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Thread: TFPC Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    TFPC Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    I finally got around to running the dollars & cents on my first full year of TFPC vs. the prior year under what I will call the “Pool Store” method. All numbers are for a 1-year period unless otherwise noted:

    • Chemical cost under TFPC: $436. Pool Store Method: $1,460. TFPC Savings: $1,024/yr.


    • Pump run time cost under TFPC: $265. Pool Store Method: $662. TFPC Savings: $397/yr. Average electric rate was 10 cents/kWh for both periods.


    • Partial Drain & Refill under TFPC: $0. Pool Store Method: $43. TFPC Savings: $43/yr. Under the Pool Store Method, I had to do 2 partial D&R’s of about 8,500 gallons each twice that year to reduce CYA from regular use of pucks & dichlor “Shock”.


    Net chemical and regular operating expense savings of TFPC compared to Pool Store method: $1,464/yr.

    TFPC Intangibles:
    • Only had to replace one hose on pool cleaner this year vs. several in the prior year. In fairness, I did not figure a cost on this since I do not know how old the hoses were in the first year we bought the house. However, I do see a trend of the hoses & fittings lasting longer under TFPC.


    • Swim goggles and bathing suits lasting longer. I swim laps almost every day. In the year prior to TFPC, I went through two goggles per season. Under TFPC, I’m still using the same goggles and it has been about a year & a half and still counting. Similar results for the bathing suits. Pretty much refutes the argument of liquid bleach being “harsh” compared to other forms of chlorine.


    • The calcium ring that was around the pool when we bought the house has disappeared and the one in the spa is fading fast.


    • Received several comments that my pool is the cleanest they have ever seen.


    • No eye irritation and no chlorine smell


    • Spend less time on maintenance overall. Spending about 10-15 min more on testing per month under TFPC and much of that difference is accounted for on the one day per month that I run the full battery of tests in the TF100 kit. The investment in a little bit of extra testing time is returned several-fold by spending less time on overall maintenance items such as not having to shock or add unneeded chemicals, not replacing pool cleaner hoses/fittings as often, not having to do partial drain & refills, and avoiding the periodic algae blooms that plague other pool owners.


    Here’s more details on the chemical breakdown for TFPC vs. Pool Store Method:
    Pool Store Method:
    • Chemicals: Trichlor pucks, Dichlor “shock”, Potassium Monopersulfate “shock”, CalHypo “shock”, Algaecide, Clarifier, Phosphate Remover, Muriatic Acid, Baking Soda, Yellow-Out


    • Pump run time: 10-12 hours /day to get acceptably clear water.


    • Shocked weekly using two to three 16 oz. packs per dose because “That’s what you’re supposed to do, right?”


    • Used algaecide and phosphate remover at least once a week.


    • Did not get an algae outbreak but had periodic bouts of hazy water.


    • Partial drain & refill 2 times per year to lower CYA. Did not know at the time that there was an alternative and effective chlorine sanitizer that did not have stabilizer.

    TFPC:
    • Chemicals: Mainly Liquid Bleach & Muriatic Acid; occasionally Baking Soda & Stabilizer. The only time I use pucks and algaecide is when the pool will be unattended for more than a few days, which only happened once this year.


    • Pump run time: 4-5 hours / day on average. Water is crystal clear. I can tell screws holding drain cover in place 10 feet below the surface are Phillips head. Pool looks “empty” on calm days.


    • Have not needed to shock the pool since switching to TFPC.


    • Always had crystal clear water.


    The biggest benefit of TFPC? Gaining a solid understanding of what parameters to measure in order to properly manage the pool along with knowing what chemicals/dosages are needed and their effect on the water. That knowledge led to both a cleaner & more balanced pool as well as the financial savings. Under TFPC, I add what is needed in the proper dosage based on chemistry according to test results as opposed to haphazardly dumping various chemicals into the pool based on marketing hype, urban legends, and arbitrary time tables.
    Last edited by BoDarville; 03-20-2014 at 09:17 PM.
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    Yikes, that's a big difference. Are you sure that when you were using Trichlor pucks and other pool store recommended chemicals that you were using Muriatic Acid? I would have expected you to be using pH Up instead given that Trichlor is acidic.

