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Thread: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

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    Question Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Ok, so maybe it's not quite as bad as my title.

    Here's some background:

    My wife and I recently acquired a foreclosed home with a neglected pool. We are first time pool owners and briefly considered draining it, but were dissuaded by my brother in law who threatened damage to the liner. I followed his (in hindsight very good) advice and spent weeks scooping out leaves, adding liquid chlorine, vacuuming to waste, running the filter 24/7, and backwashing often. Through persistence and dumb luck, I managed to clear out the pool and balance the chemistry without adding anything too stupid to the water on the recommendation of local pool stores (unless you consider a bottle of floc and overpriced baking soda stupid). I'm now the proud owner of a sparkling blue pool! When the surface is still, I can barely tell there's water in there!

    It wasn't until I was nearing the end of this ordeal that I discovered TFP, and it really helped me tie the loose ends together. The pool calculator has been invaluable, despite my not having 100% reliable inputs...

    Which brings me to my current dilemma... How do I convince my wife we need to spend another $50+ on a test kit!? Our water is practically invisible and my wife scoffs at the idea of needing to put out that much money just to keep it like that... Especially not on the recommendation of "those strangers on the internet who want you to add bleach to the pool"

    I've pulled out every argument I can think of, from the "appeal to reason" (failed miserably), to the "appeal to independence from pool store tyranny" (also failed), to the usually-bulletproof "what about the children!?" (close, but no cigar K-2006).

    I realize that is probably an unanswerable question, so I have a more concrete question for you. How would YOU maintain a pool in the absence of a reliable test kit? And more specifically/technically, does anyone know of a way to derive a CYA measurement from other inputs (FC loss over time, temp., sun exposure, etc)? I realize knowing exactly what's in your water is the cornerstone of the TFP method, but is a CYA and FAS-DPD test kit the ONLY way to determine those numbers?

    She has been singing my praises to friends and family about the state of our pool, so I suspect she will eventually give in, but I also suspect it will only be after we have an "incident" where the water turns green or the kids get an ear infection...

    Help me TFP, you're my only hope!
    21k Gal, IG Vinyl, Sand Filter, HTH 6 Way Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    HI! Talk about blind luck and good BIL! Sweet on getting the pool up and running AND clear!

    I bought my test kit BEFORE I bought the pool LOL I wanted to make sure I could do the test BEFORE I ruined ANOTHER pool! LOL

    Okay so here is a "baby" test kit:

    Hth 6 Way Test Kit - Walmart.com

    BUT it does not have much test regents in it so you will end up buying more.........

    next step is:

    TAYLOR K-2006 Complete Swimming Pool/Spa Test Kit FAS-DPD K2006 Chlorine - Walmart.com

    BUT again it does not have much of the regents you need for the daily testing.

    THE best test kit is this one:

    TFTestkits.net

    The reason it is THE best one is that it using all Taylor regents BUT there is more of what is used on a daily bases.

    Now IF she will not budge you can get these two tests to "complete" your baby test kit:

    TFTestkits.net

    TFTestkits.net

    BUT you also need the tube and mixing bottle to test the CYA in:

    TFTestkits.net

    TFTestkits.net

    LOL as you can see it can start adding up fast UNLESS you get the complete test kit.

    Do you have a B-day or such coming up? Maybe ask for the test kit for a present? LOL OR Santa can leave it under the tree.

    Good luck and let us know how you convince her HER pool NEEDS a good test kit!

    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: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Looks like buying the baby kit from Walmart and the extras from TFTestkits would end up running me over $60 after shipping, which is more than the K-2006 via Amazon Prime

    My birthday's in December, so that may be an option for next season. Hoping I can wear her down before then anyway.

    Until then, are there any mathy/sciencey ways to calculate CYA by watching FC over time with my OTO test?
    21k Gal, IG Vinyl, Sand Filter, HTH 6 Way Kit

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    When the pool turns green she might be convinced, or ear/UTI infections... Hoping that doesn't happen however.
    25K Gallon IG vinyl lined L shaped Haywoard Pro Series sand filter, T-CELL-9, Super Pump
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Nope I guess if you see your FC going bye-bye fast you could guess your CYA is low BUT it could also be the start of algae

    Will think about it as I run around town today.

    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: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Quote Originally Posted by moonie View Post
    When the pool turns green she might be convinced, or ear/UTI infections... Hoping that doesn't happen however.
    As newly appointed pool-guardian I consider it my responsibility to prevent that... Despite *ahem* "obstacles"

    I know a proper test kit is the easiest and most reliable way to get the numbers I need, but is it the ONLY way? I'm willing to do things the hard way if a hard way is available.
    21k Gal, IG Vinyl, Sand Filter, HTH 6 Way Kit

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Save your change & buy it on the sly
    16,661 gal IG PebbleTec w/ Spa; 60 ft2 Jandy DE filter, 2 HP Jandy Variable Speed pump; 2 skimmer; 400K BTU Jandy heater; Polaris Sport; opened 9/15/14; TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    The 6-way HTH test kit at Wal Mart includes a test for CYA. As long as you keep your CYA low enough that your corresponding FC level is 5 ppm or less, you can measure that with the OTO drop test in that kit.

