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Thread: General Questions

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    General Questions

    Hello I just joined TFP today, I moved into a house 2 years ago with a 16,000 gallon in ground gunite plaster pool. I've never owned a pool before and Last season I was bringing my water to Leslie's Pool to get tested and was spending a fortune on chemicals and my water was never crystal clear. This year I bought a Taylor test kit and will be testing the water myself and will be using the BBB method I've been reading about. I drained my pool and pressure washed it, and as of now my chemical readings are PH 7.4, Alkalinity 110, Calcium 260, Chlorine 4, Free Chlorine 0, CYA 40. I also bought a Phosphate tester and Phosphate level is 0. My plan is to use cal-shock when I need to shock my pool and 8.4% bleach to add chlorine. My question is when testing the water do I add drops till the color just changes or keep going till it changes and gets darker. Also, which chemicals change the most throughout a typical week or month such as should I test chlorine and PH more often than everything else etc? After adding chemicals how long should I wait before retesting and after shocking pool how long before I should retest? Thanks in advance of all of you help.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: General Questions

    Welcome!

    You're in for a disappointment. We don't shock routinely. Why? Because we don't get algae! Maintain adequate chlorine levels for your CYA and you may never get algae either. Some of us have gone more than five years without ever seeing green water, 365 days a year. Your CH is on the low end, so you could use Cal-hypo for your daily chlorination for a little while, but if you haven't already bought it, don't. Just stick with bleach.

    Your FC level needs daily attention. Judging by the high TA, I'll guess the pH will need adjustment a couple times a week for a while, and then maybe weekly. The only way to be sure is by testing. CYA will only go down by splashout, rain overflow, or backwashing. CH will slowly climb through evaporation and refill, unless you choose to use Cal-hypo to chlorinate. TA isn't really all that critical except to calculate acid dosages. By the time it needs attention (if it ever does) you'll be experienced and knowledgeable enough to deal with it yourself.

    For testing, you count drops until the color changes and keep going until the last drop doesn't change things and deduct that. In your case, your TA test starts at green. Probably around 9 drops it turns greyish. At 10 it's pinkish. At 11 it's even brighter pink. 12 doesn't change anything. Deduct that useless drop. 11 drops. TA is therefore 110.

    I'm going to recommend you spend some time in Pool School. Start with the ABCs and How to Chlorinate and Recommended Chemicals and How to use poolmath.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: General Questions

    Hi! I have a link for you to print out and keep by your test kit. I bet this helps you a LOT!

    Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

    Do the reading Richard gave you and it will all start to fall into place. Make sure to ask any and all questions or concerns your might have.

    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: General Questions

    Thank you for you help I really appreciate it. Just to clarify since I'm new to this the abbreviation CH is referring to Calcium?

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: General Questions

    That's correct. Calcium Hardness.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: General Questions

    One other question about the chlorine level for CYA, with my CYA at 40 what chlorine level should I be at? and thanks again everyone for your help.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: General Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cjbyrd View Post
    One other question about the chlorine level for CYA, with my CYA at 40 what chlorine level should I be at? and thanks again everyone for your help.
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

    Also, if you enter your pool's particulars down in the last row of poolmath, as you fill in the current readings, it will set the recommended target levels for you.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: General Questions

    Couple of other questions. I forgot to mention in my original post over the winter I was talked into buying and installing one of those Zodiac mineral cartridges. Will that cause any kind of issues with my pool or am I fine just leaving it? Also, to get an accurate reading how long should I wait after adding chemicals to test the water again? Thanks again.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: General Questions

    Pull the zodiac out and move on. The minerals can cause problems with staining and turning hair green over time. Chlorine is the best way to go.

    Testing after adding----make sure the pump is running and wait about 15 mins before testing. A good brushing will be a good idea to help mix it all in.

    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: General Questions

    Thank you for the info Kim I was thinking I had to wait hours to a day before before retesting after adding chemicals.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: General Questions

    Nope. The only thing that does not show up right away on the test is the CYA AND we are running "tests" on that now to see the best testing time for it.

    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: General Questions

    Will shocking my pool throw off any other chemical tests I was reading it could interfere with the PH test, how long should I wait to test water after shocking?

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: General Questions

    An elevated FC level (over FC 10) will give misleading (high) pH readings. Extremely high FC can also make some of the other tests react differently with their respective colors. But generally, the only one that you hear the most is once someone is doing a SLAM, with an FC over 10, they are reminded to not test pH anymore until the SLAM is complete.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: General Questions

    Any advice on maintaining CYA levels with an in line chlorine tablet feeder.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: General Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cjbyrd View Post
    Any advice on maintaining CYA levels with an in line chlorine tablet feeder.
    You can’t maintain CYA with a puck feeder as the trichlor continuously adds CYA. For every 10ppm FC added by trichlor, you will add 6ppm CYA. So if you choose to use the inline chlorinator then you will have to measure CYA frequently, probably twice per month at a minimum, and adjust your target FC value as the CYA increases.

    The only way to hold CYA constant is to use non-stabilized forms of chlorine (liquid chlorine or bleach) OR to use PoolMath to figure out how much water to drain and replace to reduce a given amount of CYA. So, for example, you might say every time the CYA goes up by 20ppm, you’ll drain and replace water to compensate.

    Not using stabilized chlorine tablets in the first place is easier than water replacement in my opinion. But to each his 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: General Questions

    Thank you for the info, I've been using a Polaris to clean the bottom of my pool and rarely vacuming my pool. I may start vacuming to waste every 2 weeks to keep the CYA from buildng up. I probably should be vacuming more often than I have been anyway.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Ideal CYA Levels

    I have a 16000 gallon outdoor chlorine pool built in the 80's. What is the ideal target CYA level to maintain? Also anyone know why there isn't a company making chlorine pucks that don't add CYA? Seems like they would own the chlorine puck industry if they made something like that.

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: General Questions

    What is the ideal target CYA level to maintain?
    This varies from pool to pool because of many factors, most notably amount of use and amount of direct sun. The weather is picking up, so I would expect us in the the south need at least a CYA of 40 to start with and evaluate the consumption of FC. If the FC drops too fast in 24 hrs in an algae-free pool, then it might be time to increase the CYA to 50. My pool for example receives full sun from dawn to dusk. I run a CYA of at least 60 in the summer to maintain an FC loss of around 3 ppm in 24 hrs. Some more, some less depending on the amount of swimming and cloud cover. So you'll have to experiment a bit as well for your pool.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: General Questions

    Here ya go for the ideal levels:

    Pool School - Recommended Levels

    As for the pucks without added stuff..............one day this will happen........until then we keep on adding chlorine or installing SWG!

    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: General Questions

    How complicated is it to install a SWG and are there any brands that anyone could recommend. There are a ton to choose from on Amazon.

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