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Thread: The Dark Side

  1. #1
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    The Dark Side

    I appreciate this forum. I believe in BBB. However, Tri-chlor, Di-chlor, stabalizers, etc.. have been around for years.. decades even. Pool stores have also been around for quite some times as well as pool cleaning services.

    Some of these pool stores/cleaning services are & have been fairly "successful." These companies that produce these products are fairly successful as well.

    So there has to be another side right?

    Does anyone know if there is a forum, like TFP, for the guys who successfully use those products?
    Custom Cloud shaped 19'x35' - Raised Spa 6' diameter
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  2. #2
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    Re: The Dark Side

    Member on this forum, including me, successfully use those products season after season. It is testing accurately and knowing the side affects of using those products (and knowing when to quit) that makes you a BBB'r.

    Too often, BBB is mistaken as some kind of rigid program where you have to only use Clorox, baking soda and wear a tin foil hat. Nothing could be further from the truth

    So, to me, the "other side" would be blindly tossing stuff into your pool with no idea of the outcome or consequences. I don't think there is another forum that teaches that. If so, they would have to wear the hats.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
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    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. #3
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    Re: The Dark Side

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Too often, BBB is mistaken as some kind of rigid program where you have to only use Clorox, baking soda and wear a tin foil hat. Nothing could be further from the truth...
    speak for yourself, Dave... I think I look rather jaunty in tin foil...
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: The Dark Side

    I have a good friend who manages his pool w/ Trichlor tabs and pool store advice. He and I talk about it usually toward the end of each summer, when he has to clear up an algae bloom to get ready for a party. I tell him about why he is having trouble, and I tell him what he can do about it. He makes multiple trips to his local pool store and gets armloads of shock products, algaecides, and snake oil, then ultimately has to drain some water because of the mythical "chlorine lock" beast, or some new "chlorine resistant" algae, and then dumps in more chemicals after the refill. This happens every year. EVERY YEAR. Last year he bought a pump because he had gotten tired of having to rent one each year just to drain most of his water. But he is happy because he only has to drop some tabs in the feeder periodically to take care of his pool.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

  5. #5
    Senior Member stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: The Dark Side

    Interesting topic. My neighbor across the street has a large tile lined pool (maybe 25X50 not sure) and they have pool man that comes once a week. When he started taking care of their pool about 4 years ago he was 19. He has tried to sell his services to me on several occasions and has told me every time that he has worked in a pool store since he was 15 and "knows everything there is to know about a pool".

    His method is to add 7 pucks and four or five pounds of shock each week. Add pH up or down as needed, add hardness up as needed, and add alkalinity up as needed. Once a quarter he drains and refills the pool by 1/3 and adds chemicals as needed. I can't argue about his results because the pool is always sparkling clear and as far as I know they have never had an algae problem.

    The cost for this service is about $500 - $600 per month including his fee and chemicals. I think he has several similar accounts around town.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Liquidator chlorine feeder. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: The Dark Side

    My experience is like the others mentioned, sure the pool store way works, sort of if you don't mind spending a ton of money, having water that burns eyes, and you don't mind dumping the water. I too played that game for years, did the Baqua thing as an alternative, then ended up here. The thing to rememer about the pool store model is they are in business to sell chemicals, it is not in their best interest for a pool owner to maintain their pool with minimal chemical use, as such they off the perception of easy automated chlorination pucks, etc. then when it all comes tumbling down blame it on chlorine lock, or chlorine resistant algae, but not before selling another car load of chemicals to try to counteract the last batch.
    Indoor 20x40 36,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis panel roof top solar heat with Aquasolar controller, Dolphin Diagnostic Pro Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and soon to be connected UV Ozonator and now Hot Spring Jetsetter standalone spa
    I use and endorse the TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net

  7. #7
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    Re: The Dark Side

    The key to the "pool industry" method of using stabilized chlorine products exclusively is water replacement, though it is hardly a secret to even a casual reader of this forum. The pool store will disguise it as advice to backwash more often than necessary. The more honest "experts" will simply describe yearly partial drains as routine pool maintenance, as Steve and Isaac mention above.

