Best source for pool chemicals?

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Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby xerostar » Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:57 pm

We have built a concrete pool in Uthai Thani. 100,000 Litres including the balance tank.
It's 5 Metres wide x 12 Metres long. 2 Metres deep at one end, 1 Metre deep at the other end and a 4 Metre sloping floor between.
I have a 5 Metre wide overflow at one end and 4 eyeball outlets at the opposite (deep) end.

I've had salt water pools before. They were not without problems.
The last pool we had in Oz needed constant topping up with bags & bags of salt. Each time I backwashed I was losing the salt.
The brand new chlorinator performed poorly unless the salt level in the water was high, even though it was supposed to be "one of the new
low-salt chlorinators". Then the thing needed regular serviceing to remove the salt build up on the metal fins inside (platinum I was told).
Both myself and the wife prefer unsalted water to swim in so on a recent trip to Oz I purchased a Chemigem. (Perth WA)
It monitors the pH and chlorine levels in the pool water and injects the required amount of liquid chlorine (bleach, aka: sodium hypochlorite)
or acid into the system. These solutions are stored in plastic drums near the pool pump.
The advantage is that the levels remain constant - as long as the pump is running.
The acid can be Hydrochloric or Sulphuric (non-fuming). I would be happy with Hydrochloric acid since it appears to be cheaper.
My problem is to find a company that sells the acid and liquid chlorine at a reasonable price.
I say reasonable because it will be an ongoing cost.

One thing I forgot to mention before:
We're on an isolated farm property with our own water supply (from a bore) and have no connection to a community sewer line
(such as you would find in Pattaya) I would not like to backwash salty water - over the years it could make our bore water salty.

The bore is not far from the pool so anything soluble we flush out of the pool will eventually end up in the groundwater.
Last edited by xerostar on Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby jazzman » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:27 pm

I'm afraid I can't help wiht the name of a supplier.
However, I would assume the best thing would be to locate a bulk chemicals supply firm.
Whatever you do, don't mention that you need them for a pool, or they will double or triple the price.
The people I know who are using saltwater chlorinators have perfect results. It is impossible for salt to build up in the electrolysis cell. Most modern cells are also self-cleaning.

Most salt gets lost through over-enthusiastic backwashing - people end to backwash, to the joy of chemical suppliers, far too frequently. Some gets lost through over-dilution from rainwater when the excess water goes away to an overflow. A balance tank of adequate size will compensate for this.

The time to backwash is when the pressure guage shows it is time to do so. If water flow or pressure drops significantly quite often due to build up of filtered material, the filter unit is of the wrong size (too small) for the pool volume.
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby jazzman » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:26 am

PW Pool Chemicals, located in Phu Wiang near Si Bun Ruang, is specialised in supplying rural and remote areas with premium brands of pool salt, chlorine, algaecides, and clarifiers at prices well below the fancy pool shop prices (sometimes, I believe, up to 50% cheaper), with even delivery to Udon or Khon Kaen thrown in if the quantity is right. Tel: 083 3294811
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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby xerostar » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:54 am

Thanks for that jazzman
I've been buying from Applied Chemicals
40/2 Moo 14 KingKaew Rd Rachatwa
Bangplee, Samutprakarn 10540
Tel:0 2175 2561 65

Prices: Nissan TCCA 20Kg 3280 Baht
Soda Ash 40Kg 840 Baht
Clearine 1Gal 1850 Baht
HCl 25Kg 2400 Baht
Plus 7% gst

An update on the Chemigem that I installed:

The model I bought was meant for Australia and New Zealand (so I found out
after installation). I told the supplier (pool shop in Perth) where I was
going to use it, but they obviously weren't aware of different models.

The model I bought depends on the water generally being alkaline, so it
adds acid to the water to increase acidity.

The water from our bore is quite acidic already, so we don't need to add any acid.
We do need to add a lot of soda ash to keep the pH neutral.

The Nissan TCCA we use increases the acidity too.

So this model Chemigem can not add soda ash solution as required,
I contacted the manufacturer but they weren't really interested in my problems.
Gave me a cursory reply, with no suggestions other than not to use Nissan TCCA ..

With the automatic chlorination - it works fine except that you need a very large supply of chlorine solution.

