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Thread: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

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    Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Hi All,

    So I've been getting my new pool's water's chemistry going and have been trying to follow the TFP way of doing things.

    The PB is one of the big builders that has their own chemicals and pool stores. They provided some chemicals to get me going, along with a recommended guide of which chemicals to use and when to use them. Of course, I'm sure that they're doing this so that I become reliant on their chemicals and keep purchasing them.

    I wanted to point out a things that they are recommending for me to do, and get your opinions of whether or not I should be doing them. Here's what they're saying:

    - Shock with 1 lb. of "Super Pool Treat" per 10,000 gallons of water, every other week. It also says to shock when water begins to look dull or cloudy. Am I right that I shouldn't worry about shocking the pool, unless I have any issues with the water? Or is it good to do this every now and then? I've just been using regular Clorox bleach to maintain the Cl level.

    - Add "Pro-60 Algaecide" weekly. Is this a good practice? Or unnecessary?

    - Add 5 oz of "Les Iron" every other week, to prevent mineral staining and scaling. Is this a good practice?

    - Use "PH Down" to lower PH. I've just been using Muriatic Acid - isn't that the better way to go?

    - As far as Cl goes, it says to maintain 1 to 3 ppm for the first 14 days (which I just passed) - then it says to maintain it at 0.4 to 0.6 ppm - that sounds very low...maybe a typo? (as another piece of literature they provided me with said to keep it at 1 to 3 ppm after 14 days) I've been trying to keep it around 2 (figuring that's a good mid-point), as I want to make sure the water is bacteria-free, but I'm also trying to avoid the Cl smell and eye sting (will keeping it around 2 even do that?).


    By the way, how often should I test the water's CYA, TA and CH? I already tested them all and the levels were good - I'm just not sure how often to test them. Only when I suspect an issue? Or are there recommended time intervals?

    FYI - we have a SWG but the PB is recommending that we don't start that up until the spring (since we'll be closing the pool next month for the winter).

    Thanks for any advice and info!
    In-ground 47'x25' free-form gunite pool w/ spa w/ waterfall. 35,380 gallons. 3' to 8' deep. 96 sq ft 6" deep sun shelf. SunStone Select Quartz Finish (Graphite). 2 Hayward skimmers. Jandy DEV60 DE Filter + Pro Series Plus 2HP Pump. Polaris PB4-60 Pressure Cleaner Booster Pump. Raypack P-R406A Heater. EasyTouch 8. IntelliChem w/ Acid Tank. IntelliChlor IC60. Techo-Bloc bullnose coping + Blu 60 mm paver patio. Merlin SmartMesh cover. TF-100.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Personally I would ignore almost all of it, the only exception might be the use of a sequesterant for metals if you have high levels of metals in your fill water (Jacks Magic brand is highly regarded here, I can't say anything first hand as I don't have high levels of metals in my well water). As to waiting to start up the SWG that is a coin toss, but as you say your season is almost over so it should be easy to maintain for a few weeks by hand. As to testing, personally I test FC, CC about 3 times per week, pH about once per week, CYA about every 6 weeks, and CH, TA about twice per year. However I have a vinyl pool and very low CH fill water so CH is a non issue for me and have many years of experience so I tend to know how my pool is going to behave. With a plaster pool I would suggest doing FC, CC, and pH every other day (maybe even daily at first), CH weekly and CYA and TA maybe once every 6 weeks.

    Ike

    p.s. some people here like to use a polyquat based algaecide (not a copper based one) when closing for the season, polyquat algaecides often have 60 in their name.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Here are a couple of links that might help you out.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

    Pool School - Recommended Levels

    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    I hope this helps!

    I am sure you are right in them wanting to sell their stuff. I see the Nature 2 in your siggy. THAT right there is not needed and can cause problems in the long run as well as being VERY expensive. Do a search for Nature 2 in the search bar on the TFP home page.

    What are you using for a test kit? Look in my siggy to find the link to the test kits we use and love.

