Hello all - I'm new to TFP but have been a pool owner for the last 30 years. The first pool we owned, we had built in 1985 in Southern California - it was about 850 sqft, had an in ground 10 foot octagonal spa, elevated about 4 feet, 2 x 2HP pumps, 1 2 hp blower and a DE filter. Cleaning was done with a suction side cleaner. Then in 1993, we moved to Tucson and bought a house with a pool - built in 1987. Our current pool is irregular shaped and about 500 sqft.
Picture Looking East
Picture Looking West
Pool and Spa at Night
Not to rub it in, but the weather was outstanding today as you can tell from the photos.
Our current equipment consists of a Hayward Ecostar Variable Speed Pump, a Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter and a Hayward Pool Vac. We originally had a heater with our current pool but I finally removed that after never using it (it does get warm here in Southern Arizona). Additionally, I got tired of the pack rats digging holes by our equipment and we had the equipment area paved with bricks.
My wife loved the spa in California and we committed to having a spa in Tucson. Last year we finally bought an LA Spa H.E.E.T model and love it. Like most, I have been using 3" pucks in a floater most of the time and switch between liquid chlorine and tri-clor for shock. Have seldom had significant algae issues, have never had an outbreak of green algae but have had occasional bouts with yellow/mustard algae which were easily handled by shocking and brushing. Additionally, I have maintained the pool year round. I have been using the standard test kits and test strips. From the 6 element test strips, my pool is currently at the following:
FC - 5
TC - 5
PH - 7.2-7.8
TA - 120
CYA - 100
I understand the accuracy of the test strips is questionable but its the best data I've got right now.
I have been unaware of the cumulative impact of CYA until I came upon this site. I have read completely the Pool School Articles but have yet to put it into practice but I am seriously considering. Based on what I have read, my expectation changing to the TFP method will be more stable pool chemistry and hopefully less deposits on the tile (probably my biggest problem to date - I hate scrubbing the tile line and also don't like paying $500-$700 to have it sandblasted every other year). The following is an outline of what I plan:
(1) Have ordered a TF100 kit and expect it this friday. Will take a full set of measurements at that time. Specific direction will depend on results.
(2) Begin switching to chlorine/bleach this weekend to get a feel for the amount of chlorine our pool will use.
(3) Given I continue with liquid chlorine, add a Stenner pump and 15 gallon tank to automate the daily usage. Unsure at this time how to provide power to the Stenner pump only when the Ecostar is running (pump scheduling handled in the Ecostar).
(4) Potentially switch from a suction cleaner to an Oasis Z5 - my expectation would be reduced backwashing required, a cleaner pool and tile line. Our pool is normally fairly clean since I run the current cleaner at least 2 hours every other day.
(5) Consider whether to use borax.
That's all for now - and thanks for all those who take the time to assembly all the information available on this web site and answer the near limitless questions that get asked.