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Thread: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

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    Question New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    SO we just had a 27' above ground installed less than 2 weeks ago. I have been reading forums here on trouble free pool like crazy. Just trying to learn and understand. I even got the app for the pool calculator now. Our pool has a cartridge filter with a 2 HP pump with low and high speed. It has the Aqua Smarte Docking station with the Mizermax packs. I have read that those arent the greatest.

    SO here is my concern. I have already gone through a pack of the MIzermax in less than 2 weeks. I get sun for about 8-10 hours a day on the pool. I run my pump continuously on low. Issue I have is my CYA is really low (I assume because I cant get a reading even with filling it up). I use the K-2006 test kit. Filled the tube all the way up. It gets a little cloudy but I can still see the black dot on the bottom. So not sure what its reading at. I ran out of the Mizermax pack the other day and found out when I tested. I immediately added a new one and also added in liquid chlorine. My CYA is still low. I know the Mizemax packs include CYA I believe. Im nervous about adding CYA because I dont want it to shoot through the roof since it is getting it by the packs. But I hate seeing the chlorine burn up so fast. We had a few days in the 90's last week. Any suggestions on what to do??

    Testing results on everything:
    FC: 3
    CC: 0
    PH: 7.5
    TA: 100
    temp: 84-86

    BTW love this site and plan on being here alot more to get things ironed out!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    Hello and welcome to TFP! So let's discuss this mineral pack ... I wouldn't recommend continuing its use. They are more costly, and the docking station is also designed to hold/monitor the mineral activator. You certainly don't want your water exposed to minerals. I'm not seeing on my initial searches any mention about stabilizer in those packs, so I would simply stop using those products right away. Cut the cord now.

    Rely on manual feeding of regular bleach and increase your CYA to at least 30 ppm for now. The fact you are seeing none register means you are extremely low anyways. After a few days when the stabilizer has dissolved in the water, test CYA again to see how close to your CYA target of 30 it came. Monitor your FC closely the next couple days until your CYA increases. Make sure FC never drops below 3, and later when you have CYA, you can increase it slightly to about 4-5. Remember - regular bleach (plain).

    Please visit/bookmark the other vital links you see below in my sig that will help you in the next few days as well. Nice to have you with us.

    To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. Squeeze the sock periodically to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
    - - - Updated - - -

    Proper lighting is important for the CYA test. You want to test for CYA outside on a sunny day, but keep the skinny view tube in the shade. Taylor recommends standing in the sun with your back to the sun and the view tube in the shade of your body. Use the mixing bottle to combine/gently mix the required amounts of pool water and R-0013 reagent, let sit for 30 seconds, then gently mix again. Then, while holding the skinny tube with the black dot at waist level, begin squirting the mixed solution into the skinny tube. Watch the black dot until it completely disappears. Once it disappears, record the CYA reading. After the first test, you can pour the mixed solution from the skinny view tube back to the mixing bottle, shake, and do the same test a second, third, or fourth time to instill consistency in your technique, become more comfortable with the testing, and validate the CYA reading.
    Also, don't forget to update your signature with all of your equipment!
    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: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    SO the mineral pack and the chlorine packs (mizermax) are different in the Aqua Smarte. I plan on cutting them out once I use them up. But they came with the pool and dont really want to throw them away. I have one more chlorine pack and then will switch over to liquid. BUt I was concerned about raising the CYA since the chlorine packs have the CYA in them already. I dont want to over due it and be stuck in a situation where IM draining the pool. I planned on checking everything tonight and adding in CYA though via sock method as you mentioned. I will check pool calculator to see how much I need to add after I test tonight.

    I will have to get up to speed with the links. I have read through the pool school, Chlorine/CYA chart, recommended chemical and levels, and even SLAM and OCLT.

    I also need to figure up how to add my pool in the signature. All in due time. Appreciate the help so far!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    I'll keep looking, but I'm not seeing in any descriptions about stabilizer in those. I did find this interesting:
    1. Add Conditioner/Stabilizer at the beginning of the season if the Stabilizer level is below 20 ppm. This will prevent chlorine burn off. Follow manufacturer instructions closely.
    that's from the Dayton Aqua Smarte Plus with Mineral Activator | King Technology | Cincinnati, OH | Watson's web page, so it must be true.

    But regardless, your K-2006 CYA test doesn't lie. If there's no CYA in there now, you need to add some or your FC will deplete very quickly each day.

    For your signature, you can add your pool info to your signature by going to the top of the TFP web page (just under the Pool School button) and select "SETTINGS". On the next page look to the left for a menu bar that says, “MY SETTINGS” and go to "EDIT SIGNATURE" to enter your pool and equipment info there. It will help us later. This link may also help you: Pool School - Read This BEFORE You Post.
    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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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    HERE is the MSDS for the Mizer Pac. I see Dichlor and Trichlor for sanitation, but not just cyanuric acid (CYA).
    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: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    Texas Splash, Thanks for clarifying that about the packs. I did add in the CYA last night via the sock method. NOt sure how long I need to wait for testing but I usually test every night. Do you think I need to SLAM the pool? The water looks great and everything is normal except the CYA which im adding in now. I havent done a OCLT test yet. I know my chlorine goes down every night. I have adjusted to add in more and plan on staying on top of it until the CYA gets worked out. Am I on the right track with everything? Just wanted to make sure being a newbie and all. As always appreciate the help with everything!

