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Thread: Literally Just Getting Started

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    Literally Just Getting Started

    Hi all,
    I purchased a major fixer upper house last year with a terrible swamp in the back:

    We deemed this hopeless, but given that we had many other rooms to work on we just now got to fixing it. We tore out the liner, re-leveled the sand

    , and bought new pump, filter, skimmer, and ladder.
    Right now the new liner is almost filled up enough with tap water to cut the hole for the skimmer,

    so we took a trip to Leslie's pool supply to get the right chemicals. After some testing and the expected huge bill I decided to do more research, found this site, read all the pool school, and realized that the Tri-Chlor tabs and bi-weekly Di-chlor shocks are not really ideal for the pool.

    Now I need some help.

    Unfortunately I have misplaced the paper with the water analysis, but I'll go back to get another printout today.They said TA and PH was fine and sold me tabs, shock, conditioner, and hardness plus.

    1. I still have another problem though: I don't yet have a test kit. I am about to order one, but it won't be here for a week. Since I'm starting with just plain city water with no chlorine and no contaminants, am I OK to use test strips for the first week until my kit arrives? If not, what else do I do? I also read that for about a week after adding the CYA your testing for FC (or was it CYA?) is going to be off. How do I add the correct amount of bleach so its safe to swim for the first week?
    2. I tried to go to the page with the recommended levels, 404 Not Found
      , but the page 404s. I can't find any other reference to what my levels should be. What do I do? Since I am using a vinyl liner with bleach, it lists the example of
      FC 3-7
      PH 7.5-7.8
      TA 70-90
      CH 50-300
      CYA 30-50
      Is that all I need to know?
    3. When I went to the pool store they gave me two gallons of conditioner which I understand is what adds CYA. Am I OK to assume that adding what they told me will be fine? I'll update the post once I get another printout of the analysis.
    4. They gave me a 25lb bucket of this stuff: Leslie's Hardness Plus Pool Chemical
      I promise I read through all the pool school stuff, but I don't quite understand what this does/damages. Again, without my prior hardness levels you probably can't give me any solid advice yet, but I was trying to figure out what this stuff is supposed to do. They said it helps the lifetime of the liner, but I read other people warning about too much calcium in the water.
    5. I know my pool is 24ft diameter and is a 52inch high pool, which gives me 13500 gallons. But of course it doesn't get filled to the very top. Should I just stick a measuring tape in once I have it filled to the right height on the skimmer and then re-calculate for the pool math calculator?


    Thanks so much for all your help. I'm excited and slightly scared, but this seems like a cool and helpful place. I've already learned a lot just reading around.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    24' round above ground 52" vinyl pool - 12690 gallons at 45'' fill.
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix SP1510Z1XEHC (1HP, SP).
    Hayward S180T 150lb Sand Filter.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    Hello and welcome! That's' quite a transformation. Wow! Okay, just to get you started until your test kit arrives, here's what you should keep in mind:
    - Test strips are worthless. You could try to get in the ball-park with PH for now, but even that's a stretch. But they are worthless fro FC, CC and CYA.
    - Yes, you need conditioner/stabilizer in your water. You want an initial CYA goal of about 30 ppm. The Poolmath Calculator Poolmath calculator can help you determine how much to add to get to 30. Don't put too much to where you go over the range of 30-50 right now.
    - Since you have liquid stabilizer, go ahead and shoot for a FC (free chlorine) goal of 5. If you get a lot of sun, go up to 6-7 as needed to ensure you don't drop below 5.
    - PH needs to be between 7.2-7.8
    - TA around 70-120.

    Here's a couple more links to assist you:
    Pool School - Recommended Levels
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    If you need anything else, please let me know.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    Thanks for the reply, that's very helpful.
    I'll need to get the test results again to get the CYA levels it currently has. I tried to run a calculation starting with 0 CYA and it told me to add 11 Gallons. I'm probably calculating something wrong since the pool store just gave me 2. Also, since I can't really test the CYA, is it best to just add enough bleach that would get the pool to 6ppm using the CYA level that I should end up with by adding the two gallons?

    According to eBay, my kit should arrive between Tuesday and Friday. What's the best thing to do until then? Assume the pool loses 1.5 ppm a day and keep up with that until the Chems arrive?

    also, I'm still not sure I get the hardness thing. The recommendation says "0-350 don't add". That means I should not add the hardener, no matter what the level is, correct?
    is there an explanation somewhere of why the pool store says to add it and why it really shouldn't be added? I just really like to understand the chemistry behind this stuff so I really learn what I'm doing.

