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Thread: HELP, complete Newbie needs immediate advice!

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    Tiptoeadventures's Avatar
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    Exclamation HELP, complete Newbie needs immediate advice!

    I am panicking if I could get some of your amazing advice on what steps to take tonight or FIRST thing in the morning? Or what kind of time frame does it take for damage to be done to filter/pump or water? I'm brand new to the pool thing and I'm so scared that our pool is being damaged right now after spending 13k to get it rebuilt :/, so sorry if this seems full of stupid questions or common sense.

    Our new salt water pool was completed and final chemical dump from pool guys on this past Thursday. On that day he walked me through everything (how to flush the filter, where we would need to put a vac mate, when to test, how to use the kit, and the best local store to buy our chemicals from)

    -He advised he had put bags of salt into the pool & put some liquid chlorine into the pool as well. However, he left 2 more bags of salt he said I would need to add after the initial salt was able to filter through and turn to chlorine.
    -He advised the local pool shop to go to that is knowledgeable and doesn't sell things that are unnecessary and told me to go in and put a deposit down and start getting my chemicals.
    -He put DE (deatnacious earth) into the skimmer basket area after he taught me how to flush out the filter.
    -We have a spa built into the pool as well so there are 2 valves attached to the filter/pump. The 2nd valve is slightly cocked to allow some water to filter into the spa so it doesn't remain stagnant when not being used.

    PROBLEMS:
    ---It rained all weekend here (which is uncommon in san diego so we had a VERY hot week with high sun and then rain all weekend). We have yet to use the pool and have guests in town that would like to if I could get this taken care of in the next few days???--

    -Today (Monday) I tested the pool to see if we could add the 2 bags of salt; There is NO chlorine showing with my TF-100kit at all??

    -CYA is only at 30!? I'm sure this is the main culprit but I'm worried about the immediate action to take to avoid damage to SWG and possibly long term chemical requirements to return it to normal?

    -He said he added stabilizer as well and we would probably only have to add more about 1x year and should test for it 1x per month?!
    -The lights on the Pentair SWG is showing red lights for "Low Flow" as well as "Low Salt", what do I do?

    -All other tests are in the ideal range (PH 7.5-7.8, Alk: 80, Calcium: 300ppm)

    *Should I immediately turn off the SWG?

    *Is there anything else I can do tonight to make sure that things don't get damaged or stabilize the pool until I can get to the pool store tomorrow to put down our deposit and pickup our first set of chemicals?

    *What is the best thing to pickup tomorrow to stabilize it and bring the chlorine level back up to a normal level?

    *How long should it take to stabilize the pool on average? Do you think we will have to SLAM the pool?


    I found a recommendation on one thread here to do an overnight FC Loss test so I will go ahead and do that just to verify that nothing has started to grow since it's possible this problem has been going on since friday . I'll update my post if I find that the morning test reveals any algae or problems with growth in the water as well as the chlorine and SWG red light issues.
    17.5k gallon IG plaster ~ 1st time pool owner ~ Resurface & Fill Completed 06/2015
    Pentair SWG 3200 ~ FNSplus Vertical Grid D.E Filter ~ Pentair Intelliflo variable speed ~ Purex Triton Minimax Plus 400 Heater (Propane)
    ~ Aquabot Turbo T-Jet Robotic Pool Cleaner~
    Test Kits: TF-100 kit & K-1766 Salt Drop Kit

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: HELP, complete Newbie needs immediate advice!

    Welcome to the forum!

    Take a deep breath, the pool isn't being destroyed. It's a bit odd that he added salt, as the general time frame on that is about 4 weeks. Perhaps it has been that long since you say final dump. No matter, it's in there now. So you tested to see if you could add more salt, and what did the test reveal? As for it having to filter through and turn into Chlorine is either a huge misunderstanding, or he is woefully ignorant. Once the salt is in the water it dissolves in a short time and is ready to be converted in the SWG. It matters not what was put in before, or what stage of dissolving it's in. Rediculous. As long as it's enough, and not too much that should be your only concern from there.

