Help me Obi Wan: Pool Store v. TFP

qbot

Member
Jun 8, 2010
18
Central WA
Disclaimer: I am a new pool owner and am weening myself from pool stores. That being said, my local pool store is pretty legit and I trust them...

I went in today to get some new cyanuric acid reagent for my test kit and spoke with my favorite salesman. He asked where I'd been and I told him them I was doing things on my own. I'm pretty proud as my pool is "in the pocket," so to speak, and all of my levels appear to be on par with what they should be after reading this site and using the pool calculator. Anyhow, he asked what my levels are and I told him:

FC: 9
TC: .5
pH: 7.6
TA: 140
CH: 240
CYA: 75

He was shocked, SHOCKED, that my FC was 9. He said it should be around 1-3. I told him that my understanding was that the more CYA I had, the more chlorine I needed to maintain its effectiveness. No, no, no, he said, maybe in Europe, where people are dirtier. Check the Taylor Technologies website, its the industry standard, he said.

So I did, and lo and behold, that's what it says (not about Europe, but about the recommended levels). Now I'm confused...

Add to this, yesterday, my wife takes our son to the local water slide park. I ask her what the water looked like and whether it was chlorine-y. She said it looked great and that our pool is more chlorine-y then the park's. Huh? (Keep in mind, she's hyper sensitive about these things.)

And all this time, I thought I was on target.

Question: My pool looks good. Would the world come crashing down if I let it go to 1-3 ppm for a little bit? What do the collective pool geniuses think?

Q

PS Here's a pic of our dog beating the heat.
 

Attachments

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
If you let the FC come down to 1-3 ppm, I think you would get algae. You could always try it for a week or two and see. Would you want to try it?
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,520
Sebring, Florida
What's taught here works. Thousands of people in every environment have crystal clear pools and have had so for year after year after year.

The largest departure from pool industry "standards" is because the pool industry doesn't understand, or doesn't want to understand, the FC/CYA relationship. They have taught your trusted pool store guy well.

I notice many of us (including me) get mildly defensive and bristle just a little when this comes up....with good reason. WE all know we are correct and the pool industry (members of the flat earth society) are incorrect by omission.

So the pool industry can be like the three monkeys and put their hands over their eyes, ears, and mouths and ignore the truth, but they will have a hard time clearing your pool when you lower the FC.

That's how PF and then this forum came into existance in the first place.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
10,966
Houston, Texas
Read the Taylor articles on CYA. Here is one of three articles concerning CYA. In all of them they mention that 30-50 is "ideal" and CYA over 100 is problematic and will render the chlorine ineffective, but none of the articles say how to address the issue.

The proof is in the experience. If you want to run your pool at 1-3 ppm of chlorine then you need to drain so your CYA is 30.

I think you are doing just fine. In the picture, the water looks beautiful. (And if your dog is a regular addition to the pool you will need that extra FC to combat the organics that cling to his hair. That is not something the Taylor people take into account either.)
 

poolgirl22

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
595
Stephens City, VA
Bring Chlorine to 1-3 you can.
Get algae you will.
Pool stores are clueless, they are.
(Sorry, couldn't resist the yoda-talk.)
 

Ohm_Boy

TFP Expert
May 1, 2007
1,344
Orlando, FL
You know, for a long, long time, people believed that the world was flat, too. Just sayin'
What is presented here was discovered over many years of following the conventional wisdom and having it fail. Years ago, one dude discovered that there was a distinct relationship between CYA level and chlorine effectiveness, and developed a rudimentary chart of the levels based on what he learned managing large commercial pools. That knowledge has been researched and expounded upon by others as well, and this site is a direct result of it. That, combined with the de-mystification of the pool chemical "magic" is what this group is all about.
 

crek31

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2009
877
I agree with everything above (by the forum people, not the pool store people). But . . . and I'm surprised no one (duraleigh) asked: what do you mean by your pool being "clorine-y?" A distinct odor . . . or feel on your skin or eyes . . . what does your wife mean?
 

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
Anything with chlorine in it, be it tap water or pool water, will smell "chlorine-y" once it gets on your skin. This is because your skin is covered by organic contaminants, every day, all the time. As soon as a chlorine source comes in contact with your skin, CCs form. This is just chlorine doing what it is supposed to do.
 

poolgirl22

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
595
Stephens City, VA
257WbyMag said:
Anything with chlorine in it, be it tap water or pool water, will smell "chlorine-y" once it gets on your skin. This is because your skin is covered by organic contaminants, every day, all the time. As soon as a chlorine source comes in contact with your skin, CCs form. This is just chlorine doing what it is supposed to do.
FWIW, my tap water I drank today to take my medicine tasted more 'chlorine-y' than my pool....blech!
 