I made up a drum of liquid mixing 8 cups of the Nissan powder to 25 Litres of water.
(against advice of manufacturer but I had nothing to lose anyway .. )
That made a very powerful brew. It fumigated my pump house and made it impossible
to remain in there without holding the breath and the eyes smarting!
It improved a bit once I got the cap back on the drum. I had a small hole in the cap for the feed tube.

I thought that 25 Litres should last a few weeks at least, but no, the drum was empty
after 3 days! That said, I was trying to bring the pool back from the dead. I had
got the swine flu for over a month and I could hardly get out of bed, let alone
bother with the pool. So it was using more chlorine than normal maintenance levels.

So much for my very expensive and ineffective foray into automatic pH and chlorine control
of my pool water. The only thing that really works is the LCD readout of the pH and Chlorine
levels. It would have been cheaper to use test strips in hindsight ..
.
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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby jazzman » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:43 am

Applied Biochemicals pretty much have a monopoly for pool chemicals here in Thailand. Apart from their own brands Algaetrine, Sanitrine, Staintrine, and Cleartrine, they sell the same products in identical bottles for rebranding by large distributors (same principle as supermarket own brand cornflakes or baked beans). The wise distributors are retailing these products at around 990 baht a bottle and still making enough profit.

The system you use for your automatic chlor and Ph stabilisation, is it based on peristaltic pumps? Do they run from timers, or from sensors in the water pipes that measure the actual concentration?
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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby xerostar » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:17 pm

The measurements are taken by a sensor that you install a few inches before the leaf basket on the pool pump.
It takes 5 minutes before the reading is considered stable and a readout shows. This updated every 10 seconds.

There are no peristaltic pumps.
The inlet point, opposite the sensor, uses the negative pressure (vacuum)
at that point, so chemicals are sucked into the stream via a polythene tube.
The ends of the tubes have a weight and a ceramic filter so that the tube stays at the bottom of the supply tank.
Mini solenoid valves open with a click at the command of the CPU.
They open for 20 seconds to allow a dose of chemical to be sucked into the water stream entering the pump.
You can set the desired pH level and chlorine levels to what you want.
The pump timer also runs via the CPU. 7 different programs can be set as well as manual on/off for
the number of hours desired.
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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby jazzman » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:42 pm

Probably the problem is getting the right balance between the power of the vacuum suction vs. the length of time (20 sec.) that the valve stays open.
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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby xerostar » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:52 pm

I'm not sure if this belongs in another thread?

Just a few points worth mentioning that might help others considering having a pool built.
This about the pool I had built - mentioned earlier.

It was built by my 2 BIL's (concrete workers) earlier this year, steel reinforced concrete.
5M wide x 12M long, with a 3 cubic metre balance tank. 100,000 Litres in all.
1M deep at the shallow end and 2.5M deep at the deep end.

I ordered special (expensive) water proof render and even had the company rep come out and give the
guys a talk but I'm afraid it went over their heads. They just went back to using whatever render was handy.
I don't think many Thai workers realize that ordinary concrete is NOT waterproof and you won't convince them otherwise.

I wish we had made the pool deeper at the deep end because the water gets too warm on a hot day
and a steep dive can bring you too close to the bottom. i.e. no room for error.

I wish I had made the pool a little deeper at the shallow end. When you swim lengths, your knees and hands touch the bottom
when its only 1 Metre deep.

We used those tiny glass tiles in tones of blue.
Trouble is there's a lot of grout which took forever to apply and of course white grout gets dirty real easy!
So even after cleaning the pool, it looks OK from a distance but up close it still looks grotty and unsanitary.

The small tiles come off easily if you catch an edge with the pool hose/suction head.
I wish we had used larger tiles or even a fibreglass skin. (Probably will eventually)

I wish we had placed the pump lower, close to the pool water level (or even lower).
The pump loses its prime easily because its too high (18" above top level in balance tank) and the foot valve leaks.
I tried installing a better quality foot valve from Oz but it leaks too when leaves or bugs get stuck in it.

I bought an LED pool light. Seemed like a good idea a the time. NOT. It's not strong enough to light the whole pool
particularly if the water is not crystal clear. It also has multi-colors (not adjustable) so when people are
swimming they appear to turn from blood-red one minute to dead gray-green like floating corpses the next!

