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Thread: Requesting more detail about the TFPC method

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    Question Requesting more detail about the TFPC method

    This discussion was split from Store Test vs Home Test . Zea3

    I have had the same question. Especially with the "fierceness" that I've read in some of the posts over time while mostly lurking. To a newbie, the in your face is off-putting to say the least. When I did ask a question (which admittedly had some wrong assumptions in it), I was simply told I had a lot to learn, which wasn't a very helpful answer. So I've learned a lot, but mostly elsewhere than these forums. I went to the pool store and asked questions there because here wasn't at all friendly or helpful. I got told to buy some stuff, I did buy some of it, didn't other stuff, and have been trying to learn by taking their results, my results, reading Pentair's web site, etc.

    I think it's largely dependent on the store, which I guess is the forum's point. I find my local store actually has decent results, except for the salt. Their salt meter is off by over 1500 ppm. My tests confirm to theirs for FC, TC, TA, pH, Calcium, and CYA. I don't have a salt meter, so I bought ridiculously expensive salt test strips and that conforms to what my salt cell tells me.

    I currently have a pool plaster problem and I'm trying to understand when it was damaged...whether by me in the last 3 months that I've been doing it myself, or prior to that by the pool maintenance guy I paid a lot of money to, to apparently not do much (based on the initial sets of water tests I did and what I had to do to get the pool in health)
    Last edited by zea3; 08-28-2014 at 05:59 AM. Reason: Split posts to a new thread.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    Interesting observation about the forum Bob. Yes the first response to you said you have a lot to learn, as does every new member. But, you fail to mention that it also pointed you to articles to help you learn ... and you acknowledged that they answered one of your questions. And then after that, apparently I was no help.

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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    Well, Jason, I wouldn't say unwilling. I'm still here aren't I? I posted a new question, didn't I? I'm trying to learn and absorb all I can.

    I merely stated that I didn't feel particularly welcome on my first post. The answer to my original post did not say "....as does every new member" it said (paraphrased) "Oh My, do you have a lot to learn". That comes across as condescending and rude. Yes, I was pointed to articles, and yes some information was helpful, but follow-up questions were never answered. Not everything is going to be answered by reading an article. Expertise generally needs to be taught and communicated. Lots of posts just say (paraphrased) "Follow our TFP methods and you'll be fine!"
    I'm still trying to figure out what the "method" is, other than a set of numbers.

    I've got a question about Phosphates and FC I'd love to ask. I don't dare. Practically every post I've read on phosphates gets addressed as (paraphrased) "I've never worried about them and neither should you!"

    I'm not trying to slam the site, the forum, an individual, etc. I just said I didn't feel particularly welcome in my first exposure. YM (and opinion) MV.

    I know there's incredible expertise here. Just trying to absorb some. I asked a question tonight. We'll see if anyone answers. I'm quite sure it's an issue others have faced.

    The worst thing that can happen is you ban me for expressing my honest opinion.
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    eqbob,

    I understand your thoughts. I'm relatively new here, and I have gotten nice and well-balanced replies, but I can see where you could interpret the overall feel of the forum as one of 'our way is the best way'. Whatever works best for you and YOUR pool is probably the best solution. You have to feel comfortable with whatever method of maintenance that you use. So my take on it is to absorb the best of what this forum has to offer and adapt it to my own situation as it works for me.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    That is a good summary. We can teach about the chemistry and what works in 99+% of the pools. But it is up to the owner to decide what information they want to apply to their pools. three4rd, would know, he is a crazy Baq user

    Many of us are just VERY adamant about how well what we teach works and can not understand why anyone would doubt us. But, perhaps we have all started to forget our own skepticism when we started as well.
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    I think most of us come here wondering if any of the things mentioned here really work, in the beginning. But, after following the advice, we come to realize (as long as it is truly followed) it does indeed. But you have to commit to following it fully. If you half listen to the site, half listen to the pool store, it will fail. Most arrive here because what the pool store was telling them wasn't working. No one forces anyone to do anything. Reading the articles, more than once, helps those who are new understand why people are making suggestion the way they are. It's the starting point on the road to a sparkly pool! We want people to experience the joy of know WHY and how certain things affect our pool chemistry.
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    How about helping the willing? I've posted several questions as well and haven't gotten a straight answer yet. If any answer at all. I don't think anyone who takes the time to read and or ask questions is unwilling or they wouldn't waste their time or yours.
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    @ Moonlite swim, what questions? I see that they have all been answered ...
    Don't answer here ... stick with your threads.
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    The hardest part for a new member is learning the basics of maintaining proper water balance. For me, it required reading, rereading, and careful study of Pool School. In addition, I spent some time lurking and reading many threads. Once you actually begin to understand the basics, putting everything into practice seems pretty easy. I spend a lot less time and effort maintaining my pool, now that I keep my water in perfect balance.

