Calling SMS...Pool chemicals ... best place...Silicon Valley

In the past, SMS told me (rightly so), the best place for liquid chlorine was HASA in Saratoga with the coupon was yourpoolguys.com in Saratoga.
I use about 100 pounds of the 3" trichlor tablets per year.
If SMS is out there ... does he know the secret place in the valley (like he did for liquid chlorine) to get the 3" trichlor tabs?
So far I've called these obvious places in the valley: - Costco ($80/40 pounds, unknown percentage available chlorine) - Home Depot ($60/24 pounds, 95% available chlorine) - Lowes ($60/24 pounds, 95% available chlorine) - Leslies ($80/35 pounds, 78% available chlorine) - Pool Guys ($128/50 pounds, unknown percentage available chlorine)
Assuming the Costco available percentage is reasonable, it seems the way to go (at $2/pound); but was just wondering if SMS knew the best place to buy about 100 pounds of 3 inch trichlor tablets.
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On Sat, 20 Apr 2013 22:14:14 +0000 Danny D. wrote:

BTW, I just doublechecked the liquid chlorine, where the pool guys that SMS recommends are $18.40/4 gallons of HASA 12% liquid chlorine, while the nearest competitor is $17/4 gallons; however, as SMS noted, with the ongoing coupon of buy-1-get-1-free, the pool guys turn out to be only $21.62 for 8 gallons, including the tax that you have to pay on the value of the free chlorine - so it's clearly the best bet for liquid chlorine.
Now I need to know what's the best place that SMS has found for the 3" trichlor tablets!
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On 4/20/2013 4:07 PM, Danny D. wrote:

You can only imagine the mark-up on liquid chlorine if they are able to make sufficient margins at $2.50/gallon versus $4.25/gallon of the place that's $17/4 gallons.
The other advantage of HASA is that it's delivered every couple of days fresh from the manufacturing plant, so the 12% is probably really 12%. The boxes of two gallons of 10% from the big box stores are likely less than 10% because they sit around.
I just finished getting the pool cleaned up. Now I have to install my two-speed pump.
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ine

How are you going to wire up and control the two speed? I might do that one day. I was thinking probably easiest is to just add a SPDT switch in the timer box? Leave it on low except when you need it on high to backwash, remove water, etc. I was thinking since the pump is OK to just swap out the motor.
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Hah!! Have you priced kerosene, lately. Last time I checked, it was $8 gal ....on sale!!
nb
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On Thu, 25 Apr 2013 04:55:32 -0700 sms wrote:

I've been going to those pool guys in Saratoga ever since you guys here on Alt.Home.Repair clued me in about their web coupon which essentially is a buy-one-get-the-other-for-tax deal:

Out the door, it's $21.62/8 gallons, or about $2.75 per gallon.
The cost-per-effective-chlorine (or free chlorine) calculation is: $21.62/8 gal x 1 gal/9.7 pounds x 1/10.8% by wt available chlorine = $2.58/pound FC
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On Thu, 25 Apr 2013 04:55:32 -0700 sms wrote:

My system for getting "fresh" chlorine is currently these three steps:
1. I bought 2 cases of chlorine at the buy-1-get-1-free price (you have to leave a deposit on each case though) 2. When the 1st case was used up, I went back & bought a 3rd case (again, at the buy-1-get-1-free price) 3. Forevermore, when I use up two of the three cases, I get two more (always at the buy-1-get-1-free price of $2.75/gallon in the end)
In summary, whenever I have two cases empty, I pop them into the trunk along with a printed web coupon, and there's always a case back at home for the pool.
In addition, I gave up buying bleach at the supermarket; I simply dilute the HASA chlorine 50:50 with water for the wash; and I dilute that again 50:50 for the wife to use in her little toilet bowl squirt bottles.
Turns out chlorine lasts longer the more dilute it is (go figure), so, her stuff, at roughly 3% and the washing machine stuff at about 6% supposedly stays potent even longer than does the pool stuff (which is at about 12% by volume, or 10.8% by weight).
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On Sat, 20 Apr 2013 22:14:14 +0000 Danny D. wrote:

