Are some pool chemicals that the salespeople push unnecessary?

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,308
Laughlin, NV
Phos Out and Clarifier clogged up your filter.

Keep the tablets, cal hypo, and the baking soda, take the rest to the Community Hazardous Waste site.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,176
Central California
Hi, just wanted to sneak in and welcome you to TFP. And to encourage you to make good use of this resource. Study the articles about the TFP method of pool care. And keep asking lots of questions. I really struggled with my pool when I first owned it, and eventually it got ruined. I used pool stores and pool guys. It was just not working. My pool eventually got destroyed and I had to start over with a new finish. I stumbled on this site when I got the new finish. I ended up firing the pool guy and started taking care of it myself. My pool is now awesome!! Crystal clear. No algae. No calcium build up. Since I took over, I don't, and never have, put anything in my pool save four things: salt, chlorine, muriatic acid and cyanuric acid (CYA). That's it. Super easy to maintain. Very inexpensive (compared to what I used to spend). Pool care is waaaaay easier than I thought it would be, thanks to TFP.

Regarding your friends... it's cool that they tried to show their appreciation for use of the pool by trying to help you with it. But they actually caused you some trouble that you'll now have to straighten out. Frankly, it was a bit presumptuous of them to dump a bunch of chemicals into your pool, but it's hard to blame them when their hearts were in the right place, and all they really did wrong was to trust a pool store (how could they know that that's one of the worst things you can do for a pool!!). Just laugh it off, or don't say anything about it. Get rid of all those "unknown" chems and maybe start over with new water. Then do it right going forward. They don't have to know that. Have them over a few times and that will "repay" them for what they spent.
 

spequigney

Member
May 20, 2020
15
Ellicott City, MD
Yes, many of them are probably unnecessary. Pool stores are there to sell chemicals and most of them take a one size fits all approach.
I've found that the finger points both ways - pool stores say that web sites like this take a one-size approach, meaning that they ignore geographical and weather differences. I'm not taking sides, just making a relevant point.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,588
NW Ohio
pool stores say that web sites like this take a one-size approach, meaning that they ignore geographical and weather differences
Ah yes, the local for-profit stores say that they provide necessary localized information. Certainly no reason to be skeptical about that.

Also of note: did you notice when you registered that you were required to put in your location? And that we have users from all over the US and Canada who have experience with these local conditions? So I rather question how such a statement could be considered a "relevant point" when before you can even ask a question we ask for your location so it can be taken in to account.

To the finer point, local conditions do not affect the underlying techniques. The FC/CYA Chart does not change depending on location, only the ideal CYA level. Despite the sales tactics there aren't special algae that only lives in one part of the country or another, chlorine kills them all. The idea of local conditions having a huge effect on water chemistry requirements is just another exaggeration created to push sales. As with most things said by pool stores, it is rooted in truth but then pushed hard in whichever direction makes the most financial gain.
 
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anotherpyr

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
94
Columbia, MD
As far as the tablet floater goes, if anyone is going to use one, take it out and put it somewhere the kids can’t get to it when they’re in the pool. They may treat it as a toy. And honestly, you don’t need or want one.
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,594
Atlanta Ga
Was reading this thread..The reason I started doing my own was my pool would be perfect and everytime the pool store tested my water it always seemed to need about $100 in stuff. Like $25 baking soda :)
 
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cledee

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2020
36
Concord, NH
I've found that the finger points both ways - pool stores say that web sites like this take a one-size approach, meaning that they ignore geographical and weather differences. I'm not taking sides, just making a relevant point.
This website takes an approach of learning how to test and maintain your own pool. I had no idea what chemicals did to my pool, I just followed what the pool stores told me based on their testing and their weekly program. I understand why they want you following their program, as you would be spending over $1,000 if you have a seasonal pool or $2,000 year round. Because of this website I can test and maintain my own pool and still go to the pool store and get what I need. I spend about $35 a month on Chlorine now and probably $9-$18 on MA for the season.
 

PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
302
Lathrop, CA
I've found that the finger points both ways - pool stores say that web sites like this take a one-size approach, meaning that they ignore geographical and weather differences. I'm not taking sides, just making a relevant point.
The way I see it, it is irrelevant who says what.
The results speak for themselves. And it's quite clear from the thousands of members here, from not only US but around the world, that the TFP methods simply work.

