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Thread: How to manage heavy swim load

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    How to manage heavy swim load

    I apologize for not having my signature up to date yet but will work on that this weekend. With that said, we have had our new pool opened for a month and had a big kick off with Memorial Day weekend. We have been able to manage the water perfectly up until this last weekend by using chlorine pucks our pool builder gave us (we are switching to TFP method once those run out). Our pool is 20x40, 26,000 gallons inground vinyl liner. During the weekend, we noticed our water start to get cloudy and it stayed that way for days. Finally, we had to superchlorinate Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. By doing this, we finally got the chlorine back to normal and the water clear.

    During the weekend, we had at least 50 different people in the water off and on for the 3 day weekend. My assumption is that the chlorine pucks could not keep up with the swimload.

    Whether I'm using chlorine pucks or the TFP method, how do you prepare for a situation in which you will have a heavy swim load throughout the weekend? Any advice is recommended.

    As a side note, there are 5 kids in the neighborhood who have had swimmer's ear this week and we are assuming it may be due to cloudy, dirty water.

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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: How to manage heavy swim load

    A lot of folks will boost the FC levels to almost SLAM levels right before bigger parties like yours. The other thing is to test often and replenish FC. Even if you are committed to using the pucks you can still use liquid chlorine for these events to quickly raise the FC level before and right after the swimming. It is fine to swim up to SLAM levels. As for the pucks, they basically last forever, you would be better served to "switch to TFP" now and save those for vacation or to bump up your CYA a little here and there when necessary.

    Do you have a test kit yet? If not, I would highly recommend getting that now even you stick with the pucks. You have to know what your CYA level is and pool stores simply don't get that right. Using pucks could create a lot of problems down the road as you've probably read.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: How to manage heavy swim load



    Ha ha. That's pretty-much it though. Those tabs won't provide the FC required for such a heavy swimmer's load. That's a LOT of bodies in your pool. Still trying to figure-out what happened to my invitation. Just augment with regular bleach as needed. Before a large event, increase over your target by 2-4 ppm to help with the stress on the water, then check immediately after everyone has peed and spilled their pool in the water.

    When in doubt, always fallback on an overnight (OCLT) test if you think something is brewing in the water. Have a great weekend.
    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: How to manage heavy swim load

    In all likelihood, the pucks could not stay in front of all the foreign organics being introduced by your guests. In these cases you can bump up the chlorination level to the high end of the target range with liquid chlorine beforehand and then again after the pool is "shut down" for the night in preparation for the next day. Though I'd get closer to SLAM levels at night. Watch the the CYA carefully. Pucks are stabilized chlorine, but the CYA does not dissipate with the chlorine. Of course it might be less of an issue with the splash-out caused by 50 people over a three day weekend.

    The primary cause of swimmers ear is a moist environment, regardless of water source, which allows bacteria to grow, but I wouldn't automatically assume it was from your pool. Yes under-treated water can hold bacteria, but lake water is not treated at all and still mostly safe to swim in. Also, properly chlorinated water can kill off good bacteria that help prevent infection as well. I don't think it's fair to just conclude that it was your pool.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: How to manage heavy swim load

    Try to set those pucks aside and get on the TFP program sooner rather than later, because those pucks are likely elevating your CYA levels and when the CYA elevates you then have to manage the water with with much more chlorine than you would need to. The pucks could be saved (store them airtight cool and dry) for vacations, long weekends away from home, etc.

    Knowing your CYA level is key to keeping the water clear and healthy. I do use the test kit they promote here. One of the site experts will be looking at this thread and advising you to purchase one. That kit is key if you are going to use this method because the results from the tests in that kit are what allows you to dial in your numbers and keep your pool clean. Yes pool stores offer free water testing, but the results you get from them are not accurate and without accurate results you will be spinning your wheels, continually fighting the water. I have little ones, I also have a grandbaby on the way. My son was concerned about my daughter in law being in the pool pregnant. I was able to tell him I feel with the reading I have done the way we manage the water is the healthiest option we have, I manage the water using the techniques learned on this forum. It's nice to know if someone gets sick the evening after swimming or the following week, I don't have to wonder if it was because they were in my pool. That's really important to me. Tje swimmer's ear you are concerned about may not be connected to your water; I don't think anyone one here can confirm or deny that. But if you get your water balanced any "lurgy" anyone gets post swimming you won't have to worry improper technique was the reason they are off a bubble.

    If you are going TFC do it now rather than later. An elevated CYA level will cause you so much more additional work as it relates to getting sorted. So while you think you are saving money using up those pucks you could be actually setting yourself back really far right out of the chute in prime swimming season.

