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Thread: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

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    Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    I have been reading a ton about chemical balancing and maintaining my pool as I want to be rid of my weekly service and take care of it myself.

    Here is where I am confused...

    My service comes once a week and therefore I know any chemicals (chlorine, etc.) are only added once a week. My pool has always been very well balanced as indicated by the reports left by the maintenance people and random testing I do with my Taylor to double check service reports.

    I have a 15X30 inground gunite with cartridge filter. We also have a cage over the pool. We live in south florida so the pool is open year round. We have never drained or partially drained our pool in 9 years and we do not use any type of chlorine system (inline or otherwise). We have also never had an algae issue in 9 years.

    Everything I read maintains that chlorine has to be added multiple times a week if using unstabilized because iris not adding CYA to slow the usage of chlorine. If I use stabilized tabs I run the risk of too much CYA increasing the need for FC and things will just get out of control over time.

    I want to be able to service my pool once a week just like my current service has been doing for years without having to pay them.

    How do I add the needed chlorine only once a week without running the risk of FC going low or CYA running to high?

    I absolutely know it is possible because pool service companies all over the country are doing it weekly on millions of pools. My pool service has been doing it once a week for 9 years without ever having an issue so, I know it is possible for me to do it as well.

    There is something these pools services are doing that is not being discussed online because, everything I read says unstabilized chlorine means adding multiple times a week and stabilized means high CYA that cannot be removed with atleast a partial drain / fill.

    There has to be some balance they are using to be able to continually keep the pool balanced while only adding chlorine weekly.

    I am totally baffled.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    Welcome to TFP!

    Pool services don't do anything mystical with regard to pool management are able to get away with weekly pool attention because they drain lots of water so the CYA never usually gets high enough to be a problem. If you want to take the weekly approach, my suggestion is for you to invest in a salt water chlorine generator so you can produce your own chlorine rather than having to add it manually. Either that or you can just drain water when your CYA gets highish. That's about it.

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    Thank you for the welcome and quick reply. I do not believe or pool service has ever drained water and my understanding is that with a cartridge filter there is o back washing so there is no water drained that way.

    Is it possible to use unstabilized chlorine and manually add CYA in such a way to maintain FC levels on a weekly basis?

    Maybe we have enough evaporation in the hot summer months to maintain proper CYA levels?

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    How did the service chlorinate the pool? Tabs? Liquid? powder?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    It seems they have been using a combination of liquid and tabs. I do notice tabs in my skimmer and I have also noticed them pouring liquid from the yellow chlorine containers all the pool service guys carry around. The only other liquid I have noticed them putting in the pool is something that causes a smoke effect when it contacts the pool water.

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    CYA does not evaporate, instead it just gets concentrated in the remaining pool water, splash out, backwash, etc. is the only effective removal method (it does very slowly break down in the water though, but at a rate that does not make much difference to most pools). The general problem is that once per week dosing will tend to result with higher than desired chlorine levels right after the dosage, and low levels before they get back the next week. Either that or something gets out of balance CYA, CH, etc and major water replacement is required. I am not saying that such a pool would look bad, but I suspect you would have excessive Chloromine smells, burning eyes, etc, and eventual algae problems.

    p.s. the smoke effect is from muriatic acid for pH
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    Here, one company raises the CYA to astronomical levels (200-300) and raise the FC very high when they come using chlorine gas and hope enough FC is left when they come back.

    Problem is, if algae starts it is VERY difficult to raise and maintain the FC high enough to kill it off. My in-laws pool has now been green for over a month with the pool service unable to clear it ... I am guessing they will soon recommend a drain and refill.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    I absolutely know it is possible because pool service companies all over the country are doing it weekly on millions of pools. My pool service has been doing it once a week for 9 years without ever having an issue so, I know it is possible for me to do it as well.
    I would suggest you watch what they do next time and then copy it.

    What test results do you get with your Taylor kit when you test behind them?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    I have never tested directly behind them on service day. Is it possible they are using more unstabilized chlorine and just raising the levels to a point that it will still have enough FC by the next service?

    I have a feeling they are using unstabilized to raise the level on service day and maybe only using 1 3" tab per week to keep enough FC while not adding to much CYA. Is this possible?

    I will have to test right behind the service this week to see what results I get.

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    Well, there is no "magic bullet" they use but I am willing to bet a large sum that they take your parameters w-a-ay outside of what we suggest.

    That said, you are happy and they have been successful so copy them.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    When you say way outside parameters you suggest do you mean chlorine levels on maintenance day to keep the, up all week? I know they CYA levels always seem to be within the range suggested here.

    I am thinking it might have something to do with pool evaporation we get in south florida during the summer as we are probably having to add water to the pool atleast every couple of weeks.

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    I'm saying it likely is many, many factors combined to make their strategy successful and one that we wouldn't suggest for others because they may not have the same variables you do.

    I also wouldn't speculate as to what they are doing because we would need current, accurate test results to give you a valid answer instead of just guessing.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    Thanks for the responses. I will test following the service this coming Tuesday and post the results.

