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Thread: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

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    Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    This may have been answered before, but I'll ask anyway.

    The general TFP guidance is that I don't need to super chlorinate if I keep chlorine above the min level for my CYa. Yet, every chlorine product you buy in the stores will give you the "once a week / superchlorination" recommendation. Is that simply to make you use more? Is that simply age-old wisdom that the industry refuses to let go? Is it being "overly cautious", since many people aren't patient enough to check chlorine once a day, and better to be safe than sorry?

    Similar question...I asked the guy at pool store, "What do most people do to chlorinate their pool?" He said it was the trichlor pucks. If that's the case, do all these people end up draining their pool like I did? Do they eventually have a big algae problem that forces a draining? You'd think you'd hear about more problems if everyone was doing the trichlor thing. (And maybe they're are lots of problems, but I don't know about them.)

    It certainly makes it difficult as a consumer / pool owner.

    Simply inquisitive.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Welcome to the site where folks here have the fewest problems of anybody after gaining an uderstanding of pool chemistry. Mostly because they have a GOOD test kit that is accurate and consistant and understand the effects of adding this or that to their pool chemistry. There's an awful lot of folks here who have never HAD to shock their pool. That speaks volumes. Pool store tests are inconsistent at best, requiring more chemicals to fix your problem. Folks here are always willing to walk you through a problem.
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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Quote Originally Posted by sws1
    "What do most people do to chlorinate their pool?" He said it was the trichlor pucks. If that's the case, do all these people end up draining their pool like I did? Do they eventually have a big algae problem that forces a draining? You'd think you'd hear about more problems if everyone was doing the trichlor thing. (And maybe they're are lots of problems, but I don't know about them.)
    We are one of those who did not know better and ended up with big time algae. We hired a pool service company to take care of the pool for 1.5 years. Two summers in a row, there was algae. I called the pool service comapny and they would treat it. I don't know what they used to test the water but they used chlorine tabs in our pool. After they were gone, the algae came back, twice, and we had to do the treatment ourselves. Like you, I am surprised that we don't hear more about these problems more often.
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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Let me explain it in the simplest terms: TFP is here to help you, whereas the pool store is there to SELL you something! When you want to buy something, and you find the place that you want to buy it from, that is a good thing! When you want unbiased information but somebody tries to sell you something, that is not such a good thing!

    Stick with these folks here. Nothing to sell you, and a whole lot of good, honest (and free!) information that does work

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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    I do not shock my pool weekly. In the last three years I have only shocked my pool at spring startup to ensure that I do not have any algae or bacteria.

    When we first moved into a house with a pool I would ask the pool store why we should shock the pool weekly. I never received a satisfactory answer. Sometimes it was “to be safe”, or “that is our standard advice” or “this method works”. In defense of pool stores they may have found that since most pool owners do not know how to test their water or they allow the FC level to go too low the store has happier customers if they have a clear pool by weekly shocking, whether necessary or not.

    You now know that weekly shocking is not necessary.

    The trichlor buildup may require several years. So the problems of too much CYA can be hidden for some time. Also, pool stores push high margin algaecide which can mask the problem further. When the CYA gets so high to cause algae the pool store will make up a reason that does not reflect on their poor advice and tell the customer that they have “chlorine lockup” or other dubious reason.

    Read the Pool School articles and maintaining a pool becomes simple.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    The weekly shock pool store method is a combination of things, first it is throwing money at the problem, second it (at least for a time) can cover up all sorts of problems associtated with an out of balance pool.

    I am not against the occasional chlorine pool shock, in fact it is my first reaction when I see test results looking off (better to catch it early)

    To answer the other part of your question, the eventual uncontrollable algae bloom does happen to most people, but they have just been taught over the years that it is part of owning a pool. I would go so far as to bet that the majority of people here that started off on the pool store method have expereinced an algae bloom directly attributed to high CYA levels and tri-chlor pucks.

    I have a theory based on many years of pool care, and it basicly states that there was a time when water was cheap, most pools had undersized sand filters, and robots did not do the vacuuming when the pool store method sort of worked (at least for a while). Back then there was a lot more water turn over, because all that water would go out the waste port, and thereby keep the CYA levels down (at least for longer), many of these pools would also be drained at the end of the swim season. Today's pools are more of a closed system, more people have heaters, and therefore longer swim seasons, these pools rarely or ever get drained, and only a small fraction of the water goes out the waste port. Therefore keeping the water balanced is more important than ever, and constantly adding products (tri-chlor) that raise the CYA level (that can only be effectively lowered by water replacement) leads to an eventual demise.

