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Thread: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

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    pool4me's Avatar
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    Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    I went back and forth trying to decide to post this question in the Swimming Pool Equipment Category or the Testing Category. I thought here would be more appropriate.

    I'm planning on using the BBB method for our current pool. (15x33 Above Ground). The current Hayward Sand filter has a Pool Frog Installed (Owner of the home before us). I've never used one. In the past, Ive used other types of automated chlorinators or manually added it.

    Does anyone have any opinions on the Pool Frog? I've looked at a bunch of info on their site along with my manuals. On one hand, the "mineral cartridge" is about $75.00 per season and the Chlorine Cartridges are just a bunch of tablets. I was planning to "go BBB" and who knows the effectiveness of the mineral cartridge vs other methods..

    On the other hand, the "claims" are that it reduces chemical usage etc (Opinions welcome on that).

    My questions was:

    Is it possible to use the system (mineral and tablet cartridges) to supplement the BBB method (or, I guess I should say Along with the BBB method) ??

    I was out there today getting ready to remove the system and thought I'd ask before I did. Since we just moved in, and it's been years since we've had a pool, I wanted to get some opinions before next season. The current owner swears by it , says it cuts down on chlorine usage and it works well.

    Any and all opinions welcome.

    I've been looking over the BBB method on the forum and getting ready for next season. Great source of info. I'm just getting ready to order my TF test kit and get ready for next year.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    Re: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    For info on the Frog and other 'mineral systems' read this thread:
    viewtopic.php?f=8&t=3025
    IMHO, it's just a drain on your wallet! (and using trichlor can lead to overstabilization!)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    Ditto what Waterbear said, and from my own personal experience of having one for 6 years, I don't recommend it. Big waste of your money and only leads to other problems.
    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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    pool4me's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    Thanks for the info and opinions.

    I too was worried about the "cycle" that you can get into using trichlor and it's no secret that the cartridges for this thing are Waaaaaaaaay expensive. (for tablet trichlor in a little cartridge that is...)

    I kind of like the idea of the mineral cartridge from what I've read about it but again, I'm not sure it would be of any benefit while using the BBB method.

    To me, it looks like an expensive auto chlorinator but wanted to confirm. Any other comments are welcome.

    Ps. Waterbear. Thanks for the link. That's some great info. (I was searching pool frog etc and couldn't seem to find what I was looking for).
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    I'm one of the few members who uses trichlor together with 12% (or so) liquid chlorine, but I use the trichlor very sparingly, at a level of 1/8 of full capacity. My primary sanitation chemical is liquid chlorine. I continue to use the trichlor feeder because we're often away on the weekends and it keeps a small amount of chlorine going into the pool when I'm not there to monitor the chemical balance.

    This has worked well for me but it did take some tweaking initially to get the setting on the feeder right. I start out with zero CYA at the beginning of the season, add enough to get 30 ppm, and end the season with between 50 and 60 ppm CYA. Given the really small amount of trichlor I go through in a 4 months season - 14 pucks total - I shudder to think of what the CYA levels would be if I used it exclusively.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    pool4me's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    Thanks Anna K.

    What type of feeder are you current using? My original search was trying to find some additional info on the Pool Frog / other types of automated feeders. I too am away for sometimes 2-3 days and was planning to use the BBB method.... but was also looking "around" to see if using some type of floating feeder / auto feeder (at very , very low levels of course) would be an option / help to supplement.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    Mine is a Hayward feeder designed to take eight 3" trichlor pucks at a time.

    I have never used it to its full capacity. We completed our pool late in the season the one year and ran the trichlor feeder for maybe a month before we closed at the end of that October. By the beginning of the new season I had found Ben Powell's Pool Forum where I learned about the relationship between CYA and trichlor. It took some time for the CYA/chlorine chemistry to sink in but by that first full season I had figured out two things:

    1. The world will not end if I get "too much" CYA in my water, and
    2. I control how much of it goes in there by how I use trichlor.

    That first full season I adjusted the feeder settings many times and did a lot of CYA testing. I also began adding chlorine as sanitizer. Last year, 2007, I began to run the feeder at 1/8 strength, adding liquid chlorine as needed to keep the FCs commensurate with the CYA readings. For my system, that's about 32 oz every three days. My 2-speed pump is on a timer and runs 8 hours at night on low, feeding a small amount of chlorine into the water. I can go away for a few days without worrying about returning to a green pool.