We have an overflow grating 5M long at one end of the pool draining into the balance tank - it works very well,
although it could have been shorter and still worked fine (2 Metres would have been OK or even just a skimmer box)
We don't have a water level at the same height as the surrounding deck so with the water level about 2" below
deck level there is no need for a long grating!
I liked the look of it so I thought yes, we must have a grating! Duh ..

I wish we had made the balance tank bigger. 3M x 3M x 3M is not enough (2,700 Litres)
I think the ideal figure should be at least 25% of the pool volume. (25,000 Litres) although
that would have increased the cost considerably.

I wish I had built in an automatic top-up valve connected to the house supply.
I've since installed that ball-float valve in the tank and it works fine, the supply pipe is visible
It comes out at the base of the pump house about 6 inches exposed before it goes down into the tank.
(would have been neater pre-installed)

I had provided a 2" main from the bore pump to the balance tank, but it only works manually.
I have to turn on the main bore pump supply valve, turn on the bore pump and remember (!)
to close the valve and turn off the pump about 1/2 hour later.
A pain in the a** because you always forget! (People come and ask you to look at something ..)

Also I don't know what level the water's at in the Balance tank so I have to lift the manhole cover
which is about 70Kg. Made from concrete with steel frame (rusty already ..)
You need some sort of gauge/measuring device to show the balance tank level.

I'll have to make a new balance tank man-hole cover with fibre-glass later on.
Besides 70 Kg is hard on the back.

I need to install some sort of skimmer inside the balance tank. It gets full of junk very quickly and
can only be cleaned properly by getting in there through the manhole, scrubbing with abrasive cleaner
and hosing out. It can take a half day or more to do it properly.

Any tips on making a skimmer inside the balance tank?

Only when the balance tank is overflowing is there any sort of skimmer effect for floating leaves,
insects or frog spawn.

A lot of contaminants swirl around and eventually get pumped up and caught by the sand filter.
The heavier sand particles (wind born) stay on the bottom of the tank until cleaned up by hand.

We have a large (4") main overflow pipe leading from the balance tank. Lucky we had that because with
some of the heavy rain downpours in recent months we could otherwise have had flooding in the house.
We have a p-trap on that too to prevent bugs etc coming up the drain from outside.
Hey .. I got one thing right!

The balance tank can suck dry during a dry spell while the pump re-fills the pool.
(when we lose water by evaporation and "other" means).
The pump loses prime and that can be bad if no-one is around and the motor pump bearings can overheat.
Thus the need for a larger balance tank.
Also the reason for me installing the ball-float valve water replenishment set-up which is a good alternative.

I wish we had done a meticulous pressure test on all pipework before back-filling. (Extremely important!)
I suspect (I know ..) one or more of the pipe joints was not glued.
We were losing a lot of water every day, like 1000 Litres!

Nobody wanted to admit forgetting to glue a pipe! What can you do?
A thorough pressure test would have prevented this major problem.

You could dig up the tiles, concrete, tons of earth. chip away bucket loads of concrete and
saw through steel to find the leak? Not likely!

I've plugged the bottom drains and that slowed the leak a lot. But I can't pump from there now.
If I do, I just get a load of air and the pump loses prime immediately.

I purchased some "Stop Leak" fluid from the USA and waited for dry weather to try it.
With postage it cost US $132 for 2 Litres so not cheap.
I used this recently and it has helped to reduce the water loss.
I don't know what the chemical is (patented) but it is heavy.
It sinks to the bottom quickly, so to be effective you need to keep the water stirred up.
An auto-cleaner like the Kreepy-Krauly would be good for this.

You keep the filter set on circulate to prevent it clogging the sand in the filter.

You can get a few hours effect by using the pool broom to stir up the stuff from the pool floor, but
even doing that twice a day is not going to be effective unless you continue doing it for months.
But as soon as you need to clean the pool floor by vacuuming to waste, you lose all the chemical in the process.

i.e. the chemical needs to be in suspension in the water that's leaking to allow it to work and
block the exit points i.e. it doesn't do anything when its sitting on the floor of your pool.

So I'd recommend getting an auto cleaner before using this chemical.
Trying to keep the water stirred up by hand is a pain in the b**.

We lose a lot of chlorine/soda ash every time it rains heavy - same anywhere I guess.
You start thinking about an all-weather roof.

