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Thread: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

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    New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Hi folks!

    First time posting, and a newish pool owner.

    We moved into our house with a pool last August. When we first moved in, I had a local pool company managing the cleaning and maintenance. I later noticed that they weren't actually coming, when they said they did. So I cancelled the maintenance contract before the winter months.

    I'm hoping to manage/maintain the pool myself, but need a lot of help/advice. In an attempt to try get the pool usable for the summer, I took a water sample into the local pool company to see what chemicals I need to add, to get the water balanced. The first sample showed the following: pH: 6.3, Total Alkalinity: 0, Total Hardness: 8, Free Chlorine: 3.8 Total Chlorine: 4.3, it also showed that I had a high Copper concentration at 3.9PPM.

    They had me do the following to help address the issues:

    1. Add 3qts of Pool Magnet Plus to help with the copper
      1. Add directly to pool with pump running
      2. Wait 15 minutes then proceed to step 2

    2. Use Sparkle Up
      1. Follow label instructions for your filter type
      2. Backwash 24 hours after application

    3. Add 21.5lbs of Balance Pack 100 for low alkalinity
      1. Divide product into thirds
      2. Add with pump running
      3. Apply each dose 4-6 hours apart


    After doing the above, I took a new water sample in. They then let me know that my readings were as follows: pH: 7.3 (the odd thing here is that their report says this is high, but later says that the ideal level is between 7.4-7.6), Total Alkalinity: 74, Total Hardness: 38, Free Chlorine: .8, Total Chlorine 1.2, it also showed that my Copper concentration went to 3.4PPM.

    They asked me to do the following to help fix this issue.
    1. Install a heater bypass, to try to address the high copper problem to balance the water
    2. Reduce chlorine level to below 1
    3. Add 3qts more of Pool Magnet Plus to help with the copper
      1. Add directly to pool with pump running
      2. Wait 15 minutes then proceed to step 2

    4. Use Sparkle Up
      1. Follow label instructions for your filter type
      2. Backwash 24 hours after application

    5. Then bring in a new water sample for additional trouble shooting



    I had another local pool company come out to take a look at the pool in person, and though they didn't test for copper, they said if the copper was that high, they would see some staining in the pool, which they didn't. They didn't think installing a heater bypass was necessary, and that most of my numbers didn't seem too far off, other than my Chlorine levels, since the other company told me to reduce it below 1, to address the Copper issue.

    Any feedback on how I can get this thing up and running? Based on the different perspectives above, I'm not sure what to do next...

    I've attached a picture of the pool that I took today, again, I haven't had Chlorine in it for 2 weeks now. I haven't shocked it at all this year either. I've also include pictures of my equipment.

    Thank you for any help/guidance you can provide!

    Brock
    IMG_6477.jpgIMG_6478.jpg
    New/overwhelmed pool owner in WA. 10,000 gallon inground Viking fiberglass pool, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus 320 Filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Heater, Purex Triton WhisperFlo Pump

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Hi there Brock, welcome to TFP!

    The very first thing to do is to get an approved testing kit - either a K-2006 or a TF-100. Both are good, however, the TF-100 will give you a lot more reagents for the money (it also comes in a convenient small modified tacklebox making getting it out to the pool and back a snap). I would recommend a Speed-Stir (it is a little magnetic stirring device that prevents you having to hand swirl while testing - a lifesaver!). You can get either kit at TFTestkits.net

    The second thing is to run to the store and get some plain, unscented, concentrated bleach. You need to get some chlorine in that pool ASAP to stop anything that may be trying to grow in it! Until your kit arrives, you need to add chlorine every day. Someone should be along to tell you about how much they'd suggest you add daily.

    Third thing - STOP paying other people to tell you what you need in your pool. Their job in life is to sell you all kinds of expensive stuff, and 9/10 times it not only doesn't help, but adds chemicals that screw up your chemistry in other ways, at which point they're happy to sell you something to fix THAT, and will repeatedly sell you things until you run out of money. The chemicals they sell you that you do need are often just repackaged and marked up ingredients you can buy at any grocery store or WalMart for far less.

    Start reading here: Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    Then come back with some targeted questions. Most of all, get an approved testing kit in the mail as soon as possible. The $70 you spend on a testing kit will pay for itself in very short order. Once we have a full set of test results from you, the great folks on this forum will be able to come up with a plan specialized for you to get your pool swim ready for far less than you'd spend otherwise.

    I know it seems like the "professionals" at the pool store or company should know what they're doing, but they often do not. It seems counter-intuitive, but we see it time and time again on this board.
    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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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Thank you, triptyx!

    I did buy a testing kit, the model I have is the Taylor K-2005, should I look at getting the TF-100 instead? I'll order a Speed-Stir. I checked the pH with the kit this morning for myself for the first time, it looked to be at 7.4, which seems to be in the right range. I still need to go through the other tests, but would imagine my alkalinity is still low. Since I last went into the pool store and stopped adding the chlorine, I haven't been running my pump, based on their suggestion to avoid more copper. Should I disregard everything they said, and add some bleach/chlorine, get the pump running again, then provide some readings?

    Will my testing kit be able to confirm the high copper issue?

    Thank you again for the response. It does feel like they keep trying to sell more chemicals to offset others, which is why I called a different pool company to come look at it in person.

    I'll take some additional reading by tomorrow.

    Thank you,
    Brock
    New/overwhelmed pool owner in WA. 10,000 gallon inground Viking fiberglass pool, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus 320 Filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Heater, Purex Triton WhisperFlo Pump

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Regarding your pump - please get that thing running. The pump provides filtration that you need, skims off leaves and other organics that you don't want in your pool, and keeps the chlorine mixed and present throughout the pool. I think they're worried about copper leeching out of the heater, but without the pump running, you're going to have a frog-filled swamp in short order.

    Test-kit wise, you're almost all of the way there with a K-2005. To add the final test that we need, all you need is a FAS-DPD chlorine test - this test will allow you to measure free and combined chlorine up to 50ppm - you'll need to go a lot higher than 5ppm (or 10 if you have a newer 2005) if you end up fighting algae.

    To finish out your kit, you can get a FAS-DPD kit here: TFTestkits.net

    Meanwhile, let's get a full set of numbers from you with your awesome 2005 kit:
    FC
    CC
    Ph 7.4
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    Then we can get started.
    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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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Thank you. I just ordered the FAS-DPD chlorine test kit that you mentioned. I'll circle back with the other readings. Thanks again!
    New/overwhelmed pool owner in WA. 10,000 gallon inground Viking fiberglass pool, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus 320 Filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Heater, Purex Triton WhisperFlo Pump

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Morning Brock. Just checking in to see if you got a full set of test numbers this morning.

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Sorry for the delay, I was out of town this weekend.

    Here are the numbers, though I have a few concerns if I did this right, which I've noted below.

    FC: 3
    CC: 0 (TC - looked to be the same color as the FC, so not sure if I did this right?)
    Ph 7.8
    TA: 190
    CH: 340 (The test kit said that water will turn red, then count the drops until it turns blue. My water never turned red after the first step, but it was a hot pink, then the water turned a purplish color after 32-34 drops of with the second step.)
    CYA: The CYA number was below the reading lines, which means it's really high right? I may have read this wrong, but I was not able to see the dot at the bottom of the tube after adding a limited amount of water (Here's a picture of what the level of the reading was, in case I'm reading this incorrectly: Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.).

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions, or if I should try this again. Thank you in advance for any advice that you can provide.

    Brock
    New/overwhelmed pool owner in WA. 10,000 gallon inground Viking fiberglass pool, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus 320 Filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Heater, Purex Triton WhisperFlo Pump

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    TC = FC + CC. That's all.

    For CYA, you'll need to perform a dilution test. Mix half pool and half tap water in a separate container, then use the mixture to get a sample and test and multiple the result times 2. It's less accurate, but will give you a better ballpark of what your CYA is.

    If it's really that high, you need to be maintaining a much higher FC level.
    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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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Thanks, I'll try that when I get home tonight. Do the rest of my numbers look okay?

    Thanks again!
    Brock
    New/overwhelmed pool owner in WA. 10,000 gallon inground Viking fiberglass pool, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus 320 Filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Heater, Purex Triton WhisperFlo Pump

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    If TA is correct, it's quite high - you'll find your pH drifting up pretty fast with that number.

    Your pH is also a touch high, given the TA number, I'd use PoolMath to get the correct amount of muriatic acid to lower the pH to 7.2.

    Once pH is at 7.2, you're going to want to get FC raised up quite a bit. Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart At 3ppm, your FC is not nearly enough to avoid things growing in the pool given your CYA is above 100. The dilution test will tell us how much, but you're going to want to consider draining and refilling quite a bit of water to get CYA down to 50 maximum. Don't wait on the pH though, get that FC boosted to at least 7 for now using bleach (you don't want to add any more CYA to that pool!)
    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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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Thanks. I ran the diluted tests and it looks like my CYA is around 120, after multiplying by 2.

    I retested some of the other numbers, and got the following to confirm my earlier readings.

    FC: 3
    CC: 0
    PH: 7.8
    TA: 190
    CYA: 120

    Is muriatic acid better to use than sodium bisulfate?