    I would not worry about putting any deposit down with that store, and would advise you not too. You have a good kit, and you can do this on your own. Now, if they sell liquid Chlorine or other pool needs at a good price, you might want to trade with them. Still, putting down a deposit is ludicrous! Do you do that at any other store? What kind of deal is that he has working? I Would have to ask if he did that at other stores he shopped with. Perhaps the Butcher....in case he has a BBQ some weekend soon? Sheesh!

    As for the OCLT, you have to have at least several (7-10 is good) PPM of FC present to get a valid test. Did you add something to increase the Free Chlorine? As for a SLAM, it depends on what's going on. Can you post a full set of results, and tell us what the water looks like when you reply please?
    TFP Moderator
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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: HELP, complete Newbie needs immediate advice!

    hi and welcome
    first thing you need to do is get some chlorine in there pronto
    you need about one and a half quarts of liquid chlorine
    take a water sample to .... i dont know if i can say it... pool shop
    only buy liquid chlorine nothing else. tell them pool builder left you chemicals at home but you have run out of liquid chlorine
    you only need the salt test, but pretend you are interested in everything else
    add the liquid chlorine to pool with pump running, just pour in front of a return slowly
    post the salt test results here, dont add any salt yet as you cant get it out after you put it in

    edit if you have any plain household bleach for the laundry
    not splashless or scented just plain bleach it is the same thing as liquid chlorine and you can add that tonight to get you through until pool shop opens
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
    50,000 litres 13,000 gallons
    Lincoln Salt Chlorinator, 25 gram cell Sand Filter with glass media
    Taylor K2006-C test kit, Taylor K-1766 salt test, Dolphin M500 pool cleaner
    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: HELP, complete Newbie needs immediate advice!

    She has a TF100, so why would she want pool store testing?? It is extremely rare to never we suggest a member to to get store testing. Most of the forum staff will not advise on the numbers from stores because they are so wildly inaccurate. I won't, even on Salt.

    Trust your own results, Tiptoe....but let us know if you have questions on the testing Results or procedures.
    TFP Moderator
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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: HELP, complete Newbie needs immediate advice!

    she doesn't have a salt test kit (taylor k-1766)
    imo salt tests dont seem to be too eratic from pool store
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
    50,000 litres 13,000 gallons
    Lincoln Salt Chlorinator, 25 gram cell Sand Filter with glass media
    Taylor K2006-C test kit, Taylor K-1766 salt test, Dolphin M500 pool cleaner
    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: HELP, complete Newbie needs immediate advice!

    I understand, but I would still not advise an OP on pool store numbers. Salt or otherwise.

    She does say on Monday, she tested to see if they could add the two more bags of salt, so I Presume she has something.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: HELP, complete Newbie needs immediate advice!

    TipToe,

    I noticed you said "The lights on the Pentair SWG is showing red lights for "Low Flow" as well as "Low Salt", what do I do?"

    I would ignore the low salt light until you get the low flow light to turn off. The low flow light generally means that either your VS pump is not running fast enough or your filter is dirty. The first thing I would try is to increase the pump speed to 1500 RPM, or so, and see if the flow light goes out. The Low Salt light may or may not go out, but it might take several hours or overnight to do so. I would not add any more salt until the Low Flow problem is fixed.

    I concur with everyone else.. You are not going to damage anything. But, without any FC (chlorine) things can go green in a hurry. I'd dump in a jug (About 129 oz) of bleach now. and then retest in an hour or so and see where you are.

    If you don't already have a salt test kit, I recommend the Taylor K-1766. It is nice to know where you are salt wise, before dumping more salt into the pool.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: HELP, complete Newbie needs immediate advice!

    Agree with Jim on not adding salt until the low flow light is off. Chlorine is essential in a pool to prevent algae growth. There is a good chance that the low flow is caused by a clogged filter which is caused by algae which is caused by lack of chlorine.

