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Thread: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

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    Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    Hello,
    I'm having a heck of a time opening up my pool. Could use some assistance from you experts.

    I assure you I have read a lot of the pool school articles. I feel like I am very close, and I'm hoping you can maybe confirm some of my assumptions.

    My #1 problem right now I think is that I don't have a FAS-DPD(?) Chlorine test kit. I would order the kit that is recommended here, but I was in such a dire place last week I just bought the medium sized kit from the pool store last weekend because I was tired of dealing with them.

    I'm here because without even reading this forum, I could tell that the pool store wasn't really trying to help me look at my numbers, they were just looking for the next product to pool off their shelf for me to spend money on. To me, that has been obvious, and this forum helped me confirm that I wasn't just being paranoid.

    Now, onto the pool.

    These are my numbers:

    Tested earlier this week (with my kit)
    CH - 450 I know this is high, not sure I need to worry about this right now in the grand scheme.
    Alk - 100

    Tested today:
    PH - ~7.3/7.4 (in between the color gradients, but this is the highest the PH has gone in the past few weeks)

    Free Chlorine - Woke up today to 0. Was using shock for the past few weeks (I think Cal Hypo, need to verify. It was the popular "Turbo Shock" kind at the pool store). Switched to liquid chlorine. Chlorine was disappearing pretty quickly in the sunlight, but seemed to be holding steady overnight (Do NOT yet have the proper FAS-DPD kit). The whole time prior to early this week I had 0 conditioner in the pool. Realized this was probably the main issue I had. Added a jug of liquid CYA either Monday or Tuesday, and had some granular in a sock which still hasn't fully dissolved after over a week in the sock, but is just about there now. Thanks to the forum I started sqeezing the sock so that the white cloud of dissolved CYA would disperse).

    CYA reading today is at 30. I know this is on the low end. I still have the granular dissolving and I just added the CYA so I will wait a few more days, test again, and re-add. I will probably just get the liquid. I have a SWG which is currently turned off. I need to get my salt up, I haven't even bothered with this or the SWG as I've been trying to fight the main problem I have right now ...

    Cloudiness. My pool was pretty bad. I shocked and killed algae in a very green pool about 5 weeks ago, then my pool motor went out, then I had to do it all over again a week or two later. I feel all this cloudiness is the dead algae. There's a thin white layer settled on my steps.

    Problem is I have cartridges. They get full in less than a day and two of my filters have broken when I wasn't paying attention. I have 4 good filters now, but I have not put them back in.

    Tried adding Pool First Aid this week after everything was good, I don't notice it clearing anything up, maybe my pool is larger than I think it is. I thought it was ~12,500, but maybe it's closer to the 15,000. It's on odd shape "sport" pool, so I have to estimate it's in between there somewhere.

    Two nights ago when I felt there was some CYA in there, I put some liquid chlorine. It held through the next day at just about 5ppm, held good until noon or so before going down to 4 (heavy sun). This morning it was at 0. I'm guessing the sun just ate it up, but can't positively rule out algae except to say that I really believe that I've killed it all (again, need the test). I just dumped a full bottle of liquid chlorine, I know that will take me up to shock level right now.

    I think at this point I just need to suck it up and get this dead algae out of my pool, but I don't have a vacuum and I have a cartridge filter so I don't think I can just vacuum it out to waste because I don't know that i have that option.

    Any advice?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    HI Roland, welcome! We can help. To answer some of your questions:
    My #1 problem right now I think is that I don't have a FAS-DPD(?) Chlorine test kit.
    You should be able to get the FAS-DPD portion from TFTestkits.net

    CH - 450 I know this is high, not sure I need to worry about this right now in the grand scheme.
    Depends on what type of pool you have. I didn't see it in your post. But chlorine balance is your #1 priority right now. You PH and TA are in a good place.

    You're on the right track with getting CYA up and using bleach. No more "bags-o-shock". Try to keep your FC at least to about 5 for now until you can accurately test it later.

    Your pool is cloudy probably because your FC got so low, and now you need to do a Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain. But you need to get that FAS-DPD to accurately test the FC and CC levels during the SLAM.

    Don't put any more pool store products (algaecides, Pool-Aid, etc) in your pool. Those products have numerous by-products that can mess-up your balance.

    So yes, get the CYA up. In SAC probably at least 50. When you get your SWG operating even higher. Use the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart to balance FC and CYA levels together. Once you get your FAS-DPD, you'll be in a better shape. Let us know if you have any more questions.

    Also, please add your pool info to your signature by going to the top of the TFP web page (just under the Pool School button) and select "SETTINGS". On the next page look to the left for a menu bar that says, “MY SETTINGS” and go to "EDIT SIGNATURE" to enter your pool and equipment info there. It will help us 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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    texas splash has you going, here is the direct link to the FAS DPD test TFTestkits.net
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    HI Roland! We have you covered. Texas gave you some wonderful info. to start you on the way to a CLEAR pool.

