Can't commit to daily bleach, what's 2nd best?

ryoung81

Member
Aug 9, 2020
7
McAllen, TX
I have a small pool (~8700 gallons), we've had it for 3 years and all that time I've had a company service it. They always used tri-chlor pucks. I haven't been happy with the service for a while and I've finally decided just to do it myself. I got my TF-100 kit a few weeks back and I've started tracking chemicals. CYA is high - but doesn't seem crazy high. I'm in deep south texas (McAllen), and we get a fair amount of heat and rain - so maybe that's helping.

My wife and I are business owners and I just can't commit to being able to drop in liquid bleach every day. Some days are 18 hour days - and other times I leave for 2 or 3 days at a time. I'm happy to use automation, technology - or anything else that will help to ease the "day to day" burden. Suggestions?

These are results from the day the pool guy came - so the FC is a bit low. I'm sure the pucks were already gone from the prior week service.
PH: 7.5
FC: 5.5
TA: 90
CH: 600
CYA: 80
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,369
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
First move will be to get your own proper test kit so you can see what water chemistry values you really have. I suggest the TF-100 A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.
The most likely method for you will be a Salt Water Chlorine Generator.
If you fill out your signature with what pool type, equipment, etc you have now a better recommendation can be made.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 

ryoung81

Member
Aug 9, 2020
7
McAllen, TX
Welcome to the forum!
First move will be to get your own proper test kit so you can see what water chemistry values you really have. I suggest the TF-100 A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.
The most likely method for you will be a Salt Water Chlorine Generator.
If you fill out your signature with what pool type, equipment, etc you have now a better recommendation can be made.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
Oops, I didn't hit save on the signature edit. The above chemical #'s are from my TF-100 test kit.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,369
Laughlin, NV
Great.
So I assume you have a timer for the pump.
You mentioned automation. Is that something you want to do? It is not necessary for installing a SWCG, but if you want automation for other purposes, it will drive what SWCG (and possible pump replacement) you could look into.
 

Wiggins

Member
Sep 16, 2018
8
McAllen, TX
I have a small pool (~8700 gallons), we've had it for 3 years and all that time I've had a company service it. They always used tri-chlor pucks. I haven't been happy with the service for a while and I've finally decided just to do it myself. I got my TF-100 kit a few weeks back and I've started tracking chemicals. CYA is high - but doesn't seem crazy high. I'm in deep south texas (McAllen), and we get a fair amount of heat and rain - so maybe that's helping.

My wife and I are business owners and I just can't commit to being able to drop in liquid bleach every day. Some days are 18 hour days - and other times I leave for 2 or 3 days at a time. I'm happy to use automation, technology - or anything else that will help to ease the "day to day" burden. Suggestions?

These are results from the day the pool guy came - so the FC is a bit low. I'm sure the pucks were already gone from the prior week service.
PH: 7.5
FC: 5.5
TA: 90
CH: 600
CYA: 80
Hey, I'm in McAllen, too. Your numbers are pretty much mine, and I also used a service for a year that used pucks before doing it myself and switching to liquid chlorine (which company did you hire, BTW?). I used to test every day, but now after seeing the rate that it normally dissipates in our climate, all I have to do is add a gallon of liquid chlorine every 3-4 days and add acid/brush/vacuum as necessary. Never had any algae problems and the water is always crystal clear.

There's nothing much to be done with our hard water aside from draining, but I've never had to drain water aside from after heavy rains.
 

ryoung81

Member
Aug 9, 2020
7
McAllen, TX
@mknauss - Yes I have a timer on the pump. I guess I'm trying to find the shortest route to something that doesn't require daily hand-holding. Doesn't have to be automation. SWCG sounds great - but I don't fully understand the cost involved to get there.

@Wiggins - Thanks for the comparative info. The pool company doing service is AllValley pools. meh. If I only had to add chlorine every few days I could probably cope with that more easily. I guess I really just don't know b/c I haven't pulled the trigger yet on managing it myself. I want to make sure I'm prepared. Where have you found is the best buy for bleach here locally?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,369
Laughlin, NV
The shortest route is buying a SWCG system and having it installed, wired to the timer. It will come on when the pump comes on. You add salt to the pool water and turn it on.
Would you be doing this DIY or hiring someone?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,369
Laughlin, NV
One caveat, you will have to add acid, probably weekly, as your CH is elevated. With out the trichlor, which is very acidic, you will need to add acid to keep the pH and TA under control.
 

PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
302
Lathrop, CA
Automation is one thing, tuning it in is quite another. It doesnt matter if you have to add FC manually or via an SWG, you will have to test on regular basis, daily at first to know how your chemistry behaves. There is really no way around that fact. The act of adding chlorine manually takes a minute or less, provided you tested your FC first and know how much to add.

