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Thread: Tomcat77 says "Thank you!" to all

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    Tomcat77 says "Thank you!" to all

    Hello..This is my first post here, and I'd like to start by thanking everyone here - the owners, moderators, experts, helpful non-experts, and those who ask the questions - for starting and maintaining this tremendously informative and useful website. I stumbled across your site some time ago while searching for a solution, lurked for a while, joined about a year ago, and finally had the embarrassing realization of just how much information I'd gleaned gratis from all of you which prompted me to support the site in a very small way. Even at that, I'm aware my donation is not even remotely comparable to the value I've received from TFP. The information here - and just as important, the way it's presented - has been truly invaluable to me.

    I'll give you just a little background, and then get to my question. I'm in my 27th year of being a building contractor in the San Diego area, and have no pool of my own. Many of my longtime clients are older, and over the years, I've helped some of them with their pools and pool equipment. Over time, after coming here for some answer or another, I began to realize how little was being done by some of the pool guys in their 5-10 minute weekly (some of them bi-weekly in the winter) "servicing" of these pools, which appear to entail sporadic testing, and little more than refilling the tablet floater and giving the dog a treat, then every two years or so telling the owner that they needed to change out most of the water because "it has become too hard" or the CYA level was too high. The need for this was obvious even to me, as the service revolved around cal-hypo and trichlor pucks. One of the pool guys admitted to me that he had a hard time remembering to empty the pump basket, which I already knew from continually finding it full of leaves five minutes after he left. I found this quite annoying, being that the owner had just paid me a considerable amount of money to replace her old pump with a new Pentair Intelliflo.

    To make a long story short, over the last year I've become the de facto "Pool Guy" for four of my clients. I've found this line of work satisfying - I actually enjoyed my high school and college chemistry - and am a firm believer in your practice of putting nothing in the pools that doesn't HAVE to be there. Meaning liquid bleach (sodium hypochlorite), occasionally a touch of baking soda, and in one pool, a borate treatment, for which I will be eternally grateful for the rationale and detailed instructions I found here. Everyone is happy with the water - both appearance and chemistry - in these pools now.

    My problem is this: I realize that much of the TFPC advice here is targeted for pool owners giving close-to-daily attention to their pools, and servicing these pools was simple while I was there doing other work. However, I'm finding it difficult to keep my chlorine levels where I want them when I'm only going there once a week without using something like the pucks, which I do NOT want to do, and none of the pools has a chlorine generator. I've looked around here, so far not finding a solution. My limited 18 months of practical experience is telling me that it's nearly impossible to use the TFPC method with only once a week service. Am I missing something, or is this true? I've considered stopping by these places at least twice a week, but I'm not seeing that as practical business-wise. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    As a followup question, the pool that I did the borate treatment on was done with 20 Mule Team Borax from Walmart and muriatic acid. I'm now going to do a 30K gallon pool, and was wondering from Chem Geek or any of the others here if they see any problem with substituting granular boric acid from Duda Diesel and skipping the lugging of all of that MA. I've seen it on the pull-down menu on the Pool Math page, and it seems to be just about even cost-wise, while saving me considerable effort - which, at my age, is rarely a bad thing.

    I apologize for the length of this post, and thank you in advance for your help.

    Jim
    Jim H. 30,000 gallon rectangular IG gunite white plaster pool
    Hayward ProGrid 6020 DE filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS Pump
    4-wheel suction-side Poolvergnuegen; Taylor K-2006-C

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    Re: Tomcat77 says "Thank you!" to all

    Great first post and thank you for supporting our site

    You will probably have a problem with a once-a-week visit, unless you can get the owner involved somewhat.

    Have you read about stenner pumps to auto dose chlorine?

    Maybe hire high school kids during the summer for the 'other' weekly visit?

    Others will be along with some ideas.