    What I think is happening or not happening is you are not "feeding" your pool every day. To get you pool clear you are going to have to add bleach several times a day. At least 4 please (more if you can)

    -morning after coffee is started

    -right when you get home from work

    -dinner time

    -right before bed

    Of course you need to know how much to add. That FAS kit that Texas linked you is what you need to do this.

    Which test kit did you get? Let us see if there is anything else you need to add to it to have a complete kit.

    No vacuum? How do you clean the bottom of your pool?

    You can get a manual vacuum from Walmart or Lowes-Just a head and hose and you are good. Here is a link to the head I have.

    Amazon.com : Hydro Tools 8130 Weighted Butterfly Pool Vacuum Head : Swimming Pool Handheld Vacuums : Patio, Lawn Garden

    Let us know how else we can help (I know it looks like all we did was tell you to spend money I am sorry)

    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: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    Thank you all for your input, very helpful. This is a great community of people coming together to help reach a common goal. Love it.

    So my test kit, I just added to my signature. I think one thing that is lacking is I can only measure free chlorine up to 5ppm. I'm guessing a higher-level test kit with more volume in the water holder can provide a higher ppm test? Can someone confirm? With respect to slamming, I don't think my little 5ppm is going to work.

    Thank you for linking me to the test kit. I would probably never have found that on my own, as I was only aware of the full kit being sold. I will pick up the test I need asap.

    I have a polaris robot that runs across the bottom of my pool. It goes straight to my cartridge filter though, I can't vacuum out to waste which would be nice right now with all the dead algae sitting in my pool. Cleaning my filters is a chore of a little over an hour each time.

    Update as of this morning.

    You guys must be wizards, or this site is magic, I dunno. When I posted this, I thought I was very very close. I had a very good feeling that all the algae in my pool has long been dead, it just had to be after everything I've thrown at it, call it a gut instinct.

    The missing piece to the equation was getting the dead algae OUT of the water. To me this was the logical next step. For those of you who can vacuum to waste, I envy you. Last night I bit the bullet and put my filters back in, just knowing that it was time, and that it needed to be done regardless of how much work it was going to be. After about an hour or so, I took them out, cleaned them, put them back, started running again. I asked my wife to turn the filter off when the pressure got high enough last night, which she did.

    I believe I also disconnected my Polaris robot to remove the added pressure it seems to cause.

    When I got home, I turned the filter back on to see where the pressure was. I'd say it got up to about 9psi past the starting point. I decided to leave it on for another 30 minutes or so and I would come back and turn it off, but I fell asleep.

    This morning I asked my wife to turn the filter off. I went to check the pool about 30 minutes later and low and behold CLEAR WATER! Hallelujah!

    I could clearly see the dead algae in different spots of the pool floor. They look like white "puddles" in different areas of the floor, and the steps where almost all covered, except for a few small ones. Still, it was amazing that the water had cleared.

    My FC was still a steady 5ppm after dropping a gallon of liquid chlorine in yesterday. I immediately cleaned the filters again. They didn't seem as dirty as yesterday, but whatever. I hooked the polaris back up to get the stuff of the floor and into the filters. The filter pressure is pretty high when this thing is running. I don't know if it's because the polaris is running over all that dead algae and throwing it right into the filters.

    I don't know if I have a pressure issue (I don't even know what would cause a pressure issue), but what I do know is that I have 3 broken filters that collapsed in on themselves over the past few months of me trying to open the pool. These specific filters are all the same brand "Pleatco", and what is unique about these compared to the ones purchased after is that they are not re-enforced in the middle of the cylinder with extra plastic. All the ones I currently have are. It's like that plastic was put there to prevent the filters collapsing into themselves. I think I just had some cheap filters from the pool store, none of my other filters have ever collapsed except these three. This is the reason I was/am nervous about putting my filters back in too soon, I see the pressure shoot up and I was getting broken filters.

    Anyway, the pump was running all night at high pressure and no broken filters so my gut tells me those were just cheap filters. Funny, when I told the pool store kid about this he said "the filters without the center re-enforcement plastic are made with a more durable plastic as re-enforcement." I couldn't tell if the kid was just making stuff up, or if what he was saying was legitimate. In any case, I laughed. I said "All I can tell you is I have 3 of the same filters and they are all broken, but the others are not. This is probably about the time I had had it with the pool store.

    So I've got my pump running, filters in, I added another half-gallon of liquid chlorine "just because", and I'm getting this dead algae out of the pool.

    I can't believe how much things changed in one night. I look forward to swimming soon.
    Odd shaped "sport" style pool, in-ground, plaster. ~13-15k (hard to get accurate estimate due to shape). Cartridge filters (hayward). SWG.
    Taylor K-1005 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    You are doing it! Good job!

