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Thread: EZ pool vs Chlorine

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    EZ pool vs Chlorine

    So I know this has been discussed a lot here, and most say "stay away", or at least that it's more expensive. But let me ask opinions specific to my case....

    We just switched to EZ-Pool this year, got talked into it.(I almost always research before hand, but the wife and I just wanted it up with little hassle). Anyways, we also opted for the Nature2 system. An $85 junction box installed on my line that is supposed to cut our chemical use by half. We have a 36x18 pool, 16k gallons. We do 2scoops and 2sticks every Sunday. So the sticks are the "sanitizing agent", basically just a nominal amount of chlorine right? I've read posts are on here where the water can be dangerous to swim in even if it's clear, because too much copper and not enough chlorine. Is this something I have to worry about in my case? We normally have our water tested every other week or once a month depending on clarity.

    Let me just say we've had the WORST time with this stuff. Our water has been green or cloudy almost all year. We had a "professional" pool company come test our pool and tell us what to do...they've been out like 6times and couldn't figure it out. It may have been the filter was getting too much air. It's not green anymore, but still cloudy.

    Are there 1 for 1 comparisons in price for ezpool to chlorine or BBB. And comparisons in time/effort? My time is definitely worth a certain amount of money.
    Hannah Schroer, Trench Drain Systems

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    Welcome to TFP!

    The EZ-Pool system does not contain any sanitizer, and thus is not safe when used alone (and never recommended). If you are only adding sticks once a week, then you have several days each week when your pool is completely lacking sanitizer, which is as mentioned before not safe.

    I have no idea what you are spending, but the methods we teach are incredibly inexpensive, and very likely to cost less than what you are paying. Costs tend to be around $1.50 to $2/day during swimming season for each 10,000 gallons, though that varies (both higher and lower) depending on how carefully you price shop.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    When you say several days lacking sanitizer. It takes several days for the pucks/sticks to completely dissolve. So during that time I assume we are safe. Wouldn't it also be true that we are safe for a short time after that as well? And added to that, with the Nature2 system installed...doesn't that increase that "safe" time as well? I'm just trying to get a handle on how "safe" we are. Should I add 1 stick twice a week instead of 2 at once? Is that safer?

    So as I mentioned, my time and effort is worth money. The BBB system, while not entirely complicated, and probably the cheapest, seems to take the most time and effort. Is that a correct statement? Since I just paid $85 for this nature2 system, if I were to switch to another method, would that make this purchase useless? Or does it compliment a Chlorine based system as well?
    Hannah Schroer, Trench Drain Systems

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    I am sorry about your experience being pool stored. When you get ready we can help, but it will mean you will need to get a good test kit (either the Taylor K-2006 or TF-Testkits TF-100, if you look at my signature you can see my preference) and you will need to post a set of good test numbers. We generally do no trust pool store testing, as the vast majority of them are inaccurate (there is no incentive for them to get the tests right, even if they do have a good testing kit).

    Ike

    p.s. you mention time, it is relative, I spend less time testing and dosing my pool than I do brushing my teeth
    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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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    I'd say that when you figure the time lost swimming plus the cost of the "professional pool company" service, you'd be money ahead to switch to a swg or chlorine injection system and not have those costs or issues.

    The bleach probably costs me about $40 per month and I spend a total of about an hour a month in regular testing and refilling the drum with bleach. I wouldn't call that expensive or time consuming.

    You've mentioned several times that you time is worth money. If it's worth that much hire a service to maintain the pool and keep it perfectly clear.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    I'm gonna sound very sarcastic (and don't mean to) but why in the world would you be considering "hanging on" to any portion of your pool water management that gives you this result?...
    Let me just say we've had the WORST time with this stuff. Our water has been green or cloudy almost all year. We had a "professional" pool company come test our pool and tell us what to do...they've been out like times and couldn't figure it out.
    It will be pretty close to impossible to give you a cost comparison because few of us use the stuff you are using.

    The forum teaches not so much how to save money but to understand and manage your own pool water so you can use your pool instead of looking at a murky mess.

    Only you can decide if that is worth your time.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    I just thought I would follow up on that last statement, note I use an automatic chlorine pump which does reduce the time needed to spend on manually adding liquid chlorine (although this only saves a minute or two per day), as I just have to refill the bulk chlorine tank every couple of weeks which takes maybe 5 minutes.

    As to the regular routine, I test FC, CC every other day using the FAS-DPD drop chlorine test and the optional speed stir mixer, this confirms the chlorine pump is set right and the chlorine level is not drifting too high or too low (which can be an issue after larger groups have been swimming) Total time about 2 minutes including getting the kit out and getting a sample from the pool and bringing it over to the kitchen table to run the test. If needed I will adjust the pump, or manually add a little chlorine, on average I will have to make fairly frequent adjustments at the beginning and end of the swim season and may go weeks without adjustment during the mid portion.