    Prevention is so much easier than dealing with problems. Just ask any pool owner who has ever had to deal with an algae bloom, and that's a minor issue compared to the permanent damage you can cause by not carefully monitoring your CSI (a calculation that few pool stores ever even consider).
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    All,

    I'm NOT a skeptic of the numbers and most of the philosophy, although my personal NEWBIE experience with phosphates would differ from what's discussed here. I am an OCD engineer, so beyond numbers, I want facts, methods, approaches, etc. The 'method' that's talked about is a set of numbers from what I can tell and have read on the introduction articles. So if TC, TA, CH, CYA and pH are out of whack, where do you start? What do you tackle first? In what increments? How often between treatments? Etc. That's a method / procedure / approach. Perhaps I've not read the right articles... But most (all?) of what I'd've seen is this chemistry should equal that number, that chemistry should equal this number with no guidance on how to get there and where to start. At least the the Taylor book and Pentair articles say treat pH and TA first and in small steps. I have no beef with your numbers...but that's not a method, those are values. And there's telling vs. teaching (and preaching).

    That was/is my concern. And it has little to nothing to do with the numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    The hardest part for a new member is learning the basics of maintaining proper water balance. For me, it required reading, rereading, and careful study of Pool School. In addition, I spent some time lurking and reading many threads. Once you actually begin to understand the basics, putting everything into practice seems pretty easy. I spend a lot less time and effort maintaining my pool, now that I keep my water in perfect balance.

    Prevention is so much easier than dealing with problems. Just ask any pool owner who has ever had to deal with an algae bloom, and that's a minor issue compared to the permanent damage you can cause by not carefully monitoring your CSI (a calculation that few pool stores ever even consider).
    Good point. However, the intro articles I read here didn't address saturation index either. Maybe I missed it or read the wrong ones?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    Quote Originally Posted by eqbob View Post
    Good point. However, the intro articles I read here didn't address saturation index either. Maybe I missed it or read the wrong ones?
    This article addresses calcium scaling in some detail. Calcium Scaling The information there plus understanding the VERY useful Pool Math tool allows you to see how your current CYA, CH, TA, Salt, Borates and pH influence your CSI level which is the key indicator of potential for scaling or corrosion.

    I understand your desire for methods. Teach a man to fish... Understanding the chemistry levels and why each are important reveals a method for maintaining a pool. The approach or method depends on where you're at with maintaining your pool. If everything looks rosy and you're looking for a better way to manage a pool yourself and prevent problems it's about maintenance of proper CYA/Chlorine relationship at all times and addressing other levels concurrently. If you're dealing with a swamp or algae, then the concern is first getting a proper CYA level if it's out of hand, then addressing pH, then SLAMing to rid yourself of the most pressing problem. Once that is done or doesn't need to be done, then it's dealing with TA and/or CH depending on your pool surface. If you have a vinyl liner, CH is of minor concern and TA is the first step to helping stabilize pH fluctuations. TA and its dynamic with aeration and pH are discussed in detail here in How to Lower Total Alkalinity. To raise it, addition of baking soda is easy. If you have a plaster type surface then a very high CH (over 500) may be addressed the same way high CYA is. Replacing high CH pool water with lower CH fill water.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    Thank you JVTrain. I will read that article and review pool math. I have been using the blue circular dial in the Taylor test kit for Saturation index. I have not been able to get pool math to work on an iPad.

    You mention CYA and Chlorine relationship. Second time in 8 minutes I've read that. I understood CYA to be sunglasses for pH. Is it sunglasses for Chlorine?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    This article addresses calcium scaling in some detail. Calcium Scaling The information there plus understanding the VERY useful Pool Math tool allows you to see how your current CYA, CH, TA, Salt, Borates and pH influence your CSI level which is the key indicator of potential for scaling or corrosion.
    Could some explain this whole borates thing? I don't even know what they are and the only places I've ever heard of them is here. What is a borate and why would I want some in my water?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    CYA is like sunglasses/sunscreen for free chlorine. It binds with chlorine to hold it in reserve in an equilibrium with actual effective chlorine that is not bound to it. If you had no CYA, FC would very quickly be degraded by sunlight (UV light). If you have too much CYA and not a high level of FC, there isn't effective chlorine to combat algae/bacteria/viruses, etc. The necessary levels for CYA and Chlorine is summarized in this chart: Chlorine/CYA Chart This paper is an excellent, in depth analysis of the CYA and chlorine relationship: http://standards.nsf.org/apps/group_...cument_id=5891

    There is no sunglasses for pH. pH is unaffected by UV light.