I should have made the pool cleaning hose inlet underwater near the centre of the pool.

As it is, above water at one end, the pool hose is too short (12M) and it's hard to get the vacuum running.
Tiny air leaks in the "quality" hose from China make it lose prime easily.
I wish I'd bought the better quality hose made in USA. (will eventually, money permitting)

I bought an automatic chlorine/acid dosing system that requires "liquid" chlorine. (See previous post)
Suitable "liquid" chlorine can only be purchased in 2 Litre containers in Thailand. (household bleach)
The manufacturers refuse to supply bulk container lots.
So we use powder instead .. so much for the auto system.. (will buy a lot of bleach next time in Big C - not!)

We had a pool fence built by one of those stainless steel worker/companies.
I supplied a diagram and they came out to measure up.
They botched it of course.
I specified 10 cm centres on the vertical bars - they made it with 10 cm gaps between the bars.
The dogs think its great, they run in and out of the pool area - no restrictions!
The bigger dogs squeeze through the bars by wiggling their hips. Funny to watch .. and annoying,
I got sick of growling..

Where I told them to put vertical posts, they put horizontal foot holds to enable non-swimmers & little kids to climb over
the fence; but to make sure the they don't reach the water, they put razor-sharp spikes along the top that will impale
any would-be climber - thus preventing a drowning!

Apart from those few little problems it 's been a breeze!

It's a bit like life really - if only I had known what I know now, I would have made a much better job of it!

Anyway a pool wasn't meant to make life easy! It just gives you a lot more things to do!

I can always sit near the pool in the evening, drink a cold beer and smile as I think about the money
I saved by not hiring a professional pool builder!

The beer gives you a sort of temporary amnesia - you need that!

"Hey Darl! Bring us another beer will you, that's a dear! .. and make sure there's a few more in the fridge too!"

.. bl**dy pool .. :cry:
.
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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby xerostar » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:56 pm

I'm not sure if this belongs in another thread?

Just a few points worth mentioning that might help others considering having a pool built.
This is about the pool I had built - mentioned earlier.

It was built by my 2 BIL's (concrete workers) earlier this year, steel reinforced concrete.
5M wide x 12M long, with a 3 cubic metre balance tank. 100,000 Litres in all.
1M deep at the shallow end and 2.5M deep at the deep end.

I ordered special (expensive) water proof render and even had the company rep come out and give the
guys a talk but I'm afraid it went over their heads. They just went back to using whatever render was handy.
I don't think many Thai workers realize that ordinary concrete is NOT waterproof and you won't convince them otherwise.

I wish we had made the pool deeper at the deep end because the water gets too warm on a hot day
and a steep dive can bring you too close to the bottom. i.e. no room for error.

I wish I had made the pool a little deeper at the shallow end. When you swim lengths, your knees and hands touch the bottom
when its only 1 Metre deep.

We used those tiny glass tiles in tones of blue.
Trouble is there's a lot of grout which took forever to apply and of course white grout gets dirty real easy!
So even after cleaning the pool, it looks OK from a distance but up close it still looks grotty and unsanitary.

The small tiles come off easily if you catch an edge with the pool hose/suction head.
I wish we had used larger tiles or even a fibreglass skin. (Probably will eventually)

I wish we had placed the pump lower, close to the pool water level (or even lower).
The pump loses its prime easily because its too high (18" above top level in balance tank) and the foot valve leaks.
I tried installing a better quality foot valve from Oz but it leaks too when leaves or bugs get stuck in it.

I bought an LED pool light. Seemed like a good idea a the time. NOT. It's not strong enough to light the whole pool
particularly if the water is not crystal clear. It also has multi-colors (not adjustable) so when people are
swimming they appear to turn from blood-red one minute to dead gray-green like floating corpses the next!

We have an overflow grating 5M long at one end of the pool draining into the balance tank - it works very well,
although it could have been shorter and still worked fine (2 Metres would have been OK or even just a skimmer box)
We don't have a water level at the same height as the surrounding deck so with the water level about 2" below
deck level there is no need for a long grating!
I liked the look of it so I thought yes, we must have a grating! Duh ..

I wish we had made the balance tank bigger. 3M x 3M x 3M is not enough (2,700 Litres)
I think the ideal figure should be at least 25% of the pool volume. (25,000 Litres) although
that would have increased the cost considerably.

