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Thread: New to the pool scene!

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    New to the pool scene!

    Hello all and man am I glad to have found you! So I recently purchased a house with an in-ground pool that is 12' x 32' save for a middle section that widens to 14' then back. I have depths of 3.5' on the shallow end to 9' on the deep end. I have enclosed a quick sketch I made of the pool. So here are a few questions
    1) When calculating pool volume, is it the max depth or average depth for the calculator?

    Filter is a sand filter, plaster IG pool. The pool gets approx 10hrs of sun a day right now. 001.jpg

    The water was tested this morning, I took it to a pool store and I am in the process of purchasing a test kit from here. The water is mostly clear with some light algae growing on the steps where the shade 1st hits the pool.
    Free Chlorine: 0
    Total Chlorine: 0
    Calcium Hardness: 350
    CYA: 70
    Total Alk: 110
    PH: 8
    Total Dissolved Solids: 1800
    Phosphates: 100
    Temp: 68

    I had a falling out w/a tweeker pool guy so I cancelled his service. The pool has a floater with a 3" chlorine tab and thats it.

    So I'm looking at adding chlorine for sure, liquid to keep from adding more CYA. I would like some feedback on chemicals and a better estimate on the volume of my pool. Thanks and have a great day!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    Alright! We're glad to have you here with us. Well, the good thing is you are fed-up with pool services and have ordered your own test kit. We won't give much recommendations on those pool store tests other than to say take-out any chlorine tabs right away. Use no more bags of shock .. only regular bleach for now. Testing your CYA will be priority #1 when your kit arrives. PS says 70, could be lower or MUCH higher. So we'll wait and see. For now, just add about 1/2 gallon of regular bleach each day. Post your test results when your kit arrives and we'll go from there. 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 to the pool scene!

    Here are some more pics. Thanks for the response. So NO shock, just add liquid chlorine and scrub algae and vacuum the pool. Ok, got it, any idea on pool volume?


    IMG_1300.jpgIMG_1297.jpgIMG_1301.jpg

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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    Making some guesses regarding how the bottom slopes, I'd venture that your pool is in the neighborhood of 18,000 gallons.
    18x36, 21,000 gallon, in-ground, vinyl, Pentair SWG, DE filter, Pentair 250K Heater, Taylor K-2006, Dolphin Triton

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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    Quote Originally Posted by AlStar250 View Post
    So NO shock, just add liquid chlorine and scrub algae and vacuum the pool.
    Right. Despite the marketing and labeling, "shock" really isn't a specific thing you add to your pool. "Shock"ing is more the process of raising FC to a high level to kill off things in the water. Pool companies tend to market concentrated chlorine powders as "shock". And yes, they will raise FC. But they usually add some other chemicals that you don't necessarily need to add in the same amounts as FC. For example, dichlor adds almost as much ppm of CYA as it does FC. Your pool uses FC very quickly (especially while killing algae), but CYA remains. You're potentially already on the high side at 70ppm, so you don't really want to add more. (Actually 70ppm will probably serve you just fine in sunny San Diego for the summer). Take those tablets and floater out of the pool too - those are usually trichlor, which also adds CYA to the water.

    The point that makes liquid chlorine so good is that it's just FC in a bottle. No CYA, no calcium, none of that other stuff. Once you get your other numbers in line, it's just a steady diet of chlorine. Easy peasy...

    If your CYA is really around 70, you're going to be slamming around 20ppm FC. From 0 to 20ppm would take about 5 jugs of bleach (your pool is probably 18-20k gallons). Knowing that, I wouldn't be shy to start with a full gallon of chlorine, maybe even two, and then add up to a full bottle a day while waiting on your test kit to arrive.
    15k in-ground plaster, Hayward C900 cartridge, 3/4hp single speed pump, Barracuda G2 cleaner, TF-100

