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Thread: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

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    CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    I've been on the forums since we started looking at the house we just bought (we closed yesterday) and it has a pool. I've had my test kit TF100XL for a couple weeks and have been testing the water a few times during the close process. The previous owner had a pool company manage the pool and they used pucks in a floater (aptly named) and serviced the pool 1x per week.

    I ran a full battery of tests today and here are the results:

    FC: 12.5
    CC: 0
    CH: 400 - This one was tricky. I should have got a speed stir. May be inaccurate/high.
    TA: 100
    CYA: 80
    Ph 7.6

    The FC yesterday was about 18 and it was a scorcher in Tulsa OK today 95+F and 110 heat index. The sun was out bright and both days CC tested 0 with no hint of pink. This evening, I did add a half gallon of Clorox (got it from costco for 9.15 for 3 gals) and pool math indicates this gets me about a 4 point rise in FC.

    The sand filter gauge (i have a new one on hand from TFTESTKITS) needs replaced and reads 22psi. I backwashed for 3 minutes today and the pressure was not affected. THis kind of worries me but I remember when I cleaned out the pump basket the filter gauge didnt return to 0 so I'm not taking any stock in the reading. I need to pick up some teflon tape tomorrow and will install the new gauge once I have the tape on hand for proper install. I suspect this filter has been neglected and needs a good deep cleaning.

    A few questions:
    - There is a drain looking thing on the side of the pool, at about 2.5' depth in the deepest section of the pool, that I am not sure what it is. (This is my first pool). Is this simply a suction or inlet? There is also a drain at bottom of pool and 1 skimmer.
    - There seems to be some silt or dust on the bottom of the pool. I brushed today and added chlorine afterwards. I assume this is just dirt from recent storms and such? Should I vacuum this up? The water is fairly clear but I'd say its a shade or two away from TFP Sparkle clear.
    - When I first started looking at the house and had an inspection, there was a considerable algae problem. The pool company somehow got rid of it. I pulled the pucks and have been watching FC and CC since we closed. Is it okay to keep the chlorine above the recommended range, but below SLAM range, or is this just wasteful? The recent algae problem makes me think I need to be a bit more aggressive, and I also suspect the dust/silt may be algae remnants. However, CC IS 0.... Maybe I need to do a SLAM anyway until the dust and such goes away?

    A bit of a rambling post, but any thoughts and/or suggestions?
    Last edited by Cmasty; 06-15-2016 at 10:48 PM. Reason: punctuation, clarity.
    ~17k gallon, plaster/gunite pool, Pac Fab Challenger Pump 1.65HP, Sand filter. Rheem Heater. Waterfalls with 1 hp pump. Main Drain and 1 Skimmer.
    TF-100XL test kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    Yes, that is a wall drain for a waterfall pump.
    I turn the suction to bottom drain and brush debris/dust/dirt to the drain. I don't own a vacuum.
    Yes, it is fine to maintain elevated chlorine levels to try to clear up cloudy water, before and after a big swim day or other ties of high FC demand.

    Do the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to see if there is algae growing and you need to SLAM.

    Good job reading, learning and getting a great test kit! You are an old pro already!
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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    Welcome to TFP Good to have you here.

    Have you checked for copper and iron? Some pool stores down here have a small charge for metals if you're not a regular customer, and some do it as part of the first test on a new customer. Don't buy anything there, as I bet you 100% know already. I'm not one to go looking for trouble, but it does give you a chance to rule out use of a copper-based algaecide. No panic or anything, just something worth considering when convenient.
    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: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    Thanks for the suggestions, needsajet and pooldv.

    As it turns out, I didn't in fact backwash. I turned the backwash valve to "unlock" but didn't pull it up to release the hounds. I'm still going to replace the gauge today AND do a backwash (this time for real).

    Also, there is a small gap underneath the deck and skimmer where water might be able to infiltrate underneath the pool deck. Does anyone have any good caulk recommendations, or will a general tub and tile type caulk be ok?
    ~17k gallon, plaster/gunite pool, Pac Fab Challenger Pump 1.65HP, Sand filter. Rheem Heater. Waterfalls with 1 hp pump. Main Drain and 1 Skimmer.
    TF-100XL test kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    Here is some extra help for your filter, Pool School - Maintenance and Cleaning of Pool Filters

    The caulk needs to be a self-leveling polyurethane caulk. Like Sikaflex.
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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    Water is crystal clear. Been burning about 3-5 FC per day. It's been blazing hot and sunny and the kids have been in it daily.

    I have a lot of trees in the area and seem to be getting a lot of particles, insects, bugs, cottonwood cotton, etc on top that the skimmer doesnt get. Does anyone have suggestions for better skimmer effectiveness?
    ~17k gallon, plaster/gunite pool, Pac Fab Challenger Pump 1.65HP, Sand filter. Rheem Heater. Waterfalls with 1 hp pump. Main Drain and 1 Skimmer.
    TF-100XL test kit

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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    If your main drain and skimmer are plumbed independently to valves at the equipment pad, you can shift the valve(s) to take more water, or all the water, from the skimmer.