I wish I had built in an automatic top-up valve connected to the house supply.
I've since installed that ball-float valve in the tank and it works fine, the supply pipe is visible
It comes out at the base of the pump house about 6 inches exposed before it goes down into the tank.
(would have been neater pre-installed)

I had provided a 2" main from the bore pump to the balance tank, but it only works manually.
I have to turn on the main bore pump supply valve, turn on the bore pump and remember (!)
to close the valve and turn off the pump about 1/2 hour later.
A pain in the a** because you always forget! (People come and ask you to look at something ..)

Also I don't know what level the water's at in the Balance tank so I have to lift the manhole cover
which is about 70Kg. Made from concrete with steel frame (rusty already ..)
You need some sort of gauge/measuring device to show the balance tank level.

I'll have to make a new balance tank man-hole cover with fibre-glass later on.
Besides 70 Kg is hard on the back.

I need to install some sort of skimmer inside the balance tank. It gets full of junk very quickly and
can only be cleaned properly by getting in there through the manhole, scrubbing with abrasive cleaner
and hosing out. It can take a half day or more to do it properly.

Any tips on making a skimmer inside the balance tank?

Only when the balance tank is overflowing is there any sort of skimmer effect for floating leaves,
insects or frog spawn.

A lot of contaminants swirl around and eventually get pumped up and caught by the sand filter.
The heavier sand particles (wind born) stay on the bottom of the tank until cleaned up by hand.

We have a large (4") main overflow pipe leading from the balance tank. Lucky we had that because with
some of the heavy rain downpours in recent months we could otherwise have had flooding in the house.
We have a p-trap on that too to prevent bugs etc coming up the drain from outside.
Hey .. I got one thing right!

The balance tank can suck dry during a dry spell while the pump re-fills the pool.
(when we lose water by evaporation and "other" means).
The pump loses prime and that can be bad if no-one is around and the motor pump bearings can overheat.
Thus the need for a larger balance tank.
Also the reason for me installing the ball-float valve water replenishment set-up which is a good alternative.

I wish we had done a meticulous pressure test on all pipework before back-filling. (Extremely important!)
I suspect (I know ..) one or more of the pipe joints was not glued.
We were losing a lot of water every day, like 1000 Litres!

Nobody wanted to admit forgetting to glue a pipe! What can you do?
A thorough pressure test would have prevented this major problem.

You could dig up the tiles, concrete, tons of earth. chip away bucket loads of concrete and
saw through steel to find the leak? Not likely!

I've plugged the bottom drains and that slowed the leak a lot. But I can't pump from there now.
If I do, I just get a load of air and the pump loses prime immediately.

I purchased some "Stop Leak" fluid from the USA and waited for dry weather to try it.
With postage it cost US $132 for 2 Litres so not cheap.
I used this recently and it has helped to reduce the water loss.
I don't know what the chemical is (patented) but it is heavy.
It sinks to the bottom quickly, so to be effective you need to keep the water stirred up.
An auto-cleaner like the Kreepy-Krauly would be good for this.

You keep the filter set on circulate to prevent it clogging the sand in the filter.

You can get a few hours effect by using the pool broom to stir up the stuff from the pool floor, but
even doing that twice a day is not going to be effective unless you continue doing it for months.
But as soon as you need to clean the pool floor by vacuuming to waste, you lose all the chemical in the process.

i.e. the chemical needs to be in suspension in the water that's leaking to allow it to work and
block the exit points i.e. it doesn't do anything when its sitting on the floor of your pool.

So I'd recommend getting an auto cleaner before using this chemical.
Trying to keep the water stirred up by hand is a pain in the b**.

We lose a lot of chlorine/soda ash every time it rains heavy - same anywhere I guess.
You start thinking about an all-weather roof.

I should have made the pool cleaning hose inlet underwater near the centre of the pool.

As it is, above water at one end, the pool hose is too short (12M) and it's hard to get the vacuum running.
Tiny air leaks in the "quality" hose from China make it lose prime easily.
I wish I'd bought the better quality hose made in USA. (will eventually, money permitting)

I bought an automatic chlorine/acid dosing system that requires "liquid" chlorine. (See previous post)
Suitable "liquid" chlorine can only be purchased in 2 Litre containers in Thailand. (household bleach)
The manufacturers refuse to supply bulk container lots.
So we use powder instead .. so much for the auto system.. (will buy a lot of bleach next time in Big C - not!)

