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Thread: New to pool ownership - Ugh!!!

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    New to pool ownership - Ugh!!!

    Purchased a home this year with unground pool. Move in September 1st. Pool is fun but has proven to be an expensive venture. Previous owner left be some Bioguard Lithium Hypochlorite and Silk tabs.

    In one month I've managed to spend about $500 in chemicals. At the end of week 1, the water started clouding. A day later worse. Pool store tested water and concluded very high levels of ammonia. First round of liquid shock to the tune of $90. A couple weeks later I ran out of Silk tabs and PH was low, another $50 in chems.

    Fast forward 2 more weeks. Chlorine levels are really low. Water is clear. I've run out of powdered shock and tablets. Test reveal high ammonia. Another $90 in liquid shock. Awe later I'm preparing to close the pool, $250 in chemicals. Pool must be balanced in order to close. I start the regimen and have water tested 1 week later. Another $80 on chems to increase alkalinity and PH.

    My pool is 23,500 gallons unground with an automatic cover and a vinyl lining. It is a heavily treed lot. My closing chems included Scale Inhibitor which I'm reading is primarily for aggregate pools. Do I even need this for vinyl or did the pool store see me coming?

    I hope I can get this all under control prior to next year. Pool store is already warning me I will need to do a partial drain in the spring to remove high particulates. The previous owner spoke of none of these troubles and claimed the pool was virtually maintenance free with minor chems and weekly 30 minute cleaning.

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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool ownership - Ugh!!!

    Welcome...you've found the right place.

    You have been "pool stored" but that won't happen again with the good advice you will get here if you follow it.

    The first thing you should do is get one of the recommended test kits. TF100 or Taylor K2006.

    This will yield true and accurate test results to determine the next step.

    If you have any of the remaining chemicals, unopened, return them.

    A sparkling beautiful pool can easily be maintained with the methods here, using only store bought Bleach,
    washing soda, muriatic acid, baking soda and ice melter.
    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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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool ownership - Ugh!!!

    Spend some time in Pool School such as ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals. Here at TFP, we teach methods that allow home owners take control of their own pool maintenance with confidence while saving money. You can manage your pool without ever setting foot in a pool store again, which is where the money savings comes in.

    A few things are required:
    - A recommended test kit. The Taylor K-2006 is good, but the TF-100 from tftestkits.net is the Cadillac in kits for a Kia price.
    - Do not mix our methods and advice with pool store advice. This will only lead to confusion.
    - You must spend some time in Pool School with the basics that I mentioned and be very proactive about asking questions. There are no dumb questions. Everyone here is a pool owner and has been where you are at some point.
    - Daily testing during the pool season is required. A pool cannot be properly managed with infrequent testing. During normal maintenance, this is only checking FC or TC and pH along with occasional testing for CH, TA and CYA. When dealing with problems you may have to test for FC/CC very frequently but once you have solved problems using TFP methods, testing is easy and takes 10 minutes or less each time.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: New to pool ownership - Ugh!!!

    These guys know what's up. I was in your situation a short while ago. Read everything the above posters suggest, TWICE! (I'm spending about a dollar a day).
    35,000 Gal. - 40x20x8 - Plaster - SWG Pentair IC 60 - Barracuda G3 Vacuum - Hayward c1750 Cartridge Filter - Blue Torrent VS 1.5hp pump - Pool is 45 years old.

    "I'd build a deck over my pool if I didn't have a SWG"

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool ownership - Ugh!!!

    Welcome, and +1 on advice given so far.

    Re: your specific question -
    My pool is 23,500 gallons unground with an automatic cover and a vinyl lining. It is a heavily treed lot. My closing chems included Scale Inhibitor which I'm reading is primarily for aggregate pools. Do I even need this for vinyl or did the pool store see me coming?
    Normally, calcium isn't high enough in vinyl to cause scale, BUT it really depends on whether former owners used a lot of things like cal-hypo shock, etc.

    If you get your TFPkit now and measure your calcium before closing, you might be able to take it back for refund. Likewise, if you get your kit now you can do a TFP-style closing balance...which is just to raise the FC a day before if all else is inline, or alternately,a few days before with the addition of polyquat60 at the end. But you need to know your cya level to do that...and you need the kit for that reading...pool stores are notoriously inaccurate on cya, as are strips.

    If you still plan to use the pool service to perform the closing labor, you can tell them, its a "no chem" close (eg you balance the water, not them) and they'll have to knock some $$ off the closing price. Its also good to watch them nd learn so you can DIY yourself next year if you like

    Hope that helps! I am confident that if you follow TFP methods, you will not have spent as much for the entire season next year as you've spent last month at the pool store!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
    Helpful Links:
    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: New to pool ownership - Ugh!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    Welcome, and +1 on advice given so far.

