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Thread: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

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    andy2510's Avatar
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    Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Hello

    I've recently purchased and set up an above-ground pool to replace a paddling pool which has an air leak in the chamber and was very difficult to keep clean..

    It is made by Andes and is 8ft. It came with a cover and a filter (300g/h). I also purchased an Intex Solar Mat and set that up.

    However, after a week since it's been set up, the walls of the pool have started to feel slimy. It's not green, the base of the pool is fine and the water is still clear, however is something has started to grow I'd rather nip it in the bud.

    The filter operated 5 times a day for one and a half hours at a time (as the instructions say not to run it more than 4-6 hours a day to avoid burnout). The cover is on when the pool isn't in use, though debris (like grass) still gets in to it.

    I have 2 small children (3 years and 8 weeks - though she won't be using the pool this year) so I want to avoid using chemicals where possible. Also, I will be emptying the pool and storing it away before winter so it won't be out permanently - the water will end up being drained over the garden and I don't want damage to the vegetation by use of chemicals.

    I'll be changing and cleaning the filter, however any other ideas and tips to avoid the slime getting worse would be great.

    Many thanks in advance

    Andy

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    With small kids it is absolutely essential to maintain adequate chlorine levels to protect them from bacteria and viruses in the water.

    Likely you need to drain and clean the pool now and then follow the Temporary/Seasonal Pool Guide.

    The required chemicals will not damage your vegetation.
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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Hi Jason.

    Thanks for the reply.

    I'd like to avoid emptying and refilling the pool at the moment - it's currently raining and the ground is quite soggy - the water will run into neighbouring gardens and the street!! On close-down, I'm planning to empty the pool in small stages so as not to flood the area! I think you can attach a hose to the drain of this pool to divert the water down a drain (which strangely we don't have in our garden!).

    I'm looking for a testing kit - it's a bit more difficult to find your recommended ones on eBay in the UK. I have come across this package though - ClearWater Lay-Z-Spa Swimming Pool Hot Tub Chemicals Starter Kits Accessories | eBay - would you recommend this starter kit? I'd like to hear your thoughts before purchasing.

    Perhaps, quite naively, I thought the filter by itself would keep the pool clean!

    Would any of the following help:

    - bigger filter pump?
    - ignoring the manufacturer instructions and running the pump for longer (10 hours in one go)?

    Thanks for the link and advice so far.

    Andy
    Last edited by andy2510; 07-12-2015 at 04:12 AM. Reason: typo

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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Andy, you are to be commended for wanting a safe pool for your family. A "sanitary" pool is a properly chemically balanced pool. If properly balanced, the "chemicals" are no longer dangerous chemicals. The filter will not balance the pool water to make it clean.

    I do not have enough experience to speak to the test kit you are suggesting, it someone will help you.

    You can get the pool safe for your family.; you've come to the right place.


    Lisa P.
    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
    [It is better to know how to learn, than to know. - Dr. Seuss[/I]

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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Thanks Lisa.

    I've noticed that pictures are most welcome on this forum, so I've attached a few of my current set up.
    (this is how it looks at the moment - walls are a bit slippery, however water is clear)
    (The rest of the set-up - pump and solar mat. The open cupboard is normally closed and weatherproof)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks Lisa.

    I've noticed that pictures are most welcome on this forum, so I've attached a few of my current set up.
    (this is how it looks at the moment - walls are a bit slippery, however water is clear)
    (The rest of the set-up - pump and solar mat. The open cupboard is normally closed and weatherproof)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hmm - don't know what happened to the above - it seems to have repeated my message!! I've just tried to post two more photos, however apparently I've exceeded my quota! Oops!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Love the pics! Is that a slide in the background?


    Lisa P.
    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
    [It is better to know how to learn, than to know. - Dr. Seuss[/I]

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Welcome to TFP!

    Nice pool pics! We started with a similar pool and it grew every few years!

