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Thread: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

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    Join Date
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    Aylesford, Nova Scotia
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    Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    Ok, so I have already bought and used the opening kit and synergy initiator, and the seasons supply of chlorine, but now after doing the opening and initiator stuff, I have low TA and other stuff. Pool store water test results today:
    Tds 400
    Cya 40
    Tot ch 5
    Free ch 5
    Ph 7.2
    Tot alk 70
    Adj tot alk 58
    Cal hard 95
    Iniatior 80

    And they want over 100$ to get the stuff to get it to par.
    I'm ok with going the tfpc way for this, but where it's already started with the synergy and I have the year supply of chlorine, how does that come into play, or does it even matter?
    I'd love some help, hopefully I've posted in the right spot.
    I used the calculator but wasn't sure about what to choose, tfpc or traditional pool goals.
    24' round above ground, sand filter with a pro flo pump, not sure of rate
    Pool has had synergy systems all along, including opening and chlorine kit for this year, I'm just sick of paying way too much at the pool store.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    Welcome to TFP!

    I have never heard of synergy initiator. What is that?

    If you are going to follow the TFPC, you will need regular house hold bleach. I see you are in Nova Scotia. It looks like your other numbers are fairly good.
    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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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    A couple things first. Pool store testing is notoriously untrustworthy. The fundamental tenets of TFPC, are taking control of your pool by proper water testing, understanding the effect of adding chemicals, and only adding chemicals that are necessary and understood. The synergy system is the antitheses of these tenets with a bunch of chemicals that have propitiatory names that are meant to obscure from the pool owner what they are actually adding to the pool. This leaves the pool owner at the mercy of the pool store "experts."

    The follwoing quotes are from this post, where Jason gave some good advice to another Synergy user:

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Omni Synergy Tabs contain trichlor and borates and appear to be PH neutral, or at least close to PH neutral.
    Omni Synergy Clear is 58% dichlor with the remaining contents not listed.
    Omni Synergy Initiator is borates.
    Pink Treat is 89% sodium bromide {{EDITED}}.
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    There is never any reason to use Pink Treat. Chlorine alone is completely effective against pink algae and water mould.
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    I recommend you get your own top quality test kit. Without reliable test results we need to do a lot of guessing about what might be going on.
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    There is no need to use Omni chemicals. Suitable chemicals are available much less expensively, many of them from the grocery store.
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Sodium bromide can be problematic. We never recommend using it. Make sure you follow their directions on how much chlorine to add and when or it may end up making things worse.
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    I recommend getting a test kit from TFTestKits. That will give you much better control over your pool, save you the drive to the pool store, and give you more reliable results than nearly any pool store.
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    I also recommend doing some reading in Pool School. There is lots of helpful background information there that will make taking care of your pool much simpler.
    Do you have algae? You numbers don't look horrible.

    Have you already used Pink Treat? That can complicate things. (once a bromine pool always a bromine pool)

    I assume that the Initiator level is Borates. If so 80 is high, and we don't recommend going much over 50. If you keep using Synergy this will keep going up.

    If you are serious about getting started with TFPC, start with getting a good test kit (TF-100 from tftestkits.net) so you can begin taking control of your pool.

    If you decide to abandon the Synergy system (since you said you have a year supply) people have good luck dumping their unwanted, CYA and/or Bromide ridden junk on Craigs list. Some other sucker will be happy to take it off your hands.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    What is "synergy initiator"?

    Now I'm going to have to add it to the
    wheel of pool store fortune.




    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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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    According to Jason it's borates (expensive borates).

    Josh, I just looked back at your topic heading...your TA is fine and your CH is fine for a vinyl pool (if you believe the pool store testing, which I don't)


    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Aylesford, Nova Scotia
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    Re: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    This stuff is the synergy system... By omni.http://www.omnipool.com/Products/Synergy%C2%AE
    The t100 test kit is what you are talking about?
    Also, with the test shown there, is my pool safe to use until I get a good kit and test myself?
    24' round above ground, sand filter with a pro flo pump, not sure of rate
    Pool has had synergy systems all along, including opening and chlorine kit for this year, I'm just sick of paying way too much at the pool store.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    Yes, Tf100.

    Numbers look ok. pH is a little low, but not bad. You still haven't said what is wrong with the pool that the pool store was going to "fix". How does the water look?


    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Aylesford, Nova Scotia
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    Re: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    They told me my TA was low, my PH was low and my CH was low. They wanted to sell me some balance 300, low and slow, and balance pack 100. If I'm not mistaken, low and slow reduces ph, not increases it... Again with being sold what I don't need. The pool, after opening, looks pretty good but I haven't brushed the vinyl yet. The water doesn't look crystal clear yet... I don't know if it's the ph and TA, or just that the vinyl hasn't been brushed yet. And, I can't really smell chlorine, I thought I remembered smelling it last year (first year for owning a house with a pool).
    24' round above ground, sand filter with a pro flo pump, not sure of rate
    Pool has had synergy systems all along, including opening and chlorine kit for this year, I'm just sick of paying way too much at the pool store.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshf78 View Post
    They told me my TA was low, my PH was low and my CH was low. They wanted to sell me some balance 300, low and slow, and balance pack 100. If I'm not mistaken, low and slow reduces ph, not increases it... Again with being sold what I don't need. The pool, after opening, looks pretty good but I haven't brushed the vinyl yet. The water doesn't look crystal clear yet... I don't know if it's the ph and TA, or just that the vinyl hasn't been brushed yet. And, I can't really smell chlorine, I thought I remembered smelling it last year (first year for owning a house with a pool).
    You are correct. Lo-n-slow is just dry acid. The bioguard site even lists is for "reducing pH and total alkalinity in pool water"
    Balance Pak 100 is Baking Soda. It raises alkalinity.

    They wanted to sell you something to lower alkalinity and another to raise it!

    Balance Pak 300 Is Calcium Carbonate. Some ice-melt stuff is the same, but cheaper. Your vinyl pool doesn't need it! There is no plaster to worry about leaching.

    So why do you go to the pool store?
    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!

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    I KNEW it! One reason is because when we bought the house the guy had bought for the store and used all along the synergy stuff for there, which is also 2doors down the street from us. So we went for convenience and because it was how the pool was run (and therefore given the info and instructions for their system). So I don't really need to bother with the. CH, is that right? I was under the understanding it had an effect on scaling of equipment and solubility of the water. If it isn't a significant issue I won't worry about it. And I can go to the bulk food store and buy enough baking soda called for in the calculator for a few dollars. Ice melter shouldn't be too hard to find even this time of year. But all in all, the test if we accept the results, shows the water should be just fine to swim in, right? And I'll get a test kit ordered. So if I get rid of the rest of y synergy stuff, about how much bleach should I be adding each week to the pool? And anything else?
    24' round above ground, sand filter with a pro flo pump, not sure of rate
    Pool has had synergy systems all along, including opening and chlorine kit for this year, I'm just sick of paying way too much at the pool store.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    You can use PoolMath to determine how much bleach to add to your pool.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Opening pool, Low TA and CH, pool store wants $$$

    Looks like your pool should be fine to swim in.
    Moved so no longer pool owner, keeper of pool of family member

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