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Thread: Do you use chemicals from a pool store or 'big box' store?

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    Beanie's Avatar
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    Do you use chemicals from a pool store or 'big box' store?

    I am asking because our local pool dealer told us not to use cholorine from Walmart (and others) because it has some 'tricholor' something or another in it. They said it can cause explosions in your water if mixed with other chemcials? We only buy chemicals from our pool dealer, but they are so much cheaper elsewhere.

    Is this true?
    ~*Tricia*~
    ~Red Sox Fan 4 Life~ *Go Jacoby*
    My Pool
    24' Round AG Pool...52" high...13,500 gallons
    Hayward 1.5 HP Power Flo Matrix Pump and Sand Filter...BBB Method

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Do you use chemicals from a pool store or 'big box' store?

    Beanie,

    Get up in the "Pool School" and start reading......you'll soon see how innaccurate that advice was.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Do you use chemicals from a pool store or 'big box' store?

    Your pool dealer is lying. The trichlor at Walmart is the same as his.

    But most of us don't even use the pool chems from Walmart. We buy them at the other end of the store in the grocery department. Read about it here http://www.troublefreepool.com/categ.../bbb_for_pools
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Do you use chemicals from a pool store or 'big box' store?

    true? well...

    you can never NEVER mix cal-hypo and trichlor or dichlor in a dispenser or inline chlorinator. That means that you cannot use a dispenser for one kind and later use it for the other. That CAN cause an explosive reaction, even if the dispenser is empty.

    However, you can safely add any form of chlorine to your water, just not through a dispenser.

    Most folks here take advice from the pool store with a grain of salt, or several!!! There are many cheaper alternatives to the expensive 'pool store chemicals' that don't add things you may not need. You might want to read this article on BBB in the Pool School.

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Beanie's Avatar
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    Re: Do you use chemicals from a pool store or 'big box' store?

    Bleach, baking soda and borax?? You are kidding me, right? I can buy that at the grocery store...omg, I am actually shocked.

    This board is unreal for information. Okay, so I need an accurate test kit, right? I mean, if I am going to try this, I need the right test kit? Right now I use Test Strips and cannot stand them.

    I do have a question though...if using the BBB I still have to use cholorine right? Can I use one of those floating things with the tablets?
    ~*Tricia*~
    ~Red Sox Fan 4 Life~ *Go Jacoby*
    My Pool
    24' Round AG Pool...52" high...13,500 gallons
    Hayward 1.5 HP Power Flo Matrix Pump and Sand Filter...BBB Method

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Do you use chemicals from a pool store or 'big box' store?

    The tablet will eventually raise your CYA sky high and you'll have to do a partial drain refill. If your CYA is low, then yes, you could use it to help raise the CYA level but I think it's best to throw the granular CYA in a sock and hang it over the return or in the skimmer basket til disolved.

    I don't use the pucks. Not many hear do.

    I do bleach.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: Do you use chemicals from a pool store or 'big box' store?

    Beanie,

    I couldn't believe it either last year but the BBB ( Bleach, Borax, Baking Soda) really does work.
    Get yourself a good test kit from http://www.tftestkits.com Duraleigh who is a member here sells them and they are the best on the market.

    Some good reading about the test kit can be found here http://www.troublefreepool.com/viewtopic.php?t=259

    Read all you can, ask all the questions you can .... someone here has the answer for you. Start saving your money instead of supporting the pool store! You will see a big difference in your pool as well as your wallet.

    To quote Clark Howard "spend less, save more !"

    Les
    Don't have a pool right now. Just sharing what I have learned over the years!
    Helpful Links:
    Pool School,Pool Calculator,Cl/CYA Shock Chart,TF Test Kit
    Doing BBB and loving it!

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    Re: Do you use chemicals from a pool store or 'big box' store?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Your pool dealer is lying. The trichlor at Walmart is the same as his.
    Maybe not--at least in part. WalMart sells HTH products and HTH has been pushing its "Dual-Acting" tri-chlor tabs. And these contain copper as an algaecide, which, as we all know, is generally a really bad idea. So... as troublesome as tri-chlor tabs can be (especially if you don't test all the time and at least once weekly for stabilizer/CYA), the WalMart HTH "Dual Acting" tabs are much, much worse.

    Beanie, you will LOVE discovering how much money you save on B-B-B. I discovered it (before it was called that) about 8 years ago. Bleach, Borax and Baking Soda. I found one pool store selling "Total Alkalinity Raiser" for $12 for a 4 lb container. That DAY I saw a 12 lb bag of Arm&Hammer Baking Soda at CostCo for $3.50--and they are the same chemical--exactly the same. From the pool store that $3.50 12 lbs would have cost $36 DOLLARS! Yes, these methods are very real.

    Pool stores sell "pH Up!" and other products for raising pH. We use Borax which is FAR cheaper and actually better than what's in their products--Soda Ash (Borax doesn't raise Total Alkalinity). But the Soda Ash story is the same as Total Alkalinity Raiser--it's sold in the laundry section of your grocery store as Arm&Hammer Washing Soda (in the yellow rather than orange box). Same chemica--Sodium Carbonate (as opposed to Sodium BIcarbonate), but at less then $.70/lb! Really! So if you need to use Soda Ash (good if both pH and Total Alkalkinity need to be raised), it's as close as your supermarket.

    Bleach is simply the best way for a homeowner to chlorinate. It has the fewest side effects and is easiest to calculate how much to use. Liquid Chlorine from pool stores is the same stuff, usually just in higher concentrations--double strength. Sometimes it's cheaper to buy that, sometimes cheaper to buy bleach. I like the LC because it's more compact, comes in 5 gallon containers and, at least for the moment, is competitive with bleach. Plus I recycle bleach bottles to use with it. Right now, at $17/5 gallons of nominal 12% it's the same as paying $1.70/gallon for 10 gallons of Ultra (6%) bleach--a very, very good price. You can get it cheaper but I have reasons I buy it from this place.

    The pool store I buy it at is the best by far of the 9 or 10 I can choose from and I like to give them any PS business I can. They also sell SO much of the LC that it's always fresh. Every time I test it, it tests at 14.5% to 15%--stronger than the 12 it's listed and sold as.

    As you learn more, you'll find, paradoxically, that you don't need to know that much--because so much is hype and so little is fact. Here, at Troublefree Pools, and at PoolForum.com, you'll get the straight info you need. You'll save money, your pool will be far cleaner, and, you'll find you do NOT have to work very hard or put in as much effort to maintain your pool. I, for one, cannot possibly see what advantage I would get from a pool service. Chems? Got that covered! Testing? My kit is better than theirs. Vacuuming and brushing? I have a robotic cleaner that one season's service would pay for. It does it all.

    Information substitutes for money--and it's a GREAT bargain!

    I'm not a pool dealer--I'm a home-owner. Most of the folks here are just that too. We trade information and it works. The few pool dealers at either forum all pledge not to "pool store" their fellows and are excellent sources of TRUE industry information.
    Stay ahead of your water!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Do you use chemicals from a pool store or 'big box' store?

    Ditto. Spent way too much money over 6 years at pool stores using "pool chemicals" not knowing what I was doing and getting really BAD advice from the pool stealers.

    I found TFP by surfing the internet and am forever and eternally grateful. Now I spend less than $15 a month on bleach, and I haven't had to add anything to my pool other than bleach. My water is sparkly. Once I began the BBB regimen, (which took very little effort other than a partial drain of my pool water) my ph has been fine, my TA fine, my CH fine, my CL fine. I've only had to shock twice, once before going on vacation and once before closing my pool for the winter.

    That's it. I spend about 5 minutes a day testing and adding bleach. It's no biggie.

    Pucks cost twice as much as bleach and do lead to many problems with unstable PH and high CYA
    (both I experienced) which can lead to bad algae.

    (Like Richard, I too have a cartridge filter with very little fresh water exchange).

    Good luck and welcome to TFP. I hope you find the information here as valuable as I did!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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