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Thread: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

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    Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Hi, just opened the pool and I've never put chemicals in it. It's a 24' x 54" AGP (vinyl liner). 15,000 gallons. When I took the cover off after storing it all winter, the pool was greenish, but you could see to the bottom (which was filthy with dirty and grim). Over the next few days, the pool turned brownish and bottom visibility went to zero (due to rain and wind). Then, we finally got the pump, filter, and electrical hooked up and turned everything on yesterday. Here's what happened:

    3:00 PM yesterday - Pool is brown. Turn on pump. Manual vac bottom. Skimmer top. Pull up a lot of dirt and sludge.
    4:00 PM - Pool is gray. Add shock treatment. It's Poolite TurboShock (78% Calcium Hypochlorite) 16 oz. powder bag
    5:00 PM - Pool is getting bluer. Wow!
    Throughout the day/night keep cleaning out skimmer basket and monitoring pool. Pool is turning a lovely blue color, but you can't see more than a foot or two deep.
    8:00 AM today - Pool is a pretty blue. Looks like you could swim in it, but it's super cloudy. Can't see more than a foot or two down. I run the manual vac again and pull up a lot of dirt and sludge. Brush black moldy-looking spots that are on the vinyl walls and they fade a bit (they were left when I opened the pool due to the lowered water level).
    9:00 AM - Add second shock treatment (same as above - one 16 oz. bag of Turboshock). Filter is running it's little heart out.

    Okay, so from what I've been reading, this second shock treatment probably isn't going to do much to clear up the visibility in the water. It's time to start adding chlorine, right? So, what should I do? How much to add?

    Other issue is. I don't have a test kit. I did order the TF-100 Test Kit, but it's in the mail and looks like it might take 2-3 weeks to arrive. Blerg. Is there a simple test I can grab at the pool store to give me some quick info on chlorine levels so I know how much either household bleach or liquid chlorine to add? I am tempted to take a bag of water to the pool store, but they already tried to upsell me when I went in for two bags of shock (trying to get me to buy phosphates and algae and metal removers for an additional $40) so I'm nervous about just trusting whatever they have to say about about chemicals to add. Wanted to get advice here first. If there's more info needed, please let me know!!!

    Thanks much!

    EDIT: UPDATED TO INCLUDE TESTING NUMBERS BELOW!!!
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    but it's in the mail and looks like it might take 2-3 weeks to arrive.
    If it's in the mail, I suggest you track it......5 days at the very most should put it on your door.

    Meanwhile, add 1 jug of Clorox each evening until your kit arrives.

    If you PM me your name and City, I'll get you a delivery date.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    No need to go to the pool store that's for sure. I doubt there are any test kits locally that test FC at levels of 12 or over. I see Dave addressed the delivery issue of your TF-100. In the meantime, as Dave already noted, best thing you can do is simply add 1 gallon of regular bleach to the water each evening. Don't try to add or adjust anything else until you receive the TF-100 and can post a full set of results. Read the SLAM page (link below) in advance and be ready. Hope that helps.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Welcome....

    From where did you order the test kit? I didn't think it should take more than a week to receive it. Check out the link in my signature. If you can get the test kit in a week, I'd cancel the other order.

    Turbo Shock is Cal-Hypo and not contain CYA. I assume you have a Vinyl liner, so it's not awful, but I'd stop using it anyway. At $5/bag, you get a better bang for your buck with plain concentrated household bleach or Liquid Chlorine. Once you get your test kit, you'll need to test CYA and add stabilizer to get it to 30.

    Until then, take a run through Pool School (looks like you have started this) and familiarize yourself with Pool Math. If you have one, bookmark the Pool Math website on your smartphone. It is an invaluable tool.

    Finally, in order to not fully lose the progress you made over the weekend, Pour one jug of either bleach or LC in the pool each evening as well as brush/vacuum.
    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: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Hi, thanks, Dave for the reply, but I ordered the same test kit from Pool Supply World and they are saying it will take 2-3 weeks. I got a confirmation that the they got my order, but then they emailed me saying 2-3 weeks (which is annoying, didn't realize it would take that long when I pushed "BUY"). It hasn't even been shipped yet and I ordered on 6/15. Sigh. I can still PM you details if that helps, but I doubt it. Let me know. I will do 1 gallon of Clorox bleach each night until I get the test kit though. Thank you for that advice!
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    If you cancel the order through PSW and order a TF-100 from tftestkits.net, you'll likely have it by the end of the week if you order today. Unless Dave or Rebecca can handle it directly through PSW for you...
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Chatting with PSW right now. They say the test kit is on back order for 2-3 weeks. I'm canceling with them and I'll order through Dave and hopefully have the kit much sooner - thanks! That's what I get for trying to save a few bucks!
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Perfect!
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Oh, and quick question. The kit was $68 at PSW and with shipping it's $82 on the other site. Any way to get the price down? I think that's why I ordered it from PSW in the first place because the price difference was pretty significant. If not it's fine, just asking before I press ORDER
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Oops. Sorry, that's out of my area of expertise. All I can see is what you see on-line that it's $70, then I'm assuming tax and S&H from there. Maybe Dave or someone else may have another bit of info that may help answer your question.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Conducting Customer service on the TFP website by TFTestkits or any other company is really frowned upon. You can call TFTestkits @ their website and get answers but, If you ordered from TFTestkits today before 2:00PM, your kit has shipped.