    Thanks again!

    p.s here's more specs - I'm installing the pump now. It is a Hayward Power-Flo Matrix SP1510Z1XEHC (1HP, SP)
    Filter is Hayward S180T 150lb Sand
    24' round above ground 52" vinyl pool - 12690 gallons at 45'' fill.
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix SP1510Z1XEHC (1HP, SP).
    Hayward S180T 150lb Sand Filter.

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    11 gallons of stabilizer is WAY too much. Something is off.

    How many gallons are you using in PoolMath for the size of your pool? You should be in the neighborhood of 14k gallons for your pool.

    When you come up with the right number you may consider doing it in two additions. One to bring it to 30 then another to put in the difference. CYA is one of those things that is easy to add and hard to get rid of. Once you're between 30-50 you're good anyway and you can fine tune it as needed. The only way to get rid of CYA is drain and replace the water. Evaporation and water replacement doesn't count. CYA doesn't evaporate.

    Your pool is vinyl the CH numbers are not important unless way off the scale. Don't worry about it. See if you can return it for a refund...

    Until your kit arrives I would assume 2ppm FC loss per day maybe even 3, with little to no cya. I would add the stabilizer to get you into the 30s. Or, target 40 straight away. You can always add more cya later. I'd run your pump 24/7 until you get the kit and maybe for the first couple of days while you start to dial in your FC consumption. After that you can start running it more infrequently.
    ~19k Gal, IG Vinyl, Hayward SP2607X10 1hp pump, Hayward S200 Sand Filter, built in 70s, has 8 deep end with diving board, 1 skimmer, 1 return, 1 low hole, Polaris booster pump PB4-60, old Polaris robot not sure model, Rheem P-M266A-EN-C 266,000 BTU heater, solar cover, Taylor K-2006 test kit, Speedstir

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    WOW! Your pool was growing stuff! I just thought my foreclosed house/pool was bad!

    Why did the pool store sell you stuff to raise your hardness? Because they are greedy money suckers?????????? LOL

    You have a vinyl pool. You do NOT need to worry about CH. I have not ever tested mine and my pool is a jewel!

    Yes to measure your gals. you need to measure with a ruler it on your own. The water should be to the middle of the skimmer. Measure it there.

    You are off to a wonderful start!

    Take back everything except the CYA. You can take it back also if your Walmart has it for cheaper.

    Let us know what else you need. We LOVE to help AND you added pics for us------we love pics!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    I agree w/ wrens with one minor modification below about FC. CYA is needed to protect your FC, so add it according to what the calculator says based on the volume of your pool. Make sure you have the pool volume entered correctly, and also have the correct NOW and TARGET values. I'm not exactly sure of your pool volume, but for a 14K pool, the calculator gave me 194 oz (1 Gal & 2 quarts) to get you from a CYA of zero to 40. You can validate on your end as well.

    Yes, keep the bleach in there for FC and keep it steady. Normally we advise to go slowly with bleach at first when there is no CYA yet because it takes about a week to show-up (granular type stabilizer). But since you have liquid stabilizer/conditioner, it mixes and records within the hour. So after adding the conditioner/stabilizer as recommended by the calculator, I would suggest going for an FC level target of 6-8. Never let it go below 5 or you run the risk of getting algae.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    Just wondering if it would be beneficial to purchase an OTO test kit temporarily for about $10 for your local store to give a better idea of FC and PH from strips. Since the OP is starting so fresh; it would be nice to keep it that way. Just a thought?


    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: Literally Just Getting Started

    LISA! YES! That is a wonderful call!

    Walmart sells them. They are drop test that give you the basic info on FC and PH. The CYA will take a week to show up so........it will be ready when the test kit gets there!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    Thanks for all the help. I'm installing the pump right now, and I'd attach a picture, but my phone and this board don't seem to get along. The instructions were terrible...

    Anyways, here is my plan now: Install skimmer, pump, return, and filter, then fill the pool up to half the skimmer. I will then add 1 gallon of conditioner and re-measure the water height. An hour later I will take another water sample and go back to the pool store, have it re-tasted, and then go full jerk on them by saying 'Oh, by the way, I'm returning the floater, tabs, shock, and hardener' - At least I will have bought the filter sand, vacuum, hose, and conditioner.
    I will buy the $10 OTO Kit and maybe some liquid chlorine.

    With the new CYA levels in hand I will adjust for more CYA and add the first round of chlorine to get from 0 to 7 ppm (My TA and PH were fine to start, so I'm assuming they still will be).

