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Thread: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

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    Question Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Last year was my first year owning a pool and I ended up going to the local pool store and got took to the bank!!
    This year I was thinking of ordering online and a friend of mine uses "intheswim.com". I have been looking around and the two websites that I checked out where the "intheswim.com" and "poolsupplies.com". Do you recommend one over the other? Do you recommend somewhere else?
    Any help is appreciated! Thank you in advance.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Welcome to TFP.

    I buy the majority of my pool supplies at Dollar General. Bleach is about all I use and I've been using Dollar General brand for 2 years. Once in a while I may need some CYA or acid and I usually get those from WallyWorld or one of the big box stores.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Welcome to TFP!

    You can get most of what you need from the grocery store and the hardware store, but for the few pool specific chemicals I tend to use Amazon. I've used intheswim.com before and they were fine. I have never tried poolsupplies.com.
    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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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Welcome!

    Now that you are here, it would be a good idea to check out Pool School. That way you will know how we are able to keep our pool water in pristine condition. Note that most people here have either the TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 test kits. There is a section in Pool School comparing the different kits available. We all do our own testing, and adjust our chemical additions accordingly.

    I don't know who coined the phrase, but for pool maintenance, Knowledge is Power! We here at TFP can help you understanding the basic needs of your pool.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Welcome to TFP!

    I use a combination of the above. I may go all in with bulk bleach this year with the new pool. I'll jug it to start, and get the best price wherever I can. Pool Specific chems like Cya, I get at the hardware store normally. Same for Acid.
    TFP Moderator
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Welcome! I either use Menard's for bleach/acid, or for other specific chemicals the cheapest online supplier.

    Although, if it hasn't been made clear already, our ideas of pool chemicals are probably very different than yours. Enjoy the forum!
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    I get my 12.5% bleach and my 31% acid in refiilable/returnable jugs at the local independent pool store. I have been known to pick up a 3-pack of Chlorox at Costco when I get lazy. My pool never needs additional Calcium or Alkalinity. I replenish the CYA with a few pucks when I leave town for more than a weekend. I made a small bucket from that prominent national retailer last a couple years.

    I've never needed nor added algaecides, clarifiers, shock powders, flocculents, enzymes, overpriced borax sold as some sort of conditioner, non-chlorine oxidizers, um...what am I missing?

    I buy brush heads and that sort of thing at the big-box hardware store. This year I may spring for a new thermometer since the current one has faded so bad it's nearly unreadable. I buy my pumice stomes at the 99¢ store. The knee-high nylons I use as a skimmer sock come from Walgreens. Pool noodles and other toys come from one of the discount stores, unless the independent pool store has them on sale.

    It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. The only thing you shouldn't skimp on is the test kit. And even there, the TF100 is a better value than the K-2006 unless you have some kind of phenomenal discount coupon for Amazon.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    I buy my pumice stomes at the 99¢ store. The knee-high nylons I use as a skimmer sock come from Walgreens.
    Richard,
    What do you use the 2 above items for?
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Since Richard is off-line ...

    Pumice to scrub the tile line
    knee-highs inside the skimmer baskets to catch debris before it enters the filter.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    I get 10% bleach from the local pool store. Acid also. I get tablets there in bulk, though I only use them for vacations so I get a big tub every other year or so. They carry a good selection of pool parts so skimmer basket, o-rings for things, nets and brushes from there also. I get Polaris parts online after a lot of shopping. Sometimes get Clorox from Sam's or grocery store. I get skimmer socks by the case online.
    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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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    I get bleach and baking soda at Sam's. For Muriatic Acid, I usually get that at the local pool store (yes, really!). When it comes to chemicals, freshness is paramount and I tend to purchase from establishments where I know the product turnover is high.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Thank you all for the replies very helpful! Approximately how many standard bottles of bleach do you dump in your pool per week if you had to come up with an average?
    I was just thinking of buying the pucks for the automatic chlorinator because it seems to be a lot more convenient for a newbie like myself.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    It depends .... on your pool size, your sun exposure, your stabilizer level, your use, debris exposure, etc ....

    Generally you need to add 2-3ppm of FC every day. Use PoolMath to determine how much bleach that is for you.