    Keep up your SLAM and you will beat this thing!

    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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    jeffchap's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    Nvm.
    25000 gallon free-form gunite
    Jandy Stealth pump/CL340 cartridge filter
    Pentair IC40 SWG
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    TrevNJPool's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    The key is to not stop because u have clear water. You have to keep going until you pass the tests in the SLAM procedure. Its tempting to call victory early but if you dstop early, you will be doing it again in the near future.
    40x18 Lazy L Rectangle
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    Unhappy Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrevNJPool View Post
    The key is to not stop because u have clear water. You have to keep going until you pass the tests in the SLAM procedure. Its tempting to call victory early but if you dstop early, you will be doing it again in the near future.
    Thanks, I am trying. I have kept the chlorine up so far, 5 at minimum but today I"m sure it was higher. Have to go check it now.

    I think my filter cartridges are going bad or just getting really clogged up. Two of them are brand new! These two seem to be collecting the brunt. There is a flimsy looking cartridge in there that I probably should replace. There are large gaps in between the folds and I don't think it's really capturing much. Cleaning them all doesn't disperse as much material as I would think it would take to clog them, like the first good cleaning, but after putting them back in (clean) the pressure is going up very very quickly. It's very disheartening considering the time it takes to do this. I'm not Mr. Moneybags or anything, but I think with the time I'm spending on this it might be worth it for me to invest in a sand filter. Of course I have no idea how much that would cost me. Of course replacing these cartridgesat about $65-$70 a pop, and I have 4, is definitely costing me money anyway. I could probably get rid of this with a sand filter as well and it would pay for itself.

    Random question: So I have a skimmer on one end of my pool, and a separate opening with cap on the side of the pool (in water) where I plug in my little Polaris robot hose. There is a valve by my pump that controls the pressure of the skimmer. Can anyone tell me about this valve? What is it doing if I turn it up all the way to the left (high pressure in the robot), or when I turn it all the way in the opposite direction (giving more power to the main jet?)

    I will keep blasting out the filters, and keep the chlorine up, but right now the filters seem like a fools errand
    Odd shaped "sport" style pool, in-ground, plaster. ~13-15k (hard to get accurate estimate due to shape). Cartridge filters (hayward). SWG.
    Taylor K-1005 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    Cartridge Filter Cleaning???

    Get a big garbage can (big enough to put your filters in) and do this. The TSP seems to do the trick.

    Look on Craigslist for filters. You never know......

    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: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    UPDATE:
    I've been cleaning out the filters, and got a good amount of the dead algae out by using my vacuum hose (just the hose, no vacuum head, but good enough).

    This morning, the water was again clear with little puddle areas of dead algae like before, but less of it.

    I kept the chlorine high yesterday and still this morning. I also ordered my FAS-DPD test kit as recommended, so I'll have that next week and until then will be getting some bleach to keep the chlorine high until the kit arrives. I did not realize that this kit also was able to read free chlorine to a larger PPM than 5. For some reason I thought the purpose was simply to measure small changes in FC. Am I wrong about this?

    I cleaned my filters this morning, and after about 30 minutes the pressure shot up by 8psi 19 -> 27

    Since the pool is clear and the top steps no longer have dead algae (I can see them), I do see that there is still algae. There's a few shades of light green on my big step, and there are some darker spots in the corner of the step. I'm also guessing there is invisible (to me) algae in the water as well.

    I will keep the SLAM going, and am really looking forward to my test kit.
    Odd shaped "sport" style pool, in-ground, plaster. ~13-15k (hard to get accurate estimate due to shape). Cartridge filters (hayward). SWG.
    Taylor K-1005 Test Kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    You're doing well! Yes, you are correct about the FAS-DPD kit. It does read much higher than 5 as indicated on the typical OTO-type glass indicators. You'll be very pleased with the FAS-DPD when you get it. Maintain that SLAM!
    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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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    Are you brushing at least once a day? That will help get everything stirred up and into the FC. Algae will form a protective cover that HAS to be broken up and be exposed to the FC to die!

    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: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Are you brushing at least once a day? That will help get everything stirred up and into the FC. Algae will form a protective cover that HAS to be broken up and be exposed to the FC to die!

    Kim
    You have been so helpful. If I haven't said it already, Thank You.

    Your link and advice on filter cleaning was eye opening. I'm heading out to get a big trash can now and some TSP. My pressure issue is very likely due to not getting the filters clean enough with the hose and tool attachment I have. (It's the fancy aluminum one with curved head that is supposed to clean in between the folds. After reading some impressions on the forums and amazon, seems this is not all it's cracked up to be.) I'm going to get that brass nozzle that's been recommended along with the garbage can and TSP.

