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Thread: just learning about TFP.

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    7snorkel's Avatar
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    just learning about TFP.

    Hello, All. I've been recommended to this site, and am excited to learn how to take care of my own pool, and do it efficiently.

    have been reading daily, and lots of numbers aren't making sense, but I'm sure they will soon.


    Here is my story...

    WE moved to this house last Summer. The pool inspector looked over our pool and equip. and said, " the one thing I would do, is turn the SWG switch to OFF."
    He said it caused more corrosion to plaster and other things around the pool. (furniture, etc).

    So, being totally unfamiliar with SWG, we took the guy at his word, and turned it off.

    We've had a pool guy to come and do our chemicals each week. He uses Liquid Chlorine. Our pool has had very little issues, except an occasional vacuum part or a minor algae outbreak.
    We brush our pool once a week, during prime months. So, the algae hasn't resurfaced again.

    WE do have a few areas of calcium buildup on our tiles. I treated with White Vinegar, and it pretty much flaked right off, but did start to return the next day.

    we very well may some some calcium on our plaster as well. I can show pictures if needed.
    I know pool stores have some chemicals to treat the calcium, but I wan't to start the TFP method, and hopefully this will take care of my calcium issue.


    I've recently cleaned our filter cartridges (Feb.) and now have questions for you as I prepare to start my own pool care the TFP way:


    Should I re-start the SWG and start caring for it using it?

    Or should I just stay with Chlorine (bleach)?

    I don't have a test kit yet, but have seen your recommendations.

    Before I choose a kit, I want to get some feed back as to whether we should go with either Bleach or Salt.
    Then, I'll need the best kit for each method.

    When the kit arrives. I will need suggestions on using the TFP chemicals (Soda Ash, Borax, etc), and where best to buy them.


    I guess that's enough for now.

    I await your answers, suggestions, and wisdom.

    thank you.

    20K IG Plaster (1996),
    Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter, Centurion 2.20HP, PB4 Booster Pump. spa spillover, Polaris 280, TF-100; SpeedStir​

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    The best kit is the same regardless. The TF-100 is the best bang for the buck. If you are going to go with salt, then add the Taylor salt drop test.

    And please do not buy chemicals before you test. Odds are you will never need soda ash or borax.

    BTW, the guy was totally wrong about the SWG corroding plaster.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    I'm with Jason on the TF-100. I love it. Best thing I ever did for my pool. But also get the "Speed Stir". Makes a big difference. The most common items you'll need are regular bleach (until you turn-on the SWG again) and muriatic acid. You can use the Bravo bleach from HEB or Great Value from Wal-Mart. Just regular - not splashless or scented. Acid you can get from a local hardware store or pool store. Look for the "31.45% / 20 Baume" acid. Stay familiar with the TFP recommended levels and chemicals and you simply can't go wrong. When your kit comes in, post a full set of test results and we'll help guide you from there. Great to have you with us.
    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
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    The sooner you order one of the recommended test kits, the sooner your pool and family will be happy. Give us some good test results and we'll walk you through what is needed. Welcome!
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    The reason the test kit is the same is because a chlorine pool and a salt pool are basically the same. Both use chlorine to kill the things you don't want in your pool. The main difference is how the chlorine is put in the pool. You can use liquid chlorine (Bleach) or you can use a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWCG or SWG) which converts the salt in your pool water into chlorine. For me anyway, using the SWG is much more convenient that toting jugs of liquid chlorine.

    So, assuming your SWG system is operational, I recommend that you turn it back on. I suggest that the first thing you do is check how much salt is currently in your pool and then add salt if necessary. Might also want to determine what kind of SWG you have and Google the manual if you don't already have one.

    I know sometimes it sounds like all we want to do is sell you a test kit. But, if you want to take care of your pool yourself, it is a requirement for the job.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Welcome to TFP!

    Definite yes to SWG! Definite yes to TF-100.

    Here are two of my favorite pages here
    Pool School - Water Balance for SWGs
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    we can help you manage your scaling problem as well. After you get a kit, get your SWG running and are ready start a new thread about your scaling and we can work on it. Keep your PH between 7.2 and 7.8 for now.
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    7snorkel's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Thanks everyone. I have ordered my TF100 and will report back when i get it on Wednesday.

    Hey PoolDV, looks like you're not far away.

    Will check back in soon.

    - - - Updated - - -

    thank you.
    I will wait for the test kit to come in. Turn on the SWG and start testing. How long should I wait to test Salt after turning unit back on?

    What kind of salt, and where are best places to get it. and perhaps how much at a time should i buy?

    20K IG Plaster (1996),
    Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter, Centurion 2.20HP, PB4 Booster Pump. spa spillover, Polaris 280, TF-100; SpeedStir​

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    I use pool salt from Lowes. You can turn the cell on to see if it gives you a low salt error. If it does turn it off, add a bag of salt, wait 24 hours, try again. Aim a little lower than the salt test says, they are usually off by several hundred ppm.
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    7snorkel's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Hello, again to all.

    just did my initial test on our pool with the TF-100

    Here are my numbers:

    FC- 13
    CC- 0
    CH- 925
    TA- 160
    CYA-80

    Our pool guy came yesterday, for the last time.
    So, I thought I would test it AFTER he came to see the results.

    I turned on the SWG as POOLDV suggested, though AFTER i did my test.

    will let it run for 15 min or so and check Salt reading. Or is 15 min. too long/short ?

    Let me know if you need anymore info.

    thanks

    P.S. After 15 min of SWG running, it shows 3100, so I will leave it on.

    i'll grab some salt as i prepare to re-introduce the pool salt.

    20K IG Plaster (1996),
    Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter, Centurion 2.20HP, PB4 Booster Pump. spa spillover, Polaris 280, TF-100; SpeedStir​

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Here is what I share with newcomers. Look it over and do some reading. I will check on you tomorrow to see how it is going.

    You did a great job with the tests but is the PH?

    Here are some links you will need when you are starting up a pool.

    Print these out:

    Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

    Pool School - Recommended Levels

    Bookmark these:

    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    Make sure to ask any and all questions you might have no matter how small! We have all been where you are at one point.
    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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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Woo, that CH is up there. Are you sure about that reading? You might want to double check. Generally that increases from the hardness in fill water or past use of Cal-Hypo products. That would explain some of your scaling issues in post #1. You don't show your pH (which we really need) but your TA is also high. Even if your pH was 7.5, your CSI level is currently at about .67 which puts your pool at high risk for scaling.

    So if that CH is indeed 900+, you have to keep TA and pH much lower to off-set the high CH. At the very least, use the acid & aeration method to lower TA to about 60-70 as soon as you can. The lower TA will also help keep your pH steady (low). Checkout the CSI row on the Poolmath Calculator when you enter your numbers. With a CH of 925, you can off-set the scale by adjusting pH to 7.5 and TA to 70 which gives you a CSI of .17.

    Let us know if you have any questions.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Your CH is like mine. Hold off on adding that salt, because it'll just be wasted when you replace some of that water. It's SO much easier to maintain the water balance when the CH is about half what you have now, or lower. If you're not burdened by water restrictions, replace some water.

    I'd recommend testing your fill water and then calculating how much of your pool water to replace. And then do it. Check the utility company -- some places tack a sewer charge on based on water usage and if you alert them in advance they will reduce the fee.

    Of course, after you replace a bunch of water, you'll need to add more CYA and more salt.

    If the SWG is already there, use it! Given the expense and the lifespan of the cell, it works out about even for bleach vs SWG. But since you have it, use it! If it abruptly dies, pour bleach in. No great loss.
    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 pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Your water is a lot different than mine. Are you on city water? What city? Your CH and TA is a lot higher. Were you using cal-hypo? Test the PH, TA and CH of the water from the hose and we'll figure out a plan on what to do about the calcium and TA. That is definitely why you are seeing the scaling.

    Here is the saltwater chemistry page, Pool School - Water Balance for SWGs
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    thanks, everyone.

    I did all the tests associated with the CARD that came with the Kit.

    Where did i miss the PH test?

    I'll have to look again. It's dark now.

    I'll give it ALL another go tomorrow.

    20K IG Plaster (1996),
    Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter, Centurion 2.20HP, PB4 Booster Pump. spa spillover, Polaris 280, TF-100; SpeedStir​

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    7snorkel's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Your water is a lot different than mine. Are you on city water? What city? Your CH and TA is a lot higher. Were you using cal-hypo? Test the PH, TA and CH of the water from the hose and we'll figure out a plan on what to do about the calcium and TA. That is definitely why you are seeing the scaling.

    Here is the saltwater chemistry page, Pool School - Water Balance for SWGs

    we are in Plano.

    we have had a pool guy doing using Liquid Chlorine. I'm taking over from here.

    I tested the PH just now. --- 8.2
    BR is greater than 10.

    numbers sound right?

    20K IG Plaster (1996),
    Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter, Centurion 2.20HP, PB4 Booster Pump. spa spillover, Polaris 280, TF-100; SpeedStir​

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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Do you have any muriatic acid to get that pH down? If not, get some tomorrow. PoolMath will help you calculate your dosage.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And like Ricahrd suggested, test your fill water for all but CYA as a partial drain could help if your fill CH is low.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Hmm, interesting, we should both be getting water from Lake Lavon. Give us your PH, TA and CH for your fill water from the hose. We can figure out what to do next.
    TFP Moderator
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    7snorkel's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Ok,
    I had my daughter do the testing yesterday, as she is much better with colors than I am.

    PH- 8.2
    Br -10
    TA 140
    CH -600
    CYA -90
    CC- 0

    don't see her FC reading. hmmm.


    i know I'll get the hang of this is short order, but I'm no scientist.

    your thoughts, please.

    20K IG Plaster (1996),
    Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter, Centurion 2.20HP, PB4 Booster Pump. spa spillover, Polaris 280, TF-100; SpeedStir​

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    PH is high, it is important to maintain PH between 7.2 and 7.8 at all times with 7.5 to 7.8 being ideal. TA is also high and will contribute to PH rise. Lower your TA to 80 or so by following this process, Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity. Then let it lower naturally itself from there. FC should be maintained according to the Chlorine CYA Chart
    TFP Moderator
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: just learning about TFP.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7snorkel View Post
    Ok,
    I had my daughter do the testing yesterday, as she is much better with colors than I am.

    PH- 8.2
    Br -10
    TA 140
    CH -600
    CYA -90
    CC- 0

    don't see her FC reading. hmmm.


    i know I'll get the hang of this is short order, but I'm no scientist.

    your thoughts, please.
    Need that FC reading. If it's over 10, it will mess with the pH test and make it read falsely high. So don't go adding acid just yet!

    If pH is that high, it could actually be higher. So when you dose things with acid, don't panic if it still reads 8.2 after. Just do it again and again until the color starts shifting towards the orange spectrum. I have better luck colormatching by holding the test block at arm's length and looking at it without my glasses. Seems to be easier to match colors when it's a little fuzzy. I use the white plastic patio chairs as the backdrop, since they're right there across the patio table from me.

    The Cl-Br test is pretty much useless when you're using the FAS-DPD powder test. I run it sometimes just to polish my colormatching skills against the accurate reading. Unless you've added Bromine, the BR test has no meaning.
    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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