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Thread: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

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    Smartjack's Avatar
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    New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Hello All,

    This is a great forum, with tons of information. I just wish I would have found it a few weeks ago. Here is where I am at now, in the process of a drain. But, I'm looking for advice on what to do after the drain.

    Here is the story: Lasr season, my pump broke near the end of the year. Spent a few weeks trying to repair, before I just put on a new one. But, the pool suffered as it was fall, and tons of leaves were in at the time of closing now. So those leaves sat all winter (I'm in Chicago area), and the algae was the worst I have ever seen when I had the pool company open.

    So, they put in 8 gallons of liquid chlorine at open. When it did nothing at all for the first 3 days, my wife made me add more. Went to the company who installed and opened for me, and they suggested another 12 gallons. I have a 27,000 gallon pool. After another week, no movement. Called them, and they said I may have "chlorine block" and to bring in a water sample. So, I took in a water sample. They told me FC was at 15, Total Chlorine at 15, Alkalinity at only 66, PH at only 6.9, and CYA at 160. They sold me 50 pounds of BioGuard 100 pak, and told me that would get my Alkalinity and PH right, then I should dump in 12 more gallons of liquid Chorine. I spent 3 days putting in that 50 pounds. Checked with a test strip, and PH was still showing low, FC was off the chart of the strip, and the strip showed CYA at over 200.

    So, I found this forum, ordered a Taylor pool test kit instead of the strips, and decided to have the water tested again, since I wasn't sure the strips would right with the levels so whacky. Since my pool shop I was going to is a hour drive, I decided to take the water to a local Leslie's for the check. They said they couldn't even read my CYA, because the FC was so high. They said the CYA test should have turned red, and it went yellow because the FC was off the charts. She then put 2/3 drinking water in with 1/3 my pool water, and even that gave a FC reading off her color chart.

    So, with my FC apparently nuts, and a CYA that is nuts, I started a drain. But, I have never done that either, and worried I won't do it right. How much water can I drain at once? I have an in-ground pool that has 3 foot steel walls, then some sort of base (I forget what material) and a liner. I have a flat 3 foot shallow end, then sloping down to 8-feet. To drain, I plugged up all my inlets except one, and hooked a hose up to that. Then have my pump running to drain. Do I drain about 2 feet out safely, and make sure I keep water in the shallow end?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Hello and welcome to TFP! How much one can drain depends on your local water table, type of pool, etc. When in doubt, you might hear "drain to the lowest step". Based on everything you are saying, it sounds like a significant drain may be warranted, but how much water to exchange is unknown. You ordered a Taylor kit correct? Are you waiting for it to arrive before you can post results? That would be our biggest help, even if the CYA is high. Forget the strips or wasting your time at the pool store. The CYA test is perhaps one they are most often wrong performing. Give us some numbers with your kit, THEN you'll know for sure how much water to exchange. I would hate to see you go through too much effort placing your trust on their test results. Hang in there. We'll help.
    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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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Hello,

    Yes, I ordered a Taylor K-2006 kit, but it probably won't be here until the end of the week. The first numbers I posted was from the pool place that installed my pool. They sell Bioguard chemicals, and did the water test on a machine with some sort of disk system, that generated a electronic report. That was the one that reported a CYA of 151. But, that was before they had me add 50 pounds of Bioguard Balance Pak 100 to raise my alkalinity. Since then, my strips are saying a CYA of 200, and Leslie's said they could not measure it with their drop test, because my FC was so high, they couldn't get a reading.

    For the 8 years I've owned this pool, I've only used the strips to measure. I've never used a kit like the K-2006, so I don't know if I would be able to get a reading if Leslie's couldn't. Been draining the pool for about 2 hours now. It's only down about 3 inches.

