Since I am a new (to me) pool owner and very soon after opening our pool last month I found this site and immediately adopted the TFPC methods, I have never had the 'pleasure' of being "pool-store'd". There are a few pool stores in the area. One of them opened our pool for us as they had closed it for the previous owner in the fall. Other than that, I had no real reason to visit the pool stores. I got my bleach at the local grocery stores. Another pool store nearby was advertising 20% off liquid chlorine this weekend. At $23/5 gal for 12.5%, it was a pretty good deal. Refills they give $5 off, so regular price for 5 Gal/12.5% is $18, less 20%. But what I found really interesting was my experience while in the store.
My first trip in on Saturday, there's a guy ahead of me in line. He had 8-10 bottles of all kinds of chemicals lined up on the counter. He is running down this numerical list of adding number 1, then number two, wait a while then add number 3. Given all the bottles he was walking out with, I felt sorry for him. I was easily confused by the conversation he had with the store clerk. I think he was too. But off he went with his treasure trove of products to dump into his pool. I inquired about the chlorine and bought 2 5 Gal. containers. I spoke briefly with one guy that worked there. They asked if my water had been tested. I very proudly stated I did all my own water testing, but I can't test for metals and I was concerned about that since I use well water. They gave me a 16oz bottle to fill with pool water and bring in for a test. I took the chlorine jugs home and proceeded to empty them into the empty 1 Gal bottles I had left from buying bleach at the local grocery store.
So today, since their sale was ending, I decided to take the empty containers back for a refill and to take them a water sample. Being curious about how accurate they would be, I filled their sample bottle from the pool and then proceeded to run my full battery of tests using the same sample water as I gave to them, so I could compare results. My results looked like this:
FC - 8.5
CC - 0.5
TC - 9.0
PH - 7.8
TA - 130
CH - 220
CYA - 100
So I got to the store and it was a bit busier than yesterday. One of the sales people was busy with a woman and going through the same routine of 'add all this stuff to your pool' as the guy from yesterday. I asked about the refill of chlorine and getting my water sample tested. The girl took my sample bottle and proceeded to ask me some questions about the pool and how I care for it. it went something like this:
Girl: So what do you use to chlorinate your pool?
Me: I just use chlorine
Girl: Are you using tablets?
Me: No. Just the chlorine.
Girl: (very quizzical look on her face) Are you using powder then?
Me: No. Just the liquid chlorine. My stabilizer level is too high, so I am not using any stabilized chlorine right now until I can get the CYA level down.
At this point, I realized that what I had just said was totally foreign to her. As she apparently had some field in her computer that she was trying to fill in for some kind of customer profile, it seems there was no answer for just 'chlorine'. She turned to one of the other salespeople and they told her to just put in dichlor. I bit my tongue and said nothing. She proceeded to test my water and here is how it came out:
Pool Volume: 25000
Pool Surface: Concrete (I had said plaster)
So many of the numbers were close to my own results which was nice to see. The rest of the document had their various recommendations. Not surprisingly, they said my CYA level of 104 was at an acceptable level and that my chlorine level was above the recommended level of 1-3 ppm. They recommended doing the following:
Add 8 ounces of Scale & Stain Control or METALfree weekly
Add 5 ounces of granular chlorine daily
They also had the following recommendations (assuming they mean weekly):
"To prevent buildup of contaminants that cause cloudy water, eye burn and chlorine odor, add 2.5 pound/s of Oxy Out Shock"
"To reduce the burden on your filter and sanitizer due to the buildup of organic compounds and break down body oils, add 13 ounce/s of Pool Perfect"
"As a preventative measure against algae add 10 ounce/s of Formula 6000 or 18 ounce/s of Formula 500 algecide"
I left with my liquid chlorine and very satisfied in the knowledge that I was doing the right things with my pool and not having any problems and not getting 'pool-store'd' I have spoken to several people about how the TFPC method works and that all I put in my pool is chlorine. They seem like they would rather just keep using pucks. Oh well. Anyone that looks at my pool comments on how great it looks. I am curious as to what, if anything, people say to others that they see getting pool-store'd. I kinda equate it to the Matrix philosophy. People just aren't ready to be unplugged yet. We'll just have to work harder to free their minds from pool-store thinking.
Thanks to the whole TFP community for such great information.
If you actually read this far, thanks for reading. Comments welcome.