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Thread: New home - first pool opening

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    New home - first pool opening

    Hi everyone. I have been browsing this site for months and have found a lot of great tips which have helped me so far. I purchased a home on Long Island (NY) and closed Nov 20, 2015. the previous owner closed the pool and everything seems to have been done properly, so now i'm taking over. So far, my only experience with the pool is maintaining the water level in winter and lowering it with a sump pump. The water was quite clear up until a month ago when we had a heat wave during very early spring, so i got a lovely bloom of algae. I set up the pumps, undid all the winterization plugs, connected all lines and had the system up and running pretty quicky.

    Where i'm at:

    I ordered the TF-100 Kit with all the extras except for the mixer, and it should arrive in the next 2-3 days.

    I opened the pool Saturday afternoon. The pool looked like this:

    Open 1.jpg

    Brought a sample to Leslies to test on Sunday, and got the following readings:
    FC 1
    TC 1
    Salt 1800
    CH 90
    CYA 30
    TA 30
    pH 7.4
    copper: 0
    iron: 0
    phosphates: 0

    Even though i dont have the testing kit yet, i wanted to get a bit of a head start since this is what the pool looked like after i opened it. Sun 05/15/2016


    I added 3 gal of Star Shock which is 12.5% sodium hypochlorite, did some brushing and have been running the pump since then. The next morning 05/15/2016, the pool looked like this. much clearer but still cloudy in the deep end. I brought in a sample of water to leslies again for testing and got all the exact same numebers. IE FC which should have been around 12 (given a 30cya and the 384oz of 12.5% sodium hypochlorite i added based on the pool math section of the site) fell back down to 1. What is more odd to me is that the CYA reading after is now 0 from 30 before "shocking." i know a low CYA (30 or so) is better for shocking, but isn't 0 bad/indicative of a problem as well? Other factors may be that i added about 1.5-2" of water (pool is 20x40) after adding the shock since the level was still to low for me to vacuum, it currently sits 2/3 up the skimmer.
    open 2.jpg

    I'm not sure how i should proceed. I dont want to waste chemicals but i also want to get a bit of a head start since my kit wont arrive for another several days. I figured i couldn't go wrong just getting the chlorine levels up to shock levels for a few days, but now that my CYA is lower i'm concerned. Should i just wait for my test kit and get the rest of my numbers in line or can i proceed with shocking the pool the way i have been? Also, should i wait to add salt until i SLAM?

    Just to recap: Current levels 24h after adding 3gal of 12.5% sodium hypochlorite and nothing else, pool clarified a lot FC returned to same level and CYA fell to 0 (not sure if that is a false reading).
    FC 1
    TC 1
    Salt 1800
    CH 90
    CYA 0
    TA 30
    pH 7.4
    copper: 0
    iron: 0
    phosphates: 0


    Thanks, I appreciate any help!
    22,500 IG w/ Dark Vinyl Liner | Installed 2011 | Hayward Aqua-Rite SWG | Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter | Pentair Intelliflo 011018 | Polaris Booster Pump | Polaris Pressure side Robotic Cleaner | Hayward Titanium 110k BTU Heat exchanger (broken soon to be replaced with solar)

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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Hi Jeff and welcome to TFP! Glad you already have the TF-100 on order. That's half the battle. It's really best to wait until it arrives. Guessing on what to put in the water doesn't really help, in fact it can hurt. But you should be safe simply adding about 1/2 gallon bleach per day until the kit gets in. Once it does, post a full set of numbers and we'll help get you going. 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
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    I'd keep doing what you're doing by adding a gallon or two and hope to clear up any ammonia issues before your kit arrives. Is there any debris in the deep end? If so, scoop out all you can.
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Hi Jeff and welcome to TFP! Glad you already have the TF-100 on order. That's half the battle. It's really best to wait until it arrives. Guessing on what to put in the water doesn't really help, in fact it can hurt. But you should be safe simply adding about 1/2 gallon bleach per day until the kit gets in. Once it does, post a full set of numbers and we'll help get you going. Great to have you with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp View Post
    I'd keep doing what you're doing by adding a gallon or two and hope to clear up any ammonia issues before your kit arrives. Is there any debris in the deep end? If so, scoop out all you can.

    Thanks both of you for the reassurance and i appreciate the reples. i will do that. I'm not necessarily expecting anything great before i can accurately test myself, but i am happy with the initial results so i dont want to work backwards by doing nothing, i'll add 1/2 - 2 gal a day until the kit arrives and purchase some of the basic chemicals i'll need (borax, soda ash, muriatic acid, baking soda, calcium chloride, CYA, and of course salt (no pun intended). This site has already been very valuable to me in preventing me from getting gouged at the pool store. After doing my first test the guy had 200+ worth of chemicals pulled aside within a minute before i was able to say 'the previous owner left me some stuff, let me check what i have and come back.' I did buy some shock since i actually needed it though and its a decent deal there. I'll definitely post numbers as soon as i get the kit!

