CYA/Chlorine - Angry pool store guy

dntressel

New member
Sep 15, 2018
3
Magnolia/TX
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I went to the pool store today with two objectives. I wanted to test my CYA and buy some acid. "Why don't you test the CYA yourself?," you ask. A few reasons actually... That particular test is the least fun one to do because it doesn't require my auto stirrer. I love my Taylor auto stirrer! So fun! I also have trouble convincing myself when I can no longer see the black dot. Those of you who test your own CYA know EXACTLY what I mean. As I needed get some acid anyway, I figured I would have the pool store test my water for free. Instead of getting some test results and basic chemicals, I got a whole lot of drama!

After the pool store guy tested my water and recognized my chlorine level was low, he asked me what I had my chlorinator set to. I didn't even want to talk about chlorine levels. I already knew it was low when I tested it earlier with my cool auto stirrer! I was literally going to home and add chlorine and acid. Anyway... "Here we go," I thought to myself as I calmly stated, "actually I'm just using liquid chlorine right now." I guess the words "liquid chlorine" triggered the pool store guy because he proceeded to lecture me about how bad liquid chlorine is for my pool. He went so far as to claim that liquid chlorine will raise my TDS levels to the point that the high TDS will render "all the chemicals in my pool ineffective." "We don't even sell liquid chlorine here because we cannot in good conscience recommend it," he exclaimed. Although I wasn't there for an argument, the pool store guy's aggressive nature made me feel compelled to explain myself. I calmly argued that I use mostly liquid chlorine and only use pucks to add CYA when it gets low. I explained that 100% use of pucks previously raised my CYA to up over 100ppm. I argued (very unsuccessfully) that the higher the CYA, the higher the chlorine has to be to maintain its effectiveness. I also explained that the only time I've ever had algae in my pool was when my CYA was over 100ppm and I was maintaining chlorine in the 2-4ppm. The pool store guy angrily responded by stating that CYA up to 200 ppm is completely fine and that his 30 years of experience proves him to be correct. He said TDS levels were much more important. He made a scene in the store, threw my test results on the floor, and said I was managing my pool completely backwards. He yelled, "You're managing your pool all backwards my friend!" Why do people call you their friend when they're trying to insult you? Pool store guys aren't my friends! Anyway, my "friend" then refused to sell me the chemicals I came in to buy. He was so frustrated that he passed me off to a co-worker to ring up the chemicals because he, "just couldn't deal with it." I didn't even want to get into a debate. I just wanted to see what my CYA was, buy some acid, and pick up some Torchy's Tacos next door. Lesson learned. Test your water yourself and don't over analyze the black dot!

Ok, so I know pool stores do not follow the TFP method. But are they now aggressively claiming that the method is flat out wrong and causing harm to your pool!? Is the industry angry at the TFP method because it reduces demand for profitable chemicals that aren't needed? Is this pool store guy so defensive because deep down he knows I'm right? Or is this guy just a bad employee who has happened to have been trained wrong for 30 years? Why is this CYA/Chlorine relationship so divisive in the industry? It's based on science, factual studies, and demonstrated results. I've had no algae, no need to SLAM, and no need to drain my pool for over four years now. Outside of politics, I've never seen so called "experts" deny factual information to such an extent. What is happening!?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
39,247
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Ha ha. That's funny, angry, and sad all wrapped into one "taco". Ha. 30 years just means he's been using the same old generic standards for 30 years. The FC/CYA relationship really gained momentum about a decade of so ago. Some installers/manufactures recognize it while many others still don't Sounds like this guy just has a chip on his shoulder. Some people can't stand to be told they are wrong, then they blow a fuse. In the end, you know better.

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PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
7,395
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I think they get so angry because when you come in the door they see dollar signs from potential sales and when they realize you aren't buying it some simply can't handle the letdown. They are the authority and you should respect that! They are also taught high-pressure sales. My local store just laughs at liquid chlorine requests and asks why would you use laundry detergent in your pool. Try going there with a FC over 5 and see them drool trying to sell you "chlorine down" products and telling you you'll burn your skin.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
51,803
Tallahassee, FL
WOW! What a sad tale of pool *professional* angst! He sure was wound up. Good for you for not losing your cool.

