help - new to pools and very confused

texasgirl2009

Gold Supporter
May 31, 2020
21
Dallas, TX
hi - we installed a pool 1 month ago and I'm so confused! Its a 21K gallon fiberglass pool with a SWG. i'm really confused on what targets to use for chemicals.
The pool handbook from the pool manufacturer (Leisure pools), says our targets are :
pH – 7.2-7.4- not higher due to calcium buildup
TA – 80-120
CH – 150-200 (also says there NO reason to add calcium Chloride to pool ever)
FC 1-2
Stabilizer 30-50

But the TFP SWG article says it should be :
pH – 7.2-7.5
TA – 60-80
CH – says 350 in one spot, at the end it then says - (220-320)
FC – 4-6
Stabilizer – 70-80

TFP chemical "calculator" when I put in fiberglass/SWG says PH 7.6-7.8 and CH 350-550 (rest the same)

The local Pool store (Leslies) - I got a TFT-100 test kit, but also took water there, they recommend:
Ph 7.2—7.8
TA 80-120
CH – 200-400
FC 1-4
CYA 50-100

Which one of these should I go by?? Why is the FC rec so much higher in the TFT SWG article?
Can't figure out if I am reading something wrong somewhere.
thank you for any help!
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,253
Key West, FL
I would ignore all of the other recommendations aside from TFP. I do think that 4-6 is a target level though. I recall when he wrote the recommendations it was based on the fact that the SWG is putting out a steady output of chlorine so its easier to maintain at the lower end. I wouldn't worry about the 6 unless say, you were having more bathers than normal.

I haven't been on the forum much in recent years so maybe recommendations have changed, but we used to recommend 60-80 for CYA and run it at a FC of 3-5. That's where I have kept all my SWG clients and never have any issues...

At the end of the day, every pool is unique and you'll need to determine what your pool's ideal settings are for the SWG. This will happen in time, as you get to know your pool. :)

Hope this helps.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,253
Key West, FL
I'll just add that those other recommendations sound like they are for non-SWG pools, and also whoever wrote them just doesn't have a clue. lol ;)
 

Dtkokay

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2019
384
Houston, Texas
I'm new to pools as well, with our pool now being two months old. I faced the same dilemma: follow the TFP methods here that so many have had success with, or go by what the plaster company and pool company recommend. It's also difficult because the plaster company and pool company say that you have to follow their recommended levels for warranty purposes.

Ultimately, I chose to do the following:

* For chlorine and CYA, I follow the TFP levels because it makes so much sense (more CYA means you need more chlorine). From what I can tell, the worst pool care issue is algae, and the proper level of chlorine seems to be the #1 defense against that. I have read SO MANY first hand stories on this forum from people with very high CYA and the "proper level" of chlorine. What I haven't seen are people reporting following the TFP levels of chlorine and then having algae problems.

* For the other water parameters, the TFP levels and plaster / PB levels have some overlap, so I keep my numbers within the
overlap range, or pretty close to it.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,230
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
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IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,419
Milwaukee, WI
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
The pool industry (pool stores, manufacturers, equipment makers, etc.) don't take the FC/CYA relationship into account. Their recommendations are based on decades-old numbers that don't really get changed. You can follow them if you want, but people here are only going to give advice based on the TFP recommendations.

The higher TA recommendations are based on using chlorine tabs/pucks, which are acidic, and not a SWG / liquid chlorine, which are pH neutral. Without the acid, natural CO2 offgassing will slowly cause the pH to rise. Higher TA will cause quicker rise. 50ppm of TA is a good minimum to prevent sudden pH 'crashes' and offer a buffer without a lot of rise, but every pool is different. My sweet spot currently seems to be about 70ppm - it hasn't gone up all year, and in fact I recently added some Borax because it was hanging out around 7.1 / 7.2 pH.

Warranties on new equipment might require you to use their levels. You're kind of stuck there. Use their levels or void the warranty - if it were me, I'd use their levels until the warranty expired, then swap over. They're not so far out of wack that a little adjustment won't correct it.
 
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IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,419
Milwaukee, WI
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
If they don't let you go above 2ppm of FC to keep to the warranty - you're kind of stuck either keeping very low CYA (and probably supplementing with a lot of bleach to make up for the sun loss), or to risk getting algae blooms. I'd be on top of the testing daily (which should be done anyhow) until the warranty is up and keep right at the lowest CYA they allow and the highest FC they allow.

That or maybe a neighbor's pool water accidentally is brought in for testing every so often to maintain the warranty.... ;)
 

Berger82

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2018
85
Richmond, TX
thank you all! It does say I need to use their levels to maintain the warrenty, so sort of stuck there.
How are they going to know what your levels are? If a pump or filter breaks while under warranty, are they going to seriously blame your chlorine levels. Stick with what these folks say if you want a TFP pool.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,419
Milwaukee, WI
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
How are they going to know what your levels are? If a pump or filter breaks while under warranty, are they going to seriously blame your chlorine levels. Stick with what these folks say if you want a TFP pool.
From what I hear, some warranties require people to bring their water to a pool store regularly to ensure the levels are in line and keep those records.
 

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