    Woody yes there is still some debris in the deep end. i have a spent a fair amount of time brushing etc but i could only get so far when the water would start to get cloudy and i'd be unable to see the bottom after a heavy brushing session. i'm going to brush some more tonight.

    Should i brush and just let the filtration system do the rest of the work or should i use the vacuum hooked up to the skimmer? I have a pressure side pool robot as well, should i hook this up and use it? i know there are downsides to using a suction side bot to clear up algae but not sure about pressure side.

    Thanks!
    22,500 IG w/ Dark Vinyl Liner | Installed 2011 | Hayward Aqua-Rite SWG | Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter | Pentair Intelliflo 011018 | Polaris Booster Pump | Polaris Pressure side Robotic Cleaner | Hayward Titanium 110k BTU Heat exchanger (broken soon to be replaced with solar)

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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Jeff, I wouldn't go out and spend too much on chemicals other than perhaps bleach. You KNOW you'll plenty of that. Your first test will confirm everything. But I will give you the following because when your kit arrives, this will be your first order of business:
    Treatment for Ammonia:
    1. Begin a SLAM and dose FC up to SLAM level. If your CYA test is showing as zero (perhaps already converted to ammonia), use a SLAM/Shock FC of 10. Do not add additional CYA at this point.
    2. Retest FC at 10-minute intervals.
    a. If FC loss is greater than 50%, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level and continue retesting FC @ 10-minute intervals.
    b. IF FC loss is 50% or less, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level. Go to Step 3.
    3. If CYA is below 30 ppm, add enough CYA to bring level up to 30 ppm.
    4. Continue SLAM as directed in the SLAM article until the SLAM Criteria of Done are met. Test as directed in the SLAM article - no longer need to test FC at 10 minute increments at this point.

    Once you're past the 10-min drill, it's all SLAM (link below). Just read that page (perhaps once each day) and you'll be fine. Until then, any cleaning. sweeping, scooping you can do helps. Be careful vacuuming to your cartridge filter as I suspect it will fill fast. Pressure side is no problem as long as you don't have large debris that may damage your robot.
    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: New home - first pool opening

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Jeff, I wouldn't go out and spend too much on chemicals other than perhaps bleach. You KNOW you'll plenty of that. Your first test will confirm everything. But I will give you the following because when your kit arrives, this will be your first order of business:
    Treatment for Ammonia:
    1. Begin a SLAM and dose FC up to SLAM level. If your CYA test is showing as zero (perhaps already converted to ammonia), use a SLAM/Shock FC of 10. Do not add additional CYA at this point.
    2. Retest FC at 10-minute intervals.
    a. If FC loss is greater than 50%, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level and continue retesting FC @ 10-minute intervals.
    b. IF FC loss is 50% or less, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level. Go to Step 3.
    3. If CYA is below 30 ppm, add enough CYA to bring level up to 30 ppm.
    4. Continue SLAM as directed in the SLAM article until the SLAM Criteria of Done are met. Test as directed in the SLAM article - no longer need to test FC at 10 minute increments at this point.

    Once you're past the 10-min drill, it's all SLAM (link below). Just read that page (perhaps once each day) and you'll be fine. Until then, any cleaning. sweeping, scooping you can do helps. Be careful vacuuming to your cartridge filter as I suspect it will fill fast. Pressure side is no problem as long as you don't have large debris that may damage your robot.

    Thanks a lot. with regard to the 10min interval testing, how long of a duration would this potentially go on for? is it something i could do in the evening after work or is it an all day thing where i should probably wait for the weekend? For the time being, does the above advice to keep adding a .5 to 2 gallons of 12.5% bleach to my pool until i get the test kit make sense given what you suggested or should i just stop treatments and turn off my pump until i get my test kit and not waste any more money or energy until it arrives?
    22,500 IG w/ Dark Vinyl Liner | Installed 2011 | Hayward Aqua-Rite SWG | Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter | Pentair Intelliflo 011018 | Polaris Booster Pump | Polaris Pressure side Robotic Cleaner | Hayward Titanium 110k BTU Heat exchanger (broken soon to be replaced with solar)