CYA googly eye test-I hate this test so here is what I do to make it work for me. GLANCE in to see if you can see the googly eye. Do NOT look for it because you will end up seeing it even if you can't really see it LOL Pour to the first line, GLANCE in and back out. Did you see the eye? Yes then pour to the next line. Keep going line by line until you can't see the eye with a GLANCE!
 
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KristaM78

Gold Supporter
Jun 29, 2021
208
Illinois
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
They are all nuts! The angry guy at our pool store (not the company that installed) would try to convert me off salt every time I went in. Then from cartridge to DE. Then we starts in on equipment. And how I need a VS pump. I show him a picture of my equipment. He hands it back to me and keeps griping at me about how I need 2 inch plumbing, VS blah blah blah. I was like buddy, take a better look. I’ve got it all!
 

dntressel

New member
Sep 15, 2018
3
Magnolia/TX
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Oh, and by the way ...... welcome to TFP! :wave:
Thanks so much! I followed a pool store guy for the first year of ownership which quickly landed me in my one and only algae problem. Since then I've followed the advice of TFP! TFP is no joke. My pool has literally been trouble free. Thanks so much for the group!
 

dntressel

New member
Sep 15, 2018
3
Magnolia/TX
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
WOW! What a sad tale of pool *professional* angst! He sure was wound up. Good for you for not losing your cool.

CYA googly eye test-I hate this test so here is what I do to make it work for me. GLANCE in to see if you can see the googly eye. Do NOT look for it because you will end up seeing it even if you can't really see it LOL Pour to the first line, GLANCE in and back out. Did you see the eye? Yes then pour to the next line. Keep going line by line until you can see the eye with a GLANCE!
Thanks for the tip! Going to try it next time! This is kind of how I scan a room for roaches in Texas. I don't really want to find a roach so big I could put a saddle on and ride. As Texas sized roaches scare me to death, quickly glancing and seeing no roaches is much better.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
3,389
Chandler AZ
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Keep going line by line until you CAN'T see the dot with a glance.
So say you could see it at 50 and not at 40. Your CYA is somewhere between 50 and 40. There is no way to read between the lines as the sacale is logarithmic and not linear - so you just round up to 50. Then use the FC/CYA Chart to dose FC accordingly. Dose to the high number of the target range.

You can pour the CYA test mixture back and forth between the mixing bottle and test tube a few times to help practice the method @kimkats :kim:outlined.
 

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jseyfert3

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 20, 2017
1,952
Southern WI
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I may be petty, but since I have a printer that can print up to 13x19 I'd print off a picture of my pool, go back to the store, slap it down on the counter and say: "My pool looks like this always. I never have an algae problem. I never shock. I only use liquid chlorine to properly manage my CYA levels. And despite higher than 'industry standard' levels of FC, I don't have fading swimsuits, skin or eye irritation, and I've had multiple people ask me if there's even any chlorine in it because it doesn't smell the slightest bit like chlorine." Then walk out and never come back.
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Or also, could print a stack of pictures of these pools and say I get my advice from people that know how to maintain pools. I'm just here to buy chemicals, and I'll happily take my money elsewhere if you'd prefer to not sell me what I want. Honestly, after that, I wouldn't ever shop there again.
 

Katygreys

Gold Supporter
Mar 5, 2022
218
Katy, TX
Pool Size
18000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I will also occasionally get them to test cya for the same reason. I kinda don’t know why I do it because sometimes they are waaaaay off and I disregard their result. Sometimes they are close to my result to I feel better about my result. So it doesn’t really make sense… But, when I do have them measure cya, I say CYA only please. CYA only.

When then start off on the usual propaganda I just nod my head and agree. There is no way I’m getting into a CYA/FC relationship conversation with these guys!! I just nod my head and agree.

Remember, the PS is the Mecca of secret pool knowledge. Their complex, perfect methods have been dumbed down so that they can communicate with idiots like us. How could we POSSIBLY understand what “baking soda” is??? Thank you PS for coming up with the genius name of “TA Down”. What a load off my feeble mind!!!

It would be awesome if the next time you look on the back of a Nestle chocoooate chip bag and read the recipe, it calls for 1 tsp TA Down;)
 

Sunnydaze

Silver Supporter
Mar 8, 2021
463
AZ
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I have learned that many pool "professionals" are absolutely set in their ways and refuse to learn anything new or admit they are wrong. I've heard some wild claims from people saying they've been "pros" for decades.
 
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