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Thread: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    I've read just about every swamp thread on here. I'm wondering how much it costs to SLAM a pool with the TFPC method, on average. I've seen the bottles all lined up after the slam and I'm thinking whoa, that's a whole lotta dough. And the time you put into the SLAM is monster sometimes. Month long SLAM's and the like. Chime in here people, have you thought about just getting that bag of shock for $5 and throw it into the pool and be done with it and worry about the CYA increase later on down the road?

    Horror stories abound about the pool store taking money from the innocent but after a SLAM you could be talking about at least $300 just in bleach. Don't get me wrong here I love this site. I've not had to SLAM my pool and will never let it get to that point hopefully but golly, that's a lot of money in bleach. I don't use trichlor or dichlor but then again I've not had to put any bleach or liquid chlorine in my pool since I fixed my SWG. Right now I'm almost at the point where I've got a wholly balanced pool with a CSI index of -0.19 and the water is smooth as glass. I rarely use muriatic acid anymore as my PH has stabilized after adding borates to 50 ppm. What a help that is!

    I truly understand the BBB method and also understand why it is taught. It can be expensive though and quite a bit more expensive than the shock sold at the pool stores. Not trying to cause waves here, just would like to hear from the people that have done these swamps and maybe get an idea of how much they paid for their troubles. Include hours worked and what test kit used too so I can get a more accurate reading so I can build a graph and post it here.

    I'd like: Time taken to go from swamp to blue
    How many bottles of bleach/chlorine and money spent on those bottles
    Test kit used
    Any other chemicals used and their cost
    Leave all pump and mechanical fixes out of the equation
    Total time taken in hours on swamp to blue (brushing, netting gunk, sweeping, etc...)
    Draining and refilling time and cost ( if known)
    Any other things you think might be relevant

    I will go to the local pool store when I gather enough information on our site here and start to build a comparison in dollars v time to see what kind of numbers we are truly looking at here in savings.

    Thanks for your input.
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
    Pentair 420 Cartridge filter; 3 hp VS Whisperflo Main Drain, 1 1/2 hp Whisperflo Running Pop-Ups; Jandy AquaPure 1400
    1 1/2 Whisperflo dedicated to Rock Waterfall; TF-100; Taylor K-1766; Pool Built in 1997

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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    i think the problem is with pool store shock it is usually not a one off problem if keeps occuring time after time, year after year
    once you understand and switch to tfp way of care once your pool is fixed it usually stays fixed
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
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    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    If you add up the costs, the TFP easily costs less. Seldom does the pool store say to just add one bag of shock. Most people start their first post with "The pool store sold me $150. worth of _______, then $200. worth of _______, and it didn't do a thing but empty my wallet." To me, the main point of the TFP is the prevention of algae, not the clearing of a swamp. But, most people arrive at the site after Googling how to clear algae. My pool isn't very large, but I haven't spent more than $30 this summer of far, and nearly half of that was because I got lazy and dumped too much soda ash without accurately measuring, and had to lower my PH.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    My cost for 12 days of shock and awe recovering foreclosure pool:

    1. Pool tech guy and his lame bags of shock and labour, 4 visits incl opening and floc $900 all-in for NO results, no color change from black.

    2. 12 (granted cold) days in April, 58 jugs of bleach from Aldi at $1.19 a piece, 1 Taylor kit (didn't realize dave sold the TFP kit) $58 w shipping and a leaf gulper for $25 at pool store = approx $152. Sparkly blue

    3. Labour: 20 wheelbarrows of leaves rakes/hauled/leaf-gulped. Two weekends in total, two humans on job.

    Disclaimer -- it wasn't about the money, it was about the efficacy at that time. A pool store guy cannot stay ahead of a swamp. Only an owner can stay ahead of a swamp. But you post assumes somehow that powdered shock is more EFFECTIVE, and that paying more to throw in a bag of shock does the trick. IME, it does not, at least in the case of "recovery"

    That said, in the heat of summer with a late opening of a swamp on well water, it might make sense to do a cost-analysis to just truck in metal free water and use a plastic sheet to drain and fill simultaneously (if like me in a hydrogeological condition where its not wise to drain due to high water table.)

