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Thread: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

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    AaronGo's Avatar
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    Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    I mentioned the BBB method on another site (a DIY site) and someone replied with this and I am curious about a few of the things he says. I am not trying to be a "drama queen", but genuinely want to get thoughts about some of his statements, namely about 1) chlorine tabs being 99% chlorine (if true, what about the other 1%), CYA not being an issue if you don't use shock with CYA and liquid chlorine rapidly raising your TDS levels because of all the salt.

    His full comment is below:

    That's a really stupid way to treat a pool. Bleach has close to no chlorine. You're not saving a DIME there. Liquid shock is 10% chlorine and gasses of reducing it's potency. Chlorine tabs are 99% chlorine. CYA isn't really an issue if you don't use a shock with CYA like cal-hypo. Liquid chlorine also rapidly raises your TDS levels because of all the salt and you could have to drain the pool anyways just to lower that.

    Source: I run a pool store. You can do this method, but if you have problems don't go to your pool dealer asking for help. I may sound harsh but it is REALLY annoying when a DIY customer comes in and asks for help and doesn't buy your products. Dealers charge an increased amount for their knowledge and it's for people who pay. We are there to save you time, not money.

    Not to mention how silly it looks when your pool chemical shelf is all stuff you do the laundry with.
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Wow..that didn't sound like he was being objective about the whole thing. I am a newbie myself and interested in the responses.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    wow. I think every sentence in the first paragraph is wrong. I did not even read the rest yet.

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Cal-hypo doesn't even have CYA in it.

    Six sentences in... he pulls that out. I stopped reading.

    Edit: Hadn't even read Jblizzle's post when I posted that! LOL... And he then goes on to state exactly why they don't want us to chlorinate with bleach... he charges premium for his knowledge, and passes that on to you by selling you products. Well... shot yourself in the foot there dude, methinks.
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    AaronGo's Avatar
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Paragraph one is what I am most interested in, I tossed in the rest of his comments as a bonus

    But I would like to hear what others say about his claims, as I don't have enough knowledge to say whether he is right or wrong.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    Cal-hypo doesn't even have CYA in it.

    Six sentences in... he pulls that out. I stopped reading.
    That is how I first read it ... BUT that sentence could be read another way which is correct. What he actually meant we will never know.

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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Ok, where to start, typical bleach is around 6% chlorine, and ranges up to around 12% in the form of "liquid Chlorine" sold in pool stores, I don't recall the exact % of chlorine available in a trichlor puck, but it seems like around 2/3s of it by weight. So when it comes to a simple matter of effective amount of chlorine per pound of product he has a point, of course he is wrong about a lot of the other stuff.

    Now there are so many mistakes and half truths in the rest of his statement that it is hard to catch them all, but here go a few:

    Trichlor pucks and dichlor (often sold as shock) both add CYA to the pool, with Trichlor it is roughly 1 part CYA raise for every 2 parts Chlorine, for dichlor it is closer to 1 to 1, the problem here being that anything over about 70-90ppm of CYA becomes unmaintainable, with a desired minimum of 40 ppm for most people.

    He has things a bit backwards here, Cal-Hypo does not contain any CYA, its byproducts are Chlorine and Calcium which will raise your Calcium hardness, desired Calcium hardness depends on the type of pool surface you have, but in general it can start causing problems somewhere over 300 ppm.

    Now about bleach breaking down and adding Sodium, he is right on that topic, but does not go on to say that acceptable level of Sodiium in water is much higher, people with Salt Water Generator chlorination systems add hundreds maybe even thousands of pounds of salt to their pools to get to the desired levels. Sodium does not become a problem in pools until well over 3,000 ppm, this means you can stand having 10 times as much byproduct of bleach as you can of Cal-Hypo, and close to 100 times what you can stand with dichlor or trichlor. I think his real problem is he can't compete with Wal-Mart on the price of bleach, plus he can't keep his chemicals straight confusing dichlor with cal-hypo.

    Ike

    p.s. all numbers I used were rough approximations, but should give the general idea
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Thanks Isaac, good info. The comment about salt levels is especially interesting to me as I have not thought about that at all.

    See, just trying to use this as a learning moment for myself (and hopefully some others)
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Seriously? The pool store owner makes the kind of think-o/typo mistake I'm liable to make and he gets a free pass? No, dude should KNOW that chit inside and out if he's a pool store owner.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    well, to be fair, he said he RUNS a pool store, not OWNS it
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    actually don't all forms of chlorine add salt? There is a little more in the bleach, but it would take a LOT of bleach to get to leave that are too high.

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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Standard household bleach is 6% chlorine and 84% salt water. That does mean that carrying bleach from the car to the pool is more work, since you also need to carry the salt water. However, once it is in the pool, chlorine is chlorine and it really doesn't matter where it came from.

