Numbers off - any suggestions?

MagnoliaHill

New member
Sep 19, 2016
4
Orlando, FL
So, I should preface that right now I am not interested in the TFP method due to time. I recognize that the world will not fall apart if I use a method that allows me to be away from it longer, but it may be more difficult to handle. And of course, it needs to be safe. So I fired the pool guy who might have been cheaper than I thought at $70/mo.

I went to the local store and had my chem test on 9/1 just after a couple days of rain:
fc 5.0
cc 0.0
cya 60
alk 65
ph 6.8
ch 300

I then was advised to use all in one tablets (that I can fill the auto loader) and add 4 lbs of alk raiser which I did. A couple days later I was thinking about the pool and wondered how the tablets were being metered. I went for a look and realized there was an adjustment and it was all the way up so I turned it all the way to the lowest setting. I then ordered a K-2006.

Here are the numbers from the last couple weeks:
9-Sep13-Sep16-Sep19-Sep
fc14.012.510.810.0
cc 10mlna0.5na0.5
cc 25ml0.4na0.2na
cya80807080
alk909010090
ph7.67.67.57.6
ch350nana310

I realize I messed up with the tablets, but I see the levels are coming down. I know that the answer everyone gives is to drain it, but I also see that if it is balanced with the chlorine it should be fine. The water is crystal clear.

Does this seem promising enough progress to keep going? Now that I see the chlorine drop rate is slowing should I turn off the auto-feeder? How long should I leave it off? I'm trying to avoid a daily test.

Any help is appreciated whether or not it agrees with my stated position. Thanks!
 

oldguy70

Silver Supporter
Jun 26, 2015
159
Glendale, AZ
First welcome and hope you would reconsider the TFP way. Testing and caring for your own pool is what this site is all about. Save money, stay out of the pool stores and know that you have a clean and safe pool.
 

sddiver

Member
Mar 19, 2016
15
Oceanside, Ca
The problem with the tablets is they will continually be increasing your CYA level which in turn will mean a higher and higher FC requirement to stay algae free. Since the CYA doesn't really drop water replacement becomes the only way to get it down. You may have already seen this but in case you haven't here is a link to the recommend levels of the various chemicals. I actually removed a tablet type feeder shortly after our pool was built once I learned about the effect of dichlor and trichlor tablets on the pools CYA level. Other than your CYA level, your most recent numbers look about right - your FC is where it should be for a CYA of 80 (target of 9, min of 6) but it isn't economical or ideal to keep it there. Is it just the liquid bleach part you don't want to have to keep up with? Have you considered a salt water chlorine generator to reduce the manual adding of chlorine?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,530
Evans, Georgia
Hey there... I think you have a misconception on how much time it takes to do TFP. I have a SWG and because I spent a bit of extra time learning my pool's quirks and habits, I test about 2x a week now. I can look at the water and if it doesn't shine just right I know already before testing my pH will be off. I've never once had algae so I know its working for me and I don't spend $70 in a summer none less a month for pool care!

You spent extra money buying expensive baking soda (the very same as Alkalinity Increaser). I don't know what is in your All in One pucks so can't comment but as for your current test results-. they're not too shabby assuming that that Compupool device is a salt water generator?? If its not, your CYA is a bit high and will become problematic if you continue on using pucks that contain yet more CYA.

Some fast reads--> Pool School - Recommended Levels and [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA]
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,518
Sebring, Florida
Welcome to the forum. :wave:

So, it seems you are saying, "I am not going to be managing my pool the way you teach as I will be managing my pool in a way I think works better for me. Please give me advice on the way I intend to mange my pool."

That's a pretty big task. Of course, you can manage your pool any way you like but I am not sure I understand what you expect from TFP?
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
So, I should preface that right now I am not interested in the TFP method due to time. I recognize that the world will not fall apart if I use a method that allows me to be away from it longer, but it may be more difficult to handle. And of course, it needs to be safe. So I fired the pool guy who might have been cheaper than I thought at $70/mo.

I went to the local store and had my chem test on 9/1 just after a couple days of rain:
fc 5.0
cc 0.0
cya 60
alk 65
ph 6.8
ch 300

I then was advised to use all in one tablets (that I can fill the auto loader) and add 4 lbs of alk raiser which I did. A couple days later I was thinking about the pool and wondered how the tablets were being metered. I went for a look and realized there was an adjustment and it was all the way up so I turned it all the way to the lowest setting. I then ordered a K-2006.

