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Thread: Starting TFPC

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Starting TFPC

    Hello guys, my first post here...

    I am just starting to take over the care of our pool - all this past summer we have had problems with keeping pool algae-free. We have a Pentair chlorinator which OH thinks needs to be replaced. Having read the BBB advice, I don't think we want to go this route. I go to a local pool store which analyses the water for us, last time I went CYA was really high... I digress. I would like to start the BBB method so my 2 questions are:
    the recommendations for the testing kits are still relevant? They were posted many years ago, are there any updates?

    How do you manage the pool when you are away on vacation and can't test the pool or adjust the chemicals daily?

    apologies for the basic questions but will really appreciate your input.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    Hello surfbabe and welcome to TFP,

    I think you are making a very wise decision to switch to the TFP (BBB) method of pool care.

    To answer your questions above, we recommend 1 of 2 test kits:

    1) TF-100 test kit which can be purchased at http://tftestkits.net/TF-100-Test-Kit-p4.html
    or
    2) Taylor K2006 which can be purchased at several places online, and some of the local pool stores may also sell them.


    As far as when you are away if you don't have someone who can test/add bleach for you then occasionally using 3" pucks is not out of the question. The main thing is to know what the pucks you will be using while away can add to your water, and then adjust accordingly.

    Here's a couple of links you can look through to get you started.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ater-chemistry

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...pool-chemistry

    Also when you get a second if you'd fill in your signature information it will help us be able to help you better in the future.
    This can be done by going to the top of this page under Forum Actions---->General Settings----> then look down the left side of your page for a bold heading that says MY Settings ------> EDIT SIGNATURE. Here is a link that explains the type of info to put in your Signature http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...etting-started

    I hope this has answered your questions, and please feel free to ask any others you may have a long the way.
    Again welcome to TFP, and have a wonderful day.
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, SLAM & the Chlorine/CYA CHART. Support this Site! TFP Totally Rocks.

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    Welcome!

    Just to echo the good advice above, be sure to read through Pool School. There is a great wealth of information there.

    While I own a Taylor K2006 test kit, if I had known about the TF100 I would have bought that instead, it really is the better 'bang for your buck', especially with the 'XL' option. I blew through the small bottles of CYA & chlorine reagents in no time.

    Which ever kit you choose, please choose one of the recommended test kits, they have been proven to be reliable and accurate in thousands of pools and can measure the levels that you need with great accuracy.

    Dom
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    Ok, getting there....
    I've ordered the TFTest and that will be with me on Friday. My pool currently has some algae (very little) on the sides. I'm about to go to my local pool store where they will do a detailed water analysis for me. I've been speed reading some of the recommendations on which bleach/chlorine to use and I'm a bit confused. So, when I go to the store (NOT leslies) what should I buy and how much of it. My pool is 25k gallons. I will do the signature and the test results guys but I don't want to make 2 trips to the store.

    My OH has been shocking the pool a fair bit in recent weeks, I know the CYA was pretty high and I may need to empty out some water. That will hurt - water is expensive here in Austin.

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    Only buy liquid chlorine and muriatic acid. In reality, I should tell you to buy nothing. But you will most likely need those two things so it shouldn't hurt. They are both more expensive at a pool $tore, but since you asked, I provided a safe answer.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    I've been taking care of my pool for 2 months. I ordered the Taylor 2006C kit and when it arrived I have to admit I was a little intimidated. In fact I put it away for a week and thought I would just go back to the pool chemical service. After reading and rereading Pool School here and watching Youtube I took my time and ran one test at a time. While I'm still new at it I have am much more comfortable and testing is a breeze. I add bleach daily and my wife just picks up 2 jugs of it while at the grocery store. I test pH about every second or third day and add acid since my pool is only 2 months old and then run a full test each week. I brush it about twice a week and do all the other routine weekly maintenance. All told I spend about 10-15 minutes on this but hours enjoying the pool with my wife and kids. And the bonus the pool water is gorgeous. I had a pool chemical only service at my last house and I can guarantee my pool never looked as good as it does now with me taking the lead in testing and adding chemicals. And the beauty is you rarely have to step inside a pool store. The few times I have gone to a pool store I'm amazed at the number of people who come in and are completely lost and don't know what to do to take care of a problem. The only thing worse is the pool store (I know they need to make living.) selling them stuff they may not really need but they take wild swings in addressing problems. The TPC method requires diligence but it is well worth it.

    Good luck and welcome. Everyone here is great.
    40x15 IG, 19,000 gallons, Taylor K-2006C, Intellichlor IC40, Pentiar 1.5 hp Intelliflo VS, Pentair 420 Clean/Clear Filter, Speedstir, Stonescape - french grey, Travertine Paver decking, Completed August 1, 2015.

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    Since you already have visible algae, I would buy more bleach or liquid chlorine than less. Make sure it is fresh. Most suppliers have a 5-digit code on the jug that says something like 15252. That means that it was bottled on the 252nd day of 2015. You want to get the most recent jugs you can.

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    Quote Originally Posted by surfbabe View Post
    Ok, getting there....
    I've ordered the TFTest and that will be with me on Friday. My pool currently has some algae (very little) on the sides. I'm about to go to my local pool store where they will do a detailed water analysis for me. I've been speed reading some of the recommendations on which bleach/chlorine to use and I'm a bit confused. So, when I go to the store (NOT leslies) what should I buy and how much of it. My pool is 25k gallons. I will do the signature and the test results guys but I don't want to make 2 trips to the store.

    My OH has been shocking the pool a fair bit in recent weeks, I know the CYA was pretty high and I may need to empty out some water. That will hurt - water is expensive here in Austin.
    Congrats on your first step to a Trouble Free Pool. That TF100 is going to allow you to take control of your pool.

    I wouldn't spend a dollar in that pool store unless they have a good price on liquid chlorine. You can buy regular laundry bleach, just no scented or splash less. Walmart's Great Value brand is usually a good bet.

    Just be warned, pool store testing has proven to be unreliable and inaccurate.

    Every 121oz (large jug) of laundry bleach (8.25% chlorine) that you add to your 25,000 gallon pool will raise your FC by about 3.2ppm. If I was you I would just add 1-1/2 to 2 jugs (180oz-240oz) of bleach today, then 1 jug (121oz) daily until you get your test kit and avoid the pool store all together.

    You have algae so you will need to read up on the SLAM process. A SLAM is a controlled sanitation of your pool, quite the opposite of the one time "shock and pray" advocated by the pool store.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl

    Be sure to ask questions of anything you are unsure of, that's why we are here.

    Dom
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    +1 to Dom's above.

    Surfbabe Having visible algae changes the game plan a little, but is still very doable. The thing is, a little algae can end up becoming a lot of algae very quickly, so once your kit arrives, you will need to SLAM- http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl your pool to get what algae is in there killed out, so your issue doesn't get worse.

    A SLAM is a process, not a one time thing. It sometimes takes a couple days, and some time much longer, depending on how bad of an algae issue you have. A SLAM is the only way to effectively eliminate, and kill the algae out of there.

    Once you SLAM the pool, and pass an OCLT-overnight chlorine loss test, http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...loss-test-oclt

    If you then maintain the adequate chlorine level for your current CYA levels at ALL times http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...art-slam-shock you should have no more algae issues.

    Until your test kit arrives the best thing you can do is add bleach as Dom described above, so the algae problem doesn't get worse, and then when your test kit arrives we can help you adjust your numbers, and SLAM your pool in order to get it killed out of there.

    I hope this helps, we will be glad to help you get that algae killed out of there. Have a wonderful night.
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, SLAM & the Chlorine/CYA CHART. Support this Site! TFP Totally Rocks.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    [QUOTE=domct203;930109]Congrats on your first step to a Trouble Free Pool. That TF100 is going to allow you to take control of your pool.

    Thankyou!

    I wouldn't spend a dollar in that pool store unless they have a good price on liquid chlorine. You can buy regular laundry bleach, just no scented or splash less. Walmart's Great Value brand is usually a good bet.
    It was not a good price....$22 for 10% hypochlorite and I know I can buy it in Lowes for $16. I have some granules for shocking the pool already that do not have CYA so I'd prefer to use them up.

    Just be warned, pool store testing has proven to be unreliable and inaccurate.
    Even the computerised ones? I'll list the results below. CYA is sky high.

    Every 121oz (large jug) of laundry bleach (8.25% chlorine) that you add to your 25,000 gallon pool will raise your FC by about 3.2ppm. If I was you I would just add 1-1/2 to 2 jugs (180oz-240oz) of bleach today, then 1 jug (121oz) daily until you get your test kit and avoid the pool store all together.
    They recommended that I add 1/4 gallon muriatic acid and then add 4lbs of chlorine granules.


