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Thread: FC question

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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    FC question

    I've had my pool for two years now. I've read thru the pool school a few times now. I have the TFP recommended test kit. Here's my question. I test for FC daily. Normally when kids are finished swimming around 7ish in evening during summers. Pool school says its normal to have to add 2-3 ppm of chlorine daily. This is also normal for me. (I use bleach) My pool water is always clean and clear. My wife sometimes teases me that I like the pool more then her as I'm spending so much time taking care of it. But I have fun taking care of the pool. Anyways, when ever we leave for a few days in a row and we come back the pool is always starting to turn green. I always make sure everything is tested and where it should be before we leave. The filter is on timer, so that's good. What am I doing wrong that this happens? Surely people with pools can leave their pools for a few days without worrying about it turning green. Please advise.
    Mike
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Re: FC question

    It sounds like you are missing a basic idea......chlorine is a consumable item and has to be replenished on a regular basis (Isn't that what you do when you are home?)

    So when you go away your chlorine depletes and algae is allowed to grow......you must make some provisions to replenish the chlorine when you are gone.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: FC question

    Thanks Dave. I know this, but am unsure how to do this. I have put more bleach in before I left in the past, even bought one of those floaters the last time I left. Once when gone I asked a friend to come an add bleach. They only came two of the 6 days we were gone. This is why I'm asking, as I don't know what I should do?
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Re: FC question

    Put a few pucks in a floater while you're gone. You can use pool math to calculate how much CYA this will add, so when you get back you can adjust your poolmath numbers accordingly. Or, just retest CYA when you get back.

    You can also use it to calculate how many PPM of FC this will add to your pool (in other words, once the whole tablet is gone, how much FC PPM did it add over the life of that tab. Then you can figure how many days you are gone, and whether this would be enough FC per day to get by.

    The trick is knowing how fast the tab(s) will dissolve, due to your pump run time, the width of the slots in the floater, whether a tab dissolves at the same rate each day (I would think it dissolves faster when it's new, because there is more surface area exposed to the water. But I don't know). It's all a guess, at least until you have some history with your pool.

    All that being said: I just throw two tabs in the floater, make the slits thin, and go on vacation. Never had an issue. My CYA dropsevery month anyway, so I always break even on the CYA.
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
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    Re: FC question

    You can also raise the FC level near shock level before you go. The higher above your maintenance FC level, the faster that chlorine gets broken down, so it's sort of a waste of bleach, but especially in the cold months it might last you 3 days. A spike plus a tab should be good insurance.
    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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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: FC question

    Wow! Thanks BuckeyeChris. This is what I was wondering. Thanks so much
    Mike
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Re: FC question

    Do you test for CYA? If you have low or none CYA your going to lose FC pretty fast. CYA helps hold the FC.
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Re: FC question

    Yes I check and normally keep it around 30.
    Thanks
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Re: FC question

    Do you use Poolmath to calculate your dosages?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: FC question

    Yes. I use it every day. It's such a great tool to have. Don't know what people did before it.
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Re: FC question

    Yes. I use it every day.
    Since you use poolmath and you know your daily FC loss, I am really struggling to understand your question.

    You understand that chlorine is consumable and you understand that your chlorine usage is about 2 ppm daily. So you go away, you do not add enough chlorine during your absence, you get algae and you don't understand why.

    Please help me....I am really confused
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: FC question

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Since you use poolmath and you know your daily FC loss, I am really struggling to understand your question.

    You understand that chlorine is consumable and you understand that your chlorine usage is about 2 ppm daily. So you go away, you do not add enough chlorine during your absence, you get algae and you don't understand why.

    Please help me....I am really confused
    I believe he is asking how most people maintain fc while you are on vacation. As in do a shock before he leaves, use pucks, ect.

    16,388 gallons, IG, Pebble Sheen, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus cartridge filter, Pentair Whisperflow Pump, August 2015, Taylor K-2006, spa

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    Re: FC question

    If you look at what I said above, I have shocked and used pucks before I left. I've had people come during the week to add. I'm going to be going on a two week vacation in the spring and just was wondering what others did? I am sorry for asking. It seems like more times then not people get offended when you ask a simple question on here. I thought one of the things the forum does, is to help others. So all you experts never had problems when you were beginning? I try to help others as much as I can. I am sorry for asking.
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Re: FC question

    Could I use the pucks in the inline chlorinator and just turn up the settings?


    21,000 gallons, Salt, IG Gunite, Plaster Finish, Free From, Pentair FNS DE cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflo-VS pump, Intellichlor IC-40, 2 port fountains, bubbler in tanning deck, Dolphin M400, TF-100, K-1766, Speed Stir

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    Re: FC question

    Quote Originally Posted by Piper Mike View Post
    If you look at what I said above, I have shocked and used pucks before I left. I've had people come during the week to add. I'm going to be going on a two week vacation in the spring and just was wondering what others did? I am sorry for asking. It seems like more times then not people get offended when you ask a simple question on here. I thought one of the things the forum does, is to help others. So all you experts never had problems when you were beginning? I try to help others as much as I can. I am sorry for asking.
    We can and will help, we're just trying to figure out where the gaps are. It's not always easy to discern what people are asking and what their needs are. If I may read-back to you, this is what I think you are asking -

    What can or should I do better to keep my pool from going green when I leave on extended vacations?

    If that's the question, then the answer is you need to keep your FC at the proper level while away. I see a bunch of problems with your current setup -

    1. Manual chlorination with bleach.
    2. Low CYA
    3. Small Intex type pool volume
    4. Sunny climate

    Manual bleach chlorination means that you're always adding enough bleach to try to outrun your losses long enough before adding again while trying to maintain the proper FC/CYA ratio. So your pool is seeing swings in FC. No one is perfect and the environment is always changing around your pool so some days your efforts might be good enough and other days they might not. Some type of automation or regular dosing would improve your setup greatly.

    I think a CYA of 30ppm is too low. You should target 40ppm minimum or even try 50ppm. This will help reduce your daily losses and probably allow you a little more wiggle room if your additions are off. You will need to maintain a higher daily FC level so that your FC/CYA ratio is correct.

    You have a small volume Intex pool. There's little shielding the water from fast temperature excursions and intense UV. This is going to make your pool a little harder to control chemistry-wise than a larger AG pool or in ground. So more frequent additions may be helpful. Also, the equipment (pumps and filters) on Intex pools tends to be undersized for the task (one intake, one return). Therefore you could have circulation dead spots that allow the algae to take hold better.

    With all that said, you may be someone who should, on occasions when you can not be there, be using trichlor picks and a floater. That would be the cheapest way to create a continuos dosing system. The burden on you would be managing CYA and dumping water as necessary to keep the CYA in check. Other options would include a chemical dosing pump or converting to a salt water chlorine generator, but all of those have high upfront costs relative to your pool.

    Adding borates to your water or using Polyquat-60 can act as a supplemental algaecide and give you some insurance for those times when you FC might dip. But those too are costly alternatives and are not substitutes for maintaining proper sanitizer levels.

    Does that help at all?


    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: FC question

    For one week, using Trichlor pucks and possibly raising the FC level usually works well. For two weeks, that is harder but if one has an inline chlorinator of sufficient capacity and sets its output appropriately then they might be able to get by with 2 weeks. The CYA level may rise more over that time -- if at 2 ppm FC per day that would be 17 ppm CYA.

    For extended vacations, it's usually best to have someone come over and add chlorine to the pool at least a couple of times per week. They can add more than you normally would for daily addition. If not using Trichlor pucks, then only adding once a week usually won't work unless your CYA is particularly high. Of course, this time of year the chlorine lasts longer since the sun isn't as high in the sky and the days may be cloudy.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: FC question

    Yes thank you. Every time in the past I have suggested using those pucks I have gotten scolded on here, so have wondered what everyone else does. I shoot for 40 cya, but with rain and loosing water and having to add it it always seems to be in the 30's cya, so that's what I list it as. I have used the pucks in the past as I said, but very sparingly as I always thought they were no nos.
    thank you
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Re: FC question

    You can always use rain overflow to dilute your water and keep CYA in check. And you can always raise your FC target if your CYA level is higher. There are no absolutes such as never using Trichlor. You just need to understand and deal with the consequences. Some pools with short seasons and lots of rain or winterizing dilution can use only Trichlor so long as they maintain an appropriate FC/CYA ratio or otherwise do something to prevent algae growth.

    The "rules" used on this website only sound like absolutes because they have been simplified to have appeal to the largest number of people. If you are not a beginner and can handle more than simplified rules, then you treat them as guidelines and instead gain a deeper understanding of what is going on and deviate from the absolutes in a way that is nevertheless still consistent with the underlying science of what is going on. It's your pool and you can do whatever you want with it. Whether you use the simplest but most constrained approach or whether you broaden to have more flexibility but with more complexity is up to you.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: FC question

    Quote Originally Posted by Piper Mike View Post
    Yes thank you. Every time in the past I have suggested using those pucks I have gotten scolded on here, so have wondered what everyone else does. I shoot for 40 cya, but with rain and loosing water and having to add it it always seems to be in the 30's cya, so that's what I list it as. I have used the pucks in the past as I said, but very sparingly as I always thought they were no nos.
    thank you
    Obviously, you have appropriately wrapped your head around this. Generally, the pucks are no-nos, but as I type, I have one of those little floatie things cruising around in my pool, full of pucks. I don't need to add much chlorine, but due to tons of rain, my CYA has drifted down. You know that pucks can be a problem.... or, a solution. It sounds like you're doing a great job managing your pool, while you are home. Going away, for a while, breaks that regimen of superior management. Without automation and with sufficient time, there is but one predictable result and that is green.

    It just comes with the territory......

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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: FC question

    Thanks Ewkearns
    What do you mean by "automation"? Is that the saltwater thing? I have read about too many people with above ground pools that have gotten wrecked because of having Salt water in it. Just wondering?
    Thanks again
    Mike
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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