Here are the numbers from the last couple weeks:
9-Sep
13-Sep
16-Sep
19-Sep
fc
14.0
12.5
10.8
10.0
cc 10ml
na
0.5
na
0.5
cc 25ml
0.4
na
0.2
na
cya
80
80
70
80
alk
90
90
100
90
ph
7.6
7.6
7.5
7.6
ch
350
na
na
310

I realize I messed up with the tablets, but I see the levels are coming down. I know that the answer everyone gives is to drain it, but I also see that if it is balanced with the chlorine it should be fine. The water is crystal clear.

Does this seem promising enough progress to keep going? Now that I see the chlorine drop rate is slowing should I turn off the auto-feeder? How long should I leave it off? I'm trying to avoid a daily test.

Any help is appreciated whether or not it agrees with my stated position. Thanks!
Best advise I can give you is to do your own testing, and always keep your FC level greater than 7.5% of your CYA level, with your target FC at 13% of your CYA level & shock level at 40% of your CYA. Also, be careful mixing pool care methods, this usually leads to confusion and added expense.

You should really stop using stabilized chlorine, and look into a SWG or chlorine injection / Liquidator system. These options will fit with your 2-3 day schedule & TFPC.

Good luck with your pool.
 

MagnoliaHill

New member
Sep 19, 2016
4
Orlando, FL
So I wrote a few versions of a reply and came to the realization that I haven't put a fraction of the research into this as other things I've taken on. I need to spend more time sifting through threads before I ask any more questions!


For the fun of it, here's the last version of what I came up with - in the end all it does is serve as a plea to the experienced pool masters what might be going through a newbie's head:


duraleigh, I asked if there is advice for fixing my mess without switching methods - I'm not sure how this got interpreted as a sort of doing things my way tantrum. For the record, this site comes up on google search after google search and has many posts about all different kinds of methods - please understand why I have been mistaken.


all,
I ask you to understand that despite the name this doesn't seem like the Trouble-free method, it seems like the lowest-cost method. YippeeSkippy seemed concerned that I paid $8 for a bag of alkalinity raiser instead of $4 for a box of baking soda one time at my first experience in a pool store. All I mean is if it costs me $500/yr to be careless ordering supplies and someone could spend more time and effort to get that down to $300/yr power to them. But is that trouble-free? I'm not here to attack the existence of the site, just to point out how easily someone could misunderstand the intentions of this method after reading a few dozen threads.


I take care of my own vehicles even though it might require a bit of muscle and dirt because it's easy. I take care of the lawn because it's easy. I do the pest control because it's easy. I take care of the computers because it's easy (I recognize that not everyone thinks so). I got rid of the RV because it was NOT easy. Nothing about caring for a pool seems easy because it is so foreign to the average Joe. And there are many factors. Stabilizing that amount of water when things happen outside of your control like acid rain or neighbors pesticides or whatever else doesn't seem easy even if you understand chemistry. So this is where I'm coming from. I'm not afraid of work or spending a couple of dollars, I'm afraid of not having it under control.


I very well may have misconceptions about the TFPC method. I read the beginners guide and I didn't see any indication that you can go a week without thinking about the pool with this method. Whereas that's exactly what people do with the tablets and go along like everything is great. Maybe I am also perceiving all this attention some people here give to their pools with the TFPC method as 'required', whereas maybe it is simply because this is something of a hobby for many of you. We all have different motives (I'm not here to pickup a hobby). I'm here to find the easiest way to take care of the pool - not the cheapest, or the most "fulfilling".


I can admit that I am a bit intimidated by all the chemical terms people throw out there and had no idea where to even find these things or whether there are shipping restrictions, etc. Whereas I could just easily order multi-purpose tablets on a recurring delivery schedule from the Amazon distribution center 6 miles down the road.


I guess I need help finding my reason "why I should use this method".


Thank you all for being civil - nobody was even particularly hard on me, but writing this was a good exercise for me.
 

Rollercoastr

Gold Supporter
May 18, 2016
880
West Bloomfield, MI
Look here you flipping idio... just kidding. I was concerned when I read your first post that it would be your only. I'm glad you're sticking around.

For whatever reason, the TFP method is often mis-understood - even by posters with dozens of posts. Some people think we walk around grocery stores wearing tin-foil hats and buying bleach 45 gallons at a time. Others believe that a SWG or use of tabs is forbidden, or that we test pool water on the hour every hour.

None of that is true. It really just boils down to being really aware of what's going on in your pool, and taking reasonable measures to manage it.
 