    Please call them after 9:00AM tomorrow for an arrival date.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    I get you. Ordered the kit. Looking forward to getting it and adding Clorox in the meantime. Thanks everyone for your help. Will be back with updated numbers once kit arrives. Funny how pretty water looks even though you can't see more than 1 1/2 feet in!
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Okay, kit arrived. Here are initial numbers I ran. I'm guessing I just need to dump loads of bleach into this thing. I also uploaded a picture of my chlorine/pH test. It looks like I have almost no chlorine (that side didn't even change color on the test).

    IMG_5408.jpg

    FC = I'd say 0 (the pool water didn't even change color when I added other chemicals to test. Not even a tiny bit)
    CC = 0 (no color change here either)
    Total Alkalinity = 140
    CYA = It's lower than 20. I filled the tube all the way up and could still see the black dot, so no luck.

    Unless I'm doing the tests wrong, I think I just need more chemicals in the pool. The water is still super blue, but you can't see more than a foot down. I've been dumping in a gallon of Clorox bleach every night. Help?
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Congrats on the TF-100! So here's what I would recommend:
    - Increase CYA to at least 30. Perhaps add enough stabilizer to increase CYA by 20 ppm for now if you think there was some in there before, that way you don't go too high.
    - You didn't list pH, but make sure pH is at about 7.2 in preparation for a "SLAM" (link below) to clear any cloudiness or algae
    - Increase FC to "12" because you need to "SLAM" - still have cloudy water right? A SLAM will resolve the algae/cloudiness. For FC testing, make sure to use the R-0870 (powder) and R-0871 (drops) to test FC and CC.

    If your water is not cloudy or have algae, or you have any questions about how to proceed, let us know. Remember the Poolmath calculator will help you with all dosage amounts for each item.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    You're in pretty good shape. Get enough CYA hanging in a sock to get to 20. Add enough bleach to get to FC 10 http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Test FC again in 15 minutes or so. If it's < 5.0, add enough to get it back to 10 (Pool Calc again).

    Once the FC holds a little bit better, SLAM away!

    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
    Test Kits - Pool Math - Chlorine/CYA/Target/Slam Chart

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Okay this is stupid but what do you mean by "add enough stabilizer to increase CYA to 200 ppm for now" or "get enough CYA hanging in a sock to get to 20." Is there some way to get CYA in the pool that I don't know about. Again, totally new and totally have no clue.

    Also, I included a picture of my pH test if you click on the image link it appears to me that I'm at 7.2. Does that look right to you?

    How much bleach would you think of adding? One gallon? Two gallons? Sorry. I know these might seem like stupid questions, but I am really confused. I did click on the pool math calculator, but I'm having a bit of trouble understanding it. I've entered my numbers on the one side, but I can't quite figure out what I should enter for my goal levels in the second column. Does that make sense? Or am I making this more complicated than it needs to be?

    I wouldn't say the water is cloudy. It looks clear and blue and clean, but you can just barely see the pattern on the bottom (based on the look I just took at it), so is that cloudy? It doesn't look white.
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Okay, my bad... figured out the pool math calculator. Looks like I need two gallons of 8.75% bleach. Great!

    Where can I get CYA stabilizer? A pool store? Or is there a cheaper option?
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Many larger hardware and home improvement stores (HD, Lowes, Runnings, Menards, etc.) have pool chemical sections that are usually more reasonable that pool stores. WalMart may have some as well. Anything that's granules and has 99% or higher cyanuric acid listed on the bottle will work.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Thank you!
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Re: Adding Chlorine for the First Time - Help?

    Okay, added 2 gallons of bleach this morning and waited about 20 minutes and tested. Got:

    FC = 4.5
    CC = 0.5

    That means keep dumping more bleach in to get the levels up to 10? I am in the process of tracking down the CYA stabilizer (helping my dad with building our pool deck yesterday and watching our three little ones, but today is my birthday so hopefully I can sneak out and grab some - happy birthday to me). Thanks again for the help.

    Also, possibly another silly question... I am pouring the bleach directly into the water at the side of the pool, but I'm kind of walking around the pool as I do it so it's dispersed equally all throughout the water. Is this necessary? It's kind of hard (given that there's deck construction around the pool, have already scraped my leg on debris and ruined a shirt with some splashes of bleach). Would it be okay just to pick one spot and pour the bleach in at that place? I know it will probably take longer for it to move around the pool, but it would save me a lot of annoying walking around in the future. Thoughts? What do you do?
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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