I bought the Costco trichlor tablets but found out it's 85% effective. I also found out that we only have two effective percents for trichlor. 1. There's 90% available chlorine 2. And then there's 85% available chlorine
Price for working free chlorine should determine which you choose, since there isn't really any other difference (other than some are wrapped individually which I would find to be a pain).
- Costco & Lowes = 85% available chlorine - Leslies & Home Depot = 90% available chlorine
So, my rough draft table is the following (unconfirmed yet): - Costco $80/40 pounds * 100/84.65 pounds = $2.36/pound FC - Leslies $80/35 pounds * 100/90.0 pounds = $2.54/pound FC - Home Depot $60/24 pounds * 100/90.0 pounds = $2.78/pound FC - Lowes $60/24 pounds * 100/84.95 pounds = $2.94/pound FC
Interestingly, we find the HASA liquid chlorine, even at the web sale price of buy-1-get-1-for-just-tax in that same cost range: $21.62/8gal x 1gal/9.7pounds x 1/10.8% by wt avail Cl = $2.58/pound FC
Of course, the solid trichlor increases the cyanuric acid in the pool at about the rate of 1.73ppm/pound while the liquid chlorine pushes up the pH necessitating a bit more acid ... so there are additional considerations other than straight cost per free chlorine to consider.
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You've confirmed what I figured out some time ago. A lot of people use liquid chlorine because they think it's the cheapest form. Kind of what you'd expect, right? It's just chlorine bleach, not made into a slow release tablet, etc. But here in NJ I came to the same conclusion. That Costco price is about the best you can do for tablets. And here liquid chlorine 12% is about $18 for 5 gallons and you have to return the empty container. So, the tablets are significantly less expensive than the liquid.

Yes, that is a big difference and will drive the choice in some cases. Where we partially drain pools each year and where we have more rain, the potential build-up of CYA is much less of a problem. I've never had it occur.
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On Fri, 26 Apr 2013 05:14:26 -0700 snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

At your NJ price, the cost for free chlorine balloons up to: - Liquid $18/5gal x 1gal/9.7 pounds x 100/10.8% by wt = $3.44/pound FC
Likewise, at my best CA non-sale price, the cost mushrooms even further: - Liquid $17/4gal x 1gal/9.7 pounds x 100/10.8% by wt = $4.06/pound FC
It is surprising that liquid chlorine isn't the best price overall, as, logically, you've made a case that it 'should' be cheaper.
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On 4/26/2013 5:14 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Actually I'd prefer to use tablets over liquid, either on-sale from Costco or on-sale from Leslie's. The problem with the tablets is that they have cyanuric acid along with chlorine. That's fine if your pool's cyanuric acid level is low, but not fine if you're already at 50ppm of cyanuric acid because a high level of cyanuric acid is very bad.
I lost count of the number of times I've overheard the clerk at Leslie's explain to a customer that they have to drain and refill their pool because the cyanuric acid level is way too high and it's preventing the chlorine from working properly and there is no neutralizer they can add to bring down the cyanuric acid level. But only once have I heard the clerk explain the reason this happened--the continual use of tablets.
Once your stabilizer is at 50ppm you don't want to be adding more. What I'd like to be able to buy is tablets for the automatic chlorinator tablet holder that do not contain stabilizer. But apparently it's not possible to make such a tablet.
<http://www.poolplaza.com/pool-school/stabilizer_debate.shtml
The pool store I go to mainly caters to pool service companies. They get very large deliveries of fresh chlorine and fresh acid in deposit bottles. These are the chemicals that professionals use, they are smart enough to avoid tablets.
This store also use Orenda CV-700 <http://orendatech.com/products/cv-700/ in their pool maintenance business and they have a ginormous 275 gallon container of it on a pallet inside the store but they won't sell it to retail customers (I tried!).
Another local pool store <http://www.skybluepool.com/ sells Orenda PR-10000 <http://orendatech.com/products/pr-10000/ in bulk, you just bring your own container. I bought a gallon of it for $125. That seems expensive but it is extremely concentrated and it's by far the least expensive phosphate treatment on the market. That gallon should last me four or five years. Phosphates are a big issue in my area. The tap water has high levels of phosphates and there are no screened in pools as in places like Florida because insects are not a big problem. Hence we get a lot of leaves and other organic material in the pool so phosphates can quickly get out of control.
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On Sun, 28 Apr 2013 13:33:58 -0700 sms wrote:

Yeah, I spoke to Ryan and he said he and his dad sell a lot of that stuff. That store is the hardest place to find though, tucked away in that parking lot above Vasona. I found them by accident one day, searching for spare pool motor parts before I found "Bob".
However, it's my understanding that a phosphate remover isn't necessary [in most cases] mainly because chlorine is enough to keep algae in check and secondarily, because phosphate removal comes at its own price.
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On 4/28/2013 7:02 PM, Danny D. wrote:

The theory is that if the phosphates are kept low then you can have lower chlorine levels. When I first bought PR-10000 my phosphate levels were off the charts, the test kit didn't go that high. One quart of PR-10000 brought them down to zero and the algae problems went away. To solve the problem with higher chlorine levels would have actually been more expensive because it would require that I maintain a very high chlorine level forever, or drain and refill. Phosphate reducers treat the cause of the illness. Chlorine treats the symptoms of the illness.
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