    That starter kit has a lot of things you don't need. Clarifier, algaecide, multi-func tabs, scale and stain remover, foam remover and test strips.

    Drop tests are preferred. And here is a page showing Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals, what they do and how to add them. Most are available at the grocery store or hardware store.
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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Get some chlorine/bleach in that pool right away. Use Pool Math to determine the correct amount. Then, take a brush or cloth and scrub the sides and bottom. Clean the filter and run it continuously for a few days. If you can dump a few gallons of water and replace it, that will help the process. If this is a permanent pool, a better filter will always help.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Thanks everyone! I'm glad you like the pictures. I don't know why they repeated like that though?

    Lisa - that is a slide in the background! However, it doesn't go into the pool ... as yet anyway! Might look at that to tinker with it....

    Pooklv - I'll take a look at that list later - I hope we can get some of it here in the UK (we're not exactly known for our pool-loving summers and very few places stock pool chemicals etc.)

    f3justusc - I think we've got standard bleach so I'll have a go using that - it's a bit late here to look at it now however I shall certainly note it - especially for future use. It isn't a permanent pool, however I have changed the filter and cleaned the old one so hopefully I'll have some (temporary) improvement. BTW - my parents are currently over your way, celebrating their 40th anniversary on I-drive! It's their first visit to the US as well (I've been over there twice, to Orlando and New Orleans).

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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Quote Originally Posted by andy2510 View Post
    Thanks everyone! I'm glad you like the pictures. I don't know why they repeated like that though?

    Lisa - that is a slide in the background! However, it doesn't go into the pool ... as yet anyway! Might look at that to tinker with it....

    Pooklv - I'll take a look at that list later - I hope we can get some of it here in the UK (we're not exactly known for our pool-loving summers and very few places stock pool chemicals etc.)

    f3justusc - I think we've got standard bleach so I'll have a go using that - it's a bit late here to look at it now however I shall certainly note it - especially for future use. It isn't a permanent pool, however I have changed the filter and cleaned the old one so hopefully I'll have some (temporary) improvement. BTW - my parents are currently over your way, celebrating their 40th anniversary on I-drive! It's their first visit to the US as well (I've been over there twice, to Orlando and New Orleans).
    I live about 20 miles from I-drive but I know it well. Happy Anniversary to them and I hope they have a fabulous time!
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    ohhh, now that I'm on the computer, I can see that it is a playground slide. From my phone, it looked like a slide that would go in the pool. It would be fun if you could figure it out
    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
    [It is better to know how to learn, than to know. - Dr. Seuss[/I]

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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    I hope so Lisa!

    I've just looked and I'm out of bleach!! I've just ordered some Chlorine granules from eBay - they should work (using a tablet and floater is not recommended with an inquisitive 3 year old - he'll think it's a toy!). I've ordered a very cheap test kit (Bestway Swimming/Paddling Pool Spa Chemical Testing Kit Chlorine, Bromine Test | eBay ) - I'm aware that this may not be the best you can get but for a trial run you can't beat the price. Wish I looked at the Recommended Chemical page first though - maybe I should have got store own brand bleach instead of chlorine granules?

    Anyway - looking at eBay I found this - Non Chlorine Free Swimming Pool Chemical treatment Starter Kit with no measuring | eBay - would this be recommended? I'm not sure!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    That starter kit is absolutely NOT anything we would recommend. That is opposite of what TFP teaches.
    The TFPC method is really just about understanding your pool’s chemistry and through accurate testing, adding only what the pool NEEDS.

    What kind of granules did you get? If dichlor, you could carefully use them to build up the CYA level and then switch to bleach.
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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Regular ole bleach would have been a great choice and less expensive too! It also has less of an outgassing. I used the last bit of some cal-hypo that was sold to me by a pool store and "whew" the fumes! I decided to use it since my pool needed some calcium, vs letting it go to waste. Yuck! I like my jugs of bleach much better!