    Does that sound good?
    Where do I put the CYA? Pool store said in the skimmer, but it seems going around the perimeter would spread it faster.
    if I do all this tonight, can I swim tomorrow? (Well, if it wasn't supposed to start with Thunderstorms after we built the darned thing in 4days of heat and sunshine)

    I'll post more pics once I'm back inside on the big computer.

    Thanks again!
    24' round above ground 52" vinyl pool - 12690 gallons at 45'' fill.
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix SP1510Z1XEHC (1HP, SP).
    Hayward S180T 150lb Sand Filter.

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    If I remember right, the liquid is actually quite thick. While it doesn't really matter "how" you add it, you may want to go around the perimeter or maybe even dilute it a bit in a 5 gal bucket first? But yes, as long as you have the conditioner in there tonight, add some bleach this evening, and your PH is between 7.2-7.8, it is safe to swim.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    I would be cautious adding anymore CYA based on pool store results. I would add what pool math suggests and then wait to confirm when your test kit comes in. I've had pool store CYA results all over the place. You don't want to overshoot CYA.

    You could also get Muratic Acid from the pool store if you don't already have it. You might need it to adjust PH when your swimmers start aerating!


    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: Literally Just Getting Started

    You can use Walmart Greater Value bleach or any PLAIN bleach (no odors or anything special added). Just make sure it has a current date code and has the % listed.

    Some people find their best price at the pool store.

    When shopping for your daily bleach/chlorine make sure it is apples to apples. Look at the % and amount in each jug when you compare the price.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    Hooray, I found my numbers! They had fallen in between some seats of the car. I also re-measured the pool, and it looks like the fill line will be around 45 inches, yielding 12690 gallons (I added an extra 0 last time I ran the calculator, hence the funny numbers).

    Here are my results:
    FAC: 0
    TAC: 0
    CH: 100
    CYA: 0
    TA: 90
    pH: 7.8
    Acid Demand: 1
    Copper: 0 (I put in pex piping when I re-plumbed my house)
    Iron: 0
    TDS: 200
    Phosphates: 100

    Looking at the linked Pool School - Recommended Levels it seems like all I need to do is add CYA and bleach.

    Crunching this in pool Calc I set targets of 7ppm FC and 30ppm CYA (you guys said start low):
    That gives me:
    Add 1 gallon 1 quart 3 cups or 1.4 (128 oz) jugs 6% bleach
    Add 53 oz by volume of stabilizer (I assume they all have the same concentration)

    I ran the calculation with what I got. So, once the water is up and my pump is running I add the CYA, and then wait some time and then add the bleach.


    1. How long do I wait in between, and should I change the order in which I add these things?
    2. I'll also buy the Wal-mart Test Kit and tomorrow (morning?) check PH and FC


    I'll post more pics tonight. Here is hoping none of my pump connections will leak...
    24' round above ground 52" vinyl pool - 12690 gallons at 45'' fill.
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix SP1510Z1XEHC (1HP, SP).
    Hayward S180T 150lb Sand Filter.

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    Yes, wait about 30 minutes between chemicals with the pump running. Now just remember ... we (TFP) do not like to use pool store tests. Grrrrr. But let's get you set for the night based on a pool of 12,700 gallons:
    - CYA: 176 oz of stabilizer (liquid) or 68 oz (granular). Do you still have the liquid stabilizer? If so, then you're good to go after about 1 hour. After that, consider your CYA to be 40. If you use granular it's a whole other story. Let us know.
    - FC: When the sun goes down, add one and a half gallons. That will take you from zero to about 7.5 FC. From then on until your kit arrives, try to keep your FC between 5-7.
    - If you get a simple OTO kit tomorrow, use that for PH. I don't trust the pool stores test of 7.8. That's borderline high.

    Don't worry about anything else right now except for the initial does of conditioner (CYA), bleach, and watching PH. When you receive your test kit, let us know those results and we can do some fine-tuning.

    PS - If you want to go slightly lower on the stabilizer (30 versus 40) that's fine. You can always raise it later if you need to.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    You can go ahead and put the CYA in a sock and let the water run over it.

    Add FC as soon as you can move the water to mix it up good.