And I have yet to see a one size fits all responses here, well maybe with the exception of getting a good test kit, standardized signature and posting test numbers.

Can you give specifics the one size fits all approach on here, or are you just saying what some pools store employee told you?
Even the geographical and weather argument makes no sense, since the CYA level is not a fixed number, but a range. And with this range the FC levels also have a range and are not fixed.

Yet, the pool store methods, while accept a wide range for CYA levels, only recommend FC of 2-3ppm, no matter the location, batherload etc.
So, what specifically do they cater to location and weather differences?
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,594
Atlanta Ga
I believe if pool stores would be more like Homedepot they would do better with this crowd..You can go in Homedepot and wire an entire house and never ask for help...BUT if you need help they are there..
But I also believe they take advantage of too many people and over sale stuff..I get it, they are there to make money

Think about this, instead of going to discountsalt you could walk in and see 6 different types of SWG and they are competitively priced? Or want a S200 robot and know they maybe $20 more at the local pool store??
When I bought my cartridge filter I can't remember the pricing but it was day and night, something like $600 online vs $900 in the store and mine came from Amazon..If it was bad a quick chat and new one will be on the way ASAP.
 
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red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
587
Houston, TX
This website takes an approach of learning how to test and maintain your own pool. I had no idea what chemicals did to my pool, I just followed what the pool stores told me based on their testing and their weekly program. I understand why they want you following their program, as you would be spending over $1,000 if you have a seasonal pool or $2,000 year round. Because of this website I can test and maintain my own pool and still go to the pool store and get what I need. I spend about $35 a month on Chlorine now and probably $9-$18 on MA for the season.
One of my business associates was quoted $2900 per year for pool service!!!! He decided against putting in the pool!!!

The MAIN thing that is pushed here, HARD, is to get a proper test kit and check pool levels often. Make adjustments and soon you will KNOW what the pool needs based on the conditions (Sunny Day, Cloudy, Rainy, etc.). Anyone following TFP methods will use fewer chemicals, spend less money, spend less time working on the pool and more time in the pool. I have been IN my pool more this summer than any year I can think! And no more STINKING MUSTARD ALGAE!
 
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red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
587
Houston, TX
I believe if pool stores would be more like Homedepot they would do better with this crowd..You can go in Homedepot and wire an entire house and never ask for help...BUT if you need help they are there..
But I also believe they take advantage of too many people and over sale stuff..I get it, they are there to make money

Think about this, instead of going to discountsalt you could walk in and see 6 different types of SWG and they are competitively priced? Or want a S200 robot and know they maybe $20 more at the local pool store??
When I bought my cartridge filter I can't remember the pricing but it was day and night, something like $600 online vs $900 in the store and mine came from Amazon..If it was bad a quick chat and new one will be on the way ASAP.
I was looking to the S300i. I checked the local guy and he wanted over $1500 for it! I picked up the same machine, in a different color & without the caddy I'll never use, for around $1050. I would never had known how to review the machines without TFP.
 
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cledee

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2020
36
Concord, NH
One of my business associates was quoted $2900 per year for pool service!!!! He decided against putting in the pool!!!

The MAIN thing that is pushed here, HARD, is to get a proper test kit and check pool levels often. Make adjustments and soon you will KNOW what the pool needs based on the conditions (Sunny Day, Cloudy, Rainy, etc.). Anyone following TFP methods will use fewer chemicals, spend less money, spend less time working on the pool and more time in the pool. I have been IN my pool more this summer than any year I can think! And no more STINKING MUSTARD ALGAE!
Once I got the stirrer it was a game changer for me. I feel so confident in my own testing. But also reading the ABCs, pool school, basically anything that affects the chemistry I've read about and now even before testing i can already get an estimate in my head of what the levels are going to show. It was so painful bringing a water sample to the pool store almost daily and not being able to swim.
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,594
Atlanta Ga
Once I got the stirrer it was a game changer for me. I feel so confident in my own testing. But also reading the ABCs, pool school, basically anything that affects the chemistry I've read about and now even before testing i can already get an estimate in my head of what the levels are going to show. It was so painful bringing a water sample to the pool store almost daily and not being able to swim.
I want my Iron tested but can't make myself walk in there :)
 
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