    Test results last night:
    PH: 7.6
    TA: 100
    FC: 3
    CC: 0
    CYA: still not able to read as it is too low
    Temp: 82F
    27' Aqua Leader Quantam AGP 19,300 Gallons
    Hayward 2HP pump, hi-low speed
    Hayward Swim Pro 175 sq ft cartridge filter
    K-2006 test kit
    Wedding Cake steps

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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    If your chlorine is going down at night then an OCLT might be a good idea, especially in light of your lowish FC. Its better to get on top of anything consuming your chlorine before you get too carried away adding stabiliser.
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
    K-2006

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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    I agree ^^. It sounds like an OCLT would be a safe bet. It might take a day or two (once dissolved) for that CYA to begin to show. You want at least 30, and if yours goes slightly above to 40 it won't hurt anything. Since you do have stabilizer soaking, I would increase your FC to about 6 today and start your overnight test at about the same so that you don't drop too low (just in case). If you pass the OCLT by not losing anymore than 1 ppm of FC in the dark - great. If you fail, then you know a "SLAM" is the next best thing to do (link below). Your water doesn't appear to be too terribly bad shape, so I would suspect a SLAM should go well (if needed) once you follow all those instructions. Good luck, and have a great day/weekend.
    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: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    Sounds like the OCLT is the way to go. Was hoping to get away with not having to SLAM the pool but might just have to. So get the FC up to around 6 today and then perform the OCLT tonight? IM wondering how IM going to get the FC up that high that quick? I guess I could add in liquid chlorine? and just remove the packs from the equation all together? Should I add in the chlorine during the day and let it settle then test tonight and perform the OCLT? Just trying to understand the best method. I was hoping by adding in the CYA that it would balance out the FC loss since I didn't have the CYA to protect it before. In the SLAM process do I need to vacuum or brush since its a brand new pool that has been up for less than 2 weeks? Also do I need to get my CYA up before I slam the pool? Sounds like it based on my understanding. I guess I will find out how bad things are when i do the OCLT. Crazy though cause everything is fine besides the CYA and the chlorine going down slightly.
    27' Aqua Leader Quantam AGP 19,300 Gallons
    Hayward 2HP pump, hi-low speed
    Hayward Swim Pro 175 sq ft cartridge filter
    K-2006 test kit
    Wedding Cake steps

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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    Here's the article Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT) In short, with no automated chlorination, bring the FC up to 10 after the sun goes down. Test it first thing in the morning. Let us know what you get.

    Use pool match to calculate how much FC to add. Yes, brush and vacuum during a slam, especially brush. Get the CYA dissolved by squeezing the sock(s) You CYA needs to be somewhere in the 20-30 range for a SLAM.
    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: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    So it is raining here today. Should I wait until another day when it isnt expecting rain? And I bring the chlorine up to 10 FC after the sun goes down? Im assuming the fastest way is to add in liquid chlorine. Does my CYA need to be straightened out before I perform the CYA test? Just trying to ensure I do this the correct way. I have the CYA going now in the pool. Been going since last night. Added in 2 pounds via the sock method in front of the return. I can dissolve it but not sure if I will get the right reading right now correct? Thought it took 24-48 hours to get the CYA reading after it dissolves. So process goes today after the sun goes down >>>>dissolve the CYA first ( do i need to test it?), then turn the auto chlorine off, get the FC up to 10 by adding in liquid chlorine, test again in the morning. sound correct?
    27' Aqua Leader Quantam AGP 19,300 Gallons
    Hayward 2HP pump, hi-low speed
    Hayward Swim Pro 175 sq ft cartridge filter
    K-2006 test kit
    Wedding Cake steps

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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    Yep sounds like a plan- make sure you test about 15mins to 1/2 hour after your last addition of chlorine to establish a precise FC number before you leave it for the night.

    Yes your right on the CYA before retesting- 24 -48 hours- but assume your target CYA level with the addition of the stabiliser.
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    If you are home today you could even walk around the pool squeezing the sock. As soon as it's dissolved, assume it's in there even if it doesn't show on the test yet.