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    Try testing both before and after and post both
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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    One of the challenges in asking your question here, is many of us do not believe that you can maintain a trouble free pool on one visit a week, over an extended period of time. Weekly maintenance somewhat dictates the use tablets that either add CYA or CH, both of which are nearly impossible to reduce without significant water replacement. An exception to the rule seems to be SWG pools, where chlorine is constantly generated from the salt water, and a well balanced pool can often get by with a single pH adjustment per week.
    19204 Gallon L Shape with a 10X10 2nd Step Baja Ledge. Intellichlor IC-40, IntellipH, Cartridge Filter, Pentair Heater/Chiller (Heat Pump). Tons of Deck with Deck Jets. Construction Complete 6/5/17.

    "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it!"

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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    Quote Originally Posted by elwood58
    One of the challenges in asking your question here, is many of us do not believe that you can maintain a trouble free pool on one visit a week, over an extended period of time. Weekly maintenance somewhat dictates the use tablets that either add CYA or CH, both of which are nearly impossible to reduce without significant water replacement. An exception to the rule seems to be SWG pools, where chlorine is constantly generated from the salt water, and a well balanced pool can often get by with a single pH adjustment per week.
    I understand what you are saying and the only problem I have wrapping my head around it is that being in south florida there are millions of residential pools being maintained on a once a week basis by these service companies.

    Maybe they are not being maintained by certain standards but, I am thinking if there was huge problem being caused from a health standpoint that it would be all over the news.

    Maybe it is not a health related issue and more causing equipment issues that people are either willing or gullible enough to just pay for repairs / replacement.

    I have no problem having to test several days a week or add chlorine, etc. more than one day a week if that is truly what is required.

    I can only speak of our experience with our pool over a 9 year period where we have had no equipment repairs or major replacements, no algae issues, no odor from the pool, no itchy skin or irritated eyes and the pool has always been very clear and clean. We had one issue with metal staining that the service guy resolved very quickly. Test reports have always been good and my random tests have always shown readings to be within the specs even recommended on this site.

    All of this with a one day a week service, we have never added a single drop of chlorine or any other chemical aside from what the service adds when they come.

    The only reason I brought this topic up for discussion is that, both my wife and I notice the pool guy is here and gone in about 20 minutes every week and it seems that for the cost we could spend that time ourselves on the pool.

    Also keep in mind our pool and back area have a cage installed around them so we get next to no leaves, branches, grass or anything else for that matter in our pool.

    I do appreciate the responses from everyone and love the fact that there are sites like this we can get support when we make the choice do do it on our own.

  17. Back To Top    #17
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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    It is a huge problem, much in the same way Microsoft has managed to convince consumers for the past 20 years that computer all should just crash at random (maybe they are a little better now, but remember windows 95, XP, etc.) The pool industry has convinced everyone pools are hard to maintain and you need to hire a service, rely on them to do testing, then rely on them to know and adds stuff, and as long as nothing starts growing in the pool and no one gets seriously hurt everything is ok, and if something does start growing then you just have to dump the water and start over. Burning eyes, and that "chlorine smell" are simply considered normal and not signs of an out of balance pool, we here know better, we hear it over and over again.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    I agree with you completely and in my case a business in the pool industry has convinced me of the exact opposite.

    The guy is here about 20 minutes one day a week for the last 9 years and no problems with the pool at all.

    So I start looking around to see if this is something I should / can do myself and all of the DIY sites I visit have now led me to believe it is this complicated process that is going to require multiple days a week, constant testing and that this can be a very dangerous undertaking if not constantly monitored.

    I am just in the beginning of learning the ins and outs but, it seems maybe some people have way over analyzed this whole thing to the point of scaring people into being slaves to their pools.

    I am sure that as I learn more it will to seem as complicated and the fear willbe removed.

    I guess I just have to trust that, like any other industry these days, the pool folks need my money and have to do whatever to make what they can.

    There is a trade off, I have read the BBB method and while I can see where it can save money on chemical purchases, I also have to factor that my time is worth a lot as well. There is a balance that have to be struck between money and time(also a valuable commodity).

  19. Back To Top    #19
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    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    My pool may not be the best typical example when it comes to balancing chemicals since it is an indoor pool, however I can tell you water quality, has improved a great deal since I switched to BBB and automated liquid chlorine injection a few years ago, before then sometimes it was good, sometimes it was not, the water would get somewhat cloudy, would burn peoples eyes, that "chlorine smell" would come and go, etc. But now the water is always good, or if it is not there is a reason, like a burned out pump motor causing circulation to be cut off for a few days, etc. How much work is this, and the answer is not much, fine tune the chlorine pump every week or so at the start and end of the pool season, test the basic chlorine and pH levels 1 or 2 times per week and test the other stuff about once per month or so. 5 minutes of active testing per week and 15 minutes once per month. The key to this working is to get the pool stable so CYA or CH are not constantly being pumped up by use of trichlor or cal-hypo and using a liquid chlorine pump to automate those daily doses (an SWG would offer much the same benefit)

    p.s. maybe we partly disagree on what is a problem, for example does the water burn your eyes, does it sometimes burn more or less, do you EVER smell that "chlorine smell" that we know if really combined Chloromines ?
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Totally confused regarding weekly pool service.

    Well, Steve, you have us all quite curious.

    Do let us know what effect you see in the chemicals before and after the next visit.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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