Introduction: Hi everyone, probably the first post everyone will read of me. I am now sold to the BBB method, and currently in the employment of a Pool Store. I'd like to start by stating that most misdirection, as pointed out by ChemGeek (to which I bow with utmost respect, he earned it) given by Pool Stores, including me, is done out of ignorance... Let's just say that now I know that I know nothing, better than believing you know something you really don't. Our Pool Store does not embrace BBB yet and I will stipulate a few issues our customers have along with what our store would recommend, what I would now with Waterbear's and ChemGeek's teaching and of course asking for the best course of actions.
Bear in mind:
A) None (or more accurately, very few) of my customers know english, up here in QuĂ©bec, Canada. Thus, although I do try to redirect customers to TroubleFreePool, Poolsolutions and The Pool Forum, it is simply not an option for most of my customers.
B) Pool Season's about 4 to 5 months tops (using heaters to prolong it that is). This means most people see few problems with Calcium Hypochlorite and Trichloro-s-triwatever. ''Most'' means some have had horrific Nightmares, especially with our ''No-Named'' Calcium-Hypochlorite (65% but larger granulars than HtH's) and regular trichloro pucks.
Free of course, DPD (not FAS), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and when required Phosphates (no need to flame me on this one, I know... Natural Chemistry seems to be very persuasive on my superiors), Cyanuric Acid, Iron, Copper...
We have ''standards'' (Please, if anyone can link to the thread where ChemGeek shows the standards shown in the industry are worthless with a letter sent about that 486 pool study, I'd be grateful), that we tend to make our customers ''reach'' in order to have a ''balanced'' water. Inside those we do not adjust parameters.
PH: 7.2 - 7.8
Standard speech is that a balanced PH allows chlorine to work. Sodium Carbonate rises it (PH+) and Sodium Bisulphate lowers it (PH-)
I instead tell that a lower PH helps Chlorine works and that a higher PH prevents Corrosion. Aeration can rise PH.
Free Chlorine: 1 - 3
Standard Speech does not precise anything on that matter.
I ask what type of chlorine is used / If pool was stabilized. Adjust my speech accordingly
Alkalinity: 80 - 120
Standard Speech is to keep it in the afforementionned range so that PH doesn't go off balance. PH will drift up if alk is up, down if alk is down. Acid Column myth.
I say it is a buffer. Don't ajust it as long as it is higher than 60 and lower than 200. I did not test the myth of the acid column personally yet, so I still suggest it (shame).
Calcium Hardness: 150-300
Standard Speech stipulates it is no longer needed on Aboveground Pools without a heater, SWG or a Nature 2 System (sigh...). Otherwise we almost always target 150 when it is lower and do nothing if higher. Droning here.
Phosphates: less than 125 ppbs
Standard Speech says to test for it if an algae problem is recurring. Also test as soon as a spa saltwater generator is involved. Standard Ocean Spa Technology procedure (allied with Natural Chemistry... one wonders...)
I like my job so when it comes to it I test it (so I keep it), BUT, I write the results in PPM instead of PPB, and stay honest with my customers. Few buy the 60$Can a jug.
[Edit] This is no longer true. We do not test for phosphates on a regular basis anymore: In fact, if no other explanation, like overstabilisation, happens, phosphates or no, we tell the customer it is important Free Chlorine doesn't fall to 0 ppm. The test may be made to extend the time it takes for a pool to turn green, but the pool never forgives! (This even lead to a SWCG sale ) [/End Edit]
Cyanuric Acid: 30 ppm
Mostly not tested.
Tested everytime Dichlor is used in a spa as main chlorination. Results traumatizing. Trichloro pools also yield interesting results, see later in Problem-Solving.
Others are seldom tested, depends mostly on what is our customer's problems.
Note here that standard procedure is to ask the customer for the most informations we can about the said problem. We often make sure the customer takes easy steps to be sure of the problem's nature. Especially true with Well Water, often ridden with surprisingly high amounts of Copper / Iron / Maganese. I have nothing to say against the Pool Store's methods for these problems. This area of the business we did have decent informations on.
First, ''balance'' your water parameters (PH, Alk, CH). Then Shock (75% HTH Supershock pouch or Chlorine at hand if granular / liquid) and on the next morning, pour 1 liter of Polyquat 60% (HtH again). Works mildly because polyquat somehow stop the algae from spreading while the pool haven't chlorine in it.
First, test for CYA. If none is present, Shock using Dichlor (people are surprised because Dichlor is solely a spa product here) until a set amount, depending on Pool Size was used. Test thrice a day, oTo must show another color than yellow, if it falls, add more. Use other type of chlorine to shock afterward. If Cya is over 9000 (read 100), I strongly recommand a partial drain.
Here, some questionning is in place, but most of the time it comes to dead algaes. Standard procedure: Clarifier. Got a fancy one that goes in the skimmer to help it do its job. Micron thing... no comment
I check more deeply for the source. Often there is a Calcium buildup (thanks Calcium Hypochlorite for the souvenir) over my poor customer's sand. combined with what you guys calls ''Channeling'', calciums goes back into the pool, and it turns white. I suggest a clarifier if patience is not an option, but tell them their filter will catch on.
Time's running out. Please give me your advice on these practices. Will post more later.
But, if you do find someone who knows pools, and is not trying to load the Monsanto's entire 1998 chemical output into your trunk . . . well, then it's worth the extra bucks. Just keep in mind, what's worth money is not what's in the bucket, but what's in the dealer's head . . . and heart.
Will put it in sign