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Hello There!

I would like to add to this forum and talk a little about BioGuard. I work for a Platinum BioGuard Dealer, I am a water care professional, and most of what people add about BioGuard on this forum is simply not true. Let's start out with what people assume most, BioGuard just wants to sell, sell, sell. I can tell you personally, working with Chemtura and BioGuard that this is not true. If you are having issues with your local dealer selling you countless chemicals, its the people at your local dealer. BioGuards Professional water testing is more accurate than any strip/drop/electronic test I have ever seen on the retail side of pool care. It's up to YOUR local dealers to use this information and accurately work with Alex for the best choice on how to maintain your pool. Let's be honest, most local shops are MONEY hungry. This does not make BioGuard a bad company, and you shouldn't be advised to "run" from their dealers. Secondly, I would like to add, as I do work mostly with BioGuard products, we also sell a variety of other chemical brands so we can reach out to a more broad amount of customers (Proteam, Natural Chemistry, etc.). I love selling Proteam just as much as BioGuard, high price doesn't mean a better outcome usually. Another problem I notice most people have with "BioGuard" products is they don't fully understand Water Chemistry and Pool Care to begin with. Water Chemistry is a hard thing to get down. Let's take a common algae problem I see consistently Just because a customer adds BioGuard's Banish, and Banish doesn't clear the pool up next day doesn't mean the chemical isn't doing what its suppose to do. The conditions of where you live, the weather, your phosphate levels, your TDS reading (which most dealers don't routinely check) can all contribute to that one cloudy problem.

BioGuard is not out there to get you. If anything, your LOCAL dealers want your money. If you have ANY questions on anything BioGuard, or have a pool problem you can't control, reply to this thread, and I will answer your questions to the best of my ability.

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I understand water chemistry better than most in the industry and Chemtura's corporate stand (that I have been told on more than one occasion from reps from more than one of their divisions) that CYA levels are not important up to about 200 ppm is pure BS and was debunked back in the 70's by a paper published by O'Brian on chlorinated isocyanurates. I suppose you are next going to say that sodium hydrogen carbonate (the ingredient in Balance Pak 100) is not the same as baking soda? Well guess what, they are exactly the same since sodium hydrogen carbonate is just a different name for sodium bicarbonate.. Shall I go on? It's not that the dealers are bad, it's the 'training' they receive and the misinformation on water chemistry they are given (from Bioguard/Chemtura). As far as the Alex software, it is notorious for overdosing on chems and maximizing dealer profits, is it not? In fact, isn't this one of it's 'selling points' for dealers so they invest in it?. I am not a fan of ANY software for dosing for one reason. It is 'dumb' and does not really take into account such things as pH rise from CO2 ougassing or the extreme TA rise caused by addition of sodium carbonate to raise pH (which is only really warranted when both pH AND TA are low.) One needs to understand the interactions that occur and there is no software out there that does. Then we have the strip reader. The problem with them is the strip. it's a matter of GIGO.

Bottom line is this. If pool owners were REALLY taught how to care for their pools ti would hurt the bottom line of dealers and the chemical companies that supply them. That is a fact that cannot be argued!

And as far as your common 'algae problem' why not just use the proper chlorine level for the CYA level in the water and don't let the CYA go through the roof in the first place so there IS no algae problem! Oh yeah, because then the dealer cannot sell Banish, and PhosFree and when they don't work a sodium bromide based product like Mustard and Black Magic, which will work since it takes the CYA out of the loop for as long as the pool is a bromine pool but then the pool reverts to chlorine again and the algae comes back and the dealer can then sell MORE quat or copper algaecide and lanthanum sulfate remover and sodium bromide, 'not to mention all the 'shock' to go along with it (as if "shock' was different than chlorine!)

Chemtura is not the only company guilty of this but since they are one of the bigger suppliers of chlorinated isocyanurates it is in their best interest NOT to educate their dealers on the chlorine/CYA relationshiip and in turn their dealer's customers. Would you not agree?

The ONLY reason water chemistry is "a hard thing to get down" is because of the misinformation that chemical companies teach their dealers. In reality, it's fairly simple to understand if you are given the actual facts about it. However, once you learn the facts you quickly realize that a vast majority of the products sold are completely unnecessary. I can't begin to tell you the things I have heard in 'trainings' that anyone with a real background in chemistry would immediately question (and I did).

