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Thread: Is it a conspiracy?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Tucson area, AZ

    Is it a conspiracy?

    I was just thinking - why all the bad advice from pool stores anyway? Is it a conspiracy?

    I mean, even if the whole world of pool owners decided to get educated on how to properly test and balance their pools, and what exactly is in the stuff they put in their pools, the pool stores still would not go out of business. I mean, then the people would still buy their liquid chlorine, their CYA, their test kits and reagents, chems to adjust their ph, etc., at the pool store. It's just more convenient, and people go where it's convenient.

    However, if people knew exactly what's going on with their water, they would not spend hundreds on worthless chems, and then hundreds to try to clean up the mess that comes from not knowing what's going on with their water. So I guess that's the conspiracy. Have people keep their water messed up, so they have to keep coming back to fix it.

    That sucks.
    Above ground soft side Omega pool
    20 feet diameter, 4 feet deep
    Hayward sand filter
    Hayward 1 HP Matrix pump
    Hayward Aquabug Automatic Pool Cleaner

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Is it a conspiracy?

    It's not a conspiracy, at least not at the pool store level. Most pool store employees are not highly trained and even those that are get a lot of their information from the sales reps for the various product lines that are sold in their stores. Even the formal training such as NSPF CPO or APSP CSP TECH courses mostly for commercial/public pools aren't perfect, but they still get a lot of their info from the manufacturers/distributors.

    The only people who, as a group, really know the science but do not fully disclose it are the technical people (chemists and their management chain) at the manufacturers and major distributors (some of these reformulate products so have their own chemists). For the most part, the industry chain looks like the following:

    Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OxyChem) -- manufacturers Chlorinated Isocyanurates (e.g. Trichlor and Dichlor)
    and other manufacturers (overseas, including historic dumping from Spain and China -- see this interesting document) sell to the following that reformulate or package and distribute
    (BioLab manufactues chlorinated isocyanurates in addition to making them into product; PPG makes Cal-Hypo for the commercial market).
    • Chemtura who own BioLab -- many different brands including BioGuard, SpaGuard, OMNI, and many others. They only sell Trichlor and Dichlor for chlorine, bromine, Biguanide/PHMB (BioGuard SoftSwim), specialty products and do not sell Cal-Hypo.
      [EDIT] As of January, 2014, KIK Custom Products purchased BioLab from Chemtura and launched Clorox branded products in 2014. In 2015 Centerbridge is to acquire KIK Custom Products. [END-EDIT]
    • Arch Chemicals -- brands including HTH, Baquacil, BaquaSpa and others. They sell Cal-Hypo and Baquacil/Biguanide/PHMB as well as Trichlor, Dichlor, Bromine and specialty products. [EDIT] As of October, 2011, Lonza Group acquired Arch Chemicals. [END-EDIT]
    • Rockwood Holdings who own Advantis Technology -- Brands include GLB, Leisure Time and others. They sell Trichlor and Dichlor for chlorine, bromine, and specialty products and do not sell Cal-Hypo nor Baquacil/Biguanide/PHMB. [EDIT] As of October, 2008, Rockwood Holdings sold Advantis Technology to Arch Chemicals. [END-EDIT]
    • Alden Leeds -- many different brands often private labeled at pool stores or chains. They sell all forms of chlorine and also sell bromine and specialty products, but not Baquacil/Biguanide/PHMB.
    • Chem Lab Products which have Kem-Tek brand -- They sell Trichlor, Dichlor, chlorinating liquid, bromine and specialty products, but not Cal-Hypo nor Baquacil/Biguanide/PHMB.
    • Aqua Tri have All Clear brand -- They sell Trichlor, Dichlor, bromine, Cal-Hypo and specialty products, but not Baquacil/Biguanide/PHMB.
    • N Jonas -- They sell a variety of private branded specialty chemicals and some sanitizers.
    • Stellar -- They create tablets for large retailers.