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    Re: Tomcat77 says "Thank you!" to all

    Thank you for the warm welcome, Butterfly. Yeah, I was thinking this wasn't going to work at once-a-week, but I was hoping I just wasn't seeing something, and now want to exhaust any ideas before I go the dreaded puck route. I have not read about the stenner pumps, but I will now. Hiring the high school kids is a good idea, although anything with the word "hire" in California is always potentially problematic. Thanks for your advice.
    Jim H. 30,000 gallon rectangular IG gunite white plaster pool
    Hayward ProGrid 6020 DE filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS Pump
    4-wheel suction-side Poolvergnuegen; Taylor K-2006-C

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    Re: Tomcat77 says "Thank you!" to all

    I help take care of my dads pool and he doesn't do any testing. I have him on a schedule basically. I have him add 2 PPM per day in the morning, which coincides with his timed brew coffee maker and the pump on a timer. I additionally have him add an additional 3 PPM on days it gets uncovered and used. I usually end up at his house once a week, usually on weekends to take the kids out there swimming. While I'm there I test his levels see if everything is within range where it should be. I stocked up on cheap chlorine and it's safe to swim up to SLAM levels per the CYA chart, so I'm always more concerned about using too little compared to too much. If it's high when I test his water I have him skip a day.

    So to outline, when he wakes up he gets his coffee and goes outside where the pool pump has already kicked on from the timer. Pours out the appropriate amount of chlorine (32oz) into a dollar store pitcher with marks for every 16oz. Pour it in front of the return jet, rinse the pitcher and he's done.

    If you can get the homeowners involved like someone said, and you can figure out the daily appetite of the pool while working there...this is something you could consider. Could even try it and start out with twice a week trips to see if it is holding as expected then up it to once a week after. Of course with different area's, different cya levels, sun intensities, sun amounts, and uncovered pools they would be higher than the 2ppm per day I do.
    12500 gallons, 24 foot round above ground
    Hayward Sand filter, Pentair OptiFlo 1HP 2-Speed pump

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    Re: Tomcat77 says "Thank you!" to all

    That's also a good idea, Scott. A couple of them are elderly enough that I'm not sure I want them fooling around with liquid chlorine, but I'll try that out on the others. That makes me think about filling a few high-density HDPE liter-sized lab bottles I have with SH; then all they'd have to do is unscrew the lid and pour it in. Thanks for that idea!
    Jim H. 30,000 gallon rectangular IG gunite white plaster pool
    Hayward ProGrid 6020 DE filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS Pump
    4-wheel suction-side Poolvergnuegen; Taylor K-2006-C

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    Re: Tomcat77 says "Thank you!" to all

    Sort of a human-powered automatic chlorine dispenser.
    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: Tomcat77 says "Thank you!" to all

    *laughing*

    A lot like that.
    Jim H. 30,000 gallon rectangular IG gunite white plaster pool
    Hayward ProGrid 6020 DE filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS Pump
    4-wheel suction-side Poolvergnuegen; Taylor K-2006-C

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    Re: Tomcat77 says "Thank you!" to all

    Just wanted to bring up another automated dosing method in addition to a Stenner pump and that is The Liquidator. You'll see threads here on the forum about it.

    If you just want insurance since if you can't dose frequently and can't automate, then you need to go down the path of either using a phosphate remover or algaecide (such as Polyquat 60 weekly). Either of these will at least slow down the algae growth so that if the chlorine does get low or even to zero things won't go to heck before you are back to dose again the next week. It's at least in part a cost/convenience trade-off. At least with these products there aren't side effects except to your wallet, unlike using copper-based algaecides that can lead to staining.
    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"

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    Re: Tomcat77 says "Thank you!" to all

    I've been looking at that Hasa Liquidator on Amazon for two years now and at $205, I just can't bring myself to pull the trigger on it. There just doesn't seem to be any reason for it to cost that much.
    20,000 gal. free-form plaster on concrete
    Triton DE filter, 1.5HP pump
    Aquabot Elite pool cleaner

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