    I have NOT been brushing the sides daily (only as of the last few days anyway, prior I was), and the reason is because I've been kind of focused on getting up those puddles of dead algae instead of getting that remixed into the water which only made it cloudy (and because of my filters was not getting removed that way). Today the water was very clear, still with the dead algae settled in "puddles" on the bottom. I got my little robot in there, set the pressure accordingly, and at the moment most of it is up from the bottom of the pool (or was mixed back into the water). In any case, I will now re-commence daily brushing.

    It's getting there. I'm almost wondering if it's safe to swim ... (but I'd be more comfortable after I get my new kit and can actually be sure what's going on and how high my FC actually is)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    You're doing well! Yes, you are correct about the FAS-DPD kit. It does read much higher than 5 as indicated on the typical OTO-type glass indicators. You'll be very pleased with the FAS-DPD when you get it. Maintain that SLAM!
    Thanks for confirming! The SLAM is going
    Odd shaped "sport" style pool, in-ground, plaster. ~13-15k (hard to get accurate estimate due to shape). Cartridge filters (hayward). SWG.
    Taylor K-1005 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    You are welcome! It is fun working with you. You listen and learn and do! NICE JOB!

    I would wait for your test kit so you KNOW it is safe.

    It is safe to swim when your FC is just below the SLAM Level for your CYA.

    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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    Talking Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    So, I now realize that a major issue I've had is improperly cleaned filters. Basically I didn't know what I was doing and thought spraying down was good enough. The nozzle tool I have (the one with curved end that kind of cradles the filter and sprays multiple streams) is what I've been using, but it doesn't have enough pressure. I bought a little nozzle head that shoots a straight stream, high pressure. When I cleaned my filters with this, I noticed for the first time the actual filter turning white. The problem is, I had to literally put this stream on every spot of the filter, a tedious task. I did pretty well, but it was impossible to get it all. I did do a TSP soak. I'm sure it helped, but it did not take out any of the tough stuff. I would hope that this is what a soak in muriatic acid would take care of (I chickened out this time), that really tough stuff, because the time it takes to deep clean with a high powered stream just isn't worth it. It took way too long, but I had to do it this time. (Of course I'm really hoping I don't have to do this again for a long long time now that my pool is clear).

    So putting in filters that looked cleaner than ever, I was happily surprised at how much water pressure improved. This should help my circulation and this may have also been a problem for a while.

    I did go one day without the pump running (the filters took a REALLY long time to clean!) When I checked the chlorine I was basically almost at 0, and I think there was some combined chlorine. So I just threw in a bunch of chlorine and brushed all the walls and steps. My test kit will be here in the next couple of days.

    Water is clear, some signs of algae still present on steps. When I brushed there was only a hint of "dust" that dispersed into the water vs. a few days ago. In the homestretch now.
    Odd shaped "sport" style pool, in-ground, plaster. ~13-15k (hard to get accurate estimate due to shape). Cartridge filters (hayward). SWG.
    Taylor K-1005 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    Look at how much you are learning! SO nice to see!

    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: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    Got my FAS-DPD test kit today.

    Total Chlorine 8.5 (Shock target 12)
    Free Chlorine 7.5
    Combined Chlorine 1

    Seeing what my actual total chlorine is, I'm not sure I've actually been slamming at proper shock levels except for maybe the past 2 days. Guess that's why the test is so important!

    I did a CYA test, and while I thought I had at least 30 in there from a 1 gallon jug and 2lbs of powder, now I'm not so sure. I did the test indoors and was confident that I barely had 30. Then I went outside and did it, and was not so sure I had 30ppm (which means I don't think so), but it was close.

    This kind of makes me question the size of my pool, which isn't a good feeling. I have no idea how to get an accurate measure of my pool size, it's like a figure 8 with wings. One wing is an oversized step/island. The other is probably negligible. It's a step/seat by the waterfall and would otherwise be straight right there. [EDIT: Contacted former home owner, pool size is 15k. Guess I was on the mark after all, kind of. Good to know for sure.)

    I added a jug of bleach to get back up to shock level.

    At this point, should I still be running the filter 24/7 ?
    Last edited by rolandv; 07-22-2015 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Updated pool size
    Odd shaped "sport" style pool, in-ground, plaster. ~13-15k (hard to get accurate estimate due to shape). Cartridge filters (hayward). SWG.
    Taylor K-1005 Test Kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, I'm new here. Trying to open up the pool. Help?

    Yes, if you are still in SLAM mode, keep the pump on 24/7 to mix thoroughly and work on that algae. But now you see! It's amazing right? The test kit? People don't believe it at first - I didn't. Only until you actually test for yourself do you see first-hand how "off" the strips and pool stores results can be. Oh, and yes, you are correct to test CYA outside when looking at that tube. Sun at your back. Pour it back to the mixing bottle if you have to and re-test several times to make sure. You're on the right track!
    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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