What is it with people....

lborne

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2009
462
Vero Beach, FL
not knowing how to take care of a pool?

Having grown up with a pool and being made to help take care of it, I know my father had no clue what CH, TA or CYA were. The only thing we did to maintain the pool was to throw in a cup of HTH chlorine every day (he bought it in very large drums) and add acid occasionally. I think the first year he may have tested for chlorine and pH, but other than that, we never owned a test kit. Brushing was unheard of except when algae was really bad.

My father in law has also had pools most of his life and he currently has a pool service company. It has lots of algae stains and the water is never perfect. After talking to the service guy, it was clear he had no clue and just throws in chlorine and acid and occasionally algaecide. Most of his time is spent vacuuming the pool and his test kit is a cheapo wal-mart one that tests for CL and pH only. HOWEVER, I can remember back before getting the service guy, my FIL would use a cheap test kit to check for Chlorine. He'd take the bottle, add a few drops directly to the pool, and if they briefly turned yellow, then all was OK.

And my neighbors were over swimming a couple weekends ago and commented on how nice our water was. I asked what they did to maintain their pool, and they said we use the "when green, add chlorine" method. What about pH and all the other parameters? They just looked at me funny like I was some alien. In the end, I think they convinced themselves that my pool water felt good because it has salt in it.

But I understand how people can be confused and mis-informed. My PB admitted that he has black algae in his own pool, but since he has a pebble tec finnish, its not noticable, so who cares? And even on the Taylor web site they recommend shocking weekly.
 

Sparkmaster

In The Industry
Aug 2, 2008
110
Conway SC
I know what you mean.. Last year I took care of my friends pool because you couldn't even see the bottom.. Took me 2 days to get it crystal clear.. Also my Neighbor came over last year also to look at my pool.. Couldn't understand how mine is so crystal clear..

On the job (Electrician), I always see how bad some pools are (Mostly all above ground). Seems they don't maintain them.. Their attitude is the kids are happy so there happy..
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
I wonder, do these people ever get sick from their pool? I know that every spring when the neighborhood pool opened and swim team began, all the kids would get sick. After I swam one time with a mask on and saw the slime and snot floating in that pool, I figured out why they were getting sick.
 

rsharp

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2010
129
we had some friends over and they also have a pool. she stated that their pool is a cloudy green color but "the kids dont mind". i told them that knowone swims in my pool unless its clear.. you could tell she has never had a clear pool. She said "WHAT, it just algae".. i told her that not only is there algae, theres also body dirt/oils, urine and who knows what other type of bacteria is growing in there ... i was trying to explain that when there so sanitizer all of the "nasties" stay in the water and dont get eliminated. she wasnt hearing it though..... Thats ok im the one swimming in crystal clear water why she is swimming in a swamp....... thats prolly the reason she came over!! LOL!!!
 
G

Guest

Had a pool cleaner buddy stop by the other day. He is having a hard time on a couple of pool that he is working on; just can't seem to keep the algae away. He has a test kit that can check chlorine levels (up to 3 ppm!) and pH, and that is all! I told him to bring me some water and I would check it for him. Pool #1 had 3,140 TDS, 10+ FC, 7.5 pH, 190 TA, 850+ CH and 300+ CYA! Pool #2 had 4,990 TDS, 0 FC, 7.5 pH, 170 TA, 900+ CH and 300+ CYA! He looks at me with my test kit and all these numbers and says "what does that mean?".

I've been in the industry for quite a while, and it never ceases to amaze me how little (or wrong) information is out there, especially from "pool people". I have to smile every time that I see someone come on here and post their numbers and say how happy they are that they fired the pool guy and aren't going to the pool store anymore!

I think everyone who has taken the incentive to be on this page, read Pool School and take control of their own pool deserves a :cheers: :cheers:
 
G

Guest

Very inaccurately :oops:

I am sure that it is really "close" at best, but I have been seeing the dot disappear in less than a quarter inch of the view tube filled lately. My (very un-scientific or highly accurate) guesstimation is that since it is so far down on the tube, and so far beneath the 100 ppm mark, that if I use the gradient lines between 100 and 60 as a pseudo benchmark, I gotta be close!

That does bring up a very good question (thank you, Ted!): how far off am I by using this method, and how could I truly get accurate readings?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,815
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Same thing happens with cars.....

We get heaps in at work that have a huge backlog of deferred maintenance, worn out brakes, bald tires, broken door handles, you name it, and they buy an oil change. No more. And then tell themselves how good they take care of their car. And probably brag to their friends, "My car gets serviced at the dealership only, and I've never had to do anything except change the oil!"
 

Miranda

Well-known member
Jan 20, 2008
161
Northeast Florida
Couldn't you test for high CYA by diluting the sample? For example, if you think it is 300, mix 3 parts clean tap water with 1 part pool water, do the test on that water and it should come up as 75 (if it is truly 300)
 
G

Guest

Miranda said:
Couldn't you test for high CYA by diluting the sample? For example, if you think it is 300, mix 3 parts clean tap water with 1 part pool water, do the test on that water and it should come up as 75 (if it is truly 300)
That is probably much more accurate than the method I'm using now :-D I guess since I know it is well over 100, it has been easier to just "guess" close.

