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Thread: Howdy

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    ateam's Avatar
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    Howdy

    Howdy everyone! New to pool ownership as well as to TFP. Been learning a lot looking around, starting to experiment with using bleach now as it seems my CYA levels are creeping up.

    I've seen a couple people mention they run higher CYA levels in hot/sunny areas. Is this recommended? I'm in South Texas, so we are as hot and sunny as just about anyone.
    16K gal in-ground pool/spa with spill over, plaster/pebble, 6 returns each in pool and spa, 2 drains each in pool and spa, 2 skimmers in pool
    Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair FNS Plus DE filter w/ multiport valve, Pentair MasterTemp Heater, Pentair Racer Cleaner, Auto-fill
    Depth 3.5 - 6.5, Completed November 2014, TF-100 test kit w/ Speedstir

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    Welcome to TFP!!

    When you say creeping up, how high? Do you do your own testing or pool store?

    Yes, in sunny/hot climates with full sun on the pool higher CYA levels are often called for. Do you have a feel for your FC consumption per day?
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    ateam's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Welcome to TFP!!

    When you say creeping up, how high? Do you do your own testing or pool store?

    Yes, in sunny/hot climates with full sun on the pool higher CYA levels are often called for. Do you have a feel for your FC consumption per day?


    I've been doing a combination of my own testing and the pool store, but mostly my own.

    I currently have one of the very basic tests kits with the chlorine/PH/Acid demand/TA measurements as well as some dip sticks that measure mostly the same things along with CYA. As I'm sure you know the dip sticks are pretty hard to get accurate results so that's why I'm actually kicking around the idea of purchasing a TF-100 test kit based on all the recommendations.

    Based on the dip sticks I'm guessing that I'm in the 80ish range on CYA. I have a relatively new plaster pool with a waterfall from the spa to the pool so I am adding MA on about a weekly basis to keep the PH at around 7.5. My TA is usually in the 100-120 range. I had been using pucks for Chlorine, but I started the switch to bleach last night.

    With my current test kit I think it would be a little hard to get an accurate daily drop on my chlorine, but since I just switched to bleach last night I was planning to test tonight and see what I can guess. I was down low enough on Chlorine at the end of the day yesterday that I was barely pale yellow on the chlorine test, I'm guessing around 0.5. So I added enough bleach (based on the pool math) to get me up to just over 7.

    Hope that answers all your questions, Thanks for helping out!
    16K gal in-ground pool/spa with spill over, plaster/pebble, 6 returns each in pool and spa, 2 drains each in pool and spa, 2 skimmers in pool
    Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair FNS Plus DE filter w/ multiport valve, Pentair MasterTemp Heater, Pentair Racer Cleaner, Auto-fill
    Depth 3.5 - 6.5, Completed November 2014, TF-100 test kit w/ Speedstir

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    Hello Ateam! Welcome to the neighborhood. Yes, it is hot here in our area, but thankfully so far, not as bad as past years. Still, CYA is important to watch. I keep mine around 50 +/- 10 or so. Once it gets over 80, you are in dangerous territory my friend. Most of that high CYA comes from pucks, tablets, and those pool store "bags-o'shock". Not good. Eventually, the only way to reduce it is by partial drains, so stick with regular bleach only from now on. Definitely get that TF-100. You'll love it, and the accuracy will save you $$ later.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    Test strips are wildly inaccurate, so if they are showing around 80 you could actually be anywhere from 0 to several hundred. They are that bad.

    I would say order a TF100 test kit. That will probably give you enough reagents for a couple of years normal use.

    The only other real option for a test kit is a Taylor K-2006. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want. Even then it is a little short on the reagent & powder for the FAS/DPD test.

    I also have the SpeedStir and Sample Sizer. They speed testing and accuracy.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    Welcome to TFP!

    Quote Originally Posted by ateam
    ...I'm actually kicking around the idea of purchasing a TF-100 test kit based on all the recommendations.
    I'd go ahead and kick this idea through the uprights by ordering a TF-100.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    ateam's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    Haha, ordered it yesterday. Can't wait.
    16K gal in-ground pool/spa with spill over, plaster/pebble, 6 returns each in pool and spa, 2 drains each in pool and spa, 2 skimmers in pool
    Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair FNS Plus DE filter w/ multiport valve, Pentair MasterTemp Heater, Pentair Racer Cleaner, Auto-fill
    Depth 3.5 - 6.5, Completed November 2014, TF-100 test kit w/ Speedstir

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    Well, post results here when you get it. How does the pool look now?
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Howdy

    The water is clear, but I have noticed the stuff in my skimmer and the bag on my cleaner has a little bit of an odor to it. Not sure if that is normal or not because I'm assuming the odor is coming from the dog hair. I have 2 Golden Retrievers so dog hair is a constant battle. One of them just loves going for a swim and then rolling in the mud and then going for a swim again...