    Anyway, congratulations on maintaining a great pool and letting others know your story.
    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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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    WOW!!!
    That is astonishing, indeed!!

    I'm already sold, the chemistry is sound and it just works. But this just further cements things!!
    Finally saw, after clearing up the problem I started with, water so clear that it looks like glass and at night, the pool looks like it's empty. Like there's no water in it. WOW!!
    I had no idea that was ever even possible.

    Love this forum and it's methods.
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Yikes, that's a big difference. Are you sure that when you were using Trichlor pucks and other pool store recommended chemicals that you were using Muriatic Acid? I would have expected you to be using pH Up instead given that Trichlor is acidic.
    Yes, I was using MA under the "Pool Store" method although that's the one chemical that I use a little more of under TFPC since I stopped using the acidic Trichlor pucks. Even with the pucks, I still needed occasional doses of MA since I have an attached spa with spillover waterfall. I also went light on the pucks and compensated by using lots of algaecide (see below). Nevertheless, the pH crept up due to the aerating effect of the waterfall combined with the long pump run times under the Pool Store method.

    What really drove my chemical costs under the Pool Store method was:
    • Weekly "shocking" @ approx 3 pounds of chemical per week (minimum)


    • Routine and liberal use of algaecides and phosphate removers with enzymes that "Break down oils and other organic matter"


    • Using clarifiers and other chems (Yellow Out and Green to Clean) to battle the bouts of hazy water.

    Accounting for a large part of this cost is the fact that I keep my pool operational year-round, so that's a full 12 months of using "shock", algaecides, phosphate removers, etc. In short, I was dumping chemicals into the pool without really knowing what I was doing.

    I believe that the only reason I never had a full-blown algae outbreak was a friend who educated my about CYA (hence the two drain & refills). However, he (like me at the time) did not know there was a non-stabilized form of chlorine nor did we know that the appropriate maintenance level of FC depended on the CYA level. So we continued using our pucks and maintained FC of between 1-3 all the time except during our weekly "shock" ritual. We just accepted the fact that partial D&Rs once or twice a year were part of owning a pool. Now I know that the likely reason the water would turn hazy for no apparent reason was that 1-3 ppm of FC was grossly insufficient at a CYA level of 80-100.

    While I knew that I was spending way less $ on chems under TFPC, even I did not realize that the difference was this significant until I saw the numbers. I went over the figures several times because I even doubted myself! Fortunately, I only went through 1 year of this before finding TFPC and becoming educated on water chemistry and pool maintenance.
    Last edited by BoDarville; 03-20-2014 at 09:34 PM. Reason: Change BBB refs to TFPC
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    And that's why the economy is tanking! You need to spend more!

    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    That is pretty awesome Bo! Not sure what I was saved, but no doubt it was a lot. When I moved into the house this past June, the wife and I contemplated just taking the pool down, but that seemed daunting and what would we do with a 30 foot circle of dirt in the backyard? I ended up paying a professional $1400 to "open" my pool which amounted to him completely draining the water, scrubbing the liner, telling me to always leave the floater full of pucks plus one in the skimmer, and to run the pump 24/7, lest I'll have a green pool within a week. With that I wrote him a check and looked at my empty pool with a garden hose hanging in it not sure what to do next.

    Looking back, I was fortunate that when the water got to skimmer level the pump started leaking massively (bad gasket). That led me to google and I noticed so many results came from here so I just started exploring. I saw a reference to BBB and was like, what is that? Knowing nothing about pools, I learned, read pool school, read the forum daily, and I cannot believe how far I have come in just a few months.

    I was certain that the cost would be much more than a couple of bottles of bleach per week and 10 minutes a day, but it really isn't so I am happy to say that we are definitely keeping it. And my 3.5 and 1 year old daughters love it!
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    And this was a great reminder for me to finally make my donation given all of the money I have saved and will save next year!
    Dedicated TFPer since 2012 with recommended test kit
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    Installed in 2006? (just a guess, pool came with house I purchased in June 2012)

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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    Wow is right. I need to get DH on board. I sent him this thread....
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    Shared this with a friend who has a pool and has been pool stored a cpl times last year.

