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Thread: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

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    TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    I called the local Leslie's because I am having a hard time finding liquid chlorine. I know bleach works, but in the "Bleach prices 2013" thread all of the best prices seem to be on stuff that is in the 10-12% range.

    When I asked if they sold it, the guy on the other end said that they did not recommend liquid chlorine due to issues with TDS. I asked, what's "TDS"? Because I have not seen that acronym here on TFP, and I subscribe to the BBB. He said it was "Total Dissolved Solids" and that liquid chlorine would contribute, and once it gets too high the only solution is a partial drain/water replacement.

    So my questions are this, is this something they can actually test for? If so, does it matter? If so, what are the potential harms? Does liquid chlorine actually contribute to this factor?

    My gut feel was that it was misinformation to sell the stuff that they keep in the store, but thought I would check here with people who know better than I.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    TDS is meaningless ... it is just a combination of things that we look at individually like CYA, CH, and salt ... the rest do not matter.

    All the bleach does is add some salt, which is no big deal ... and what they do not appear to realize is that so do all the other forms of chlorine ... except the other forms of chlorine ALSO add other things that we do not necessarily want like CH or CYA ... which ALSO contribute to the TDS
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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    TDS is a term that includes salt which is the other byproduct of using liquid chlorine / bleach, this is a somewhat common tactic of pool stores to steer people away from cheap liquid chlorine, it is one of those half truths. They claim high TDS is Bad, but if you try to confront them about the 3,500+ ppm of salt needed in a pool using an SWG to make chlorine then it is good.

    SO by THEIR logic some salt added as a byproduct of using bleach for a chlorine source is BAD, but dumping hundreds of pounds of salt into a pool for use with an SWG is required.....
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    BTW, you should be able to find liquid chlorine at the hardware stores ... here Leslies does sell 2 gallons of 10% for $9.99 (a different pool store sells it for $11.99) ... Lowes and HD sell the same thing for $6.86
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    Trust your gut.

    Yes, they test for TDS. That's everything that's dissolved in the water. Salt, Calcium, Stabilizer....

    Ask him what Cal-hypo does to TDS some time! Bleach leaves salt behind. Big deal. Salt doesn't crust on your walls like Calcium does!

    Several years ago the manager at the Leslies nearest me tried to convince me to switch to powdered chlorine because it was "easier to carry" and avoided that salt buildup. Great logic, huh? I told him -and this was true at the time - that my CYA was already over 200 and the Calcium was already over 800. So then he suggested a drain and refill. Yeah...get back on the pool store merry-go-round. Ka-ching!
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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fancypants
    My gut feel was that it was misinformation to sell the stuff that they keep in the store, but thought I would check here with people who know better than I.
    Good job going with your instincts...I would say your actions suggest you "know better" now too
    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.

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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    To add a little to what the others wrote, TDS stands for total dissolved solids, a measure of everything dissolved in the water. Long ago, before it was possible to test for CYA and before anyone knew what CYA really did, someone noticed that high TDS levels tended to correlate problems, and developed rules that TDS should be kept below some level. The rule is kind of silly because high TDS can come from may different things, and only a very few of them cause problems. But back before they could measure CYA, TDS was the best they could do to guess at the CYA level. Now a days, as long as you know your individual levels are it really doesn't matter what your TDS level is. All of the levels that really matter can be measured individually, and there is no need to know TDS.
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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    As the other have said. It is useless by it's self. It's just a number. Next time your told something like that, tell the chemical salesman "pool store" that you think you might have too much dihydrogen monoxide in your pool and you don't know what to do.
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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcowart
    As the other have said. It is useless by it's self. It's just a number. Next time your told something like that, tell the chemical salesman "pool store" that you think you might have too much dihydrogen monoxide in your pool and you don't know what to do.
    hah
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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    Thanks all for the clarification, before posting I did a search for "TDS and did't find anything so I figured I would post a question. Hopefully the next person that gets sold the TDS line can find this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    BTW, you should be able to find liquid chlorine at the hardware stores ... here Leslies does sell 2 gallons of 10% for $9.99 (a different pool store sells it for $11.99) ... Lowes and HD sell the same thing for $6.86
    Even checking their websites it says not available in my local stores.

    I am interested in cal-hypo however because so far it seems to be affordable, but I haven't ran any tests yet in the new house and have no idea what my CH is at.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    Websites are not always accurate ...
    Many are finding the 2 gallons of 10% at Walmart for ~$6.50

    Run the numbers and you will find that actually the liquid chlorine is usually less $ / ppm of FC than the other forms ... and no worry about the side effects.
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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fancypants
    but I haven't ran any tests yet in the new house and have no idea what my CH is at.
    So is your sig going to change?
    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.

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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    It's always good to have some cal-hypo on hand. I have used it in a pinch when I forgot to get more bleach. I even keep some pucks on hand when I know I will be away from home several days. Just use pool calculator and know what each chemical does and adds.
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    Re: TDS Leslie's Fact or Fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Quote Originally Posted by Fancypants
    but I haven't ran any tests yet in the new house and have no idea what my CH is at.
    So is your sig going to change?
    Yes, thanks for the reminder, I just changed it.

    I am really nervous about taking the pool cover off and discovering what is underneath. I am also nervous about flipping the switch on the pump and seeing what happens, hopefully it is more than a "click".

    Last year was taking care of the in-laws above ground pool, so I have the chemistry basics down. This is going to be a new experience with the mechanicals so... fingers crossed.
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