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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Adding a little bleach each day for now is just fine. Hopefully it will keep it from getting much worse. Of course you can't get real accurate until you have the materials to test with, but some bleach for now if okay. How long? Very hard to tell. You have a fairly good size pool. But once you ensure any ammonia (if present) is overcome by the 10-min drill, then it's just maintaining the SLAM FC level. Just a very "flexible" example .. It might take 30-40 min to complete the ammonia portion before moving-on to the SLAM. Then the SLAM itself may take 5 days, one week, two weeks, etc. Very hard to tell. But at some point once the SLAM has been going for a while, FC consumption will steady and not drop quite as fast, so that helps.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and if it helps any ... my pool is half the capacity as yours. I feed my pool exactly 1/2 gal each day of regular 8.25% bleach. So with no algae, I would expect your pool to consume about 3/4-1 gallon per day. With algae and everything going on right now, it's very safe to add that 1/2 - 1 gallon or so per 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: New home - first pool opening

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Adding a little bleach each day for now is just fine. Hopefully it will keep it from getting much worse. Of course you can't get real accurate until you have the materials to test with, but some bleach for now if okay. How long? Very hard to tell. You have a fairly good size pool. But once you ensure any ammonia (if present) is overcome by the 10-min drill, then it's just maintaining the SLAM FC level. Just a very "flexible" example .. It might take 30-40 min to complete the ammonia portion before moving-on to the SLAM. Then the SLAM itself may take 5 days, one week, two weeks, etc. Very hard to tell. But at some point once the SLAM has been going for a while, FC consumption will steady and not drop quite as fast, so that helps.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and if it helps any ... my pool is half the capacity as yours. I feed my pool exactly 1/2 gal each day of regular 8.25% bleach. So with no algae, I would expect your pool to consume about 3/4-1 gallon per day. With algae and everything going on right now, it's very safe to add that 1/2 - 1 gallon or so per day.
    ah yes i wasn't even considering the regular chlorine consumption that would normally be provided by the SWG. So i'll keep adding that amount every evening until i get my kit and do the 10 min testing and slam.
    22,500 IG w/ Dark Vinyl Liner | Installed 2011 | Hayward Aqua-Rite SWG | Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter | Pentair Intelliflo 011018 | Polaris Booster Pump | Polaris Pressure side Robotic Cleaner | Hayward Titanium 110k BTU Heat exchanger (broken soon to be replaced with solar)

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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Do any of the following need to be adjusted to proper range before i start the SLAM process?

    TA
    CH
    Salt

    they are all currently low. CYA may be low as well but i believe the previous 0 reading was false, obviously i'll know that once i test again. My kit arrives tomorrow and tomorrow evening is the only time before the weekend that i'll have time to do the 10 minute tests. Should i pick up baking soda, salt, calcium chloride, or CYA in advance, or does the TA and CH not matter much when starting a SLAM?
    22,500 IG w/ Dark Vinyl Liner | Installed 2011 | Hayward Aqua-Rite SWG | Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter | Pentair Intelliflo 011018 | Polaris Booster Pump | Polaris Pressure side Robotic Cleaner | Hayward Titanium 110k BTU Heat exchanger (broken soon to be replaced with solar)

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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    TA and CH do not matter for a SLAM. After you are sure there is no ammonia then CYA can go in (shoot for 1/2 to 2/3 steps so you don't overshoot) TA and CH are last. pH is always first.
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bruce View Post
    TA and CH do not matter for a SLAM. After you are sure there is no ammonia then CYA can go in (shoot for 1/2 to 2/3 steps so you don't overshoot) TA and CH are last. pH is always first.
    Thanks, in that case i guess i should buy some muriatic acid and borax just in case i need to make adjustments to pH before i shock? my concern with the TA where it is (30) is that my pH might swing around wildly during the SLAM process.

    Would there be any benefit to getting the salt levels adjusted to the correct range so that i can run the SWG and have it help maintain the higher chlorine levels or should i not even touch the swg until the shock portion is complete? it has been off.
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Update: I did my first self test before adding anything. I knew all of my numbers were low based on my tests from the pool store and i was about to SLAM so i didn't bother checking TA/CH/Salt since there was nothing that would have changed them before the SLAM and i wasn't going to change them before the slam as per instructions on this forum. This test took place after the following. Sunday 05/15 3 gal 12.5 bleach, 2 gal 12.5 bleach monday, 1 gal 12.5% bleach tuesday 05/17. every day below I vacuumed and brushed and pulled leaves with the net every morning and night. I vacuumed into a pantyhose over the skimmer basket.



    Initial test:
    FC: 0 water didn't even turn pink when the powder was added
    CYA: 0
    TA Untested
    PH: 7.2
    CH: Untested
    Salt: untested

    5/18 8:20 PM

    Cleaned the filter before starting anything. it was absolutely disgusting. I hadn't checked it before starting up anything but had had it running for a few days and did one short vacuum session, not to waste since i was planning to clean the filter anyway before SLAMing it was disgusting.


