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Thread: TFT measurements of my new pool

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    JayG's Avatar
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    TFT measurements of my new pool

    We recently purchased a home with a pool. The pool has been managed by a service by the previous owners for years. So far, it has been a happy experience for us. The pool has been clear, clean, and immensely enjoyable for the family and friends. I've opted to continue the existing pool service until closing in a couple of weeks, but I am considering taking over care next year. So, I bought myself a TFT kit which arrived on Friday. This morning I had a free moment to break out the kit and make some measurements. The pool pad has one of those puck dosing systems, so that made me curious how well things were in balance with CYA, etc. Here's what I found:

    FC: 11 ppm
    CC: ND
    CH: 200 ppm
    TA: 110
    CYA: >100 (~120 if one extrapolates the scale)
    NaCl: 800 ppm
    Borate: 15 ppm

    Pool school ranges for a plaster pool without SWG are:

    FC 3-7
    pH 7.5-7.8
    TA 70-90+
    CH 250-350
    CYA 30-50

    So, it seems that things are out of whack. I now realize I made the newbie mistake of not measuring pH (I used the weekly kit, not the daily kit I'll check that tomorrow.)

    The FC is high. Perhaps as expected (if they are only throwing in pucks every week), the CYA is too high. Do these two numbers some how balance out?

    TA is above range, but I'm not sure if that is a big problem. CH is too low. Is that going to hurt our pebble finish?

    I'm new to the forum and posted my intro here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...Westchester-NY

    It gives more background to those who are interested.

    Thoughts? Recommendations?

    The odd thing is that the pool has been under the care of this same group for years and the prior owners raved about how they never had any issues once this service took over. Likewise, the pool has been good for the 5 weeks we've been using it...and we've used it a lot.
    Jay--Metro NYC
    35K gal, in-ground, free-form, pebble finish, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, autofill. No spa, no features. Partial shade.
    Pentair C&C cartridge filter (400 sq in), Pentair VS pump, Pentair 140 btu heat pump, Triton Plus Robo-cleaner; Stenner with 55 gal bleach cistern. TFT 100 test kit.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Good job on getting the correct test kit! Your #1 priority now however will be to manage the high CYA. Your pool puck dosing system is probably adding to that extremely high CYA. You may want to remove any tabs/pucks now. The only way to lower CYA is to do a partial drain and refill. You are correct in that there is a relationship between FC and CYA as noted here on the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart. With a CYA as high as yours, your FC may not be all that high as you think in relation to that CYA, but that's not the ideal way to manage FC and CYA. So again, you should consider a drain/partial refill to lower CYA first, at least get it down to around 50-60, then start adjusting other levels as appropriate. Be careful when attempting any significant drains to ensure there are no high water table issues in your area that may compromise the structural integrity of your pool.
    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: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Welcome to the forum!

    Yea, I can see how you would feel that the pool has been good.... The problem is, that with the maintenance system they have using, it works beautifully for a while and then wham! Your CYA is so high that you can no longer maintain the pool with their methods. We hear Help, algae, or I have chlorine lock, or whatever.

    You have reached critical mass with the CYA. You can try this test linked below (post #8) to see how extensive it is.

    Extended Test Kit Directions

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    JayG's Avatar
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Good job on getting the correct test kit! Your #1 priority now however will be to manage the high CYA. Your pool puck dosing system is probably adding to that extremely high CYA. You may want to remove any tabs/pucks now. The only way to lower CYA is to do a partial drain and refill. You are correct in that there is a relationship between FC and CYA as noted here on the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart. With a CYA as high as yours, your FC may not be all that high as you think in relation to that CYA, but that's not the ideal way to manage FC and CYA. So again, you should consider a drain/partial refill to lower CYA first, at least get it down to around 50-60, then start adjusting other levels as appropriate. Be careful when attempting any significant drains to ensure there are no high water table issues in your area that may compromise the structural integrity of your pool.
    Thanks Texas! We were planning on closing the pool in late September. When is the best time to drain and refill? Closing or opening?
    Jay--Metro NYC
    35K gal, in-ground, free-form, pebble finish, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, autofill. No spa, no features. Partial shade.
    Pentair C&C cartridge filter (400 sq in), Pentair VS pump, Pentair 140 btu heat pump, Triton Plus Robo-cleaner; Stenner with 55 gal bleach cistern. TFT 100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    If you are clean and clear, like Pat says stop using the pucks and switch to liquid products for the remaining part of the season. I am going to guess closing your pool for the winter will involve a fairly substantial drain which will help the CYA for next year.

