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Thread: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

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    Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    I only had test strips so I brought my water sample to the local Leslies store to be tested. Here is what the results were.

    FC 5
    TC 5
    PH 8.5
    TA 280
    CH 350
    CYA 65

    So I proceded to do the acid-aerate treatment to get my TA in line. After pouring in 10 gallons of acid over the past 2 weeks I was making progress on the TA. Then two days ago, my test kit arrives and I do my OWN testing. This is waht I get.

    FC 5
    TC 5
    PH 7.3
    TA 200
    CH 350
    CYA 200

    As you can see, the acid-aeration was working (notice the drop in the TA). But, now look at my CYA! They said it was 65 and it's really 200. So now I get to drain 65% of my pool water and start all over. I just wasted 10 gallons of acid and two weeks of time. So frustrated right now with Leslies and their pool water testing. Another reason to BUY YOUR OWN TEST KIT!
    32,000 Gallon Plaster Pool
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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    Same problem I had last year. Didn't get my test kit until early June. I recall the pool store telling me I had low CYA, and to add 5 lbs. Next time I roll in there, they said my CYA was not even registering. Test kit arrives, and guess what. CYA was about 1,000,000.

    Haven't opened yet, but I sure as heck hope CYA has gone down a bit. Otherwise, I'll be having bleach delivered on a flatbed truck.
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    I'd back the title off a little to "Don't trust your local pool store until you know they are trustworthy."
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    A new Leslies store opened up by me and for kicks I had the DW bring in a water sample.

    First, their test results were almost a perfect match to mine except their salt reading was 400 higher than mine. He said that the chlorine, 7 ppm, was a little high, but with a CYA level of 70 that we were in good shape. He did mention that the phosphates were high and if we did not watch the chlorine level that we might get algae and recommended the phosphate remover. But, he reassured her that if we stay on top of the chlorine then there wasn't a need the phosphate remover.

    Personally the pool stores around us have been good to us. I have also been armed with the knowledge here at TFP so it would be tough for them to "Pool Store" me.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ping
    A new Leslies store opened up by me and for kicks I had the DW bring in a water sample.

    First, their test results were almost a perfect match to mine except their salt reading was 400 higher than mine. He said that the chlorine, 7 ppm, was a little high, but with a CYA level of 70 that we were in good shape. He did mention that the phosphates were high and if we did not watch the chlorine level that we might get algae and recommended the phosphate remover. But, he reassured her that if we stay on top of the chlorine then there wasn't a need the phosphate remover.

    Personally the pool stores around us have been good to us. I have also been armed with the knowledge here at TFP so it would be tough for them to "Pool Store" me.
    Well, that sounds like the most knowledgeable Leslie's employee I have ever heard off ... nice to have a decent resource nearby.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    You have to take the pool store for what it is, an operation that someone is trying to make a living off. I test my own water and get what I need there (extra drops, DE, floats for the kids..) and even have them test my water from time to time (why not, I'm there anyway). They tell me what they think I need and I just say I have plenty at home already. I did mention bleach once and they said it was not a good idea as it "is not FDA approved". But I will say that the company that built our pool, an awesome family run company that had us up and going in a week, also knew nothing of bleach, and they sell liquid chlorine in 5 gallon increments. Just doesn't seem to be on their radar.
    20x40 rectangle inground vinyl pool
    33K gallon of water
    1 HP Hayward Super pump
    Hayward high capacity sand filter S245T -250 pound sand
    pool is over 20 years old
    1 return line

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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    Two different pool stores around my area. Both mean well but their methods were not working for me before I found TFP. I buy my supplies from both to support local business
    But I go armed with what I learned here
    Sample conversation I had at the local pool store the other day:
    Them: "don't shock your pool with liquid shock! That's full of impurities! We have a 99% pure chlorine granular product."
    Me: "really? With no added CYA, calcium or lithium?"
    Them: "yes"
    Me: "thanks, I'll keep that in mind for next spring"
    30000 gallon inground gunite pool
    Intelliflo ic-60 SWG, pentair tagelus sand filter, 1.5 hp whisperflo pump, tf 100 test kit,
    2 kids(tl), 1 mini-dachshund/lab mix(t),
    Central Illinois

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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    Btw it was dichlor
    30000 gallon inground gunite pool
    Intelliflo ic-60 SWG, pentair tagelus sand filter, 1.5 hp whisperflo pump, tf 100 test kit,
    2 kids(tl), 1 mini-dachshund/lab mix(t),
    Central Illinois

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    I wonder how cold you would need to get chlorine gas to be able to make it into a granular product? [[Chlorine gas is the only chlorine product that could possibly be 99% pure chlorine.]]
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    Ask them to take a deep breath of it.