    Until you get a good handle on this stuff, I would ONLY use liquid chlorine (bleach). Any auto-chlorinator should be turned off and kept off

    Don't worry about the rain, rain doesn't make much if any difference.
    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: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    So I think im good now on how to do the OCLT test but last question is the CYA. Does that have to be in order before I do the OCLT test? Or will this affect the FC levels for testing? I plan on squeezing it out today during the day and adding in liquid chlorine later after the sun goes down. sounds like it may be a process getting the chlorine straightened out for FC testing later but Im on it. I will use the pool calculator to get it there.
    27' Aqua Leader Quantam AGP 19,300 Gallons
    Hayward 2HP pump, hi-low speed
    Hayward Swim Pro 175 sq ft cartridge filter
    K-2006 test kit
    Wedding Cake steps

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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    No the CYA is to primarily protect your FC from the sunlight- but not an issue with the OCLT because you if you have something consuming your FC at night then it will be organics- it also won't affect your FC testing.
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
    K-2006

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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    So OCLT done. Raised the FC level last night up to 14.2 seemed high. I turned off the auto chlorine before I added in the liquid. Waited about 45 minutes before I tested. Let it sit over night and tested this morning before the sun came up. Tested about 930 last night and then 645 this next morning. Still tested this morning around the 14.2 mark. Tested everything and here is where I stand now

    FC: 14.2
    CC: 0
    PH: 8 (was 7.5 last night)
    TA: 90 ( was 100 last night)
    CYA: 40 ( was set 0 last night but added in the CYA yesterday)
    Temp: 80F

    So not sure what to do at this point. I think I'm going to leave the auto chlorine off for the day and let it come back down to the 4 range. Then work on getting the PH down to around 7.5. Any other suggestions? Numbers look good or ok for doing the OCLT?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    Okay, so let's re-cap ..... you passed your OCLT even though you initial thought you were losing FC overnight. Your water is still clear and CC less than 0.5ppm. That means organics are not to blame for the loss of FC. Your CYA "should" be around 30 if you added correctly. I would confirm that later today or tomorrow. If it is, or still just a bit low, now is the time to start increasing it more to perhaps 40 or 50 to protect your FC from the sun. FC only gets lost to organics or the sun, and since you appear to have ruled-out algae, that only leaves the sun. In the meantime, keep your FC around the 4-5 range and never let your FC drop below 3. Always look at the Chlorine/CYA Chart to be sure. Be careful about any auto-chlorinator usage (puck or otherwise) as they tend to add other chemicals you don't want. Regular bleach is usually your best bet,

    Also, when you do your FC test, you can do it with just a 10ml water sample. Add one heaping scoop of powder, count the drops, then divide the total number by 2. Example: 16 drops = FC of 8. That should save you some reagents. Have a nice weekend.
    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: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    Thanks for the advice Texas. I had a few questions I was hoping you may be able to answer

    Should I wait to turn the auto chlorine on until the FC drops back down to around the 4 range? I was considering keeping it low for now but thought I should wait.

    The CYA now sits around the 40 ppm range now. Is that going to go up or down considering I just added it yesterday?

    Will the PH go down or do I need to bring it down with the acid?

    Do any numbers I posted look out of range?

    I considered using the 10 ml sample size going forward. Just didn't know I could get away with using 1 scoop of powder.

    As always appreciate the help and love this site!

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    I would wait on turning-on the auto-chlorinator certainly until the FC drops to about 4-5. You can ignore the pH reading until after your FC has dropped at least below 10 because the pH is always "off" when the FC is high. When FC drops under 10, adjust pH to between 7.5-7.7 as needed. You can let the FC drop in its own. The sun will help with that. Now is where you watch FC and CYA closely with your test kit for a few days. Test CYA later today and tomorrow to see what you get, then look at that chart I mentioned. You can keep the FC around the 4-5 mark and it should be fine. If you find that the CYA creeped-up to 50, it's still okay for summer, just increase FC slightly to the 5-6 range. Remember ... FC and CYA go together. It's safe and fine for the pool as long as CYA doesn't get "crazy high" like in your case over 70-80. Stick close to those vital links below in my sig, trust your good teat kit results, and you'll be fine. Once you use that last chlorine pac, stick with regular old (plain) bleach.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, at some point please add your pool info to your signature. You can do that by going to the top of the TFP web page (just under the Pool School button) and select "SETTINGS". On the next page look to the left for a menu bar that says, “MY SETTINGS” and go to "EDIT SIGNATURE" to enter your pool and equipment info there. Or you can click EDIT YOUR SIGNATURE. It will help us later. This link may also help you: Pool School - Read This BEFORE You Post.
    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!

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: New to the whole pool thing but got my test kit!

    So test results are going good. Been raining all day and they are calling for rain all week. OCLT started out at 14.2 and remained that Saturday morning so a pass on that. Tested Saturday night and FC is down to around 10. Test today and FC is down to 7.5. Havent had much sun Saturday and Sunday. CYA started around 35 on Friday before OCLT. Saturday went up to 45. Today still holding around the 45-50 range. Im hoping the rain will help keep some of it down and it doesnt creep up too much. But as mentioned CYA and FC go hand in hand.

    Numbers today:
    FC: 7.5
    CC: 0
    CYA: 45
    TA: 100
    PH: 7.5
    Temp: 80

    Anything seem out of whack? Should I consider turning back on the auto chlorine or wait until tomorrow and let it drop on its own more overnight? Just want to make sure Im on track with everything. Appreciate all the help!
    27' Aqua Leader Quantam AGP 19,300 Gallons
    Hayward 2HP pump, hi-low speed
    Hayward Swim Pro 175 sq ft cartridge filter
    K-2006 test kit
    Wedding Cake steps

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