SWG shines in situations when there is no one home to add chlorine manually. But it will still take you time and testing to dial it in. It is not a "set and forget" type of automation.
 

ryoung81

Member
Aug 9, 2020
7
McAllen, TX
The shortest route is buying a SWCG system and having it installed, wired to the timer. It will come on when the pump comes on. You add salt to the pool water and turn it on.
Would you be doing this DIY or hiring someone?
I think I'd probably be better suited to hire someone to do it - if I go that route.
 
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Chasarms

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2020
347
Dardenne Prairie, MO
A salt water chlorine generator is probably the best alternative as far as long term costs, you may also consider a Stenner or comparable pump with a liquid chlorine tank. That involves filling it every few weeks. In either case, you’ll have to manage pH. Your choices are to do it manually or add a second pump and tank to dose acid.

In any case you’re going to have to test with a reasonably regular schedule to make sure your assumptions are correct.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,369
Laughlin, NV
I think I'd probably be better suited to hire someone to do it - if I go that route.
Then you will most likely need to install one of the major pool equipment manufacturers. For a standalone system, the Hayward Aquarite would be best. I suggest the T15 cell (40K rated).

It will take some effort to dial it in. But as long as you always aim high in chlorine production, should not take long. Then a test every few days to be sure things are working correctly should suffice.
 

Wiggins

Member
Sep 16, 2018
8
McAllen, TX
@mknauss - Yes I have a timer on the pump. I guess I'm trying to find the shortest route to something that doesn't require daily hand-holding. Doesn't have to be automation. SWCG sounds great - but I don't fully understand the cost involved to get there.

@Wiggins - Thanks for the comparative info. The pool company doing service is AllValley pools. meh. If I only had to add chlorine every few days I could probably cope with that more easily. I guess I really just don't know b/c I haven't pulled the trigger yet on managing it myself. I want to make sure I'm prepared. Where have you found is the best buy for bleach here locally?
If you're going to hire a company, then Hamlin is the best (although on the costly side). For chlorine, I just bite the bullet and buy a case of liquid chlorine from Leslie's on 10th - it comes in a case of 4, costs $20, and they store it in better conditions than most others (i.e. indoors). At this point, I don't even bother measuring the chlorine level on a daily basis since I have it into a pretty predictable rhythm (barring storms). The only thing I check for is PH and Alkalinity every week. I go through about 2 cases of chlorine a month.

I guess the point is that with a pool of your size, you can probably get away with putting in a whole gallon of 12.5% liquid chlorine every 3-4 days (assuming the other parameters are in place) and not have to worry about it too much.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,584
NY
Hey Ryoung !! I want to toss my vote in for SWG also. I recently went through a busy week and a half and didn’t test any, But I already hadn’t tested for a week because there is no need to test mine earlier than that once it’s dialed in. So 2.5 weeks on its own and the FC was 12 with plenty of room for error. I was around the whole time and glanced at the beautiful water 100 times but didn’t touch a thing. If you want some breathing room, it is worth many times the cost.

You don’t even need as long as many of us have pushed them and could just make Sunday night the time to do your weekly testing and MA adding once you get the hang of the new system. (Or whatever day works for you).
 
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Puddinman

Member
Aug 24, 2020
18
McAllen, TX
Just wanted to pop in and say I'm in McAllen as well! We should all get together and discuss our experiences some time. My situation is very similar to your yours. I am converting to the TFP Way™ from a puck system as well. I think that's the de rigeur system here in the RGV. I don't think, as Wiggins alluded to, it's necessary to commit to an everyday kind of thing. I'm looking at an SWG system as well so I can spend less time working on my pool and more time enjoying it. My wife and I are like you, I run a medical clinic; my wife is a doctor. We just don't have the free time to dedicate to it all. Looking forward to further suggestions to help me decide which route to take.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,617
Atlanta Ga
Hey Ryoung !! I want to toss my vote in for SWG also. I recently went through a busy week and a half and didn’t test any, But I already hadn’t tested for a week because there is no need to test mine earlier than that once it’s dialed in. So 2.5 weeks on its own and the FC was 12 with plenty of room for error. I was around the whole time and glanced at the beautiful water 100 times but didn’t touch a thing. If you want some breathing room, it is worth many times the cost.

You don’t even need as long as many of us have pushed them and could just make Sunday night the time to do your weekly testing and MA adding once you get the hang of the new system. (Or whatever day works for you).
I 2nd for that reason, was gone 10 days around the 4th of July and left with FC of 7 and returned With the same. I do add acid every week or so as PH creeps up but I am not a perfectionist and just dump a little in :)