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Thread: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

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    Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    Hi there! I'm not brandnew here, I've been reading for months. I just ordered my TF-100XL. It took me a while to pull the trigger because I was hesitant to switch over to the liquid-only method. Hesitant because ever since I took over this house and pool about a year ago, I have been doing exactly what the previous owner told me to do and the pool is just fine. It looks good all the time. Any test I've taken to Pinch a Penny has been nearly the same, always almost the same numbers for everything, perfectly in the good range. In other words, I've asked myself, Why mess with what works? Even now that I ordered the kit, I'm still doubting if it was worth the $88 investment.... .

    So what have I been doing? Basically, I add 3 (winter) - 4 (summer) trichlor pucks every 2 (summer) to 3 (weeks). Whenever I do that, every 2-3 weeks, I "shock" with 2.5 gallons of Suncoast Gold 12.5% chlorine. Brush a little here and there, clean the filter 4-6 weeks... voila...everything perfect. Never used algaecide or anything else. And it's not expensive - $80 for the pucks per year, $5 for a 2.5 gallon jug every other week, what is that, $200 per year for a 12 month pool? Can you beat that?

    Well, maybe I should mention that last season, towards the fall, there was what I thought was a pretty strong chlorine smell and my eyes did burn sometimes. This seems to have lessened as far as this new year is concerned. Not sure if it's because I eased up on the pucks and shocking during the winter. Also, there are some stains on the surface of the pool - but everyone says that is normal. Not like CYA is making stains, is it??

    But, reading over and over the same message on this board made me take action anyway. I ordered the kit. I'm a perfectionist and a stickler. If there is a better way in anything, then I want to do it the better way. I'm on a lawn forum, too, since I bought the house. Never thought that would be my hobby one day, but it is. So, for the pool, I'm planning on just doing some testing first, to learn the test. Then I would like to try to get rid of the pucks - slowly maybe at first, not sure. I will be looking here for some support.

    What will be the next step? Posting my first test results when the kit gets here? Should I post in this thread or over in BBB? Is there any other info than what's in my signature that you will need? I'm not 100% sure of my water size. 10,500 is what the prior owners had on file at Pinch a Penny. A pool repair man guessed it might be 12,000. It's kidney shaped, and the math is likely to be off with varying depths and what not. How important is it to be 100% accurate on that? My pool is on the south side, in the Florida sun. I keep it very hot, as my wife loves to swim in warm water. I'll take up to 90 before turning down the solar. I get the winter, spring, and fall - she gets the summer. Ultimately, I'm excited just for doing my own testing. But I'm nervous that I'm trying to fix something that ain' broke. My wife says that I have a tendency to "look for problems" or "make problems" and she's kind of right. And I don't want this to be a case of that. Thanks in advance. I have a feeling that once I get started, I won't be able to stop.
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    Being that your pool is screened in, that likely means that your organic load is pretty low, so you have been getting by. But, there is always the chance that eventually the CYA will get too high and the algae will take over (as it sounds like almost happened in the fall). Having the water so warm will also make algae more likely.

    Just post up a full set of tests in this thread to keep your story together. Note that if the CYA seems to be 100+ at first (very possible), try the test with a 50/50 mix of pool and tap water and then double the test result.

    Total volume is not critical. As you estimate dosages with poolcalculator and measure the results of your additions, you should be able to make your volume estimate a little better based on your testing.

    If you really want to start feeling like a chemist, get the SpeedStir ... make the testing so much easier and more fun.
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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    The key to the BBB method is knowing what is going on with your water and what your options are. It doesn't necessarily mean that you need to stop using trichlor tablets. The chlorine smell was being caused by CC (combined chlorine), which you never want to have, probably because your CYA level was high and thus your FC level wasn't high enough given your CYA level.
    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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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    I have read lots of posts about trichlor here... always looking for justification to keep going. Several times it was said that it is possible to use tricnhlor successfully, but I could never find what that means. But I'm definitely not saying I want to keep going. I'm not one of those defenders of the puck. I want the best water. I forgot to mention that my baby daughter will be born in 2 months, and that's another reason for me to make sure I have the least amount of poison and chemicals in my pool and the cleanest water. I'll post when I have my first results and hopefully we can go from there.
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    Trichlor does three different things: add chlorine, add CYA, and lower the PH. Generally the point of using trichlor is to add chlorine, so you have to somehow compensate for the other two effects. The PH change can be dealt with by adding soda ash constantly, or you keeping the TA high enough that the resulting PH increase cancels out the PH decrease from trichlor. To compensate for the CYA you need to be frequently replacing water (which small sand or DE filter users tend to do anyway).

    I find it much simpler to use chemicals which only have a single effect. Bleach adds chlorine and doesn't do anything else we need to worry about. If you need CYA then add some. If the PH is high, add acid. Each is don't only when it is needed. But it is possible to use chemicals that affect several things at once, it requires keeping track of what is happening and taking actions to allow for or compensate for the other effects.
    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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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    I've never noticed a ph lowering effect. It's been pretty much the same all year round at 7.6 according to Pinch A Penny testing. So extremely consistent it's scary!
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    Well maybe the Puck lowers your pH by the same amount something else (high TA or aeration ) is trying to raise it.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    Yep, the pucks are kinda acidic, so consistent puck use will tend to offset rising ph. Without them, you may find that you periodically need to add some muriatic acid or dry acid (ph-down) when your ph gets to 7.8, and bring your ph down to ~7.2 or 7.4 or so. It won't be a big deal.
    Your first order of business should be to run a test and see what the numbers are on your water, until then, we are all speculating. As has been mentioned, the key is to know what your water has, and what it needs, then adjust it accordingly. It always seems harder than it is when one is first starting out, but you'll soon have this down to an science.

