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Thread: hello from gtm

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    gtm's Avatar
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    hello from gtm

    Hello folks,

    I’m Gary, father of two boys and husband of Julie, who you’ll hear more about later. Also a Professor of Physical Oceanography (Marine Physics) when I have time for it after dealing with the pool. Please see my signature for some details about the pool and let me know if I’ve buggered that up. I’ll be happy to try again if need be.

    The following is the tale of woe that brought me here. I’m sure that most of you have heard this sad story before, but hopefully another telling will provide a little (well-deserved!) gratification for what you’re doing in this forum, and perhaps give you a laugh or two along the way.

    I came here about 12 years ago from the University of Hawaii and, thanks to a remarkable difference in the cost of living between Honolulu and St. Petersburg, managed to buy a nicer house than a simple professor generally rates. The house had a pool, of course, which was the first step on the path that brought me to this forum.

    It was a marcite pool and not in very good shape, so after I met and married Julie we decided to have it re-done in fiberglass. One son came along with Julie and another, who for some reason looks a lot like me, somehow appeared about a year after the wedding. It seemed important for them to have a nice place nearby home to swim.

    Enter Pool Fool (not his real name), who was a one man band recommended for pool service by the installer, since at that time none of the larger companies, including the one I’d been using up to that point, would have anything to do with a fiberglass pool. Please don’t ask me why. I don’t know.

    Six months in I wanted to fire Pool Fool, but Julie was adamant that chemicals and small children would not be allowed in the same house, meaning that I was not allowed to give it a go. Since Julie is very smart, pretty, usually funny, a great mom and not often this much of a pain in the nevermind, I decided to stay with Pool Fool in order to stay with Julie. Life is about choices.

    For years now after the water temperature gets above 80 degrees (meaning when I want to start swimming), the pool has spent about 60% of the time green. I spoke to Pool Fool about it many times and got many entertaining explanations. My personal favorite was the one about it all being due to raccoons pooping in the pool at night. When I pointed out to him that the pool was completely enclosed and that there was no way for them to get in, he nodded sagely and, while looking around suspiciously, said, “Yep, they’re really tricky.” When I mentioned that my dog was also there 24/7, he just nodded, as if to imply that my beloved Spot was in on it.

    After many years, Julie finally got tired of listening to me complain (and the boys had gotten older, of course), so she gave me permission to fire Pool Fool about two months ago. I know it’s somewhat small of me, but I really enjoyed the subsequent conversation with Pool Fool.

    Please note for future reference that part of the deal with Julie was that I was not allowed liquid chemicals, meaning liquid chlorine in particular, around the house, so I have to admit up front that I can’t do the BBB thing exactly. I know what you’re thinking, but please remember the “very smart, pretty, usually funny, a great mom and not often this much of a pain in the nevermind” part and be patient with me.

    Next I entered the Pool Store phase. This didn’t last nearly as long. The pool was pea green when I went there. Almost $200 later the pool was clear, but the algae would come back after a day or two. Not to mention that the six times I visited the store over two weeks’ time I talked to six different people. Half of them seemed competent and half of them seemed honest, but I couldn’t find one person where the two features seemed to co-exist.

    I went to another Pool Store after that. This was one that my neighbor recommended. I think that these people are quite honest, actually, but they’re very much “fly by the seat of the pants” sorts, which makes me uncomfortable. They don’t think much of testing. After I’d started doing my own testing, but before I really knew much about what the results really meant, I took them a sample a day or so after putting in the 8 pounds of 73% cal hypo they insisted I use to get rid of the algae and they told me that the chlorine level was 6 ppm, and it was fine to let the boys back in. This was when I was still reading levels over 30 ppm. And now with a little more experience I think this was just because their kit saturated, so the guy just guessed. Needless to say this didn’t give me a real warm, fuzzy feeling.

