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Thread: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

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    Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    We just bought the house and they had the pool going. We moved in Saturday and have been fighting with it all week. Water is slight cloudy and very slight green tint (sometimes it looks green against white ladder but otherwise it look fine). 3 weeks ago when we had come over to learn what they have been doing to the pool it was crystal clear. Now we can't see the bottom of the pool. Forgive me I don't have a good test kit yet. I started reading the site and it makes more sense than most the stuff... especially more than what one of the pool stores said. Can you please help a first timer figure this out? Just want to make the pool usable for next couple weeks as our pool season is almost over in IL.

    Here is what they were doing --- chlorine pucks in floater always, shock once a week, algecide once a week, sand filter pump runs 24x7


    They had a large party 3 days long last of the month. (they were leaving the country so multiple goodbye parties) They said they shocked it on Tuesday. We obtained the house Friday. Saturday pool was murky so we figured it needed shock so added 2 bags. Monday (8/10) I took a pool sample in to pool store. They had it their records our pool was 17,000 gallons.
    FC 16.75, TC 16.75, CC 0, PH 7.9, Total Alkalinity 46, Adjusted Alkalinity 15, calcium hardness 383, CYA 94, Copper .1, Iron .7, TDS 900, Saturation Index .5

    From that I learned about CYA and it was too high but can't do much about it as really can't drain 50% of the pool with only 3 weeks left to use it. I immediately took the pucks out and stopped using them. They also said we should raise alkalinity and get rid of the metal so I bought $100 worth of chemicals and put them in the pool but not quite to their recommended levels because I planned on draining a portion of the water.
    So on 8/11 I vacuumed the pool with it set to waste to get some of the water out. Then added fresh water from hose for 3 hours. Our city water can be very hard or fine depending upon the city source as they have a well and then they purchase water from neighboring towns. Just wanted to mention since we have no way of telling what the actual city water source is at any given time and from dealing with my previous house I had to install a water softener or end up replacing the hot water heater every couple of years because of the hard water build up in it that it can be very very hard.

    So today 8/12 I brought water sample to the other pool store. They supposedly installed my pool. They said it is 13,000 gallons. They are a bioguard dealer and said normal range for CYA can be up to 200 and after reading this site no way am I going to trust what they say. Here is the numbers they gave me today.
    Saturation Index .5, TDS 900, CYA 88, TC 5.4, FC 5.1, PH 7.7, Total Alkalinity 127, Adjusted Alkalinity 101, Total Hardness 400, Copper 0, Iron .3
    They recommended raising the Alkalinity to 125-150 and adding a clarifier.

    I added a half a gallon of Chlorine to the pool tonight. I also added some of the clarifier though not the dosage they recommended which was even more than what the bottle recommended.

    I don't have a test kit to get good numbers going forward. I am ordering one tonight but in the meantime.. suggestions on what I can do to make it less cloudy? how much bleach do I need to add daily for my pool? How much do I need to add to get it to the level needed based on my CYA level which from the chart looks like I need to make it 9-10

    Any advice?

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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    but in the meantime.. suggestions on what I can do to make it less cloudy?
    Welcome to the forum. .

    Everything we teach here begins with adequate testing. We have no faith in pool store testing so what you can do in the meantime is keep the pool chlorinated until your test kit arrives. In a pool your size, I would suggest a small jug of Clorox daily until you can get your kit and post some test results.

    While you are waiting, there is a LOT to learn. read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. That'll get you off to a good start.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    Ok... pool turned green so started adding lots of chlorine since we knew they CYA level was high and then tried to maintain it by adding a gallon a day. Pool is now bluish but very cloudy-- I can see 3 out of 6 of the steps on the ladder. It is 14000 gallons approx and in full sun all day. Filter has been running 24x7 and always has.

    Finally got test kit in the mail to get real numbers -- as long as I did the tests properly.. Several seem fairly subjective so here is my attempt.