    As for your extrapolation of the CYA level, it really doesn't work out so well guessing that way. A better method is a diluted test, but even it has it's pitfalls.

    Take one part pool water and one part tap water mixing them well. Then use that solution as the "pool water" for the CYA test and multiply the result by two. The pitfall is that this method also doubles the inherent error of the test.

    As to the service and their wonderful job int he past; many northern pools are lucky in that they have sufficient dilution during the winter to allow them to subsist on a diet of 3" pucks during the short swim season. It is also possible they are using an algecide to keep the water clear.

    If we assume the CYA is close to 120 then 11 would be in the ballpark to keep the chlorine to keep algae at bay.

    You have the winter to read through Pool School and make your decision regarding the service for next year.
    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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    JayG's Avatar
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    Welcome to the forum!

    Yea, I can see how you would feel that the pool has been good.... The problem is, that with the maintenance system they have using, it works beautifully for a while and then wham! Your CYA is so high that you can no longer maintain the pool with their methods. We hear Help, algae, or I have chlorine lock, or whatever.

    You have reached critical mass with the CYA. You can try this test linked below (post #8) to see how extensive it is.

    Extended Test Kit Directions
    Great link. Thanks! I'll give the diluted pool water test a shot tomorrow if I can.
    Jay--Metro NYC
    35K gal, in-ground, free-form, pebble finish, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, autofill. No spa, no features. Partial shade.
    Pentair C&C cartridge filter (400 sq in), Pentair VS pump, Pentair 140 btu heat pump, Triton Plus Robo-cleaner; Stenner with 55 gal bleach cistern. TFT 100 test kit.

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    JayG's Avatar
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    If you are clean and clear, like Pat says stop using the pucks and switch to liquid products for the remaining part of the season. I am going to guess closing your pool for the winter will involve a fairly substantial drain which will help the CYA for next year.

    As for your extrapolation of the CYA level, it really doesn't work out so well guessing that way. A better method is a diluted test, but even it has it's pitfalls.

    Take one part pool water and one part tap water mixing them well. Then use that solution as the "pool water" for the CYA test and multiply the result by two. The pitfall is that this method also doubles the inherent error of the test.

    As to the service and their wonderful job int he past; many northern pools are lucky in that they have sufficient dilution during the winter to allow them to subsist on a diet of 3" pucks during the short swim season. It is also possible they are using an algecide to keep the water clear.

    If we assume the CYA is close to 120 then 11 would be in the ballpark to keep the chlorine to keep algae at bay.

    You have the winter to read through Pool School and make your decision regarding the service for next year.
    Thank you. I can pick up a bunch of chlorine for the remainder of the season. I will try the diluted test as per Jason Lion and the Taylor site. Regarding the pool service company, they charge a pretty penny (roughly $6000 for the season for opening, closing, and weekly maintenance. Not sure how that compares with other companies, but it seems expensive to me.). If I could switch to a SWG and ditch the puck dispenser, I think I could keep up with it myself. Now I'm worried about what SW would do to the flagstone and slate around our pool. I guess that is grist for another thread.
    Jay--Metro NYC
    35K gal, in-ground, free-form, pebble finish, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, autofill. No spa, no features. Partial shade.
    Pentair C&C cartridge filter (400 sq in), Pentair VS pump, Pentair 140 btu heat pump, Triton Plus Robo-cleaner; Stenner with 55 gal bleach cistern. TFT 100 test kit.

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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    You are probably better off keeping that on this thread so everything is together.

    $6,000? Ouch. The methods found on the forum are gonna save you a ton and will pay for that SWG if you decide to go that way. I don't have one, but I stay in town most of our swim season, so maintenance is easy for me. You have time to weigh that decision.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    That is expensive!! If you figure $600 for opening and $600 for closing that is $4,800 for the weekly maintenance. Giving you a 22 week swim season that's over $200 a week.

    Has this season already been paid and the closing is taken care of? Do you know what your current water temperature is? You really want the water to be below 60 degrees before you close as that is the temperature that algae's growth is retarded (but not stopped). You will want it open in the spring before the water gets above 60 so you can start the chlorine before and algae spores wake up.

