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Thread: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

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    Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    We always used to just use bleach/baking soda/rock salt with our Taylor K-2005 kit to balance things out until we had a big problem with clearing it during the spring of 2014. I went to the Pool Store, bought hundreds of $$ in chems and got it clear... for a bit. We had algae problems off and on all summer and trouble keeping readable chlorine levels. Fast forward to this year. Bought $300 worth of chems right off the bat so we could open up early. We had a tree fall on the pool, a short in the wiring to the pump causing 2 weeks of no circulation, and a leak in the lines somewhere shortly afterwards. Fixed the leak with some amazing gel that we poured into the skimmer.

    After re-reading my "pool bible" (aka Taylor kit instruction book) I realized how much I was overspending on chlorine by getting tri-chlor, so I've reverted to good ole bleach. Our pool is finally blue after a big algae bloom, but still a little hazy. It's been raining almost everyday for around a month. Couldn't get any chlorine to register on my kit. Thought maybe my testing bottles were too old. I took a sample to that pool store since they do free testing, knowing I wouldn't buy anything from them, but wanted to see if my tests were true. Here are the results:

    TC: 0
    FC: 0
    pH: 7.4
    TA: 65
    CH: 175
    CYA: 110

    They told me I have something creating a high chlorine demand and need to burn out the pool with a 74% shock they sell. I politely walked out. What really gets me, is that on their analysis, they say that CYA range should be 30-150. No wonder I can't get the FC to register!

    After reading Pool School and some other threads, I'm wondering - do I need to SLAM the pool, or do I just need to drain and fill a few times to get the CYA down? What could be causing the haze? Early sign of algae? I killed the last bloom by dissolving 10lbs of the Sam's club granular chlorine and pouring it in. That was just a few days ago. We've "shocked" SO much, no wonder the CYA is through the roof.

    We have a pool party scheduled in a week - is there hope for the party? Give me some advice! I'll be ordering the more accurate FAS/DPD test soon.
    50 yr old in-ground plaster pool
    15'x40' 3ft to 9ft
    22000 gallons - we think
    1hp jacuzzi pump and sherlock cartridge filter
    Taylor K-2005 test kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Sorry you had to take the long, painful road to finally see the light. But we're glad you are here. So first things first .... CYA! Yuck. Yep, the only way to reduce adequately is a partial drain. You want that CYA lower before you SLAM or add any more chemicals. Since you have a plaster IG pool, you need to be careful of draining too much if you have a water table that could "float" or disrupt your pool shell. Having said that, a healthy drain is usually more efficient that many very small drains, but I'd recommend about a 40-50% drain and exchange of water if you are able to do so. See how that reduces your CYA. However you slice it, remove/exchange some water to get you to a decent CYA. Even if you only make it to 50 or 60, that's at least manageable. You'll use a little more bleach for a SLAM, but after that not so much.

    SO hey, welcome to TFP! Let us know if you have any more questions.

    - - - Updated - - -

    PS - Definitely get that FAS-DPD kit ordered ASAP. You will need it to measure FC and CC during your 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.
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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    My advice would be to read the articles in POOL SCHOOL two or three times and to utilize the pool calculator http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html.

    You may be able to get it clear in a week, but you have to be willing to test and keep the chlorine levels at SLAM levels and purchase as much bleach as needed to keep them there, which will be a lot due to the high CYA. You would be better off doing a 1/2 drain and refill, but I am not experienced with plaster pools and the drain and refill process with those...and the pool store was correct in saying that you needed to raise your chlorine level due to demand, but do it with bleach due to the high CYA...
    21,100 IG Vinyl
    Hayward Pump
    Sand Filter
    TFPC
    Taylor K-2006 Kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Welcome to TFP!

    Yes, there is hope. Drain 30-40% probably twice. Or if you are comfortable with draining about 60% to get your CYA down to 40-50.

    Get one of the Recommended Test Kits, I use the TF100 from TFTestkits.net. Or order the FAS/DPD seperately from tftestkits if the rest of your kit is pretty full.

    When you get it give us some test results and get ready to SLAM Your Pool.

    Here are some of my fave Pool School articles to read while you watch your pool drain. .
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals and how to add them.
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Thank you - you all are awesome! I'll start draining tonight. I already ordered the FAS/DPD on its own, because I keep my kit well stocked. Won't be a problem to drain half of it in one go - and then maybe we can finally get the two large stones at the bottom of the deep end that landed there when the tree fell. I'll refill, check the CYA, and then report back. And I'll keep reading the articles on here. I'm such a geek for this stuff - I love understanding how it all works!
    50 yr old in-ground plaster pool
    15'x40' 3ft to 9ft
    22000 gallons - we think
    1hp jacuzzi pump and sherlock cartridge filter
    Taylor K-2005 test kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    LexieLou! I had a kitty with that name! She was such a special kitty!