    CYA is a huge issue that eventually causes problems for 80+% of people who use trichlor, though they may not have any idea why they are having problems and usually blame their problems on other things. If you use dichlor to shock CYA quickly goes from being an eventual problem to being completely out of control hopeless, with no chance of recovering short of massive water replacement.

    TDS is irrelevant, it has no effect on pool care and really doesn't matter. For that matter, all forms of chlorine add salt to the water, as do quite a number of other pool chemicals. Bleach adds just a little more than other forms of chlorine, but so what, it is harmless.

    Pool stores offer free water testing because they assume you will by stuff from them once you are in the store. People who come in to have their water tested and don't buy stuff do cause problems for them. However, it is important to keep in mind that the store choose to offer water testing for free. If they don't actually want to do water testing for free they should charge for it! Instead they seem to end up resenting their potential customers just because the store owner made an error in judgement about how to price their services. That really isn't a very healthy business model.
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Looks like others beat me...here are my thoughts:

    One 3" trichlor puck is equivalent to 58 ounces of 12.5% Liquid chlorine or about 115 ounces of 6% bleach.

    Trichlor adds chlorine and cya to your pool and lowers the ph.

    Bleach/liquid chlorine adds chlorine and salt to your pool...it is basically ph neutral.

    Salt is not an issue for a pool as shown by all of us users of Saltwater Chlorine generators (swg). We have ~3000 ppm of salt with no salt related water sanitation issues. Salt does add to the TDS measurement, but does not cause problems. TDS is a useless measurement unless you know what is adding to the TDS (total dissolved solids). By the way, cya is also part of the TDS measurement...and too much of that is bad...but TDS wouldn't tell you this.

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronGo
    Dealers charge an increased amount for their knowledge and it's for people who pay. We are there to save you time, not money.
    At least he was honest about not saving people money.
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Jason, I have seen locally and hear about it more and more online that many Pool Stores are starting to charge a nominal fee for water testing if ($5-$10) if the customer does not make a purchase of X amount, or purchase chemicals if they are suggested by the test. I would hope this means BBB is catching on, but suspect most people are buying their trichlor pucks at Wal-Mart or Lowes instead of the pool stores.

    Ike
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    The best pool stores lose money on water testing, and make it up by building up customer trust. With a large pool of customers that have gotten good advice and saved money, people will come back to the store to have their pump upgraded or add a pool heater, or even do a complete pool renovation. There is far more money in that kind of work than there is in the normal business of a pool store, and the pool store which take that approach do very well. Despite this, that is not a popular business model.
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    I pulled up Leslie's chlorine tablets to see what it said the % of chlorine was. In one place it says 90% active ingredients and in another part is says 99% Trichloro-s-triazinetrione. The CYA is part of the trichlor formulation. Another trichlor tablet maker states 99% trichloro-s-triazinetrione, 89% available chlorine. None of this tells you how strong it is.

    For example lets look at a 10000 gallon pool. Assuming a tablet weighs 4 ounces, it will raise FC by 2.7ppm, lower pH .15, raise CYA 1.7 and raise salt by 2.2. 56 ounces of 6% bleach will raise the FC by 2.7 and raise salt by 4.4 So, yes the bleach will add more salt but so does the tablet.

    When I bought $600 dollars worth of chemicals that did nothing I felt like a fool. If having bleach and baking soda in my pool shed makes me look like a fool, so be it. Remember, the "experts" once said the earth was flat.
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Plus who looks in your shed or shelf of pool chemicals? When you use BBB, the only think people will notice is the water that's more clear than tap water!
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    I get 12.5% chlorinating liquid from my pool store and they sell a LOT of it. This "I run a pool store" guy just doesn't sell that product so he bashes it.

    As for the concentration of chlorine, the price of Trichlor per pound is much higher (6-14x) than that of chlorinating liquid or bleach. The way to compare products is by the price per FC that they deliver. Also, Trichlor is very acidic so requires pH/TA adjustment chemicals at extra cost (at least 60% the cost of Trichlor) so it's not really as economical as it might first appear.

    Also, the "Available Chlorine" that you will see quoted is relative to chlorine gas (100% Available Chlorine) which has half of it's weight that becomes chlorine in water. So Trichlor with about 90% Available Chlorine is 45% chlorine by weight and 54% Cyanuric Acid (CYA) by weight (as Issaca1 wrote).
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    thanks guys, great info as always.
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    Re: Comment from someone who "runs a pool store" - thoughts?

    Wow, I'm doing everything wrong with my pool water, supposedly, yet somehow my water just manages to stay sparkly, crystal clear and within all target ranges....just lucky I suppose.
    I knew all this BBB stuff was just a conspiracy by Javex and Arm/Hammer
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