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Thread: First Time Pool Owner, Tell Me What to Do

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    First Time Pool Owner, Tell Me What to Do

    Just bought a new-to-us house with a pool -- my first experience owning one. 34K vinyl AG (28' round), Hayward sand filter, Hayward Matrix 1.5HP pump, 20 yrs old, TF-100 Kit, city water. TFP forum has given me confidence I can maintain it myself.

    Numbers first, then story, then questions:

    CYA: 33
    TA: 50-60
    FC: 0
    CH: 50ppm
    PH: 7.2

    Story:

    Paid a guy to help me open it at the end of last week. He basically just took off the cover and helped hook up the hoses (didn't put any chems in). Water level was way low. When we bought the place there was tons of standing water and dirt/leaves on top of the cover. I knew the water needed to be pumped off the top, but I didn't have a pump. My 12 year old son had the idea to siphon the water off the top with a short hose piece I had (to use with a dehumidifier). Worked slick and we siphoned tons of water off over about 24 hours. Pool guy, who got there post-siphoning, was super-surprised at how low the water was after the cover was removed. He thinks there's a leak in the cover and we were siphoning pool water along with what was on top. Refilling it took about 24 hours with a garden hose, from city water, to get it back up to mid-skimmer.

    Under the cover the water was pretty clear and clean (just some leaves). But, the cover was dirty and some dirt & leaves spilled in the pool as we were taking it off. So, lots of dirt still in the pool. Haven't gotten the robot working yet, either, so I'm trying to manually vacuum it out. I'm missing a skimmer plate cover, though, I'm i'm hooking into the skimmer through a leaf-catching, which is clogging repeatedly and not suctioning all that well. So, yeah, I have vacuum issues. Skimmer plate is arriving tomorrow from amazon. I realized today I should have been running the pump/filter nonstop until things clear up. I've got a power issue, too -- GFCI outlet at the pump has no power so I'm using an extension cord with a GFCI at the deck. Not a long-term solution but will work until I get the pool cleared up an that outlet reconnected.

    Questions:

    Should I start Chlorine shock now or should I get all the dirt out first? Should I raise PH first before I start dumping chlorine?

    CYA and TA are on the low end, but both within range -- I presume that's A-OK, just test again after I do the FC and PH?

    Thanks TFP!!!
    18.5K AG (28' round), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward Matrix 1.5HP pump, city water, TF-100, 20yr old pool. First-time pool owner.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner, Tell Me What to Do

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Leave the TA and pH for now and start the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process and continue to try to remove any debris.

    Note we recommend backwashing when the pressure in the filter rises 20-25% over the clean pressure.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner, Tell Me What to Do

    Nobody recommends using an extension cord with a pump motor. NOBODY. If your'e going to insist, it better be one heavy duty cord. You've been warned!

    Read the SLAM article in Pool School a couple of times and understand the process. Welcome.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner, Tell Me What to Do

    Hoping to have electrical fixed tomorrow. I know it's not ideal.

    Ok, so I can start shooting for Shock levels first, before it's fully clean? Time for bleach tomorrow, then.....
    18.5K AG (28' round), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward Matrix 1.5HP pump, city water, TF-100, 20yr old pool. First-time pool owner.

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner, Tell Me What to Do

    Should I start Chlorine shock now or should I get all the dirt out first? Should I raise PH first before I start dumping chlorine?
    Do them at the same time. SLAM is nothing more than killing the existing organics in your pool and then getting the remainder of dirt and debris out of your pool.

    If it were my pool, I would leave pH alone (it tends to rise on it's own) and monitor it. Put in enough chlorine to get FC to around 12 ppm.

    Now, test FC often and add enough FC (use the calculator to get back to 12 ppm. You must maintain that FC at 12 ppm until your SLAM is complete. It may take a few days. Your SLAM is completed when

    1. Your pool water is sparkling and there is no visible algae (dead or alive)

    2. Your CC's are .5ppm or less

    3. You can hold your FC overnight without losing more than 1ppm.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner, Tell Me What to Do

    Ok great. Started SLAMing this afternoon. Got the vacuum working right, too, so dirt is coming out much better. Power situation sucks -- looks like I'm going to have to run a new conduit out to the pump since the receptacle there is dead (but there's power in the garage where the line heads underground).

    Also, I suck at math. Thought my pool was 34K gallons, when it's actually 18.5. Turns out 28' diameter is different than a 14' radius. Being good at math doesn't mean you won't make dumb mistakes.

    So, due to this bad math, I put twice as much bleach in as I needed to and my FC is now 25 instead of the 12 I was aiming for. CC is 1. Readings taken 1 hr. after shocking. The good ol' sun will take care of it this week.....
    18.5K AG (28' round), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward Matrix 1.5HP pump, city water, TF-100, 20yr old pool. First-time pool owner.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner, Tell Me What to Do

    Small math error. Happens to all of 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
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner, Tell Me What to Do

    SLAM Update:

    So, I'm a lazy SLAMmer, but it's working. I now have a TA question below.

    After putting in twice the chlorine I needed to (and having 28 FC, 1 CC), I haven't been checking every single day (I know, I'm a bad SLAMmer).

    But, I've checked every few days and made sure the FC level is up at shock levels. The pool water is now totally clear. I've been able to get the vacuum working well and gotten most of the dirt/leaves/sticks out of the pool.

    CC has remained at or below 1 over the past week (usually below .5). Water is clear. I'm now going to do the OCLT to verify that I can stop slamming.

    Question about TA, now. This chart says a vinyl pool using bleach has a target TA of 50-90: Pool School - Recommended Levels

    But, my TF-100 Kit says it should be over 100.

    My TA was 70 for the first week, I added about 100oz of baking soda and its now up to 80. But, should I boost it up to 100 or let it stay at 80? My PH has been consistently low, around 7.2, but I haven't used borax yet since I was letting the chlorine and cleaning get figured out first. Also, if I dump 100-200oz more baking soda in I want to see that does to the PH before I add borax.
    18.5K AG (28' round), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward Matrix 1.5HP pump, city water, TF-100, 20yr old pool. First-time pool owner.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner, Tell Me What to Do

    Hmm. Maybe the TF-100 instructions need to be updated! Go with the recommendations in Pool School for TA. I would not raise your TA any higher. Higher TA means faster pH rise over time.

    Keep in mind, the pH test is not valid at FC levels above 10. Don't make any pH adjustments until you can retest the pH when FC levels are lower.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner, Tell Me What to Do

    Ok, good to know about the TA and pH levels. Hopefully I pass the OCLT tonight and can let the CL level drift back down. Once it's below 10 I'll do a proper pH adjustment.
    18.5K AG (28' round), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward Matrix 1.5HP pump, city water, TF-100, 20yr old pool. First-time pool owner.

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