    Side note: Pinch-A-Penny sells liquid chlorine, too. Theirs is usually pretty fresh and strong.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    No need to speculate ... I will post as soon as the TF 100 arrives! I'm very exited. The liquid chlorine from
    Pinch is what I already use for "shocking" every 2-3 weeks. It is an awesome deal, much cheaper than bleach from any store as far as I can tell. 2.5g for $5 (12.5%). And every 12 you get one free. One annoyance I foresee if doing daily liquid is schlepping that big jug from the garage each day ... Maybe need to get a deck storage box or something.
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    Yeah... see, that's another thing. With well maintained water, there's no need to shock unless something dramatic happens. Many members here have gone years without the need to shock their pool.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    Right, I'm hoping to learn how to do that.
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    It's been a while, and it has taken me some testing practice. I have to admit, it's not that easy reading the results on these tests. I'll note my difficulties below. Meanwhile, I have just put more trichlor pucks in the way I'm used to, to prevent the pool from going bad while I'm learning the tests. I just checked the feeder before today's test run, and it's basically empty except for a tiny sliver of puck. So, where to do I go from here?
    FC 8.5-9 (hard to see the difference between 17 and 18 drops)
    CC 0
    TC 8.5-9
    pH 7.8-8.2 (impossible for me to distinguish these colors - any tips?)
    TA 100
    CH 400+ (i was about to give up on this one, it never wanted to turn blue. Then added several at a time and somewhere between 40-50 it finally turned blue. Never had more than 300 at pool store tests, so this has got to be invalid?!).
    CYA 80 (this was the easiest test to read, I thought. Surprisingly low given my puck use?!)

    According to "the chart," my CL/CYA ratio is golden. But since I just basically dissolved my last puck, what's next? Test every day from now on? I don't think the testing is as easy, breezy as everyone seems to think. I'm struggling reading these results... Hard to imagine doing it every day, but I don't want to give up just yet. Maybe I should add the speed stirrer?!

    Thank you!
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    FYI .. I'm in the same boat.. Just bought a house with a Pool .. my test kt arrives Thursday... My other half said "Really? You're going to be testing EVERY DAY and adding Chlorine and/or CYA?" (current owner had a pool service and those Pucks.) Going to be very interesting to see how this all shakes out. Looking forward to doing my 1st test, just to see how the Pool Service had been doing.
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    I tested every day for a couple months, but now it's just every third day or so, everything has stabilized. Love the speed stir!
    18'x43' Sport Pool
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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    Lower your pH so it is more orange. Typically do not want it in the pinks.

    After a few days/Weeks you should start to know how much FC your pool needs everyday. You only really need top be testing FC and pH on a near daily basis.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    I tested every day for a couple months, but now it's just every third day or so, everything has stabilized. Love the speed stir!
    Which tests did you do every day? How much chlorine is used up each day, roughly speaking? With a CYA of 80, do I still have "reserves"? I ask because it seems like my FC hasn't really changed over the last few days while I was practicing the test.
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    I test for PH, FC and CC every day. I could get away with only PH and TC but I like doing the FC/CC test. I'm colorblind and it's just easier for me. I test for CH and TA every week or so and only once in a while for CYA.

    I go through 2.5 ppm- 4 ppm a day depending on how sunny it was that day. My cya is around 40.

    If you are still using the pucks then I can see why your chlorine is not changing. It's being continually added.
    23x40 freeform w/spa, 28,000 gal. PCC-2000 in-floor cleaning. Pebble Sheen w/flagstone coping. 14' weeping wall, (2) 18" sheer descents. Sta Rite- cart 400 sqft. filter, Intellipro VS pump, 1hp (cleaning)2hp (water feature)Max E Pro's. Easy Touch 8 function w/IPod. Rainbow chlorinator, Paramount Clear O3 (I know, I know), Max-E-Therm 400K heater.

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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluechip
    I test for PH, FC and CC every day. I could get away with only PH and TC but I like doing the FC/CC test. I'm colorblind and it's just easier for me. I test for CH and TA every week or so and only once in a while for CYA.

    I go through 2.5 ppm- 4 ppm a day depending on how sunny it was that day. My cya is around 40.

    If you are still using the pucks then I can see why your chlorine is not changing. It's being continually added.
    No I stopped using the pucks. Maybe there was residual. I will keep an eye on it. As for PH, should I lower it? I am not sure if that's the first step. Is there a more comprehensive plan that I can work out?
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    You should keep the pH more in the orange normally. Watch that and keep the FC adequate and you should be fine.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Looking for support in moving away from Trichlor

    I tested every test except CYA for those 2 months. Now I still test the 4 every 3 days or so, takes me about 10 mins. from getting kit out, getting pool water, performing and recording the tests.

    Since you have been successful with the pucks for the past year, and like the routine of filling them up every so often, if i were you i'd start reading here about liquid chlorinators. they add the bleach too your pool for you. I was a SWCG which is awesome because i don't have to haul add bleach everyday.
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