    Ike
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  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Excellent answers. And pretty much what I was thinking.

    And of course, those of us that are super inquisitive NEED to get to bottom of questions like these, so that we can do the correct thing going forward.

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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Quote Originally Posted by sws1
    .... those of us that are super inquisitive NEED to get to bottom of questions like these, so that we can do the correct thing going forward.
    That's me too.
    IG pebbletec pool: size of pool: 27,000 gal; filter: cartridge - Hayward Superstar Clear; pump size: 1.5 HP; TF 100 Test kit - got it on 7-29-10; The Pool Cleaner-4-wheel suction model; Pool calculator: http://www.poolcalculator.com/; bleach calc: http://troublefreepool.com/files/BleachCalc262.exe

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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    This my 1st post, and I bought a house with a 30 year old in-ground pool in May of this year ('10). The advice from friends with pools & my agent was to just take a sample to the local pool store once a week and you'll be set. Well, if you're not from Florida there is a pool chain called "Pinch a Penny" in every strip mall. Very nice (young aka high school aged) staff and the free water analysis results sheet they give you has their "ABC's of Pool Care" on the back:

    A = Maintain your pool with Suncoast Stabilized Chlorine Tablets everyday
    B = Shock your pool once a week using Suncoast Gold liquid chlorinating shock
    C = Wait 24 hours after shocking and add a dose of Suncoast All in One Algaecide.

    I've never had an algae issue other than the 1st week of my move-in where the electricity had been turned off for 2 weeks by the previous owner. But, I blindly followed the ABC's because of others advice. Then the test reports started varying substantially from week to week. I got suspicious & bought an inexpensive test kit. I still took a water sample in for analysis, but I didn't dump in the recommended chemicals and let in ride for 2 weeks without any adjustments. The next sample I took in tested as perfect (I did absolutely nothing for 2 weeks). That's when I did a web search and found TFP. Got the TF100 & I'm only going to the pool store for their cheap 12.5% chlorine (~1.6 cents per oz) since I've already got a deposit on the jugs.

    So my short pool store experience and the printed store literature is meant to seduce you into spending too much money chasing the overdosing of your pool with their high margin chemicals.

    Just my opinion & everybody's got one - Bob
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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    We have a similar pool chain around here called Leslie's. They pretty much told me the same A & B but she forgot the C. By then, I already joined this forum and learned about BBB so the information went in one ear and out the next. They did tell a friend of mine about their ABC's of Pool Care and he follows it most of the time.
    IG pebbletec pool: size of pool: 27,000 gal; filter: cartridge - Hayward Superstar Clear; pump size: 1.5 HP; TF 100 Test kit - got it on 7-29-10; The Pool Cleaner-4-wheel suction model; Pool calculator: http://www.poolcalculator.com/; bleach calc: http://troublefreepool.com/files/BleachCalc262.exe

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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    I think a lot of the dynamics of "puck feeding" need to be considered as well, many people throw them into the skimmer and leave the pump on 24-7. This creates a 'superchlorinated zone" in the strainer and pumping system which simulates a SWG but adding CYA at the same time, this "zone" will suppress algae as long as it is maintained constantly...hence the mentality of "just keep the strainer full of pucks" from the pool stores.

    Of course forget that puck loading and let it run without for any length of time and your inviting disaster which can be then blamed on the homeowner for neglecting the pool at which point the consumer is told "add X amount of algacide and fill the strainer with pucks again". I see it as a vicious circle myself which benefits no one but the pool store and their bottom line, I went to the place that installed my pool 20 years ago to inquire on a new liner (the original is still in great shape and properly installed) and the level of knowledge I heard from the patrons while waiting in line astounded me...ignorant doesn't describe it.

    Not only do most people not know what they are doing, they don't want to know either...as usual the lowest common denominator is ignorance. I actually heard one patron mention to another person in line how one of their neighbors was using household bleach to chlorinate their pool and how dangerous they thought that was and they would "never let my kids swim in that pool!" while the other patron shook their head in disbelief and shock.