    BUT... if you let FC drop low enough that you get an algae outbreak and you need to SLAM, you're screwed because you can't measure FC above 5 ppm and you have no test for CC.

    Now for my confession...

    I actually operated this way for 3 years until buying a TF-50 (already had the OTO test) earlier this year. And I survived. I kept my FC much higher than it needed to be just out of paranoia, and probably went through a couple of extra SWG cells and definitely faded out my liner. So was it worth saving $60? No, I spent more than that for a single replacement SWG cell.
    25000 gallon free-form gunite
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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    You have a fund in the budget for taking care of the pool, right? Just like for your landscaping needs, that just needs to be added to the budget for chemicals and such. Testing reagents are a consumable too. If all else fails, buy it anyway and ask forgiveness for worrying that the family would all end up with double ear infections and UTI's all at the same time! Some people find it easier to ask forgiveness than permission.(I do not condone that BTW!) Good luck!

    Oh, and when you do buy, I recommend the TF-100 with the Speedstir. That little thing makes testing fun!
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffchap View Post
    The 6-way HTH test kit at Wal Mart includes a test for CYA. As long as you keep your CYA low enough that your corresponding FC level is 5 ppm or less, you can measure that with the OTO drop test in that kit.

    BUT... if you let FC drop low enough that you get an algae outbreak and you need to SLAM, you're screwed because you can't measure FC above 5 ppm and you have no test for CC.

    Now for my confession...

    I actually operated this way for 3 years until buying a TF-50 (already had the OTO test) earlier this year. And I survived. I kept my FC much higher than it needed to be just out of paranoia, and probably went through a couple of extra SWG cells and definitely faded out my liner. So was it worth saving $60? No, I spent more than that for a single replacement SWG cell.
    I actually wasn't aware the HTH 6-way had a CYA test... That might solve my (short term) problem! I'm pretty sure my levels are low enough right now to not require above 5ppm FC unless I need to SLAM. But if/when I do need to SLAM I think the green water may convince her to put some more money into it.
    21k Gal, IG Vinyl, Sand Filter, HTH 6 Way Kit

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelrbanks View Post
    Save your change & buy it on the sly
    Quote Originally Posted by JesseSchmidt View Post
    You have a fund in the budget for taking care of the pool, right? Just like for your landscaping needs, that just needs to be added to the budget for chemicals and such. Testing reagents are a consumable too. If all else fails, buy it anyway and ask forgiveness for worrying that the family would all end up with double ear infections and UTI's all at the same time! Some people find it easier to ask forgiveness than permission.(I do not condone that BTW!) Good luck!

    Oh, and when you do buy, I recommend the TF-100 with the Speedstir. That little thing makes testing fun!
    These two are spot on!


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    I would buy one on the sly but I don't want to make waves...

    Ugh that was bad, I'll see myself out
    21k Gal, IG Vinyl, Sand Filter, HTH 6 Way Kit

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelrbanks View Post
    Save your change & buy it on the sly
    Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission
    Pool completed 3/21/2016
    8800 gallons, plaster 14' x 24', 3/4 hp Hayward pump, Hayward cartridge filter, Blue Essence T-5 SWG, Kreepy Krauly Kruiser, Taylor K-2006 test kit with Speedstir, Taylor K-1766 salt test and 250 sq. ft. of Heliocol solar panels with Pentair Solartouch control system

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    If you order the 2006, make sure it's the C model, (2 oz reagents), not the A, (0.75 oz).

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Quote Originally Posted by JesseSchmidt View Post
    You have a fund in the budget for taking care of the pool, right?
    Yes, but that's kind of the problem... I'm already in well over budget, and with the pool looking great and testing well at the pool store, I can't convince her I need to spend more money :P First world problems I guess

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    I had the same issue with my wife (my water is still cloudy and green tho) my solution was to return an item to wally world and use the store credit for my Taylor kit. She was, and still is a bit upset at the money spent but it's a part of the reason we bought the house. I hate having something on my property that I can't use so I went for the forgiveness over permission deal. It's a struggle when you buy a foreclosure, problems pop up left and right and it makes money tight, but at least you have that little get away in your yard to look forward to after a rough day/week/month. Having complete control over your pool can help keep it that way. Best of luck!!
    40x20 in ground, 33,000 gal, vinyl liner, Hayward 300lb pro series sand filter, Hayward 1.5hp super pump, aquabot xtreme, chlorine

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Here's some personal commentary...feel free to disregard.

