New to pools, pool guy seems to have done nothing for us


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
Not many here are chemists..... in fact, kids can learn to do the tests and have done so here!
All it takes is some reading skill and patience to perform the test like the label on the box tells you.

If you feel $70 is too much to invest in the health of your water and swimmers, please let us know how much you spend at the pool store for that "free test".

Maddie :flower:


Well-known member
Jul 30, 2013
Long Island, NY
You're going to regret your pool store decision...
Every single one of us has been exactly where you are right now in the pool maintenance process. Just a little reading here goes a long. long way and ultimately leads to confidence, independence, "that TFP sparkle", and pride.
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In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
Sounds like the pool contractor was engaged to initialize piping & mechanicals and minimal chemical application / labor & said scope completed.

I pay a gentleman 100bucks a week to low my lawn; yes I have a monster John deer in the garage; I pay another gentleman to keep my lawn healthy & obnoxiously green.

Point being; what scope of work was said contractor engaged to perform?


Gold Supporter
Apr 22, 2019
Washington State
What the lieutenant means.....

Back in class, the instructor would say something, and if he stomped his foot, you disregarded it at your peril. I think I hear the sounds of foot stomping. DoubleEcho, some folks here are trying to help you and they’ve forgotten more than your pool store clerk will ever know.

I speak from experience.
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Well-known member
Oct 18, 2007
Cedar Hill, TN
My 2 cents:
The guy that came to open the pool for you, the guy you complained about wasting $200.- on, was trained by the usual pool store.
Be prepared to get the same bad advice and results at the store.
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Well-known member
May 25, 2019
Well, I guess that’s that.
It's not that surprising considering how he was bludgeoned with you're an idiot do what we say. I've noticed this forum is a little more ignore us at your own peril than most forums I've been involved with over the years.

I was laughed at for my puny Taylor k2005! Nevermind that I've ordered the FAS test and since bought a speedstir and learned to test my own borates. But in the beginning, people who answer the same questions from new people quickly tire of fighting the pool store's bad advice and clamp down hard on people who want that information while they grow.

It doesn't help that younger people like myself are going to look at a colorimeter and assume it's digital and 10^10 times more accurate than those antiquated drop tests. Doesn't matter that it's not been calibrated in 5 years. We don't know better.
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Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
Fresno, CA
:scratch: Clearly not called an idiot and your using the word "bludgeoned" is interesting. Seems to me you are inciting a response, so I'm your huckleberry.

The human condition. We want it easy and resist changes, often until desperate. Also motivating others is difficult and often unrewarding. I have watched members here answer the same questions again and again and am amazed at their kindness, persevierence and generosity. TFP is not a "for profit" business, but is often perceived that way and subject to distrust and abuse by some who stumble in here seeking a quick fix and who expect service. The pool store business model is based upon "free service" and a quick fix, so its no surprise it is profitable and is attractive to so many desperate pool and spa owners.
My experience is when enough good people are freely offering you the same advice, many with the same bad experiences and then eye opening discoveries, you are wise to pay attention.
I sense TFP is not going anywhere and will be around to help new folks and those who return for some time. Thanks for your observations, no disrespect intended. :cheers::cheers:


Well-known member
May 25, 2019
I didn't mean to assign a value judgement to what happened, other than to say he was repeatedly told the same thing (understandably) by veterans who have dealt with people who half take advice here and then do things at the pool store that undermine what's being accomplished here. So naturally the response is "here we go again."

I speak as someone who thought coming in that it was a little heavy handed, but stuck it out and saw the light. Others might not make it through to the other side. It's unfortunate but the nature of things.

I do think we could be better about finding a middle ground; maybe he couldn't afford a kit right now but was ashamed to post that. Can't we find a way to help him anyway? Work with cheaper test kits? Entertain the notion of pool store tests? See if there's a tpf member nearby who could test the water as a baseline?

The world isn't black and white. People of all sorts come here, many of them looking for cheaper alternatives for pool care. I just don't like that they're greeted with "so glad you found us, please spend $70-100 on kit this as the price of entry."

Maybe that attitude makes me unwelcome here. That's fine. It made me uncomfortable how he/she was treated so I said something.



Bronze Supporter
I'll tell ya, I had no intention of buying yet another test kit after spending $53 on a perfectly good kit. I have the Taylor 1005, and after I use it up I'll get either the TF-100 or the K-2006C. No speedstir, I don't need it. I used to do titrations for a living, and my swirling technique is as good as any mag stirrer.

What I did, when I found out the extra tests I'd need, I bought add-on tests for FAS-DPD and CYA. I think we should start suggesting that instead of insisting on buying $100 kits right off the bat. I paid around $15 for the FAS-DPD kit and $30 for the CYA kit. Yes, it was about the same cost as the TF-100, but I didn't waste the 1005 kit. When it's time to replace it, I'll get the TF-100.

The point I'm trying to make is this. I agree there's a bit of a YOU MUST DO THIS OR BEGONE WI' YE!!! feel when it comes to the test kits and testing. Yes, people need to bite the bullet and learn to do their own chemistry, but most people have never been in a chemistry lab much less done a titration, and not everyone is a geek like me and enjoys messing with tests and chemicals! We need to figure out a way to convince these types of newbies in a gentler, kinder way to become baby chemists. Maybe suggest a child or neighbor could learn to do the testing. Or a spouse.

I don't mean to ruffle feathers, but surely there's a better way to welcome people than "Welcome, get a test kit and then you may speak!"
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Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Apr 16, 2017
Fairburn, Georgia
You sound like a friend of mine, who actually has had his pool a lot longer than we have. He said the instructions look complicated and he has a pool store that he trusts. They never sell him anything he doesn't need. He takes the water in once every week or two and they advise him what is needed and he puts it in his pool (swg pool). I looked him in the eye and told him, with all honesty, "I've never had to add anything to my pool since we installed the salt water generator". I wonder what they were selling him? I'm one of the lucky ones, I've never been pool stored. I found this site before we opened the pool after buying the house and I put all of my trust in the members. I've never looked back.


Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
Columbus, Ohio
I already had one of the Taylor kits when I found TFP so I just added the FAS-DPD kit to it. I find the FAS-DPD test to be the most useful. However, if you are starting from scratch the whole thing is a better buy. Adding the FAS-DPD to an existing color block test should be suggested as an alternative as well.
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Bronze Supporter
Jul 6, 2017
Kinston, NC
The pool store will recommend magic potions that are bad for your pool such as cooper and floc. You do not need these products. You have to go the TFP way or the pool store way. They are not compatible. The TFP way is much cheaper to do and gives you a sparkling clear pool that you may may/may not achieve with the pool store way. The pool store will keep you on the brink of algae and want you to add shock products weekly. This is not how TFP does it. The test results from the pool store many times are not accurate. What's worse is the recommendations that they give. When the consultant is recommending products with which they profit, you have a "Conflict of Interest". Definition: "a situation in which a person is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity".


Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
Rocky Mount/Virginia
Maybe once a year I take a test sample to the pool store, just to see what their test results and suggestions amount to, and to get a good laugh. Once you've figured it out, water chemistry becomes a really fun aspect of owning a pool.

I don't know if it's been suggested yet, but are you on well water? If you are on city or town water, how much would it cost you to drain that lagoon and start fresh? We had a liner failure winter of 2017 and lost every drop of water. What it was going to cost to have water trucked to us was ridiculous, and the waiting list was weeks long. I ended up filling with 2 garden hoses, Was full in less than 12 hours, and did not cost me much on my water bill. Might be a consideration for you.


Bronze Supporter
May 22, 2019

DE filter has determined to be shot. If anyone in NW PA wants a Hayward EC65A for parts (filter nest needs a bunch of "noodles" replaced) let me know! We went with a large catridge filter, I took advice from this forum and got one a bit bigger than I'd actually need. Replumbing it was a snap and now the suction is great and the water is moving around. Filter is catching a bunch of crud.

I started a SLAM and shocked it last night with liquid shock as I've found the granules don't work as well in colder water. For the first time EVER I had an actual FC reading in the morning! At this time I"m using test strips but the pH, alkalinity and CYA seem to be in ideal levels. I'll get the better test kit soon but for now I seem to be on the right track. I'll be cleaning the filter daily with a hose sprayer on Jet setting (which is a breeze compared to that DE filter) until the pool is clear. I feel like I"m starting to get on the right track now. Another thing I learned from neighbors I met walking down the road last night - this pool has been unused for a bit longer than I thought, I'm going to say 5-8 years at the least instead of 3.

To answer jwhop3's question yes I'm on well water, to refill the pool it would be about $500 to truck water in. I'm a bit nervous about draining it as I've heard a pool can "float" if it's not filled quick enough and I've also read on here that it's better to treat the water than to drain/fill unless your CYA is out of control.