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Read this thread for a typical experience where the software doesn't understand the cumulative effects and interactions of the various chemicals that are recommended. The basic summary is that Balance Pak 100 was recommended to raise the TA, but then Balance Pak 200 was recommended to raise the pH without understanding that it too raises the TA. So the net result was a pool with too high a TA (and the pH was on the high side as well) so the pool became cloudy and there was no understanding of the Calcium Hardness (CH) level either.

Then to add insult to injury, the Smart Shock oxidizer product was used and it contains lots of copper so in the high pH/TA environment it turned the white cloud into a green cloud as the copper precipitated. The high copper levels could then become a problem for metal staining of pool surfaces.

If you are really interested in learning more about pool water chemistry and dispelling the myths of the pool industry, then I suggest you read the first post in Certified Pool Operator training -- What is not taught including its links to peer-reviewed papers in respected scientific journals.

By the way, it's not just Chemtura/Bioguard that withholds materially important information consumers need to know to make an informed purchase decision, but the other major manufacturers do as well. My local pool store sells a lot of GLB and other Advantis Technology (now part of Arch Chemicals) brands, but they also sell a lot of Trichlor which I used initially in a floating feeder 9 years ago. After one and a half seasons, my CYA level rose from 30 ppm to 150 ppm and my pool got dull/cloudy with a higher chlorine demand -- the beginnings of an algae bloom -- and this was with a low 0.7 ppm FC per day chlorine usage because I had a mostly opaque electric safety cover (and the pool wasn't used every day). This was in spite of using a Polyquat/linear-quat algaecide though only every other week. That's when I found The Pool Forum and decided to learn the ins and outs of pool water chemistry. Since then, I switched to using only 12.5% chlorinating liquid (from that same local pool store) I add twice a week plus a small amount of acid every few weeks in my 16,000 gallon pool that costs me around $17 per month. The pool is now used nearly every day with around 1 ppm FC per day chlorine usage and remains clear and algae-free even when it had over 3000 ppb phosphates.

I don't blame the pool stores. They are simply not told the truth about the chlorine/CYA relationship, the pH/TA relationship, and many other basic facts about how to properly manage pools. Trichlor is very convenient and some people will want to use it even with its potential problems, but pool stores should be told the truth so that they can properly warn their customers that the use of supplemental products to prevent algae is not optional when one does not manage the FC/CYA level and that this is part of the "price" one pays for continued use of stabilized chlorine products. When using stabilized chlorine products as the primary source of chlorine, only those with smaller pools in short swim seasons or having lots of water dilution or are lucky enough to have water poor in algae nutrient levels (and no phosphates in their fill water) need not worry about algae. The pool store I use has a pool service for 2000 pools and they use Trichlor tabs because they only visit once a week (or every other week in some cases), but they target 4.5 ppm FC and dilute the water when the CYA gets to 100 ppm or more. Even so, they still get algae in some pools (not a surprise since 4.5 ppm FC would only be good for up to around 60 ppm or so and problems could be seen at 80 ppm or more) so they shock and/or use phosphate removers for those pools that get algae when the CYA gets to 80-100 ppm. They do not understand the chlorine/CYA relationship directly, but through their experience they have stumbled upon the necessity to have a higher FC and to limit CYA (i.e. to have the FC/CYA ratio be above a certain minimum).

By the way, the TDS level, which is mostly just sodium chloride salt, is not related to cloudiness. It's the higher CYA level that makes chlorine less effective by lowering the active chlorine level (unless the FC is proportionately raised to keep the FC/CYA ratio constant) and slows down chlorine oxidation of bather waste and the rate of killing algae that can cause the water to get cloudy, just as happened in my own pool 8 years ago. Blaming TDS instead of CYA is one of the deflecting deceits used by the industry. The increase in TDS can be a proxy for cumulative bather load, BUT in residential pools most chlorine usage/consumption comes from the breakdown of chlorine to chloride (salt) by the UV in sunlight and not from bather load, so a rising salt level is just that, more salt and not a problem. Saltwater chlorine generator pools have around 3000 ppm and are not cloudy. So get this idea of TDS being a problem out of your head. It is only useful as a bather load proxy in high bather-load pools such as commercial/public pools where most chlorine demand is associated with bather waste so can be used as a proxy for needing water dilution (though really it would be better to track average bather load instead and dilute according to standard industry suggestions -- roughly 7 gallons per bather-hour).