    I wouldn't focus on forgiveness or permission. You shouldn't need either. If it's your job to maintain the pool, and you are going to do it responsibly (which clearly the TFPC way is - but you need to be comfortable that it is), I'd just do it. A proper test kit is a requirement. If my wife is responsible for something, and she makes a call on it, good for her. I know that money issues ultimately cause many divorces, but you are making the correct, long-term financial call regarding your pool - GUARANTEED.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Just print this letter:

    Dear ___(insert wife's name)___,

    As representatives of the largest, most active and most correct pool owner's forum on the internet, we do hereby declare and affirm ___(insert your full legal name)___ requires the use of a modern, fully-appointed pool chemistry test kit of either Taylor K-2006 or TFTestkits TF-100 brand and type. The investment in said kit will not return void and will provide significant returns in water quality, reduced chemical usage and general familial satisfaction. Should you require any further affirmation of the above claims, please direct your inquiry to the message boards at troublefreepool.com.

    Most Sincerely,
    Michael R. Banks, BSEET, MSMOT, ASQ-CQE
    TFP Lifetime Member
    16,661 gal IG PebbleTec w/ Spa; 60 ft2 Jandy DE filter, 2 HP Jandy Variable Speed pump; 2 skimmer; 400K BTU Jandy heater; Polaris Sport; opened 9/15/14; TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    How are you related to the smart brother in law? If it's her brother then you are in, just have him tell her you must have it!

    If that doesn't work, do you earn a paycheck? Then part of that money is yours, go buy one.

    My wife would know better before she even attempted to have that conversation, we've been married 32 years and that precedent got set way early on.

    In lieu of laying down the law, I'd let the thing go green and leave it that way, but of course I've been known to be that way.

    You can just make her take the water down to the pool store for free testing every few days, by the time they get done selling her all the stuff she needs, you just may have that green pool.

    Seriously though, unless the pool store is right down the street you will spend more on gas and obligatory purchases than the test kit will ever cost. Good luck though, be aware you will need to buy new reagents every year. Owning a pool, just like owning a car or house, it costs a certain amount to maintain.
    AGP 24' x 54" approx 14000 gal Full sun all day, Hayward 1.5 HP and EC50 D.E. filter
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    Re: Out of the lagoon and into the doghouse

    Due to distribution rights no Taylor product can be purchased by a Canadian from an American retailer unless the Canadian buys the products in the US and carries it across the border. Since the TF100 uses Taylor reagents, it is also not shippable to me. Because of exchange rates and the fact there is only one company who has the exclusive distribution rights in Canada, the cost to us is crazy compared to what you would pay. The K2006 from Walmart for about $60 is $150 here !!!! So I know all about the pain of extra costs to just to have a quality test kit.

    Here is something I learned from this Forum. A quality test kit is essential otherwise you will have poor results and will end up spending money on treatments you don't need. Or, you throw yourself at the mercy of the local pool store who either use poor test methods or don't understand the process and then try to sell you expensive chemicals based on their flawed results. A good kit will empower you to determine your own water chemistry and thus control how much you need to spend to maintain it or correct issues. Try that sell to your wife.

    Here are a few examples of mine:

    New liner installed so had to start with fresh water. I was new to the pool game so trusted the pool store. They had me put in an insane amount of stabilizer to bring the CYA from 0 to a high level of what I learned later would be unacceptable (thank you for the education TFP). I was using chlorine pucks which I learned contained more stabilizer and was not informed of the consequences by the pool store. By the following season I was chlorine locked. Super high concentrations of FC that would not subside and yet algae. Emptying a lot of water and refilling the pool cost me more that a TF100 Kit.

    The next season is when I drained extra water and added fresh so I know I brought the CYA level down. Since I did not even half empty the pool I know CYA levels would be measurable just diluted compared to the FC lock of the season before. For curiosity I took a sample to the store who indicated there was no stabilizer in the water. I brought them two samples both a few days after opening the pool so the fresh water would have nicely mixed with the old water by then. A test strip which does not accurately measure CYA will at least indicate there is some there and yet the pool store was more than happy to sell me tons more stabilizer and lock me up again.

    Last year had some algae. TFP taught me all about shocking and slamming.
    After maintaining a high level of FC I went to the pool store for a water test as I wanted to see what the CC was like. The store told me I had zero FC and should buy their chlorine product to get it back up. Either their reagents were toast (they have them all sitting on a shelf at the counter in direct light for who knows how long, or the guy had no idea what he was doing). I had just added like 30 litres of chlorine over the previous days and they tell me there was 0 FC. And I know it was not because all the chlorine was combined as the water was quite clear by this time. Also, although not accurate, a test strip I used indicated a bright purple. This wont tell me an accurate level of FC but it does confirm a significant measurable amount.

    If I had a quality kit it would have saved me money and aggravation.

    Happy birthday to you, buy a kit
    16' x 32' IG, vinyl, 80k litre (21k gal), "lazy L" (kidney like at deep, squared off at shallow) shallow 3', deep 8', Hayward sand filter 300 lbs, 20gal/min Mod S-244T, Pentair Superflow VS 1.5 HP Model 342001, Raypak Heater 266K BTU Mod P-R266A-EN-C, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, diving board, Southern Ontario (Canada) climate.

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