New fiberglass pool - TFP vs. manufacturer levels

chazas

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 4, 2007
160
Manassas, VA
I have a new Barrier Reef fiberglass pool where the equipment was just been started up, there have been no chemistry adjustments to date. The pool builder seems in no hurry to do anything except shock it (and it's not that green) until he's done, and is not in a terrible hurry to get there either. I didn't test FC because it's just been sitting there. CH is 175. TA is 90. pH is somewhere off the scale. I will go get some muriatic acid at the hardware store and start working on that.

Anyway, my point. I just compared the manufacturer's recommended levels (which of course are mandated for warranty) to the TFP levels. They're off.

FC: TFP 3-5, Barrier Reef 1-3
pH: TFP 7.2-7.8, Barrier Reef 7.2-7.6
TA: TFP 60-80, Barrier Reef 80-120
CH: TFP 220-320, Barrier Reef 200-400
CYA: TFP 70-80, Barrier Reef 30-60

I want to protect the gelcoat, but if I follow TFP am worried about the effect on the warranty if something does happen, since the recommended FC, TA and CYA ranges don't even overlap. I guess I could aim for the end of the BR range that's closest to the TFP range. What would the experts do?
 
Last edited:

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
chazas, yes, you will see/hear MANY examples of conflicting recommended levels between the pool industry, manufactures, and TFP - most significantly between the FC and CYA relationship. We have LOTS of threads about this issue. For decades, the pool industry has published very basic level recommendations in an effort to accommodate all pool types and scenarios. We know this to be poor management as pools require different levels based on their type, equipment, location, amount of sun, etc. In some locations, an owner may get by with a moderate CYA of 30-40, while in my area, a summer CYA of 50 is almost mandatory and as low as my water can tolerate. Along with that, our staff developed the FC/CYA Chart to show owners how those two items should be balanced together to prevent algae. Notice we also separate salt pools in that equation. The pool industry as a whole doesn't make that distinction either (salt vs non-salt). Just recently I finally saw on teh CircuPool SWG site where they recommend a CYA of 60-80. It's a simple concept really, but in the pool industry, they just push one generic group of numbers and that's it. Also remember that the pool industry pushes chlorine tablets and encourages the use of various pool store chemical treatments and weekly super-shocks which are generally not required and/or can cause negative side effects to your water.

As for your warranty, just like in my case, if you don't have pool store test history the manufacture will say your warranty is null & void. Doesn't matter how poor and inconsistent that store testing is, they need proof to protect their interests. If that's a concern for you, I would recommend getting the water tested weekly or as recommended by your warranty package, but using your OWN valid TF-100 home testing to maintain daily levels. Hope that helps.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
13,754
Evans, Georgia
Ok, fist off, you have to remember that you only have a chlorine pool. Ignore the Bromine entirely.

You can find a happy place using TFP. Basing your FC on your CYA is becoming more known about in the pool industry. We've been pushing it for years. So keep that FC and CYA balanced. FC/CYA Chart

You'll probably find your SWG tends to like to be 7.8 or so. We've noticed that time and again. No problem. Better being slightly high rather than too low.

I find 80 TA very easy to maintain in my Fiberglass pool.

My CH is 210 currently. I'll probably be adding more soon.

I let me CYA sit a skosh lower as I have an autocover and the pool is protected more from sun which burns off the FC.

For fun I run my numbers thru PoolMath to monitor my CSI. It isn't really necessary but it gives me a little reassurance that my pool water isn't overly aggressive or something.

Fiberglass pools are easy peasy to care for, IMO. You'll enjoy yours as much as we do ours, I hope. :)

Maddie :flower:
 

chazas

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 4, 2007
160
Manassas, VA
Sorry, "BR" means "Barrier Reef," the pool manufacturer. I had a bromine spa once, should have thought to be clearer. I'll edit.

I have built and managed two prior gunite pools using TFP (or the old poolforum) recommendations, and loved the SWG on my last one. Just concerned about the conflict between recommendations.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Just concerned about the conflict between recommendations.
Yeah, that's just a slow moving train. Some areas within the industry are beginning to recognize the FC/CYA relationship and make those adjustments, but many others still publish generic standards. I would rely on your own testing for the most part, but capture pool store testing periodically as required for your files - just in case.
 

chazas

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 4, 2007
160
Manassas, VA
And probably manage to the end of the manufacturer ranges, where they conflict with the TFP ranges, as close to the TFP ranges as possible. But my experience is that pools kind of settle down where they want to settle down, so that might not be so easy. TBD I guess.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
13,754
Evans, Georgia
Here's my take on it.... assuming they never told you to have the dreaded pool store tests on record....if I had a problem and expected someone to come inspect said problem, I'd surely have the chemistry where the builder wanted it. Not necessarily before or after the visit, but ...well...you get the idea.....:cool:

Maddie :flower:
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,619
Morris Cnty NJ
Find me a post anywhere about a warranty on a fiberglass pool being honored and I'll be shocked. Warranties these days apply to cars and a new unused product. Anything to be maintained is written off as user error or damage and that's the end of it. Its terrible where things are going these days. Sorry to be a downer. I would maintain the pool like usual. With a SWG you will fight those numbers let the pool tell you what makes it happy
 
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Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
9,808
Eastern Ohio
This kinda shows how pointless the requirement of pool store testing are,

Let’s look at pH or chlorine.......
There is no way either of these levels will remain the same during transport. Your pH will be altered depending on water temp while the FC level will always decrease. These tests are a pointless way of making the user jump through hoops in order to file a warrantee claim. I get the desire to fulfill the requirements, but I also feel they’re pointless.
 

tank47

Bronze Supporter
Apr 28, 2019
96
NJ
glad to stumble on this thread. I was just dialing in my pool chemistry as well and noticed my manufacturer warranty packet and the difference between their recommendations vs TFP. This will be the first season so I'll shoot for the manufacturer recommendations and be happy when the numbers overlap. FWIW, I have a Leisure Pool Fiberglass and they recommend:

pH - 7.2 to 7.4 (aim for 7.4)
TA - 80 to 120 (aim for 80)
CH - 150 - 200 (aim for 200)
CYA - 30 - 50 (aim for 50)