We had a pool fence built by one of those stainless steel worker/companies.
I supplied a diagram and they came out to measure up.
They botched it of course.
I specified 10 cm centres on the vertical bars - they made it with 10 cm gaps between the bars.
The dogs think its great, they run in and out of the pool area - no restrictions!
The bigger dogs squeeze through the bars by wiggling their hips. Funny to watch .. and annoying,
I got sick of growling..

Where I told them to put vertical posts, they put horizontal foot holds to enable non-swimmers & little kids to climb over
the fence; but to make sure the they don't reach the water, they put razor-sharp spikes along the top that will impale
any would-be climber - thus preventing a drowning!

Apart from those few little problems it 's been a breeze!

It's a bit like life really - if only I had known what I know now, I would have made a much better job of it!

Anyway a pool wasn't meant to make life easy! It just gives you a lot more things to do!

I can always sit near the pool in the evening, drink a cold beer and smile as I think about the money
I saved by not hiring a professional pool builder!

The beer gives you a sort of temporary amnesia - you need that!

"Hey Darl! Bring us another beer will you, that's a dear! .. and make sure there's a few more in the fridge too!"

.. bl**dy pool .. :cry:
.
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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby jazzman » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:00 pm

You posted that twice - you've got about 16 minutes left to delete one of them. I'll sit back and have a long read in a moment :)
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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby xerostar » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:30 pm

jazzman wrote:You posted that twice - you've got about 16 minutes left to delete one of them. I'll sit back and have a long read in a moment :)

Sorry, I missed the deadline. Can you delete that one for me please?
My connection is slower than snails on Mogadon. You click 10 times on submit before it wakes up.
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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby fredlk » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:57 pm

xerostar wrote:.... Just a few points worth mentioning that might help others considering having a pool built.
This is about the pool I had built - mentioned earlier. .....

Thanks a million. I've put your posting on my TO-DON'T list. :lol:

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Re: Best source for pool chemicals?

Postby jazzman » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:16 pm

xerostar wrote:I'm not sure if this belongs in another thread?

It should really, I'll copy to the right one, but here are the answers already:

Just a few points worth mentioning that might help others considering having a pool built.
This is about the pool I had built - mentioned earlier.

It was built by my 2 BIL's (concrete workers) earlier this year, steel reinforced concrete.
5M wide x 12M long, with a 3 cubic metre balance tank. 100,000 Litres in all.
1M deep at the shallow end and 2.5M deep at the deep end.

Balance tank is too small. It must also absorb the displacement of anything up to 30 people all jumping into the pool at the same time, and the wave created by it. gernerally 10% of the pool volume is a good figure, with plenty of space in the tank to take the excess.


I ordered special (expensive) water proof render and even had the company rep come out and give the
guys a talk but I'm afraid it went over their heads. They just went back to using whatever render was handy.
I don't think many Thai workers realize that ordinary concrete is NOT waterproof and you won't convince them otherwise.


Pool concrete should have a waterproofing agent added to it. The same stuff can be added to the render. Then use waterproof tile adhesive for swimming pools.

I wish we had made the pool deeper at the deep end because the water gets too warm on a hot day
and a steep dive can bring you too close to the bottom. i.e. no room for error.

I wish I had made the pool a little deeper at the shallow end. When you swim lengths, your knees and hands touch the bottom
when its only 1 Metre deep.

1 M is safer for kids, many pools have only 80 cm in the shallow end. However, if you have no kids, no problem.

We used those tiny glass tiles in tones of blue.
Trouble is there's a lot of grout which took forever to apply and of course white grout gets dirty real easy!
So even after cleaning the pool, it looks OK from a distance but up close it still looks grotty and unsanitary.

Yes, and for the reasons you mention below, mosaïc tiles are not a good idea for pools - at least not for covering large surfaces. What you want is many square metres of tile rather than nearly as much surface covered by grout.

The small tiles come off easily if you catch an edge with the pool hose/suction head.