    If what I said doesn't make sense, post a pic of your equipment pad that shows the pipes coming up from the ground and going into the pump.
    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: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    Yes, +1 to that, we do about 80% skimmer and 20% drain on the suction side.

    What is your CYA? You probably want to raise it lower your chlorine usage.
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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    I'll adjust the main drain Valve to accept less water. I have also ordered some skimmer socks.

    My cya was around 80 about 10 days ago. Since then I have been only checking fc,cc and ph on a regular basis.

    I did backwash about 5%, had some evaporation, and then added back rainwater and hose water so I expect it would be in the neighborhood of 70. Ph and ch are both high at 7.8 and 360. I'm going to treat the ph with ma, tomorrow.
    ~17k gallon, plaster/gunite pool, Pac Fab Challenger Pump 1.65HP, Sand filter. Rheem Heater. Waterfalls with 1 hp pump. Main Drain and 1 Skimmer.
    TF-100XL test kit

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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    At any time, if you have a concern about high FC extinction, you can do an OCLT Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)

    This removes the effect of sunshine and bather load, so you learn if there is excessive organic contamination in the pool. It's like an audit on your maintenance approach. Some loss is to be expected, because it's mostly just the chlorine doing its job, but the criteria of less than 1 PPM loss overnight, tells you that all is well and normal.

    You need to follow the procedure carefully, but after you do it a few times, it becomes second-nature. Key aspects are:
    Start with a tested baseline after sunset (not an afternoon test plus a calculated chem addition amount)
    Remove any overnight source of chlorine (turn off chlorinator or chlorine dosing, remove any chlorine floaters or pucks in skimmer)
    Test the FC in the morning before any swimming, and before the slightest sun hits the pool - before sunrise is best.
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    80 is a good number. There is some percentage improvement in FC loss with CYA between 70 and 80. As in FC is noticeably better protected with CYA at 80 than it is at 70.
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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    I was just out scooping a few leaves (it's very windy here today) and a couple of other skimming aspects struck me. Just ignore if you're already on top of these.

    One is that the skimmer generally won't beat the prevailing wind, but it can catch up when the wind dies down.

    The other is playing around with the returns to get an effective pattern of surface movement. When the wind is low, you can watch the debris when your pump is running and see where it goes and try different orientation of the eyeballs. It takes a while (like 1/2 hour or so) for the new pattern to develop if the pump is already moving the water a certain way. Some people put ping pong balls on the water (without wind interfering) to get a quicker visual sense of the movement.

    That said, it's a compromise between perfect surface movement and good mixing deeper in the water. With your main drain, you probably have good deep movement and can point your returns a bit higher (than I can) to help move surface water. I don't have a main drain, so I have to sacrifice the best surface movement to be sure the water is moving well deeper down.
    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: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    My returns are fixed and the pool circulates pretty well. My OCD is bugging me with the floaters and seeds and insects. The skimmer (in square below) is in one corner. The other three corners have fixed returns (arrows), causing circulation in a clockwise manner, if looking at the pic. The main drain is in the very middle of the pool, as this is the deepest part. I shut the ball valve on the main drain by about 1/3 -> 1/2 and I will report back to see if this helps.

    pool.png
    ~17k gallon, plaster/gunite pool, Pac Fab Challenger Pump 1.65HP, Sand filter. Rheem Heater. Waterfalls with 1 hp pump. Main Drain and 1 Skimmer.
    TF-100XL test kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    The flow looks good. Reducing drain suction should help a lot.
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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    When it's windy sometimes I just do a quick walk around the edges with the leaf scoop as well, when I feel like it. I agree your pattern makes sense and should work well. You can probably reduce the main drain flow quite a bit without causing any trouble.
    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: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    This year I'm having a hard time keeping my PH down. Is the manner for getting PH more stable a process of lowering TA, by repeated additions of muriatic acid?

    Here are my current numbers:

    FC 11.5 2 hours ago
    CC 0 2 hours ago
    PH 7.6 2 hours ago
    TA 120 6 days ago
    CH 350 6 days ago
    CYA 65 8 days ago
    Temp 65 2 hours ago
    CSI: 0.11

    ~17k gallon, plaster/gunite pool, Pac Fab Challenger Pump 1.65HP, Sand filter. Rheem Heater. Waterfalls with 1 hp pump. Main Drain and 1 Skimmer.
    TF-100XL test kit

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    Re: CMasty's pool thread - A few new pool questions

    You are correct. Every time you add acid, you reduce pH and lower TA(slighly). 7.6 is a good number, 120 is a little high. How long does it take for your pH to go from say 7.4 to 8.0? If you are have to add acid more than once a week, you should consider trying to actively reduce TA through the acid/aerate method.
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