    You are so going to love your pool the TFP way and LOVE the money you will save!

    Just read and following the directions to the T and you will have a clear pool that will look like a jewel!

    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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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Hi LexiLou,
    Welcome to TFP!

    If you are geeky and like learning how this pool stuff works, well you certainly came to the right place!

    Get your CYA down and SLAM and SLAM hard as soon as you get it filled back up. Its hazy now because you have the beginning of another algae bloom, which is a result of your FC not being high enough to overcome the buffering effects of teh CYA.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Well, every one seem to have you covered with a partial drain then SLAM, so I'll just say Welcome to TFP!
    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: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Good luck! Welcome to the pool Chemistry nerd club! . I love learning it too!


    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: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Thank you guys!!! So glad I found you. The support is great, especially b/c my husband is a bit doubtful that draining is the only way. But he knows I've done the research and he's trusting me. So here we go!

    Lexie
    50 yr old in-ground plaster pool
    15'x40' 3ft to 9ft
    22000 gallons - we think
    1hp jacuzzi pump and sherlock cartridge filter
    Taylor K-2005 test kit

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    robdac's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Welcome, you've definitely found the right place to get your pool straightened out.

    You're CYA is probably high and you probably need to drain and refill as advised above. However you're trusting your CYA reading to the same people that say it needs to be between 30 and 150 and want to sell you hundreds of dollars worth of chemicals. I'd want a proper test kit and to be sure what the CYA level actually is before I drained and refilled half of a 22,000 gallon pool.
    11K gal IG screened-in plaster pool w/ spa
    pentair 150 cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump,
    Aquarite AQR15 SWG, AquaCal Heatwave Heat Pump, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Quote Originally Posted by robdac View Post
    Welcome, you've definitely found the right place to get your pool straightened out.

    You're CYA is probably high and you probably need to drain and refill as advised above. However you're trusting your CYA reading to the same people that say it needs to be between 30 and 150 and want to sell you hundreds of dollars worth of chemicals. I'd want a proper test kit and to be sure what the CYA level actually is before I drained and refilled half of a 22,000 gallon pool.
    Agreed! Wait for your own test kit to be safe!


    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: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    I missed the part about the results being from a pool store...wait until you get your kit.
    21,100 IG Vinyl
    Hayward Pump
    Sand Filter
    TFPC
    Taylor K-2006 Kit

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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    I had tested everything except the CYA before I went in, and all of their results were spot on with mine. They've always matched my own. I don't doubt their readings (much) just their interpretations of acceptable ranges and responses to problems. Pool's already down about a foot... so I'm pretty committed now, lol! If it ends up being too low, I have 7 lbs of stabilizer they sold me this spring in the shed. The water bill will just be a bummer.
    50 yr old in-ground plaster pool
    15'x40' 3ft to 9ft
    22000 gallons - we think
    1hp jacuzzi pump and sherlock cartridge filter
    Taylor K-2005 test kit

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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Ok... you guys were making me super nervous, lol, so I just went and checked the CYA of the pool water. If the store was off, it was on the low end. I got a super high reading. Eek!

    Because half of the pool floor gradually goes from 3-9ft, it's hard to judge what's "half". We've drained about a foot and a half so far. Would two feet be good? Should I go 2 and a half? I'd rather not overshoot it, since the cost of the sewage is formidable. But I'd also rather not fill and drain a few times, you know?
    50 yr old in-ground plaster pool
    15'x40' 3ft to 9ft
    22000 gallons - we think
    1hp jacuzzi pump and sherlock cartridge filter
    Taylor K-2005 test kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Do NOT let it get below 1 foot in the shallow end! You do NOT want to chance floating the pool!

    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: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    if it's over 100, you need to dilute the pool water 50:50 with tap water before doing the CYA test, then multiply the result by 2.
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
    Hayward DE filter, 2HP Ecostar VSP, ProLogic PS-4, GVA actuators
    Cal Pools Wave Force Plus (wall return jets plus 2 floor pop-ups), Venturi Skimmer
    Water sheer, 2 wok pots, bubbler stem on the baja step
    ColorLogic Mutlicolor LED lamp. Taylor 2006+speed stir

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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    Thanks guys - I'll keep it to two feet down, tops. I don't have any more reagent to do another test, so I"ll have to wait to test it again once it's filled and my kit arrives.
    50 yr old in-ground plaster pool
    15'x40' 3ft to 9ft
    22000 gallons - we think
    1hp jacuzzi pump and sherlock cartridge filter
    Taylor K-2005 test kit

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    pabeader's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    If you tell the water people that you were filling your pool, they usually give you a break on the sewage charge.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Finally realized that the pool store is crazy....

    One thing is for sure, it will be better than it was yesterday! Forward march!
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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