    The bottom line as I see it is that a pool owner wants the most convenient, trouble free and cost effective method of maintaining his pool, whether he is aware of it or not. The problem is that he wants a magic bullet, where none exists.

    At first glance, the pool store method might look more convenient with its seemingly "hands off" approach, but the big picture is hardly so. "BBB", at first glance, might be seen as more troublesome by those that don't understand it, but the big picture is exactly the opposite.

    What BBB truly offers in contrast to the pool store, is inside track information. For those that take the time, and roll up their sleeves, this is the magic bullet. A forum such as TFP, for "the other side" would be antithetical to their purposes. The pool store wants you to leave the details to the "experts" (them). Your part in the process is that of the bankroll.

    That's my $.02 to the discussion...
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  8. #8
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    Re: The Dark Side

    Quote Originally Posted by Beez
    The key to the "pool industry" method of using stabilized chlorine products exclusively is water replacement, though it is hardly a secret to even a casual reader of this forum. The pool store will disguise it as advice to backwash more often than necessary. The more honest "experts" will simply describe yearly partial drains as routine pool maintenance, as Steve and Isaac mention above.

    The bottom line as I see it is that a pool owner wants the most convenient, trouble free and cost effective method of maintaining his pool, whether he is aware of it or not. The problem is that he wants a magic bullet, where none exists.

    At first glance, the pool store method might look more convenient with its seemingly "hands off" approach, but the big picture is hardly so. "BBB", at first glance, might be seen as more troublesome by those that don't understand it, but the big picture is exactly the opposite.

    What BBB truly offers in contrast to the pool store, is inside track information. For those that take the time, and roll up their sleeves, this is the magic bullet. A forum such as TFP, for "the other side" would be antithetical to their purposes. The pool store wants you to leave the details to the "experts" (them). Your part in the process is that of the bankroll.

    That's my $.02 to the discussion...
    One of the most thoughtful, concise posts I've ever read on the "pool store" vs. "BBB" method discussion. Very well said.
    TFP Moderator33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1.5HP PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater
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  9. #9
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    Re: The Dark Side

    I just wrote the following in this post that also seems relevant for this thread:

    One can also get lucky having water low in algae nutrients, particular phosphates. Between that and having some chlorine and possibly shocking on occasion, it's enough to prevent algae growth. The pool store where I buy 12.5% chlorinating liquid has a pool service with around 2000 customers (they are large) and they use Trichlor pucks with a chlorine target of 4.5 ppm and do a partial drain/refill when the CYA level hits 100 ppm in the pools. Even so, some pools still get a little algae and need shocking. Not a surprise to us, of course.

    Remember that this is a statistical thing. Just because there is a low FC/CYA ratio that does not guarantee algae. It just increases the odds, depending on other factors. In my own pool that was new 9 years ago, I only started having problems with Trichlor tabs when my CYA hit 150 ppm with my FC being 3 ppm, but I was using Polyquat 60 every other week which likely delayed my having problems to my second year.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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  10. #10
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    Re: The Dark Side

    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski
    One of the most thoughtful, concise posts I've ever read on the "pool store" vs. "BBB" method discussion. Very well said.
    Thanks! I seem to get better reception with the tin foil. Helps me think clearer...
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  11. #11
    Senior Member gboulton's Avatar
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    Re: The Dark Side

    There are those who want to know how and why stuff works. We call them "members of this forum".

    There are those who want to be told to do. We call them "pool store customers".
    -Gordon
    Pool School helps me maintain my 13,500G 24' x 48" ASP with Sand Filtration using a TF100 Test Kit and Pool Calculator.
    Remember, the Shock Process should be followed until : 1. CC is less than 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less and, 3. The water is crystal clear.
    --I didn't buy my pool to swim in it. I bought my pool to watch my wife swim in it. :wink:

  12. #12
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    Re: The Dark Side

    Honestly, my family and I have always used tabs. We have never had a problem. EVER!
    I use both now. I use tablets for half the season and then I switch to bleach.

