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Thread: Hello from Philly!

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    cdan16's Avatar
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    Cool Hello from Philly!

    Hello all! I guess I have a pool now. We weren't seeking one out but the house we love came with a pool so here we are!

    This is the third summer we've lived here. The first summer we kept the cover on (probably should've put some chemicals in at some point in retrospect). Second summer had a pool guy (at great expense) come every week plus open and close. Now the pool guy is back (he's a great guy and seems to know his stuff) but I'm feeling like I'm spending too much money here. He does a backwash, vacuum, deck blow off (so many leaves!), skimmer/polaris cleaning, and chemicals (usually Trichlor pucks) every week. I bought some testing supplies and have been testing daily for the last week. My goal is to take over the chemical and maintenance duties sometime this summer.

    I've attached the results of my first week of testing along with some notes about what the pool guy has been doing and reporting (he's been off on FC measurements). Looks like I have high CYA (due to the trichlor?) but everything else seems normal to me. What do you guys think?

    6-24-2016 11-25-38 AM.jpg

    Here's an example of a report I get every week. I'm sure he's not adding 8lb of Trichlor right? I don't have the most recent ones scanned in yet

    6-24-2016 11-36-30 AM.jpg

    Some other nagging issues:

    1) Brown stain all over plaster. Not sure if it's organic or metallic but I dropped some Vit. C tablets in there and while they didn't make it white, it is a little bit lighter where they fell (my sock tore open while trying to rub it on). I'm down for an ascorbic acid treatment at some point but I don't have a "recirculate" setting on my filter (push pull valve, not a spider valve). Pool guy says potentially a candidate for a drain and acid wash but he warns that the plaster is kind of old so he's not sure how thick it is.

    2) Very rough plaster on bottom. Possibly related to 1) above but last year I jumped in and my knees and feet were bleeding a lot. Not sure if it's pitting or something on the surface but my CH doesn't seem too out of whack and the ph has been maintained (at least for the last two summers) at an appropriate level.

    3) I'd like to get the heater up and running. Not really a topic for this forum but my water temperature is 78deg and I am apparently a huge wuss. If I can't fix it I'll probably replace it. Hopefully with the money I'll save doing my own chemicals I'll be able to pay for that heater in no time! Has anyone here installed their own propane heater?

    Anyway - this is a lot of info that could probably have been spread among several threads but I wanted to get it all out.

    Glad to be here!

    Dan
    17K gal; plaster (with tile border and concrete coping); 3/4 HP Hayward Super Pump; 48 sf Nautilus DE filter; 336K BTU Teledyne Laars heater (non-functional); pressure-side Polaris cleaner with booster pump (not sure the model); Northeast weather (Philly area) and lots of shade (and leaves); poured concrete deck; Life Saver mesh pool safety fence

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Philly!

    Welcome. First question we have to ask--what kind of pool test are you using?
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    cdan16's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Philly!

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp View Post
    Welcome. First question we have to ask--what kind of pool test are you using?
    Whoops - sorry! Taylor K-2006
    17K gal; plaster (with tile border and concrete coping); 3/4 HP Hayward Super Pump; 48 sf Nautilus DE filter; 336K BTU Teledyne Laars heater (non-functional); pressure-side Polaris cleaner with booster pump (not sure the model); Northeast weather (Philly area) and lots of shade (and leaves); poured concrete deck; Life Saver mesh pool safety fence

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Philly!

    Without a doubt, the tablets have finally caught-up to you. Your CYA is too high, ad the only way to reduce CYA is a partial water drain. With a CYA that high, you can't increase FC enough to properly sanitize the water. You're currently showing the CYA as 120, but it could be higher since our CYA tests only go to 100 anyways. A good water exchange of 50-60% might reveal you need to do it a second timer perhaps to get the CYA down to somewhere between 30-50. That's the problem with relying on tabs & pool store backs of shock versus regular bleach or an SWG.

    As for the roughness and stains, I thought perhaps scale, but your numbers don't suggest that. IN fact they suggest too low which might indicate plaster dissolving/etching. Have you tried holding a chlorine tab on it for a short time to see if that works?
    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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    cdan16's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Philly!

    Yes - I tested CYA twice. The first, I'm guessing I was a bit off. The second time, I used 50/50% fresh water and pool water along with the testing solution and doubled the number (that's how it works, right)? So I'm guessing i didn't max out the test. Either way, you're right it's too high, though I'll say that I haven't seen any ill-effects (water looks clear, etc.). As soon as I get a better handle on everything, I'll start taking over the chemicals myself and get off the tabs. I'm going to be burning quite a bit of bleach though if I've got to keep it up at 12-14 ppm, right? If I'm going to exchange the water, would it not make sense to wait until the off-season, drain, acid wash, re-fill? That way I'll know I'm starting from scratch. Plus - I'll have a more accurate measurement of my pool volume (it's a very oddly shaped pool).

    Though - if it's etching and not scale, I gather an acid wash will not solve the problem? I will go pull a tab from the skimmer and hold it against the rough part and see what that does. What should I expect there? Assume I should wear gloves?
    17K gal; plaster (with tile border and concrete coping); 3/4 HP Hayward Super Pump; 48 sf Nautilus DE filter; 336K BTU Teledyne Laars heater (non-functional); pressure-side Polaris cleaner with booster pump (not sure the model); Northeast weather (Philly area) and lots of shade (and leaves); poured concrete deck; Life Saver mesh pool safety fence

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Philly!

    You've got a good understanding on the CYA. You can wait for the off-season providing you keep the FC high enough to ward-off any algae. The puck might change or lighten the spot if it were organic in nature. That's just another effort to confirm or rule-out what it may be. Probably good to wear a glove of some type while you're handling the puck.
    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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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Philly!

    cdan16:

    You're being given good advice, but I will extend a hearty welcome to TFP!

    BTW, your test log is very similar to mine!
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    cdan16's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Philly!

    Yep - I thought I would get good advice here! My test log is an export from Pool Pal. I knew better than to start asking questions without running some tests first!

    That said, why do you suppose my pool guy is so far off on his FC calculations? Is he really using 8lb of Tri-chlor?
    17K gal; plaster (with tile border and concrete coping); 3/4 HP Hayward Super Pump; 48 sf Nautilus DE filter; 336K BTU Teledyne Laars heater (non-functional); pressure-side Polaris cleaner with booster pump (not sure the model); Northeast weather (Philly area) and lots of shade (and leaves); poured concrete deck; Life Saver mesh pool safety fence

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Philly!

    That said, why do you suppose my pool guy is so far off on his FC calculations? Is he really using 8lb of Tri-chlor?
    Hard to tell. So many pool techs and builders simply add products they "think" should be added without really understanding the "ABCs of Water Chemistry". But this is exactly why we advocate for owners to have their own test kit, understand how to test water, and what it means from there. Once you learn, there's no turning back.
    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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