    Re: your specific question -


    Normally, calcium isn't high enough in vinyl to cause scale, BUT it really depends on whether former owners used a lot of things like cal-hypo shock, etc.

    If you get your TFPkit now and measure your calcium before closing, you might be able to take it back for refund. Likewise, if you get your kit now you can do a TFP-style closing balance...which is just to raise the FC a day before if all else is inline, or alternately,a few days before with the addition of polyquat60 at the end. But you need to know your cya level to do that...and you need the kit for that reading...pool stores are notoriously inaccurate on cya, as are strips.

    If you still plan to use the pool service to perform the closing labor, you can tell them, its a "no chem" close (eg you balance the water, not them) and they'll have to knock some $$ off the closing price. Its also good to watch them nd learn so you can DIY yourself next year if you like

    Hope that helps! I am confident that if you follow TFP methods, you will not have spent as much for the entire season next year as you've spent last month at the pool store!
    I ordered the TF100 kit today. My closing is not scheduled until the 29th. As I'm new to this, I paid the pool store to close. I'm told the closing cost did not include chemicals except for antifreeze. I have to balance in advance which is part of the addition $250 in chems I just purchased. The store uses some system called Alex. It measure my CYA at 94 on 10/10. They've been warning me that I may need to perform a partial drain and refill in the spring. I'm assuming it's due to the high CYA levels.

    Once I get the TF100, I will test the CYA to compare.
    16'x34' 8' deep in ground, 23,500 gallons, vinyl liner, Hayward S210T sand filter, Emerson 1HP SQD10FL1 1081 pool motor, 2000 install date, TF-100 test kit, Rainbow Lifeguard chlorine/bromine feeder - model 320, city water, Maytronics Dolphine Premier robotic cleaner, Rheme PM266ENC gas heater

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    pinguy's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool ownership - Ugh!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by TequilaTony View Post
    I ordered the TF100 kit today. My closing is not scheduled until the 29th. As I'm new to this, I paid the pool store to close. I'm told the closing cost did not include chemicals except for antifreeze. I have to balance in advance which is part of the addition $250 in chems I just purchased. The store uses some system called Alex. It measure my CYA at 94 on 10/10. They've been warning me that I may need to perform a partial drain and refill in the spring. I'm assuming it's due to the high CYA levels.

    Once I get the TF100, I will test the CYA to compare.
    You'll need to drain down to below the returns for closing, which will help with your CYA levels come spring. You'll probably have to replace a bit more water then, but the CYA test in your TF-100 will determine that.

    The only closing chemical we recommend here Polyquat 60 and liquid chlorine. Check out this article: Pool School - Closing an In Ground Pool

    Note that Polyquat is a brand and your pool store may carry something different, just check on bottle that the active ingredient is 60% polyethylene.
    Helpful Links: Pool Chemistry 101 - Recommended Levels - Recommended Chemicals - FC/CYA Chart - SLAM Instructions - Pool Math
    Test Kits:
    TF-100 - Taylor K2006 - SpeedStir Upgrade - Taylor K-1766 Salt Test
    My Pool:
    28k IG built May 2015 - Autopilot SWG - Pentair VS Pump/DE Filter/Heat Pump

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: New to pool ownership - Ugh!!!

    I'm a newbie as well, with a small above ground pool. At first the advice from the membership seemed overwhelming and too simple at the same time. Liquid chlorine, acid, baking soda and limited use of cya. But I bought the recommended test kit, followed the plan religiously, tested daily, asked questions, read and re-read pool school and stayed away from the pool store. It has all worked out. Be patient, follow the plan and by the time you close, your water will look so good, you may have to brave the chilly water just to test it out. Enjoy the adventure in simple pool maintanance while saving money at the same time. I've spent around $1.00 or maybe $2.00 a day if you count reagants...
    Bob (AKA Schnozz)
    12 x 24 x 52 Intex Ultra Frame AGP, 8600 Gal; Pentair 2HP/2SP 150sqft Cartridge Filter; Hayward Through Wall Skimmer; Intex Automatic Cleaner (Fantastic); K-2006 Test Kit; Start-up 07/30/2015. First Time Pool Owner in SoCal.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool ownership - Ugh!!!

    HI! I just wanted to let you know we have your back! We do not need or want your wallet LOL

    You will LOVE your pool once we teach you the ropes!

    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

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: New to pool ownership - Ugh!!!

    did the store also tell you that the CYA is high because of all the other stuff they sold you in the first place?
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
    Hayward DE filter, 2HP Ecostar VSP, ProLogic PS-4, GVA actuators
    Cal Pools Wave Force Plus (wall return jets plus 2 floor pop-ups), Venturi Skimmer
    Water sheer, 2 wok pots, bubbler stem on the baja step
    ColorLogic Mutlicolor LED lamp. Taylor 2006+speed stir

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