Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    14

    Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    Hello! Newbie here. We moved into this house 11 months ago and it came with a pool. It also came with the pool guy who has taken care of it for the past 8 years or so, as well as the neighbor's pool. He's been super nice, and the pool has stayed clear for the most part, until just a couple weeks ago. So, for $75/month, he comes in, checks the PH and Chlorine, then dumps in some liquid chlorine and some muriatic acid. That's it. It cost extra to have him clean the DE filter, extra for the CYA, and now this week he's supposed to be bringing some PhosFree (phoshpates are up around 2000), and some sort of pellet algae killer (we have black algae) at cost. He's also bringing me a brush for the pool. We have a Polaris sweeper that does a pretty good job, but no one ever told us we were supposed to sweep the pool or do anything more than scoop leaves and such out. The sides of the pool have a golden tinge to spots that do brush off with some elbow grease, but I was told not to scrub the plaster with a stainless steel brush (which I had just bought for the algae). My husband's friend has been telling us we're paying for nothing and that the pool needs to have more attention than once a week. In fact, the past two weeks, the pool guy said our chlorine was at zero so he's been adding extra chlorine. But if WE had been checking it more regularly, it would not have gotten to that point, which is also likely the reason we got areas of black algae? So, are we getting our money's worth? I just ordered the K-2006 test kit which should be here tomorrow. My husband and I are going to read through the Pool School materials and we're hoping that we can learn a lot and be able to handle this on our own. Thanks for any tips and thoughts!
    Tracy and Eric
    San Jose, CA
    In ground pool, 29,300 gallon, plaster pool, Crystal Clear II D.E. filter, HST 150 pump 1.5 hpr, 95 gpm, Century Pool & Spa Motor Q-173840-23 booster pump for Polaris sweep, K-2006 test kit.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Santa Ana, CA
    Posts
    523

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    Quote Originally Posted by ButterflyPool View Post
    Hello! Newbie here. We moved into this house 11 months ago and it came with a pool. It also came with the pool guy who has taken care of it for the past 8 years or so, as well as the neighbor's pool. He's been super nice, and the pool has stayed clear for the most part, until just a couple weeks ago. So, for $75/month, he comes in, checks the PH and Chlorine, then dumps in some liquid chlorine and some muriatic acid. That's it. It cost extra to have him clean the DE filter, extra for the CYA, and now this week he's supposed to be bringing some PhosFree (phoshpates are up around 2000), and some sort of pellet algae killer (we have black algae) at cost. He's also bringing me a brush for the pool. We have a Polaris sweeper that does a pretty good job, but no one ever told us we were supposed to sweep the pool or do anything more than scoop leaves and such out. The sides of the pool have a golden tinge to spots that do brush off with some elbow grease, but I was told not to scrub the plaster with a stainless steel brush (which I had just bought for the algae). My husband's friend has been telling us we're paying for nothing and that the pool needs to have more attention than once a week. In fact, the past two weeks, the pool guy said our chlorine was at zero so he's been adding extra chlorine. But if WE had been checking it more regularly, it would not have gotten to that point, which is also likely the reason we got areas of black algae? So, are we getting our money's worth? I just ordered the K-2006 test kit which should be here tomorrow. My husband and I are going to read through the Pool School materials and we're hoping that we can learn a lot and be able to handle this on our own. Thanks for any tips and thoughts!
    Welcome!

    One thing for sure: to maintain pool properly you need to test it more often than once a week and most likely adjust balance based on results. In my fully manual case (no chem automation) I test water every other day and add bleach or sometimes MA. I'd imagine my pool would be out of wack over 1 week period: it is losing 1.5 ppm to the Sun daily which is low on average so over 1 week it'd lose 10.5 ppm just from being out there under the Sun. Since my FC target is 5 ppm it would be having FC=0 for half a week, sure thing algae would grow there. Over chlorinating 'in advance' is also bad as it would make water harsh to swim in. So unless you have some automatic liquid chlorine dispenser or your pool guy supplements liquid chlorine with slow dissolving tablets I don't see how your water can be maintained properly with weekly visits. Visiting more often would stop making business sense I guess.