To reiterate what waterbear said, this is known science since at least 1974. That's nearly 40 years. How much longer is this going to go on? It's often hard to distinguish between intentional deceit vs. ignorance, but either way it's about time people stood up and said ENOUGH ALREADY -- (to the industry) stop insulting our intelligence and please raise the level of education in the pool/spa industry.

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I work in pool supply distribution, and I can say with a fair amount of authority, that most of the pros I sell to don't know squat about balancing water. I educate them anytime they are having problems, and my reccomendations are all structured around the information that is provided in the posts from Waterbear and Chem Geek, and 100% of the time, they get the results they are hoping for (clear water, happy customer) by paying closer attention to the relationships between chemicals (speciafically FC and CYA). I have never yet had one of these dozens of pool guys come to me and say "yeah, but if I stop using trichlor, how will I make a buck?" That sort of thinking is retarded. If a pool guy has a green pool and he can't get it clear, he's going to lose money no matter what because he is going to swiftly lose the confidence and trust of his home owner. I hope that you are just trolling.

I'm basically out of things to say that haven't been said already, except that what you are saying is mostly untrue and you should feel bad.

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And by the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with someone using Trichlor since it is very convenient as it is slow-dissolving. It's just that one needs to understand the consequences. If one wants to manage that via extra cost or effort (though still less frequent than having to add chlorine every day or two), be it intentional water dilution, use of phosphate removers or algaecides, or just taking a chance and dealing with the pool if/when a problem occurs, then that's perfectly fine. This is more about disseminating valid information to make informed decisions. It's not about having to do things one way or another. Yes, we make recommendations that work for most people, but there's nothing absolute about it.

When I was at the World Aquatic Health Conference (WAHC) a couple of weeks ago there was a lunchtime roundtable discussion on disinfection by-products and a few people gave some quick presentations. I didn't know that I could have done a presentation and was not prepared so instead I had people come up to the front in two groups with the larger one representing chlorine bound to CYA and another one with one person being chlorine unbound to CYA (i.e. active chlorine). I described how CYA is a chlorine buffer holding it in reserve and that the unbound chlorine is what killed pathogens and oxidized bather waste as well as swimsuits skin and hair, but was also what created disinfection by-products and corroded metal. I had another person represent a pathogen or bather waste and they combined with the active chlorine and went away while a person from the larger "chlorine bound to CYA" group moved out to replace the person who left. This demonstrated the principle of having chlorine in reserve replenishing chlorine that is used/consumed. I also pointed out that a balance was needed and that if one had the CYA get to high without raising the FC, then there was too little active chlorine where the first symptom was usually an higher-than-normal chlorine demand, dull/cloudy water and/or visible algae growth. My point was to use CYA in moderation -- having none makes the chlorine too strong (for FC levels people want in the U.S. to have enough available) while having too much makes it too weak.

After this fun presentation and when the discussion was over a couple of people stayed later to talk to me and one told me that she now understood how it could be that her commercial/public pools got algae whenever the CYA hit around 50 ppm. I told her that I bet her FC level was below 4 ppm since I knew that was roughly the level needed to prevent green and black algae growth under ideal growth conditions (i.e. lots of phosphates and nitrates) and she said that the FC was around 2-3 ppm. Bingo! Light bulbs went off in everyone's head and it all started to make much more sense. No more of this "CYA doesn't matter; only FC matters" from the pool industry. Now the FC/CYA ratio explained what was going on in their pools and they understood how continued use of stabilized chlorine can lead to algae growth (unless supplemental steps are taken). I practically cried from her gratefulness and when I realized how many thousands of commercial and public pool operators could be helped if they only knew the truth. This wasn't just about the 10 million residential pool owners, but some of these same issues also occur in commercial/public pools as well.