    Swimmer load is easily dealt with, but dealing with the load honestly comes after you have achieved balance. I have nothing in on the test kits or the methods so I am explaining this to you as a forum member who pops in here to keep current with "the chemistry" because priority one for me is healthy waters for my family and friends. I also know it is said time and time again on the forum you can't pick and choose and use this method and other (pool store/ pool installer/ friend giving you ideas to experiment with) methods simultaneously ~ if you use this method you have to be completely dedicated to it. If I were you I would seriously consider ordering a kit and implementing the techniques here. It's very simple once you start working it and the results are spectacular. I don't ever see a pool that compares to ours ~ the difference is just so obvious.

    Best of Luck!
    AGP: 27' x 52" : 17,500 gallon
    300 lb. Sand Filter (75 gpm) / 1.5 hp pump
    Full Sun ~ All Day

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    Re: How to manage heavy swim load

    Thanks for all of the feedback as this is very helpful. I did order the Taylor TF-100 kit and it should be in next week. Once it is here, I want to post my numbers on this site to get feedback on how to proceed. I like the idea of storing the pucks for when we are gone or on vacation. I'm excited to start using the new TFP method and am confident it will be much easier and less expensive.

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    Re: How to manage heavy swim load

    You can start the liquid chlorine/bleach tonight and each evening until your kit arrives. If you follow what they tell you here or what you read, some folks read it, learn it & live it on their own, you will be pleased with the results and it's minimal effort and no more poor stores and pricey checkouts. The folks here will walk you through each step of the way until you are able to handle things on your own.

    I am sure someone who knows will tell you how to dose each evening until your kit arrives. (Please try not to use the pucks, plain old bleach is what you need).
    AGP: 27' x 52" : 17,500 gallon
    300 lb. Sand Filter (75 gpm) / 1.5 hp pump
    Full Sun ~ All Day

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    Re: How to manage heavy swim load

    I didn't even think about starting it now but I guess it can't hurt. I could continue to use my current tester but it's just the basic one that only measures FC, PH and Alkalinity.

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    Re: How to manage heavy swim load

    Each night the folks in the know will tell you to put X amount of X% of liquid chlorine/ bleach in your pool (you will eventually learn how to use the calculator as you learn this process). Liquid chlorine is bleach. Clorox, Aldi, WalMart Brand or Liquid Chlorine (found in the pool section) all work ~ it's all the same stuff just different strengths. Just make sure if you do use plain old Clorox or any household brand ~ that's its plain, no additives for slow pouring or extra germicidal protection, nothing added for scent. It's plain household bleach (the percentage will be shown) or plain Liquid Chlorine. The gallons of water you have in your pool and the percentage of bleach/liquid chlorine you have on hand will determine how much you introduce to the pool each evening. Once your test kit arrives those two things are considered with the results of the very easy testing you will learn to do, then all 3 things (gallons of water, percentage of bleach and test results) determine how you treat the water each evening.

    Between now and test kit arrival day you will want to make sure you keep bleach/ liquid chlorine in the pool and the filter running. I am going to guess with 26,000 you will probably be directed to use 1/2 to 1 full bottle an evening (don't go Buford Pussar on us, experts will tell you exactly what to do from this point forward until you learn the process, so check in here this evening to see what they say). I put mine in in the evening after we are done for the night because I like my bleach in there doing it's work with no sunlight. In saying that during the day there is bleach in there as well (it's always in there) ~ the CYA keeps the sun from breaking it down. I just prefer to dose it up at night when I tuck it in for bed
    AGP: 27' x 52" : 17,500 gallon
    300 lb. Sand Filter (75 gpm) / 1.5 hp pump
    Full Sun ~ All Day

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    Re: How to manage heavy swim load

    I can't thank you enough for the feedback and I'm excited to get this process started. I was thinking that one bottle each evening would probably be about right. We are expecting another busy weekend of swimmers so I will make sure to have plenty on hand. To your point, I will definitely wait until the evening time after we are all done for the night. Again, thanks for all of your help and I will continue to check back in.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: How to manage heavy swim load

    Here is how pool sanitation works. In order for your pool to be sanitary and kill bacteria, viruses and pathogens quickly enough to be sanitary the chlorine level must never drop below the minimum level for your CYA, Chlorine CYA Chart. When it does drop below minimum the pool is no longer sanitary and has increased risk of person to person disease transmission.

    It is safe to swim when the chlorine level is above minimum and below shock level for your CYA, Chlorine CYA Chart.

    So, the easiest way to make SURE that FC never drops below minimum is to raise it enough in advance so that it doesn't drop below min. And/or to check from time to time and add more bleach.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: How to manage heavy swim load

    I don't know how many gallons your pool is because you don't have a sig, but in a 15k gal pool 10 people swimming for an hour will likely use more than 0.5 ppm of FC.

    More on adding a sig here, Pool School - Read This Before You Post
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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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