    You have algae so you will need to read up on the SLAM process. A SLAM is a controlled sanitation of your pool, quite the opposite of the one time "shock and pray" advocated by the pool store.
    "Shock and Pray" that made me laugh! In my pool store it's "do this and then we'll look at it again". Same thing, non????

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl

    Be sure to ask questions of anything you are unsure of, that's why we are here.

    Dom[/QUOT
    Thanks Dom and you others. Here are the results from the store:

    FC 0.1
    TC 1.4
    CC 1.2
    pH 7.9
    Hardness 899
    Alkalinity 78
    CYA 146
    Copper 0.6
    Iron 0.1
    Borate 7
    Total dissolved solids 500

    CYA has been highish since June when we first went there, at one point they measured it at 160. I'm guessing their machine may be inaccurate on that? Although, their assistant did say that they've had people coming in all summer with algae problems (!!!).
    I'm going to enter all this into poolmath and see what that spits out.

    Any helpful comments much appreciated..

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    OUCH!!! Hopefully your testing will show different levels, but I'm afraid that high CYA is not going to change as much as we hope/wish it would. The CYA will be your 1st significant issue as it's going to prevent you from being able to properly maintain/sanitize your pool, or be able to properly SLAM your pool to kill out the algae with it at that level.

    If we determine that your actual CYA is that high a partial drain, and refill will be needed to get it down to manageable levels, or you'll always be battling algae issues.

    You said you're using granules that do not have CYA in them, but they do have Calcium in them, and with a 899 Calcium Hardness you really shouldn't continue to use them either because they are going to cause you more problems like possible scaling etc. I don't know if you have a Vinyl liner, or plaster etc. as we are still awaiting the Signature Information to be added. So please fill it out as soon as you can because it will contain important information for us to be able to help you more.

    Here is a Link that we use here at TFP that tells us how much chlorine is needed in relation to our current CYA level as you can see the chart only goes up to 100, and on people without SWGS, levels at 70-100 is not recommended, as it nearly impossible to properly sanitize and try to maintain a pool at those levels. If it gets above 100 it gets even harder to do so. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...art-slam-shock

    I'd recommend you using Liquid Chlorine bleach ONLY until your kit arrives, and we see where your are at on everything, and then we can go from there. I hope this helps. Have a nice night .
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, SLAM & the Chlorine/CYA CHART. Support this Site! TFP Totally Rocks.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    We also mentioned in reply to your question about vacations that you could use pucks. Please don't replace your puck chlorinator. You can use pucks in a $10 floater. Much cheaper solution.

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    Quote Originally Posted by Crackerjack4u View Post
    OUCH!!!
    I'd recommend you using Liquid Chlorine bleach ONLY until your kit arrives, and we see where your are at on everything, and then we can go from there. I hope this helps. Have a nice night .
    Just went out and bought laundry bleach....8.75% so will add that now.

    How come our CYA levels are so high? Austin had huge amounts of rainfall in the late spring, we had to empty a lot of water from our pool. I almost cried seeing all that lovely water going down into the street drains.

    We haven't been using huge amounts of chlorine tabs either.

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    Yes, It is sad when you had to watch it just be wasted, but sadly that's the only way to remove the excess water, or the excess CYA/CH. If your CYA is that high you can about bet that's why "the assistant at the pool store said they've had people coming in all Summer with algae issues" because they have caused everybody to use the same bad stuff and all their CYA levels are sky high, so no one is able to properly maintain their pools, and prevent algae growth.

    Have you used anything like the bags of powdered shocks like Dichlor or Trichlor? CYA has to be added, so if it's in there either the pucks, powder shock, or adding actual CYA stabilizer/conditioner being added is the way it got in there. We'll help you get it straightened out.

    You'll have to watch some more water go down the drain Again, but hopefully since you'll know what caused the problem, you won't add the bad stuff, and won't have to ever drain it again for this reason. The drain/refill will also help lower that Calcium level too, so it will be you're going to kill 2 birds with one stone type of thing. I'm sure the granules you've been using is Calcium Hypochlorite. The only other option than doing a drain and refill, if the CYA is as high as I suspect it is, would be to pay to have Reverse Osmosis done by a profession, but I've heard that can be pretty costly. Anyway, lets just wait and see what your numbers show with your test kit, and we can go from there. Have a nice night.
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, SLAM & the Chlorine/CYA CHART. Support this Site! TFP Totally Rocks.