    We left it alone during our 2 week vacation just recently. There was some very minor algae growth on the bottom in the area where there is the least circulation when we came back. I took care of that by brushing and adding a shock level of chlorine.

    Using a trichlor feeder can work but it does require some diligence, especially at the beginning as you learn your own system's response. And there are drawbacks. I found that my water becomes acidic when I cover the pool with a solar cover for an extended period of time (1 week). This may not happen in pools maintained strictly with bleach, I don't know, but it's an issue that's easily resolved.

    There are other ways to protect a pool during an absence. You could bring the water to shock levels just before you leave and let the chlorine slowly drift down. Or you could do nothing and shock it when you come back, if it needs it. IMO, the most important things is to get to know each pool and learn how it reacts to use, weather, contaminants, and base your decisions on those observations.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    Anna is right there are ways to use trichlor effectively provided you understand what can happen and stay on top of the situation.

    If one were to use trichlor there are much cheaper ways to do so than the frog which is ridiculously overpriced. But the main drawback besides the costs associated with the mineral cartridge and the bac-pacs is what the mineral cartridge puts in your pool, specifically silver and copper. The copper resulted in my blonde family members, friends and the white hair on my dog to turn green. I also developed a nasty copper staining around the waterline and the skimmer.

    It was convenient, especially for vacations, so I don't necessarily have an issue with an autochlorinator used sparingly and the resulting effect to CYA and PH monitored properly. Good luck!
    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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    pool4me's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    frustratedpoolmom and Anna k

    Thanks very much for the detailed responses.

    Upon reading some info about the pool frog, I did notice the copper content as well. (Not exactly what I want in the pool with a blonde wife...

    It would be great if I could use it on a very low setting for a "supplement" without the mineral "cartridge" but I think it's best just to remove it.

    I agree with frustratedpoolmom as well. It's been years, but I think once I get a good idea of the characteristics of the pool, it should be easier to get an idea of how to keep it maintained. Like you said... a shock before leaving or upon returning may do the trick. I'm sure it will take just a bit of experimentation to get it right where I'll need it.

    Thanks again for the great info.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    I have the frog system as when I purchased my house the previous owner had it all set up like that. I travel alot for my job and we are gone alot through out the summer, so its nice to have this system. I see an awful lot of negative responses about the frog system but I don't really have any issues. i used it for 4 years so far. I have not had any blonde issues. I typically replace the mineral pack ever 2 years. I usually try to add some shock to the pool to help with the Free chlorine too. I will probably start using the liquid chlorine this summer. I have not had issues with over stabilization yet either...maybe thats coming....not sure.

    Jeff
    25k gal vinyl AquaRite T-15 Raypak RP2100 Heater

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwalker
    I have the frog system as when I purchased my house the previous owner had it all set up like that. I travel alot for my job and we are gone alot through out the summer, so its nice to have this system. I see an awful lot of negative responses about the frog system but I don't really have any issues. i used it for 4 years so far. I have not had any blonde issues. I typically replace the mineral pack ever 2 years. I usually try to add some shock to the pool to help with the Free chlorine too. I will probably start using the liquid chlorine this summer. I have not had issues with over stabilization yet either...maybe thats coming....not sure.

    Jeff
    It'd be interesting to see what your CYA and copper levels are after four years of the frog. Who knows? You might be the exception to the rule (there is generally one for every rule, right?). I can only speak from experience - I had problems with the Aquasmarte, which is the pool frog by another name.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    Welcome Jwalker,

    Basically with your method of using the Frog, you are using it like an inline chlorinator, because the mineral cartridges are supposed to be replaced every 6 months, so if you only replace it ever 2 years, your mineral levels are likely very low. Bumping up the FC is a good idea, I would suspect (unless you have had regular water replacement) that your CYA is likely very high.
    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: Pool Frog Question.... To use or not to use.

    If you are set on using a mineral system there is a much cheaper way to do so than either the pool frog or Nature 2 systems. Just add some copper algaecide every 3 months! (Note that I am NOT RECOMMENDING THIS! I am just pointing out that a $15 bottle of copper algaecide every three months will do exactly the same thing! You can let the FC drop very low, let the CYA get too high and you won't get algae BUT your water is NOT sanitized and you run the risk of staining!)

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