    It's great you ordered test kit, so you could verify all of this yourself. Please don't use stainless steel brush on the plaster- there are not many things you can remove from it mechanically but you will damage the surface. I brush my pool weekly with normal pool brush and it's quite enough.

    I'm pretty sure you'll find this forum very useful as it promotes the same ideas you came to realization yourself. Consider yourself lucky as most new owners find their pool water with very high CYA levels which leads to other problems. You might find yours to be too low but that's an easy fix .
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,710

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    You do have one more thing to do.................FIRE the pool boy Your pool is only going to go down hill if you keep using him.

    Here are some links for you. I set them up for new pool people which you fall under now that you are going to take care of your own pool. It is a lot of info. so take it slow and easy. It will all start to make sense as you start to use it:

    Print these out:
    Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

    Pool School - Recommended Levels

    Bookmark these:
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    Make sure to ask any and all questions you might have no matter how small! We have all been where you are at one point.

    You just THOUGHT your pool looked good before! Wait until you see it the TFP way!

    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

  4. Back To Top    #4
    TomGallopavo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Hillbillyville, MO
    Posts
    137

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    My pool is much smaller than yours but by the end of summer I will have spent less than 50 bucks on bleach and muriatic acid. I suspect next year will be less without having to lower my TA.
    Spring 2016 Install, 24'x54" Saltwater LX AG Round Pool (13500 gal.), AquaPro 200 SQ. FT. Cartridge Filter System 2-HP 2-Speed Pump, Solaxx Saltron Retro Jet RJ Saltwater Chlorine Generator, Aqualuminator Above Ground Pool Light, TF-100 Test Kit w/ Borate and Salt, Well Water.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Defgufman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Savannah GA
    Posts
    577

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    Prepare for a SLAM thread in 3...2.....1......
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

    Pool School, Pool Math, CYA to FC ratio chart, Testing Kits

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Shekkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Grafton, Ohio
    Posts
    55

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    Quote Originally Posted by ButterflyPool View Post
    Hello! Newbie here. We moved into this house 11 months ago and it came with a pool. It also came with the pool guy who has taken care of it for the past 8 years or so, as well as the neighbor's pool. He's been super nice, and the pool has stayed clear for the most part, until just a couple weeks ago. So, for $75/month, he comes in, checks the PH and Chlorine, then dumps in some liquid chlorine and some muriatic acid. That's it. It cost extra to have him clean the DE filter, extra for the CYA, and now this week he's supposed to be bringing some PhosFree (phoshpates are up around 2000), and some sort of pellet algae killer (we have black algae) at cost. He's also bringing me a brush for the pool. We have a Polaris sweeper that does a pretty good job, but no one ever told us we were supposed to sweep the pool or do anything more than scoop leaves and such out. The sides of the pool have a golden tinge to spots that do brush off with some elbow grease, but I was told not to scrub the plaster with a stainless steel brush (which I had just bought for the algae). My husband's friend has been telling us we're paying for nothing and that the pool needs to have more attention than once a week. In fact, the past two weeks, the pool guy said our chlorine was at zero so he's been adding extra chlorine. But if WE had been checking it more regularly, it would not have gotten to that point, which is also likely the reason we got areas of black algae? So, are we getting our money's worth? I just ordered the K-2006 test kit which should be here tomorrow. My husband and I are going to read through the Pool School materials and we're hoping that we can learn a lot and be able to handle this on our own. Thanks for any tips and thoughts!
    I bought my house last fall which came with a lovely inground pool. After reading a ton through this site this past Summer has been a breeze. I spend an hour-ish a week testing/cleaning and have had zero issues maintain clear/healthy water. I am certainly no rocket scientist so I'm sure y'all will be fine.
    33k(ish) gallon, IG, vinyl liner, Pentair IC60 SWG, Pentair Triton II sand filter, 1.5hp Pentair VS pump (SuperFlo), Sta-Rite (Pentair) 400K BTU heater (LP), (2) Pentair LED spa lights, TF-100 test kit w/speed stir

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Paradise (Hampstead, NC)
    Posts
    333

