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Thread: First Post on my new (to me) pool

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    First Post on my new (to me) pool

    Hi guys. I've got info in my signature, so here's my first stab at this. I ordered the TF100 kit this morning, so no good data until next week. I have test strips, which the pool store has checked and said they are accurate (though they seldom line up with their reports). I can give test strip data if it helps, but I'm okay with waiting before anyone suggests anything.

    Pool is 10 years old. Bought the house almost a year ago. SWG seemed to quit working a couple months after. I've not been able to verify if it's the board or salt cell that is bad, due to it being an old Polaris EOS system that is end-of-life and finding a store that can test it has been difficult. I just recently called a pool store I've never used who says they can test this cell, so I've just got to take it off and get it to them. So I've been shocking once a week and using trichlor. Mixed results. Pool store is always suggesting something else when I do a water test with them. Pool is occasionally quite clear, but some light algae growth on the walls every so often. I'll shock, scrub the walls, and wait 3-4 days for the cloudiness to go away. Yeah, I'm a newbie. I don't really have a routine maintenance thing because I don't know what to do. Pool store is worthless in helping me it seems. They just say buy this and add it. I'm sure it balances things temporarily because when I do what they say (and spend $100+ not including chlorine) when I go in things start looking better after a few days. But I can't maintain that look.

    Several other things on the pool are non-functioning, including the gas heater, the spa pump, and the polaris booster pump.

    Anyway, the thought of daily or every-other day maintenance makes me want to puke. I work a lot and travel. Wife is quite busy also, and my kids are too young to be of help right now. Really thinking about replacing the SWG, but I don't want to spend that kind of money right now. I'm wanting to try what you guys recommend, at least for the current pool season ending later this year. I'm going to get the Polaris cell tested this week. If it's bad, I'm not sure what to do since it's end-of-life. When the chlorine levels dropped last year, the salt level was low. I added a lot of salt to the pool, but the chlorine level never went up. That's when we (me and the pool store) knew there was a problem somewhere with the SWG, but there was no way to figure out what it was. If the cell tests good, they're going to tell me to add a lot of salt to the pool again and see if the chlorine level goes up. If it doesn't, then I've wasted a lot of time/money in salt. I can't replace the SWG entirely right now.

    So what would you guys suggest I do for now? Here are pics I took just this morning if it helps. Thanks!






    Jason - Mobile, AL

    ~ 10 year-old 25,000 Gallon IG with Spillover Spa, Plaster, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward pump, Second pump for spa and blower, booster pump for Polaris
    Old Polaris control system, City Water system, non-working gas heater

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    Hi Jason and welcome! For now, simply manage your pool like a non-SWG pool and manually add bleach each day. Not the worse thing, I do it. Eventually you can get the SWG working again and focus more on the important things ...

    Nice 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.
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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    Very nice pool, you might find that once you get the hang of it it doesn't take more than five minutes a day and even then probably skipping or day or two on occasion is not going to harm too much the other experts will weigh in a little more but I'm finding that it's just not that big of a deal even with a busy life. now if you're gone for weeks that's another thing but gone for a few days probably able to handle that. . Besides now you'll have a pool that you can swim in anytime without the constant running to the pool store.
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    SWG Run Time Calculator

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    That's a pretty big pool! Until you have some test kit results, the thing to do is add a 121 oz jug of standard 8.25% bleach (or the equivalent of stronger stuff) every day until you get a test kit. That should keep things in a holding pattern.

    If you simply must do something, and hauling the SWG off for testing isn't enough, maybe try Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

    Just for comparison, I spend less than $400 a year on my pool, including test kit refills, and that's open 365 days a year, if anyone is bold enough to get in 50 degree water. Your pool is bigger. so maybe $700 annually. That's better than a hundred a week at the pool store!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    I saw in another thread where it is suggested that we keep all our things in one thread, so I'm going to add this here. My TF100 kit has arrived, and I've been balancing according to the ideas put forth here. Water looks fantastic. Nearly crystal clear. No sign of any green. My biggest concern is CH at the moment, which is over 1200. My water source measures 175. In the last year, I've dumped a TON of granulated chlorine in the pool to keep it clear. I also had a water leak for a few weeks that mean constant refilling (2-3) inches per day, plus I was using Trichlor tabs. I'm sure that's why the CH is so high. There is heavy scaling on my spillover spa, as well as a nasty water line in the spa.