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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Oddly enough, we trust the numbers you will get with your K-2006 more than any pool $tore, ever. You could take you water to three different pool $tores and get three different answers. In the end, nobody cares about your pool and water, more than you. Well, maybe us.
    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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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    The Bioguard electronic test gave these results:
    CYA - 151
    Tot Cl - 15
    FC - 15
    PH - 6.9
    Tot Alkalinity - 66
    Hardness - 130
    Borates - 42

    Since adding the 50 lbs of Balance Pak my strips are saying:

    FC - Over 10 (most it goes)
    PH - About 7.2 (hard to tell on strips)
    Tot Alkalinity - about 100
    CYA - Color indicates around 200

    By the time my kit comes, I will have exchanged some water from this drain. Not sure how far I will go. I don't understand how I will be able to get a better reading using this kit for the very first time, than someone at a pool store who does this all the time. Leslie's did not try to sell be chemicals to fix this. They suggested a drain.

    One other question....What will adding fresh water do to my Alk and PH levels? I know it will help lower the CYA and FC. But, will I need to work on the Alk and PH again. No more pools store chemicals for PH now. I've read on this site about Baking Soda and Borax for that now. I just hope all that money spent getting that back up won't be lost by replacing water.

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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Simply because they do it all the time, doesn't mean they are doing it right. You will have many people hee to back you and answer any questions about testing. A simple example would be the FC test. Did they put the proper amount of reagent in? Did they then add the drops one by one, carefully letting each one form fully and drop on it's own? Did they hold the dropper straight up and down? Did they wipe the end off after each drop? All of these things, and more, can have an effect on the value. When you do your own testing you will know that it's been done correctly and consistently.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Electronic tests are almost worse, they should be calibrated and cleaned often. How much you want to bet that the kid behind the counter doesn't even know how.
    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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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by pabeader View Post
    A simple example would be the FC test. Did they put the proper amount of reagent in? Did they then add the drops one by one, carefully letting each one form fully and drop on it's own? Did they hold the dropper straight up and down? Did they wipe the end off after each drop? All of these things, and more, can have an effect on the value. When you do your own testing you will know that it's been done correctly.
    But, this is my point. I don't know how to hold the dropper, if I should or shouldn't wipe the end, how to hold it straight, etc.

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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    That's what we're here for. We got your back, every step of the way.
    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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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    I understand your reasoning for thinking that a pool store would be good at testing, but history has proven that to not be true. You are dealing with part-time seasonal employees who really have no reason to take the time to get things as accurate as possible. They are salespeople, even if they truly want to help you get things right they were hired to make sure you spend as much as they can get you to. As for the computer testing, it tends to be worse as pabeader mentioned due to lack of calibrating. Maybe they are doing a good job, maybe they aren't, the only way to find out is to test it yourself. For you, this is a situation that needs fixing and you are going to put your all in to fixing it. For them, you are customer #23 of the day and they are just ready for their shift to end.

    Remember, I expect my order at the drive-thru to be correct too, but I know I had better check it myself before I leave.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    i guess I'll know more when my kit gets here, and I'll post the numbers I get.

    it looks like I'm only going to get about a foot pumped out today. Should I turn everything off at the end of the day, and not do anything to the pool until the kit gets here? I don't want to let the pump run overnight, when I can't monitor things.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Jack you are VERY smart to have found TFP and ordering a good test kit..

    Now sit back and do so reading and watching.

    Pool School - Pool School

    How to Use a Taylor Complete FAS-DPD Pool Water Test Kit K-2006 - YouTube

    Let me tell you are tale of 3 pool stores and one water sample......Each pool store did their test and each said different things were wrong with my water. The costs ranged from $50 to $150 to fix my water that I told them was clear.

    See I had just tested my water with my test kit and it was right where it should be using TFP charts and it looked and felt great!

    We can and will teach you how to do each test and "tricks" to make them easier. When your test kit gets there let us know and we can/will walk you through each test.

    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

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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Update:

    Drained just short of 3 feet of water. Only had a few inches in the shallow end. Started to put water back in. Then, realized I didn't take enough out, so I'm draining again.

    But, a question on draining. Should I remove the cartridges from my filter????? They are getting very clogged with all the algae in the pool. And, I'm thinking I'm just pumping out water, why filter it? Will removing a cartridge or two from the filter tank, and allowing a the algae and debris in the water flow through the items beyond the filter (heater, chloninator, etc) be a bad thing?

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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    When the filters get clogged and pressure increases over 25%, that's our sign to clean them. But you're in a special situation trying to replace water to lower CYA. Since we don't see all of your equipment in your signature yet, it would help if you could explain how you are pumping the water. Separate submersible pump, or does your plumbing have a separate waste valve attached for convenience? Or do you have the standard small water spigot at the bottom of your filter housing? If you are able to drain water (first) before attempting to adjust chemicals or treat the water, I would say sure - do whatever you need to efficiently to reduce the water level so you can do an good water exchange. Filters in or out don't matter until you begin the actual SLAM. My biggest concern is to not drain too much at one time to avoid damage to the pool, structure, or floating if it's an in-ground pool. Get the CYA under control first, then you'll be able to manage the rest very well. And don't' forget ... please update your signature with all of your pool info.

    - - - Updated - - -

    For your heater ... does it have a by-pass? Some do so you can stop flow into it for a while. Just a thought.
    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: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    I'll work on getting all my equipment into my signature. I'll get all the right model numbers, or names, in the morning when I have some light.

    My plumbing does not have a waste valve. I am currently pumping water by using my pool cleaner pump. After my main pump, I have a separate pump that runs my Hayward Phantom cleaner. That goes to my pool with 1.5 inch PVC. At the pool, I unscrewed the adapter for the pool cleaner, and screwed in a threaded 1.5 inch PVC coupler that coupled down to a 3/4 inch garden hose connector. Then, I ran that hose to a street drain to keep the water out of the yard.

    I am VERY worried if there is a point where I could damage the pool if I take out too much water. That is why I stopped before I had a dry shallow section. I have a Foxx pool, that is in-ground. From the ground surface, their are 3 foot steel wall forming the pool. Then, there is some sort of a silt looking substance that shaped the deep end, an the entire pool is a liner. It is not concrete or fiberglass that can raise up. The steel walls are connected to the concrete deck that surrounds the pool, so I doubt those could cave in, but I don't know.

    My CYA was about 250 when I started. After draining down the 3 feet, and filling up to the skimmers, I checked the CYA again. It was about 125. So the drain made a difference, but I obviously needed to take out more water. So, I started the drain again, and was going to let the shallow end go dry, and get even more water out.

    This is a page that shows my type of pool construction. This is the brand I have.

    http://www.foxpool.com/pool-structure.html

    Should I not do this? Could this damage my style of pool?
    Last edited by Smartjack; 05-03-2016 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Add pool link

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    I would not let the shallow end go dry. You do not want to mess up the liner. That does mean you might have to do a couple of drains but worth it in the end.

    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: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    +1 - don't go lower than 1-foot in the shallow end, please
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Thanks.

    So, let me ask this now, so people have time to answer before I hit the next stage......

    The remaining water still has high algae, and I'll be adding fresh water to that. I'm assuming that when I refill, my TA and PH will be low. Do I shock as soon as I fill, while the algae is fairly low, before doing this balance? Or, do I let the algae continue to grow while I balance TA and PH, then do my shock? Or, can I shock the remaining water before I fill, so I have less water in there now?

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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Once you refill, circulate water and run new tests to see where you're at. Adjust pH first to the low 7s and confirm CYA so you can adjust FC to match that CYA and then you SLAM.
    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: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Pool re-fill under way, and Aquabot cleaning at the same time. Making use of the time.

    Taylor K-2006 due today. Tomorrow we get moving on this opening.

    IMG_1205.jpg

    IMG_1209.jpg
    Bruce - (The SmartJack was an invention of mine, and became my nickname)
    Fox Pool 40x27 IG Vinyl, Lagoon Shape, 27,000 gallons, Hayward 300,000 BTU heater
    Hayward 1.5 HP, 2-Speed SuperPump, with Hayward C4025 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris C-310 ORP Controller, modified to pump Liquid Chlorine
    Hayward Phantom, and Aquabot Turbo T-Jet automatic pool cleaners, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: New User - Doing first drain - What do I need to know?

    Owls and dogs. Ain't no ducks getting into that 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!

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