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    There is no such thing as a "maintenance free" pool, but there is such a thing as a "Trouble Free Pool". Which you don't have - yet. The information here can allow you to have a pool that is so easy to take care of that it can be embarrassing when you are around other people who either hire pool maintenance or rely on the "experts" at the Pool $tore. I do check the chlorine and ph every morning - 5 minutes. I adjust the ph as necessary - every week or two - 2 minutes. I vacuum as needed - every week or two while enjoying a cup of coffee and the morning- 45 minutes. Otherwise I swim and kick up any dirt that has fallen in so the filter can get it out. Or you can pay $75 per month plus chemicals and have algae, cloudy water and all the other issues. Hmmmm.....a lot to think about.
    16X32 AB, Pentair SD filter, 3/4hp Pentair Optiflo, CircuPool RJ30+ swg, TF 100

  8. Back To Top    #8


    TFP Guide

    bmoreswim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Central MD
    Posts
    3,294

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    Unless he's also bringing you drinks on trays with appetizers and great discounts on event tickets in addition to his pool work, then no, you are not getting your money's worth.
    You can do it. Promise. Don't look back.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Martinez, CA
    Posts
    207

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    As said above, you will need to determine chemical levels in the pool and then proceed accordingly. For,example, if you have been using chlorine tablets for any legnth of time, you CYA is probably way too high so would need to partially drain water inorder to lower it and make any chlorine treatments effective. When you get your test kit, post the results and folks here will guide you in the proper direction of next steps.
    18,000 gunite pool/spa combo. Pebble tec, iaqualink rs8, cl580 filter, aquapure 1400, 400k btu lx heater, 10 solar panels, jandy 1hp, 1 1/2hp, and 2hp stealth pumps for circ, spa, waterfall

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    It sounds like on the spectrum of pool services, you have a fairly good one, however it is nearly impossible to maintain a pool with weekly chemical additions. In order for a pool to maintain relatively stable chemical levels you really need to add chlorine on a daily, or every other day basis, and adjust other parameters as needed (ph drift for example varies considerably from pool to pool). For some pools this can be pushed out to every 3-4 days excluding when there are weather events, however few people are willing to pay for a pool service that comes by 2 or 3 times per week, particularly when their neighbors service costs less and only shows up once per week.

    Ike
    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~

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    14

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    Thank you for all the warm welcomes and the support. We have never used chlorine tablets... the pool guy says they're bad news. He had to increase our CYA at the beginning of the season, and he mentioned he might need to add some more, so I don't think it's high. Could be partly why the chlorine isn't sticking around. Oh, and we keep it covered with a solar blanket except when we're swimming in order to keep the water warm enough to swim. The only reason I got a stainless steel brush was because it was in the instructions here on TFP for the black algae treatment. I will check back when I have more to share. Thanks again!
    Tracy and Eric
    San Jose, CA
    In ground pool, 29,300 gallon, plaster pool, Crystal Clear II D.E. filter, HST 150 pump 1.5 hpr, 95 gpm, Century Pool & Spa Motor Q-173840-23 booster pump for Polaris sweep, K-2006 test kit.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Santa Ana, CA
    Posts
    523

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    Quote Originally Posted by ButterflyPool View Post
    Thank you for all the warm welcomes and the support. We have never used chlorine tablets... the pool guy says they're bad news. He had to increase our CYA at the beginning of the season, and he mentioned he might need to add some more, so I don't think it's high. Could be partly why the chlorine isn't sticking around. Oh, and we keep it covered with a solar blanket except when we're swimming in order to keep the water warm enough to swim. The only reason I got a stainless steel brush was because it was in the instructions here on TFP for the black algae treatment. I will check back when I have more to share. Thanks again!
    Cover is important detail: besides keeping water warm by preventing evaporation it should also reduce FC loss during daytime so I expect your pool to require less than 1 ppm FC daily. All you need is to clean it up and balance the water, it should be easy from that point on. Please hold off scrubbing for now until you get FC to the correct level so it would be easier to do. When you receive your test kit run the tests and post results here if you'd need recommendations:
    FC=
    CC=
    CYA=
    pH=
    TA=
    CH=
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    14

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    We finally took some time today to read, and re-read the clear as mud directions on how to test the water. From observation of the pool guy, I thought it was super easy, just drop some chemicals in a water sample and bam, you're done. It's a bit more complicated than that, but I think after some videos and practice, we got it.