    Or, for folks NOT on well water trying to recover a swamp, there's a point at which a trash pump and refill makes sense.

    The value in TFP is to gain enough knowledge to make those kinds of decisions, not to just blindly slam because its prescribed. But that's up to the user to uncover. The information is all here

    So your thread poses an interesting and informative question -- at what point does a drain/refill make more sense than straight slamming? I think the answers are highly individual, but some of the variables might be whether or not one can:

    1. Work cold...you'll spend considerably less on chlorine.
    2. Access to metal free water. Avoid well water like the devil or you'll end up underwriting jack's magic and sending his kids to college
    3. Be available to monitor and keep slam levels AHEAD of chlorine demand/pace of algae growth or this will go on forever...
    4. Deal with unintended consequences of draining...if you're new to the home, don't know the water table, have a vinyl pool in particular or have a sump under your deep end, VERY carefully consider whether its worth the risk to drain or not....

    Here's a pic of the job the pool tech could not stay ahead of....the upside of the putrid and foul smelling black water was the ammonia ate the cya

    image.jpg
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    ^^^^
    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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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    Ps...can't recall exactly, but think the estimate for trucking in new water was $1000 - $1200 but we hadn't figured out if we could stage the draining-refilling in a way that wouldn't risk the pool structure, as it is at the bottom of a terrace and hill that was formerly a stormwater catch basin and it was spring
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xexys View Post
    I've read just about every swamp thread on here. I'm wondering how much it costs to SLAM a pool with the TFPC method, on average. I've seen the bottles all lined up after the slam and I'm thinking whoa, that's a whole lotta dough. And the time you put into the SLAM is monster sometimes. Month long SLAM's and the like. Chime in here people, have you thought about just getting that bag of shock for $5 and throw it into the pool and be done with it and worry about the CYA increase later on down the road?

    Horror stories abound about the pool store taking money from the innocent but after a SLAM you could be talking about at least $300 just in bleach. Don't get me wrong here I love this site. I've not had to SLAM my pool and will never let it get to that point hopefully but golly, that's a lot of money in bleach. I don't use trichlor or dichlor but then again I've not had to put any bleach or liquid chlorine in my pool since I fixed my SWG. Right now I'm almost at the point where I've got a wholly balanced pool with a CSI index of -0.19 and the water is smooth as glass. I rarely use muriatic acid anymore as my PH has stabilized after adding borates to 50 ppm. What a help that is!
    I suppose you haven't been paying attention to the "horror stories" on here... Most people who don't know about the TFP method go into the pool store and come out broke... I've read countless stories of people spending $500 or more on chemicals that's not even going to help the problem, and then wind up here and yes, spend sometimes almost that amount on bleach which basically doubles the cost. Sometimes the victory is sweet and they don't spend that amount or nearly that amount.

    Why on earth would anyone use "pool store shock" once they know about the CYA is beyond me. It does not appear you understand the relationship to chlorine and how bad it can be to add enormous amounts of chlorine in vein when your CYA level is off the charts.

    If you REALLY think that shock is "cheaper" than liquid chlorine in the long run, then by all means go out and get a case of those bags or whatever you like. But when you're pool turns to a swamp, we'll still be here, with the knowledge to take back our sparkly pools.
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    If you add up the costs, the TFP easily costs less. Seldom does the pool store say to just add one bag of shock. Most people start their first post with "The pool store sold me $150. worth of _______, then $200. worth of _______, and it didn't do a thing but empty my wallet."
    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by Xexys View Post
    Chime in here people, have you thought about just getting that bag of shock for $5 and throw it into the pool and be done with it and worry about the CYA increase later on down the road?
    You post is based on one bag of shock clearing a pool. Simple biology tells you that in most cases it won't. You still need the same oxidizing power, no matter the chlorine source. Granted, the bag of $5 shock has more chlorine than the $3 bottle of bleach, but in areas that folks have 12.5% liquid available I'd bet the numbers are a lot closer.

