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Thread: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

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    New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    Today we took possession of our first home with a pool. Before I found this forum a couple days ago, I knew precisely zero on how to properly maintain a pool. I know slightly more than that now, but not much. A couple days ago, I ordered a TF-100 and it's the way but not due to me until Wednesday.

    So I have zero data; don't know the size, filtration, surface or any of the exiting water chemistry. We saw the pool on Monday and it was clear then.

    We'll be at the new house tonight and I'm going to gather as much info as I can about the size, filtration and surface.

    What should I do until Wednesday? I don't know the chlorine levels, but I don't want them to get low or zero. I also don't know how much to run the pump. Hopefully I can find a timer tonight.

    Thanks for any advice. I'll start filling in my signature with pool info when I get it.

    John

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    At the very least John, consider adding 1/2 - 1 gallon of regular bleach each night just so the water has "some" sanitation. We won't know how much you really need until your kit arrives, but at least do that. On the Poomath calculator, there is also a pool volume calculator that may help you determine the number of gallons.

    You can post pics too if you need help.
    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
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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    Texas splash always beats me to the punch! haha When in doubt keep it chlorinated and err on the high side even after your kit comes. Post the numbers as soon as your new test kit arrives and you'll learn how to balance it perfectly. Really!
    Cornelius Monterey Steel/Resin AG 18' round (approx. 7600+gallons) Hayward veri-flo SWG w/sand filter.Testing w/ TK2006 using Speed stir.

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    if its clear right now its probably chlorinated already with an inline chlorinator or floater?? not good long term, but I would just keep the setup going as is until you get your test kit and go from there. a few more days of it running with pucks, etc isn't going to make a huge difference. if there is no source of chlorine, then yeah gonna need to add bleach. but you will know once you get there and check it out.

    welcome to TFP and great news on ordering the test kit!
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    Well it was still clear this evening. There was an empty floater in the pool and I didn't see anything that looked like an inline chlorinator. I dumped a half jug of 8.25% bleach in it.

    My sig should have some info in it now that is fairly accurate. And there are a couple photos below. Looks like the timer is setup to have the pump run from 11P to 7A. I was running out of light and time so I didn't spend much time trying to identify the specific filter model/size nor the pumps. I'm going to head over to the school now and see if I can't learn what all them pumps, valves and pipes do.

    The volume measurement was somewhat reasonable. I measured the surface area fairly accurately then averaged the depth and removed another 6" from that average for the steps. I'll measure the steps at another time.

    Any additional input is appreciated. Are there any other details I should try to gather tomorrow?

    Pool.jpg

    Pumps & Filter.jpg
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    Beautiful pool! Congratulations on the new home.
    18x36 IG, Vinyl, 20K Gal., Sand Filter, 1HP pool pump, 3/4HP slide pump, Taylor k-2006.

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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    OK, a bit more info and potential issues. We went swimming this afternoon and I got up close and personal with the pool.

    This morning I dumped the second half of the gallon of bleach into the pool. When we got in the pool it was fairly cloudy. I spent some time removing all the leaves I could from the bottom. This thing attracts quite a bit of leaves both on the surface and many that sink. The pool cleaner's in line basket was packed this morning and then had quite a bit more this afternoon. I've let the pump run all day. The pool almost seemed to get cloudier as we swam... Although that could be my mind paying tricks.

    The more worrisome issue is that almost the entire perimeter of the pool has what appears to be a line of black organic slime just above the water line.

    I'm gonna snap some photos that I can post later. Anyway, I'm just sharing what I see and hoping someone has some input. I know none of this means much without knowing the water chemistry.

    Thoughts welcome.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    The pump on the left looks like it runs waterfalls from the three vessels, one valve for each one to control flow to each. Right pump runs your filter.

    Definitely scoop out all debris, empty the pool vac, skimmer baskets and leaf baskets on the pump.

    Here is some info to get you going from Pool School
    Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule
    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Pool School - Maintenance and Cleaning of Pool Filters
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    - - - Updated - - -

    The valve on the front of the filter pump probably switches water flow between skimmers and main drain, I like mine 80% skimmer 20% drain except when I am brushing then it is 100% drain. The red faucet handle probably opens up water flow to your pool vac, which will make it a pressure side cleaner. And not a suction cleaner.
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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    Here's a shot of the black stuff. My reading around here leads me to believe this may not be algae but mold or mildew.

    My first thought is to try hitting it with a SS scrub brush and squirting with bleach solution. Although I may just leave it along until I get my kit and see where the water sits. If my CYA is way high and I need to drain anyway, it might be easier to tackle the black stuff while the water is down a bit.

    Black Stuff2.jpg
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    pooldv - you're correct on the second pump function. Figured that out today. However, I'm not sure about that valve on the main pump. How are the main drain, skimmer and pool cleaner hole usually plumbed? I initially thought (until your post) that the left side was pool cleaner device and the right side was both the skimmer and the main drain. Does that seem reasonable?
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    Yes, possible if that is a suction cleaner and not a pressure cleaner. Unfortunately, there is no "usual".
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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    no worries on the black stuff along with tile. just get in the pool with a spray bottle, and spray it. I used a 50/50 solution of bleach and water and go around and spray it will trying to not make much waves to wash it off. let is soak for a bit, then scrub it. might take doing this one time a couple of days but that will come off easy. could also use some diluted muriatic acid, but that can eat away at your concrete, so I would stick with the bleach

    - - - Updated - - -

    I see your pump is setup to run over night...are you on variable pricing for your power company?? personally I like to run my pump during the day, but I pay a flat price per kw-h no matter what time of the day
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    We do have 'time of day' power. But the price doesn't go up until noon or 1:00 PM so I can adjust the timing inside that window. Why do you like running it during the day? And how much running time do I need? Man I still have lots of questions.