    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: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Do you have your own test kit? If so a full set of numbers for all the fine folks here to see would probably be a good place to start. If you don't have your own test kit I would highly recommend you get one on the way. The forum's recommended kits are the TFTestkits TF100 (tftestkits.net) or the Taylor 2006C. I'll let others that know better speak to the Nature2 Fusion Soft system. I'm not sure if that is an actual salt water chlorine generator or not. Congrats on the new pool!
    17K gal, AG, 1.0HP pump, 300lb, 3.14 sqft, 62GPM sand filter, Pool Pilot Nano SWG, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Looks like you've gotten some good advice and homework to do from the links provided by others already. Home testing is the most important part of the methods taught here at TFP, which are not compatible and should not be mixed with pool store/builder advice. Unless you're bound by a warranty clause to maintain certain levels from the builder, you must choose between our methods and theirs.

    Did you fill from a city water supply? If so, you should have no concerns about metals. If that is the case, the only source of metals in your pool would be, ironically, the Nature2 Fusion Soft. It's a SWG and mineral cartridge combination unit. I'm not sure if the unit will run without the mineral cartridge installed, but if it will I would remove the cartridge and just use it as a SWG. Metals in your pool can be a long term hassle that you don't need. My pool had an older Nature2 cartridge installed and I ended up emptying the cartridge and reinstalling because it had to be installed or my plumbing would have to have been reconfigured.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    oops missed the Nature2, It looks like this one is an integrated SWG and Mineral unit, if you can't disable the mineral cartridge part, I would suggest going ahead and biting the bullet and pull the whole thing out and replace it with an SWG only solution. A new SWG is a lot cheaper to deal with than metal stains on new plaster.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Thanks to all for the info, especially about the Nature2 - man, I'm really bummed out that the PB used this piece of equipment that seems to be terrible. I'm pretty sure it's the type that I can just use as a SWG (without the mineral cartridge). I'll double check later today. If I can remove the mineral cartridge is there any reason to still replace it? For example, is there a certain SWG that would be much more beneficial that you'd recommend instead? I'd hate to replace the brand new SWG, but I don't want to have issues.


    Back to the chemicals...I did my chemical tests today (using the TF-100, which I've now added to my sig) and got the following readings (along with questions and adjustments):

    Cl = 1.6 (I added some Bleach to get that up...shooting for 2 or a little higher)
    pH = 7.9 (I added some Muriatic acid to get that down)
    CH = 250 (no changes - looks good)
    TA = 80 (I added some stuff to try to increase it to 100)
    CYA = 20...should I try to get this up? Based on what I've read I was thinking I should be around 40, is that right? If yes, should I just buy some of the recommended TFP stuff to increase the CYA? I've read in other threads to be careful about increasing the CYA, as it is hard to get back down...so I'm double checking on this with you all in particular.

    Thanks!
    In-ground 47'x25' free-form gunite pool w/ spa w/ waterfall. 35,380 gallons. 3' to 8' deep. 96 sq ft 6" deep sun shelf. SunStone Select Quartz Finish (Graphite). 2 Hayward skimmers. Jandy DEV60 DE Filter + Pro Series Plus 2HP Pump. Polaris PB4-60 Pressure Cleaner Booster Pump. Raypack P-R406A Heater. EasyTouch 8. IntelliChem w/ Acid Tank. IntelliChlor IC60. Techo-Bloc bullnose coping + Blu 60 mm paver patio. Merlin SmartMesh cover. TF-100.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    I am going to leave the Nature 2 question for other that know it better than I.

    For the levels questions I am going to "test" you. Read the link I gave you above. What levels does the "recommenced levels" link say you should have? (hint-you are on the right track! LOL)

    You can get the CYA increasing stuff from Walmart or Lowes. No need to go to the pool store. Now if you wallet can handle it you can get liquid CYA that will show up on the test within a couple of hours. If you use the powder CYA it can take up to a week to show on the test. For sure aim low as you have to drain water to lower it so..........

    You are on the right track! I am glad you are double checking and making sure that you are reading correct.

    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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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Is it the Nature2 Fusion Soft 700 or 1400 model? That will tell us a lot about how much chlorine production you can expect from it. Definitely remove the mineral cartridge. It looks like you can simply remove the cartridge and leave the cap and o-ring in place.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Is it the Nature2 Fusion Soft 700 or 1400 model? That will tell us a lot about how much chlorine production you can expect from it. Definitely remove the mineral cartridge. It looks like you can simply remove the cartridge and leave the cap and o-ring in place.