    The two things you have to really be careful with is bleach and muriatic acid. They go boom if they get together so...they are not allowed to play together. They should be at least 30 mins. apart.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    Ugh... Just got out of the pool store. Return didn't go as planned:
    "I'm sorry, we can't take back chemicals"
    "Why would you want to switch to liquid chlorine? Don't do it if you like your clothes"
    "You're not adding more CYA than you're lose from splashing, backwashing, or winter draining. Also, we just developed CYA reducer, so it's not impossible to lower, but why would anyone ever need THAT"
    "Even if you measure FC and use liquid, you still need to shock it for, um, reasons!" (He said extra fee stuff, big parties, etc)
    "The water will taste terrible and your PH will be out of whack!"


    in the end he got 'special permission' from the regional manager to take back the tabs, but I was left with the hardener and shock... I bought two gallons of 12% liquid and a DPD, Free Chlorine, and Ph test kit for $13.

    For the hardener, the manager said that if hardness is below 200 it will leach things out of your liner or your system.

    So now, three questions:
    1. Pool calc gave me 53 oz of stabilizer. Texas Splash said 176 of liquid. Help!
    2. The hardness thing, what's the deal? Should I just get it up to 200 to be safe?
    3. The shock: I hear the main downside is that it adds CYA more than you want to. Since I can't return it, can I just use it up over time for when I lose CYA to backwashing/winter draining? If so, do we have some numbers to know how much it adds?



    Thanks again everyone.
    24' round above ground 52" vinyl pool - 12690 gallons at 45'' fill.
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix SP1510Z1XEHC (1HP, SP).
    Hayward S180T 150lb Sand Filter.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    - Stabilizer .. make sure you're looking at the right calculator field (liquid vs granular). I listed both based on 12,700 gal
    - Don't worry about hardness right now. For the most part, it's N/A for a vinyl pool anyways
    - Just hold-off on the bags-o-shock. Stick with what you can accurately measure right now.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Pool store service is amazing and nauseating at the same time. Soon, you will never have to deal with them again except on your own terms.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and for the CYA, my numbers above were for an inital CYA of 40. If you chose a CYA of 30, then the amount of stabilizer would be 132oz/51oz for liquid or granular respectively. If you are stuck with the liquid, I would say use it. It's quicker.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and if you use pool store liquid chlorine (their liquid shock) and it's 12% strength, then you only need to put one gallon in tonight, not 1 1/2 like I said if you used regular 8.25% strength from the grocery store.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    Did you open the hardness? If not push them on the return if you are up to it. If not do NOT worry about adding it.

    Bleach/chlorine------do some shopping around to find YOUR best place to get it. For some it is Walmart (greater value 8.25%), others it is like me is ACE Hardware chlorine (11%) using their jugs, I have heard Dollar General has bleach for a good price as well. Just make sure to check the date code. You do not want old bleach as time and heat will degrade it.

    Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

    IF you have to go to the pool store check with us about what you need. Go in with your head up, smile on your face and fingers in your ears singing LALALALALALALALA! LOL

    Pool store and TFP do not mix. We have science and every day experience. They have high school kids working for min. wage that are blindly following directions to SELL PRODUCTS!

    HUGS! We have you covered!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    Thanks,
    I did some shopping around tonight and picked up Borax, Arm & Hammer, Muriatic Acid, and compared prices on chlorine. The cheapest seems to be Wal-Mart which currently has 10% liquid chlorine in a 2-gallon pack for 6 47. Second is Target with 1 gallon of 8.25% for 2.94 which I can get for another 5% cheaper by using a red card.

    Since you guys like pics, I found two more "before" of the pool area. This was the day we closed on the property:




    Tomorrow when things get cleaned up I can probably snap some better '85% done' pictures - we're not at the 'after' yet.

    Back to the chemical side of things:

    I decided for tonight to add 154 oz of liquid "conditioner" to go for a 35ppm CYA target. That seemed reasonable, given that it is in the target range but has some room in case things turn out higher than intended.

    For the FC I tried to shoot for 6.5 and added 78oz of the 12.5 stuff.
    Now I'm letting the pump run all night.

    Tomorrow when I test I'll post what I'll find (I can only test FC and PH right now) and post the results.

    Thanks for all the help.
    24' round above ground 52" vinyl pool - 12690 gallons at 45'' fill.
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix SP1510Z1XEHC (1HP, SP).
    Hayward S180T 150lb Sand Filter.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Literally Just Getting Started

    Lots of leaves! It looks like you have a cover. If you do, you'll be glad! We battle leaves in our pool in the fall. As a newbie, you might want to re-test your water about 30 minutes after "feeding" your pool to see if you hit your mark. You are really on the right track to keeping that pool nice and sparkly! Good job!
    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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