    Once every week or two I will also test pH (I am lucky and have very stable pH conditions, most people will need to test this more often), since it is so stable I tend to keep it fairly tightly regulated and will have to make a minor (.1 or .2) adjustment about once every 6-8 weeks.

    About once every 6 - 8 weeks I also check my CYA, CH and TA levels, this takes maybe an additional 5 minutes worth of testing.
    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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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    One things you may or not be getting in the messages above are that the TFP/BBB methods are polar opposite to the PoolStore/nature methods and are not compatible. You need to choose if you want to continue with Nature2 or with BBB and ONLY make decisions based on the teachings for that method. The BBB methods require a high quality test kit and only taking the actions the test kits shows you need to make in the amount prescribed.

    As to a 1:1 comparison, I am not sure it exists in a single document comparing the two methods as these are normally done by someone looking to sell something or academically prove something. What we do have is the collective knowledge of this website that the BBB methods work very safely and very cost effectively; once you get converted and balanced.

    I also believe that anyone who has decided to keep their Nature2 is not coming to this forum since it is not supported by the community here.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by chris777
    When you say several days lacking sanitizer. It takes several days for the pucks/sticks to completely dissolve. So during that time I assume we are safe. Wouldn't it also be true that we are safe for a short time after that as well?
    Under ideal conditions, yes. Under conditions such as you described, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by chris777
    And added to that, with the Nature2 system installed...doesn't that increase that "safe" time as well?
    No, not really. Nature2 adds metals to the water, which EZ-Pool also does. Adding extra metals just increases your odds of getting metal stains without improving safety at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by chris777
    I'm just trying to get a handle on how "safe" we are. Should I add 1 stick twice a week instead of 2 at once? Is that safer?
    No, that would be worse. You are adding way way too little sanitizer, adding less makes things worse. As it is you are probably losing all of your sanitizer as quickly as it is being added, due to the periods without any sanitizer.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    Not that it hasn't already been mentioned, but the bottom line is: your (time) investment in education [BBB] will be paying off for the rest of your pool ownership experience.

    Everyone here is willing to help and are very prompt with responses, there couldn't be an easier or more user friendly resource.

    I started reading TFP sporadically for a year before switching to BBB. My parents had been pool stored when I was young and I thought I could read up here and make it work. After one season I knew things weren't very good, starting my second season of ownership I didn't even get through opening without realizing I need to embrace BBB full on! I couldn't stand not knowing what I was doing any longer. After a few weeks of learning and a minor amount of struggling to comprehend I considered myself to have moved up to an intermediate BBB-er.

    If you decide not to learn BBB yourself and can't find someone who understands it to maintain your pool for you, don't expect to see results pictured by users here.

    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    As a reference, I used EZ Pool for a few months last year right after my pool was installed, and also using an inline chlorinator. It seemed easy enough for the two months I used it. But, over the winter when I began to price things, the cost of EZ Pool shocked me. I forget the exact price, but, I would have used four or five 20 lb buckets to cover a whole season, and it wasn't cheap. It made me study more about pools over the winter, and ended up here. Plus, after reading about what EZ Pool contains, I switched straight to BBB in the spring, and have had absolutely no problems. As far as time spent testing, after a few weeks getting used to the test procedure, I now spend maybe 3 minutes a day. It did not take me long to figure out what is "normal" for my pool, and I usually only test a few times a week now, unless there is a pool party, heat wave or storm. I know what the usual chlorine consumption is, and can add the right amount of bleach. I test every few days to make sure I am staying with in the proper parameters. My advise is to use the BBB method, its easy and its cheaper. Plus, the support from people on here is priceless.
    Upstate/Central New York. Roman style IG fiberglass pool, 13X33, 8800 gallons, installed July 2012. Pentair cartridge filter, 1 hp Pentair single speed pump. Taylor K2006 Test kit. Went BBB route in spring of 2013, no problems, no regrets!!!!!!

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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    Bama, you fill a drum with bleach regularly that I assume automatically disperses the bleach(which I take to be your chlorine replacement?)? Maybe I need to search around here more for alternative ideas. But would this sort of method make my Nature2 system useless?

    Also, we already use a "service" of sorts. They charge $15 to come to your house, make sure the pool is in working order(pumps, filters etc) and test your water. Give you a printout of what you need to do next, etc. I thought $15 for that is a good deal. They talked me into this EZPOOL stuff.