    Ps......don't ever do this!! Even cal-hypo can burn your nose some and cause bleeding. I'm speaking from experience.

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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by BigStein
    You have to take the pool store for what it is, an operation that someone is trying to make a living off.
    This is the feeling I am getting in my area too. Being fairly new to the pool scene I have been in a lot of local shops lately and each one tends to offer their own little twist on pool advice. As you all know a decent Taylor kit is hard to find in Canada at a reasonable price. I currently have a K-1004 trouble shooter but what I really want is a K-2006 and plan on getting one as soon as I find one that isn't outrageously priced. (Apollo Pools in Canada is $123 shipped to the door and probably as good as it gets price wise unless I boarder hop)

    So I went into one of my local pool stores today and just inquired if they carried the K-2006 test kit and she looked at me like I had a third eye. "What do you want that for?" and before I could say "To test pool water with stupid (j/k)" she flat out said "NO" (like I would discover the Cadbury secret with it or something) and then said they are like $250 plus anyway, "we test your water for free". She then took me over to a shelf and showed me a very basic OTO kit for $10 which made my K-1004 look like the space shuttle.

    She also told me that being a new pool owner, I was guaranteed to get algae at least once this year. I didn't waste my time telling her about TFP.com. Anyway I am a little worried about my water chemistry until I get my K-2006, because until then I have to rely on the pool stores for the test my K-1004 don't cover like CYA among others.

    I went into another store with a question about a skimmer part and an issue I was having. I was basically told that because they didn't build the pool they could not answer my questions or help me. On the way out the door the guy did make sure to tell me to bring in a water sample because they test it for free and can recommend chemicals for me. Okay, will do I said.
    21K gal, Vinyl, 16X32, 3/4 HP Hayward Maxflo, Hayward Pro 24" Sand Filter
    Apollo Pools (Canadian Supplier for Taylor Kits) www.piscines-apollo.com

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    I'm new and just reading what I can about pool chemistry - so it's nice to see these threads because I'm debating whether to buy the recommended kits (TF100, K2006, FAS DPD) or just trust Leslie's pool supply.

    As for the OP's original problem, methinks going to TWO pool stores - and comparing results, likely would iron out the descrepancy in CYA readings.

    Luckily, for me, in the Silicon Valley, there are a bunch of Leslies so I might even try this technique myself as a future test & let folks know the results.
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    As for the OP's original problem, methinks going to TWO pool stores - and comparing results, likely would iron out the descrepancy in CYA readings.

    Luckily, for me, in the Silicon Valley, there are a bunch of Leslies so I might even try this technique myself as a future test & let folks know the results.
    Penny wise and pound foolish for sure. You have no way of judging the accuracy of ANY test results you get unless you learn to trust your own. More importantly, the mileage and time you burn up going from store to store is so much greater in expense than getting your own kit you are just tossing your money down the drain.

    Publishing the results of a survey like that has been done many, many times on this forum and others. Repeating what is already well documented will not advance any knowledge on this forum
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rock
    ... methinks going to TWO pool stores - and comparing results, likely would iron out the discrepancy in CYA readings.
    Not really. I've actually had several different pool stores test tap water and two of them said it had CYA in it and one didn't. So should I take it that tap water had CYA in it (it doesn't!)?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    reindeerboy's Avatar
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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    I actually have a pool store who is honest and actually does understand the CYA/LC combination. They still push their chems but try to give me bulk discounts on LC prices and it works. I usually buy a bunch of liquid at a time and they gave me a HUGE spring price discount. They are also very good about repairs, service, and parts. Understanding how chemicals work is key. Using the TF100 test kit is mandatory in my book as I never take my water in to be tested anymore. I am confident in my own testing skills that I trust the TF100 over any other test by the pool store. Just arming yourself with knowledge is key. Doesnt matter what it is meaning if its for your work or play. I use this in my job everyday as customer education is key in everything I do! It really does work and if people would just understand that, then they will not only be successful at their work, but their personal lives will only be that much better because you will be making smarter more financial sound decisions. Moderation baby is the key to all things! Thats my 2 cents of the day.

