Traditional Chemistry vs. TFP Chemistry

goody222

Silver Supporter
Feb 6, 2018
103
Chesapeake, VA
I'm a new pool owner (details in signature) and I want to be a model of well maintained pool chemistry. Love the website! I've read the pool school pages and noticed that the chemical bands on the door of my Hayward Aqua Plus (which I guess some call 'traditional chemistry') is quite different than your TFP chemistry bands. (Even more confusing is the Latham liner web site and Inyo pools are slightly different also.)

I really want to trust you guys but what is the source of the TFP chemistry bands and if they are much better, why aren't manufacturers/pool builders/pool stores using them? I have a hard time going against what is printed on the door of my Hayward Aqua Plus system and what the pool builder advises. I mean, those traditional bands aren't going to hurt, right?
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,462
NE/Pa
from how i understand it the traditional numbers have not changed with the times as pool surfaces and equipment and such have. it seems like all the companies just get their info from the same source and copy and paste it.

i don't know where TFP gets their chemistry from but i do know it works and it works well for maintaining. i went into this blind and found here. i read al lthey said to do and asked questions, but also saw all the people who had problems and this site solved them. i also looked at others i know who have pools and don't follow this and see the issues they have. i then also started to do more indepth reading of the little things they say here and why and find it all makes sense of the system here.


also it's not like these numbers to follow are way off the traiditional ones. the big thing here is a bit higher cya when using a salt generator to keep ur FC level a bit higher so you don't fall to zero. pentair recommends a pretty low FC level which on a sunny day and a heavy bath load you can 'be askign for trouble. so i totally get why keep the cya a bit higher so you can keep ur fc a bit higher. i saw it all summer that those really hot days can wreck ur FC if you dont' have a bit of a buffer. i was playing the low game at first but now stay towards the higher side and it works.

even when i didn't have my salt running yet people commented on how they thought the water had no chlorine smell or they didn't coming out.

others with more knowledge will chime in i'm sure but for me this site makes good sense once you are using it and you compare it to others.

i save a bunch on chemicals and i'm not putting anythign into my pool that isn't needed.

- - - Updated - - -

oh and to add. no where else are you going to get support from people like here. you go to a store they just through chemicals at you blindly. here everyone looks at every angle to find the proper solution i feel.
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,385
Hays, Kansas
Traditional pool chemistry is stuck in the 1960's-70's. Add this and see if it works, come back with more money if it don't.

Since then there has been tons of research on cya and fc relationship, add in member chemgeek and tons of other members testing in their own pool, as with the pinnacle rule of tfpc, only add what your pool needs, and you have a scientific method that has thousands of case studies, with proven math on chemical additions.
 

callahan3

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2016
99
boiling springs, SC
I can tell you one thing the pools store is going to make money. They will sell u additives that are almost never needed an when it goes wrong u will go back for more. Not here, most do this for hobbies some do it for a living an some are even chemist. What I learned is I spend less money using this site an I have a better looking pool for it.
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
8,961
Eastern Ohio
Ya know, I could have swore there was a topic in the past discussing the history further but for the life of me I can’t remember where.

Welcome to the forum! Your first task is to give me homework I guess. :) I’ll gladly respond to this in more details shortly. For now, here’s a thread that will confuse the heck out of ya but reassure you hopefully TFPC really is based on sound science......
Pool Water Chemistry
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
8,961
Eastern Ohio
wow that is an in depth link! Thanks for looking into it!
Cal Poly Pool Plaster Conclusions Shown to be Wrong

There’s another exiample how TFP learns. We’ve got some AMAZING contributors who are always pushing the limits of Pool care. These amazing individuals frequently share their findings with TFP and help mold our recommendations. onBalance is another group that’s molded the chemistry TFP uses to maintain your plaster. Here’s a quick quote from the thread above,

This winter, onBalance is constructing their own plaster demonstration pools. They will be investigating parameters including aggressive vs. balanced water chemistry, various levels of calcium chloride set accelerant in pool plaster, and the effects of low-level chlorination vs. regular super-chlorination on organic vs. inorganic color pigments. Petrographic analysis of plaster samples will be performed.
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
To me, the three biggest take-aways are:

1. Personal, at home testing using a quality test kit. Then only adding what the pool needs and nothing else. Many times readily available products are used that can be found at your local grocery & hardware store at much reduced costs.

2. Honest science & chemistry based solutions that can be independently verified. No marketing hype or "this is the way its always been" antidotes.

3. CYA:FC relationship. The industry as a whole hasn't embraced this concept. They can't seem to understand that as CYA builds up, it locks the FC away and higher FC is need to maintain a sanitary pool. (simplified to not derail the topic / not confuse you more)

Users on this forum have nothing to gain except your continued pool enjoyment. Advertising is strictly prohibited. We aren't trying to sell you anything, so no reason to offer biased advice. Honest feedback is given on a product's true merits.

BUT, at the end of the day, you do need to pick one method and go with it. You won't be successful if you try to mix & match the various methods. On this forum we do encourage the TFP methods as most here have found them to be a better overall solution to pool care.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,462
NE/Pa
+1 above! I freaked out one night when it wasn’t working when I got my new phone. It was a very panicky hour at the house. Lol. I rely 100 percent daily on the app. Constantly have it out with me. I also record everything on paper cause if u follow my build I draw everything and write everything. I find comfort in pencil and paper I think. Lol.

