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Thread: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

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    TulsaKevin's Avatar
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    Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    So I took over the pool about a week ago, it has been up and running for about 3 to 4 weeks and with all of the holidays, I wanted to start taking over because I knew that service will be diminishing.

    So intial Test:

    FC:1.5
    CC:0
    CH:175
    TA:90
    CYA:30
    PH:7.8
    Salt:2600

    So, I went to Leslies (big mistake) to get ALOT of chemicals, due to the pool size and pool math calculator. I was armed with reading TFP for about a year, so I thought I could get in and get out with out getting hosed. I know that a lot of post talk about how the pool stores are more expensive, but I thought, for my time and convinence I will get what I need to now, and get additional chemicals at the recommended locations. I didn't think that the difffences would be worth the extra trips.

    First thought when I took the pool over was. Man, that CYA is much lower than I would thought, second, I was very surprised, being a new pebble/plaster pool that the CH was so low.
    So using poolcalc that is on TFP, I went and bought what I needed. When I went in I was surprised that not everything had clear labels of what exactly was inside. I had to look at the MSDS online for several products that she recommended. Eventually, much longer than anticipated, walked out with 300 dollars worth of muratic acid, Cal Hypo, CaCL, CYA and Bicarb (just in case).

    After several days of adding, I am at

    FC:4.5
    CC:0
    CH:275
    TA:90
    CYA:50
    pH:7.6
    salt:2600

    Things I didn't know.
    CaCl gets hot, very very hot when mixed in a 5 gallon bucket. The bucket started to get soft.
    Never lay your stirring stick on the stained concrete
    The acid is no joke. I splashed more than I thought due to the fact I didn't take the seal completely off. (also splash concrete with water before pouring chemicals seems to be a good idea.

    Things I cant explain:
    It took over 180oz of muratic acid to decrease the pH, surprisingly, and I do not know why, the TA did not change. I know salt systems increase the ph due to CO2 displacement via H, and we have had the freeze protection on a lot which is a waterfall aerating a lot, so I am not surprised the PH is up, but I thought the TA would drop some. The PH did not budge until the last 40oz added.

    Things I knew but didn't know:
    CaCl at walmart as de icer was about 1/4 the price . Knew it would be cheaper, but not that much difference. Lowes muratic acid was about half.


    Need to raise CYA up, and get my calcium up as well, would like my TA to come down because I am going to use borates, in about a month or two, once I can get everything where I want it to be. Hopefully the high acid demand is the new plaster, or the freeze protection mode, if not I am getting a stenner pump before myself and the concrete looks like a dalmation.
    55,000 gallon freeform L-shape 40x50ft, 3'8-10', 150' perimeter, gunite, pebbletec (tbd), sand filter, 2hp Ecostar variable speed pump, 400k gas heater, Aquacomfort heat/chill pump, 8 jet spa with 2hp blower, limestone grotto waterfall, 20 ft BYOS slide with arch and water fall, grand effects wall torches and fire bowls, 1m diving platform with 14ft board, gold line salt system, full automation, stamp, stained and salted concrete

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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Your pH was probably much higher than the scale can read. With color comparison tests, 7.8 and 8 are pretty close, you may have been way up in the 8s. Only way to know is to add/test/add/test until you can see changes within the range of the test.

    Speaking of....what test kit are you using?
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    Water sheer, 2 wok pots, bubbler stem on the baja step
    ColorLogic Mutlicolor LED lamp. Taylor 2006+speed stir

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    TulsaKevin's Avatar
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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Taylor tf 100 and the Taylor salt test. The speed stir is with its weight on gold, though I need to order a few more magnetic stirs because I know I am going to lose one or two down the drain cleaning them
    55,000 gallon freeform L-shape 40x50ft, 3'8-10', 150' perimeter, gunite, pebbletec (tbd), sand filter, 2hp Ecostar variable speed pump, 400k gas heater, Aquacomfort heat/chill pump, 8 jet spa with 2hp blower, limestone grotto waterfall, 20 ft BYOS slide with arch and water fall, grand effects wall torches and fire bowls, 1m diving platform with 14ft board, gold line salt system, full automation, stamp, stained and salted concrete

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    What a neat post! It shows that you HAVE been reading and learning! So nice to see!

    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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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    What is your water temperature?
    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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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    What's the CH of your fill water? Honestly speaking, unless you typically get lots of rain dilution via overflow, you rarely have to add calcium. Your CH will just naturally increase over time with evaporation and refill of water. 275ppm is not that bad. I think you could have saved yourself a lot of money by not buying so much calcium and bicarbonate. Bicarbonate in the supermarket (aka, Arm & Hammer baking soda) is like 1/4th the price of what they charge in pool stores.

    If you want my advice, wait a full year before you add borates. Come swim season you are going to be struggling to keep your water balanced and you really don't need to add borates to the equation. I waited and I was glad I did because I got to know my pool much better that way.


    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: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Agreed on waiting to add borates. Not sure about waiting a year, but definitely longer than a coupla months after a new pool!

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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Yeah, the 12 month wait time was merely a suggestion based on what we see here as the time it takes the pH to settle down in a newly plastered pool. Your mileage may vary....


    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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    TulsaKevin's Avatar
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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Keep the suggestions coming. I will wait on the calcium, the water temp is a chilly 44 right now and my CSI is close to being too low, I just didn't want to lose any calcium from my plaster. I am surprised how much temperature makes on the csi. Really want to get it teed up for the spring. Going to add a little cya, then watch and wait and follow the trends to see what the pool wants to do, then correct when I need to.
    55,000 gallon freeform L-shape 40x50ft, 3'8-10', 150' perimeter, gunite, pebbletec (tbd), sand filter, 2hp Ecostar variable speed pump, 400k gas heater, Aquacomfort heat/chill pump, 8 jet spa with 2hp blower, limestone grotto waterfall, 20 ft BYOS slide with arch and water fall, grand effects wall torches and fire bowls, 1m diving platform with 14ft board, gold line salt system, full automation, stamp, stained and salted concrete

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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    The CSI is a measure of calcium carbonate saturation and, as such, only tells you if a driving force exists for either scaling it etching to occur. It can not tell you anything about the rates of those processes. It would take years at low CSI for plaster to become significantly damaged. Seasonal drops and temporary excursions into low CSI values are merely indicators that you should pay attention to certain variables, they are not a cause for concern.

    If you let your pH rise to 7.8 and try to target that, you'll find your CSI should be ok for the cold water months.


    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: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Perfect, thank you, I am very black and white, I am picture walking out in a week and all I have is pebbles lying on the bottom of the pool because ask the plaster got dissolved.
    55,000 gallon freeform L-shape 40x50ft, 3'8-10', 150' perimeter, gunite, pebbletec (tbd), sand filter, 2hp Ecostar variable speed pump, 400k gas heater, Aquacomfort heat/chill pump, 8 jet spa with 2hp blower, limestone grotto waterfall, 20 ft BYOS slide with arch and water fall, grand effects wall torches and fire bowls, 1m diving platform with 14ft board, gold line salt system, full automation, stamp, stained and salted concrete

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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Quote Originally Posted by TulsaKevin View Post
    Perfect, thank you, I am very black and white, I am picture walking out in a week and all I have is pebbles lying on the bottom of the pool because ask the plaster got dissolved.
    OH NO! We do NOT want THAT ^^^^^^^^ to happen!

    It will not happen because you are on top of your water balance. Just think of all of those people who have not found TFP

    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: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Is there any reason why my TA was been the same despite the acid addtion. As yall know the TF test for that is very precise and easy to see when you have reached the correct number, unlike the CYA which there is some subjectiveness to it. I see the TA as the CYA of chlorine. It helps buffer the pH. I assume there is a volumetric issue where the TA my given volume has more capacity the the acid addition. For those that have lowered TA (though if I am not mistaken, TA will be what it wants to,and thats ok, with in limits, unless you are getting wild pH swings), did it take a lot of acid and did you have to drop the pH to 7.4 and less to accomplish it.
    55,000 gallon freeform L-shape 40x50ft, 3'8-10', 150' perimeter, gunite, pebbletec (tbd), sand filter, 2hp Ecostar variable speed pump, 400k gas heater, Aquacomfort heat/chill pump, 8 jet spa with 2hp blower, limestone grotto waterfall, 20 ft BYOS slide with arch and water fall, grand effects wall torches and fire bowls, 1m diving platform with 14ft board, gold line salt system, full automation, stamp, stained and salted concrete

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    What is the TA in your fill water? Ours is fairly high. More in lowering TA here, Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity

    Also, here is a handy sheet on pool chemicals, Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
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    Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Your TA is likely stuck because your plaster is still curing. Calcium hydroxide in the plaster is exchanging hydroxide (OH-) for carbonate (CO3[2-]) in an effort to form calcium carbonate. So your acid is mostly being used up to neutralize the excess hydroxide and not consume bicarbonate in the water. This is why water balance during plaster cure is so important. If you follow the bicarbonate startup process, then the calcium stays in the plaster matrix forming calcium carbonate. If the water is to aggressive, then the calcium hydroxide is stripped from the plaster and forms plaster dust (calcium carbonate particulates in the water volume).

    Your TA will come down as the plaster gets aged.


    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: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Just measured our tap water, from the city.

    CH-250
    TA-130
    pH is 7.7
    55,000 gallon freeform L-shape 40x50ft, 3'8-10', 150' perimeter, gunite, pebbletec (tbd), sand filter, 2hp Ecostar variable speed pump, 400k gas heater, Aquacomfort heat/chill pump, 8 jet spa with 2hp blower, limestone grotto waterfall, 20 ft BYOS slide with arch and water fall, grand effects wall torches and fire bowls, 1m diving platform with 14ft board, gold line salt system, full automation, stamp, stained and salted concrete

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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Quote Originally Posted by TulsaKevin View Post
    Just measured our tap water, from the city.

    CH-250
    TA-130
    pH is 7.7
    Do not add anymore calcium to your water (if you have unopened containers, take them back). Your fill water is hard and will be a significant contributor to CH levels as water evaporates. The TA is fairly reasonable and can be easily managed with normal acid additions.

    If you do not have a pool cover, I sincerely urge you to consider using one. Evaporation and fill is very likely to increase your CH several hundred ppm's per season. The more you can control evaporation, the better off you will be.

    Take it from someone who has 280ppm CH fill water and a current pool CH of 800ppm


    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: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Egad, thank you for your advice. I will use it for ice melting purposes only
    55,000 gallon freeform L-shape 40x50ft, 3'8-10', 150' perimeter, gunite, pebbletec (tbd), sand filter, 2hp Ecostar variable speed pump, 400k gas heater, Aquacomfort heat/chill pump, 8 jet spa with 2hp blower, limestone grotto waterfall, 20 ft BYOS slide with arch and water fall, grand effects wall torches and fire bowls, 1m diving platform with 14ft board, gold line salt system, full automation, stamp, stained and salted concrete

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    Re: Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    As sort of a follow-up on the level of CH in my tap water. If I convert it to grains per gallon, though my measurement is just calcium and not the rest such as magnesium....., but gpg tend to be a more common term outside the pool industry for measurement, anyway using 17.1 calcium ppm per gpg. That would make my tap water be at least 20.5 gpg. Anything above 10 is considered very hard water. I don't feel like our water is that hard and we have lived in the area for 7 years and had a house that was five years old then, so it was 12 when we moved but I never noticed an unusual amount of calcium deposits or issues. But if our water is at least 20gpg, that would motivate me to add a water softener to prevent future issues. Any thoughts, or have I missed something in the conversions.
    55,000 gallon freeform L-shape 40x50ft, 3'8-10', 150' perimeter, gunite, pebbletec (tbd), sand filter, 2hp Ecostar variable speed pump, 400k gas heater, Aquacomfort heat/chill pump, 8 jet spa with 2hp blower, limestone grotto waterfall, 20 ft BYOS slide with arch and water fall, grand effects wall torches and fire bowls, 1m diving platform with 14ft board, gold line salt system, full automation, stamp, stained and salted concrete

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    Musings of pool ownership for the first week

    Quote Originally Posted by TulsaKevin View Post
    As sort of a follow-up on the level of CH in my tap water. If I convert it to grains per gallon, though my measurement is just calcium and not the rest such as magnesium....., but gpg tend to be a more common term outside the pool industry for measurement, anyway using 17.1 calcium ppm per gpg. That would make my tap water be at least 20.5 gpg. Anything above 10 is considered very hard water. I don't feel like our water is that hard and we have lived in the area for 7 years and had a house that was five years old then, so it was 12 when we moved but I never noticed an unusual amount of calcium deposits or issues. But if our water is at least 20gpg, that would motivate me to add a water softener to prevent future issues. Any thoughts, or have I missed something in the conversions.
    Yes, your water is considered hard by drinking water standards. But, your saving grace is that the pH of your water is fairly low. It puts your tap CSI at only +0.3. So your tap water is over saturated compared to a fully saturated, calcium carbonate solution BUT it is at the lower limit of scaling potential. Typically scale isn't formed in water until the CSI goes above 0.6 and, even then, it's only seen in hot water. This is probably why your faucets in the house are not showing calcium staining.

    So for filling your pool, the tap water is fine.

    Don't try to compare it too much too drinking water because, in those standards, hardness accounts for all dissolved species (mostly calcium and magnesium). So it's a completely different measure. You can actually get test kits to measure Total Hardness (also called "general hardness") and then back out your magnesium hardness by subtracting CH from TH. But it's really not necessary as magnesium carbonate is A LOT more soluable in water than calcium carbonate thus it is not likely to precipitate out.

    Some here on TFP have installed outdoor water softeners on their fill lines to help control CH. It's doable and a "nice to have" kind of thing but not often necessary.


    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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