    It's the 1400 model.
    In-ground 47'x25' free-form gunite pool w/ spa w/ waterfall. 35,380 gallons. 3' to 8' deep. 96 sq ft 6" deep sun shelf. SunStone Select Quartz Finish (Graphite). 2 Hayward skimmers. Jandy DEV60 DE Filter + Pro Series Plus 2HP Pump. Polaris PB4-60 Pressure Cleaner Booster Pump. Raypack P-R406A Heater. EasyTouch 8. IntelliChem w/ Acid Tank. IntelliChlor IC60. Techo-Bloc bullnose coping + Blu 60 mm paver patio. Merlin SmartMesh cover. TF-100.

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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by joesc230 View Post
    It's the 1400 model.
    Well, that SWG produces 1.25lbs of chlorine gas per day. For your pool, that equates to 4.3ppm FC per day. That's pretty much undersized for your pool. Depending on the heat and sun exposure on your pool, one can easily lose 2-3ppm FC per day.

    What this means is that, in order to keep up with the typical chlorine loss per day, your going to have to run your pump and the Nature2 system 24X7 OR you will have to supplement your pool with manual FC additions by using household bleach or higher strength chlorinating liquid.

    Be very careful to keep a close eye on your FC levels so that they don't drop below the minimum. The Nature2 system is not going to be able to do it all on its own.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    I don't know about this specific system but some of the mineral systems require a mineral cartridge to be in place in order to operate, some uses have been forced to gut out an old cartridge in order to operate their pool and not remove the mineral system from the plumbing. It should not take too long during the swim season to determine if yours is so undersized that you must run your pump an excessive number of hours per day to maintain chlorination.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Well, that SWG produces 1.25lbs of chlorine gas per day. For your pool, that equates to 4.3ppm FC per day. That's pretty much undersized for your pool. Depending on the heat and sun exposure on your pool, one can easily lose 2-3ppm FC per day.

    What this means is that, in order to keep up with the typical chlorine loss per day, your going to have to run your pump and the Nature2 system 24X7 OR you will have to supplement your pool with manual FC additions by using household bleach or higher strength chlorinating liquid.

    Be very careful to keep a close eye on your FC levels so that they don't drop below the minimum. The Nature2 system is not going to be able to do it all on its own.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Thanks so much for the details. It's really upsetting to learn that the PB would supply a SWG that's undersized. I doubt I'd have any recourse with the PB, but I might bring this up to them. I'm sure I'd have to give them a very detailed explanation as to how it's not sufficient. I just told them I wanted a SWG and this is the one they chose for my pool.

    Is it a big job to replace the Nature2 with an appropriate SWG? I'm a pretty good DIY'er, but I'm not an expert at plumbing or electric (although my brother is an electrician).
    In-ground 47'x25' free-form gunite pool w/ spa w/ waterfall. 35,380 gallons. 3' to 8' deep. 96 sq ft 6" deep sun shelf. SunStone Select Quartz Finish (Graphite). 2 Hayward skimmers. Jandy DEV60 DE Filter + Pro Series Plus 2HP Pump. Polaris PB4-60 Pressure Cleaner Booster Pump. Raypack P-R406A Heater. EasyTouch 8. IntelliChem w/ Acid Tank. IntelliChlor IC60. Techo-Bloc bullnose coping + Blu 60 mm paver patio. Merlin SmartMesh cover. TF-100.

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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by joesc230 View Post
    Thanks so much for the details. It's really upsetting to learn that the PB would supply a SWG that's undersized. I doubt I'd have any recourse with the PB, but I might bring this up to them. I'm sure I'd have to give them a very detailed explanation as to how it's not sufficient. I just told them I wanted a SWG and this is the one they chose for my pool.

    Is it a big job to replace the Nature2 with an appropriate SWG? I'm a pretty good DIY'er, but I'm not an expert at plumbing or electric (although my brother is an electrician).
    the pool builder is going to say the system he installed is sized fine when you use the entire "system" which includes the Nature2. The addition of of "minerals" does in fact allow the reduction of the amount of FC you need in the water. The problem is that the minerals can stain your pool. When you develop stains because of the Nature2 the builder with the nice store can sell you a metal sequestrant to fix the problem. Whatever you ask, he will have a potion to fix it.

