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Thread: I thought I was doing so well...

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    I thought I was doing so well...

    A few years ago when my wife and I were house hunting I had two requirements: the first was that it had a garage or shop where I could putter around, the second was that it did not have a pool.

    So... I've been doing okay with the pool for the past couple of years, or at least I thought I was. I've been making occasional trips to the local pool store ("water looks great!" they always say), and mostly caring for the pool with the fancy Complete all-in-one chlorine tabs, weekly liberal doses of powdered shock from the local big box store, and an occasional dose of muriatic acid. I've been personally testing only for chlorine, pH, and TA using the kit recommended by the pool store.

    Over the past couple of months the chlorine has read higher and higher, even though I have not added any (aside from that granulated shock about once a week) because it was showing high anyway, and the pool has taken on a teal hue. Occasionally I get a little green on the walls and steps, but the little pool robot mostly takes care of that (he more or less lives in the pool 24x7). I've finally given up, and decided that I have to take it more seriously, and I've done a bunch of reading and understand some of it. For example, this CYA thing that was a total mystery until a few days ago, but now I kind of get it. As such, my Taylor K-2006 showed up a couple of days ago, and I ran some tests...

    FC HIGH (I think I gave up at 80 drop of R-0871)
    CC no idea, never could get FC test clear
    pH 7.4
    TA 100
    CYA HIGH (about 3/4 of the way to 100, so I'm guessing crazy high)

    From everything I've read so far, the only way to reduce CYA is to drain a bunch of the pool, so I drained a little over half of it last night and refilled from the tap, which took about 12 hours. When the water reached the returns I turned the pump back on so the new could mix well with the old, and left it running all day while I was at work. About 14 hours after the pool was finished filling I pulled another test...

    FC 14.8
    CC 0? (didn't turn pink when adding R-0003)
    pH 7.6
    TA 120
    CH 250
    CYA 85

    Now, this seems to tell me that I need to just give up and completely empty the pool, because the CYA is still higher than it should be... or can it be managed at this level without having to flood my neighbor's yard again? I'm also concerned about pulling too much water out of the pool, as a neighbor two doors down accidentally floated theirs a few years ago.

    This seemed like the best place to ask for advice, so here I am... another pool noob asking for help.
    17K gal, IG plaster, Hayward ProSeries top-mount sand filter, 1.5HP Sta-Rite Duraglas Pump, Pentair Rainbow Chlorine Feeder, city water, "Armando" the Poolvergnuegen pool boy

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    Hello and welcome to TFP! Do NOT drain your pool! If your CYA is truly at about 85-90, yeah, that's high, but the good thing in your region is .... RAIN. With enough water exchange from Mother Nature and backwashing, you can reverse that trend this season. Make sure all tabs/pucks are gone. Use no more pool store backs-o-shock, use ONLY regular liquid bleach. As you do the water exchanges and your CYA comes down, watch your CH as well since you don't want that to go too low and cause problems with your plaster. You may need to increase CH in the future. Keep a close eye on the Chlorine/CYA Chart (link below) to ensure the FC and CYA match-up. That's KEY! You can do it!

    Nice to have you with us.

    - - - Updated - - -

    By the way ... I didn't want a pool at first (wife did), now I'm thrilled. That's my baby.
    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.
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    TFP Guide

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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    You can manage at 85 CYA there are many that have it much worse Your FC range would be 6.5 to 9.5 and your SLAM lever would be around 33. If you had a neighbor float their pool I wold not do a complete drain in winter spring months but might be OK is summer when water table is low. That being said another 1/4 drain should be safe and get your CYA down the 60ish range making it less expensive to SLAM.

    So next step is either keep it the way it is or do one more drain and once you are happy preform the OCLT test If it does not pass get some bleach and SLAM Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    Edit...
    Appears I type too slow
    Last edited by atttech-2; 04-15-2016 at 09:50 PM. Reason: Edit
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    Thanks for the advice, you guys are quick

    I'll be sure to keep an eye on the CH now that I have a way to do so... This pool was apparently put in around '74 or '75, and I'm fairly convinced that it's never been refinished. The plaster is already kind of a mess, we've been discussing getting it refinished but it's so. very. expensive.

    I was just reading about the SLAM procedure, that sounds like it's my next step towards a less green pool. We do get a lot of rain, and we seem to lose more water in the pool (slow leak somewhere, maybe the light fixture) during the rainy season (I've never figured that out, seems like we would lose more when it's dry). I like the idea of not flooding the yard again if I don't have to, so I'll stick with keeping an eye on it for now and seeing if it comes down more as we get rain and/or I have to add water.
    17K gal, IG plaster, Hayward ProSeries top-mount sand filter, 1.5HP Sta-Rite Duraglas Pump, Pentair Rainbow Chlorine Feeder, city water, "Armando" the Poolvergnuegen pool boy

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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    A good plan. Investigate the light issue as soon as you can as it may also be nasty with algae behind there.

    Welcome to the forum and great job reading and learning. You are way ahead of the game!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    You have already done some major work with your pool -------finding TFP and getting a test kit of your own! NICE WORK!

    Your SLAM will not be a long one as your water is not a swamp.

    You know what? I am going to give you the "first timers" list I made up. I bet you will find it helpful to get a good handle on your pool. PLEASE make sure to ask any and all questions you might have!

    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.

    HUG! We got ya!

    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    Thanks for the links!

    I started a SLAM on Friday night, after discovering that the Wal-mart cashiers give you a side-eye when you show up with a cart full of bleach and nothing else. I bought 10 bottles of the Great Value brand (which show 7.86% on the bottle), guessing that would be enough to hold me over for a couple of days at least.

    I've been testing a couple of times a day and keeping the FC at about 33, after checking the Chlorine / CYA Chart (I'm guessing at halfway between the readings for CYA 80 and CYA 90, since my last reading was 85).

    Pool appears to be improving a bit, compared to the color of the neighbor's pool next door which is always nice looking. Still a bit "teal" I think, but starting to improve.

    I found that the chlorine tests are using up a lot of the R-0871, which is almost empty already. I went to the three local pool stores to see if anyone stocked it, and none of them appeared to have the replacement chemicals for the DPD test, they only stock for the non-DPD test kits. I've ordered a larger bottle that should be here Monday, but I'm going to more or less be flying blind until then.

    I appreciate the help so far
    17K gal, IG plaster, Hayward ProSeries top-mount sand filter, 1.5HP Sta-Rite Duraglas Pump, Pentair Rainbow Chlorine Feeder, city water, "Armando" the Poolvergnuegen pool boy

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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    You are doing great! Two things I would note:
    During the SLaM you can use the 10mL sample size for the Cl drop test. This will save on reagents.
    Please take and post pictures at least once a day. Look for a good spot like steps or a ladder. That way you can see the progress and we can spot anything that might need touching up.

    Other general notes. You only need to run the Cl and CC tests during the SLaM. The pH will read off due to the high Cl during a SLaM. CYA is usually rounded up to the next higher number. The scale isn't linear, what looks like 85 is actually more like 82 or 83. So we usually say round up and go with that. So in your case that would be 90.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    Now if you REALLY want a sideways look while checking out.......wear some old clothes with red blood paint on them! HEHE and say something along the lines of "just doing some clean up"

    Glad you are seeing an improvement!

    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

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    I realized that the 10mL test might have been a better idea, but not before I was close to being out of the reagent. I tried the third local pool place today, and they didn't stock it either (those were Leslie's, Pinch a Penny, and a locally-owned place). I think I have about enough for one more 10mL test, and plan on doing it tonight once the sun goes down. Either way, I have another bottle of the reagent coming in the mail tomorrow, I just didn't want to mess up the SLAM process while I was waiting on it. Good to know about the rounding up... I'll do that tonight.

    Here's a couple of photos, the first was taken before I started draining the pool.
    before.jpg
    ...and the second taken a little while ago from roughly the same spot.
    during.jpg
    definitely looking better, still not as pretty blue as my neighbor's pool, though it looks great in the photo

    I also found that one of the local Walmarts stocks their "liquid shock" that is a 10% chlorine, for less money than their 7.86% bleach... but I suspect I'll just be going with the Pinch-a-penny chlorine, overall that seems like it's a better price for what you're getting (though I understand you can't store it for very long).
    Attached Images Attached Images
    17K gal, IG plaster, Hayward ProSeries top-mount sand filter, 1.5HP Sta-Rite Duraglas Pump, Pentair Rainbow Chlorine Feeder, city water, "Armando" the Poolvergnuegen pool boy

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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    A caution about your CYA. The only way you will get it lower is if it rains enough where you actually have to drain excess (and quite a bit of it) out of your pool.

    If you didn't drain last summer (from excess rain), you probably won't this summer.

    If it was my pool, I would plan on draining 1/3 on purpose and refilling manually.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    The color change is great! Keep it up! IF you regents do not come in just add the same amount of FC as you did the same time of day today. That way you will not lose any ground.

    Now keep taking pics looking down at your steps. The pics will help you see the changes as they happen each day.

    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: I thought I was doing so well...

    I ended up adding roughly the same amount last night as I had the previous night, after the reagent showed up today I pulled a test after the sun had left the pool enclosure, reading FC 28.4, CC .4.

    I added the requisite amount of chlorine and tested again an hour or so later, reading FC 36.5. I'm guessing I should test first thing in the morning and see if I've lost FC overnight?

    20160418.jpg
    17K gal, IG plaster, Hayward ProSeries top-mount sand filter, 1.5HP Sta-Rite Duraglas Pump, Pentair Rainbow Chlorine Feeder, city water, "Armando" the Poolvergnuegen pool boy

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    Be sure to check your CC in the morning too. Good luck!

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)

    See if this helps.

    I do one about once a month just because it makes me feel good......I think it will show me if anything is brewing.

    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

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    First thing this morning... FC 34, CC .5

    So, keep SLAMing?
    17K gal, IG plaster, Hayward ProSeries top-mount sand filter, 1.5HP Sta-Rite Duraglas Pump, Pentair Rainbow Chlorine Feeder, city water, "Armando" the Poolvergnuegen pool boy

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    Yeah keep SLAMing please, we want the FC lose to be no more that 1 You are SO close! How does the water look today?

    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

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    About the same as yesterday, maybe a little more blue...

    20160419.JPG
    17K gal, IG plaster, Hayward ProSeries top-mount sand filter, 1.5HP Sta-Rite Duraglas Pump, Pentair Rainbow Chlorine Feeder, city water, "Armando" the Poolvergnuegen pool boy

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    With the two pics next to each other you can see a definite difference. You are doing great!
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: I thought I was doing so well...

    Bob, I agree! The today pic looks clearer and brighter than the other one!

    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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