    I also noticed that the water in my skimmer sometimes has a little film. I think based on what I've been reading here I have been running my chlorine levels way too low. I had been following the "ideal" marks on my basic test kit without realizing that was a huge mistake.

    I started using the bleach the last 2 nights and been trying to push my chlorine levels up to 7-10 as best I can tell with my current test kits. I'm not sure if it's just my imagination or not, but I feel like the water "shines" more than it used to. It's always been clear, but it just seems to have a little more pop now.
    16K gal in-ground pool/spa with spill over, plaster/pebble, 6 returns each in pool and spa, 2 drains each in pool and spa, 2 skimmers in pool
    Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair FNS Plus DE filter w/ multiport valve, Pentair MasterTemp Heater, Pentair Racer Cleaner, Auto-fill
    Depth 3.5 - 6.5, Completed November 2014, TF-100 test kit w/ Speedstir

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    If you are using a OTO test (yellow drops), you can sometime figure higher values on this scale:
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    On the OTO (yellow) chlorine test:

    Blinding tweety-bird yellow is about 10. School bus yellow is about 12-13. Hunter orange is around 18, up around 25 it starts to look pumpkin orange.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Howdy

    Quote Originally Posted by ateam View Post
    I think based on what I've been reading here I have been running my chlorine levels way too low. I had been following the "ideal" marks on my basic test kit without realizing that was a huge mistake.
    HOWDY! and Welcome. This was a major lightbulb for me - at first I was trying to target the mid to lower range of the recommended chlorine level, but soon realized I should balance the pool to the upper limit, so that as chlorine was consumed, by the time I got back to testing & adjusting the next day, I still had an acceptable level of FC in the pool. I lose about 2ppm chlorine at 40 CYA in 24 hours with full-sun & I'm 15-minutes NE of you, if you're San Antonio proper.

    The TF-100 is the key - you'll be so pleased with your pool once you get it set. BTW - in our area best bleach for your buck is a tie between HEB Bravo Regular, Wal-Mart Great Value (both 8.25%) and Lowe's Kemek (10%). They're all coming in at $0.29 / oz of chlorine. I tend to hit HEB because it's easier to get to & is fresher.

    Gig 'Em!
    16,661 gal IG PebbleTec w/ Spa; 60 ft2 Jandy DE filter, 2 HP Jandy Variable Speed pump; 2 skimmer; 400K BTU Jandy heater; Polaris Sport; opened 9/15/14; TF-100 test kit

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    ateam's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    I've had plenty of lightbulb moments going through all the info on here. So glad I found you guys before I started falling into the pool store trap. It wasn't hard to figure out that the kid working the counter at the pool store closest to me wasn't going to be any help.

    I kind of feel guilty now when I walk in there and see people with their arms full of bags of shock. You can't save everyone I guess...

    Just got a notice from UPS that my TF-100 should be here on Tuesday. Also, there is a Sam's less than a mile from my house that sells bleach for just under $0.26 / oz. i need to check the costco to see if the price is any better. It's pretty clear that I'm going to need a lot of it.
    16K gal in-ground pool/spa with spill over, plaster/pebble, 6 returns each in pool and spa, 2 drains each in pool and spa, 2 skimmers in pool
    Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair FNS Plus DE filter w/ multiport valve, Pentair MasterTemp Heater, Pentair Racer Cleaner, Auto-fill
    Depth 3.5 - 6.5, Completed November 2014, TF-100 test kit w/ Speedstir

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    Re: Howdy

    oh, wait... I was just checking my math and I think I was off a little. The bleach is only .025 per ounce, but I guess I need to multiply that by the concentration for an accurate comparison of different types of bleach.

    Check my math:
    Sam's - 3x 121 oz bottles of 8.25% bleach for $9.39 = $0.31 per oz of chlorine
    Leslies - 4x 128 oz bottles of 10% bleach for $16.99 = $0.33 per oz of chlorine

    I think I'm doing it right now.
    16K gal in-ground pool/spa with spill over, plaster/pebble, 6 returns each in pool and spa, 2 drains each in pool and spa, 2 skimmers in pool
    Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair FNS Plus DE filter w/ multiport valve, Pentair MasterTemp Heater, Pentair Racer Cleaner, Auto-fill
    Depth 3.5 - 6.5, Completed November 2014, TF-100 test kit w/ Speedstir

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    You can use the Bleach Price Calculator.