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    If your test kit is still on schedule I would just stay the recommended course tonight.

    Pour a jug of bleach in and enjoy your evening. When you add the bleach be sure to pour slowly, right into the return jet stream when the pump is running to help distribute the chlorine. Be sure to run the pump for 30 min minimum after adding. With a SLAM upcoming you will be running the filter 24/7.

    Tomorrow we will be expecting a full set of results

    FC
    CC
    pH
    CYA
    TA
    CH

    You will definitely need more bleach. No more pucks, no more powder.

    Do you have a good brush? Brush often to break up the algae and expose more of it to chlorine.

    Once we have those results we can get you on your way to your TFP.

    Oh, we love pictures!

    Dom

    - - - Updated - - -

    And please add your pool details to your signature.
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    FYI...water that goes down the drain isn't "wasted." Even water that goes down the sewer isn't "wasted." Water that runs down the alley or the street and goes into the storm drains goes directly into your local lake. Coincidentally, this is also where your city drinking water comes from, more than likely. (Some water comes from wells or aquifers) Your sewer water is treated and then returned to the lake as well. It's called a water cycle for a reason. The only "waste" of water is to dump large amounts of it onto your lawn when the lakes are low, and this is only a problem because it takes thousands of years to return to the water table and when the lakes go empty we have no water to drink.
    Curtis- 20k gallon IG gunnite/plaster with hot tub/waterfall and "grotto"
    All Jandy equipment: 60sqft DE filter - 399k btu natural gas heater - Stealth pumps - iAquaLink RS8.
    Polaris 9400 on patrol.
    TF-100 in da house/TFP method in effect: FC=4-6, pH=7.5, TA=80, CH=250, CYA=50, Borate=50, CSI=-0.21

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    Good evening surfbabe, has your TF100 arrived?

    Dom
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    Good evening surfbabe, has your TF100 arrived?

    Dom
    Just opened the package!

    I've added a load of information to my signature so you should all see that now.

    Doesn't seem too intimidating but that's probably due to ignorance .... Some of it is familiar from our days in France.

    I have been putting in the jug of bleach each day, brushing down the walls as well and it is already looking much better.

    Do I need to do the tests in any particular order?

    Some thoughts that I'd appreciate some feedback on:

    1.I am resigned to taking out water from the pool. I have just looked at our water bill and it is charged in tiers, the more you use each month, the more expensive it gets. So I think since it is almost the end of the month that I will start adding water on the last day of september and finish it on the first day of october, thereby spreading the cost over 2 months as well. Any problems associated with that?

    2 Here in Austin we may have a few more weeks of pool use but adding a large volume of water is going to bring the temperature of the pool down considerably. Should I just get it ready for winterising anyway? It doesn't really freeze here (I 've had only 2 winters here and both had a cold spell but well, nothing like we'd get in Europe). Last year, we just reduced the level of water a bit, added winter chemicals and that was that. Then I found out about how leaves fall all winter here (arghhh!). So, if there are any Texans out there who can tell me what to do , that'd be great.

    thanks
    26,390 gallons IG, Centex plaster, Hayward DE 4820 filter, Century Centurion B2859 pool pump motor.
    Booster pump for polaris 280
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  19. Back To Top    #19
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    Re: Starting TFPC

    Check with your water district and tell them you have to fill a pool. Sometimes they will give you a break on the sewerage portion of the bill. Not sure about Austin, but Tucson water does that.


    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Starting TFPC

    I live in Texas and I don't close my pool over the winter. I'm not saying you shouldn't, just saying that's what I do. If we had real winters here I would consider it. I also have a heater which extends my swimming season quite a bit. As far as splitting the water over two billing periods, that's a great idea to save money. Just keep in mind that the chlorine in the city water will be rendered ineffective pretty quickly so you want to get it filled as quickly as possible so you can get the pump running and get your levels right. Our water is charged in tiers as well, which is why I usually drain and refill in the winter when water consumption is low due to not irrigating in cold temps.


    Curtis- 20k gallon IG gunnite/plaster with hot tub/waterfall and "grotto"
    All Jandy equipment: 60sqft DE filter - 399k btu natural gas heater - Stealth pumps - iAquaLink RS8.
    Polaris 9400 on patrol.
    TF-100 in da house/TFP method in effect: FC=4-6, pH=7.5, TA=80, CH=250, CYA=50, Borate=50, CSI=-0.21

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