    Do you have a cover? Do you know if it is solid or mesh?

    Make sure you are home when they close so you can watch what they do carefully. You want to be careful of any "closing" chemicals they plan on using so you an stay away from copper algecides or other "magic potions" that may not be good for the water.
    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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    JayG's Avatar
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    That is expensive!! If you figure $600 for opening and $600 for closing that is $4,800 for the weekly maintenance. Giving you a 22 week swim season that's over $200 a week.

    Has this season already been paid and the closing is taken care of? Do you know what your current water temperature is? You really want the water to be below 60 degrees before you close as that is the temperature that algae's growth is retarded (but not stopped). You will want it open in the spring before the water gets above 60 so you can start the chlorine before and algae spores wake up.

    Do you have a cover? Do you know if it is solid or mesh?

    Make sure you are home when they close so you can watch what they do carefully. You want to be careful of any "closing" chemicals they plan on using so you an stay away from copper algecides or other "magic potions" that may not be good for the water.
    The pool has a solid cover that "snaps" onto the decking. The pool is heated for the moment as we are trying to get a few more weekends. I'll turn off the heater today and I'll see what temp it settles at during the week. I plan to watch what they do during closing (yes, we paid for the remainder of their seasonal contract).
    Jay--Metro NYC
    35K gal, in-ground, free-form, pebble finish, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, autofill. No spa, no features. Partial shade.
    Pentair C&C cartridge filter (400 sq in), Pentair VS pump, Pentair 140 btu heat pump, Triton Plus Robo-cleaner; Stenner with 55 gal bleach cistern. TFT 100 test kit.

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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    I'd look into some other Pool companies for closing & opening costs.
    I know your in 'Harrison' and that can kick up street costs of things.
    I'm just south of you in Huntington and the guys here are also not too shy about charging $'s. $245 per hour for service calls!

    That being said I pay my pool repair company $300 each for opening & Closing. For that they lower the water level, remove the pump so it can be brought inside, drain the Filter & Heater, all lines are blown with a Compressor, Gizmo installed, dump 5Gal 12.5% LC and Install our LoopLoc cover.

    I cant say what weekly cost are since Ive been using TFP process for the last 2 years and the pool was close the previous 8 years. But the $200 or even the $168 per week sound steep even for your neck of the woods.
    IG Tear Drop, Dark Gray Gunite , 27,000 gallons -Age 50+-years, very old Hayward Split Egg Sand Filter with side mount Multi-port- Hayward SP2600VSP Pump- Hayward chlorine feed (not used since finding TFP) - Laars 315K BTU Oil heater- LoopLoc Safety cover- AquaBot RAPIDS 4WD- TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir- 390 Gal Hot Springs Spa Envoy installed May 2017

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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Considering your pool is quite large, the opening and closing may be a little more expensive. At most, you should be looking at $400 for opening and closing. Weekly maintenance is usually around $50 per week. Unless Harrison NY is in a remote area and you have to consider travelling time, etc. , there should be no reason for costs around $6,000. I would pack up my bags and move out there if I could make a living at $6,000 per customer.

    For most people, closing their pool by a professional is a must as they are not comfortable. Opening is nothing more then adding water to your pump basket for a few minutes. Opening up one valve on the suction side and one valve on the return side and turning on the system. This usually takes about 2 minutes. Once your pressure gauge reaches normal pressure, then you can open up all the valves and your are good to go. Next adjust your chemicals. (Please remember to carefully put back all the fittings in the heater, pump, filter, etc.), so water does not gush out.

    I opened my pool with an 8 year old in less than 30 minutes. I do not have a safety cover, but one of those less expensive ones. I do this to cover all the concrete so it fades evenly and also to make sure no water gets underneath. The 8 year old moved all the water bags off the cover and we peeled the cover back to the grass. Then I primed the system, turned in on and allowed the water to circulate. I removed the Gizmo's and kept the main drain locked, filled water in basket, etc. Shut off pump and put all the return fittings on. Lastly, I super chlorinated the pool with 12.5% liquid chlorine. It took 4 hours and the pool was crystal clear.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    JayG's Avatar
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Thanks all for your comments. It seemed pricy to me. $300-400 to open and the same to close as well as $50 a week for maintenance seems much more reasonable. To be fair, the contract price does not charge extra for chemicals. Not sure how that works with other services or what that tab normally amounts to.

