DIY Pool Maintenance in District 12 (Viet Nam): a harrowing tale

lsemprini

Member
Jul 13, 2021
9
Hoi An, Viet Nam
Thanks to COVID I was "stuck" in Hoi An, Viet Nam for 20 months (good place to be stuck), and as the only tenant in a 6-apartment building (a typical scene as tourism is decimated across Vietnam, Thailand, and all of South-East Asia) I took on the role of maintaining (and enjoying) its pool. Thanks to this forum and many YouTube resources I gave myself a crash course in pool maintenance that was mostly successful.

Since other expats will likely run into the same situation (especially with world-wide COVID tourism collapses) I decided to write up my experiences trying to learn and practice DIY pool maintenance in a part of the world that has NO decent test kits of any kind (not even close to TFP's recommendation), NO pure bleach, NO CYA at all, and truly scary standards of pool safety knowledge and attitudes, even by the so-called "professionals."

Hope you all will get a good laugh out of this, and maybe a few of you living in other District 12s around the world can use the info too...


Wondering if anyone has additional MacGyver-style ideas about how to usefully measure pool chemical levels with very very limited equipment, in the same light as my efforts here:

Test Kits are NOT Made Alike!

Also I never quite figured out this conundrum about how an infinity pool's tank is actually supposed to work; reasoning about the two tanks is actually quite a brain puzzle. Curious if anyone has ideas:

Reasoning about the Infinity Cave Reservoir

Thanks again to all of you who wrote great blog posts and offered great advice!
 
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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,330
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Wow! It certainly is a harrowing tale! You’ve done very well with the few tools you have available at your disposal.
Funny reading about the “flavored” bleach as I often refer to scented bleach as flavored 🤣🤣
Those pits are interesting 🤔 i have never seen anything like it. Maybe someone w/ some knowledge about it will chime in with some input on the way your system functions.
Your experiences make me so thankful to reside in the USA 🇺🇸 where i have access to the things i need.

One note/correction …
44BEE7FF-5285-4A41-BB73-875142F5B3CF.jpeg
Also later on in the article it may also be helpful to explain that FC (free/available chlorine) + CC (combined/spent chlorine) = TC so the full picture can be understood.
As such the entire TC reading could actually be all cc’s- since there’s no distinction w/ oto.
many people are unaware of this possibility, will see yellow & think they’re all good.

We don’t really ever suggest “flying blind” persay but obviously in some cases across the world there’s no other choice besides living with an unusable swamp in your yard.
I have to assume that u are using strips to get a round about measurement of ch perhaps combined with calculating the totals of your cal hypo additions? You don’t really mention it. Just so u know the summary function in PoolMath can help with determining the approximate amount of ch added over any period of time with the cal hypo additions.
In a vinyl lined pool low ch isn’t a problem but high ch can be a problem for all pool types.
 

lsemprini

Member
Jul 13, 2021
9
Hoi An, Viet Nam
Thanks, fixed the TC -> FC typo!

For FC/TC/CC I had this section already but I added one paragraph to specifically call out possibility that FC can be 0 in FC+CC=TC:

Free Chlorine (FC) vs. Total Chlorine (TC)

For Calcium Hardness I never found any useful test at all; I mention that here in the "other" section:

Other Tests

and I added the suggestion about PoolMath.

Would be nice if there is some DIY MacGyver way to measure calcium hardness.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,330
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Would be nice if there is some DIY MacGyver way to measure calcium hardness.
I guess u could use your calculated amount to guess a rough estimate- obviously this doesn’t take into account your fill water ch (which adds ch every time u top up) or what was already in the pool. It would take some information about the source coupled with a fresh fill & then keeping tabs on your additions.
Perhaps you could get that tested at the drinking water place you mentioned? There are also usually records somewhere of the round about hardness level of source drinking water. In the states it’s often public record in the water reports. Sometimes it’s just common knowledge in certain areas.
Example- those who get their water from the Colorado river generally have ch in the 200’s.