Swimming pool chat

Had the green pool problem in June, anti algae was useless, several chlor shock treatments failed to make a difference, so I 'googled' the issue and 'bingo'! I discovered John Withall and his posts. Having solved the problem by following John's advice, I then purchased the ColorQ tester (from USA) Once I had mastered the modus operandi it was a great help in understanding how to ensure the pool water needs to be managed. Just a couple of questions from my experiences with the green pool and the ColorQ...

Do all chlor shock products contain CYA? Le Clerc are now selling, under their Pro Azur label a chlor rapide product. Nothing on the label identifies whether or not it contains stabiliser.

Secondly how do I alter the alkalinity and calcium hardness levels if they are outside 'ideal' levels when tested?

Very many thanks John for your advice

No a properly maintained pool should not have algae. We seem to get two algae blooms each year in France at which times the problem seems worse than at other times and one of those is generally early August. Raising the free chlorine levels a little around that time can help reduce the chances of a full blown algae issue.

Good pool water testing equipment can help because the accurate analysis will show when problems are likely to occur which is easy to remedy rather than when algae has bloomed and it's a harder, longer and often more expensive issue to put right.



Hi Everybody just joined your group this morning.

Can i ask if anybody else is experiencing excessive water evaporation from their pools this summer, in the last week our pool has dropped 5cm we are located in the west of the lot area 46, we have put twice as much water in the pool compared to other years.

hi Barbara, are you referring to the gizzmo being advertised on Ai?

Well if you have a badly designed pool then maybe it will help but it does have a narrow field of pull, not un like a conventional skimmer but slightly better.

There are a couple of things I would like to point out, the pool in France used for the demo is oval. my pool is oval because it's the best shape for a pool from a circulation point of view so water will move better in a circle so you may catch more leaves that way. The old idea in pool theory is to setup a pool so the water flows around in a circle but what really happens then is the leaves make their way to the dead spot in the middle and sink so you must take the leaves out before this happens. Rectangular pools have more dead spots so water and leaves find more stationary points to sink so you may need a few of these.

Pool demos often "enhance" the effect by closing off other returns etc and having a more powerful pump to demonstrate how good their gizzmo is, The speeded up film shows it takes too long to clear the pool and they even say "well placed leaves"

I don't know if I still have mine, I think not but I invest some money each year in gizzmos which claim to do this or that, some make the grade onto my top products list, others don't and get Ebayed as a rule so I get some money back to fund the next "Big" thing in pool gadgets.

This did work but I don't use it any more as I have bettered the whole system and now the whole pool works better and on a lot less electricity and therefore much bigger savings rather than buying an additional something in order to try and correct something.

How good are gobblers?

Thanks John,

Big hugs duly sent!


Ok Shona, big hugs to you too, what's the problem? apart from floc's needing to clump together, which by the way really doesn't work that well, like most things in the pool industry they haven't got that bit right either. Your tap water suppliers will use flocculents to clear the water and if you think that is achieved by someone throwing a bottle of chemical into the water supply and then switching the pump off then think again.

Now have you any water test figures I can look at?

Hi John....we ARE friends....you've already answered a query from me (thanks again) re repairing winter pool covers.

Pool not looking any better today, even after leaving pump off for a couple of days to let the floc 'clump' together more : {

Tried to send a message but we must be friends first apparently so sending big hugs!

Dear John,
Thank you for your detailed response.
Could you let me have a quote for the ColorQ Pro7 please?
Does this come with an idiot’s guide to use? This will be the first pool that we have owned. As we are not in France until 27th June, we have a friend of a friend dealing with the initially opening. I believe it is pretty hot at the moment (Beauville in 47) and that this will promote the algae. I will then want to monitor the condition of the pool through the summer to ensure that it is working nicely.

Evening! Chris, to clarify the point, droppers are reasonably accurate for liquid reagents but when compared to a tablet there are chances for error either miss counting through distraction or drop variance, so between the two tablets are individually wrapped and sealed from the air until used, cheaper to ship and generally more reliable as a measured dose.

Roland, most testers require a reagent added to a sample, there are some strange versions out there, I bought a few, years back but they also require re calibration via some for of accurate test so I can't recommend them. Photometers are good because there is no colour matching to be done. You are quite correct with the cyanuric acid/free chlorine level being very important because of people reliance on multiaction tablets. Dip strips maybe ok for pH but the chlorine levels are only indications of chlorine presence rather than specific levels which we can use to diagnose problems. You cannot measure cyanuric acid with dip strips, you may get a colour reaction on the strip but it will be no where near the actual level determined via a turbidity test.

It's down to budget, as ever the devil is in the detail. Low cost looking units frequently ship with low amounts of test reagents, add the test reagents to the level of the other units and then get a comparison, which is why for the value version it has to be the ColorQ Pro7 at the moment as it tests for more and contains more reagents. The only real dowside with that unit is the test tubes (don't be frightened) are plastic and get scratched with use so need replacing as the scratches scatter the light beam used for testing. The tubes are cheap, I found some lab grade glass ones but at £75 for 3 i don't see many people buying them.

Other good testers are comparator types which are similar to what you have now but with a much better and more accurate range of colours which actually match what your testing. There is the titration type testers, very accurate too you count the tablets/drops until a colour change occurs but these are more CSI in my opinion but if you used to work in some laboratory the technique will be known to you.

The tester you have now is known as the OTO test and it only measure Total chlorine and not free chlorine, you need both as you are looking for a difference between the samples of 0- 0.5ppm.

I can ship the testers to France or the UK, just drop me a PM or email.

Thanks again for your help Chris.

My tester is a colorQ Pro 7 - but with liquid testing chemicals. When John sees this I have no doubt he will not only comment from his experience but will make some suggestions that do not cost an arm and a leg!

Thanks Chris. I think I have also seen electronic ones that do not rely on adding further chess but may be wrong. Sounds a bit too CSI if you know what I mean and probably very expensive.

Depends on the make and type. I have been advised that the testers using drops are not accurate enough as the size of the drops are not controllable. John will no doubt give you the full gen but he said to me that the ones with little tablets is more accurate, therefore more efficient

Hello all. I am considering buying an electronic tester as it seems the balance of chlorine and CYA is critical to maintaining a healthy pool. I have been left a tester, which looks like a little clear plastic box divided into slots which you fill with pool water and check by dripping in chemicals. I was shown how to use this once last year and have completely forgotten the process! Any suggestions please?

I would agree with that. Maybe we all ought to start that up but with french tax and employment laws it would probably be nightmare to do as well as economically unsound.

Hugh wrote: " In fairness Chlor Choc is how it's described on the containers".

Of course Hugh, my hope is that we can put some of the myths surrounding pool maintenace to rest and people on here can with a little help learn how to manage their pools properly for themselves. France is one of the largest pool markets in the world but quite possibly the worst as far as knowledge goes. In theory I should be able to recruit a small army of pool service persons and do really well in France.

In fairness Chlore Choc is how it is described on the containers