    I think a key difference that doesn't get discussed much here is location.
    In the Northeast, the season is short. Over the winter there is a decent amount of water displacement with mesh covers, etc.
    I think it would be much more rare to have a problem in NY with a 3 to 4 month season than in Florida or California where the season goes for most of the year.

    In NY, people are extremely successful using 'pucks'.

    In fact, nobody I know uses bleach. This is a pretty rare thing considering how convenient chlorinators are.
    At the end of the summer, their pools look nice and blue and clean. Its not like Im going to these people's houses in August and seeing a big swamp
    20,000 gallon IG vinyl

  13. #13
    Senior Member linen's Avatar
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    Re: The Dark Side

    @ mitch08

    Here in Minnesota there are many people who use tabs and never have had a problem, but there are also those that do have problems. So I think in short season climates that freeze in the winter, trichlor may well cause less problems then down south. But there are still problems, there are still mid-season water changes, there are still people using pucks in place of testing, and there are still people spending big dollars on pool store miracle cures. I would guess that is true in NY as well.

    Bottom line, even in these climates, testing is still required and cya at too high levels still causes problems as do other incorrect pool chemistry parameters. The methods on this board are meant to be simple and avoid problems. As pool owners become more aware of the simple chemistry taught on here, then they are more able to deal with the pitfalls of the feeders.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch08
    Its not like Im going to these people's houses in August and seeing a big swamp
    Around here I do. Not all of them are swamps, but I do see some pretty cloudy pools that smell of CC.
    TFP Moderator 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.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: The Dark Side

    mitch08 does have a good point, another big factor is type of filter used, a traditional sand filter will require a lot of water use through backwashing , this of course will lower the CYA level through water replacement due to water lost to the backwash process, Of course in areas where water is expensive or may be rationed cartridge filters that don't require backwashing are much more popular, these areas also tend to have longer swim season which lead to higher concentrations of CYA in the pools.
    Indoor 20x40 36,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis panel roof top solar heat with Aquasolar controller, Dolphin Diagnostic Pro Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and soon to be connected UV Ozonator and now Hot Spring Jetsetter standalone spa
    I use and endorse the TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net

  15. #15
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    Re: The Dark Side

    In fact, what you describe regarding longer swim seasons (7 months, in my case, using solar and gas heating) and using cartridge filters is my situation. In addition, for my first winter season I used a pool cover pump to remove water to a drain rather than overflow and dilute the pool water. So I had virtually no water dilution over two seasons which is why the CYA level built up so quickly in my pool. Now, even though I don't use Trichlor pucks/tabs anymore, I use winter rains for water dilution just to keep salt levels in check and to help refresh the water.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  16. #16
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    Re: The Dark Side

    Funny thing. Just yesterday I was in the pool store & I overheard the poolguy telling a customer to lay off the pucks.

    So I moved in closer. He tried to explain that his stabilizer was close to it's high limit & that the guy should use "liquid shock" for a little while. The guy (30 something) **** near begged the poolguy to let him use pucks, he did not want to test his own chlorine level & the poolguy didn't give him a good method for figuring out how much he needed. He just told him to buy 4 jugs (a little bigger than a gallon) & use half a gallon every other day.