    If there was a magic $5 bag you could get people would be all over it and this site wouldn't exist.
    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: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    Yeah, I think that's the big disconnect here. I read about people dropping 20 bags of shock into a swamp and still not clearing it. Big pools with big algae need big chlorine.

    That said, solid chlorine does tend to be a bit cheaper for an equivalent amount of chlorine -- locally trichlor pucks seem to be about 60% the cost of liquid chlorine for the same FC increase, for example -- but the cost difference between dichlor and liquid is a lot less (to the point that dichlor might actually be a bit more expensive than liquid). I use dichlor and bleach simply because I have dichlor already, although I'll probably switch to CYA and bleach once I use up all the dichlor.

    Stepping up another level of abstraction, TFPC is not about only using bleach (that was one of the reasons for the name change AFAIK), it's about understanding what's in your pool and what effect the things you add have, then making good choices based on that understanding.

    In *most* cases that understanding leads to choosing bleach because the side effects are fewer, but (for example) I don't think anyone would argue against using cal-hypo shock to clear a swamp as long as your levels left you room for the resulting increase in CH.

    Key point is that if you are clearing a swamp AND the pool is swampy because of too-high CYA levels (which is probably the reason most people come to the TFPC site in the first place), it's really hard to recommend using a chlorinating product that raises CYA even higher. High CYA levels affect FC requirements no matter what chlorine source you use.
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    Even though my pool never reached to the point of being a black swamp that takes a month to SLAM, I'll share my pre-TFP and post-TFP experiences and list the costs incurred before and after.

    Pre-TFP

    From the day of the fill to about May 15th, I bought the following from the pool store in a period of 2 months based on what I thought I needed and what the pool store guy told me to buy:

    Trichlor 3" pucks 20 lbs $69.99
    Hardness Plus 15 lbs $32.99
    Alkanity Up 10 lbs $22.99
    Phosfree 2L $34.99
    Muriatic Acid 4G $25.96
    Taylor K1004 DPD test kit $32.99
    3-4 bags of cal-hypo shock $14.99
    Liquid Stabilizer $37.99

    TOTAL COST of being Pool-Stored (8.25% sales tax included) = $295.40 (ugh)
    Over two months, this is an average of $147.70 per month pre-TFP. And what did this $147.70 per month get me? A green and slightly cloudy pool consuming about 10 ppm of chlorine per day! Dumping bags of shock didn't really help. So, I found the TFPM, which brings me to:

    Post-TFP

    From May 15 to date, about 7 weeks. I SLAMMED my pool for 4 days to get rid of nascent algae and organics that was consuming a lot of chlorine. First, I bought a TF100 test kit for $68, plus shipping, total $82.62. Let's assume I buy a whole new TF100 kit every year, so that averages out to $6.89 per month.

    For the SLAM ONLY, I bought 10 gallons of bleach, on sale for $2.50 each, that's $25 plus tax (about $27). Once the SLAM cleared up the pool, I was using slightly more than a quart a day of bleach, that's about 2 gallons per week for the next 6 weeks to date. I was paying about $2.22 per gallon taxes included, which amounts to $26.60... I'll just round that up to $30 for good measure.

    So the costs tally so far is...

    TF100 kit $6.89 (per month)
    Bleach, both for SLAM and regular maintenance $57

    Let's not forget MA and baking soda...

    Muriatic acid $12.98 (really only need 2 gallons per month)
    Baking soda 8 lbs $7.78 (compared with 10 lbs of alkanity up for $23!)

    TOTAL TALLY for 2 months post-TFP: $84.65
    This is an average of $42.32 per month post-TFP.

    By using TFPM, I am saving $105 per month. And this does not even include the cost of all the complications that come with using pucks containing CYA or bags of shock containing calcium, draining, refilling, etc, etc, etc.