    I would definitely post to the forum before making any more pool purchases. These guys will steer you in the right direction.
    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
    [It is better to know how to learn, than to know. - Dr. Seuss[/I]

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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    These are the chlorine granules I've ordered: 5kg Chlorine Granules for Swimming Pools, Spa, Hot Tubs | eBay - £16 is roughly $30 at current exchange rates. It looks like it has a stabilising agent so I guess CYA. Bleach would still be cheaper at our local Aldi (yep - we have them over here as well, alongside WalMart's UK operation Asda). Next time I'll get some of that - most definitely. Along with baking soda ... not sure what Borax is called over here or has an equivalent, never seen it in the shops!

    I've not ordered that starter kit, just the cheap testing kit (I need something that would alert me to know how much chlorine I've added - and if it needs topping up). Remember I can't get the TFP recommended ones over here!

    Mind you - it needs to be sorted ASAP. My eldest hasn't been well the last couple of days, and he did start putting some of the pool water in his mouth while he was in it (despite me telling him not to). It may not be the cause, however, it cannot be discounted either. The water is still clear though! How would you check for bacteria in the water?!

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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Borax (used to raise PH) is available as 20 Mule Team® Borax Natural Laundry Booster. It is sold in the laundry detergent section of most larger grocery stores and some big box stores. Borax is best added by pre-dissolving it in a bucket of water and then pouring that slowly in front of a return.

    Soda ash is also used to raise PH and is available as ARM & HAMMER® Super Washing Soda Detergent Booster. Do not confuse this with ARM & HAMMER® laundry detergent! It is sold in the laundry detergent section of most larger grocery stores and some big box stores. It is also sold by pool stores under various names, including PH Increaser, PH Up, Balance Pak 200, etc. Soda ash is best added by pre-dissolving it in a bucket of water and then pouring that slowly in front of a return.

    While you may not be able to get the TF-100 itself, what about a Taylor K-2006? Or at least a Taylor K-2005, then order separately the FAS-DPD portion (powder w/ R-0871 reagent drops) to test specifically for FC (free chlorine) and CC (combined chlorine)? The FAS-DPD portion is very important. That's a big part of ensuring you water is being sanitized properly. You should also obtain a test kit that can test CYA (Cyanuric acid). The FC and CYA levels go hand-in-hand based on the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart.

    Hope this helps.
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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Thanks Texas Splash - I'll see if I can source one of those Taylor kits (I did see them listed I think). Arm and Hammer isn't that much of a big name over here (though I have heard of them), however the part of the UK I live in (Birmingham) is lucky to have a soft water source (we get ours from the Welsh Valleys - and is some of the best you can get on tap!). I've got my grocery order coming tomorrow - I'll see what their detergent aisle has!

    I am slowly getting up to speed with the art of pool cleaning! No wonder some people get the professionals in!

    EDIT: The only Arm and Hammer products I can find is for toothpaste! This seems to be the same though: Ecover Laundry Bleach 400G - Groceries - Tesco Groceries - it has sodium carbonate as an ingredient - the same as soda ash. If it doesn't work in the pool - at least I have it for the laundry!

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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Update - the inevitable has happened - the pool has started to turn green . And the chlorine hasn't arrived yet .

    Looks like a weekend of cleaning then. . . .

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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Have you not been adding bleach every day?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Above ground pool - any advice for a newbie please?

    Unfortunately I have not had the time to even get the bleach this week due to other circumstances (my son was rushed into A&E earlier this week - he's doing fine though now) - so things like the pool have had to take a back seat. Which is why it has got into this state.

    I really appreciate all the advice you've given me - I just wish I could have acted on it sooner.

    Plan for now is to buy the bleach, and use that first (as using the granules now in this state will use up the chlorine and raise the CYA too high - I believe that would be the case now) and give it a complete rub down (cover included). Also change the filter and run the pump continuously (washing the filter to be reused again later). And to re-read Pool School and the top sticky thread in this forum.

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