    It is very important to maintain chlorine at target level for your CYA at ALL times, Chlorine CYA Chart, to prevent algae from growing and keep your pool properly sanitized. If your SWG is not providing enough chlorine then use bleach to keep chlorine at the proper level. Use Pool School - PoolMath to calculate how much to add.



    Have a read here, Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
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    Tiptoeadventures's Avatar
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    Re: HELP, complete Newbie needs immediate advice!

    Oh my goodness all the replies to my message we're going into my stupid spam folder :/ I cannot thank you all enough for having my back, whew this community is amazing I tell ha

    I slept on it (obviously since it was the weekend ha) and decided to call the guy who redid our pool and was supposed to have it up and running for us to see if he could send someone out to fit the issues. Figure after spending that kinda $$ they could at least get it to normal levels for me so I could take it from there. The young guy who did the final salt and liquid chlorine dump that I was talking about was VERY suprised when I busted out my Taylor kit and asked him if he could quickly run through how to use it with me. I'm guessing they were going to give me a basic kit and he said "wow, I've never seen anything like this- it's very technical." I just kinda smiled and though "uh yay kid, you spend this kind of money and see if you'd do a finger test" haha.

    Anyways, long story short. I had issues getting them to get out here that week and take care of it so I ended up at the pool supply store and got liquid chlorine per your instructions and figured I could at least maintain it until he showed up. We got the levels to a good area and I've been continuing to run tests.

    Now ow we have insanely high pH and TA levels that won't seem to drop no matter how much acid we add. I'm reading some other threads here about that & don't want to post any Q until I've finished reading. Trying not to be that person that asks the same Q's that have been asked a million times

    Quick Q though- you said not to go to a pool place that requires a depot for chemicals??? What I'm hearing from others in the area is that this is pretty typical. We put a deposit on the case of chemicals and then when they are empty we just take them back in and have it refilled. I believe the deposit is more for the crate and jugs so they get them back if you ever stop using their store. Does that sound right?

    2nd Q: I should buy the other test kit so that I have a salt water tester as well? I did notice that the Tf-100 doesn't seem to have it and didn't know if the strips were worthless or if I should just buy some of those?


    I actually found a case of jugs in the garage from the previous home owner when she took care of the pool and just went in with those acting like I had already "deposited for them" and just got them refilled =)
    17.5k gallon IG plaster ~ 1st time pool owner ~ Resurface & Fill Completed 06/2015
    Pentair SWG 3200 ~ FNSplus Vertical Grid D.E Filter ~ Pentair Intelliflo variable speed ~ Purex Triton Minimax Plus 400 Heater (Propane)
    ~ Aquabot Turbo T-Jet Robotic Pool Cleaner~
    Test Kits: TF-100 kit & K-1766 Salt Drop Kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: HELP, complete Newbie needs immediate advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiptoeadventures View Post
    <snip>
    Now ow we have insanely high pH and TA levels that won't seem to drop no matter how much acid we add. I'm reading some other threads here about that & don't want to post any Q until I've finished reading. Trying not to be that person that asks the same Q's that have been asked a million times
    Fresh plaster and California tap water combined mean you will be adding a bunch of acid. Get used to it. The pH WILL come down eventually, with enough acid.
    Quick Q though- you said not to go to a pool place that requires a depot for chemicals??? What I'm hearing from others in the area is that this is pretty typical. We put a deposit on the case of chemicals and then when they are empty we just take them back in and have it refilled. I believe the deposit is more for the crate and jugs so they get them back if you ever stop using their store. Does that sound right?
    I use returnable HASA bleach and acid. Yes, the deposit is for the jugs and the crate.

    2nd Q: I should buy the other test kit so that I have a salt water tester as well? I did notice that the Tf-100 doesn't seem to have it and didn't know if the strips were worthless or if I should just buy some of those?
    tftestkits sells salt tests. If they're the same as yours, you're set. I don't think Dave would sell them if they were junk.
    I actually found a case of jugs in the garage from the previous home owner when she took care of the pool and just went in with those acting like I had already "deposited for them" and just got them refilled =)
    Good deal!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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