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
poolgirl22 said:
257WbyMag said:
Anything with chlorine in it, be it tap water or pool water, will smell "chlorine-y" once it gets on your skin. This is because your skin is covered by organic contaminants, every day, all the time. As soon as a chlorine source comes in contact with your skin, CCs form. This is just chlorine doing what it is supposed to do.
FWIW, my tap water I drank today to take my medicine tasted more 'chlorine-y' than my pool....blech!
Yep. Depending on the time of year, our tap water can smell pretty strong.

Really though, has anyone ever noticed how much stronger the chlorine smell is once it is on your skin? Take a whiff of the Clorox bottle with the cap off and then get some on your skin. It's always a much stronger odor once it hits your skin.
 
G

Guest

poolgirl22 said:
257WbyMag said:
Anything with chlorine in it, be it tap water or pool water, will smell "chlorine-y" once it gets on your skin. This is because your skin is covered by organic contaminants, every day, all the time. As soon as a chlorine source comes in contact with your skin, CCs form. This is just chlorine doing what it is supposed to do.
FWIW, my tap water I drank today to take my medicine tasted more 'chlorine-y' than my pool....blech!
Maybe you should be taking your medicine with a Margarita instead of your tap water :party:
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,403
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Tell you what, Ponch, 1-3 ppm is fine... as long as you're willing to shock weekly. And just as an aside, Leslies is having a sale on powdered shock this weekend - limit 12. Follow the pool store guy. We'll still be here when your wallet is empty and your pool is green.
 

poolgirl22

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
595
Stephens City, VA
simicrintz said:
poolgirl22 said:
257WbyMag said:
Anything with chlorine in it, be it tap water or pool water, will smell "chlorine-y" once it gets on your skin. This is because your skin is covered by organic contaminants, every day, all the time. As soon as a chlorine source comes in contact with your skin, CCs form. This is just chlorine doing what it is supposed to do.
FWIW, my tap water I drank today to take my medicine tasted more 'chlorine-y' than my pool....blech!
Maybe you should be taking your medicine with a Margarita instead of your tap water :party:
I agree in most cases, and I can't say I've never done that.......however, sometimes I have tasks that require leaving the house..plus I try to drink 2-4 qts of water each day....may as well get 8-12 oz in with the drugs. :mrgreen:
 

Jersey Devil

Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2007
61
Jackson, NJ
But seriously folks, other than TFP, the prevailing wisdom being advanced by pool "experts" is geared toward selling products, not maintaining trouble-free pools. After all, "trouble" is what takes money to cure. Even the honest guys have been trained in the false doctrine by chemical reps and store owners. I am pretty new to BBB and have done a lot of reading on the forum and elsewhere and my advice is stick to the forum and politely ignore the "experts". In my young and struggling days, I worked part-time in a pool store and among selling tri-chlor and shock and every other concoction they had on the shelves I was also a top flight water tester (giving my share of bad advice, I might add). To get to the point, the reports by pool owners of cloudy and or algae-infested water increased steadily as the summer progressed. Of course, everyone was treating their pool properly and keeping the FC recommended levels. I know now that the probable cause of this phenomenon was the build up of CYA to the point where the lower FC levels became ineffective. Even periodic shocking is not totally effective, as algae is "self-protective" and forms a "bio-film" whereby the dead bodies on the top of the film protect their cousins below. Brushing helps, but you tell me if you have the patience to effectively brush 100% of the surface of a 20x40x8 ft. in-ground pool. Most people don't and the algae comes back. The only cure for algae is prevention. Follow the BBB and the FC/CYA chart. Tell your friends (better yet, hook them up with TFP). Use the pool store for gaskets and poles and such. They have to earn a living somehow.
 

Lershac

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 1, 2007
1,220
Baton Rouge, LA
Is there any research on long term exposure to cl over 3ppm? I can't find anything saying anything bad about it but the hype is strong about it being bad! None of my pool builders were ok with the concept here, but having swum all my life, I bet the long term exposure to the bad stuff in 1-3 ppm pools is worse than the exposure to cl. What about all that dihydrogen monoxide?!?!
 

Jersey Devil

Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2007
61
Jackson, NJ
As previous posts on TFP have indicated, the 1-3 ppm FC is more than adequate to control the water-borne bacteria likely to inhabit a home pool. Drinking water purification is achieved at below these levels. External exposure to the levels recommended here are pretty harmless, though. The issue in pools is algae, which are entirely different organisms then bacteria and which can survive FC levels much higher than bacteria. (By the way - did you know that the acceptable level of bacteria in drinking water is up to 500 organisms per ml. Scary, huh? Fortunately, not all bacteria are bad.)
 
Thread starter Other Threads of Interest Forum Replies Date
K Pumps, Filters, and Plumbing 0
R Introduce Yourself 2
B Everything Else 7

Other Threads of Interest