    But, I don't know if it takes into consideration that there is a difference in how the percentages are calculated between bleach (8.25% and below) and Chlorinating liquid (generally 10 & 12.5%). Chem Geek says it best

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Chlorinating liquid is normally in Trade % which is a VOLUME % of Available Chlorine. Bleach is normally in WEIGHT % of sodium hypochlorite. 8.25% of bleach is equivalent to 8.64 Trade %. Just note that your 10% source may not be exactly 10%. They usually ship it higher since it will degrade so depending on how fresh it is you could find it higher or lower than 10%. The 8.25% bleach will degrade somewhat more slowly since the degradation rate is roughly proportional to the square of the concentration.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    ateam's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    I have a question about vacuuming. I've never done it, and I'm not sure how or why I would. I normally brush off all my steps and then the pentair racer seems to keep the bottom clean. I have kind of a dark plaster/pebble finish so I think its a little harder to see any dirt on the bottom than it would be with a lighter finish.

    Am I missing out on an important maintenance step?
    16K gal in-ground pool/spa with spill over, plaster/pebble, 6 returns each in pool and spa, 2 drains each in pool and spa, 2 skimmers in pool
    Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair FNS Plus DE filter w/ multiport valve, Pentair MasterTemp Heater, Pentair Racer Cleaner, Auto-fill
    Depth 3.5 - 6.5, Completed November 2014, TF-100 test kit w/ Speedstir

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    Re: Howdy

    Just wanted to stop in and say welcome and Gig 'em! Fellow Aggie here.
    My Pool Build
    15k gal IG freeform w/ attached spa, Wet Edge Luna Quartz Bermuda, 3.5' to 5.5' depth, Intelliflo VS pump, Cartridge filter, MasterTemp heater
    1 hp Whisperflo for ledge bubblers/weeping rock wall, Polaris 280, EasyTouch 8 Automation, Intellibrite 5G color LED's, TF-100 w/ Speedstir, Stenner Peristaltic Pump

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    Re: Howdy

    Quote Originally Posted by ateam View Post
    I have a question about vacuuming.

    Am I missing out on an important maintenance step?
    Vacuuming is not a regular maintenance step unless you are accumulating debris that your pool sweep isn't picking up. What IS a normal maintenance step is brushing the pool. This helps dislodge any algae in the nooks and crannies of plaster and prevents biofilm formation. Circulation flow goes to zero at pool walls and floors and in particular the rougher surface of plaster has plenty of spaces where algae can hide out from chlorine in the water. Brushing forces chlorine into those surfaces and also physically disrupts anything stuck to that plaster.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Howdy

    What a great post above. Chem geeks explanation of the importance of brushing should be mandatory reading for all the gunite pool owners on the forum.

    BTW, Gig 'em! (sort of). My son graduated in 2015, 4 years in the Corps, commissioned into the Air Force and hopefully on his way to a distinguished military career. The Corps and A&M prepared him for that about as well as it can be done. I didn't go there but he says I can do "gig 'em" in a provisional manner.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Howdy

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    What a great post above. Chem geeks explanation of the importance of brushing should be mandatory reading for all the gunite pool owners on the forum.

    BTW, Gig 'em! (sort of). My son graduated in 2015, 4 years in the Corps, commissioned into the Air Force and hopefully on his way to a distinguished military career. The Corps and A&M prepared him for that about as well as it can be done. I didn't go there but he says I can do "gig 'em" in a provisional manner.
    This is a good reminder about brushing. I knew it was important during new plaster startup and was diligent in doing it once a week for several few months after....however, I became more lazy over time. I need to get back to brushing the walls regularly even though the pool is clear and never any CC levels.

    While on this topic, I have been reading mixed responses in regards to using a stainless steel or nylon brush on Quartz plaster (specifically Wet Edge Luna Quartz in my case). My pool builder provided a stainless brush but I have read many places stating nylon should only be used on plaster. I switched to nylon but it just feels like it isn't doing anything because it is too soft. Would quartz or pebble finishes be the exception where stainless steel brushes are acceptable?
    My Pool Build
    15k gal IG freeform w/ attached spa, Wet Edge Luna Quartz Bermuda, 3.5' to 5.5' depth, Intelliflo VS pump, Cartridge filter, MasterTemp heater
    1 hp Whisperflo for ledge bubblers/weeping rock wall, Polaris 280, EasyTouch 8 Automation, Intellibrite 5G color LED's, TF-100 w/ Speedstir, Stenner Peristaltic Pump

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    ateam's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy

    Chem Geek - thanks for the help! That's exactly the info I was looking for.

    Glad to see all the aggies in the forum. Gig em!
    16K gal in-ground pool/spa with spill over, plaster/pebble, 6 returns each in pool and spa, 2 drains each in pool and spa, 2 skimmers in pool
    Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair FNS Plus DE filter w/ multiport valve, Pentair MasterTemp Heater, Pentair Racer Cleaner, Auto-fill
    Depth 3.5 - 6.5, Completed November 2014, TF-100 test kit w/ Speedstir

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