    During the Pool Store(s) phase I discovered (via many Google searches for various questions) the Pool Forum. I sure hope it’s not in bad taste to mention another forum here, but I found you all from them (when I found out that one couldn’t register there anymore), and I also noticed that many of the expert posters here were also posting over there. If I’m committing a faux pas here, please let me know and I’ll be very careful in the future not to do it again.

    In any case, I bought a K-2006 kit. BTW, I wish I’d known about the TF-100 kit earlier because of the larger reagent sizes and the larger CYA test path length, but I just found out about this a few days ago. In any case I started testing every day while also doing a huge amount of reading. I also got a short course in carbonate chemistry from my Chemical Oceanography buddy down the hall. Cost me a couple of beers, but it was worth it.

    After two months of this I’m hoping that I’ve learned enough that I can ask intelligent questions. I definitely have some questions, but I’m working through your existing stuff first to see if my questions have already been answered.

    Sorry to take up so much of your time if you were willing to read all the way through this silly introduction and are now wondering why you did. Just trying to have some fun. But I did seriously want to say thanks for what all of you have already posted in the past. I’ve learned enough already that anything else I get is just gravy!

    Best regards, Gary
    15,000 gal. IG fiberglass pool w/ 1 hp Hayward Max-Flo and 250 lb. Hayward sand filter
    Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and enclosed in a birdcage

  2. Back To Top    #2
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    Re: hello from gtm

    Welcome to the forum! Does Julie keep Laundry Bleach in the house? If she does you have your chlorine source for the pool (however in most parts of FL the refillable carboys from the poolstore are usually more economical. They are twice the strength of ultra bleach).

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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: hello from gtm

    Welcome to TFP!

    Here is a suggestion for you ..

    Every time you think you need to go to the pool store, take a water sample and have it tested and get an estimate on how much their chemicals would have cost you. Take it home with you write it on a piece of paper and put it away somewhere. At the end of the season take out that piece of paper and add it up and take Julie somewhere nice on the funds you've saved by not buying the PS chemicals and wasting your money !

    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: hello from gtm

    Welcome gtm
    I know sometimes us wives/mothers can be a real "pain in the nevermind". It is usually over what we truly to believe to be in the best interest of our children. Introduce her to these boards and let her do some reading for herself, maybe she will come around. I only recommend this if she can appreciate your sense of humor in your post, otherwise you will find yourself bunking with the pool fool. Or, buy a shed then you can put your chemicals there(you thought I was going to say you could bunk there, didn't you ) At least she will know what chemicals the children are swimming with, unlike when pool fool was around.
    Once again Welcome!
    Sharkline 18x33 54"AG, Hayward 1.5hp Perflex D.E., TF-100 test kit

    Finally....a pool of our own!

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: hello from gtm

    Hi Gary,

    Welcome to you, Julie & the boys!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: hello from gtm

    You sure your not a professor of creative writing? Wonderful introduction

    I'm sure you two can come up with a reasonable compromise, perhaps a lockable rubbermaid closet in the garage? Honestly, "all the chems" are just a jug or two of Clorox, which can be kept up on a shelf somewhere, kids won't even notice it. THe other stuff you'll need you will buy and usually promptly put it in your pool, it won't be sitting around. The only other stuff you might need to keep on hand is maybe some Borax or Baking Soda, and why would she be worried about that? Keep it up high on a shelf in a cabinet in the laundry room or something. Kids won't be the wiser.

    Welcome
    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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    Re: hello from gtm

    Quote Originally Posted by gtm
    Hello folks,
    Please note for future reference that part of the deal with Julie was that I was not allowed liquid chemicals, meaning liquid chlorine in particular, around the house,
    Welcome to TFP, and tell Julie she (or who ever does the laundry)can no longer use bleach when doing the laundry
    27' Round AG, 17,200 gallons, sand filter

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    gtm's Avatar
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    Re: hello from gtm

    Hello again,

    I should've replied last night, but yesterday was my birthday so I took off at noon and dragged the family out to the beach. It was 9 pm when we got home and I decided to watch the Rays game instead of getting on line. BTW, when we were heading out I asked Julie if I should take my test kit in order to evaluate the water before I taught the youngest to bodysurf. She said no. Pretty emphatically.