    I don't know what to do next. My CYA is low, but I don't know if I should bring that up now, or just bite the bullet and drain the pool almost completely and refill. PoolMath says I'd need to replace 92% of the 25,000 gallons to get CH in the proper levels. Even if I do that, I'm wondering if I should do something about that scaling. I'd hate to replace the pool water only to find the CH is right back up there soon after. What do you guys think?

    Full numbers:
    PH 7.7
    FC 3
    CC 0.5
    CH 1225
    TA 90
    CYA <20

    - - - Updated - - -

    I should add that I've dropped my PH down to 7.4'ish range since this test was done. I'm maintaining that as best I can, with FC hitting 3 at the lowest point (end of day, just before adding bleach to bring it back to 5-6.
    Jason - Mobile, AL

    ~ 10 year-old 25,000 Gallon IG with Spillover Spa, Plaster, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward pump, Second pump for spa and blower, booster pump for Polaris
    Old Polaris control system, City Water system, non-working gas heater

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    Jason, perhaps the positive note in all this is how you are responding to the TF-100 results and understand everything. That's best of all. First question in case I missed it above ... do you have a speed stir? The speed stir has been known to show a different CH result simply because of its efficient mixing ability. Now if your CH is truly over 1200, and we rule-out testing error and you are using a speed stir, then a partial water replacement is probably in order. But I want to clarify for you ... Trichlor tabs wont increase CH, but Cal-Hypo shock will. A water leak (not evaporation) should also result in a lower CH (just like CYA). In any case, if it's confirmed as high, then replacement would be a good option. Even if you only replace half the waster to get it down to around 500 or so that's easier to manage via lower pH and TA to compensate for the CSI level (Poolmath Calculator).
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    Just to be sure... was that 49 drops in a 10 ml sample or a 25 ml sample? It's an easy mistake to make since the TA test is done usually with 25 ml.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    I actually ordered the Speedstir a couple days ago after seeing how much easier it would make things. I didn't think about the pool leak also leaking CH so that makes sense. I guess that just leaves they Cal-Hypo (I've put at least 100 lbs of that stuff in the pool in the last 10 months) and good ol' refill from evaporation.

    I'll wait for the speedstir to come in and do some more testing. But assuming the CH is still really high, should I plan on doing some kind of descale prior to the drain? I'm guessing there's a lot of calcium in that scale and water line that'll go right back into the pool if I don't get it removed prior to the drain. I also have some noticeable etching on the plaster.

    Beyond all this, I can definitely see the benefits to maintaining the pool with the TFP methods. Adding the bleach each day is easy for the most part. Even on days when I'm out of town, I have just told my wife/son to pour a gallon of 8.25% in it and call it a day. That seems to be about what I need most every sunny day, with an occasional dose of acid to bring the PH back down.

    - - - Updated - - -

    10 ml sample for the CH.
    Jason - Mobile, AL

    ~ 10 year-old 25,000 Gallon IG with Spillover Spa, Plaster, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward pump, Second pump for spa and blower, booster pump for Polaris
    Old Polaris control system, City Water system, non-working gas heater

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    Absolutely right! Bleach is the way to go. Richard brings up a good point too. You might want to verify the sample size and drops you were using (10 vs 25). It's an easy one to get crossed on. If your testing was accurate, then I'd wait until you get the speed stir. It has been known to show a lower CH by some 200-300 just through efficient mixing. Still high, but will help. Until then, simply keep your pH and TA lower on the scale to help with the elevated CSI on the calculator. When you get the speed stir in, we can confirm your CH and discuss a good plan forward.
    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: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    Speedster arrived! Much easier to test. That said, CH is 1025. 10ml sample. Turned blue after 41 drops. Pool water is beautiful. What should I do?


