Random question, Trichlor and CYA levels. Why every use it?

Aleforge

Well-known member
May 31, 2014
239
Wentzville, MO
I learned about CYA from you guys recently. I had skyrocket levels and finally got them down and my pool is perfect now. I was thinking about how over the years I always had trichlor pucks in my feeder, which obviously led to the steady rise of CYA over the time. I noticed "most" pucks are trichlor at the store so I am assuming it's not an uncommon thing to keep them feeding. Considering that you can balance CYA levels and stop raising them why do people consistently use the pucks? I have a container full of them but my CYA is as high as it should be so I am not using anything in my feeder now. I just pitch to keep the chlorine in range and since my CYA levels are correct it sticks around.

Just curious on the point of them outside of an initial rise.
 

justinc

Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2019
585
Texas
The pucks are convenient, slow release forms of chlorine. That's why they are so popular. They allow you to drop a few in and forget about the pool for a week. I'm not saying that's adequate pool management, but that's what people do and that's why people love them.

When the CYA gets too high then the pool store gets to sell you on lots of other nonsense to try to fix your problem ($$$) and eventually you are forced to drain and start fresh with more chemicals ($$$). It's pretty easy to see why these pucks are the most common chlorinating method.

They are simple to use and a "set and forget" type of way to manage the pool. People have no idea what they are doing and are assuming that the pool store would never steer them wrong, and once they have to drain the pool they assume it's just a normal part of pool ownership to have to drain on a regular basis.

People are ignorant and lazy. Pucks are easy. And the pool store is making money off of them both ways. The average person does not want to be lugging around jugs of liquid chlorine.

A lot of people on this forum (myself included) keep a very small bucket of pucks on hand for vacations or if we need to raise CYA. But I would never, ever, ever just keep feeding a pool pucks all season.
 

Aleforge

Well-known member
May 31, 2014
239
Wentzville, MO
Ya for the past 4 years I always kept pucks in my feeder. Towards the end of last season I cranked it up to help keep the levels high as soon I would be closing it. I noticed last summer algae on the walls was starting to become harder to manage, even after shocking. Which now it's obvious why. I do not want to raise my CYA anymore so I just shut down the feeder. So I am guessing it's normal then to just use liquid throughout the season and I am not skipping out on the something that SHOULD be done.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,059
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
They're easy, that's why. I have some in a floater right now, because my CYA went down some. I love it. I test and I have FC and I haven't had to add any acid. It will be a sad day when I have to go back to manual dosing.

In many parts of the country, pools get drained 25-50% for winter. That reduces the CYA. They have a shorter season that folks in the southwest, for sure, and that limits the CYA buildup. And some places get rain in the summer, which also dilutes things. Lastly, every few years the pool store tells them the TDS is too high (omitting the fact that they directly contributed to it) and they need to drain. So it can work for some people. They can remain blissfully ignorant and still have a fairly decent-looking pool.
 
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Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,059
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
@Richard320 Your strategy is to use pucks in combination with liquid chlorine and managing it with testing?

I suppose that you are not using pucks only.
I use pucks to raise CYA when it needs it and when I go on vacation. That's all. A bucket lasts me three years or so. We had about triple the normal rainfall this year, so my CYA went down some. I didn't care until it finally started to warm up and I was below 30 when I tested.
 

Aleforge

Well-known member
May 31, 2014
239
Wentzville, MO
I am scared to use pucks after I ended up having to drain 2/3rds of mine to finally get my CYA levels around 40. I am scared to even use the pucks again (lol). I will say though that it's also risky to drain my pool as my water table is high. It actually has floated a few inches since it was installed.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,304
Franklin, NC
@Richard320 Your strategy is to use pucks in combination with liquid chlorine and managing it with testing?

I suppose that you are not using pucks only.
His is the same as my strategy.

Test and manage the water. With CYA under control (my pool had CYA at over 250 when I took it over) you can use 3" tabs when you need them.

When is that? Even with a Stenner pump adding liquid chlorine, I always put a few pucks in a floater if I went out of town. This was my "insurance" in case of a mechanical failure of the pump.

So, with 3" tabs - We really are not against their use. We are against their uncontrolled use. The pool store tells you that they are the easiest way to get chlorine in your pool. They are. But, they don't tell you (or really don't understand) that the 3" tabs also add CYA.

So, TFP is not "against" anything - it's "for" knowledge. The knowledge is condensed in the Pool School.
 
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justinc

Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2019
585
Texas
Aleforge, here is what I do. I take 1 puck out of the bucket and place it on a kitchen scale and note the weight in ounces. Then I calculate in Pool Math how much CYA will be added per puck. Then I take a marker and I write this on the bucket. So, when my CYA drops 5 or 10 parts, I know exactly how many pucks to throw in the feeder to get me back where I want. It doesn't have to be scary as long as you do the calculations and know what you're doing.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,304
Franklin, NC
Aleforge, here is what I do. I take 1 puck out of the bucket and place it on a kitchen scale and note the weight in ounces. Then I calculate in Pool Math how much CYA will be added per puck. Then I take a marker and I write this on the bucket. So, when my CYA drops 5 or 10 parts, I know exactly how many pucks to throw in the feeder to get me back where I want. It doesn't have to be scary as long as you do the calculations and know what you're doing.
Almost all 3" pucks will end up being 8 ounces.
 

Mr Bruce

TFP Guide
Mar 24, 2014
2,438
Greenville, SC
In addition to everything mentioned, they are very good at removing organic stains. With all the nut dropping trees around, I'm constantly playing the world's slowest paced solo hockey game in the deep end.
 

justinc

Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2019
585
Texas
In addition to everything mentioned, they are very good at removing organic stains. With all the nut dropping trees around, I'm constantly playing the world's slowest paced solo hockey game in the deep end.
The Pentair Algee-Gon tablet holder is a must have accessory for this!
1561046709378.png
 

Aleforge

Well-known member
May 31, 2014
239
Wentzville, MO
Wow I had no idea that was a thing. I have really bad stains both at water line and randomly everywhere else. I had too many leaves on the bottom and I think that contributed. So you just go around scrubbing the walls with it? I am guessing it's "organic" I do know the shock doesn't fade it but of course it wouldn't right?
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
So I am guessing it's normal then to just use liquid throughout the season and I am not skipping out on the something that SHOULD be done.
Yup, use liquid chlorine daily to add the needed FC. As long as you are going regular testing and following the FC/CYA Chart, then you are not skipping anything. There is no tabs required. Also, no weekly “shock” treatments needed.
 

Aleforge

Well-known member
May 31, 2014
239
Wentzville, MO
Is it OK to use on fiberglass? I have the darker stains along the water line from it being at different levels during the off season. They are solid in color (dark brown mostly). I couldn't figure out for sure HOW to clean them, I tried scrubbing them like mad with my pool brush with no luck.
 

justinc

Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2019
585
Texas
Is it OK to use on fiberglass? I have the darker stains along the water line from it being at different levels during the off season. They are solid in color (dark brown mostly). I couldn't figure out for sure HOW to clean them, I tried scrubbing them like mad with my pool brush with no luck.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,059
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Is it OK to use on fiberglass? I have the darker stains along the water line from it being at different levels during the off season. They are solid in color (dark brown mostly). I couldn't figure out for sure HOW to clean them, I tried scrubbing them like mad with my pool brush with no luck.
Waterline stains often scrub off easily with a Mr Clean Magic Eraser.