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Thread: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

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    Unhappy Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Hi - we bought a house with a 25000 gallon, vinyl lined pool with a sand filter last fall. Being brand new to pools, we had a "recommended" pool company come out to open the pool for us 2 weeks ago. They did 20 minutes worth of stuff then told us to add 7.5 lbs of Trichlor ever other day and keep adding it until the chlorine test turned orange. We added around 30 lbs and it still never turned orange. Brought the water in and the numbers looked like this:

    FC .2 ppm, TC .4 ppm, CC .2 ppm, pH 6.9, Hardness 83 ppm, Alkalinity 64, Cyanuric Acid (CYA) 108 ppm


    They said keep adding more Trichlor, so I added the 15 lbs we had left and still no orange. After reading up here a bit, I decided to take a different route since my understanding is that the CYA at 108 is way too high and it was inhibiting the Chlorine's ability along with dropping the pH. So I went to Walmart and picked up 20 gallons of 8.25% bleach and dumped 4 gallons into the pool to start. I got a deep yellow in the test so got my water checked again:

    FC .3 ppm, TC 1.0 ppm, CC .7 ppm, pH 6.5 (!), Hardness 83 ppm, Alkalinity 64, CYA 113 ppm


    I told them what I had added, including the bleach, and the "expert" there told me not to add the household bleach since it wasn't a good enough quality (a lie, right?). I strayed from his advice when I got home and added 10 more gallons of bleach since I figure my CYA is already way too high (the "expert" told me he doesn't worry about the CYA levels until they get above 200) and I didn't want to add anymore CYA via Trichlor. Viola! The chlorine test turned orange!


    So now I'm not sure how to proceed. We have a blue-ish pool that isn't clear yet and a really low pH. The pool store's recommendation is to add 56 lbs of GLB Alkalinity Up, 38 lbs of GLB Calcium Hardness Up and 2.5 lbs of GLB Oxy-Brite. This seems like a lot of stuff.

    I feel like I'd be better served buying a large tarp for $100, using it to swap out half the water to get the CYA down to 50 or below (vinyl liner - have to be careful, right?), and then I wouldn't have to go crazy with all of the buffers recommended above. I know Saint Paul has pretty soft water, so that's good I'm guessing.


    Thrown into the mix is the fact that we are having a birthday party for our 9 year old on June 11th, so we have to have it going by then or there will be lots of broken hearts.


    What would you all recommend?


    Thanks so much!


    Dan

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Welcome to TFP!!

    My first suggestion is to stop going to the pool store. Their only response it to sell you something or give bad advice (they have done bot to you by the way).

    I will tell you, it didn't get like this overnight and it will take time to clear. June 11 may be pushing it but may be possible. We can teach you how to get it sparkling and keep it that was for a lot less money than the pool store.

    Not much credence is given to pool store testing around here. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing. But, what can you do?? We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. To do that you need your own accurate test kit. Order a TF100 and at least include the XL option today. That will give you what you need while you are clearing the pool, and probably enough reagents for a couple of years normal use.

    While you wait for it to get delivered, you have a homework reading assignment. Start with ABCs of Water Chemistry and Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis

    You have a big pool, so with the pump running I want you to add 1 bottle (121oz, 8.25%) concentrated bleach in the morning and at night until the test kit comes in.

    The tarp method really isn't necessary as it doesn't work that well. For now a 50% drain/refill will get your CYA in the 70-80 range which is survivable.

    Replacing water through evaporation doesn't reduce CYA. When water evaporated, it leaves the CYA behind in the pool water.

    If you don't order the test kit today, June 11th by our methods is probably not in the cards.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Welcome, Dan!

    June 11 is do-able since you're highly motivated. You need your own test kit. You've already read enough here to know it's indispensable. Not sure what kit you own already. If it's a Taylor K-2005, you can add just the FAS-DPD test sold separately here. Order two. If all you have is the pH/TC colorblock, order up a TF100 and spring for the XL option. You'll need the extra reagents because you'll be SLAMming. Stop reading right now and go order a proper test kit. Time's a-wastin'.

    You don't need to mess around with the tarp method of water exchange unless you live in a swampy area. You'll be leaving a foot of water in the shallow end anyway so the liner doesn't shift or wrinkle.
    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: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    The advice above is on the money Richard and Tim are two of the best and have given you a CLEAR path to get your pool clean.

    !. STAY out of the Pool Store.....that not idle advice.....it's quite important.

    2. Get a test kit on order.......nothing good can happen until you report testing that we know can trust......that's not idle advice, either.

    3. Add the bleach daily as Tim has suggested.

    4. The instant your kit get's to you, post up a set of test results. That'll start the ball rolling to a crystal clear party....we'll all help.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Thanks guys! I've already got a Taylor K-2006 on it's way (before I learned about the TF-100) - will that be good enough? Also, should I drain to a 1 ft depth in the shallow end and refill now?
    25000 gallon vinyl-lined, sand-filtered oasis in the Midwest!