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FWIW, our 'platinum bioguard dearler' has not been back since he made his initial post. Not really any surprises here. There was nothing he could say when confronted with the facts.

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Hello all,

It's sicisum, the original author of this topic. My account has been locked, and I've been very busy with the pool store this akward season here in Kansas. I would like to address some of the things you have posted, which are very stereotypical I must add.

@waterbear

I completely agree with you 100%. Chemical manufacturing companies (Chemtura, Haviland, Proteam, Arch/Lonza, & Natural Chemistry I can speak on) do not teach retail dealers on proper water balance. BioGuard (Chemtura) for example offers "Pool Schools" once a year to help teach retail teams how to sell product- not to balance pool water. They may address how this special patented (magic as they may say) chemical affects the pool water, but they don't tell the chemistry behind it. As you said, they give you a program that doses everything high to help sell (although, levels CAN be adjusted by dealers inside BioGuards recommendations).

@chem geek

Whichever pool store you visited obviously hasn't trained their retail team. TA/pH CYA/Chlorine relationship is considered (to me) the building blocks of understanding water chemistry. If you don't understand how one products affects the other, then you shouldn't sell the product at all. Many customers honestly DON'T understand that raising TA will increase the pH, and unless your pH is low enough for TA to raise it to an acceptable range, you will need Lo N' Slo (pH Decrease) to offset what off balance you have caused by adding Balance Pak 100, also known as BAKING SODA. Yes, it's unbelievable!!! A Platinum BioGuard Dealer is admitting that this Balance Pak 100 is no bag of magic! All of us at our retail store do not understand BioGuards stand on believing CYA is acceptable at 200ppm. However, Alex does not allow us to lower these ranges, but we teach our retail team to keep CYA levels in a truly acceptable range. We inform our customers on the CYA additive on Trichlor and Dichlor based products.

@LegsOnEarth

You work in supply distribution, not a retail location. Not all retail people are idiots when it comes to water balance. While water chemistry never changes, the distribution and retail worlds are VERY different.

And once again, @waterbear, I am back! Under a new name! Check out BioGuards new magic in a bottle, Pool Tonic here. There is absolutely NOTHING comparable to this, and it removes Phosphate! Surprising coming from a company that swears Phosphates do not cause algae blooms...... Anywho. I'm going to try to stay active here to try and see how I can better myself in providing customers quality pool care information. I'm not here to be an arrogant ****.

EDIT:

Some of you may ask why I carry BioGuard products. I like that they do try and reach markets that enjoy pretty looking bottles and pails. They like you to pay for it too, and BioGuard has MAP pricing, so you can't argue about dealers forcing the high prices.

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pooltonic,

Welcome back! The link I gave with the example of the recommendations from the Alex system that didn't understand the combination effects of its recommendations wasn't a pool store I visited, but someone else's experience. The point was that the Alex system made that bad recommendation. It sounds like your pool store does understand these relationships which is great, but our point (waterbear and I) is that Bioguard doesn't teach the right info and has systems that sometimes don't make the right recommendations. I don't think either of us were saying anything about Bioguard's product quality being bad -- they aren't. It's not the products that are the problem (well, until you get copper in Trichlor tabs without knowing it), but rather what the reps, brochures and "training" tells the pool stores. And as I wrote, this isn't a problem unique to Chemtura/Bioguard, but is fairly common across the pool and spa industry.

I'm glad that you're doing the right thing by learning the truth and therefore can help your customers make informed purchase decisions. That is not the norm so if you can think of ways of improving the industry, please let us know. I'm going to the NSPF WAHC later this week and will see if training in the commercial/public pool area can be improved since they have some of the same problems in some of their pools (i.e. Trichlor pucks increasing CYA having algae develop because FC is not raised proportionately). You really need to read the "CPO What is not taught" link I gave earlier to make sure you know about all the things that tend to go against standard industry lore.

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After reading the description of pooltonic I would have to bet the bank that it is NOTHING MORE that a chitosan based clarifer since that is EXACTLY what chitosan clarifiers do (inlcuidng removiing phosphates) and they are nothing new at all! More 'magic in a bottle' at a high price. AS far as clarifers go I do tend to perfer the chitosan ones for sand filters over sodium PCA ones but in the vast maority of cases there is no need for a clairier at all.