    5/18 8:20 PM
    Based on the advice in this thread i was told with a 0 cya i should target 10 FC. which based on my 35k pool should have been 358 oz. I rounded up to 3 full gallons (384 oz) since there was still a fair amount of visible algae and i could not see the bottom of the deep end of the pool. i tested 10 mins later and somehow had a FC of 20. yes i did 40 drops in a 10ml sample before the color stayed consistent. I dont know how my FC got that high based on the amount i added. i was expecting maybe 11-12 at the most, but wound up at 20. (maybe my pool is not as big as i thought, 20x40 3ft shallow end, 8ft deep end, but theres a fair amount of beveling at the sides. even still, based on the 384 oz of 12.5% bleach i added, for it to raise the FC to 20 i would need to have been off in my pool size estimation by 15k gallons, and would mean my pool was 20k gallons, which seems low given its dimensions, i actually have a diagram of the measurements of each wall perhaps someone could help me determine the actual volume) Anyway. i followed the instructions here to test every 10m and saw no drop in FC 3 tests, 10 mins apart all 20 FC.

    05/19 1:00 AM (same night)
    FC: 16

    05/19 9:45 AM (next morning) Water slightly clearer, can finally see the brush at the bottom of the pool.
    FC: 15
    CYA: 0 (tube full, crystal clear visibilty of the black dot)


    I added 6lb of CYA granulated (Clorox brand) via sock over return method. I zip tied the socks around the lip where the return eyeballs thread in. Added 1/3 Gal 12.5% bleach since it was very sunny and i would be gone all day and my CYA Was 0

    05/19 9:30PM:
    FC: 5 (sun shining all day, low CYA) dropped 10ppm over 12 hours
    CYA: <20, but now actually registering as present, some obscurity starting around 20)

    Once again, i add what seems to be the appropriate amount of 12.5% bleach based on pool math. I squeeze some of the socks etc so more cya is released so hopefully i'm at 30 by the next day. i figure i should target FC 12 if i'm going to have 30cya. i add enough to go from 5 to12, which for my 35k pool should be 143 oz. looking back at my notes, for some reason i added 2 gallons and i have no idea why i did so much (this is all new to me). tested an hour later and was at 18ppm. (oops)

    Today: 05/20 10:00 AM Full test except pH bc i'm still at shock levels as per below
    FC: 18 (little to no loss overnight, but there is still some some small amount of algae present)
    cya: 32 ( not sure if this is accurate since only about 24 has passed since initial treatment and i did less than the amount that would bring it to 30ppm, i guess i'll know later based on how much chlorine i lose today since its sunny)
    TA: 50
    CH (10ml method, 10 drops/3 drops): 75
    Salt: 1000ppm

    This is what my pool currently looks like:





    As you can see, the water is definitely clearer than in the beginning or even the day after the first shock. That being said, the deep end still has this slight murkiness to it.

    Based on all the above, my questions are as follows:

    1. Is it possible for my CYA reading to be accurate and be over 30ppm this soon after application? I spent a good amount of time making sure the CYA actually dissipated by manually squeezing the socks and holding them over the jets.
    2. why did i lose such little chlorine overnight if there is still some algae present? at a FC of 18 with CYA of less than 20, surely it should have dropped if there was algae present. does this count as passing the OCLT?

    3. If so, why is my deep end still murky?
    4. based on my chemical levels, i'm going to purchase the quantities i need to get everything in balance, since after all this effort i dont want to let things get out of wack since my TA is so low. When is it safe for me to start adding these to the water? Baking soda, Calcium chloride, salt, muriatic acid etc. Should i wait for the FC to drop back down to normal levels first?

    Sorry for the long post, thanks for all the help everyone!
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    You are done when:
    CC is 0.5 or lower;
    You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    And the water is clear.
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    You are done when:
    CC is 0.5 or lower;
    You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    And the water is clear.
    so basically, don't touch anything else (TA/Salt/CH etc) until i have achieved those? i've added the CYA just to mitigate the chlorine loss during the day.
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Correct, leave those alone. Salt and CH don't matter at all during your SLAM, and TA can wait.
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Thanks!

    - - - Updated - - -

    by the way, can i get a better indication of the actual volume of my swimming pool by adding a specific amount of any of the chemicals that i plan to add and then back into the # of gallons i must have by using the amount by which the PPM changes? If so which would be the best chemical to do so with?
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Yep, that's exactly what I do. Chlorine is the best. Add it at night, wait about half an hour, then test the difference.
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Chlorine works pretty well.

    e so slow.
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    awesome, thanks. is it ok for the remainder of my SLAMing if i use the 5ml method with a 1:1ppm for the chlorine testing. i saw other people mention it on the forum, granted its less accurate but still, using 30-40 drops 2-3 times a day feels pretty wasteful when i can use half.
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    Re: New home - first pool opening

    Yep!
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