    But, what is the answer to this:
    When you say several days lacking sanitizer. It takes several days for the pucks/sticks to completely dissolve. So during that time I assume we are safe. Wouldn't it also be true that we are safe for a short time after that as well? And added to that, with the Nature2 system installed...doesn't that increase that "safe" time as well? I'm just trying to get a handle on how "safe" we are. Should I add 1 stick twice a week instead of 2 at once? Is that safer?
    Hannah Schroer, Trench Drain Systems

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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    TF-Test Kit =$68.00
    Adjusting chemical additions with POOL CALCULATOR=Free
    Consistently clear safe sparkling water=Priceless
    Bill
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    I have a 15 gallon drum and a peristaltic pump. I fill the drum once a month give or take. Yes, the BBB method as a whole will make the Nature² useless. What you don't seem to get (or maybe you do and you just don't want to have wasted the cost of the Nature²) is that the Nature² is adding stuff to your pool that you don't need or want, and over time you will have to drain a good quantity of your water and most likely have to fight staining.

    The staining will also mean that you have to add regular doses of sequestrant which is another expense the pool store hasn't told you about yet, but once you get to staining levels of metals in your water they'll gladly sell you the sequestrant to keep it from turning hair green and staining the pool surfaces.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by chris777
    But, what is the answer to this:
    When you say several days lacking sanitizer. It takes several days for the pucks/sticks to completely dissolve. So during that time I assume we are safe. Wouldn't it also be true that we are safe for a short time after that as well? And added to that, with the Nature2 system installed...doesn't that increase that "safe" time as well? I'm just trying to get a handle on how "safe" we are. Should I add 1 stick twice a week instead of 2 at once? Is that safer?
    I already answered this several posts ago. As I said there, in ideal conditions that would work for the few days after you added sticks, but in practice it would rarely work due to accumulated sanitizer demand from the days without sanitizer using up all of your sanitizer more quickly than it is being added. And in the conditions you described (cloudy occasionally green water) it would not work at all.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by chris777
    Bama, you fill a drum with bleach regularly that I assume automatically disperses the bleach(which I take to be your chlorine replacement?)? Maybe I need to search around here more for alternative ideas. But would this sort of method make my Nature2 system useless?

    Also, we already use a "service" of sorts. They charge $15 to come to your house, make sure the pool is in working order(pumps, filters etc) and test your water. Give you a printout of what you need to do next, etc. I thought $15 for that is a good deal. They talked me into this EZPOOL stuff.

    But, what is the answer to this:
    When you say several days lacking sanitizer. It takes several days for the pucks/sticks to completely dissolve. So during that time I assume we are safe. Wouldn't it also be true that we are safe for a short time after that as well? And added to that, with the Nature2 system installed...doesn't that increase that "safe" time as well? I'm just trying to get a handle on how "safe" we are. Should I add 1 stick twice a week instead of 2 at once? Is that safer?
    Impossible to say without a proper test kit. When it comes to sanitation, knowing how much CYA (stabilizer) is key. So is having an accurate measurement of FC (free Chlorine). The Chlorine to CYA ratio is the single most important factor for sanitized water. Using slow dissolving sticks and pucks that contain stabilizer are constantly changing that ratio.

    For example: The minimum amount of Chlorine for a pool with 50ppm of stabilizer is 4ppm. Keep in mind, that is the minimum. You test and find that your FC is 2ppm. A slow dissolving Chlorine source will not get you to your minimum fast enough. Like I said previously, slow dissolving pucks and sticks continually add stabilizer along with Chlorine. In time your CYA level goes up. Now you need to up the Chlorine according to the CYA CHART. It's an exercise in futility.

    To be blunt, EZ pool is hobo soup. Worthless and unsafe.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by chris777
    ...
    Also, we already use a "service" of sorts. They charge $15 to come to your house, make sure the pool is in working order(pumps, filters etc) and test your water. Give you a printout of what you need to do next, etc. I thought $15 for that is a good deal. They talked me into this EZPOOL stuff.
    This is likely to be a case of you get what you pay for, testing is likely very limited, they likely don't take the couple of minutes to run a proper drop based test set, instead they probably use test strips or a colormetric computer tester of some type which can give a false sense of accuracy. You may find it worth it to continue to use there service to maintain your filter, pump and other debris removal, but that depends on how much you value your time and what type of filter you have, etc. If an appropriate sized sand filter the only labor involved is about 5 minutes once or twice per week to backwash (turn off pump, switch a valve to backwash, run pump for a minute or so, turn pump off, turn valve back to filter position, and turn pump back on), cartridge and DE filters can be a bit more labor intense and hands on messy.

    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
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    Thanks for all the comments! I will have to reevaluate EZPool for next year. I really don't want to have to test my pool constantly, but I also don't want unsafe water.
    Hannah Schroer, Trench Drain Systems

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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    Testing the pool takes at most 5 minutes a day, and once you get to know your pool, you can test every other day, or maybe even less often.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: EZ pool vs Chlorine

    My testing and chemical additions add up to probably 10 minutes for the entire week.

    Early on you have to test a lot to learn the process and learn your pool (as funny as it sounds, your pool really will behave uniquely and have its own personality). Once you get more comfortable, maintenance gets really, really easy.
    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
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