    And just look at my pool... I'll let the results speak for itself:

    IG gunite pool size: 12,500 gallons - includes spa with spillover, Polaris vacuum cleaner, Ultrapure Ozonator, inline tab chlorinator that I no longer use
    Filter: Hayward Swimclear Model #4030, 4-Cartridge Filters
    Pump: Century, 2 HP with a Hayward 6060 booster pump
    Date of build: March-April 2014 *NEW* : Test kit: TF-100

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    bridgman's Avatar
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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xexys View Post
    I've read just about every swamp thread on here. I'm wondering how much it costs to SLAM a pool with the TFPC method, on average.
    A very approximate pattern (for a serious algae problem) seems to be 2 gallons of 6% or 8.25% bleach (or the equivalent in $5 bags of shock) per 1000 gallons of pool, or 120-150 ppm FC.

    Buying 124 ppm of FC for a 20,000 gallon pool locally (at Canadian Tire) costs $78 for granular shock (2x7kg of 65% Cal-Hypo) or $99 for liquid chlorine (20 5-liter jugs of 10% chlorinating liquid).

    The chlorinating liquid is actually on sale so it costs the same as cal-hypo shock at the moment, but I'm not counting sale pricing.
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    $15 for stabilizer once per year
    $2 baking soda once per year

    I've never had to add MA or add Borax, my pH stays very stable.

    22.50 per month on bleach (I use approximately 1 quart per day) and I swim about 5 months out of the year - 112.50

    $40 Polyquat once per year at closing.

    Annual cost $169.50.

    I have never had an algae outbreak, and have never had a day that I couldn't spend in the pool because the water looked bad. TFP way is quick, easy and worry free.

    It isn't quite fair to the TFP method to consider the cost of SLAMming a pool that is already out of control to the cost of maintaining a pool that is in perfect condition using pool store means.
    10,500 gal inground pool with vinyl liner. sand filter, TF100 test kit.

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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Granny View Post
    It isn't quite fair to the TFP method to consider the cost of SLAMming a pool that is already out of control to the cost of maintaining a pool that is in perfect condition using pool store means.
    Good point -- the cost of de-swamping should really be charged to the previous pool maintenance methodology.

    The idea of TFPC is to provide a sustainable maintenance method (esp. managing CYA levels) that does NOT lead to periodic turning-into-a-swamp excitement.
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Granny View Post
    It isn't quite fair to the TFP method to consider the cost of SLAMming a pool that is already out of control to the cost of maintaining a pool that is in perfect condition using pool store means.
    Yeah, good point. If I were to rearrange my costs putting the SLAM into the pre-TFP, my monthly cost breakdown would be:

    $161/mo pre-TFP
    $29/mo post-TFP

    Savings of $132/mo
    IG gunite pool size: 12,500 gallons - includes spa with spillover, Polaris vacuum cleaner, Ultrapure Ozonator, inline tab chlorinator that I no longer use
    Filter: Hayward Swimclear Model #4030, 4-Cartridge Filters
    Pump: Century, 2 HP with a Hayward 6060 booster pump
    Date of build: March-April 2014 *NEW* : Test kit: TF-100

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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Granny View Post
    It isn't quite fair to the TFP method to consider the cost of SLAMming a pool that is already out of control to the cost of maintaining a pool that is in perfect condition using pool store means.
    Agreed. If you are following the TFP tenets (proper testing and maintaining FC constantly above minimum for the CYA level) you should never have to SLAM or "shock" you pool.

    Comparing the cost of clearing a swamp against a $5 bag of shock is bordering on troll behavior. A better comparison would be to compare the cost of a year of pool store maintenance (scaled up for frustration and lost swim days) to a year of cruising with TFP method with no shocking or issues.

    With an SWG my costs this year have been:

    $5 to bump up salt at the beginning of the season
    $20 to bump up CYA at the beginning of the season
    $23 to bump up Borates at the beginning of the season
    $20 on Muraitic acid to keep pH in check.

    My SWG was $580 four years ago. Assuming it lasts 7 years (conservatively I hope) that's about $80 per year.

    That's about $150 per year for a sparkling, minimal effort (never shocked) pool.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    It is difficult to do a direct comparison in costs because of the variation and interaction of the following conditions: pool size, geography, amount of direct sunlight a day, seasonal vs year-round pool, bleach vs SWG, DE vs sand vs cartridge, plaster vs vinyl, fill water conditions (CL, PH, TA), pool extras (in ground spa, waterfalls), and various other conditions that increase chlorine demand (swimmer load, tree debris, etc).