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After reading the description of pooltonic I would have to bet the bank that it is NOTHING MORE that a chitosan based clarifer since that is EXACTLY what chitosan clarifiers do (inlcuidng removiing phosphates) and they are nothing new at all! More 'magic in a bottle' at a high price. AS far as clarifers go I do tend to perfer the chitosan ones for sand filters over sodium PCA ones but in the vast maority of cases there is no need for a clairier at all.

 

The MSDS does not specify the chemical makeup of Pool Tonic. (I hope you realize my comment above was to be taken sarcastically). I can confirm that BioGuard does get assistance from Sea Klear on their chitosan-based products.

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pooltonic,Welcome back! The link I gave with the example of the recommendations from the Alex system that didn't understand the combination effects of its recommendations wasn't a pool store I visited, but someone else's experience. The point was that the Alex system made that bad recommendation. It sounds like your pool store does understand these relationships which is great, but our point (waterbear and I) is that Bioguard doesn't teach the right info and has systems that sometimes don't make the right recommendations. I don't think either of us were saying anything about Bioguard's product quality being bad -- they aren't. It's not the products that are the problem (well, until you get copper in Trichlor tabs without knowing it), but rather what the reps, brochures and "training" tells the pool stores. And as I wrote, this isn't a problem unique to Chemtura/Bioguard, but is fairly common across the pool and spa industry.I'm glad that you're doing the right thing by learning the truth and therefore can help your customers make informed purchase decisions. That is not the norm so if you can think of ways of improving the industry, please let us know. I'm going to the NSPF WAHC later this week and will see if training in the commercial/public pool area can be improved since they have some of the same problems in some of their pools (i.e. Trichlor pucks increasing CYA having algae develop because FC is not raised proportionately). You really need to read the "CPO What is not taught" link I gave earlier to make sure you know about all the things that tend to go against standard industry lore.

 

Hey chem geek! I will check out that link. I agree that there are many Pool Chemical Retail locations near us *cough cough* that get many people in our area unbalanced thus causing the customers more hassle and money in additional chemicals to help balance everything out. It's truly annoying to hear a customer say "I've been to so and so and have had the same problem for weeks. NOTHING has gotten better". High copper from misuse/misguidance of products seems to be a big issue here.

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On 10/20/2012 at 5:45 PM, sicisum said:

Hello There!

I would like to add to this forum and talk a little about BioGuard. I work for a Platinum BioGuard Dealer, I am a water care professional, and most of what people add about BioGuard on this forum is simply not true. Let's start out with what people assume most, BioGuard just wants to sell, sell, sell. I can tell you personally, working with Chemtura and BioGuard that this is not true. If you are having issues with your local dealer selling you countless chemicals, its the people at your local dealer. BioGuards Professional water testing is more accurate than any strip/drop/electronic test I have ever seen on the retail side of pool care. It's up to YOUR local dealers to use this information and accurately work with Alex for the best choice on how to maintain your pool. Let's be honest, most local shops are MONEY hungry. This does not make BioGuard a bad company, and you shouldn't be advised to "run" from their dealers. Secondly, I would like to add, as I do work mostly with BioGuard products, we also sell a variety of other chemical brands so we can reach out to a more broad amount of customers (Proteam, Natural Chemistry, etc.). I love selling Proteam just as much as BioGuard, high price doesn't mean a better outcome usually. Another problem I notice most people have with "BioGuard" products is they don't fully understand Water Chemistry and Pool Care to begin with. Water Chemistry is a hard thing to get down. Let's take a common algae problem I see consistently Just because a customer adds BioGuard's Banish, and Banish doesn't clear the pool up next day doesn't mean the chemical isn't doing what its suppose to do. The conditions of where you live, the weather, your phosphate levels, your TDS reading (which most dealers don't routinely check) can all contribute to that one cloudy problem.

BioGuard is not out there to get you. If anything, your LOCAL dealers want your money. If you have ANY questions on anything BioGuard, or have a pool problem you can't control, reply to this thread, and I will answer your questions to the best of my ability.

The new complete clorhine  stick has cooper in it. Should I be concerned it will build up in pool

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