    Borates are an entirely optional addition to pools or spas. Borates have mild anti-algae properties and users report an improved "feel" to water. They can reduce chlorine usage in some situations but I haven't read enough about that topic to fully explain. Borates are also toxic to insects and drinking water with borates can make pets and children ill if large quantities are consumed or borate levels are higher than the typical 50 ppm recommended here. Here is a thread that talks about adding borates. So you want to add borates to your pool...
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    Thank you JVTrain. Good posting and solid explanation. Much appreciated. So on the CYA chart, do you pick an FC level first or a CYA level? With SWG you can only alter FC by adjusting percentage, flow, or run time of system, (unless you're adding in chlorine, but then why would you have an SWG if you're going to add chlorine), so I'm guessing you pick an FC level first then add CYA to the recommended levels?

    I see the warning notes on borates with pets and drinking. With 3 corgis, that's nothing I'd be comfortable adding, so I will not worry about that aspect of pool chemistry. Thank you for the help.
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    Actually you pick a CYA level first. For a SWCG you'll want 60-80. What level you pick depends on several things. If you're in Texas, Florida, Arizona... warm/hot climates with lots of sun, you may want to go with 70 or 80. If you're like me in MN, you might want to go with 60 and a lower SWCG run time to extend its lifetime. It's a balance of how much CYA is needed to help protect your FC based on how much sun you receive. It's manageable at any of those levels, but some are more ideal/cost effective than others.

    For those who manually chlorinate with liquid chlorine, CYA levels are lower and FC levels are relatively higher because as opposed to SWCG, FC levels fluctuate more and more "breathing room" for FC to fall during the day is easier to manage. Those who manually chlorinate and plan to go on vacation may also want to leave their CYA lower prior to vacation so that they can add trichlor tablets to a feeder to maintain pool while they are away, knowing that it will keep their pool from going green but also add CYA.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    How long does it take CYA to 'burn' off? I added enough 6 weeks ago to bring it to 80 and 6 weeks later it is still tree at some level approximately half. Is that normal. I thought it had a shorter life span then that?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    I found this article in pool school
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...rine-generator
    Now this I consider to be a well written article because it goes beyond numbers and details the steps. Quite helpful. I will adjust CYA in the morning.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    CYA does not burn off. Only way to reduce is water replacement. I know i started out this year draining half of my pool, and this is from the pool store. Then I found this site. My pool is crystal clear and I still have a way to go. My level is now down to 70 and next year I want to be closer to 50. This year i lost about 3-4 ppm(?) per day but my levels were higher than the target because I did not want to slam at 70. The load on the pool was low due to rain & colder temps this year and I think I was in it the most.
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    Quote Originally Posted by eqbob View Post
    How long does it take CYA to 'burn' off? I added enough 6 weeks ago to bring it to 80 and 6 weeks later it is still tree at some level approximately half. Is that normal. I thought it had a shorter life span then that?
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSelf View Post
    CYA does not burn off. Only way to reduce is water replacement. I know i started out this year draining half of my pool, and this is from the pool store. Then I found this site. My pool is crystal clear and I still have a way to go. My level is now down to 70 and next year I want to be closer to 50. This year i lost about 3-4 ppm(?) per day but my levels were higher than the target because I did not want to slam at 70. The load on the pool was low due to rain & colder temps this year and I think I was in it the most.
    Yup, no burn off with CYA. You have it forever (almost).

    Ways to reduce your CYA level:

    Splashout - this is a very slow method

    Water Replacement
    - How much your CYA level goes down depends on how much water you replace. Replace 50% of your water at once and you should see a 50% reduction in CYA. If you replace water in smaller steps you will see smaller reduction with more water loss. If you replace 10% of your water you drop your CYA 10%. If you do this again you reduce 10% from your NEW CYA level, not the original level.

    Bacteria - There are reports of pools opening in the spring with "0" CYA and a high chlorine demand. Some of these pool have been tested and found to have an abundance of ammonia. The theory is that the CYA has been converted to ammonia by an unidentified bacteria.
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    Re: Store Test vs. Home Test

    Quote Originally Posted by eqbob View Post
    How long does it take CYA to 'burn' off? I added enough 6 weeks ago to bring it to 80 and 6 weeks later it is still tree at some level approximately half. Is that normal. I thought it had a shorter life span then that?
    Do you have an autofill? How did you originally arrive at your CYA amount? It may not have been accurate at the time. Cya generally doesn't just disappear....
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