This is not my first post or the first thread I have started with TFP, but I am still a newbie at all of this. I am also a newbie at pool ownership all together. I purchased a pool, not because I wanted it, but because my wife wanted it. You know, “Happy wife, happy life”? Of course, I am the one who is most in it now, but that is a different story.
I wanted to make this post so that those of you that are or will be in my situation might be able to learn from my mistakes. Luckily I have not had a problem with my algae or had the unfortunate problem of having to SLAM my pool. I had that other major problem…. I listened and trusted in the POOL STORE.
Being a new owner of a swimming pool, I did not understand pool chemistry and just listened to the Pool Store about how to:
- Adjust my pool chemicals
- Use a float with chlorine pucks to have a carefree pool
- Use algaecide weekly to keep any algae from forming
- Shock the pool weekly to kill the nasties that may be forming
- Come to them weekly to have my water tested FREE
So I was diligent the first couple of months doing exactly what I was told. I purchased:
- A Floating Duck Chlorine puck holder - $20
- Chlorine Pucks for the Season - $150
- Stabilizer to keep my chlorine from a sunburn - $80
- Calcium to make my water soft (ahem!)- $30
- Algaecide for the Season - $60
- Shock for the Season - $125
Total cost from my FREE testing results - $465.00
The problem I had was that I was a new pool owner, but I have worked as an Analyst my whole life. I started to analyze the FREE reports (with Gold Stars I might add) I was getting back so that I could watch for trends and understand what was happening in my pool. I noticed that over the course of the time I had my pool, the CYA level had crept up from 30ppm to 98ppm. So the next time I went to the Pool Store, I casually asked about this increase. I pointed out that their prime range they had on my FREE reports was 30-100ppm, and I was starting to push the top of the range. I was worried that I was not going to get a Gold Star soon because one of my test items would be in the bad area. I wanted to know what I needed to do to lower this CYA to ensure I get my Gold Star. The Pool Store man looked up over his glasses at me and said:
“You will need to drain your pool”
!!!!! What??!! I had done everything they told me and now I will need to drain my pool??!! Surely there was a chemical that they could sell me to fix this problem. I mean looking around in the Pool Store, I saw lots of chemicals that I had yet to try. So I asked them again if there was something on these shelves that I could use to lower it. I mean what does everyone else do who owns a pool? So he told me that most people are not as particular as me. If they were, they would drain their pool twice a year, and just use the chemicals he sells to bring it back to a Gold Star status.
So the analyst in me started researching and Google brought me here. I studied Pool School. I read many posts from the wonderful moderators here and users like Chem Geek (hope it is alright to mention another user who I have never spoken to. Not sure if he is still an active poster, but his old posts made sense). I also started a thread just to talk out loud to make sure I understood what I had read in Pool School.
The results from all of the above is that I am now using exotic chemicals from Walmart like bleach, borax, and baking soda. I look like a mad chemist with my Taylor testing kit (instead of my FREE reports). And best of all, when I have a pool full of friends who are complimenting me on how blue my water is, I am confident that it is safe and understand why it is that way.
So the point is that TFP COULD HAVE saved this newbie $465.00 and COULD HAVE saved YOU from having to read such a long post. My only hope is that this post (along with a little help from TFP) will help YOU to save $465.00 and keep you away from the dreaded Pool Store.