The cool thing about the CYA test is that you can reuse the test water, so your dilution theory would be easy to try! I am definitely going to do that on the next really high CYA pool I see; thank you :goodjob:
 

ShockerLU3

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2010
80
Toms River, NJ
One more rookie question about your high CYA readings. I thought that with anything but crystal clear water to begin with, the test would be inaccurate to the high side. I noticed that your TDS was also high (or so it would seem, not sure what "normal" is). This leads me to believe the water is "less than clear". Just wondering what the interrelationship between CYA and TDS is.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Even with fairly cloudy water, the CYA test can still be accurate, or at least as accurate as it normally is. A good way to test this is to fill the CYA view tube with straight pool water. If you can still clearly see the black dot, then the CYA test results are good.

TDS doesn't tell you anything, unless you know which specific chemicals are making up the TDS. TDS can be 40,000 and the water can still be totally clear and the CYA level zero. In some pools, taken care of in specific ways, high TDS can correlate with the CYA level. But it totally depends on how you take care of the pool. Do it one way and there is a correlation, do it any of several other ways and there isn't any correlation at all.
 

thewags

Active member
Jun 20, 2010
42
Binghamton NY
We have a toy pool (15' Intex frame), our neighbors have a beautiful inground. I've been fighting algae this week, and helpful husband decided to ask the neighbor since he's had a pool forever and I just read the internet (where is the symbol for hitting someone?). Turns out they never have clear water, just dump bags of shock in when it's dark cloudy as opposed to the usual milky cloud. They have no idea what any of the chem levels are. Of course, their pool is mostly used by their dogs so...

Our problem should be sorted shortly, as we found the circulation was weak and filter was sucking air due to a hair clog that has been removed. I still want to upgrade the filter at some point but we should be back to clear shortly.
 

cubbybeave08

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2008
902
Northwest Indiana
It is funny how people are just accepting of potential problems, let alone complete full blown algae blooms. Last week we got back from vacation and the kids swam on Monday while I was back at work...DW checked the chlorine with the regular test kit, and it tested ok. She pulled the solar covers off and vacuumed the pool. However, she said the solar cover was slimy...and it rained the entire week we were gone...I had shocked up to 16 ppm before we left, but I am sure with the 7 inches of rain we got during that week I had lost most. Anywy...back to my story...They swam on Monday...when i got home from work I put on my suit and jumped in. It was later in the evening about 6 pm...and I noticed the water was a little cloudy...I did a check and noticed the chlorine was not holding and my CCs were more than 1ppm. I gave the no swiming order until I ok it...and by wednesday they were swimming again. But I knwe that I needed to shock again and make sure it held overnight. I had to shock twice, and then checked it frequently during the rest of the week. Needless to say...since I am completely anal about my pool water I caught something that most would have missed, just because my water seemed a little cloudy when I was in the pool...Not murky or green or anything, just more dense than normal...usually I can see a small piece of leaf on the bottom, but not this day. Thank God for sparklypoolitis :goodjob:
 

Tbell

Well-known member
Jun 20, 2010
138
Tennessee
I am also a pool fanatic when it comes to my pool being right! My family knows that they don't get in for a swim unless they ask me first. My husband laughs at me and thinks I take it all too serious! Needless to say...in the 10 years we have owned our pool, I am the one that does everything to it. With the exception of putting new sand in the filter, he does that. I just can't help it...there is something about sparkling water in a pool that has always made me feel good. Doesn't matter if it's an inground pool or above ground pool or the size. I think they are all beautiful if they are taken care of properly. :)
 

cubbybeave08

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2008
902
Northwest Indiana
Pololgirl and Bama,
Thanks for the razzzzzzz, I deserve it... :mrgreen: It sure is nice to have people come out of the pool and say my eyes don't even sting like normal...That is the biggest compliment I could get!

Leaves are inevitable in my yard...I have an 80-90 yearold sugar maple in my yard which is always, even in the summer dropping leaves. My neighbors yard on the east is full of trees...It is just going to happen...So I try not to freak...On the fourth...while all the kids were swimming...I noticed out of the corner of my eye something rather large drop into the pool. I thought it was a bottle rocket it came from so far up...I quickly had my son check on it and it was just a leaf cluster from the top of the tree. I went back to drinking my beer and visiting with friends. Just goes to show you it is going to happen. I try not to freak...but FPM knows better...I went nuts :party:

A sparkly pool is a happy pool!!!!!
 

cubbybeave08

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2008
902
Northwest Indiana
Tbell said:
I am also a pool fanatic when it comes to my pool being right! My family knows that they don't get in for a swim unless they ask me first. My husband laughs at me and thinks I take it all too serious! Needless to say...in the 10 years we have owned our pool, I am the one that does everything to it. With the exception of putting new sand in the filter, he does that. I just can't help it...there is something about sparkling water in a pool that has always made me feel good. Doesn't matter if it's an inground pool or above ground pool or the size. I think they are all beautiful if they are taken care of properly. :)

T but does you husban know that he can swim at anytime day or night? If he does he has you to thank for that. My wife and kids appreciate the fact that they know they can swim anytime...because i am on top of it. I was telling my beer brewing buddy on the fourth about pool chemistry and beer brewing being a lot alike...you have to be fanatical about it. he was telling me about the ph of the water he uses to brew his hops and barly in. how it has to be just right for the recipe, and what not. He said i bet you are that way with your pool too aren't you! He knows me well... :whoot: