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Thread: My New Pool....First test Numbers...New to TFP

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    Post My New Pool....First test Numbers...New to TFP

    So I just ordered my new pool. I went with the advice from the forum and requested a 2 speed Hayward matrix pump and a sand filter. I ordered a 24' x54" ABG round.

    When ordering I was talking to the pool store employees about liners and chemicals and everything like that. They mentioned a lack of calcium will destroy a liner pretty fast. They also mentioned I would spend about $250-$300 a year on chemicals to keep the pool nice.

    I've read pool school and read hundreds of success stories on the forums, but its all new to me and I'm having a hard time convincing myself to switch to the Bleach, Baking Soda method.

    If I start the BBB method as soon as the pool is filled, will that be mostly all I need to keep it up and running crystal clear throughout the year and years to come? I've heard Bleach will ruin a vinyl liner. And other stories about using substitutes to the actual chemicals.

    Can anyone put my mind at ease? I'm still about 3 weeks out from getting it installed, so i have plenty of time to worry...

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    We have thousands of people following or recommendations for many years. Look around the forum and read their stories. Many many of them are having huge success now that they are following our procedures. Problems with a vinyl liner have never once been traced back to low calcium levels or to the use of bleach.
    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: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    Well you were told several lies. Calcium does not affect a vinyl liner, only stone and plaster pools. Bleach will not ruin a vinyl liner any more than any other form of chlorine. I have yet to find a single person who says "It happened to me!" It's always "friend of a friend" stories. Bottom line is proper FC to CYA levels are extremely safe!

    And the biggest lie you were told is that it will only cost you $300 to manage a pool using their methods. This might be true if you are lucky enough to never get algae or cloudy water. As soon as that happens though they will happily test your water and sell you $300 worth of magic potions on the spot. When that doesn't work you will be told you have "chlorine lock" and told to drain the water, then buy more stuff to get the new water balanced.

    In contrast I spend about $10 a week on chlorine and acid. You do need a good test kit, but even if I needed to buy a new TF-100 kit yearly (which I don't) it would cost less than $300 a year for everything.

    You will want to read the "Getting Started" section of the Pool School. That will get you acquainted with the terminology and processes used for TFPC.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    I've read Pool School twice already. And i'm working on a third time now. Its just hard not to take advice from a "expert" at the pool store. That is what they do for a living. You would think they would know their stuff.

    I'm going to have faith and do it the TFP way. I just wanted to ask a few questions first to make sure some of the things they said were inaccurate.
    While reading Pool School again, can someone tell me some of the things I might need to stock up on?

    I have a Sams Club, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Lowes, HomeDepot, Ollies all nearby.

    And if i jump on this right away after I fill the pool, it shouldn't take too much to get everything at optimum levels.....correct? We have been told our water is some of the best around for pools.

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    You're more likely to damage a liner using granular shock than liquid chlorine. Just pour slowly in front of a running return jet and it will quickly dilute, and will be much more diluted than a granule that falls to the floor.

    The most important things to do are to buy a good test kit, keep your chemicals balanced, and never let your FC fall below the minimum amount for your CYA level. You'll find all this in the pool school.

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    The average quality of advice given by pool store people is shockingly low. There are some great pool store people out there, but they are few and far between. We get five stories of horrendously bad pool store advice for every story of a pool store person that was actually correct. It doesn't help that they make more money when they give bad advice. If they actually told you a trouble free method of taking care of your pool they wouldn't be able to sell you lots of expensive pool chemicals to fix your current problem.
    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: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    Quote Originally Posted by kris77 View Post
    Its just hard not to take advice from a "expert" at the pool store. That is what they do for a living. You would think they would know their stuff.
    What they do for a living and know their stuff is the issue. They make their living separating you from your money.

    This may be a little simplistic as I don't think all of them are bad. Some just don't understand the relationship between chlorine & CYA. They sell the ease of using pucks and granular chlorine and disregard the ever increasing CYA levels. I still get my water checked by them every once and a while. The last time my FC was 14, TC 14 and CYA 130 (CYA was actually over 200 at that point). The "advice" given was:
    let the chlorine get back down to 3 - 4 once my "shock" was done. The FC & TC being the same was good because if there is too much difference it indicates "chlorine lock" and I would have to drain my pool and go through a series of start up chemicals
    .

    Had I followed the advice of dropping my FC down to 4 with my high CYA (remember, they got it wrong by at least 70) I would be back in their store talking about my horrendous algae bloom. Right now I'm looking a a sparkling pool. I just understand I need to test regularly and keep my FC where it needs to be.

    So, I think a few are good honest business's folks, some just don't know what they are talking about and a few are crooks. JMHO
    Last edited by tim5055; 06-06-2014 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Spelling & addition
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    So trying to prepare myself. With fresh water filling the pool from the hose, do you think I will more than likely have to SLAM? Or does that completely depend on the water company and how they "treat" their water? It will be way too cold to swim in it for a week or so anyway.

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    It's highly unlikely that you will need to SLAM if you're filling from "city water". They are required to have CL in the water (low levels, but enough to keep most bugs at a level that's easy to kill with normal "pool FC levels".

    Just make sure to get on top of the chemicals in a timely manner and you'll have no problems. The first step in that is having a good test kit. I skimmed over this thread, so I may have missed if you have bought one. If you haven't done that, it would behoove you to do so ASAP.
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    You will not need to SLAM.
    You will need liquid chlorine on hand and a good test kit. I recommend the TF-100. Don't cheap out on the test kit.
    For chlorine, I see you have an Ollie's in your area, they have a great price on their "shock" which is 12.5%. Get a case of 4 to start.
    Once the pool is filled and running, run a full test and keep a log of your results. Then you'll see where you are at and if you need any Muratic Acid or Borax. I wouldn't buy any until you need them.

    Very likely you'll only need to add liquid chlorine at first.
    Rick
    Installed June 2012 Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Cartridge Filter 100SF, 1.5HP
    Aqua Plus Smarte System - In for vacations, BBB all the way.
    Love my PVC Solar Cover Hangers

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    I'm still a few weeks out from actually getting it installed. There were a few people in front of me needing installs. I'm just trying to get a good head start on things. I plan on getting the TF100 test kit. It seems like the most recommended and its actually one of the cheaper ones as well. Seems like a win/win to me.

    Btw, Rick....Love the Solar cover idea! That will be a must in the future once i get the hang of caring for the pool.

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    Quote Originally Posted by kris77 View Post
    I'm still a few weeks out from actually getting it installed. There were a few people in front of me needing installs. I'm just trying to get a good head start on things. I plan on getting the TF100 test kit. It seems like the most recommended and its actually one of the cheaper ones as well. Seems like a win/win to me.

    Btw, Rick....Love the Solar cover idea! That will be a must in the future once i get the hang of caring for the pool.
    You won't regret it on the test kit.

    On the Solar Cover hangers, I can't take credit, it was others on this awesome site who posted about it. It's great!

    BTW, reading up on everything in Pool School and trying out Pool Math will give you a huge step up in maintaining your pool with very little work and less expensively.

    Be sure to post back in this thread with your first test results and we'll be here to help you through it the first few times.

    Good luck on the install!
    Rick
    Installed June 2012 Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Cartridge Filter 100SF, 1.5HP
    Aqua Plus Smarte System - In for vacations, BBB all the way.
    Love my PVC Solar Cover Hangers

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    The proof is in the method. If you follow the TFPC method, you never perform a shock process on a routine basis, never have to drain water from the pool to balance chemicals except to fix mistakes made while following pool store advice, and never have an algae outbreak if you don't allow your chlorine to drop below the minimum FC level recommended for your CYA level. When you understand the science used to create the CYA/FC chart, you'll understand why TFPC pools are never green.

    If you follow the pool store method, you will be recommended to use Dichlor/Trichlor tablets which add CYA, and to "shock" once a week by throwing bags of granular CalHypo or even worse, granular Trichlor /Dichlor. CalHypo adds calcium and when the level gets too high, you have to drain water or you risk scaling. Trichlor and Dichlor add CYA which causes your chlorine to be less effective which the pool store will refer to as a mysterious "chlorine lock" to avoid admitting the products they recommended raised CYA too high. Once again, you'll have to drain water to reduce CYA and avoid an algae outbreak. There are no chlorine products a consumer can purchase to raise chlorine levels that doesn't raise either CYA or CH except an SWG, or plain old unscented bleach, which is sometimes referred to a liquid shock or liquid pool chlorine.

    While it is sometimes practical to use tablets occasionally, after fully understanding the FC/CYA relationship, it is only done by a small fraction of TFP users, and only to purposely use up some old tablets to raise CYA when it is low, or to provide chlorination while on vacation which will require rebalancing the pool when they return. Tablets should not be used on a regular basis because you'll have to constantly monitor the ever-increasing CYA level and adjust your "minimum" and "target" FC levels on a constant basis. Tablets are not part of the TFPC method.
    17,100 Gal 27' x 52" AGP steel wall vinyl; 44gpm Cooper sand filter; Hayward 1hp sp1580 single-speed; 1.5" plumbing, 1 skimmer/jet, inline chlorinator.
    Chlorine / CYA Chart | SLAM Process | Chlorine cost/fl. oz calculator

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    Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    When I bought my house the previous owner would spend 200.00 right from the get go on a nature 2 cartridge and enough "chlorine pucks" to last the year. I did the same until I found this site. Now my startup cost was 30 this year! (On liquid chlorine).My whole family always compliments me on my water quality.
    The guy who said the pool store will sell you magic potions was spot on.
    Keep in mind the pool store is trying to make money while the people here are trying to save money hope you get filled soon!!
    Ian



    18k gal. 16x32 IG cement painted
    Hayward DE EC-65

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    Why would you think the pool store people are "experts"? More importantly why would you think their goal would be to make your pool experience as easy, cheap, and hassle free as possible. This is sort of like getting medical advice from the corner drug dealer, or car buying advice from a car salesman, I am sure if they could get away with it they would tell everyone they should trade in and buy a new car every week. I have a brother in law that is a car salesman, and I KNOW what he tells customers has little to do with what is in their best interest and everything to do with selling a car, or more importantly selling the models he has been told to push, or has extra incentive to sell.
    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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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    One other chemical you will need for sure out of the gate is CYA or cyanuric acid. For manual chlorination, you want to target a CYA level of 30-50 ppm. This chart shows you the relationship between CYA and your maintenance FC levels. CYA/Chlorine Chart Understanding what CYA does and how in interacts with your FC is VERY important.

    When your pool is installed and full it may be too cold for swimming but the algae don't mind. Any time temperature is near 60 or above, they'll start growing without adequate sanitation. Even faster if the temperature is higher. As soon as it's full and your pump is running, it's time to balance your pool chemistry. You can even get started before it's full. Test the water that your pool will be filled with once you get your test kit. CYA will always be 0 from a drinking water source. pH, TA, CH will vary quite a bit based on source and there will likely be very little, almost 0 FC or CC.
    Last edited by JVTrain; 06-06-2014 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Forgot CYA/Chlorine chart link.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    Concerning Pool store experts.....Never trust the advice of someone who stands to profit from that advice.
    25k IG vinyl SWG Haywood 4830de 1.5hp TF-100

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    Thanks...I'll just keep this thread as my go to point once i get the pool and the test kit and everything. I might go ahead and order the kit and test my tap water just to get an idea of what i'm going to need and to get a feel for the tests...
    24'x54" 15k AG round - Outback Genesis
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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    Quote Originally Posted by kris77 View Post
    Thanks...I'll just keep this thread as my go to point once i get the pool and the test kit and everything. I might go ahead and order the kit and test my tap water just to get an idea of what i'm going to need and to get a feel for the tests...
    Great idea. Be sure to let the tap run on cold for a minute or so before sampling. Sampling from the garden hose/outdoor spigot is even better (if that's where you're filling from) as many times those pipes don't even contact any water that's been softened, etc.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Pool Store way vs TPF method...

    Don't bother with the CYA test however, save your test chemicals -- there won't be any CYA in your tap water.

    You will need to add CYA/stabilizer/conditioner on start up. PoolMath will help you calculate how much.
    21K gallon, plaster, 1hp Hayward MaxFlo pump, Hayward 244s sand filter, 3/4 hp Halcyon PB4-60Q booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner.

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