    I suggest you read through Pool School a few times. Generally, exclusive use of trichlor tablets results in problems. Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    For the most part, if you follow a pool store's way of taking care of the pool, it will cost you much more than the method we teach here at TFP.

    Our basic belief is to do your own testing with a quality test kit and from those test results add only the chemicals that your pool needs. If you rely on the pool store employees telling you what your pool needs, then expect to pay a lot more than what you should have to. I buy most of my chemicals from my independent pool store as they do have some of the best prices and turn over rate for the stuff I need. The key is, I only buy the chemicals that I need.

    Read the links jblizzle posted and you will be off to a great start at understanding pool chemistry and that it really isn't that complicated.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Thank you so much, I tried to update my signature to reflect what I have in my pool. Last year because I was a newbie and didn't know about this site I went to the pool store and while my pool was for the most part sparkling clear all year long until the end of the season, I ended up spending a fortune on chemicals. I'm young and have two kids and my wife stays home, so living off of one income and paying a crazy amount in chemicals is not possible for me. I really appreciate all the help and support you guys provide on the website. I am going to take a swing at using the TFP method this year. I really hope I can pull this off. How can I buy CYA at home depot or Lowes? When I search on the web for this stuff I cannot find it????
    20,000 gallon
    IG Vinyl Foxx
    Hayward S244T Pro Series Top-Mount 24-Inch Sand Filter with 1-1/2-Inch Vari-Flo Valve
    Pump ?
    Age of pool = 15 years old

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    I am not sure I have seen CYA at the hardware stores either ... but Walmart usually has it.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: CYA (as in see ya later pool store)

    I merged this to keep your questions out of another members thread. Keep your related questions together. Thanks, jblizzle

    Well, I just got a quote for chemicals from the pool store for my 20,000 gallon pool and it was over $600 for the year!! So, I asked her if I could just order liquid chlorine from them and this is the response I got:
    "Hi Dan....I would not recommend using liquid chlorine bleach for your maintenance. It is great to use as a troubleshooting tool but not to use all the time. Liquid Chlorine when is made at the factory comes out at about a 13% free available chlorine but by the time it is shipped and made it loses atleast 5% so now you are down to about 8% free available chlorine, which is why we do not bring it in in large quantities do to it depletes very rapidly. I can go with a standard white tablet like the previous owners if you would like but you will actually use more due to they dissolve a lot faster."
    What do you guys think?
    20,000 gallon
    IG Vinyl Foxx
    Hayward S244T Pro Series Top-Mount 24-Inch Sand Filter with 1-1/2-Inch Vari-Flo Valve
    Pump ?
    Age of pool = 15 years old

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    I think they are hoping to make a lot of money off you. What they state is a half-truth. Yes the strength goes down with time and hope it is stored. But, it should be near the strength that is posted on the bottle. If you buy from somewhere with good turn around (like Walmart) the bleach is fresh and at least at the 8% they list.

    They also do not likely grasp the relationship between the CYA and FC levels.

    Generally if you look at the cost per FC ppm ... liquid comes out to be the cheapest and without the side-effects.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Quote Originally Posted by whodaman View Post
    Thank you so much, I tried to update my signature to reflect what I have in my pool. Last year because I was a newbie and didn't know about this site I went to the pool store and while my pool was for the most part sparkling clear all year long until the end of the season, I ended up spending a fortune on chemicals. I'm young and have two kids and my wife stays home, so living off of one income and paying a crazy amount in chemicals is not possible for me. I really appreciate all the help and support you guys provide on the website. I am going to take a swing at using the TFP method this year. I really hope I can pull this off. How can I buy CYA at home depot or Lowes? When I search on the web for this stuff I cannot find it????
    They call it "Stabilizer" I've seen it at Lowes out in the garden section where they keep all the pool supplies. http://www.lowes.com/pd_56991-1327-0...ductId=3035628
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Any preference on where to buy chemicals??

    Gotcha!! thanks! That is perfect!
    20,000 gallon
    IG Vinyl Foxx
    Hayward S244T Pro Series Top-Mount 24-Inch Sand Filter with 1-1/2-Inch Vari-Flo Valve
    Pump ?
    Age of pool = 15 years old

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