Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: A Little Chemistry, and a Lotta Luck!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Frankfort, IN
    Posts
    3

    Lightbulb A Little Chemistry, and a Lotta Luck!

    Howdy, all!

    First time I've posted here, but trust me that I think I've spent more time this past week putting myself through Pool School than the pretty lady sitting next to me would have preferred...

    But, I've promised her it's all going to be worth it to keep our first pool hassle-free! Our little 14 footer's certainly nothing extravagant, but I've always had the "Do it right, and you'll only have to do it once" mentality, and from what I've read so far on the forums, that puts me in agreeable company here. We'd love to have a larger IG one day, but we're still on the road to homeownership and saving up some money down, so a vinyl AG we picked up on sale seemed like a great option for us to have some fun without breaking the bank. Of course, nothing is ever as easy as we'd like, but I think I found TFP just in time to save myself a few major headaches. My parents had a vinyl AG up for a few seasons when I was growing up, so I knew the barebones basics, but it took a little Pool Schoolin' to figure out where all my chlorine was going. ("Whaaa? You mean I need stabilizer too?... Oh. Guess that explains my crystal-clear Chlorine readings...")

    Granted, some of my uphill battle turns out to be unpreventable-- after getting a little education under my belt and testing our fill water, I can proudly say our city makes the Hall of Shame with TA and CH both >300. I question the actual validity of the specific results when a test that needs THAT much reagent, but TA measured at 340 and CH at 390... I take it with many +/- grains of salt. But, now that I've got a little handle on chemistry, I'm planning to commit one of the most frequent cardinal sins I see admonished here-- Bring on the Trichlor!

    I know that there's not much love lost for pucks at TFP, but taking a look at my full battery of test results, I daresay it actually makes some chemical sense:

    TC*: 5
    pH: 7.8
    TA: 340
    CH: 390
    CYA*: ?

    *Note: I didn't know about TFP before we had already purchased our test kit, so I'm currently making do with the available reagents I have. It just has the OTO test regimen, so I'll eventually spring for FAS-DPD reagents as well. Since I know I haven't added any stabilizer aside from the Trichlor, I'm also holding off on a CYA test since it only comes with enough of the reagent for two tests. I've been tracking the Trichlor addition, however, and PoolMath tells me that the 8oz I've put in, I should currently expect it to be around 10.

    Up to this point, I used 10% bleach for the initial fill, although it certainly didn't matter much. Without understanding the importance of stabilizer, it only served as a delicious sacrifice to the sun gods. With the disappointing TA of the fill water, I also find the pH continually creeping up. The initial pH testing was around 7.4, and it's risen as high as 8 before I really stepped up the Trichlor, which I'm now adding about four half-ounce 1" pucks every day to the skimmer basket.

    Since I've really ramped up the rate at which I'm putting in Trichlor, at least until I reach a more defensive CYA level, I obviously don't need to supplement with bleach right now. I figure the higher TC/FC levels from stacking them in is an acceptable tradeoff for the short term-- at least I know I'll have plenty in reserve should any unwanted organics get the bright idea to move in. It honestly just seems to make sense given my particular set of circumstances; it's keeping the day-to-day chlorine levels high enough that solar burnoff doesn't put me at algae risk, while slowly accumulating enough CYA that it won't become a concern-- all with the added benefit of keeping the pH a little lower and chipping away at that ridiculous TA!

    I know it runs the risk of stirring up some mixed emotions, knowing that the resources and information presented here are easy enough to grasp that y'all have already turned me into a convert for keeping this pool genuinely Trouble-Free... Even though it's got a newbie singing the praises of turning to the "dark side" with stabilized pucks!

    Huge thanks to everyone that contributes to the forum and resources, I don't even want to think about all the nightmares that could've happened otherwise!

    My heroes forever!
    -Tony
    Pool: Summer Waves 14' x 42" Circular Vinyl AG (3300G) w/ OEM SkimmerPlus (1000GPH)

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: A Little Chemistry, and a Lotta Luck!

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    You have certainly done your homework

    We do not hate trichlor pucks, but they are too complicated for most new members to understand all the things they change. I agree you are a good candidate for their use until the CYA bank builds up.

    The TFPC method is really just about understanding your pool’s chemistry, and through accurate testing, adding only what the pool NEEDS and not what someone wants to sell you.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Frankfort, IN
    Posts
    3

    Re: A Little Chemistry, and a Lotta Luck!