    Two general things first, and then a few specifics. First, thank you all for the warm welcomes to the forum. I certainly feel very welcome and that's much appreciated. Second, thanks to everyone for the reassurances about the bleach and the suggestions about storage. I have to admit that I probably gave the wrong idea with that paragraph. Attempt at comedy gone awry. The real story is that it's just a temporary storage problem that we'll deal with soon. Sorry about that.

    Some more specific replies:

    waterbear - Just wanted to say that I've read a lot of your posts and have paid special attention since St. Augustine and St. Pete seem climatically simlilar and because you also have a fiberglass pool. Seems a good analog for me to pay attention to. Also, I grew up on the east coast (Charleston) surfing and kept a board in St. Augustine while in school in Tallahassee so I have fond memories of St. Augustine. Board is still there if you want to search it out. After board's host and I broke up I was afraid to try and recover it. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff.

    kidsluv2swim - I think I gave the wrong impression with my "humor" about Julie's worries about chemicals. The concerns about the storage problem were mine as much as hers and I surely didn't mean anything that seemed dismissive of moms and their concerns about the kids. I really apologize if that came across badly.

    frustratedpoolmom - No, my degree is definitely in Physics, but many of my colleagues have said that I should probably consider writing fiction instead. I've never been sure what they meant by that, so I just decided to ignore it.

    TizMe - Good idea about convincing Julie with the $$$ saved. When I was trying to fire the PoolFool I used the argument many times that I would save us money. She laughed at me. She said, basically, that I would get so into this that it would end up costing us more money because I always do things 200% or not at all. Also said something along the lines of "Saying Gary has a hobby is like saying Adrian (Monk) is fairly neat." I countered by offering a bet. I'm keeping careful track of costs and after 6 months we will compare to what PoolFool was charging. (BTW, she's tough - she's even making me pay for fill water!) We didn't fix the wager, but it seems to me that if I'm doing the work and saving US the money, then perhaps SHE should take ME somewhere nice! What do you think? Be careful. I might quote you.

    Thanks again to everyone for the kind welcomes. As I said originally, I'm going to keep reading for a couple of weeks and will likely then have a question or two, or three, or four, or ...

    Cheers, Gary
    15,000 gal. IG fiberglass pool w/ 1 hp Hayward Max-Flo and 250 lb. Hayward sand filter
    Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and enclosed in a birdcage

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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: hello from gtm

    LOL ! gtm ...

    First let me ask you to tell her not to splash when she is in the pool so you dont have to use any fill water you will be charged for because of her enjoyment ... she should just get in and stand in the center of the pool quietly!

    The rest of my answer... I need to sleep on and think of a whitty answer and post tomorrow night ...
    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: hello from gtm

    Another hearty LOL! And as you see, you are most welcome here.

    Nicely played, gtm.

    This part especially:
    No, my degree is definitely in Physics, but many of my colleagues have said that I should probably consider writing fiction instead. I've never been sure what they meant by that, so I just decided to ignore it.
    Most excellent. =)

    As a newbie (who doesn't actually HAVE a pool yet as our new home's escrow closes the end of this month), I totally understand about what West Central Florida offers. The house we are buying with a modest price in Ellenton would run about $2 MILLION in West Los Angeles where we left. So, yes, the Tampa metro area is really nice.

    I can appreciate your wife's stance on things. My wife might swim in the pool, but otherwise, it's as if it doesn't exist. As in, it's ALL me. She's fine with the bleach stuff and other pool chems as all 4 of our kids are past the "oooh! Lets drink from every bottle in the house!" phase.

    I will say, I had to put my coffee down when you mentioned "Saying Gary has a hobby is like saying Adrian (Monk) is fairly neat." Statements this funny require a disclaimer! At the very least a hint of the humor to follow... I'm the same way, btw. And I'll not be showing THAT to the wife as the last thing I want is to have her start calling me, 'Monk'. Occasionally, I have CDO (it's like OCD, but with the letters in alphabetical order like their SUPPOSED to be), so I'm fair game for that tomfoolery.

    I say, Welcome! I look forward to your questions in the weeks and months ahead.

    Be well all,
    Mack
    Be well all,
    Mack

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    Re: hello from gtm

    Gary, I'm a little late to this game but = Welcome to TFP!!


    You've got the knowledge to care for the pool yourself and certainly the 'right idea" about caring for your own pool. If Julie has a problem with what you do to the pool you might end up with another child if you follow what I would say about it

    I really enjoyed your 'intro' and hope you will share more posts with us (you have a writing style that I would pay to have )

    Again, welcome here and please keep posting
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: hello from gtm

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    If Julie has a problem with what you do to the pool you might end up with another child if you follow what I would say about it
    27' Round AG, 17,200 gallons, sand filter

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    vtowntom's Avatar
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    Re: hello from gtm

    Welcome Gary-

    Although my pool build has only started, I'm going to watch your situation closely. I'm also really new to maintaining the pool chemical levels. Maybe I'll learn something from you.

    -Tom
    Freeform 24' x 31' IG gunite, chlorine pool, 3'-4.5'-6.5' deep, 15K gallons, 8' Dia. Spa, Pentair CNC Plus 420 cartridge filter, IntelliFlo 4160 pump, WhisperFlow WF-30-2.5 HP Spa pump, Pentair .75 HP booster pump, Pentair MasterTemp 400 Heater, MDX Debris Removal system, Intellibrite Color LED lights, Tropical Breeze PebbleTec, Pentair Legend Platinum pressure side pool cleaner

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    gtm's Avatar
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    Re: hello from gtm

    Thanks to everyone for the additional responses. Sorry to be a little late replying, but I'm doing the road warrior thing at the moment.

    Hello Mack, I love that CDO bit! I'm definitely going to steal it and won't give you any credit whatsoever. But at least I'm honest when I'm lying and cheating, right? Did you notice the spooky karmic stuff going on here? We both moved from out west to St. Pete and Bradenton, joined the Forum just 3 hours apart on 11 August, and share (some) of the CDO thing. I'm all ashiver. But seriously, thanks for the kind words about the intro. I had fun writing it, which is reward enough, but it's always nice if someone else enjoys it.

    Hi waste. Thanks for the encouragement. I've read a lot of your posts. Great stuff. As far as Julie and the possible 3rd child, I think Poolidiot had the perfect response! I have to admit that it took me a few seconds to "get" that one. Thanks especially, though, for the encouragement to post my questions. I've about got my nerve up to it, but I think I'm going to post one first to say where I'm at now chemistry-wise and how I decided to settle on those numbers, and see what the experts think. If I've got something screwed up in the chemistry, then no need to start with secondary issues, I think.

    Finally, welcome to vtowntom. I've already learned a tremendous amount here and I'm sure you will, too. Hope Gustav didn't get to you.

    Cheers, Gary
    15,000 gal. IG fiberglass pool w/ 1 hp Hayward Max-Flo and 250 lb. Hayward sand filter
    Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and enclosed in a birdcage

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    gtm's Avatar
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    Re: hello from gtm

    Hey folks,

    Several months now since my "Introduce yourself", but couldn't figure out a better place to put this message. This is my first experience with a forum and the first time I've heard of "avatars", but thanks to my lovely wife I've finally found one! (Look left)

    In college, three friends and I were known as "The Turtle Boys" following a fairly strange encounter with the dark side in the Florida Keys. This picture is just too perfect.

    What does this have to do with pool care? Absolutely nothing. Sorry about that.

    Cheers, Gary
    15,000 gal. IG fiberglass pool w/ 1 hp Hayward Max-Flo and 250 lb. Hayward sand filter
    Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and enclosed in a birdcage

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