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Thread: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

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    The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    I need your help here guys. I am a relatively new pool owner; 1 year. The first summer of pool care seemed easy, 3 tabs a week, shock it every week or 2, test with my OTO/PH kit - piece of cake! Now I'm realizing there is much more to it.

    I kept having reoccurrence of mustard algae this spring so I began studying and a good ol' SLAM sounded like the right solution. Before I added anything I had my water tested by the pool store, they told me my CYA was high (over 100). I realized this was priority 1 because of the amount of chlorine it would take to shock and maintain. So I drained about 30% and refilled (I also disassembled and cleaned filter). Took water to pool store - CYA at 100. They sold me some chemical that is supposed to reduce the CYA, so I'm prepared to use it since it will be cheaper than the amount of water it would take to lower my CYA to proper level.

    My question/problem is that while I was in there I was discussing how to avoid getting back into this situation. He said, it's unavoidable, you have to drain every 4 years to reduce CYA. I asked why don't I just put less CYA in the pool (by using unstabilized chlorine instead of the tabs he has which contain 1%)? He said they don't sell that anymore because it can be used to make bombs. I said I thought liquid shock or bleach was basically unstabilized chlorine. He said "You can't buy true unstabilized chlorine anymore (he reminded me of the whole bomb thing) true unstabilized chlorine is 4 or 5 molecules and bleach is a totally different kind of chlorine with only a single molecule and it won't work, especially in our Texas heat." He said "his di and trichlor (which I've been using) which is 2 or 3 molecules, doesn't break down as fast. You'd need 50, 5 gallon buckets of bleach to treat your pool, and you'll have to add it everyday...." on and on he went. I objected, yes but isn't the extra "molecule" you're referring to just the CYA which protects the chlorine... which I already have too much of?? We went in circles; he seemed to contradict himself a few times. I didn't make too big of a scene because I realized that I'm still in the "know enough to be dangerous" category.

    So, long question short - is bleach a viable option (the strong stuff)? Is he correct that I should prepare myself to drain my pool every 4 years?
    40,000 gallons
    DE 60 sq. ft.
    In-ground
    Plaster

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    Welcome to TFP!

    He is ignorant of the facts or lying to you, one or the other. Chlorine is chlorine is chlorine. The chemical is the same in all forms of chlorine.

    Many here, myself included chlorinate with nothing but 8.25% laundry bleach. Many others use salt water chlorine generators. A minority here still use pucks, but generally they live in a climate where they have both a short swim season and drain a large amount of water each year to winterized.
    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: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    Welcome to the forum.
    They sold me some chemical that is supposed to reduce the CYA, so I'm prepared to use it since it will be cheaper than the amount of water it would take to lower my CYA to proper level.
    It won't work. Get your money back. Drain/refill is the only option.

    You will be a perfect fit for what we teach because you are willing to learn and have already realized the pool store info is seldom correct and downright borders on lying.

    Never trust a Pool Store again. Your pool can be kept crystal clear with NEVER having to drain the way he is talking about. You MANAGE CYA rather than letting the pool store manage you.

    Liquid chlorine or bleach is simply the finest delivery method of chlorine to your pool....there is nothing better because it does not have unwanted side effects.

    I'll let you keep reading....this would be your best start "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. Again, welcome.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    WOW ... very little that the pool guy said is true, for one reason or another as Tim stated.

    You should not have to drain that often for CYA (assuming you switch to liquid chlorine, which is usually cheaper than other forms of chlorine BTW), but in TX with the hard water and evaporation, the calcium (CH) may climb and require replacement in the 3-5year time frame ... nothing can be done about that.

    In any case, your CYA got WAY too high in less than one year and that is just due to the poor advice from the pool store.

    To take control, you should invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits and stay away from the pool store.
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    wow, I would stay away from that pool store. the guy has zero knowledge, its quite scary actually.