    I opened my pool this year on my own. No help from the pool store. Its now beautiful and crystal clear thanks to the knowledge I gained from TFP! You guys ROCK and dont let anybody tell you any different!

    Now if we could just get the weather to start to warm up! Pool is at 55! But it sure looks AWESOME!

    Cheers!
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

    Pics of my pool: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn312/reindeerboy/

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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rock
    I'm new and just reading what I can about pool chemistry - so it's nice to see these threads because I'm debating whether to buy the recommended kits (TF100, K2006, FAS DPD) or just trust Leslie's pool supply.

    As for the OP's original problem, methinks going to TWO pool stores - and comparing results, likely would iron out the descrepancy in CYA readings.

    Luckily, for me, in the Silicon Valley, there are a bunch of Leslies so I might even try this technique myself as a future test & let folks know the results.
    When you do this, please post what you find.

    Every now and then someone will take the time to do this. Typically they take a single sample divided to be test at 3 or maybe 4 different stores and then post the results here for us to see. It is always amusing for us, but not so much for the person who is being pushed to buy this product or that product.

    Seeing the random nature of the testing as done, and understanding that even going to the same store weekly can generate the same sort of random results which leads to being sold one product this week and some countering product next week. Well, that is how you get "pool stored".

    Personally I suspect that it is either poor testing technique or badly calibrated equipment that leads to such wild results. Then in some stores the employees seem to believe the claims on the labels and ads for the products on the shelves.

    In the end, here we prefer that you do your own testing and on a frequency that tells you before things are out of line.

    I have never used a pool store for testing, though I do like the free sample bottles they give out. For many months I used test strips since they came with the house and then when I bought a new set of strips I also bought the TF100 kit. I quickly realized the folly of trying to interpret the strips as the ranges were too broad to be useful.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    I do my own testing with TF100 kits, but I'm still confused why Leslie's test results are different.

    I even had the same water tested in 3 different stores within less than 1hr and I'd count the number of drops myself and I'd check their CYA tube myself and it's different between stores. The TA would range between 60-110, CYA 30-90

    What could be the reason?
    • 1. dirty test bottles?

    • 2. outdated or improperly stored taylor kits?

    • 3. taylor kits from different batches? (if so, then how can we trust any test kit)

    • 4. Leslie's diluting their taylor kits on purpose to sell products?

    • 5. ????


    I'd really like Leslie answer this simple question.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    I believe all test kits--even the TFP-100, have a degree of variability. I've always used the Taylor TA test reagents and each time I've replaced the reagents I've gotten different results. But they are within 20 ppm or so. The first set was with a cheaper Taylor kit from Leslies that tested FC, pH, and TA. It gave me TA test results between 80-90. Then I bought my original TFP-100 kit last year and the TA test (with the same reagent numbers) results were 60-70 depending on when I added MA. When I got refills for my TFP-100 a few months ago I've been getting 80-90 again. And, yes, I've been rubbing the tip of the bottle after each drop with consistent results. These differences probably aren't material, but it proves--to me at least--that the tests aren't that precise.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
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  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    Just wondering....why can't we Americans ship a K-2006 to a Canadian? I got mine for a very reasonable price (definitely didn't pay $200+). Is it because of the chemicals in the kit? Probably a dumb question, but figured I'd ask anyway
    15' wide x30' long x 4.5' deep vinyl above ground, 13,500 gallons, hayward dream line sand filter, hayward power-flo lx pump 1.0 hp, lil shark cleaner

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Don't trust your local pool store!!!

    No one cares as much about accurate testing of your water as you. Especially not the summer-help kids down at the pool store. Likely the tests aren't even done the same way among all the employees. Many of them won't care if there's an extra drop, or one missed drop, or half-a-color error reading the scale, or how thoroughly they rinse the tubes, or whatever. They see these errors all day long, and every customer's pool is the same. Read the test, sell the chemicals, check the clock for closing time.
    Save the grief, test your own water with a quality test kit. Even if your tests have an error, you'll likely have the same error repeatably, and you'll compensate the results.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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