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Thread: New Pool Owner

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    New Pool Owner

    Got my first pool this year. The package I bought came with the first summers chemicals. The brand is Sustain, its a 3 part system. I don't see much talk about it on the forums. My question is is this a good product or should I be using something else.

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    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW PA

    Re: New Pool Owner

    I like the BBB as do many others here.

    Bleach, Borax and Baking Soda. Just can't go wrong there and it's cheap.

    I just googled for giggles and the price of that stuff is OUTRAGEOUS! If you can't give it back for store credit, sell it!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: New Pool Owner

    Found some info here and here. They don't want to tell you what is in their Summer Shield, and your water has to be balanced and algae free before you start using it. It also says not to mix their unstabilized "blue" tabs with stabilized "white" tabs due to possible fire or explosion. Sounds like cal-hypo system! It may be more trouble than it is worth. Also I checked the dealer locator and there isn't anyone within 50 miles of my place that sells it! Do a little research and see if it sounds like something you are willing to deal with. Also, they recommend a calcium hardness level of 200 to 800, which seems awfully high to me.

    Edit: More info, MDS and price list. Yep, cal-hypo tabs. And those prices are something else!
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    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Greenville, SC

    Re: New Pool Owner

    I hope I'm not to late to get in on this post, but I am a Sustain Dealer in South Carolina and would like to add my 2 cents worth. From personal experience, tri-chlor to Baquacil(sp) to salt to Sustain, Sustain is the easiest chemical system out there. The main reason its not talked about is dealers don't understand how easy it is to maintain. Most dealers that I try to help, try to utilize Sustain like a tri chlor system when it is definitely not.
    With Sustain, you do have to balance the water (like all other systems including BBB), the add Sustain Shock to charge the Summer Shield (or as I call it the Pool boy in a bottle). Then your big tablets and little tablets. Then test once a week for ph, total chl, and free chl. It is true you have to adjust the Stabilizer at the beginning of the pool season, but after that you generally don't have to watch it again. Sustain guarantees against algae growth in your pool when you use the system. If you mix any chemicals together you can get reaction that is less then desirable, look at all the regulations on cough medicines.
    As far as the price factor, I've actually had customers that work in a big box store compare with family members and at the end of a swim season, Sustain came out cheaper. Plus there were no trips to the doctor for swimmers ear, bacterial infection from unsanitary pool water, etc, etc.

    Again, I'm just throwing my 2 cents in and just trying to help out.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: New Pool Owner

    With prices for equivalent amounts of chlorine that are more than double what either trichlor or bleach costs, I don't see how Sustain could possibly even begin to compete on price.

    Ease of use is a little more difficult to compare. The amount of work required seems similar to what is required with trichlor and a tablet feeder. Sustain probably wins out over trichlor by a narrow margin because the PH will be much more stable and you don't have to constantly add something to raise the PH. However, comparing to a SWG, the SWG has to win since it doesn't require any manual addition of chlorine while the Sustain system calls for refilling the dispenser weekly.

    Sustain constantly adds CH, which will be a problem in some situations.
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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: New Pool Owner

    Short answer: use something else

    Some semi-technical details follow (so ignore if not interested).

    The MSDS for Sustain® Summer Shield says it is salt plus "Sustain Shield (proprietary)". The byproducts of decomposition/combustion and the oral toxicity to rats are somewhat similar to that of sodium cyanurate as with Instant Pool Water Conditioner (liquid CYA), though this could be a related compound such as glycouril instead. Basically, whatever this is sounds very similar to CYA in that it holds a "reserve" of chlorine releasing it as needed. Also, with any chlorine, you'd need something to protect it from breakdown in sunlight. PPG says in this link that Sustain Shield is protected by patent which I believe is this patent where there is essentially a CYA-like substance that binds with chlorine to form a reserve (the chemical is a derivative of 2-oxazolidinone and combines with chlorine to form a derivative of 3-chloro-2-oxazolidinone -- a paper describing the bactericidal properties of such a compound is here).

    Sustain® Shield Energizer Tablets are Cal-Hypo tablets (> 65%).

    Sustain Chlorinating (blue) Tablets are also Cal-Hypo (> 65%).

    With Cal-Hypo, for every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC), it also increases Calcium Hardness (CH) by 7 ppm so you need significant water dilution to keep CH in check, though it's easier to do than keeping CYA in check from Trichlor tabs.

    Bottom line, this system is far more expensive than using a regular chlorine source. As for the algae-prevention properties, one can use PolyQuat 60 weekly if they believe they will be unable to properly maintain a chlorine level during the week, though this isn't necessary if you simply maintain an appropriate chlorine level. In fact, even the PPG guarantee for Sustain is void if you don't maintain 1-3 ppm FC and 1.5-5 ppm Shield concentrations. Note that stabilizer (CYA) is used separately in the system from "Shield" and is supposed to be at 30-50 ppm.

    I maintain my 16,000 gallon pool shown here and here using 12.5% chlorinating liquid twice a week (I have a pool cover) plus a small amount of acid every month or two. It costs me around $17 per month in chemicals (at a daily FC usage of a little under 1 ppm).
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