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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Quote Originally Posted by dstedman View Post
    Thanks guys! I've already got a Taylor K-2006 on it's way (before I learned about the TF-100) - will that be good enough? Also, should I drain to a 1 ft depth in the shallow end and refill now?
    I would. It's far more common that the pool stores under-report CYA levels than overstate them.
    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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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Quote Originally Posted by dstedman View Post
    Thanks guys! I've already got a Taylor K-2006 on it's way (before I learned about the TF-100) - will that be good enough? Also, should I drain to a 1 ft depth in the shallow end and refill now?
    The K-2006 uses the same reagents, you just may run out because there is not enough of the FAS/DPD testing reagents. That is what the XL option of the TF-100 is for.

    If you are comfortable draining and refilling, yes get that behind you. I would say a 50% drain would be about right. That may leave you in the 50 - 60 CYA range, but that is acceptable.

    Even after a drain/refill you want to add bleach every day until you get your test kit.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Order more FAS-DPD and CYA reagents now. Tftestkits.net has them.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Do the reagents go bad? If I order a TF-100 and 2 XL kits I get free shipping.
    25000 gallon vinyl-lined, sand-filtered oasis in the Midwest!

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Quote Originally Posted by dstedman View Post
    Do the reagents go bad? If I order a TF-100 and 2 XL kits I get free shipping.
    Yes, they do expire but if kept cool and out of sunlight they last a few years.

    You don't need another full test kit, skip the TF-100. At least one XL and Jason's idea of some CYA reagent is a good one. You could also get a small bottle of the CYA standard 50 solution so you can see what 50 CYA looks like in the test tube. That is the hardest test for folks to master.

    If you are looking to add some items for free shipping look at the SpeedStir and Sample Sizer. I have both and they speed testing and accuracy.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Psshhheww! I thought you were going to want a party this weekend! We're sayin there's a chance!

    Welcome to TFP!

    With your motivation and actions you should have no issues getting it done.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    I'm going to send back the 2006 kit - I just ordered the TF-100, XL, SpeedStir and Sample Sizer. I figure it'll be worth it with all the money I'm going to save on chemicals & trips to the pool store.

    Draining the pool now.
    25000 gallon vinyl-lined, sand-filtered oasis in the Midwest!

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Quote Originally Posted by dstedman View Post
    I'm going to send back the 2006 kit - I just ordered the TF-100, XL, SpeedStir and Sample Sizer. I figure it'll be worth it with all the money I'm going to save on chemicals & trips to the pool store.

    Draining the pool now.


    Now, find your chlorine source WalMart? Dollar General?

    You are going to need 15 - 20 121oz 8.25% bottles to start with. The cashiers don't even blink when I push my cart up now.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    When I was on the bottle (pre SWG) I used to get asked if I owned a laundry cleaner store.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Dan - I was in your spot 4 years ago but you have taken a faster track to managing you pool so nicely done. So much helpful advice here!

    I plan for a mid May opening and a late September closing to follow the "open early, close late" method. That gives me time to dial in the numbers over the course of May.
    16'x32' 14k Vinyl IG built in 1997, Marathon imPower 1.25 2 speed pump, Hayward S220T sand filter, Raypak 400k, Circupool Si-45+, FloVis Flow Meter, TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir.

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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    PM me your name and city to where the TF-100 is being shipped. I'll help make sure it goes out today (I am pretty sure I can do that) and I'll give you a delivery date.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    PM me your name and city to where the TF-100 is being shipped. I'll help make sure it goes out today (I am pretty sure I can do that) and I'll give you a delivery date.
    Dan in Saint Paul


    25000 gallon vinyl-lined, sand-filtered oasis in the Midwest!

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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Is it ok to run my pump on filter mode with just the bottom drain and one output opened? Should I open both outputs?


    25000 gallon vinyl-lined, sand-filtered oasis in the Midwest!

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    Re: Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post


    Now, find your chlorine source WalMart? Dollar General?

    You are going to need 15 - 20 121oz 8.25% bottles to start with. The cashiers don't even blink when I push my cart up now.
    Stedman, I'm in the NW twin Cities suburbs. Check Menards. Just bought a few gallons of 12.5% "Splash" brand chlorine there for $3.99 each. You can get by with fewer bottles of the higher concentration.

    Also, get familiar with Pool math, it's going to be your best friend for a while!
    Pool/Equipment: 20'x52" round Intex Ultra Frame AGP (~8,800 gallons)--Intex SWCG (CG-28669, 15K gallon model)--Intex Sand Filter Pump (SF60110, 16", 120lbs sand, 3K gph)--Hayward SP1091LX Through-Wall Skimmer--Hard Plumbing--Taylor K-1766 Salt Test Kit--TF-100 Test Kit

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    Need some help ASAP - a 9 year old's birthday party depends on it!

    Fleet Farm and Aldi are the best places to buy bleach in MN. Fleet Farm usually has 1 gallon of 12.5% for $2.50. Also, while waiting for you test kit you could work on increasing pH. Get a few boxes of borax from the grocery store or target.


    20'x40' Oval 27,000 gallon Vinyl IG, Coverstar Auto Cover
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