    All I could do was roll my eyes and bite my tongue, I guess ignorance is bliss...but it sure is expensive.
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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Just opened my brand new IG pool this year. For the first few weeks I was using the pucks and shocking the pool weekly with the granules they gave me - all out of sheer ignorance. Then I found TFP and have since switched to the BBB method. Since then, I maintain fairly consistent levels, my water is always sparkling clear, I NEVER smell a strong chlorine odor (from chloramines), and only once have I had to shock my pool - but only because the levels started to indicate I might be heading towards an algae bloom. I brought the FC up to shock level, and it immediately resolved the issue and I was able to let it come right back down. I managed to do all this on a Thursday and still have the pool in perfect swimming condition by the weekend!! I tell this story because if I followed the pool store methods, I wouldn't have even known I was having an algae issue until it was too late and the pool was slimy green. I guess pool ownership is like everything else - if you stay on top of it, the maintenance is constant, but much easier than if you're trying to deal with a major issue. I guess that's really the definition of a Trouble Free Pool!!
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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Quote Originally Posted by sws1
    This may have been answered before, but I'll ask anyway.

    The general TFP guidance is that I don't need to super chlorinate if I keep chlorine above the min level for my CYa. Yet, every chlorine product you buy in the stores will give you the "once a week / superchlorination" recommendation. Is that simply to make you use more? Is that simply age-old wisdom that the industry refuses to let go? Is it being "overly cautious", since many people aren't patient enough to check chlorine once a day, and better to be safe than sorry?

    Similar question...I asked the guy at pool store, "What do most people do to chlorinate their pool?" He said it was the trichlor pucks. If that's the case, do all these people end up draining their pool like I did? Do they eventually have a big algae problem that forces a draining? You'd think you'd hear about more problems if everyone was doing the trichlor thing. (And maybe they're are lots of problems, but I don't know about them.)

    It certainly makes it difficult as a consumer / pool owner.

    Simply inquisitive.
    Pool Store Clerk Here:

    "What do most people do to chlorinate their pool?"
    Chlorine Pucks. Most people won't bother putting chlorine in their pool every day. They do not bother testing their water either.

    As CYA builds up, pool would usually (and still does occasionnaly) build up algae. Do you bore them up with testing, or do you give them a magic answer like (shock a week to wake up the dromant chlorine) and see him leave with a temporary feeling of not having to care or spend efforts on his pool?

    Sadly, most people try hard not to displease.


    ''You'd think you'd hear about more problems if everyone was doing the trichlor thing.''

    Actually, you'd be surprised how easy other culprits are made up. Sometimes by the customer (did I forget?), sometimes by the clerk (your chlorine's gotten lazy, shock it), sometimes by the industry (did you test for the phosphate level? Phosphates causes a lot of pool to turn green, it eats chlorine.).

    [EDIT] Add: Even the extremely low PH of chlorine pucks is covered by the acid rain. *sigh* [/END EDIT]


    ''Is that simply to make you use more?''

    Side-benefit. The one who gives you the recommendations is probably ignorant of what's going on and really willing to help. That's why they're often teenagers... Why're they kept ignorant? Might help the sales.


    ''do all these people end up draining their pool like I did?''

    Probably. Or they keep buying chemicals to fix problems caused by other chemicals until they take the initiative to actually empty the pool. This often leads to strange beliefs about Pool Chemistry that is simply untrue. Fear of some products, overconfidence in others.
    Pool: None, and All.
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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    First time ever owning a pool this year. I used nothing but trichlor tabs for the first 6 months. When I had my first algae bloom, Cal Hypo shock worked great and cleared it up within 8 hours. Month later, another algae bloom and I had to shock it for 2 days to clear it up. Two more weeks go by, another algae bloom. This time took 3 days of shocking to clear it up. Went on vacation for a week and came back to a swamp. Kept adding shock for 2 weeks and could not clear up the algae.

    Leslies sold me some algaecide and that did not work. Tried Yellow-out and that turned the water blue, but left a cloudy mess. Tried Pool First Aid but that didn't help the cloudiness. Tried Leslies clarifier and that didn't work either. A week later, pool went from blue cloudy to green swamp again. The last advice from Leslies clerk was "Some algae cant be killed. Drain and refill is the only option. In fact, pools should be drained every 3 years or so."