    Jason - Mobile, AL

    ~ 10 year-old 25,000 Gallon IG with Spillover Spa, Plaster, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward pump, Second pump for spa and blower, booster pump for Polaris
    Old Polaris control system, City Water system, non-working gas heater

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    First thing I would suggest is to get very comfortable and familiar with the Poolmath Calculator. Enter all of your test results including water temp. Near the bottom, make sure to update the 3 parameters (Troublefreepoolcom, type pool, and method of chlorination). Then look-up at the "CSI" row. We know your CH is high, but by adjusting (lowering) your TA and pH, you can see how you can still keep the CSI "below" 0.6. That can help you for now until you find a good way to slowly replace the hard water with softer stuff or get lucky and catch a couple days of rain. Just make sure to stick with bleach only which will not increase CH. Stay far away from Cal-Hypo products for a while.
    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: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    Have you tried cleaning your SWG cell? Did you think it wasn't producing due to the low fc or some other issue? It could have terrible scaling if your CH is that high.
    I know you said it was ild, but if you can squeak a little more out of it....
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    The cell looked good last time I took it off, so I don't think that's the problem. There's virtually zero salt in the pool now so it would take a good bit of work and expense just to test it.

    I put all those numbers in Pool Math and my CSI is 0.5. Looks like lowering TA and PH will help with that. I might do a partial drain, say 3 feet or so, and then refill to see how that goes.


    Jason - Mobile, AL

    ~ 10 year-old 25,000 Gallon IG with Spillover Spa, Plaster, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward pump, Second pump for spa and blower, booster pump for Polaris
    Old Polaris control system, City Water system, non-working gas heater

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    I put all those numbers in Pool Math and my CSI is 0.5. Looks like lowering TA and PH will help with that. I might do a partial drain, say 3 feet or so, and then refill to see how that goes.
    Perfect! And that's what TFP is all about - being 100% in control.
    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: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    One more thing. Will removing the scale and water lines push calcium or CSI further up? Wondering if I should do that first if so, then filter/drain/replace.


    Jason - Mobile, AL

    ~ 10 year-old 25,000 Gallon IG with Spillover Spa, Plaster, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward pump, Second pump for spa and blower, booster pump for Polaris
    Old Polaris control system, City Water system, non-working gas heater

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    Removing old scale can impact your CSI by increasing CH. Maybe not by huge numbers, but it is CH going back into the water as opposed to attaching to the pool's shell.
    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: First Post on my new (to me) pool

    Pool Math suggests I need 74 oz of stabilizer. I know you guys recommend adding it to a sock, but I've had some suspicions about my filter. I decided to pour 16oz of the granulated stabilizer into the skimmer as directed on the container. These granules are about half the size of a BB. Within a couple minutes I could see the granules circulating back into the pool/spa return jets. If something that large is getting through, then I'm certain I need to take the filter head off and see what's going on inside. Here's the strange part, even with that lack of proper filtering, my freshly backwashed pressure measures about 18-19 psi, which from everything I have read is pretty high.

    I'm going to let the pool run until this weekend, at which point I'm going to pull of the pool head. I was thinking of doing a deep clean, but instead I think I'm going to remove all the sand and replace it with new just to be sure I have the right amount (300 lbs according to the model I have). I've noticed for a long time that it takes forever for my pool to clear up whenever things would get stirred up from vacuuming or brushing, and that's probably because it's just recirculating that junk right back into the pool.
    Jason - Mobile, AL

    ~ 10 year-old 25,000 Gallon IG with Spillover Spa, Plaster, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward pump, Second pump for spa and blower, booster pump for Polaris
    Old Polaris control system, City Water system, non-working gas heater

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