New here & have questions/need some help


New member
Sep 10, 2021
Gilbert, Arizona
Pool Size
Hello, I had a older (1979) plaster diving pool for many years and I (or my ex-husband) just always used 3-4 chlorine tabs and would add shock and muriatic acid. Well I moved 3yrs ago (it’s now just me trying to figure this all out and I’m getting fairly overwhelmed) and got a new much smaller pebbletec pool built. They left me with a starter small bucket of chlorine tabs and then scheduled for a guy to come out the following week to walk me through all my equipment. Well during that the guy told me not to use chlorine tabs and only liquid chlorine. Well I was very confused and had already started with the tabs (and bought a huge bucket) plus like I mentioned I had always used them for 18 years in my other pool. My parents had always used them as well. I kept using them and had considered hiring a pool service and had my neighbors pool guy stop by and one or 2 others and they all said they use the tabs and the dip test strips. So I didn’t hire anyone because I thought well I have plenty of tabs and I have the test strips so why pay them. Well by end of first summer took water to Leslie’s to test and they told me I have to drain it when it cools down as my CYA was way too high. Granted I didn’t realize I was adding 3 tabs to my much much smaller pool (7,200 -7,500 gal). So this past February I drained it almost all the way but was still using tabs but just one tab at a time. For the first several months I took my water to Leslie’s to have tested once a month and their water “percentage grade” was 80% then it went to 60% then down to 30% because my CYA was way too high again. And then the constant PH low Alkalinity too high, then i would get the PH up and then AK was too low so then Leslie’s would sell me Alkalinity Up. Struggled all summer and Monday night our temps fell to 50 and our high was 70 so I took the opportunity (by Friday we’ll be at 90 again) and I drained my entire pool. It finished filling back up tonight. So now here I am and need help. I have MA & LC, and of course a ton of tabs. I have not put any in it yet. I’ve read on here I should use LC and not tabs cuz of the stabilizer in the tabs (right? I’m still learning) because that doesn’t burn off and builds my CYA, right? I’ve ditched my dip test trips and my order arrived last week (TF-100 Test Kit, Smart Stir, pH Meter, and Standard Sampler. Although I am a bit intimidated by it all and I have idea how to use the smart stir or PH meter. I will never go to Leslie’s to test my water again (I read what many of you have posted about them, and they were frustrating the Crud out of me before find this wonderful site).

I am in Arizona and so my one concern is if I use LC, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do during the summers because it’s so hot here when I’m gone for several days or a week and am not here to be able to add LC every day or every other day. I don’t live anywhere near anyone that could help/stop by when I’m gone. So not sure how to manage using LC in the summer especially.

Last question for now, so why do so many pool services and probably millions of pool owners use chlorine tabs with stabilizer for many many years? If it’s not great to use why and how is it not more common place for everyone to use LC instead? Do all these millions of people have continually pool water issues then? Everyone I know says they all have used the tabs for 10-20 yrs and never had water balancing issues. I don’t get this.

I would so appreciate any help & direction. :):)


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Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
Do all these millions of people have continually pool water issues then
They do. They have nothing but problems and most everyone here came here in your shoes. It looks like you’ve seen many posts from your *exact* perspective. There are many many many more that will keep making you feel better about it as you stick around.
Last question for now, so why do so many pool services and probably millions of pool owners use chlorine tabs
Pool services can only come once a week but the pool needs daily care. The sun (UV) consumes 2-4 ppm of chlorine daily and needs to be adjusted as such. If they came everyday the bill would be $1k a month at $30 a visit. So they come once a week and ‘shock’ the FC through the roof in the hopes that there is some FC left next week. They toss some tabs in to release more FC slowly and effectively keep raising the CYA. Which then needs more FC to sanitize as more and more of that FC is bound up in the CYA.

Some services know and use the broken system to be a cash cow, and others just do what the industry (and a bazillion unsuspecting pool owners) have always done.

We got you now and it’ll be easy peasy once you learn the basics. There’s always folks around to help so ask away anything at any time.

Welcome to TFP !!

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
I like the analogy that "A pool is like a pet, and it needs to be fed everyday". So what's it's diet? ... chlorine. So what product is best? In 99% of the cases, the best pool food is liquid chlorine (or regular bleach) each day or using a salt water generator (SWG) which uses salt to create chlorine gas. Tabs are okay ONLY for short term use and if you know (for sure) your CYA is not too high already. As you learn more about the basic chemicals required and how to test your own water, you'll see how easy pool care really is. We'll available to help. Welcome! :wave:

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Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
Houston, Texas
Hi, welcome to TFP! We recommend raising the FC to SLAM Processlevels if you are going to be out of town a few days. If you frequently travel you may want to consider installing a saltwater chlorine generator (SWG) that will produce and add chlorine automatically while you are away.

Some people are able to use tablets successfully because they close their pools every winter, and in that process they drain a significant volume of pool water. By the time they refill the pool in the spring they have exchanged a third or more of their water, which lowers their CYA. They continue using tablets and it may be a couple of years before enough CYA builds up to be a problem. Some people who use a pool service may not know that their pool is routinely partially drained and refilled as part of the service. A very few people are just lucky. A very short swim season and wet winters can also keep CYA build up from tablets down.

You have already done the best thing you can do to take control of your pool, and that is ordering your new test kit. Hang on to the tablets, as there will be circumstances where you can use them temporarily and as long as they stay dry they will last indefinitely. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. We have a few recommended articles for you to read to help you learn how TFP works.
ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
Recommended Levels
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