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Thread: First Summer With a Pool... Need Help!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2016

    First Summer With a Pool... Need Help!

    Earlier this summer I set up a 14 x 42 Intex Above Ground Pool. I am currently renting this house so the plan is to remove it at the end of the summer in a few months. I have been testing the water about 5 days a week using the Clorox 5 way test strips. About once every other day I add about 10 oz of bleach to the pool. I also use those 3in trichlor tabs in a floater. My FC levels is usually between 1 and 4 ppm. So far the pool water has been pretty clear, however over the last day or so I have seen what appears to be dirt at the bottom. However when I run my foot over it, it just dissolves. Is this dead algae? I also have a few other questions I am hoping you all can help me out on!

    1. I know I have to get something better than the test strips. I know that the TF-100 is recommended but it costs almost as much as I paid for the pool. Not really trying to spend that much considering the pool will be taken down within a couple months. Does a decent test kit exist that is in the $10-$20 range?

    2. Using the test strips my CYA is showing up as 0. I have not added any stabilizer yet. However, I read that since it is a smaller pool I should be able to get away just using the Trichlor tabs since they contain stabalizer. Within the last 3 weeks or so, I have gone through about 4 pucks and still no CYA is showing up on the test. Could it be that the test strips are just not picking it up?

    3. I have yet to add anything to increase my PH. Using the test strips it shows at about 6.2. What is the easiest way to raise my PH? Should i use washing soda or borax? What is the process of adding these chemicals into the pool?

    Thanks for all your help!!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio

    Re: First Summer With a Pool... Need Help!

    I'll try to help and get right to your questions:
    1 - By the time you piece-together different things you need to test the water, the TF-100 is a very good buy. But still, if you're hesitant, you can get an HTH 6-Way tester from Walmart and supplement it with the FAS-DPD for precise FC testing. It's not ideal, but may help you for a short while.
    2 - Never trust test strips. Almost always unreliable, and CYA is way to important to guess.
    3 - You can use Borax sure. The Poolmath calculator (Link below) can help you determine how much to add. You want the pH in the mid 7s ASAP.

    Try to review our TFP Pool School page for more info, and be careful with those chlorine tabs. They can mess-up some readings if you're not careful. They increase CYA quickly and can also pull pH down because they are acidic. Most of us simply use regular liquid bleach.
    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
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