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Thread: New member / new pool owner in Houston area

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    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Atascocita, TX
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    New member / new pool owner in Houston area

    Howdy,

    My wife and I are now the proud owners of a 15.5k gallon in-ground pool. We are in a suburb in NE Harris County (near Houston, TX). Although we're very happy with the end result, this water chemistry stuff can be a bit overwhelming! Our builder spent quite a bit of time explaining how the equipment works and how to use and read the test strips and what chemicals to use. He also said that most people simply take a water sample to the local pool store, and the pool store just tells you what to add.

    That sounds quite convenient... but I really want to understand what the heck is happening in my pool. I just don't want to blindly follow the advice of someone who may or may not know enough -some of the guys at the local store look like high school kids- or may try just to sell me stuff I don't really need.

    Today I found that my neighborhood Ace Hardware store does water testing and carries some chemicals -less than a pool store, but seems to have the basic chemicals- and at a cheaper price than the pool store. The guy that does the testing has been a pool owner for a long time, seems to know what he is talking about and is very friendly -as opposed to the high school kids at the other place. I may be giving Ace a shot.

    Does anyone have experience with HTH products? What should I be looking for in the labels that describe the contents? (i.e. active ingredients, etc.)

    I look forward to reading the wealth of knowledge in this forum.
    15k gal, IG plaster, cartridge, 2HP Hayward, SWG, Polaris 280 w/booster pump, SPA, built May 2013

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    Re: New member / new pool owner in Houston area

    Hi, welcome to TFP! HTH tends to use calcium hypochlorite for their dry chlorine, and they make both cal-hypo and trichlor tablets. The tablets come in similar packaging but they ARE NOT interchangable! It is very important never to mix cal-hypo and trichlore/dichlore or store them in the same container or use the same floater. They will catch fire if they contact each other and have the potential to explode. I don't want to scare you off HTH products, they are just as safe as any pool product, but you need to know about the chemical reaction that takes place if these two chlorine sources contact each other.

    HTH also includes copper in some of their dry chlorine and algaecide products. You do not want to add copper to your pool. Too much copper will cause stains on the pool surface and will cause light colored hair to turn green. You want to avoid any product that adds metals too the pool.

    They best investment you can make in your pool is a high quality test kit, such as the TF 100 or Taylor K2006. When you take your water to be tested you are dependent on the clerk's ability to correctly conduct and interpret the test results to balance your pool. When you conduct your own testing, you know the tests are conducted consistently and the results are reliable. If you ever need to preform the shock process, you will have the correct test for measuring free chlorine (FC) above 5ppm.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    Re: New member / new pool owner in Houston area

    The best thing you could do now is to order one of the test kits we recommend and read the pool school link in the upper right a couple of times, most people get a lot more out of it the second (or third) time through. After that if you have any questions ask away, this will allow you to gain the knowledge to better understand our answers.

    Ike
    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Mar 2011
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    Grand Rapids, Michigan
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    Re: New member / new pool owner in Houston area

    The pool store has a hand in your pocket--so get a kit and test your own water. I have the TF100 with the Speedstir and LOVE it. Grab some bleach, Borax, baking soda and muriatic acid. Keeping these inexpensive supplies on hand will keep your water balanced and clear.

    Read Pool School 'til your eyes are crossed! Then take a break and read it again. It will all make perfect sense, promise!
    17,500 gal. ABG Doughboy Pool
    1/2 HP Pump/150 sq.ft. Cartridge Filter
    TF100 Test Kit And Speedstir

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    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Atascocita, TX
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    Re: New member / new pool owner in Houston area

    Thanks for the good advice... lot's of stuff to learn here!
    15k gal, IG plaster, cartridge, 2HP Hayward, SWG, Polaris 280 w/booster pump, SPA, built May 2013

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    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Sugar Land, TX
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    Re: New member / new pool owner in Houston area

    Hi, I moved to Sugar Land from NYC six months ago and we have a 11,500 gallon pool. I've never owned a pool and felt intimidated when I brought my water sample to the pool store and they stated I needed this and that, totaling more than a hundred dollars. I left without buying anything with the intention to do some research. I came across this website and read all the Pool School articles. I use 8.25% bleach from HEB Supermarket ($2.99 per 121 oz bottle) and bought a good test kit. I also installed the Simple Pool Pro (well worth the money) app on my phone which tells me what I need and exactly how much. I youtubed how to clean the DE filter grids, backwash, and readd DE to the pool. I'm only a few months into this but so far, my pool is clear and I don't smell chemicals and get red eyes from other pools which are professionally maintained. Life is busy enough without having to run to the pool store every week.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Jun 2013
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    Huffman Tx
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    Re: New member / new pool owner in Houston area

    Im out by you NE harris county =Huffman , still learning the bbbs. probably shop at the same HEB westlake houston 1960

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    Join Date
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    Re: New member / new pool owner in Houston area

    Quote Originally Posted by 77346
    I just don't want to blindly follow the advice of someone who may or may not know enough -some of the guys at the local store look like high school kids- or may try just to sell me stuff I don't really need.
    SMART!

    I've had them at stores near me admit they've never owned a pool.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Casey's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Re: New member / new pool owner in Houston area

    Welcome to TFP!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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