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Thread: Mack from Florida

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Bradenton, FL
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    Mack from Florida

    Everyone calls me Mack, so I'll just leave it at that. Don't really answer to anything else except from family.

    I'm a service-connected disabled vet (former Navy, was in the Navy Nuclear Power Program).

    Just moved to Florida from California and am looking to own my first home with my wife and four kids.

    Almost all of the homes have a pool and they scare the bejeebus out of me. I don't want a new hobby, not really looking to be "that guy" who is constantly in the pool shop, but at the same time, am willing to be responsible for an asset to our home that will provide enjoyment. I see folks listing their pool equipment in a way that would put a motorhead or chiphead to shame. The LAST thing I want is something which requires more mastery of detail than the home theater I'm designing!

    I'm a former network/multimedia engineer and architected the first Mac-based render farm in 1998 (no platform stuff, I've worked on most) so I'm a very technical person and detail oriented. My chemistry is weak and I find I'm susceptible to claims which is why I'm here (can anyone say Ecosmarte?).

    I'm really looking to ask pointed questions and get straight answers. I'm open to being called ignorant if it's in a respectful way (admittedly, I'm totally ignorant about pools, pool maintenance, car pools, you name it), but will call BS in a respectful way if it's clear that I'm being sold something in the guise of education. I admit to being really...um....intolerant about that.

    Mostly, I just want to learn how to be efficient with my costs and time in keeping a safe and enjoyable pool.

    Be well all,
    Mack
    Be well all,
    Mack

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Sep 2007
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    Lafayette, Louisiana
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    Re: Mack from Florida

    Welcome to TFP Mack!

    Don't be scared of owning a pool. I just had my first built and it's really pretty easy if you understand basic pool chemistry and avoid the advice of most pool stores. They're in business...to stay in business...and don't want you to know how simple and inexpensive it can be.

    First step is go up to the top of the page here and click on the "Pool School" link. It will take you to some very well written articles about basic pool maintenance in good layman's terms. This is NOT high level chemistry. Just a basic understanding of what's going on and some do's and don'ts.

    Next step...ask those questions. Folks here are good about answering even the silly questions. I went from knowing nothing about pools a year ago to feeling very confident about my pool handling skills. I still ask a few questions now & then though.

    Then just stick around and browse the posts. You'll learn alot by just doing some reading.

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Posts
    344

    Re: Mack from Florida

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackeyser
    but will call BS in a respectful way if it's clear that I'm being sold something in the guise of education. I admit to being really...um....intolerant about that.
    BTW...Nobody here is selling anything. The only thing that will be suggested repeatedly is a good quality test kit. One of our members does happen to sell those, but at a reasonable price and this is definately NOT a high dollar item. Just the basic tool you need to maintain your pool.

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bradenton, FL
    Posts
    17

    Re: Mack from Florida

    Ya, if the house we're trying to buy happens, then that kit is likely the first thing I'll buy for the house.

    What worries me is that we're not getting a seller's disclosure so I'll have to manually break down the entire system. For a newbie, it seems like it will be a big hassle. Certainly worth the time since the crystal clear water doesn't just happen, but still. I won't know exactly what the pool is constructed from to know if a SWCG is effective. I admit to having mixed feelings about a SWCG.

    Salt is a corrosive. I'm a disabled vet. From what I've gathered, IF one puts in a bit (no way to quantify as I have no idea) more effort, folks swear by a SWCG. I'm always leary of salt and concrete in the same space. So if I have a bad bout, does it all go to pot if I upgrade to a SWCG?

    So much to learn...

    Anyway, thx for the welcome. I'm reading voraciously as I type this!
    Be well all,
    Mack

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Posts
    344

    Re: Mack from Florida

    The folks here can help with most of the questions. You can help us help you by getting us some basic information. Inground or above? Concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl liner? Is there a salt system active on the pool now or just manually chlorinated? What type of filter? Sand or cartridge?

    Everyone here likes pictures. If you get a chance to snap a few of the pool and particularly the equipment pad, we can let you know what you have.

    Regarding the salt vs. no-salt debate. I don't believe folks are reporting corrosion problems with basic concrete, just occasionally some of the softer natural stone surfaces. And some mild issues with bare steel in the pool surround area. You'd just want to be a little careful what type of chairs and such you keep nearby. The salt level in the pool will be much much lower than seawater. There are actually plenty of people that use the BBB method, not a SWCG and still add salt because they like the softer feel of the water. And some that skip the salt altogether. A salt water pool is still a chlorine pool, it's just a different method of producing the chlorine.

    Either way you go, maintaining proper pool water isn't that time consuming or expensive once you have the basics. I actually enjoy it with the morning coffee or the evening drink. I like the ritual of it and knowing the water is just right.

    Keep reading!

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bradenton, FL
    Posts
    17

    Re: Mack from Florida

    Well, it's a caged in ground pool. I am not free to post pics as our offer has not been accepted...yet! (I'm an optimist at heart). It is a typical pool installed with a Florida home without tons of upgrades. So no limestone lining. Seems to look like painted concrete or whatever the material is that extends from the back door and surrounds the pool.

    I think my three real concerns are 1) maintenance time, 2) environmental impact, and 3) health impact. Both my youngest son and I are asthmatic.

    I just have so much to learn about how pools work before I'll even know the questions to ask to properly understand the answers, I guess.

    I have fully read most of the Pool School.

    I've lived near the beach my whole life which is why the corrosion issues tend to resonate with me. That said, I'm still learning and with open ears will listen to whomever presents a case bolstered by science.

    I think at this time I'm really leaning towards keeping it no-salt. Maybe just adding a bit of salt to make the water feel better, but using BBB.
    Be well all,
    Mack

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Sep 2007
    Location
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Posts
    344

    Re: Mack from Florida

    I'm sure a few others will chime in later that have some more specific responses for you. I don't have the technical background to give you all you need in that area. We do have a couple chemistry geeks here that can give you as much scientific data as you can stand.

    We have had a few discussions regarding the salt/ground water issue. You can minimize the impact by using a cartridge type filter instead of a sand filter that requires backwashing. You really won't be dumping any extra water into your area unless the pool itself has a leak...which would be a separate issue.

    As far as using BBB and just adding salt vs. using a SWCG, that's pretty much the same thing. If you're going to have salt in the water...might as well have the convenience of the SWCG. Remember BBB uses the same chlorine as a sanatizer that the SWCG does. The chemistry is basically the same.

    I'm going to leave your other post alone for a little while. Some other folks will chime in here once the sun comes up a little higher...

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    May 2007
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    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
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    Re: Mack from Florida

    Welcome to TFP!
    Josh Ulfers - TFP Supporting Vendor - josh@saltpoolguys.com - 888-725-8766
    SaltPoolGuys.com - AutoPilot Pool Pilot Systems, Parts & Cells - AquaCal Heat Pumps

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