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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    Welcome to TFP! Looks like you have a very manageable pool! If you are at that house at least 3 days a week, capable of testing the water, buying/adding chemicals, and willing to brush/vac/clean filter as needed - pool guy/pool store advice is a waste of money and unnecessary risk to your health most likely, and possibly even take years off the life of your plaster! So yeah, welcome, get to reading, add the bleach daily until you pick a test kit and get it. If you don't like reordering things, and want a pretty great value, the xl version of the tf-100 probably can't be beat. Otherwise the regular tf-100 or the k2006 are both totally valid options. I bought the k2006 because I was very new to this site and wasn't willing to take the tf-100. Nothing wrong with the k2006. It works perfectly. If I could do it over though? tf100 with xl and if had an extra couple bucks that week, the speedstir, no doubt.
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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    Ok so I'm using a 12.5% sodium hypochlorite and I've added approx 100oz, scrubbed the algae and vacuumed the pool. FC now shows (on strips) around 10 but PH is still about 8 (2hrs after adding chlorine). Should I be adjusting PH either with dry or muriatic acid to get it down considering the algae that I had, or should I just continue working toward that FC goal of 20 for the SLAM

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    That's the problem with strips. If you had a pH drop test, we could be sure of accuracy. We always adjust pH down "before" raising FC because a high FC level skews the pH. Just about anything you try to do right now will be a bit of guesswork without the proper readings.
    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: New to the pool scene!

    Thanks for everyone's help! Texas I had a PH of 8 before I started anything, and after getting the FC up to 10 I still have a PH of 8, so that is why I was asking about getting the pH down before continuing with the SLAM. I took some water and used a buddy's kit and got these numbers this evening

    FC 10
    TAC 10
    CH 500 (I was told that the water in SoCal is pretty hard as is anyway and 500 isn't critical FYI)
    CYA 80
    TA 110
    pH 8
    TDS 1900
    Phos 500

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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    It isn't anything personal or elitist, but the science of TFP is all centered around extremely accurate testing with fresh chemicals and tests with really tight tolerances.

    When FC is 10 or higher, The ph test literally gets bleached out and no longer can deliver a true result. If you were testing with one of the suggested kits, we'd have you let the FC drop below 10, then retest ph. Then, based on that PH test, we'd adjust ph to 7.2 for a green pool, using the ph lowering chem of your choice, but if you read the safe handling instructions on this site, 31.45% muriatic acid, when used and stored correctly, is a very cost effective and fast acting (retest in 15 mins with pump on and a quick floor brush) way to lower ph. If you trust the test you did when fc was lower than 10, you can adjust if you want, but remember, ph of 6.8 or lower for extended periods of time damages really expensive stuff. risky.

    Plus, bleach/chlorine doesn't work anywhere near as effective at wrong ph, so i'd hold off on adding more than the suggested daily amount until your test kit arrives. The daily dose will hold it at bay for you without wasting money or jeopardizing anything.
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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    Quote Originally Posted by BattleOfYakima View Post
    It isn't anything personal or elitist, but the science of TFP is all centered around extremely accurate testing with fresh chemicals and tests with really tight tolerances.

    ...so i'd hold off on adding more than the suggested daily amount until your test kit arrives. The daily dose will hold it at bay for you without wasting money or jeopardizing anything.
    Got it and no I appreciate the reminder of the process and how it works. Thank you and I will do just that until my kit comes in.

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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    Welcome to TFP and I hope you like it here. Good to hear you have a test kit coming. Did you happen to notice the brand name of your buddy's kit?

    If you're willing to trust the numbers from his kit, it's your call. Pool Math (see link below in my signature) says 20 ounces of 31% muriatic acid to reduce pH from 8.0 to 7.6 which is fine for now. Liquid acid is the way to go, not dry acid. We have no way to know if your pH is above 8.0, so let's see what happens with 20 ounces. Test the pool again 30 minutes or more after you add the acid. Read Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals, especially the safety instructions under "Lowering pH".

    If you want people here to walk you through the SLAM, don't start the SLAM until after you receive your kit. Check out Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain in the meantime, and you'll then understand why you should reduce pH further before the SLAM gets underway, and why it's difficult to adjust pH during the SLAM.

    Also, please take a look at "read before you post" which is linked in my signature below.

    Cheers!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry, crossed over posts with BattleOfYakima, but we're on the same wavelength anyway! Pool looks good by the way, and it will sparkle real soon!
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    OK got my TF-100 and did my 1st round of testing. I have not added anything into my pool since last week and its still looks pretty good, just a tad cloudy. Here is what I came up with on my 1st round of testing (after watching TFT videos on youtube and reading the instructions twice (-: )

    TC 2
    CC 1
    PH 8.2
    TA 160
    CYA 90

    The one test that I could not fathom was the Calcium Hardness took 60 drops (1500ppm) the 1st time and 55 drops (1375ppm) the second time. I noticed the drop size out of the R0012 is significantly smaller than all other droppers, as if the tip was cut smaller or something. Is this normal? The pool store who uses reagents had me at 350 and my buddies Taylor k-2006 kit had me at 500 last week with no added chemicals and no one swimming. Thoughts?

    So I now would like to start with getting this thing tuned up... I now know to get the PH in line before the chlorine. I have one gallon of 31.45% liquid muriatic acid and four gallons of 12.5% sodium hypochlorite

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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    Not surprising your CH is exceptionally high for CA. There are two thins we can't fix with chemicals ... high CYA and high CH. That almost always requires a partial water exchange. In CA, there are some reverse osmosis treatments but they are pricey from what I recall and not always available We know you need to SLAM, and your high CYA will require a SLAM FC of 37. That's 70 drops of R-0871 each time. I would recommend seeing if you can do a partial water exchange. Maybe about 50% or just under that? Try to get your CYA down to at least 50 or so? No sense trying to adjust any other chemical levels until that's done first. What do you think? Can you do that or do you want to ride it out at that high CYA because of water restrictions (if any)?
    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: New to the pool scene!

    We are on water restrictions here in Southern California, I am going to call the water company and see what they would say about 7-8000 gallons on my bill the month.

    So you feel like that CH test is accurate? Does that drop size of the R0012 dropper seem normal? I am puzzled considering what it was last week from two separate kits.

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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    I have a few suggestion that come from the extended test kit instructions for CH:


    • Hold the dropper bottles vertically and squeeze gently, so that drops come out slowly and seem to hang on the tip of the dropper bottle for a moment before falling.
    • Measuring high CH levels is much easier and more precise if you use a magnetic stirrer.


    With those in mind - be careful to get the MOST out of each drop and be sure to swirl really, really thoroughly between each drop, not just near the end, but the whole time.

    If you have doubts about the validity of your testing/drop size, it might be easiest to have someone hold a camera phone and video you doing the test, upload to dropbox/onedrive/youtube or another free file sharing platform, then post the link here for expert review. There is always the chance your bottle is defective or there is an error with reagent labeling or a human error of some kind.

    As for the water exchange - definitely call and ask. There may also be services that fill pools in CA, using another municipality, desalinated water, or well water. These might be cheaper, I have no clue. You may also want to test your fill water for CH as well, before you actually go through with a partial drain/refill. I suspect your high level came from a manual addition of Calcium at some point, but could just be hard fill water. Worth testing the potential new water IMO.
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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    Thanks Battle, actually thank you all! So one thing I did do was order a Speed Stirrer today, its local and hopefully will be here tomorrow. I also watched the video from TFT on the CH test and when they feel it is complete. Some say "until it turns blue" and others say "when no there is no more color change" which is a bit different IMHO. I also am now adept at recognizing "fading endpoint" which I think is what I see. I'll wait and put in on the Speed Stir and see what I come up with. Actually I think putting my camera on a tripod and recording it would be of use as well.

    I spoke to my buddy who tested my water for me last week using his K-2006 kit and he went "until it turned blue" and got 500ppm. Also he mentioned a provision with our water company that allows for periodic draining for maintenance, I just have to call them and tell them I have a leak or other issue etc and will need to be temporarily placed in a higher tier for additional water. I guess they allow this every 18-24 months, I'll find out more tomorrow.

    This pool was built around 2005 and from what I understand, has always had a pool service to take care of it. I remember the first time I pulled the floater up to see if it had tablets in it last spring and it had 3, so I figured that was what was normal. Oh man... LOL -
    13 x 32 IG Plaster pool 18,000 gallons
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    Sounds promising! If they used pucks they might have used solid shock - probably the cheap stuff which uses ...drum roll please.... calcium as the binder! Just my guess that is why your CH is so high
    If I was effective, and your pool makes you smile, please make me smile and CLICK HERE to Become a TFP Supporter!
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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    I just happened across this thread and read up to date, it sounds like everyone is well on their way to having you lined up, but I have to comment about your 2005 suspected build date, that is really surprising to me given the stylistic clues regarding the design and construction of this pool I would have suspected something much more vintage, my gut feeling would be 1970's, maybe earlier.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New to the pool scene!

    You may be able to look up the build dates, sf and other info about the house, pool, buildings on the property tax authority website.
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