Rollercoastr

Gold Supporter
May 18, 2016
880
West Bloomfield, MI
If you applied Pool $tore methods to car care, you'd regularly pay the dealership $300 to tell you that your filter is dirty and brake pads are at 60%. You might also buy $150 worth of cactus flower preventer for your lawn, or 7-eyed locust control spray for $200. I certainly hope you've taken your computer in for it's scheduled defrag lately...!

As far as going a week ignoring your pool... I'm a new pool owner - I've never done that, but it seems that very few people actually "get away" with that when you examine the quality of their water and the costs of the "throw this at it" method.
 

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Griswald

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2014
766
Hope Mills, NC
I will attempt to give you a reason by equating this to something you are familiar with.

You do your own auto maintenance because it is easy, correct? Well, going to Jiffy Lube is way easier. You just drive it in their garage, get out and sit in their lobby and when they are done, you pay them a fairly low fee and drive away. However, they always come in to that lobby with "test results" a drop of black gear lube on a white card and say that you need to change your rear end oil, Then they come in with a dark red spot on another white card and tell you how your transmission is going to burn up if you don't do a fluid and filter exchange. Wow...this easy and fairly cheap trip to the Jiffy Lube suddenly became a 7 or 800 dollar trip. Did you really need rear end oil or tranny fluid? Do you know for sure that the tech didn't just smear some dirt into your oil before he dropped it on that white paper?

Well, the same exact thing just happened to you at the pool store.

Taking 5 minutes to check your own transmission fluid or 20 minutes to check the rear end lube allows you to make that decision on your own without any drama. Taking 20 minutes a few times every month is all that you need once you figure out how your car ...sorry POOL behaves. Its not rocket science, but there is a lot of verbage that makes it sound intimidating.

Just from reading your response. I can just about tell that you are logical and practical kind of person. Anyone that does their own maintenance kind of needs to be.

TFP is just about the most logical and practical thing you can do for your pool. You control the tests, you control the additions and you control the outcome. What could be easier?
 

MagnoliaHill

New member
Sep 19, 2016
4
Orlando, FL
Thanks Rollercoastr and Griswald, you're on the right track but to fine tune even more, I think it is like this:


A new car driver decided not to go to the dealer or shop and to take care of it on their own.


An inexperienced person might just change their oil with whatever they can gets their hands on every 3k miles, whereas an experienced one will use a PAO type oil and change only their filter (if possible) every 5k and their oil every 10k.


A newbie would leave their plugs in for 100k because that's what the manual said, but an expert would at least remove them to inspect and put antiseize on them.


A newbie would want to avoid the advice of checking ther fluids at every gas fill up. But a seasoned driver will check a new car often and taper off to a schedule that works based on how big the cars tanks/resevoirs are and consumption goes.


So for a new pool owner it will be the same. A huge learning curve before any smooth sailing.
 

rwood5093

Bronze Supporter
Jun 5, 2016
86
Jamestown, SC
I am a new pool owner as of this summer. After a slightly confusing startup, I feel like we have hardly put any effort into our pool (pleasant surprise ) . We use a SWG to maintain our chlorine, after the initial startup. I test every 7 to 10 days, rinse the filter and change the skimmer sock. The most complicated part has been resetting timers after a power failure, and dumping water during tropical storms, then adding back a little cya and salt. I have left my pool for weekends, and ignored it for a week. I feel comfortable doing this because I have learned what my pool likes and how it reacts to rain, heat, dirt, etc. Like Magnolia said, it's smooth sailing. I don't feel confident advising others what to do with their pool, but I feel 99.9% confident regarding my own pool thanks to what I have learned here.
 

Rollercoastr

Gold Supporter
May 18, 2016
880
West Bloomfield, MI
...and here we are, on the same page already!

In another thread I posted my puzzlement that the pool indu$try is getting away with false science and magic potions with world-wide success, and I couldn't think of other industries that were also examples. I guess it's not so rare after all. Someone mentioned fitness supplements. Fuel additives are another. I hadn't thought of lawn care, but I google Tru-green when they left a flier on my door once. Holy cow was that scary.

Fast Oil change places are classic. One of my cars has a factory-recommended 10,000 mile change interval, but they would slap a sticker insisting I return in 3,000.

It should be no surprise that opportunities to waste time and money are at every corner.

I'm not sure the TFP learning curve is that steep though. I dropped chemistry in high school and never looked back, and I'm holding my own here so far.
 
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