    With that caveat, I spend approx. $100 per month in bleach & CH increaser which is inline with others based on my pool size. My fill water is very soft and I backwash often because of a water crazy dog and overhanging trees. I'm so excited to get a few trees removed tomorrow, whoohooo! I've had less expense this year related to PH/TA since I've finally found my sweet spot (pool PH stay approx 7.4 and TA 90, fill water 7.2). About the time my pool water PH increases to the point of needed attention, it is time for me add fill water and it balances out nicely.

    I didn't keep track of my opening expenses which were a little higher this year, but only because of my health. I used dichlor on opening (for FC and CYA) because I was very, very sick (flu, two rounds of bronchitis, pneumonia, uncontrollable asthma and allergies) I couldn't breathe well enough to shop for and haul the jugs of bleach that I normally use on opening. I also had to buy a bucket of pucks for vacation, so I bought a big bucket from Costco... this bucket will last me a few years. I also use pucks to bump up my CYA during the season.

    I have not had to "shock" my pool since opening this year and my friends always compliment how soft my pool water feels.
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    See my signature.
    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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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    Around $170 a year.

    Last time I SLAMed in 2007, I used 29.5 gallons of 6% bleach at $2.54 a gallon totaling about $75.
    TFP Moderator
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  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    I think I spent more on ruined cloths than I did on chems! With my latest fiasco before I found TFP I decided to go with a SWG. I'm still working my way around that, but Im sure it will come...
    16x32 DiamondBrite kidney, 12,500 gal. (circa 1985) 3/4hp Hayward SII, Harmsco BF84, Taylor K-2006, Hayward SwimPure Plus / Tcell-15
    Boca Roton, Fl. USA.

    prior 17k gal. vinyl, Sand filter

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    Re: How many $ do you spend on your pool in a year?

    I didn't mean to troll this forum for answers, I'm sorry if any of you didn't like the way I posed my questions. I was just trying to get an idea of how and why people do what they do. I realize some people have to SLAM for water restrictions and the like. Please don't take my post as anything but trying to decipher how much it costs to SLAM a pool and the average costs associated with it.

    If any of you have seen what I've been posting, I really have nothing but praise for the methods on this site. When I came here I was looking at my pumps and valves not working for more than four months. My pool was starting to turn green and just before I found this site I had "supershocked" my pool with the powder. Literally, the next day I found this site and decided to try the BBB method. I bought bleach and liquid chlorine and the TF-100 and a 1766 Salt test kit. Best money I ever spent. My cell was not working for nearly a year and I had been using liquid chlorine to make up for the salt cell's underperformance. I really never did get to SLAM as my water cleared up from the powder. I dealt with the CYA numbers that were not really that high for my Salt pool, 80 ppm. I read a lot, used pool math very much and kept to myself by lurking this site for quite some time before posting confidently that my pool now has sparklypoolitis. I have one last thing to do and that was mentioned in another thread that I know will help me with my CSI. After that, I'm really done. Sit back and relax and I owe it all to this wonderful site!

    I'm sorry if some of you think I'm being a troll or what ever. I wanted to get some opinions on why people did the SLAM's and how much in comparison the bleach costs compared to say a supershock dose of the powder. No matter what some of you may think, I'm sold on the idea of training the people how to use the BBB method. I would say I did not do a SLAM but I came close in that I monitored the heck out of my water until I was sure I was out of the green algae bloom stage.

    I must say, and there are some pictures here on this site to prove it, my pool has never looked better in the 3 + years I've had my hands on it. I've learned so much and when the experts say the best defense is offense when it comes to knowing your pool, the TF-100 can't be beat! It's a newfound freedom to test your water and know what needs to be done.

    Sorry again if I offended anyone here.
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
    Pentair 420 Cartridge filter; 3 hp VS Whisperflo Main Drain, 1 1/2 hp Whisperflo Running Pop-Ups; Jandy AquaPure 1400
    1 1/2 Whisperflo dedicated to Rock Waterfall; TF-100; Taylor K-1766; Pool Built in 1997

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