    Judging by the way the customer left, without the "liquid shock" I don't think he's going to follow the poolguy's recommendations.
    Custom Cloud shaped 19'x35' - Raised Spa 6' diameter
    Rainbow 320 Inline Chlorinator - Paramount Clear O3 Ozone Generator
    Hayward C4025 Cartridge Filter (Hayward CX880XRE) - Hayward Tristar 2 speed pump
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: The Dark Side

    Thunderkyss, thanks for reviving this thread, it was interesting to see what I wrote on the subject last year, The amazing thing to keep in mind is our area gets over 5 feet of rainfall in an average year (in theory enough to do around a 50% annual water replacement for a typical outdoor pool) and we are just now getting into swim season (non swim season dormant but operating pools common around our area with cold water don't take nearly as much chlorine to remain algae free) yet this guy already has CYA levels high enough to worry a pool store operator.
    Indoor 20x40 36,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis panel roof top solar heat with Aquasolar controller, Dolphin Diagnostic Pro Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and soon to be connected UV Ozonator and now Hot Spring Jetsetter standalone spa
    I use and endorse the TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net

  18. #18
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    Re: The Dark Side

    I did things the pool store way too--pucks, sticks, burnout etc. Being in Michigan, the season is short. Water loss over the winter always meant fresh fill upon opening. My CYA was so high that I did not have to add any stablizer for almost 2 seasons. Of course I didn't know any of this until I came here. The PS certainly never told me & I battled cloudy water even though I bought & did everything the PS told me to do. If they even knew the importance of the FC/CYA ratio, they never made me aware of it. Their solution was more sticks & more powdered shock. Now I know why my pool never cleared! Now I know why my pool is clear.

    With TFP, my TF100 kit & Speedstir, I took on the pool store and won. OH, how sweet it is!
    17,500 gal. ABG Doughboy Pool
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  19. #19
    Senior Member alanpaul's Avatar
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    Re: The Dark Side

    And as it's been said, the Pool Store is in the business of selling as much product as possible.

    The other day, while in the pool store, I heard the owner remind an employee that her job was to "sell, sell, sell, and not to provide so much information." When I walked around from behind the product racks, that owner looked at me with surprise and embarrassment, and turned and disappeared into his office.

    I know it's the high prices of unnecessary products that keep this store open, so I suppose I do appreciate the customers who don't use the BBB method, just so I can run in and get 10% chlorine at $2/gallon.

    On the other hand, I do see the employees doing excellent water testing and providing useful (if one knows what to do with the info) computer print-outs to the customers.

    On our suburban street alone, there are just over 50 homes. 70% have IG pools (in the 12,000 to 16,000 gallon range). Expanded over a full community, I imagine it adds up to a reasonable amount of pool store income.
    Alan
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

  20. #20
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    Re: The Dark Side

    I've got insight to both sides, thanks to TFP

    My service in May/June focuses on openings and green pools. And I'm amazed at the number of pools that get ammonia - it is more common than I used to think. Grading of the pool seems to be key to this - pools that sit high up above landscaping, etc don't seem to be affected by rainwater soil bacteria runoff. The pools that seem to get ammonia have landscaping at a higher grade and seem more susceptible to it. So it's not uncommon for me to have to add CYA at opening.

    My weekly clients are a whole different ball game. Typically its like this, I inherit them for one reason or another and in 90% of the cases the pool is overstabilized.

    I do utilize water replacement (sometimes one large partial drain or sometimes a series, like if on a well.)

    I inherited a pool last week from a different (pool store operated) service and with dilution his CYA was reading over 200. I didn't bother to dilute 2:1, just began to drain out half his water and will return today. I bring a printout of the CYA chart and explain the relationship. The kicker - his pool had a FROG AND, AND, AND a second inline chlorinator. WTH. He showed me the 2 lb canister of Dichlor that he was using to shock the pool weekly. I asked why he was shocking weekly what was he paying the service for, he said they came twice a week and it was always cloudy and they told him to.

    I have a client (this is our third summer) her CYA was 140 when I inherited her but water was clear so I was able to keep her clear by being diligent. Overtime with backwashing and winterizing her CYA is down to a much more manageable level. My weekly clients I usually start the season with their CYA at 30 and the tablets maintain the FC just fine, I do shock weekly with liquid as back up and in very rare cases I will use Polyquat 60 for insurance.

    I think I have an easier time operating their pools and can be more cost effective because of my knowledge of the BBB TFP methods.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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