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Thread: Brand new pool owners

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    Brand new pool owners

    Hi all,

    We've owned this pool for 5 days shy of 2 months. We bought the house and the pool came with it. I have no idea how old it is but certainly longer than a year. I would say around 7-10 years old. We've been struggling with algae and general ignorance I'm sure. Then we found your website. Our test kit came today. Up until now we have been using powered chlorine shock and 3 inch chlorine pucks from Leslie's. We have not used bleach yet.

    Here are our numbers.

    FC- 12
    pH-7.8
    TA - 250
    CH - 125
    CYA - 95

    The big problem I see is the CYA. We are on city water and we are paying for it. I've been backwashing and replacing quite a bit this week anyway because of the algae. I know I replaced around 2000 gallons yesterday alone. God knows what it was before that.

    Is there anything I'm missing? How would you start transitioning to Bleach?
    23,600 gallons, IG, Vinyl, Direct Sun, Hayward SwimClear Multielement DE Filter, Pump, TF-100,

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    WElcome to TFP!!!

    There is no transition, you just start using bleach daily.

    Your CYA is certainly too high, and that is a result of using all the pucks and possibly the powder which add chlorine and the stabilizer. The chlorine is consumed and the stabilizer builds up. The required FC level is a function of the CYA level according to the FC/CYA Chart. Right now your FC is adequate for your high CYA.

    One note, when the FC > 10ppm, the pH test will read artificially high.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    Hello and welcome to TFP! You're correct, that CYA makes management a bit difficult. I would do a partial drain if I were in your shoes (actually I was before TFP). At least get the CYA down to around 50-70 so you can perform the SLAM adequately without requiring an astronomical amount of bleach. That would be step 1. The SLAM and everything else will go fine after that. After that, feed your pool Bravo bleach from HEB or Great Value from Wal-Mart - the regular/plain stuff. CYA will never increase again unless YOU want it to. 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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    More than chemicals, we also are still learning all aspects of pool ownership. Please forgive the probably simple questions. We haven't wanted to lower the water level below the skimmer level. Can we do that as long as we don't run the pump until it's back to skimmer level? Do we drain with a hose? Can I drain it into the street or do cities not like that? The last thing we want to do is damage the pump.
    23,600 gallons, IG, Vinyl, Direct Sun, Hayward SwimClear Multielement DE Filter, Pump, TF-100,

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    You need to check with your city/county to find out where you are allowed to drain the pool water.

    Can you isolate the suction to just the floor? Do you have a Waste function on your filter valve? If yes to both, you should be able to pump water out of your pool using your pump. If not, then you might need to rent/buy a submersible pump.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    If you only have a skimmer, then you have to stop draining before the pump runs dry. Then you have to siphon or perhaps rent a submersible pump to keep going. If you have a main drain, you can pull water to the pump from there. If you have a backwash hose from your filter, you can let the water go into your yard or down a slope. Which ever works for your area. Feel free to ask all the questions you need to.
    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!

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    I have a multivalve on my pump with a waste feature but I don't know if I can isolate it to the floor drain. I know this is a treasure trove of info. Do you think there is an article about that around here?
    23,600 gallons, IG, Vinyl, Direct Sun, Hayward SwimClear Multielement DE Filter, Pump, TF-100,

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    The multiport valve on your filter doesn't determine where the water comes from (skimmer or drain). That would be a 3-way valve before the pump if you have one. Do you even have a main drain at the bottom of the 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!

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    Yes, there is a main drain at the bottom.
    23,600 gallons, IG, Vinyl, Direct Sun, Hayward SwimClear Multielement DE Filter, Pump, TF-100,

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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    Sorry, late to the party. Good advice above
    15,000 gallon free form Viking fiberglass pool. Hayward Star-Clear Plus C12002 cartridge filter. Hayward Swim Pure Plus T-15 SWG. Testing with TF-100 Kit. 2 speed 1.5HP Supreme pump. Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    Then you might see a 3-way valve/handle before the pump to adjust water "pull" from either the skimmer or drain. OR. ... in the skimmer there may be a UFO-looking diverter flap. If you have neither of those, then your drain and skimmer are simply plumbed together underground with no way to adjust flow from either.
    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!

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Question about draining

    Merged by moderator. Please keep related questions together. Easier to help you. Thanks, jblizzle

    I need to drain due to high CYA. I was researching to see if there were any city ordnance issues about draining to the street. While I was looking. I found this:

    "Caution, vinyl inground swimming pools are the most dangerous to drain and should only be attempted by swimming pool professionals. If you have an older in-ground pool with a vinyl liner, it may not have the structural integrity to withstand not having water in it to keep it upright. If you drain it, the walls could collapse because these type of in ground pools are backfilled with dirt as the water levels rise - this helps equalize the pressure as the pool is filled. Modern in ground vinyl liner pools are now designed to hold the weight of the dirt without water in the pool. When the water is drained, the liner will float away from the wall. If ground water seeped in and under your pool liner, that will also cause the liner to float and wrinkle."

    Is there any truth to this or is it just your basic DIYer caution. Pool Math says I need to replace 58% of the water, FYI.
    23,600 gallons, IG, Vinyl, Direct Sun, Hayward SwimClear Multielement DE Filter, Pump, TF-100,

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    I missed the vinyl part. You should most certainly NOT complete drain it, or much over 50%. You should leave at least 1 foot of water in the shallow end.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    Glad I asked. Sorry about the starting a new thread.

    Is there any danger for the pump if the water drops below skimmer level while backwashing/pumping to waste? Keeping about a foot in the shallow should be enough to drain it 58%, I would hope. If not, can I refill, retest and drain again?
    23,600 gallons, IG, Vinyl, Direct Sun, Hayward SwimClear Multielement DE Filter, Pump, TF-100,

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    As long as the pump can still pull water from the main drain - it's okay. From our discussions, I couldn't tell if your main drain is always open (pulling water) or adjustable from a valve or something. Also be aware that the previous owners may have had that main drain closed if it leaked, so it may not even be open. If you're not sure, that's something you'll need to watch closely as the water drops to the bottom of the skimmer. If you see the pump running dry and lose its prime, shut it off immediately and add more water to the pool.

    - - - Updated - - -

    When in doubt ... play it safe and don't drain too low. Better to be safe for the integrity of your pool and liner than anything. Eventually you'll get the CYA lower.
    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!

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    The danger depends on how your system is plumbed.

    If your floor drains route through your skimmer (there will be a UFO looking diverter plate in the bottom of the skimmer under the skimmer basket, OR if the diverter is missing (mine was when I moved into this house) there will usually be two pipes - one sucking and the other sitting idle) you need a working diverter plate to keep draining. The plate is designed to seal the skimmer itself when the water gets too low so that all suction can be pulled from the floor drain(s).

    If your floor drains route straight to your pump, you'll want to adjust your valves to turn off the skimmer (and possibly the vac port) completely and pull all water from the floor drains.

    If you're flat out confused about what you do and don't have, and if you've done everything right, just be standing right there at the pump when the water level drops below the skimmer. If the pump starts pulling air or loses prime, you can just shut it off and avoid damage. The issue is not letting the pump run while dry.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    OK, how do I tell if the pump is dry?
    23,600 gallons, IG, Vinyl, Direct Sun, Hayward SwimClear Multielement DE Filter, Pump, TF-100,

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    The pump strainer basket in front of the pump, with the clear lid, would lose all of its water. That basket would go empty. Make sense?
    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!

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    Well, the pump will not keep pumping once the water is below the skimmer if you can not isolate the floor drain. And if it is starved of water for too long it can be damaged.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Brand new pool owners

    The entire tone of the pump changes. As mentioned the clear lid on the pump's strainer basket will show air bubbles and then air instead of water (but I know some of us don't have lids that are easy to see through), but the sound the pump makes will usually change pitch and overall volume as it loses prime.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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