    I wouldn't drain any water to reduce CYA based on pool store results. return that CYA reducing voodoo magic and get your money back and apply that to buying the TF-100 test kit.

    that said, your CYA is probably going to be way too high and a water change will be needed based on how you have been treating the pool, but don't do it till you get the test kit. pool store testing is very unreliable, and the most unreliable test they do? CYA. I had my water tested for giggles, and I got numbers from 0 to 100. my CYA was 30.

    the bad news? you will probably end up having to drain some water? the good news (contrary to your pool guy), is that you should never have to do it again if you follow the TFP method. only things you will need on a consistent basis is regular old bleach and some muriatic acid sometimes. no voodoo magic pool potions.

    the best news after you bit the bullet on the test kit and refill? you will be saving so much money you will be sorry you didn't find this forum sooner
    Last edited by tim5055; 06-12-2015 at 03:50 PM. Reason: Language
    Dan
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    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    Thanks fellas for the quick responses. I should have know better, this is the same guy that told me aeration does nothing to PH...
    40,000 gallons
    DE 60 sq. ft.
    In-ground
    Plaster

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmarsden26 View Post
    Thanks fellas for the quick responses. I should have know better, this is the same guy that told me aeration does nothing to PH...
    its so scary that people in the "profession" and I use that term very loosely do not even have a basic understanding of simple chemistry. go back to the pool store and return everything you bought and get your money back. you will eventually need to buy some stuff but most can be found at walmart, home depot, etc. I would not give this guy a single dollar of my money. based on how he is talking, im guessing that he is just a liar and out to rip people off. I wouldn't give him any business.
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    If you follow the TFP methods taught here on the forum, you should never have to drain your pool (unless your calcium in fill water is very high), never have to shock your pool, and will have safe beautiful crystal clear water.

    First ignore anything your told at the pool store. You have already figured out that he is most interested in selling you various magic potions at high prices. Yes you can use liquid chlorine exclusively or just grocery store bleach, and avoid buildup of CYA.

    To learn how all this works go to Pool School, it's the button at the top right of this page. Read, re read, study. It will slowly all begin to make sense. Then you need a very good test kit, so you can find out exactly what the various levels are in your pool, for this the T-100 can't be beat. Pool store testing is notoriously inaccurate and worthless, test strips are less than worthless. Once you know your levels you will learn to use the app PoolMath to tell you exactly how much of what you need to put in your pool. You will only be using off the shelf items, like bleach, baking soda, borax, and maybe some muratic acid. No magic potions, no need to even go near a pool store.
    chiefwej
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    DaninFLA is correct, as are the rest of these guys. Don't believe a single number the pool store tells you about your water. Before I started doing my own pool, just a few weeks ago, I had my water tested 3 times, 2 different stores, one said my CYA was 90, the other said it was 100 twice. When I received my own TF-100 test kit and did my own testing, my CYA was right at 40. Nowhere near what the stores were telling me. Im still learning myself, but from my first month here with these guys as my guide, I am doing great and my pool is beautiful
    12k in ground, 14x28 sports pool, concrete/plaster/diamond brite, uncovered
    Waterway 1.5hp pump, waterway 150sqft cartridge filter, auto chlorinator, on city water, Zodiac MX8

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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    BTW with the statement that all chlorine is the same. Liquid chlorine (bleach) is the only form of chlorine that does not have anything else added that will affect your pool. The granular stuff either has CYA or coppercalcium. Both unwanted. Usually it has a slew of other ingredients as well. Stick with bleach or a SWG.

    As was stated buy a recommended test kit. Recommended Test Kits

    It really is essential to your success. The TF-100 with the XL option is the best bang for your buck. The XL option bumps the total past the free shipping cutoff as an added bonus.
    TF-100

    While your waiting for you kit it is time to go to Pool School.!

    Read it over and over until you fully understand it. Then NEVER go to the pool store again. Especially that one. Trust me your head will hurt if you do.
    Last edited by jblizzle; 06-12-2015 at 03:54 PM. Reason: copper --> calcium
    6425g Intex Ultraframe 18'x48" AG
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    Welcome to the forum jmarsden Try not to even ask at the pool store. Post here and you'll keep getting good info and you'll get control of your pool and it will be cheaper.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    'Nuff said there I suppose huh? All of it true. So ........ Welcome to TFP! I think you now what to do now ........
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    T100 on it's way. Lesson learned!

    Thanks again
    40,000 gallons
    DE 60 sq. ft.
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    "New Long-Lasting Chlorinating Tabs! Now with 4 molecules!!!!"

    molecules. it has more molecules. hahahah. It's like Brawndo.
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    Follow the advice of the helpful forum here and learn to control your own pool. You'll be glad you did!
    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
    [It is better to know how to learn, than to know. - Dr. Seuss[/I]

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    While you're standing at the counter to return that questionable CYA reducer, ask the young salesperson if he has a pool? How does he take care of his x,y,z whatever.

    I bet he's never owned nor cared for a pool. He just doesn't know he's clueless.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: The pool store - to trust or not trust?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmarsden26 View Post
    T100 on it's way. Lesson learned!

    Thanks again
    you taken the first and best step
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
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