It works. It just works. The biggest thing I took away is like I said and others. Cya and fc relationship. It’s all about that relationship.
 

sccm_sysadmin

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2017
215
Greensboro, NC
Aside from all the more 'technical' answers that have been linked, the philosophy is this:


  • Put the least amount of chemicals needed in your pool to keep it clean and sanitized.
  • If it "sounds too good to be true", it probably is.
  • Chlorine is the best (and most economical) method of sanitizing your pool.

Instead of "shocking" it every week or so whenever the pool starts to turn green, it's better to stay ahead of it instead of playing catch-up. Simply put, "traditional" pool chemistry lets the algae grow and grow and grow, and eventually you 'knock it back' by shocking the pool...but some of it survives! The algae that survives reproduces until you notice the pool turning green, when you shock it again. TFP chemistry says it's better to keep the chlorine levels high enough so that you kill any algae faster than it reproduces.


Look at it like this: pool stores have to turn a profit, which means they have to sell things. They don't sell lots of chemicals if your pool stays clean. It's literally bad for their bottom line if your pool is a sparkling oasis. It's better for them if you're on the pool store merry-go-round of constant chemical additions to your pool.

I've been a pool owner for a year now (house my wife and I bought had a 10yo vinyl pool) and I started the TFP method from Day 1, and it's been easy. I haven't added anything other than the initial dose of CYA, chlorine every 2-3 days, and some acid once every week or two. And my pool water was "gin clear" and sparkling the entire season, and the chemical levels were perfect.
 

BasicTek

Bronze Supporter
Oct 9, 2016
867
Lake Mary, FL
I wish I could say I got this as soon as I found the forum but it took me around 9 months after I joined to actually listen. My 1st pool and 1st I had this by hiring a pool guy. Well my pool guy didn't do much except shock my pool and make it cloudy for days (on his rare appearances). So fired him and went to the pool store. I really believed in these guys, I bought hundreds of $$$ worth of chemicals that their paper told me to buy. Well after a very difficult yellow algae outbreak and a bunch of issues after getting a new variable speed pump and SWCG I finally started posting here. It still took over a month, I questioned everything (who believes random people on the internet anyway ;)

In the end I now test myself using the recommended test kits (and have confidence in that testing), I'm always hanging around watching others go through the process and learning from the huge amount of info available out here. I don't think I have to spend $100 a year anymore on chemicals and maybe that on my test kit (although I even stole my last testkit thanks to this forum.)

I had an old thread asking why is it the industry tells everyone all this mis information, why doesn't any pool store have a CYA/FC chart and worse they say 100 CYA with FC of 1 is ok!!! Go look at threads in popular sites like angies list and leslies you'll find recommendations to shock your pool weekly??? You are free to trust your nearest pool store and keep your phosphates under 200... Or you can hire a pool guy for $100, $125... a month that shocks your pool, neglects your equipment and tells you why you have to pay extra $$$ for this or that...

Or you can start here with pool school. Definitely get a proper test kit (2006C or tf100), speed stir (makes testing much easier), and cheap solar cover (to put on at night and extend your season, as well as keep your pool super warm in the summer). The rest is up to you.
 

goody222

Silver Supporter
Feb 6, 2018
103
Chesapeake, VA
Thanks Tim! (I did get a Taylor 2006 kit and speedstir last month - not sure why big kits scare people off but I do have a chemical engineer background). My pool was built in Fall and I've kept it open all winter. The pool store said that my FC=0 and CYA=0 are fine until weather gets into the 80s, but in a different post I made, I've been advised to get my CYA=30 and adjust FC accordingly until the weather warms up (just got my $1.94 Walmart bleach today). The pool store (Mom and Pop type place) said I should shock my pool once a week and use multiple bags per week when weather hits the 90s!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,633
Bedford, TX
The pool store (Mom and Pop type place) said I should shock my pool once a week and use multiple bags per week when weather hits the 90s!
Just in case your comments were not in sarcasm... If you follow the TFP process, you will never again have to add any Pool Store 'Magic', including bags of 'shock'... to your pool, summer or not..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

goody222

Silver Supporter
Feb 6, 2018
103
Chesapeake, VA
oh no, I was just stating that they told me that today. The "!" was my shock. Then they said they have a case of shock on sale for $49! I was informed in https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/156059-Winter-Chemistry-for-Open-Pools?p=1380919 to use liquid chlorine prior to heavy bather loads if do need "shock".
I'm going to vacuum today (some morter fell in the pool from the paver guys finishing the 2nd jumpstone), then establish CYA and FC.
 

sccm_sysadmin

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2017
215
Greensboro, NC
Or you can hire a pool guy for $100, $125... a month that shocks your pool, neglects your equipment and tells you why you have to pay extra $$$ for this or that...
When we were looking at buying our house, the prior owner's pool guy met us there to talk to us about the pool. I believe he was $50/week and that didn't include chemicals. Nice guy but yeesh that was ridiculous. He was telling me all sorts of crazy things about how "this pool is really difficult to manage and it'll go green in a heartbeat!!". :rolleyes: