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Thread: Newbie still - when should I be concerned on levels

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    1st Test - help for a novice

    Greetings. Owner of an unground pool. Tired of going to the pool store and not knowing what I need and trusting them and buying all sorts of stuff. So trying to educate myself and be better at maintaining pool. Ordered my TF-100 as I had been using test strips. Came yesterday and like a kid on Christmas opened it up and ran my first tests today. Yeah!!!

    Little about look of pool. Crystal clear. No chlorine smell. But can't keep Chlorine levels up. Also at close of pool last year we noticed in the deep end what looked like dirt or mud. Doesn't scrup off but I can scrape it off with my fingernail. Guessing it's calcium deposits from what I am reading as my calcium levels. So now just trying to figure out how to get pool levels right. Know I need to add stabilizer but not sure if I should be adding other things first. Hope I am listing these right. I'll keep reading pool school but any help is appreciated. Thanks!!

    1st test results:
    CYA - 0
    CL - 0
    PH - 7.8
    CC - 3.5
    TC- 3.5
    CAL Hard - 575
    TA - 120
    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Test - help for a novice

    Hi, welcome to TFP! You will need to add CYA to reach 20ppm, then you will need to complete the slam process to get rid of the CC in your pool. Before you do all that, if your fill water is inexpensive and lower in CH you may want to consider a partial drain and refill to lower the CH level.
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    Re: 1st Test - help for a novice

    Thanks. I'll see about doing a partial drain today and refill.
    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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    Re: 1st Test - help for a novice

    Tested the water from the hose. It's at 125. With a steel wall vinyl pool don't believe I can drain too far. I'll see if I can do 1/4 and see if that works.
    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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    Re: 1st Test - help for a novice

    With a vinyl in-ground, you want to keep at least a foot of water in the shallow end at all times to prevent the pool from potentially floating due to groundwater, as well as to make sure the liner doesn't float up or otherwise become wrinkled or damaged.

    Draining to 1/4 should lower your CH by 1/4th - it's a 1 to 1 ratio.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
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    Re: 1st Test - help for a novice

    I drained some. About 6in or so down. Once it got fellow the side skimmer basket nothing came out. It has a bottom drain. Is there another way I should drain lower? Can I do this multiple times over a period to get the same result if I can't lower more than 6 inches or so?
    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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    Re: 1st Test - help for a novice

    You can do it multiple times, but since you're remixing the new water with the old water, you'll get less reduction each time compared to one large drain/fill, which makes for using more water.

    Look in your skimmer - is there a little spaceship looking thing underneath the basket? If so, lift that up - are there two open holes in the bottom or just one? If not - same question - are there two holes or one?
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
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    Re: 1st Test - help for a novice

    Two holes. And what looks like a flap that can slide and cover one of the holes to seal it.
    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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    Novice - 2nd day test - CYA and SLAM questions

    Greetings. Owner of an inground pool. Got my TF-100 Friday and like a kid on Christmas opened it up and ran my first tests yesterday. Pool is crystal clear. No chlorine smell. But can't keep Chlorine levels up. Readings yesterday were:

    1st test results:
    CYA - 0
    CL - 0
    PH - 7.8
    CC - 3.5
    TC- 3.5
    CAL Hard - 575
    TA - 120

    Posted first post and told needed to get CYA to 20 and then SLAM pool. Also I drained and refilled some to get hardness down. I added 3lbs of stabilizer with a sock in skimmer. I believe from pool math I might need closer to 6lbs but wanted to take it slower so I don't overshot. I am reading that I need to know what the CYA is to know how much chlorine to add to shock. But also it can take a week to register. So a few questions:

    1) need to wait a week to test the CYA?
    2) should I be adding chlorine in the interim - I think so but not sure.
    3) in terms of slamming, the math for my pool says to get FC from 0 to 12 would be like 2 gallons of 12% chlorine. That seems like not a lot. Am I calculating that right?

    Thanks!!!
    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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    Re: Novice - 2nd day test - CYA and SLAM questions

    Quote Originally Posted by djdicarlo View Post
    Greetings. Owner of an inground pool. Got my TF-100 Friday and like a kid on Christmas opened it up and ran my first tests yesterday. Pool is crystal clear. No chlorine smell. But can't keep Chlorine levels up. Readings yesterday were:

    1st test results:
    CYA - 0
    CL - 0
    PH - 7.8
    CC - 3.5
    TC- 3.5
    CAL Hard - 575
    TA - 120

    Posted first post and told needed to get CYA to 20 and then SLAM pool. Also I drained and refilled some to get hardness down. I added 3lbs of stabilizer with a sock in skimmer. I believe from pool math I might need closer to 6lbs but wanted to take it slower so I don't overshot. I am reading that I need to know what the CYA is to know how much chlorine to add to shock. But also it can take a week to register. So a few questions:

    1) need to wait a week to test the CYA?
    That's plenty of time to wait. Probably two days after it has all dissolved will be enough.
    2) should I be adding chlorine in the interim - I think so but not sure.
    Yes. Alway always always maintain FC in a pool. Just assume the CYA you added is already fully dissolved and mixed and dose accordingly.
    3) in terms of slamming, the math for my pool says to get FC from 0 to 12 would be like 2 gallons of 12% chlorine. That seems like not a lot. Am I calculating that right?

    Thanks!!!
    I get 357 ounces of 12%. That's closer to 3 gallons.
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    Anyone good with sustain?

    First off so glad I found this site and you all. Really informative and feel like I am learning a lot in just the few short weeks since I've been here and got my test kit.

    Had inground pool installed installed in fall 2012 so this is the start of my 4th summer. Have been using Sustain product that they recommended and haven't really had any major issues but think I want to go to the BBB method, partly for the cost (that stuff's expensive) and partly just from reading this site. Not sure I can completely this year because I used the Summer Shield product and saw some posts saying that may cause a problem.

    Got my TF-100 and here are my Tests so far (6-11, 6-13, 6-14)

    FC 0 / 4.5 / 2.5
    CC 3.5 / 3.5 / 3.5
    TA 120 / 130 / 110
    PH 7.8. / 7.8 / 7.6
    CH 575 / 550 / 550
    CYA 0 / <20 / <20 (I added 3.5lbs CYA Sunday and 1.5lbs yesterday)

    Been doing a lot of reading on here but some questions
    1) possible the sustain and summer shield causing CC to show up - read some posts that it might. Pool had no chlorine smell.
    2) trying to get CYA to like 25 and then SLAM if CC is right. How long before it properly reads. Don't want to add too much and saw posts it could take a week to register.
    3) still have half buckets of sustain I'm using but I know this is a calcium product. I know I am high but just trying to figure out when I should worry - at what level of CH?
    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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    Re: Anyone good with sustain?

    CYA should register in a few days after fully dissolved.

    CH is 575 is higher than any of the recommended levels. Probably should stop adding the sustain now and switch to bleach.
    Pool School - Recommended Levels

    Your FC is a little low. If you are targeting CYA of 30, then you should target 4. 2.5 is close to the min.

    Your CC is high and I will let the others chime in on that. If 3.5 is correct, you may have something in the pool that it is oxidizing.
    Matt
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    Re: Anyone good with sustain?

    Thanks. Looking to move from the Sustain. Just seeing what issues I might run into as I do this year.
    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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    Re: Anyone good with sustain?

    From digging around, it looks like Sustain uses calcium hypochlorite - so it is adding calcium to your pool (reads as CH on the test). I'm not sure what their "energizer" adds.

    The site says that Sustain will read as CCs - apparently they use some sort of binder that reads as CC, I'm assuming the energizer acts on that CC to break free the correct compound for FC.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Newbie still - when should I be concerned on levels

    First month with test kit. Done 4 tests so far and getting better at doing them, and enjoying it too. Using up the last of the Sustain (cal-hypo) I have. Been adding CYA but not all at once as what I read I didn't want to overshoot. I think last dose I'm doing today should be good. Then I plan to slam to get CC under 0.5

    Got my TF-100 and here are my Tests so far (6-11, 6-13, 6-14, 6-16)

    FC 0 / 4.5 / 2.5 / 5.0 (just added last night)
    CC 3.5 / 3.5 / 3.5 / 3.0
    TA 120 /130 / 110 / 150
    PH 7.8. / 7.8 / 7.6 / 7.6
    CH 575 / 550 / 550 / 575
    CYA 0 / <20 / <20 / <20 (I added 3.5lbs CYA Sunday, 1.5lbs Tuesday, 1.5lbs today)

    Pool still clear and no smell. Just wondering I am just really looking at the FC, CC and CYA now but when should I really worry about the CH and TA. Know they are out of range but is there a level that is still "Ok" or where does it become danger zone?


    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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    Re: Newbie still - when should I be concerned on levels

    Most recent TA was actually 140 not 150.
    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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    Re: Newbie still - when should I be concerned on levels

    TA is not important right now. That persistent CC is a much larger problem. I think a SLAM is in order! Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
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    Re: Newbie still - when should I be concerned on levels

    Thanks. As soon as my CYA is over 20 I'm going to SLAM.
    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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    Calcium hardness

    Readings from pool today

    CC - 1.0
    FC - 3.0
    TC - 4.0
    PH - 7.7
    TA - 120
    CH - 675
    CYA - 20 (pretty close)

    i know I'll have to do a drain. Steel wall vinyl side pool so can't go too low and may have to do in steps. But until then, just want to know how worried should I be? What can I live with? Pool is crystal clear.
    Dave
    27,900gal; IG; vinyl; Cartridge; TF-100 test kit; Build Oct 2012

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