolMath

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Guys

    Ok, first off to answer your question, weekly pool service is like a roller coaster ride, every week you push your FC levels up insanely high, then let it come "coasting" down during the week, where it may go through some rapid dips and curves depending on varying conditions (rain, etc.) and hopefully it does not run off the tracks before the pool service comes back the next week and pushes it to the top of the hill again. Swimming in it as it goes through these highs, lows, bends etc may not be the nicest experience either, but hey the water is clear or at least mostly clear right? and all pools have that "chlorine smell" so people think that don't know better. The better pool services may even add a few tricks to give the coaster an extra push or two while it is going down the hill to help it along the way, but it is still going to be a roller coaster ride.

    Now if you want to have nice smelling, clear safe water, and don't want to spend too much time testing and balancing the water, get an SWG (salt water chlorine generator) this will add a trickle of chlorine into the water constantly when the pump is running and the SWG is set correctly, so instead of a roller coaster you get a nice smooth ride with a few small hills along the way. Even doing this I would suggest daily testing at first, that you can slowly wean into 5 minutes every 2-3 days, maybe even 4 days once you get to know your pool and its habits. Soon you will know when you need to bump things this way or that depending on the weather, pool use, etc. and just use the testing to confirm you were right.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Pool Guys

    Perhaps you could get to know your pool by doing the daily testing, daily liquid chlorine and occasional acid or borax. Once you have it dialed in, then add a stenner pump or Hasa Liquidotor. You could reduce the amount of work per day, use the TFP recommended BBB method and still have great water.
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Pool Guys

    WOAH I use the methods taught here and usually only work on my pool once a week for 10 minutes.

    After you spend some time daily testing and learning your pool you can move to once every other day.

    Then install a Salt water system or a Stenner pump (a chemical dosing pump) with that once you learn your pool its only once a week. With a SWG it may be more often depending on acid demand. But you can get a dosing pump for that too.

    I occasionally check midweek and during the spring and fall there is a little more work as I increase or reduce my chlorine to deal with the changing sunlight.

    My 11 year old doe most of the testing and records her results in a book.

    My main variable is my waterfall which screws up my Ph
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Pool Guys

    Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. This is very interesting insight. I had the feeling the pool store was trying to sell me magic potion I'm going to start researching SWG as that sounds like it might be a fit for the way I want to do things.

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Pool Guys

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    Ok, first off to answer your question, weekly pool service is like a roller coaster ride, every week you push your FC levels up insanely high, then let it come "coasting" down during the week, where it may go through some rapid dips and curves depending on varying conditions (rain, etc.) and hopefully it does not run off the tracks before the pool service comes back the next week and pushes it to the top of the hill again. Swimming in it as it goes through these highs, lows, bends etc may not be the nicest experience either, but hey the water is clear or at least mostly clear right? and all pools have that "chlorine smell" so people think that don't know better. The better pool services may even add a few tricks to give the coaster an extra push or two while it is going down the hill to help it along the way, but it is still going to be a roller coaster ride.

    Now if you want to have nice smelling, clear safe water, and don't want to spend too much time testing and balancing the water, get an SWG (salt water chlorine generator) this will add a trickle of chlorine into the water constantly when the pump is running and the SWG is set correctly, so instead of a roller coaster you get a nice smooth ride with a few small hills along the way. Even doing this I would suggest daily testing at first, that you can slowly wean into 5 minutes every 2-3 days, maybe even 4 days once you get to know your pool and its habits. Soon you will know when you need to bump things this way or that depending on the weather, pool use, etc. and just use the testing to confirm you were right.
    For an SWG, I have a variable speed pump. Do I have to run it at a certain speed for the SWG to work? Does it matter what speed, I guess is what I'm asking? I generally like to run it at a lower speed for more hours to lower the energy bill. If I were to have to crank the speed up I'd have to factor that in to the monthly costs.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    Ok, first off to answer your question, weekly pool service is like a roller coaster ride, every week you push your FC levels up insanely high, then let it come "coasting" down during the week, where it may go through some rapid dips and curves depending on varying conditions (rain, etc.) and hopefully it does not run off the tracks before the pool service comes back the next week and pushes it to the top of the hill again. Swimming in it as it goes through these highs, lows, bends etc may not be the nicest experience either, but hey the water is clear or at least mostly clear right? and all pools have that "chlorine smell" so people think that don't know better. The better pool services may even add a few tricks to give the coaster an extra push or two while it is going down the hill to help it along the way, but it is still going to be a roller coaster ride.

    Now if you want to have nice smelling, clear safe water, and don't want to spend too much time testing and balancing the water, get an SWG (salt water chlorine generator) this will add a trickle of chlorine into the water constantly when the pump is running and the SWG is set correctly, so instead of a roller coaster you get a nice smooth ride with a few small hills along the way. Even doing this I would suggest daily testing at first, that you can slowly wean into 5 minutes every 2-3 days, maybe even 4 days once you get to know your pool and its habits. Soon you will know when you need to bump things this way or that depending on the weather, pool use, etc. and just use the testing to confirm you were right.
    For an SWG, I have a variable speed pump. Do I have to run it at a certain speed for the SWG to work? Does it matter what speed, I guess is what I'm asking? I generally like to run it at a lower speed for more hours to lower the energy bill. If I were to have to crank the speed up I'd have to factor that in to the monthly costs.
    25k gal plaster pool, intelliflo vs, cva-24 pentair solar controller, very old polaris 390 sweep with a new pentair booster.

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Guys

    I run mine at 1100 rpm for making chlorine. It uses 150 watts. Just run it high enough so you don't get low flow errors.
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  15. Back To Top    #15
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    Re: Pool Guys

    What pooldv said, there is a certain minimum flow speed on all SWG's it is just a matter of setting your variable speed pump high enough for the low flow sensors to not trip, unlike your solar controller where you likely need to have a fairly high flow level to maintain efficient thermal transfer.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Pool Guys

    Just ordered the TF-100. Going to try things the TFP way!
    25k gal plaster pool, intelliflo vs, cva-24 pentair solar controller, very old polaris 390 sweep with a new pentair booster.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Guys

    Excellent idea!
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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

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Guys

    That is great and we will be here to help out if you have any questions along the way.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Pool Guys

    Wait until you see that TFP sparkle! Then you'll understand why we do what we do.......
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  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Pool Guys

    Quote Originally Posted by peanutsofdoom View Post
    Just ordered the TF-100. Going to try things the TFP way!
    Great plan. .
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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