    I'm sure there are others that I have missed, especially in other countries such as Pool Pride in New Zealand [EDIT] and Pool Life in Canada (different than POOLIFE brand from Arch). [END-EDIT]

    There are many different manufacturers of chlorinating liquid since this is something that is generally done regionally since transportation costs are high (remember that it's mostly water). In addition to Kem-Tek mentioned above, there is also Hasa, Thatcher (T-Chlor) and many others.

    In reality, these Trichlor/Dichlor manufacturers/distributors have already shot themselves in the foot in that chlorine sales have slowed down in their growth rate due to the fairly rapid exodus to salt water chlorine generator (SWG) pools where around 85% of new in-ground pool installations have SWG systems installed in many areas of the country and many existing pools are getting converted to SWG. I'm sure that a significant driving factor was the frustration with getting algae blooms, cloudy water, and unusual chlorine demand, mostly from continued use of Trichlor without significant use of algaecide or phosphate remover. The high cost of fighting such blooms or of preventing them with lots of chemicals also made the economics of an SWG look more attractive. The irony is that had these manufacturers/distributors properly educated their sales channels, then pool users would have maintained their pools with less expense and fewer problems and the exodus to SWG systems would have been far slower. In the end, deceit usually ends up badly, but they had a good long 30+ year run (the science behind chlorine/CYA was definitively determined in 1973/1974).

    Remember that the tobacco industry spread misinformation for years since the 1950's studies that showed links of smoking to lung cancer and it wasn't until the 1990's that this turned around (mostly from the defection by Jeffrey Wigand and the states getting fed up with their health cost burden). Of course, getting algae in pools isn't the same as dying from cancer, but the mantra that "CYA doesn't matter; only FC matters" and that "CYA only protects chlorine from sunlight so should not be used in indoor pools" has led to a situation where most indoor pools have no CYA and are significantly over-chlorinated as a result. This may lead to a higher production of disinfection by-products (it most likely does for ammonia producing nitrogen trichloride; urea is still an open question) in which case the respiratory and ocular health problems associated with indoor pools possibly could have been avoided, but we'll see. This is another common side effect of deceit; it often ends up with negative consequences far beyond what one would imagine (of course, even being honest does that sometimes, but you shouldn't feel as guilty about it ).

    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Baton Rouge, LA

    Re: Is it a conspiracy?

    Very interesting stuff, Richard.

    Its nice to hear such an informative explanation of, what on the surface, seems so complex.

    Also interesting, a few of those companies have been my customers (about 10 miles from my house), and of course employ friends of mine. (Oxychem, Chemtura)

    thanks for all the info,

    18,000 gallon gunite free form, with spa, 4x160, EasyTouch, SWCG, Pentair cartr filter, Colorlogic lights.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Is it a conspiracy?

    One place to look is at the things which are true throughout an entire chain of pool stores. The individuals at the stores get little training and often make mistakes, but that is difficult to avoid because of the economics of the situation. There simply isn't enough financial incentive for the stores to spend money on training or on the salaries required to retain knowledgeable people.

    One example of chain wide issues is the software used to print the recommendation sheets at some pool stores. This is one place where I feel the pool stores really ought to know better. Some of those systems can be so far off in their recommendations that it makes you wonder if they are actually trying to get the software right or have rigged it to give incorrect advice on purpose.

    Another place to look is chain wide sales promotions, like the remove phosphates program at Leslie's. It is clear how that program helps Leslie's make money, but it isn't clear how it helps pool owners.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  5. Back To Top    #5
    lulupalooza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Evans, GA

    Re: Is it a conspiracy?

    Oh yeah it's definately a conspiracy!!! I tired to tell a couple of people about the BBB method. And they swear I am insane. Maybe I am, but hey it works for me!
    *~ Laura ~*
    27x52 Aquasphere Conquest AGP (approx.17,100 gal)
    1 HP Pentair Dynamo Pump & SD-40 Sand Filter
    TF-100 Test Kit
    BBB User- Salt Added

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