A known common problem.
I wish we had used larger tiles or even a fibreglass skin. (Probably will eventually)

Normal 4" x 4" tiles are perfectly adequate with about 4 mm of grout between them.Cost 250 baht/m2

I wish we had placed the pump lower, close to the pool water level (or even lower).
The pump loses its prime easily because its too high (18" above top level in balance tank) and the foot valve leaks.
A known common problem.
I tried installing a better quality foot valve from Oz but it leaks too when leaves or bugs get stuck in it.
A known common problem.

I bought an LED pool light. Seemed like a good idea a the time. NOT. It's not strong enough to light the whole pool
particularly if the water is not crystal clear. It also has multi-colors (not adjustable) so when people are
swimming they appear to turn from blood-red one minute to dead gray-green like floating corpses the next!

Thanks for that tip :) I haven't actually used any LED lights yet.

We have an overflow grating 5M long at one end of the pool draining into the balance tank - it works very well,
although it could have been shorter and still worked fine (2 Metres would have been OK or even just a skimmer box)
We don't have a water level at the same height as the surrounding deck so with the water level about 2" below
deck level there is no need for a long grating!
I liked the look of it so I thought yes, we must have a grating! Duh ..

The grating gets very grotty quite quickly. A popular solution is to fill the gutter with decorative white pebbles.

I wish we had made the balance tank bigger. 3M x 3M x 3M is not enough (2,700 Litres)
I think the ideal figure should be at least 25% of the pool volume. (25,000 Litres) although
that would have increased the cost considerably.

Well, at least 10%.

I wish I had built in an automatic top-up valve connected to the house supply.
I've since installed that ball-float valve in the tank and it works fine, the supply pipe is visible
It comes out at the base of the pump house about 6 inches exposed before it goes down into the tank.
(would have been neater pre-installed)

Standard practice to install a ball valve or an electric valve in a balance tank.

I had provided a 2" main from the bore pump to the balance tank, but it only works manually.
I have to turn on the main bore pump supply valve, turn on the bore pump and remember (!)
to close the valve and turn off the pump about 1/2 hour later.
A pain in the a** because you always forget! (People come and ask you to look at something ..)

Also I don't know what level the water's at in the Balance tank so I have to lift the manhole cover
which is about 70Kg. Made from concrete with steel frame (rusty already ..)
You need some sort of gauge/measuring device to show the balance tank level.

Not really, because once you have set up the balance between drawing water from the main drain and the balance tank, it should remain fairly stable (until the rainy season!) It's a lot of trial & error to find that balance though.

I'll have to make a new balance tank man-hole cover with fibre-glass later on.
Besides 70 Kg is hard on the back.
A balance tank manhole cover can be made of 2 mm steel plate. The opening would be big enough at 60 x 60.

I need to install some sort of skimmer inside the balance tank. It gets full of junk very quickly and
can only be cleaned properly by getting in there through the manhole, scrubbing with abrasive cleaner
and hosing out. It can take a half day or more to do it properly.

Any tips on making a skimmer inside the balance tank?

Only when the balance tank is overflowing is there any sort of skimmer effect for floating leaves,
insects or frog spawn.

What's on top doesn't matter much as the foot valve draws from the lover levels. It's an idea though to fill the balance tank to overflowing occasioanlly (once a month or so).

A lot of contaminants swirl around and eventually get pumped up and caught by the sand filter.
The heavier sand particles (wind born) stay on the bottom of the tank until cleaned up by hand.

Still not a serious problem.

We have a large (4") main overflow pipe leading from the balance tank. Lucky we had that because with
some of the heavy rain downpours in recent months we could otherwise have had flooding in the house.
We have a p-trap on that too to prevent bugs etc coming up the drain from outside.
Hey .. I got one thing right!

The balance tank can suck dry during a dry spell while the pump re-fills the pool.
(when we lose water by evaporation and "other" means).
The pump loses prime and that can be bad if no-one is around and the motor pump bearings can overheat.
Thus the need for a larger balance tank.
Also the reason for me installing the ball-float valve water replenishment set-up which is a good alternative.
See above about drawing from both the balance tank and the main drain.

I wish we had done a meticulous pressure test on all pipework before back-filling. (Extremely important!)
I suspect (I know ..) one or more of the pipe joints was not glued.
We were losing a lot of water every day, like 1000 Litres!

Tell me about it! Glueing MUST be supervised.

