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Thread: few more questions about opening, want to prepare properly

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    few more questions about opening, want to prepare properly

    Looks like we will open some time this week and I want to have everything as ready as possible, both physically (product-wise) and mentally. I think I'm down to only a few questions.

    1) CYA (possible loss of)... Last year when we opened, I remember the pool had no CYA left whatsoever. I think the previous year too. If that happens again this year, should I be worried? I don't think we lose an unnatural amount of water and I don't remember having to add much water thru last summer. In fact, I actually remember having to *drain* some water a few times due to extreme rain. That's the only thing that should cause me to lose CYA, correct? We had a crazy snow this winter so I imagine the water will be pretty high, and I hope that a possibly low/non existent CYA level is the only negative result from that. Anyway... reason I worry about the CYA situation is because on one of the threads I read recently, there was something ominous-sounding about CYA disappearing and turning into ammonia or something, and other problems being caused due to that. It all got too confusing at that point though.

    2) CYA (methods for adding)... Last year I used the recommended 'sock-in-front-of-the-return' method and it was kind of a pain. Either the sock just sat calmly against the wall above the return, dissolving slowwwwwly, or I had to rig up some crazy contraption (which I did) by attaching about 6' of line to the sock and tying that around a fence post (closest thing I could anchor it to) keeping it dangling 'just-so' in front of the return so that it would get flung all around crazily by the jet. Problem with this method was it would often get flung off course and when I checked it again, it'd be just sitting calmly against the wall BELOW, and to one side of, the return. Most people seem to suggest *against* putting the sock right into the skimmer basket, so does anyone else have a better suggestion than I've been able to come up with? I had to add more once or twice throughout the season and I hated the process so much that I considered switching to the pucks for a while to let them add it in! I don't even have one of those floater things anymore and that's the only thing that kept me from doing it, a matter of principle really.

    3) algaecide... some people add it, some people don't. If I have some polyquat 60 leftover in the garage, might I just go ahead and use it up? We bought a bottle for closing, not realizing we had one hidden behind something, so now there's an extra.

    4) borates... In a thread last night I mentioned we are going to try adding borates this year and I got some great feedback already about that- thanks to everyone! But I don't know how long it will take for my boric acid and test strips to arrive and I'm wondering if it matters when I add them... if it's not for another couple weeks, will that be ok? It won't change anything I'm doing now, right?

    Ok that's all I can think of. One of these seasons I won't have to ask anything about the routine stuff anymore ; )

    Thank you all!
    -Nicole
    Last edited by flarfum25; 05-15-2016 at 09:40 PM. Reason: had a question that I asked last year, went thru old posts and saw it, oops!
    18Kgallon IG vinyl liner
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    Baltimore MD in full sun til 5pm
    plenty of leafy trees around : )

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    Re: few more questions about opening, want to prepare properly

    I recommend that you open, circulate for a couple of hours, test, and then see where you are. No sense in stocking up on chemicals you may not need. Just my thoughts as you are in an urban area close to stores.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and totally wait on borates until you are good and balanced. They work a treat, but that is the very last thing you want to deal with now.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: few more questions about opening, want to prepare properly

    If the sock near a return jet isn't working well for you, you certainly can place the sock in your poolside skimmer. Just be careful to ensure it's not totally blocking water flow to the pump. You also still need to squeeze the sock from time to time. I wouldn't add the Poly at opening. Just do a full battery of tests, see where you're at, then go from there with standard chemistry (bleach, stabilizer, acid, etc). Have a nice 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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    Re: few more questions about opening, want to prepare properly

    Thanks guys-- I'll try the sock in the skimmer... I think it was not so easy to do that last year either because we have a "critter skimmer"-- a spiral ramp that comes down from the hole in the skimmer cover to the water, acting as a little ramp for frogs and such. Leaves no room for socks really but I can leave the cover off for a little bit.

    So as far as the CYA disappearing... no reason to think it's related to the ammonia thing? I guess I'll come and ask more if it's at 0 again when we open.
    18Kgallon IG vinyl liner
    Hayward DE 4820 filter
    Baltimore MD in full sun til 5pm
    plenty of leafy trees around : )

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: few more questions about opening, want to prepare properly

    CYA loss over the winter depends really on how the pool was closed, temperatures, and when it was opened. But if FC goes completely to zero, then CYA can be converted to ammonia. If you're really curious about it this year (ammonia), you can wait on adding stabilizer and do the 10-min drill where you increase FC to 10. After 10 min if it dropped to 4 or below, then increase right away and keep doing that every 10 min until your FC stays between 5-10. Once that happens, then you can add stabilizer and start the 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.
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    Re: few more questions about opening, want to prepare properly

    Yes! Thank you, I will definitely do that.
    18Kgallon IG vinyl liner
    Hayward DE 4820 filter
    Baltimore MD in full sun til 5pm
    plenty of leafy trees around : )

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    Re: few more questions about opening, want to prepare properly

    I just wanted to hop on here and say that due to this forum and all your guidance over the last couple years, I'm feeling like a Master of the Pool over here! Hubbie kept postponing the opening with all the rainy cold weather we'd been having this spring, and by the time we finally DID open- (less than a week ago!)- our water was GREEN. I was nervous at first but we got the filter running and I ran my tests and beyond the obvious lack of chlorine, things weren't so bad. My levels were:
    FC 0
    CC 0
    pH. 7
    TA 50
    CYA 20 (I'd thought it would be 0, remember? Happy Camper)

    So I added the recommended soda ash (still have leftover from previous owners), cya and 6 jugs of bleach to get me started. Brush, vacuum, brush, brush... And that evening things were looking so much better already... Next morning, after another bleach addition/brush/vacuum things were nearly normal looking. That 2nd evening, hubbie gave a final brush/vacuum and I was able to SLAM... Passed at 5:25am. How can it be so fast?? I was high, I'm telling you. Still am a little, just so excited to have not only saved us all the money we'd spent that first year on a pool company opening, but also realizing they didn't do it as well as we did! Because they came initially, did their thing w set up and vacuum and chemicals, and didn't return til later the following day. And they surely never came to do an overnight loss test.
    Anyway, yay. The kids went swimming today, water was beautiful.

    Quick question to wrap it all up now though... I read on someone else's old post (maybe that borates sticky?) that in early March they went out and poured the polyquat 60 all over their safety cover for easy spring opening. If I had done that, would we have been able to open as late as we did and still have clear water? And if so, would I just kinda pour it throughout the deep end? Not sure how it would mix in with no filter, or if it would be ok concentrated in the pool cover mesh? Sounds weird. Or is this just a lesson to open in late April/early May no matter the weather?

    I have my boric acid bucket from dudadiesel waiting here in the garage-- going to wait til all my cya is dissolved, retest all my levels, and hopefully add it this week. Awwwww yeahhh...

    I love you all, friends!!! : )
    18Kgallon IG vinyl liner
    Hayward DE 4820 filter
    Baltimore MD in full sun til 5pm
    plenty of leafy trees around : )

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    Re: few more questions about opening, want to prepare properly

    Good story! Glad TFP is working for you pool master!
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