    I'm already sold, but I'm amazed at your savings. Thank you for posting this.

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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    This was my pool water before using this site......


    IMG_1259 by tiffnoy, on Flickr

    This is what my water looks like after using BBB....


    IMG_1272 by tiffnoy, on Flickr

    I'll never go back.... In fact adding borates to my pool for the first time this year....
    Intex Rectangle 18 x 9 x 52', 4544 gallon (18000 litres), 0.75 hp pool pump, 100 sqft Zodiac Titan Cartridge Filter - 40mm, Stenner Peristaltic Pump chlorine injection system, Intex Over The Wall Skimmer, Intex Fittings with 40mm plumbing Lil Patch Of Heaven. Build/Construction http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...lice-of-heaven

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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    Quote Originally Posted by laceygirl View Post
    This was my pool water before using this site......


    IMG_1259 by tiffnoy, on Flickr

    This is what my water looks like after using BBB....


    IMG_1272 by tiffnoy, on Flickr

    I'll never go back.... In fact adding borates to my pool for the first time this year....
    That is a sparkly pool! What a difference.. Last fall, my husband and I bought a chlorinator...which will stay in the box.. after much discussion I convinced him that BBB is the only way to go..
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    Quote Originally Posted by TSiGirl View Post
    That is a sparkly pool! What a difference.. Last fall, my husband and I bought a chlorinator...which will stay in the box.. after much discussion I convinced him that BBB is the only way to go..
    CHlorinator is handy for vacations.
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
    CHlorinator is handy for vacations.
    Agreed...but other than that..will not use pucks.
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    I actually still use the pucks......I don't bother with manually adding stabilizer into my pool.....Its only until I get my CYA up to where it needs to be, then I remove the puck floater from the pool and continue with bleach...
    Intex Rectangle 18 x 9 x 52', 4544 gallon (18000 litres), 0.75 hp pool pump, 100 sqft Zodiac Titan Cartridge Filter - 40mm, Stenner Peristaltic Pump chlorine injection system, Intex Over The Wall Skimmer, Intex Fittings with 40mm plumbing Lil Patch Of Heaven. Build/Construction http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...lice-of-heaven

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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    Quote Originally Posted by laceygirl View Post
    I actually still use the pucks......I don't bother with manually adding stabilizer into my pool.....Its only until I get my CYA up to where it needs to be, then I remove the puck floater from the pool and continue with bleach...
    That will work, and there is nothing wrong with doing that.

    You just need to be aware of how they work and be diligent about the pH as well since the pucks are acidic.
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    A friend had me come over and check on his pool yesterday. Noted a puck floater, but wasn't too worried about it since he just opened his pool, which included adding a bunch of water. CYA 70 and chlorine off the chart, I took his floater and threw it across the yard.
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    Quote Originally Posted by laceygirl View Post
    I actually still use the pucks......I don't bother with manually adding stabilizer into my pool.....Its only until I get my CYA up to where it needs to be, then I remove the puck floater from the pool and continue with bleach...
    I do the same thing. We have a lot of pucks left over from when we were doing the pool store method (that terrible method only lasted a few months) and I used them at the start of last season when my CYA dropped from the excessive rain we had over the winter (I swear my pool was overflowing out of the skimmer every few days!) My normal pH is around 7.6, and when using the pucks it dropped to around 7.4 but no lower. I may be lucky but I haven't had to add acid or borax since switching to TFPC (or BBB when I started). I have Borax on hand just in case the pucks would drop it too low.
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    Friend of mine moved into a new house this winter, and it has an 18' ABP in the yard. When I told him how much I saved and how mindless taking care of my pool is thanks to everyone here, he got very interested. Looking forward to helping him in a couple of weeks and throwing whatever leftover chemicals he has across the yard!
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    Robbie!!! I'm surprised at you. I thought you were the calm gentle type.
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    Re: BBB Saved Me Over $1,400 in the First Full Year

    I did it in a calm, gentle way.

    His wife wasn't happy when she overheard us talking about the need to drain a lot of water. She was mad at him.
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