    Much to learn, but this forum is fantastic.
    Jay--Metro NYC
    35K gal, in-ground, free-form, pebble finish, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, autofill. No spa, no features. Partial shade.
    Pentair C&C cartridge filter (400 sq in), Pentair VS pump, Pentair 140 btu heat pump, Triton Plus Robo-cleaner; Stenner with 55 gal bleach cistern. TFT 100 test kit.

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    JayG's Avatar
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    As a follow up, I came across the pool guy yesterday as he was performing his weekly maintenance. I asked him about the chemistry. He said the chlorine was "5 and way too high. I'm going to add some neutralizer." I asked why and how he was going to neutralize the chlorine. "Some chemicals." He said, "The chlorine is too high. It will burn your skin like that." I asked about CYA and he said, "around 80-100. We try and keep it between 100-150." My head was spinning.

    This morning, I measured FC and pH using the TFT kit. The FC measured 10 and the pH 7.5. That is close to the 11 I measured before the recent rain and draining about 6" from the pool. I have no idea what he was talking about regarding "neutralizing Cl" or his take on CYA levels. I'm not even sure he measured CYA (actually very doubtful). Plus, with a CYA close to 100, an FC of 5 would have been way too low. Why did he think it was high? I'm not trying to bust on a poor guy trying to earn a living working for a pool service company. He did a nice job with the cleaning, but he failed pool chemistry. I'm not sure what the former owners were getting for the $6000/season they were paying this company. In 2 weeks, I'll take the day off to watch what is done as they close the pool and take some notes. Next season, I think I'm going to install either a Stenner or a SWG, buy a robot, and see how things go. I've got my TFT kit and will do my own testing.

    I'm so happy I found this site.
    Jay--Metro NYC
    35K gal, in-ground, free-form, pebble finish, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, autofill. No spa, no features. Partial shade.
    Pentair C&C cartridge filter (400 sq in), Pentair VS pump, Pentair 140 btu heat pump, Triton Plus Robo-cleaner; Stenner with 55 gal bleach cistern. TFT 100 test kit.

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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Yea, pool guys/stores just don't understand the CYA-FC relationship. It's science driven, not profit driven...

    We're glad you're here too!

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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    There is one way to "neutralize chlorine", allowing it to burn off . Please get rid of your pool guy or only use them for cleaning the pool. You could purchase 6 of the most expensive robotic cleaners on the market for this price.

    Take a Red Solo Cup and write "Pool Professional" on the side of it and that will be your reminder. My children do that for me when we are outside. Trust your own testing "Bottom Line". No one will take better care of that pool than you will.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    ship of fools's Avatar
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    I open and close myself and figure i spend about $300 per year maximum for my 21,000 gallon pool.

    Obviously the pool company has a high overhead down your way but $6K is at the least very expensive.

    Read up on here, ask a bunch of questions and prepare to save a ton of money and have crystal clear water to boot!
    21,000 gallon inground
    Haywood Sand Filter
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Glad you found the forum and are on your way to good pool management. Here's one thought to consider. I think it is VERY helpful for newbies to manually add chlorine for their first season (or maybe a bit less). You will get a real understanding of your pool water chemistry and even discover a nice "rhythm" your pool has as you take care of the essential parameters.

    The may come across as gobbledygook but the hands on of keeping chlorine in your pool is a great experience. Then switch over to an SWG if you like. They are certainly convenient and you will certainly be pleased with the time savings.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Chlorine neutralizer does exist, so the pool guy wasn't making that part up out of thin air. I think I've seen hydrogen peroxide mentioned for that purpose.

    You're correct that he appeared totally uninformed about the chlorine/CYA relationship.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    JayG's Avatar
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    Re: TFT measurements of my new pool

    Thanks all! Very good advice. I think there would be value to doing bleach manually next season. Good idea.

    So much to learn....

    Cheers,

    Jay
    Jay--Metro NYC
    35K gal, in-ground, free-form, pebble finish, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, autofill. No spa, no features. Partial shade.
    Pentair C&C cartridge filter (400 sq in), Pentair VS pump, Pentair 140 btu heat pump, Triton Plus Robo-cleaner; Stenner with 55 gal bleach cistern. TFT 100 test kit.

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