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Thread: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

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    Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    My pool is surrounded by trees, and leaves and organics are constantly being blown into the water. I recently bought the home/pool and I'm new to pools maintenance and have a weekly pool guy, though I want to eventually take over. I am currently using this product to keep the algae away http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Chemistry ... +phos+free

    Is this something I should plan on adding weekly forever? If I get good a better understanding of my pool chemistry and keep the levels good, would that take care of the algae on its own or will I always need an extra product like this since I have constant leaves in my pool?

    Thanks.
    27,300 gallons / IG / Plaster / Spa / Taylor K-2006

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    If you maintain adequate FC levels depending on your stabilizer level (CYA), then there is no need to worry about the phosphate levels.

    Read up in Pool School (button at the upper right of the page) to get a better undertanding of the chemistry.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    If you keep your levels balanced, there is no reason to ever use PhosFree. Chlorine alone is more than capable of preventing algae. You have to add chlorine anyway. With only a little attention to keeping your FC levels appropriate, there is no need to spend any money on phosphate removal.

    If you do use PhosFree, which we don't recommend, you only add enough to keep your phosphate level at 100 or lower. That might be much more or much less than you are currently using.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    Welcome to the forum...
    Unfortunately, phos free is a magic elixir that's really good at one thing: draining your wallet.

    With proper chlorination, phosphate levels are completely irrelevant. Take a look at Pool School (link in upper right corner), and read the articles about pool water chemistry.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    Thanks guys.

    Besides spending unnecessary money, are there any drawbacks to using PhosFree? Does it leave behind any chemicals or affect anything else?

    Thanks!
    27,300 gallons / IG / Plaster / Spa / Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    It leaves behind lanthanum and chloride ions. The chloride is the same as the salt you get from using chlorine. The lanthanum won't do anything except precipitate phosphate. PhosFree also adds a clarifier since without it the pool would turn cloudy and stay that way for a long time. The clarifier likely slowly breaks down from chlorine so you might find your chlorine demand rising over time if you overuse the PhosFree.

    It's really just insurance in case you let the chlorine level get too low. The pool will be less reactive and with no chlorine it could still grow algae but more slowly while at low chlorine levels the chlorine may be able to kill algae faster than it can grow. It's just an expensive way to achieve this goal. There are people on this forum with tens of thousands of ppb phosphate who simply maintain the appropriate FC/CYA ratio to keep algae from growing by using chlorine alone.
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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    I had my pool tested on saturday and leslies sold me some commercial grade phos free for 65 bucks. The reading was 5000ppm, I kept the receipt so I should take this back after reading more on this forum.
    built 4/08/2000 16 x32 460 Sq FT Pool 16,000 gallons 3.5 ft 5 ft 3.5 ft sport pool

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4tx
    I had my pool tested on saturday and leslies sold me some commercial grade phos free for 65 bucks. The reading was 5000ppm, I kept the receipt so I should take this back after reading more on this forum.
    If they will let you, definitely return it ... and then use that money for a recommended test kit if you do not have one already.

    Have heard stories of not being able to return chemicals because they do not know if you opened them (hopefully there is a seal).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    Yeah its sealed I believe....I did buy a test kit from this site a while back, I usually use it to spot check leslies atleast once a year, looks like its about that time.
    built 4/08/2000 16 x32 460 Sq FT Pool 16,000 gallons 3.5 ft 5 ft 3.5 ft sport pool

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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4tx
    Yeah its sealed I believe....I did buy a test kit from this site a while back, I usually use it to spot check leslies atleast once a year, looks like its about that time.

    If you use it more often, you will not have to go to Leslie's
    Jim

    Southern Frederick County, MD - Leisure Moroccan 38 Fiberglass Pool - 19,800 gallons
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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    I usually use it to spot check leslies atleast once a year
    If I am reading that right, I would suggest you do the opposite. Use your test kit all the time on your pool and then go have Leslies test for you once a year to see if there testing is as good as yours.....it won't be. "Trust your own testing"
    Dave S.
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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    I just wanted to chime in on the phosphate thing as I, too, got sucked into that pool store gimmick.

    I spent an entire summer and way too many precious dollars fighting phosphates. The pool store made it sound like I'd have a swamp if I didn't do what they say. I was gullible.

    I'd add the stuff, my water would turn to milk, I'd have to add the clarifier, vacuum to waste, then refill. The phosphates would still be there and the pool store said it was in my fill water. I tested the fill water, no phosphates. They said it blew in from the nearby lake. I tested the lake, no phosphates.

    You want my humble opinion? Phosphates are in the other chemicals that you add. You follow their advice on removing phosphates and end up putting them right back in as you add the chemicals to offset what you've just drained out by vacuuming to waste.

    I think it's a pretty good racket that they have going!

    The best advice that I ever received was when some oldtimer finally told me to stop worrying about phosphates. (Which is the same advice that these wiser/savvier folks are giving, here!)
    Central Indiana, 7200 gallon, IG fiberglass, L250 Jacuzzi sand filter, Hayward H150 gas heater, Pentair fiber optic light - installed '06. AOSmith 1.0hp pump, CPSC-24 SWG - installed '13. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    I usually use it to spot check leslies atleast once a year
    If I am reading that right, I would suggest you do the opposite. Use your test kit all the time on your pool and then go have Leslies test for you once a year to see if there testing is as good as yours.....it won't be. "Trust your own testing"
    So are you suggesting a once a year trip to Leslie's for some comic relief?

    For me, my trips to Leslie's have been demoted to replacement o-rings, and an argument about total dissolved solids (which tends to happen after I tell them I'm not interested in their $60 jug of Phos-Free), as my wife drags me out the door.
    Matt
    9k gallon, plaster, IG. Raised spa w/ spillover into pool. AO Smith Century Centurion / Purex Triton WisperFlo 0.5 HP, Hayward 1.5 HP (spa), Polaris 1-516-01 1.5 HP (blower). Hayward DE3620 36 ft2 72 GPM DE Filter, Polaris 145 cleaner. Pool built ~1980.
    Trouble-free, BBB since: April 25, 2013

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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenischmeni
    You want my humble opinion? Phosphates are in the other chemicals that you add. You follow their advice on removing phosphates and end up putting them right back in as you add the chemicals to offset what you've just drained out by vacuuming to waste.
    The better metal sequestrant products, such as the ones we recommend, use HEDP and when broken down by chlorine they produce orthophosphates. That's the only common pool chemical I know of where phosphates would get introduced into the water. Nevertheless, the phosphate level won't matter if one properly maintains a Free Chlorine (FC) level relative to their Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level as chlorine alone can kill algae faster than it can grow regardless of algae nutrient (phosphate, nitrate) level.
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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    I have oak trees which I hear is bad about staining everything white...my skimmer baskets , jet eyes, cleaner hose etc all have a brown stain...some can be rubbed off easily others not as easy...will reducing phosphates help in that regard?
    built 4/08/2000 16 x32 460 Sq FT Pool 16,000 gallons 3.5 ft 5 ft 3.5 ft sport pool

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    Re: Phos Free Pool Cleaner to keep algae away

    No, phosphates have nothing to do with organic staining. All phosphate removal does is to lower a critical nutrient for algae growth. Since chlorine at proper levels kills algae regardless of phosphate level (we have some pools on this forum with 30,000+ ppb phosphates), we generally ignore the phosphate level.

    For organic stains, if you maintain the proper FC/CYA ratio, it should fade such stains over time.
    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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