    I'll get after the black stuff with a brush and some bleach. Test kit will arrive tomorrow and I'm excited/nervous to see the results.

    I've still been adding the bleach at roughly 1/2 gallon 8.25% per day.
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    I run my pump during the day when I want solar heat and at night when I want solar cooling. Now is solar cooling time for me. Generally, people prefer to run during the day because that is when your chlorine gets used the most so they like it to be generated then. But, lots of people have off peak power rates and run their pump at off peak times. Any is fine. As you get to know your pool you will figure out what you like better. Others may chime in with their reasons to run day/night to give you more ideas.

    Keep working at it, you'll get there. Pools are not really that hard or complicated, just something new and different. Once you get it figured out it is pretty easy.
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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    I like running my pool during the day because I have a saltwater pool, and the only time I generate chlorine is when the pump is running. your chlorine loss occurs during the day, so I like adding chlorine during that time so that my chlorine levels never dip below the minimum based on my CYA. if I ran the pump at night, I would be bumping my FC up a lot higher at night so that my FC levels after dropping all day during the day would not drop below the minimum. either way you are still needing to generate the same amount of chlorine per day, but I feel it keeps my FC more level.

    another reason is I don't want stagnant water during the day, where FC could drop lower at the top of the pool, I like that I mix the water during the date to keep my FC levels consistent.

    another reason I like to run the pump during the day is I like to see the pool on and running when we are swimming etc.

    and another reason I like running the pump during the day is that I can see that it is working. if the pump failed I would notice it during the day that its not working. if it was during night I would not easily know

    ok, but that's just MY reasons, lol.

    BTW, my pump runs about 5 hours this time of year.
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    There is a lot for you to learn BUT you have found the best place to learn it at-TFP!

    PLEASE ask ANY questions you have even if you seems small. Someone will know the answer and tell you.

    Do you have:

    -a brush to brush the sides and bottom of the pool

    -a flat net to use on the top of the pool

    -a net with a deep pocket to help catch the leaves that to the bottom of the pool

    We will get the cloudy cleared up with your great test kit!

    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: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    I have a vinyl brush and a leaf rake. I need to get a new skimmer and pole.

    My first set of numbers are below.

    pH 7.7 (tough to interpret the colors exactly)
    FC 4.0
    CC 0.5
    CH 325
    TA 120
    CYA 76 (first at 70 then I tested a half diluted sample and got 76)

    I've been using 1/2 gallon of 8.25 bleach every evening for the last week. Filter runs 7 or 8 hours overnight. Pool does accumulate quite a bit of leaves and the cleaner doesn't get to all areas. I've done a good job keeping the leaf catchers cleaned. Well except the one by the pump because I can't get that lid off and I'm afraid of breaking it. I'm also unsure of my original pool volume calculation because it's deeper sooner than I expected.

    It appears my CYA is high and my FC is low.

    I'm gonna go hit the calculators and see what happens. Any and all advice is welcome.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    Use a rubber mallet or 2x4 to hit the ears to open that lid.

    Numbers look pretty good. Hold the PH up to sunlight and a white background, it helps a lot.
    TA is a little high which could cause your PH to rise. Monitor your PH closely for a while until you get a good feel for it. If it does tend to rise lower it to 7.2 when it gets to 7.8 with muriatic acid. That will slowly lower your TA until PH and TA reach equilibrium and Ph holds steady. Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity

    Yes, CYA is high. Chlorine level is set based on CYA level and the Chlorine CYA Chart. Always keep it at target to keep your pool sanitized and algae free. Don't let it drop to minimum, ever. Also, round up your CYA to the next 10. You can live with high and maintain higher FC or you can drain about 40% to get it down to 50 or so.

    A good way to validate your pool volume is when adding muriatic acid to lower PH. Test 30 minutes after adding it to see if PH lowered to what Poolmath said it would.

    You are off to a great start!
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    I added a full jug of bleach last night and this morning the FC = 9 and CC =< 0.5. With the CC there was just a slight pink hue after adding the reagent which was gone after one drop.

    We'll see what it says this afternoon.

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    Re: New Pool Owner - First Day Today

    So this afternoon I tested again. FC was 6.5 and CC was again minimal. About 4 hours later and after the kids took a quick swim, I got another FC of 6.5. I added (eyeballed) 1/2 jug of bleach and 30 mins later FC tested at 9.5 which seems fairly consistent with what the full jug did yesterday. I don't seem to have any unreasonable chlorine demands do I? The low CC seems to support that the pool isn't fighting anything off? I'll keep testing. I want to see what it does overnight w/o sun.

    PH looked the same as yesterday around 7.7.

    So I understand that I have a target FC of 9 ppm. What exactly does that mean? It's going to fluctuate during the day. Do I start high and let it settle to 9? Or make 9 in the middle of my range?

    I put a nice 2 1/2", liquid filled, 0-30 psi gauge on the filter. The old POS was nearly unreadable. This makes it nice.

    With that new valve in place, I did my first filter backwash. The pressures were hovering around 12 psi before. They went down to around 8.5 psi.

    Since the 8.5 seemed a bit low, I wrestled open the pump filter basket. There was quite a bit of debris in there so I'm glad I did. There was also a large rock in the bottom. I'm guessing someone before thought it needed a weight to hold it in place. I put it back in place and now I'm here asking if that's a stupid idea or not? Should I take out the rock and see what happens?

    With the basket cleaned and the rock still in place the pump pressure increased to 10 psi. I'm calling that my clean baseline for now.

    Water is still cloudy. Not horrible, but it's really evident at night with the light on.

    What's next?
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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