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Thread: Am I being taken... ?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Am I being taken... ?

    Greetings all,

    I found this forum while searching on draining/refilling pools, and from the browsing seems to be a group of very knowledgeable people.

    I'm looking for some help on determining whether I am getting ripped off by my new pool cleaner.

    We've had the pool for about 3 years and I've managed it myself with mixed results. Now that we have 2 little ones time is scarce and so I decided to hire someone to clean the pool weekly for us to ensure it is in swimming condition all summer.

    This weekend the company stopped by for their first cleaning. I wasn't home, but the guy called me and told me that something was too high, I think the acidity, and that the only way to fix was to drain and refill the pool.

    The pool is 13.5K gallons chlorine pool (gunite) with an attached spa. There is currently a lot of algae, but I haven't put acid in the pool in over a month.

    Is just their way of increasing their revenues? What questions should I be asking to ensure that we really do need to drain/refill the pool as the only option? They was $375 to drain/refill the pool.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be very much appreciated. I don't mind paying the money if this really is necessary, however I feel it is like when you take your car for service and they find 3 - 4 other expensive things that are supposedly "wrong".


  2. Back To Top    #2
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Twin Cities, MN

    Re: Am I being taken... ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bredmond
    I wasn't home, but the guy called me and told me that something was too high, I think the acidity, and that the only way to fix was to drain and refill the pool.
    If they were referring to your cyanuric acid (cya) level, it might need to be partially drained and refilled or have the water processed using a Reverse Osmosis treatment. For us to be most helpful we will need a full set of test results. See this article in pool school:
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Montgomery, TX

    Re: Am I being taken... ?

    if your cya (cyanuric acid) level is too high, then yes the only way to lower it is to do a drain and refill. most recommend only doing 25-50% at a time to decrease the chance of the pool floating up.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Eastern Ohio

    Re: Am I being taken... ?

    How were you adding chlorine to the pool? Without knowing 100% why he suggests draining its hard to tell.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Petaluma, Ca

    Re: Am I being taken... ?

    From what I've read here in most cases draining is not needed and could cause other problems. I think for the pool guy it may be easier to get started that way so he doesn't have to go through the shock process which is somewhat of a chore. As you have probably seen on here it's incredible what a little time and bleach can do to a swamp. If the cya level is high sometimes a partial drain, or several, are required to reduce it to a manageable level. A good idea would be to get the full water test results and post them here for the experts to comment on, also it's a good idea to do your own water testing with a good kit because you can always trust yourself more than the store.
    DONE, 20 x 40, inground gunite, 30" raised bond beam with 3 12" sheer descents, 8' diving board, pentair 420 cartridge filter, vs-3050 pump, intellechlor ic-40, auto cvr, Tahoe blue pebble tech, 6ea 4' x 12.5' & 2ea 1' x 12.5' helicol solar panels, legend robotic cleaner.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Am I being taken... ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo
    How were you adding chlorine to the pool? Without knowing 100% why he suggests draining its hard to tell.

    3" Chlorine Tabs from Leslie's in an inline chlorinator.

    Chlor Brite from Leslie's

    I shocked the pool and reloaded the shocked the pool with about 3 lbs of shock about 3 weeks ago when the weather started getting warm here in Texas.

    In the summer I take my pool water to Leslie's about every other week. Would they have noticed and mentioned the cya levels or is this something that most pools stores don't test for?


  7. Back To Top    #7
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Am I being taken... ?

    You were being taken. By Leslies.

    Pool stores don't know or don't care about the relationship between CYA and FC. So you just keep feeding it pucks and although the FC looks good, very little of it, if any, is free to do its job.

    I'd say get thee to Pool School and start reading. Pay special attention to the FC/CYA relationship as well as the shock process.

    And you ought to get your own test kit. Once a week testing by the pool service is probably not accurate. And you won't know if he's doing a good job if you can't test the water yourself. Skip the article on test kits in Pool School and just order a TF100 from It won't cost you much more than a month's service, and it should last beyond the swim season.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Am I being taken... ?

    They do test for it but most ignore it until it gets to be a problem and then their solution is to drain and refill. We don't think like that here. We'd rather not ever let it get to be a problem in the first place. Then you don't have to throw away a ton of water every couple of years. Another thing we don't cotton to is the so called regular shocking. It's just not needed if you spend a couple minutes a day maintaining your pool. every two weeks isn't enough testing. Once a day for FC and pH is what you should be doing.
    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

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Am I being taken... ?

    +1 on getting your own test kit.

    THIS POST has an interesting comparison of free water tests from 4 different pool store on the same water sample. Pretty amazing how different they are from each other. You just have to be able to get consistent test results on a more frequent basis.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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