    Luckily, I found TFP and went to Pool School. I stopped using the trichlor pucks and switched to bleach. Got the TF-100 XL kit, followed the directions on this site for Defeating Algae:
    pool-school/defeating_algae

    My water has been crystal blue ever since. And, my pool is no longer a money pit!

    I dont blame Leslies or their clerks. If you buy their stuff, you can keep the pool clean. But using the knowledge on this site is much easier and cheaper. It took a lot of effort and reading to get educated, but that's a one-time investment for a lifetime of trouble-free pool! Using the TF-100 test kit at first is a little harder than test strips, but use it a couple times and that becomes a no-brainer too.
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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Quote Originally Posted by dchan
    I dont blame Leslies or their clerks.
    I do

    Quote Originally Posted by dchan
    If you buy their stuff, you can keep the pool clean.
    Really?! I am surprised that you would say that. Your story is a perfect example of how the typical pool store protocol is a recipe for failure and $$$.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    dchan: If you buy their stuff and drain the water when it gets hopeless then buy more of their stuff, then it sort of works.

    Ike
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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Maybe I should rephrase my last paragraph...

    If you dont want to spend a day or two at Pool School to get educated, and would rather throw money at the problem, then follow the pool store method or hire a service. Just be prepared to pay for as long as you own a pool. Personally, I'm glad I invested a few nights of reading on Pool School and the TF100 kit. Now I can spend that cash on something fun like an RC boat!
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  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Quote Originally Posted by dchan
    My water has been crystal blue ever since. And, my pool is no longer a money pit!
    Glad to hear that.

    I do not blame Leslie's clerks, but I do blame their superiors. Those poor fellas probably swim in a sea of ignorance and try their best to help out their customers... most of the time. But Leslie makes the concious choice not to educate them properly, and gives free rein over any 'education' given to the industry.

    Problem is: even if you accept to throw in money, the average clerk's knowledge is often insufficent to solve the problem: In this very case you described, the clerk reffered to some algae stuck on God-Mode, but the problem was chlorine lock, which was NEVER diagnosed. The difference was the 3 products you used in an attempt to bring it back which were useless. If Pool First Aid or the other products that were sold to you would have done the job, even at a cost, there would be no point.

    You don't want to do the research, pay for it.

    BUT, the products sold were BOTH costly and INNEFFECTIVE, which lead to both a costly expense AND inability to use your pool, failure to keep it sanitized... Most people, even some here, would settle down to a costly alternative that WORKS. But the only true alternative is education... and that means going through a lot of disinformation.
    Pool: None, and All.
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  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Quote Originally Posted by dchan
    Personally, I'm glad I invested a few nights of reading on Pool School and the TF100 kit.
    So am I and I am still reading whenever I get a chance. There is so much to learn from the postings on this forum and the more I read, the more the Pool School information sinks in.
    IG pebbletec pool: size of pool: 27,000 gal; filter: cartridge - Hayward Superstar Clear; pump size: 1.5 HP; TF 100 Test kit - got it on 7-29-10; The Pool Cleaner-4-wheel suction model; Pool calculator: http://www.poolcalculator.com/; bleach calc: http://troublefreepool.com/files/BleachCalc262.exe

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    Re: Dumb questions - Why pool store / product advice different?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkside of the Pool
    I do not blame Leslie's clerks, but I do blame their superiors. Those poor fellas probably swim in a sea of ignorance and try their best to help out their customers... most of the time. But Leslie makes the concious choice not to educate them properly, and gives free rein over any 'education' given to the industry.
    You are assuming that their superiors are well-informed. Leslie's promotes Chlor-Brite as both a "shock" and a regular sanitizer which being Dichlor is usually the absolute worst type of chlorine one could put into the pool to fight off algae since it will substantially increase the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level that is likely the problem in the first place. Under "Benefits" they mention that it "Has a built-in stabilizer (conditioner or cyanuric acid)", but they do not say that for every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by this product, it increases Cyanuric Acid (CYA) by 9 ppm.

    So who's fault is that really? Do the people at Leslie's really know this or is it the manufacturers who sell them product that do not disclose this very relevant information along with the chlorine/CYA relationship and its effects? Leslie's also sells Power Powder Plus which is Cal-Hypo and Fresh 'N Clear which is non-chlorine shock (MPS). They even sell lithium shock which is lithium hypochlorite and Liquid Chlorine which is sodium hypochlorite.
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