    It's not a big job to replace your current one, but it is expensive. Without any research I'm going to throw out the better part of $1,000 for a properly sized SWCG.
    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: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    Well, if you run the Nature2 in full with the mineral cartridge then you can probably keep your FC on the low side. It is in fact true that Cu ions kill algae and Ag ions kill bacteria. But you have to buy the expensive mineral cartridges to ensure that you are getting Cu and Ag.

    The issue(s) are as follow -

    1. You have to keep a careful eye on your Cu levels and make sure they don't go over 0.5ppm or else you can get Cu staining. Cu can only be removed by water draining. If you add metal sequestrants, I don't know how that affects the biocidal properties of the metal ions.

    2. Blonde persons swimming in your pool are at risk of getting a green highlight job (all the rage with the teenagers these days).

    3. The minerals and SWG do nothing for algae that grows and sticks on surfaces or for bacterial biofilms that grow in pipes. So, you have to be extra vigilant to make sure that there aren't any circulation dead spots in your pool.

    You should probably consider adding Polyquat-60 to your water as extra insurance. It kills algae but it won't do anything if an algae bloom gets started.



    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    It could have been worse. At least if you were to run the SWG for around 12 to 18 hours it probably will just keep up with chlorine demand without needing the copper though might dip during the day and get higher in the off-hours. Your pool is large at 35K, but there are SWGs that output 2 pounds per day (e.g. Intellichlor IC60) that output 0.29 ppm FC per hour so around 7 ppm FC per day and would have been a better choice. Most chlorine loss is during the day so to maintain the chlorine level the SWG should be designed at that peak hourly rate.

    If you had a vinyl pool then the use of copper would be less risky since plaster tends to get metal stains more readily due to its alkaline surface (especially when plaster is newer and curing).

    There are other alternatives to supplement to prevent algae growth that would let you have a lower FC/CYA ratio so use less chlorine per day so not need to have your SWG on as long (though as others noted you could supplement by manually adding chlorine regularly, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having the SWG). You could use Polyquat 60 algaecide weekly, but for your size pool the maintenance dose would be around 10.5 fluid ounces which would cost $5.50 per week. So that doesn't seem like a great option.

    Another alternative would be to use a phosphate remover but if your phosphate level is high in the fill water then that can get expensive at least for the initial dose. To lower the phosphates by 1000 ppb in your 35,000 gallon pool would need 11 fluid ounces of Orenda PR-10,000 which would cost $15, but maintenance should be low even with 1000 ppb phosphate in the fill water (normally it's more like 400 ppb when phosphates are used for corrosion control by water utilities) and with 1/4" per day evaporation and refill in 5.5' avg. depth is 40 cents per week. So perhaps this might be your least expensive option, but you should tell us your municipal water district so we can see if they add phosphates to your water or you can have it tested at a pool store though they don't always do such testing correctly.

    Before you do anything (except unplugging the copper plates), why don't you see how your SWG does in your climate and with normal TFP guidelines that include an 80 ppm CYA that should keep your daily chlorine demand lower. If you find you need to keep your SWG on too much, then you can explore other options such as those I've noted above.
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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    If you already have some Anthony and Sylvan Super Pool Treat (dichlor) you can use it up, both to maintain chlorine and to raise the CYA level up to 70-80. You can use PoolMath to determine how much you will be able to use until the CYA is in range, then stop using it and resume liquid chlorine and/or SWG. For example if you had 15lbs that will provide over 100ppm CYA, so you could use that instead of buying stabilizer
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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    The OP is in New Jersey. Having grown up in NY myself, the swim season is basically over and he will be closing his pool very soon.

    Does it make sense to add a lot of chemicals, especially CYA, to the water. Since the SWG won't run until next year, perhaps he should follow the guidelines for a manually chlorinated pool and then perform the recommended SLAM prior to closing. I don't think he needs more the 40ppm CYA to do that.

    Just a suggestion.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Sorting through PB's Recommended Chemicals & Schedule

    True, that does make sense
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