Nobody wanted to admit forgetting to glue a pipe! What can you do?
A thorough pressure test would have prevented this major problem.

You could dig up the tiles, concrete, tons of earth. chip away bucket loads of concrete and
saw through steel to find the leak? Not likely!

I've plugged the bottom drains and that slowed the leak a lot. But I can't pump from there now.
If I do, I just get a load of air and the pump loses prime immediately.

I purchased some "Stop Leak" fluid from the USA and waited for dry weather to try it.
With postage it cost US $132 for 2 Litres so not cheap.
I used this recently and it has helped to reduce the water loss.
I don't know what the chemical is (patented) but it is heavy.
It sinks to the bottom quickly, so to be effective you need to keep the water stirred up.
An auto-cleaner like the Kreepy-Krauly would be good for this.

Did you put 8" water-stop strip round the join in the concrete between the floor and the walls before you cast the concrete?

You keep the filter set on circulate to prevent it clogging the sand in the filter.

Filter unit too small for the volume of the pool.

Use DiamondKleen instead of sand


You can get a few hours effect by using the pool broom to stir up the stuff from the pool floor, but
even doing that twice a day is not going to be effective unless you continue doing it for months.
But as soon as you need to clean the pool floor by vacuuming to waste, you lose all the chemical in the process.

Using DiamondKleen filter media would reduce your backwashing by half.

i.e. the chemical needs to be in suspension in the water that's leaking to allow it to work and
block the exit points i.e. it doesn't do anything when its sitting on the floor of your pool.

So I'd recommend getting an auto cleaner before using this chemical.
Trying to keep the water stirred up by hand is a pain in the b**.

We lose a lot of chlorine/soda ash every time it rains heavy - same anywhere I guess.
You start thinking about an all-weather roof.

I should have made the pool cleaning hose inlet underwater near the centre of the pool.

Yes.most definitely at lest 30 - 40 cm below water level, halfway along the wall. Most hoses have a max length of 11 metres.

As it is, above water at one end, the pool hose is too short (12M) and it's hard to get the vacuum running.
Tiny air leaks in the "quality" hose from China make it lose prime easily.
I wish I'd bought the better quality hose made in USA. (will eventually, money permitting)
This one is good, made in USA, sold by Pool & Spa in BKK, but costs around 4,000 baht. The others on the market are crap. Leave them on the poolside in the sun's UV light for three months and they go brittle and break up in small pieces.
Vac hose.JPG
Vac hose.JPG (23.4 KiB) Viewed 1738 times


I bought an automatic chlorine/acid dosing system that requires "liquid" chlorine. (See previous post)
Suitable "liquid" chlorine can only be purchased in 2 Litre containers in Thailand. (household bleach)
The manufacturers refuse to supply bulk container lots.
So we use powder instead .. so much for the auto system.. (will buy a lot of bleach next time in Big C - not!)

We had a pool fence built by one of those stainless steel worker/companies.
I supplied a diagram and they came out to measure up.
They botched it of course.
I specified 10 cm centres on the vertical bars - they made it with 10 cm gaps between the bars.
The dogs think its great, they run in and out of the pool area - no restrictions!
The bigger dogs squeeze through the bars by wiggling their hips. Funny to watch .. and annoying,
I got sick of growling..

Where I told them to put vertical posts, they put horizontal foot holds to enable non-swimmers & little kids to climb over
the fence; but to make sure the they don't reach the water, they put razor-sharp spikes along the top that will impale
any would-be climber - thus preventing a drowning!

Supervise such work - always!

Apart from those few little problems it 's been a breeze!

It's a bit like life really - if only I had known what I know now, I would have made a much better job of it!

Anyway a pool wasn't meant to make life easy! It just gives you a lot more things to do!

I can always sit near the pool in the evening, drink a cold beer and smile as I think about the money
I saved by not hiring a professional pool builder!
It might have been worth paying 5,000 baht or so for some professional advice and a set of dimensions and a plumbing schematic, and accurately matched pump and filter.
The beer gives you a sort of temporary amnesia - you need that!

"Hey Darl! Bring us another beer will you, that's a dear! .. and make sure there's a few more in the fridge too!"

.. bl**dy pool .. :cry:
.
jazzman
 
Posts: 2161
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:11 pm
Location: Thailand


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