    FC 28
    CC 1
    CYA 70
    CH 500
    TA 240
    PH 8.2

    Since we were basically attempting a slam more or less is the PH number even accurate at all? Should we go ahead and add the acid to bring it down? I know to lower the TA (which the pool store had me increase and evidentally way too much) should I go head and lower the PH down to the 7.0 range it states in pool math? Will trying to lower the TA or PH work with that much chlorine which I need to maintain for the SLAM. Changing the water is out of the question... we only have 2-3 weeks of swimming weather left. Kids are upset bought a house with a pool and can't swim so would love to make it safe to swim as soon as possible!

    Thanks for the advice in advance!!!

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    your FC is right at the shock level for your CYA level, so that's good. but you need to maintain it at that level until the SLAM is complete, that means testing and adding more bleach as often as you can. that's the way to speed up the SLAM.

    your pH results are not accurate right now, so no need to worry about them. I would plan on doing a partial drain and refill to start the pool up next year, but since you only have a few weeks, just stay on the SLAM and get the pool clear.

    have you read up on the SLAM procedures and following them to a T?

    by the way, which test kit did you buy??
    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: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    Trying to follow the directions for SLAM however brushing/vacuuming the pool is difficult without getting in just having moved in house we have no time -- right now battling bad sewer drainage in the basement so unfortunately brushing was skipped last night because sewage in the basement is more important. I tested the water this morning, and then at lunch today and plan to test it again when I get off work and before bed. It will get brushed tonight too.

    I bought the TFT-100 but based on the number of drops needed for chlorine levels I already ordered a refill on the chlorine dfd test so that I hopefully won't run out.

    Should we be concerned with the current TA level or is it high because of the SLAM too?

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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    Leave the TA for later. Though that might be the real number.

    You are exactly where you need to be with the pool now, just keep that slam level steady.

    It will clear up soon!


    Shame on the sellers for leaving it green. My buyer takes possession of my old house soon and the
    pool is perfect, has detailed 3 page instructions for care and I'm leaving them the TF-100 kit and
    a business card for this site.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    The owners left the country... how lucky for them -- moving to St. Croix sounds good. The pool wasn't green when we moved in but was some what cloudy and we know they had several large going away parties right before. We had some basic directions that they followed -- always leave filter running, 2 bags of powdered shock once a week, backwash once a week, always have tablets in floatign dispenser. The CYA level was 94 according to the pool store when we first took over. We did a major vacuum to waste and then topped off with fresh water and it dropped CYA to 88 according to another pool store. We have added some more water and I got a 70 with the TFT kit. Needless to say the old owners didn't follow this forum or Trouble Free Pool directions.
    I spoke to both pool stores in town and after that found this forum. Based on my experience I definately know won't ever go back to the one pool store (they state cya ok up to 200!) and they are the ones who installed the pool. The other said up front CYA too high and only way to bring down is drain it 50%. They guy seemed to know what he was talking about for the most part but next time there had someone different and got different answers.

    The new owners will thank you for leaving detailed instructions especially if they never had a pool like us. I hope it clears up soon ... we would like to use it the last few weeks of summer in IL.

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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    Welcome. you will get there. Just a quick remainder that I have noticed a few new slammers lose track of. The only tests that you need to perform during the SLAM are the FC and CC. Save your other reagents.
    Free form 17X30. 14,500 Gal. Pentair sand filter and 1.5 hp pump. Aqua-Rite SWCG. TF-100 Test Kit w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    how does a heavy rain affect a slam? Overnight had a large storm and it raised pool level up an inch. We adjusted the chlorine this morning but should we be concerned about anything else? I redid the CYA just in case and come up with an 80 instead of 70... so didn't do that one right at some point.

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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    rain doesn't affect anything, unless its blowing in a bunch of junk into the pool.

    the CYA test is very subjective, and its tolerance is easily +/- 10ppm, so don't worry about that...but do base your FC on CYA of 80ppm. have you considered doing a partial drain and refill to get your CYA down? a 25% drain and refill would get your CYA down to 60.
    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: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    Thanks DaninFLA -- would love to do a drain but we only have about 2-3 weeks left of swimming weather so not really feasible at this point.

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool... now need help

    makes sense, you can handle all that when you open the pool. your CYA very well may disappear over the winter, it seems to be relatively common to see some CYA degradation over the winter in closed pools
    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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