    FC= 6.0 ppm
    CC= .5 ppm
    CYA=35
    pH= 7.2
    TA=70 ppm
    CH= 700

    The water balance circular thing that came with the test says our water balance is .05, which is corrosive to concrete/plaster.

    Next step? The pool guy is paid up through the month. Not sure if we're comfortable yet letting him go. It was a very confusing day just to get this figured out! We don't want to counter anything he's doing, and we have no supplies at the moment.
    Tracy and Eric
    San Jose, CA
    In ground pool, 29,300 gallon, plaster pool, Crystal Clear II D.E. filter, HST 150 pump 1.5 hpr, 95 gpm, Century Pool & Spa Motor Q-173840-23 booster pump for Polaris sweep, K-2006 test kit.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Eustis, Florida
    Posts
    68

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    That looks a lot better than I expected for a pool service that comes once a week.
    AGP 33' x 54" Lomart Verona, Approx. 27,300 gallons, Pentair cartridge filter/pump 2-speed, 1.5 hp, Dolphin Escape robotic cleaner.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Northern IL
    Posts
    4,615

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    Except for the CH, those numbers are pretty good!

    If the CYA test was half way between 30 and 40, count it as 40. The scale is logarithmic, not linear, as you can see from the gradations on the vial.

    Did you get a chance to study Kimkats links? PoolMath, Pool School - PoolMath , will be especially comforting.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,710

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    Do not read any of the paperwork in the test kit. LOL

    Use the links I shared as THEY are what TFP bases pool care on. It is all science based as well as real world tested in thousand of pools over many years.

    I would have the pool guy stop as the two do not mix very well and he could cause you to go back a step or two trying to mix what he does and what your daily tests say to do.

    Here are a couple of my tricks for the tests:

    -PH-I hold a white, plastic plate up behind the PH tube at about shoulder height. I pull the plate back and forth until I can see the color match. My arm holding the tube has a slight bend. I hold everything under the very bright light of my range hood.

    -CYA-GLANCE in only. Do NOT stare as you WILL end up seeing the dot LOL. GLANCE only and call it good when you do not see the dot. You can pour the CYA test water back and forth as needed to find your level.

    I hope this helps some.

    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

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    14

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    Thanks. And I think I'm getting it. I take my measurements, plug them into the Pool Math page, set my goals and then see if we're balanced. If not, it tells us what we need to do to get balanced. I will continue to read as much info as possible. I need to go shopping for some supplies to have on hand. We also measured the pool yesterday. 29,300 gallons. (Don't ask me to round... hubby is an engineer and well, those types just love to crunch numbers. I know he's validating these numbers today at work.)
    Tracy and Eric
    San Jose, CA
    In ground pool, 29,300 gallon, plaster pool, Crystal Clear II D.E. filter, HST 150 pump 1.5 hpr, 95 gpm, Century Pool & Spa Motor Q-173840-23 booster pump for Polaris sweep, K-2006 test kit.

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,710

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    That is awesome to hear!!!

    If you have ANY questions make sure to ask. We love to help and answer questions.

    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

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Divin Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Longview, Texas
    Posts
    4,926

    Re: Pool Service Guy - I don't think we're getting our money's worth

    Well on the bright side, your pool guy has only been using liquid chlorine and he doesn't like the tabs. He is miles ahead of most other pool guys in that respect.

    Unfortunately, adding the proper amount of liquid chlorine each day is not something the pool guy can do. So he's been elevating the FC when he comes and it drifts down too low before he gets back to do it again. Thats why you got black algae, and from the sound of it, the green algae too, which you described as golden spots on the sides that brush off.....

    anyways, you have a great test kit now and some knowledge on how to go forward. In no time, this is all be simple stuff to you.
    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 !!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •