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Thread: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

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    First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    We moved into our house towards the end of last summer. It's the first house we've had with a pool, and because of that neither me nor my wife had much knowledge of how to properly manage it. Like the previous owners, I relied on Leslies' (/boo /hiss) for water testing, chemicals, and some advice while I tried to figure out the pool and the best way to care for it. I didn't let them talk me into anything crazy, it was just your typical stuff (tri-chlor pucks and a shock powder every week or two). We didn't have issues with algae or anything, but I knew it wasn't the best way to go about things. The CYA and CH levels were high getting higher, and I knew the method of care was causing it. Since it was towards the end of the season I figured I'd wait until the next summer to get after it and do things a better way.

    Since we're in Texas I didn't close the pool, but I didn't do a whole lot of water testing either. I ran the pump around 5-6 hours a day, cleaned skimmers, brushed, and added a jug of bleach every week or two (probably not the best of idea without actual testing). There were a couple of times I let a decent amount of water out due to rain and just trying to drain it some because I knew I had high CYA numbers, etc.

    Since it's spring now it's time to do things right. I ordered my TF100 test kit last week and have done two tests since then. The results are listed below:

    Date pH FC CC TC CH TA CYA Clarity
    4/14/16 8.2 12.5 0.5 13 700 150 100 clear
    4/20/16 8.2 6.5 0.5 7 550 120 95 clear

    The first test on 4/14, I was immediately concerned with my pH levels. I didn't adjust them because I read that at high chlorine levels it can cause the pH test to be inaccurate. So my main focus was on getting the CYA and CH levels lower. I drained a good bit of water, probably 2-3 feet this past week and refilled with the tap water from the hose (city water) and a good bit of rain water. Obviously, I didn't drain nearly enough because they're both still quite high. Last week I used the method printed on the card for testing CYA and it was hard to see an accurate result. After a bit more reading this week used the diluted method for high CYA levels and I'm a bit more confident in it's accuracy. I added more of the solution until the dot had completely disappeared and all I could see was cloudy water with no outline of the dot.

    Going foward, I'm thinking that my main focus should be more draining to lower the CH and CYA. Is that correct or should I lower my pH with muratic acid, then adjust my FC so it corresponds with the FC/CYA chart, and finally drain and refill to lower CH and CYA? Since I'm in Texas, would a CYA level around 50 be okay? Also, I know at some point this year I'll have to clean out the cartridge filters, but so far the gauge is staying under 10 psig. I haven't had to clean them yet, the previous owners said they cleaned them at the start of last summer.

    I'll try to post a picture or two tomorrow afternoon to show the pool, water clarity, etc. I appreciate all the help and advice. Thanks.
    DFW, Texas, 24,337 gallons, IG, plaster, 1.5 HP Jandy (90 GPM), Jandy cartridge filter (580 sq. ft), Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, built 2012, TF100 test kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    Hi Matt and welcome to TFP! If you can swing it, definitely do more water exchange. Your CYA doesn't have to be as low as 50, but at least to 70 or below. In the summer, I typically keep mine at 60-70 anyways because of the brutal sun we get. But you have the right idea and it's great you have the TF-100. Do that first so you don't waste chemicals. After the water exchange, get some acid in there ASAP to avoid scaling or anything else. Then do a full battery of tests and see where you stand based on the TFP recommended levels. Hope that helps. Have a great day.
    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 pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    You are on the right track. Definitely lower PH to 7.6 or so. One more drain and refill to get CYA down to 70-80 will be enough. I keep my CYA there and CH is manageable. Just be sure to monitor your CSI in Poolmath and keep your number slightly negative, -0.1 to -0.3. Our water here tends to scale with high TA and PH and enough CH to push it over the edge. You'll probably want your TA in the 60-70 range and PH in the 7.7 to 7.8 range.
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    Thanks for the replies. I started draining more water this morning. I'm guessing that it will take me the entire day and a good portion of the night to drain around 30% of the water. I'm using a water hose connected to the spigot on the pump, so it's a pretty slow process.

    Here are a couple of pictures that I took this morning, the lighting isn't the best though.

    DFW, Texas, 24,337 gallons, IG, plaster, 1.5 HP Jandy (90 GPM), Jandy cartridge filter (580 sq. ft), Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, built 2012, TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    Nice pool! Bring the !!!
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    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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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    The water level is slightly above the return jets, there's not any damage that I can do to them if the water is drained below the returns, is there? I have the pump only pulling from main drains, not skimmers BTW. Also, there is one return nozzle that is pointed so far to the side that water is being shot in two directions (the direction the nozzle is facing and the opposite direction out of the side of the nozzle). Is there a way to adjust the the direction they face?

    DFW, Texas, 24,337 gallons, IG, plaster, 1.5 HP Jandy (90 GPM), Jandy cartridge filter (580 sq. ft), Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, built 2012, TF100 test kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    Draining to the returns should be fine. If your nozzles are what we call "eyeball fitting", you should be able to move them. Sometimes they are a bit tight. You may need to use a good-sized screwdriver or something to insert into the eyeball so help "persuade" it to move for you.
    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: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    Update: I finished draining and refilling last night. I checked the pH after I was done and it was still a bit high around 7.8. So I added some muriatic acid. I tried to guesstimate how much I needed by using pool math, I don't think I added quite enough but it did bring it down a bit. Ran a full water test this morning and I'm pretty pleased with the results.

    Date pH FC CC TC CH TA CYA Clarity
    4/14/16 8.2 12.5 0.5 13 700 150 100 clear
    4/20/16 8.2 6.5 0.5 7 550 120 95 clear
    4/23/16 7.5 1.5 0 1.5 380 100 65 clear

    So it looks like I just need to add about two containers of bleach to bring my FC up to around 8. This time I did the CYA test outside in the sunlight. I had trouble seeing the dot a little past the 70 CYA mark, but there still was a faint outline. Right before the level got to the 60 mark it had completely disappeared. I'm guessing that the actual level is probably a little closer to 60 than 70, but to be safe I'm using the FC targets for a reading of 70.

    Do I need to continue lowering my pH and then aerate to bring the TA down even more or is that level manageable? Pool Math has my CSI at -0.07.

    One thing that I did note is with the CH test the R-0012 reagent bottle will leak half drops at times in between the typical normal drops. It makes it difficult to count how many drops are actually added, so it makes me slightly worry about the accuracy of that test.

    Also, Are there any other recommendations that y'all have? I appreciate the responses and all of the help. This is a great website.
    DFW, Texas, 24,337 gallons, IG, plaster, 1.5 HP Jandy (90 GPM), Jandy cartridge filter (580 sq. ft), Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, built 2012, TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    Your TA will continue to drop on its own as you add acid to lower PH until PH and TA reach equilibrium. Adjust PH to get your CSI up to -0.3ish.
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    I do that by lowering the pH? I already went ahead and added more chlorine to bring my FC up. I'm guessing I should wait a couple of hours before adding acid to lower the pH, right?
    DFW, Texas, 24,337 gallons, IG, plaster, 1.5 HP Jandy (90 GPM), Jandy cartridge filter (580 sq. ft), Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, built 2012, TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    You only need to wait about 15 mins (with pump on) to add your chlorine. I do make sure to run the brush around the pool to make sure the MA is mixed in good in that 15 mins.

    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: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    For those of y'all that keep your CYA at a higher level, like around 60-70, what daily test do you use for chlorine? Asking because the small chlorine/pH test Taylor test kit that comes with the TF-100 only tests up to 5 ppm.
    DFW, Texas, 24,337 gallons, IG, plaster, 1.5 HP Jandy (90 GPM), Jandy cartridge filter (580 sq. ft), Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, built 2012, TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    I always use the powder test not matter where my CYA is. It like how precise it is.

    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 pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    The TF100 also includes an FAS-DPD chlorine test that tests up to 50 ppm.
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    Yeah, I was using the FAS-DPD tests for my weekly tests, I didn't know if that is what most people used daily as well. I guess I should have bought the XL version of the test kit.
    DFW, Texas, 24,337 gallons, IG, plaster, 1.5 HP Jandy (90 GPM), Jandy cartridge filter (580 sq. ft), Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, built 2012, TF100 test kit

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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    I think I've only used the no-powder test once or twice since 2013. Always FAS-DPD to have the exact reading to record for me.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: First Full Summer in New House w/ Pool

    I use OTO or DPD test for daily or every other day. I use FAS/DPD weekly-ish, mostly to calibrate my eyes to read 8-9ish on my OTO and/or DPD test.
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