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Thread: Soon to be first time pool owner

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    Soon to be first time pool owner

    So a week from Monday I close on a house with an in ground pool. I've never owned a pool of any kind so the whole thing is new to me. I've been reading up on the pool school stuff and I think I have a handle on the basic chemistry stuff. I have a TF-100 test kit on order. The current owners are having their pool guy open the pool Friday so it should be up and running when we get the keys. I would like to do maintenance myself if I can.

    So here's what I know about the pool for now:

    -In ground, plaster walls
    -supposedly 40k gallons. That's what the seller put down on the disclosure at least, but I understand that's really big for a residential pool. I haven't actually seen the pool itself though since it's still covered. So I don't know. It is kidney shaped I believe, so I don't know how to measure that.
    -salt water generator. Aqua Rite chlorine generator and Hayward T-Cell 15
    -Sta-Rite T-240BP-1 sand filter
    -Challenger 1.5hp pump. I think the model number is 34-3234 and it says it is self priming
    -There is a heater as well but I apparently neglected to take pictures when I was there for inspections.

    So that's what I know. Any thoughts on the equipment? Any idea whether the equipment is consistent with a 40k gallon pool? If I get a chance to talk to the pro who has been maintaining the pool what should I ask him? And what other information should I get or pictures should I take so I can ask you guys a ton more newbie questions?

    Thank you so much!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Soon to be first time pool owner

    Welcome to TFP and congrats on the new pool!

    There is a pool volume calculator toward the bottom of Poolmath. Yes, 40k is very big for a residential pool. The SWG is rated for 40k gallons, but we normally recommend sizing an SWG 2-3 time bigger than your pool. Like my swg is rated for 40k but my pool is 20k.

    Take pics of the pool and the equipment, upload them to photobucket, copy the IMG code to the right of the pic and paste it into your thread.

    You might have them show you how the valves work on the equipment pad, how to turn the pump on and off and how to operate things. But, we can help with that also.

    Have you read this a few times? Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    And here is the water chemistry for a saltwater pool, Pool School - Water Balance for SWGs
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    Re: Soon to be first time pool owner

    If you haven't already, it may be wise to include some language to protect yourself in the event that there is an issue with the pool. If it is covered and all of the equipment is not functioning, there is no way to ensure that everything is in good condition. Pools are wonderful features, but a damaged pool can be a pit!
    COMPLETED BUILD THREAD - 15'x29' rectangular offset shotcrete pool; 14,100 gal; 5'x7' raised spa with 400k btu fire feature; 7' spillover; 25' leuder stone raised bond wall w/waterfall; Pentair SWG; Pentair VS (pool); Pentair 3/4hp feature pump; 1hp spa blower; Pentair Cartridge filter; Pentair “Easy Touch 8” wireless; Dolphin Oasis Z5 robot; Solar Hydronics iSwim solar panels; Mansard Screen Enclosure; walnut travertine deck; 1 very happy kiddo.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Soon to be first time pool owner

    I gotta ask if that pool was uncovered and you had it inspected before getting locked in.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Soon to be first time pool owner

    Welcome!

    Test kit already ordered!
    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: Soon to be first time pool owner

    Yes, the pool was inspected and all the equipment is working. There's no warranty or anything though. Learned a bit more info. Pool was built in 1984 and had new gunite plaster in 2008. Heater was replaced 2 years ago, the pump and filter are of unknown age. I will take pictures of the plumbing on Friday when I walk through. How do I determine how long to run the pump every day?

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Soon to be first time pool owner

    We have a link for that!! LOL I swear I am going to get a t-shirt printed up with that on it!!

    Pool School - Determine Pump Run Time

    I have a set of links and such I like to share with new pool owners. Do you still have your printer and such hooked up? I know you are probable packing and such so wanted to check before I sent this to you.

    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: Soon to be first time pool owner

    Awesome! Thanks! I don't at home but do at work!

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    Re: Soon to be first time pool owner

    I took some pictures at the walk through of the plumbing. It appears to me the water comes from the skimmers (there are two) up the two pipes from the ground on the left, join into a single pipe which goes to the pump, then goes to the filter, from where it can drain out the front for backwash, or go to the heater on the right, then through the SWG cell back down into the ground through the pipe between the heater and filter. Right? But why does it split before it goes into the ground with one pipe having a shutoff but not the other? And what is the capped pipe coming up there?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Soon to be first time pool owner

    Just a guess, but the shutoff on the return probably goes to a pressure side cleaner or a fountain.
    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: Soon to be first time pool owner

    Be advised that those ball valves only last a few years before they stick and the handles break off. Then they need to be cut out and new valves plumbed in. We recommend Jandy or Pentair never lube style valves, they last for many years and can be rebuilt in place.

    Here are some
    Jandy Never Lube 3-Port Valve 4717. Jandy 4717. Zodiac 4717.
    Pentair 3 Way PVC Valve 263028. Pentair 263028.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Soon to be first time pool owner

    Nice pics! No idea what they are sorry LOL Here is a bump

    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: Soon to be first time pool owner

    Ok, so I took ownership today officially. The pipes coming up to the pump are labeled "D" and "SK", so I assume that's the bottom drain and the two skimmers?

    Also did my first chem test. Results below:

    FC: 2.5
    CC: 0
    CH: 450
    TA: 150
    pH: 8.2
    Salt: 3060

    I couldn't really get a read on the CYA test. I filled the whole tube and still could see the black dot at the bottom. It was cloudy but visible. Does that mean I have no CYA?

    On a possibly related note, my pump doesn't have a timer on it, just an on/off switch. My realtor says it's supposed to run 24/7. That can't be right, can it?

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Soon to be first time pool owner

    Here is my "new pool owner" set up.............

    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.


    Look up post #7 and you will see where I linked to the pump run link. Pumps do NOT need to run 24/7. I do not have a timer (one day I will) so just turn it on when I get up in the morning and my husband turns it off when he gets home. It works for us.

    If you had any clouding at all for the CYA test I would say it was 20 for now and add CYA to shoot for 40. Use Pool Math (link in this post) to get how much to add. I would rather you shoot for too low as it is easy to add CYA but the only real way to lower it is to drain water.

    You need to bring your PH down to the recommended level. Look in the recommended chemicals to see how to do it. Again use pool math to know how much to add.

    Good job on the tests! What is fun?

    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Soon to be first time pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Stobes21 View Post
    Ok, so I took ownership today officially. The pipes coming up to the pump are labeled "D" and "SK", so I assume that's the bottom drain and the two skimmers?

    Also did my first chem test. Results below:

    FC: 2.5
    CC: 0
    CH: 450
    TA: 150
    pH: 8.2
    Salt: 3060

    I couldn't really get a read on the CYA test. I filled the whole tube and still could see the black dot at the bottom. It was cloudy but visible. Does that mean I have no CYA?

    On a possibly related note, my pump doesn't have a timer on it, just an on/off switch. My realtor says it's supposed to run 24/7. That can't be right, can it?
    You have a little bit of CYA.... maybe 10 ppm. Probably the only reason you have any FC at all is because the pump and SWG are running 24/7. If you cut the pump time down, the SWG will also run less, and you'll soon see zero FC.

    The pH is also tremendously high. It might actually be higher than 8.2, but that's as pink as the reagent gets. Break out a tape measure and verify the pool volume. Then let poolmath give you the acid dose to get from 8.2 to 7.4. Tip: down at the bottom it says Effects of Adding Chemicals. Plug that amount of acid in and see what it should do to the TA. Check the pH and TA the next day and see if you overshot or undershot. It will help you calculate the exact pool volume.

    You also need to add some CYA. Work up to your target, because you don't know for sure how big the pool is nor exactly how much residual you have. Maybe shoot for 40 and give it a couple days to dissolve and mix and then retest it and go from there.

    We'll discuss timer options once you get comfortable with the chemistry and how everything works. Don't get overwhelmed. Once you start doing, the chemistry starts to make sense and gets really easy.
    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: Soon to be first time pool owner

    So a full gallon of muriatic acid brought my pH down to 7.2. My FC is also up to 4.5, I assume my SWG is working better because of the adjustment? I'll measure TA later today and confirm, pool math says it should go down by 17, which would put me at about 130. I'm using 30k gallons for calculations and at least for pH that was spot on. So perhaps that's a better estimate of my volume. I picked up a 4lb jug of CYA without calculating how much I need. When I ran the numbers it looks like I'll need at least 2 more. So that went in yesterday afternoon and I'll get more tonight.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Soon to be first time pool owner

    Looking good. Did you add the CYA in a sock as shown here? Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    Update your signature so we can better help you, more here, Pool School - Read This Before You Post
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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