    To confirm, my next steps should be to raise FC to 7, work to lower the pH with muriatic acid, then drain some of the pool and refill to try to correct the CYA issue?
    New/overwhelmed pool owner in WA. 10,000 gallon inground Viking fiberglass pool, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus 320 Filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Heater, Purex Triton WhisperFlo Pump

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Also, when you say bleach, does that mean I just pour in something like Clorox Germicidal Bleach with Active ingredients: Sodium Hypochlorite 6.15%, other Ingredients 93.85%?

    According to Pool Math, I should add 83oz to take the FC up to 7, from 3, does that sound correct?

    Thanks again.
    New/overwhelmed pool owner in WA. 10,000 gallon inground Viking fiberglass pool, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus 320 Filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Heater, Purex Triton WhisperFlo Pump

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    I use liquid muriatic acid myself, however, sodium bisulfate is usually called dry acid here as far as I can tell, and is perfectly fine to use to lower pH. It's a little more expensive, but does the job just fine. PoolMath will show you dosage for both.

    With regards to bleach, what you have there is just fine. You'll get better bang for your buck with "concentrated" bleach, which is 8.25% (less bottles to haul too), but as long as it is plain, unscented bleach (and not splash-less), it will work great for chlorinating your pool. Given a 10k gallon size, and 6.15%, pool math is telling me to go from 3 to 7 FC, you'll need 81oz - the 83oz you got sounds pretty close (my alternate pool math browser is likely missing a couple of other measurements that you've put in - I'd trust the number you're getting there).
    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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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Sorry for the delay. Wanted to provide an update from my readings from Tuesday.

    After adding the bleach, my readings came back as follows.

    PH: 7.6 - 7.8
    FC: 8
    TA: Still high at 180

    The water looks clean/clear like my original picture. Should I plan on keeping the Chlorine level high, and retest the CYA levels? Also, will having a high clorine content oxidize the copper in the water and solve that problem, or should I get that looked at?

    Thank you,
    Brock
    New/overwhelmed pool owner in WA. 10,000 gallon inground Viking fiberglass pool, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus 320 Filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Heater, Purex Triton WhisperFlo Pump

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    I'm not sure about the copper. Who measured the copper and what was the result?

    Was your TA 180, or your CYA?
    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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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    With that CYA level, I'd recommend a 50% drain and refill. That will at least get you down to a usable CYA level, and it will slowly drop down into the thirty range by next year due to rain and backwashing your filter.

    I'm also in Redmond. The best price on bleach I've found around here is Fred Meyer Home Sense "Original" scent. Cheaper than Walmart. In the Redmond Fred Meyer next to Home Depot, it's on the bottom shelf, below the Clorox.
    25000-gallon semi-public IG concrete/plaster pool, Triton II sand filter
    750-gallon semi-public IG concrete/plaster spa, cartridge filter
    Volunteer pool caretaker for my condominium complex

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    TA = 180
    CYA at my last check earlier this week, after you had me try the dilution test = 120.

    I think my TA went up quite a bit, after I put in all of the chemicals that my local pool company told me to put in. My initial posts has the chemicals that they had me add.

    For the copper, the local pool company also told me that the copper level was 3.4 PPM by running a sample that I brought in on their computer. But at that high of a level, wouldn't my pool have some staining or something? Here are a few pictures of the pool that I took this morning: Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.. You'll notice that there are a lot of shadows from the trees in my backyard, but hopefully the pictures help.

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Resubmitting my previous post, should you have any helpful advice.

    Thank you,
    Brock

    Quote Originally Posted by brockw View Post
    TA = 180
    CYA at my last check earlier this week, after you had me try the dilution test = 120.

    I think my TA went up quite a bit, after I put in all of the chemicals that my local pool company told me to put in. My initial posts has the chemicals that they had me add.

    For the copper, the local pool company also told me that the copper level was 3.4 PPM by running a sample that I brought in on their computer. But at that high of a level, wouldn't my pool have some staining or something? Here are a few pictures of the pool that I took this morning: Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.. You'll notice that there are a lot of shadows from the trees in my backyard, but hopefully the pictures help.
    New/overwhelmed pool owner in WA. 10,000 gallon inground Viking fiberglass pool, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus 320 Filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Heater, Purex Triton WhisperFlo Pump

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    Re: New pool owner in Redmond, WA needing help to balance and open pool for summer

    Try PMing swampwoman...she is the metal queen around here, from what I gather!
    INTEX AGP 15'x 48", 4440 gals.,INTEX 2650 gph pump w/ 16" sand filter, Hayward widemouth skimmer,INTEX SWG-CS8110, 1 1/2" hard plumbed PVC, Lil' Shark vac w/ leaf canister, INTEX floating LED pool light, solar cover with polaris solar reel, Access pool steps 200600T, TF 100 test kit, "The Slime Bag" x-tra polishing 18" x 30"

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