    Still staying the course, and no news is good news! Chlorine levels started getting a little high, so I've been taking the cover off when I get home even if we don't plan on using the pool, which has kept it in the 3-5 range; still a little high given my expected CYA value of ~25 from the pucks I've put in, but by next weekend I should reach the target of 30. Its all been smooth sailing, with the exception of a couple hours of cleanup after the 4 year old thought it would be a good idea to toss a shovel full of dirt in the pool... right after I put in a fresh cartridge filter, too. Got it all vac'd out, but it definitely made me realize the benefit of a nicer pump that would actually let me vacuum to waste, would have saved me another almost-immediate filter replacement. :P

    Only a couple questions that are left unanswered, at this point. Firstly, how long would you say I should wait before testing my CYA levels after the last pucks are fully dissolved? I've heard some accounts that say to wait a week, while others advise it's fine to test after just a couple days. Additionally, up until this point I've been basing my pool size based on the manufacturer's listed value of 3300gal. When I punch the actual dimensions (14' x 42" Round) into PoolMath though, I get a significantly larger value of 4000gal. Any insight on the accuracy of the pool volume that Summer Waves lists for their pools? Since it's the AG variety that uses a metal frame to suspend a vinyl liner, the sides don't really bow as much as what I've seen with the inflatable pop-up variety, but that was the only factor I could think of that would affect the volume based on manufacturer's dimensions.
    Pool: Summer Waves 14' x 42" Circular Vinyl AG (3300G) w/ OEM SkimmerPlus (1000GPH)

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Divin Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Longview, Texas
    Posts
    4,926

    Re: A Little Chemistry, and a Lotta Luck!

    Hi Klassen,
    You can test for CYA a couple of days after the last tab is dissolved.

    Trust what pool math tells you. The math is correct.
    If your water is actually 42 deep, then 4K gallons is right.

    It seems to me as if your manufacturer used a figure of 36 deep to calculate the volume.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Frankfort, IN
    Posts
    3

    Re: A Little Chemistry, and a Lotta Luck!

    Howdy, all!

    Pool is still up and running, and I've verified a few more things; first, regarding the pool volume discrepancy, I'm entirely to blame for that one-- I had incorrectly assumed that the listed dimensions were for the water volume itself, instead of for the frame... In hindsight, that seems like a pretty obvious one, given that folks are probably interested in dimensions to see if it's actually gonna fit somewhere. Couple with that my sense of realization when the recommended fill level for the pool is right about a half foot down from the top of the liner; y'know, right at 36"... Whoops!

    So with that "mystery" solved, the situation is about exactly what I had expected. All the important stats are still right in nominal range:

    TC*: 5
    pH: 7.6
    TA: 280
    CH: 370
    CYA: ~30

    *I know, shame on me for not tracking FC/CC, but I'm still just using OTO for now. Haven't bit the bullet on the FAS-DPD reagent kit yet... (Mostly because the kiddo just started T-Ball, and mom is a huge baseball nut. Lesson to learn: Just because Rawlings makes smaller kids' gear, does not mean it carries a proportionately smaller price tag.)

    Is there anything else I need to get aside from the FAS-DPD to add on to my current HTH 6-way in order to make it a "TFP-Complete" kit?

    At the end of the day, I was really hoping the trichlor dosage would take TA down a little further, and that new number is even with rainwater helping keep it topped off. Are there any real concerns for a high TA with a vinyl liner aside from pH creep? It's honestly been pretty stable overall, the pucks helped keep it at a pretty consistent ~7.4 while they were being used, and it's taken around a week to float back up to the current 7.8, but that's also taking account the aeration from the storms-- I just couldn't bring myself to go put the cover back on in the middle of a downpour.

    The only thing I'm still on the fence about are any of the dual-reagent drop tests. Up to this point, I've been basing my numbers off of the sample completely changing colors, even though I tend to see some pretty significant ribbons of color about 5 drops before the total shift. I assume what I've been doing, waiting for a complete color shift, is the proper way to conduct those tests yeah?

    As always, mountains of thanks to everyone that helps keeps this ship running! We're not only enjoying a trouble-free, but also a hassle-free pool!
    Pool: Summer Waves 14' x 42" Circular Vinyl AG (3300G) w/ OEM SkimmerPlus (1000GPH)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •