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Thread: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    I am getting my pool going this year and have a few questions.

    By the way Trouble Free Pool helped me keep my pool clean and sparkling all last summer!

    The pool has been up for a week or so and I didn't do much outside of adding some chlorine because I had stashed my test kit away so good I couldn't find it. I have been adding bleach (about a 1/2 gallon) but missed the last few days as I was away and there was no one to maintain my pool.

    So I tested my water today and came up with the following:
    FC .5
    CC 1 to 1.5
    pH 6.8
    TA 30
    CYA 0

    (Didn't test CH yet, but it is usually low 50 to 60ppm.)

    I have added 1/2 gallon of bleach, 23 oz. by weight of Borax and put a sock with stabilizer of 28 oz. by weight in next to my skimmer basket.

    I spent a couple hours with a friend who is going to be maintaining the pool while I am gone the next week (I leave in a day and a half). I want to be able to give her clear instructions on how to proceed over the next week.

    My understanding is I need to check pH tomorrow to see if it has come up and I should wait a week to check CYA.

    Now the questions:
    Should I just keep putting in a 1/2 gallon of bleach until the pool has stabilized (pH and CYA are in right range), or should I go by my FC & CC test readings to determine how much bleach to add?

    I understand I don't address the TA until the pH and CYA are stabilized, correct?

    I also seem to not have much suction in my filter, does that mean my cartridge filter needs to be replaced? The water pressure is about the same as it was last year.

    Last question! A friend's child was throwing sand in the pool and now I have a bunch of it in one place (say 3 or 4 cups of sand spread out on the bottom). I don't think I really want to vacuum it up into my filter, especially if the filter needs replacing. Any suggestions on how to get the sand out?

    Thanks. I love Trouble Free Pool. It has taken what was a summer hassle with lots of guessing and uncertainty to a fairly easy process.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    Glad to hear TFP has been helpful for you

    So your CYA, based on what you added is 40 ppm, so your FC target is 3-5 ppm FC. The 3 is a bare minimum.

    You mentioned you added 1/2 gallon of bleach, and I'm just guessing that's a total over several days? You should be adding (very roughly) around 24 oz per day (3 ppm FC) or 24 oz to go from 0.5 to 3.5 ppm FC.

    And you added 23 oz of borax to correct the very low pH of 6.8?

    Add bleach to achieve the target FC or a bit above to allow for depletion. Try shooting for 6 if adding daily, and more like 8 if it's every other day.

    1/2 gallon bleach in 5300 gallons adds 8 ppm FC which should be enough for 2 or 3 days. If you need that much every day (with the CYA in now) then something is growing in your water.

    Definitely get your pH up to 7.2 or greater, preferably around 7.5

    I would take the TA up to 60 right away. That's part of why your pH was able to fall so low.

    If it was me, I'd just vacuum the sand into the filter, but if you have a 'vacuum to waste' setting that would be an option, or just gather it up with a cotton rag as best you can. Kids are funny huh!

    Hope this is helpful
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    What does your water look like?
    Dave S.
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    Sounds like it is time for an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to see if there is some algae growing in the pool. If there is then give the pool a SLAM to kill it.

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    So I had been putting in about 32 oz every few days (1/2 of a small bottle), but last night I looked at advice people gave me for last year when I didn't have a test kit yet and it said to put in a 1/2 gallon, so that is what I did last, though I put 32 oz in around 8pm and then another 32 oz in around 11pm. I will test it today to see what happened with the chlorine over night.

    Yes, I put the CYA in to raise it to 40, and the pH to raise it from 6.8 to 7.5.

    The pool actually looks fine, no algae, blue, some debris in the bottom, which will get vacuumed up today or tomorrow.

    I will add some baking soda today to bring up the TA.

    I will probably try to collect the sand with a wet cloth, at least most of it, and then vacuum up the remainder.

    - - - Updated - - -

    water looks blue and clear.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I will do the overnight Chlorine loss test tonight and tomorrow.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    Ok, due to time constraints I didn't get to deal with my pool yesterday except to test the water (fell asleep and didn't add chemicals).

    Here are results from the tests Tues. night (no chemicals had been added since Monday where I added 32 oz of bleach twice 3 hrs apart, added stabilizer of 28 oz in a sock, and 23 oz of borax):
    FC 1.5
    CC.5
    pH 7.8
    TA 40

    So, this morning, Wed, I tested water again before adding anything.
    FC .5
    CC .5
    pH 8.2 (or higher, by color)
    TA 40

    I added 87 oz of baking soda to raise TA to 100 and will retest in a few hours.
    I also added appx 27 to 30 oz of Bleach (what it called for in Pool Math).l


    I took the cartridge filter out and rinsed it out, it was full of leaves, now the pool is skimming better

    I had the filter running a lot the last couple of days to clean the pool out, and from what I have read this can raise the pH. I have some Dry Acid, sodium bisulfate 93.2%, that says it lowers pH and total alkalinity. I added 4.6 oz of that. Will retest everything later, or my pool sitter will. She may post here if she has any questions. I hope that is okay.

    I will definitely support TFP.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    You'll want to keep your FC above the minimum for the amount of CYA you added. Have you done an Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT) yet?
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    "tested water and fell asleep" - I got an image of you sleeping by the pool with your test kit, haha!! Understandable long days!

    You numbers suggest you have something growing in the water, so an overnight chlorine loss test (OCLT) is called for Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)
    You have to follow the instructions to the letter for this to be useful; otherwise it's just a waste of time and reagents. For this test, start by raising your FC to 6 ppm, stir the water up well with a pool brush or by leaving your pump running for an hour. You do this before testing for the starting FC for the OCLT.

    I need to verify something. You have added 28 oz of powdered CYA one single time, right? This gives you 40 ppm CYA, so ensure your FC is never less than 3 ppm FC.

    The filter and pump running will not raise your pH noticeably. If it's aerating, that can raise your pH. Ripples on the surface, wind, and so on can raise pH, but it will be very slow.

    How does the water look?
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    Okay, we will do that overnight.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    Hi. I am pool sitting for Robyn.
    The water looks great. Could there be Algae in clear looking water?
    I am tryin to get the hang of testing and using pool math.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    Yes, you don't see it until it's getting well ahead of the chlorine's ability to kill it. Have fun with the testing and with PoolMath! Algae or other organic contamination can be detected by doing an overnight chlorine loss test Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    I was testing the water on the table next to the couch, so fell asleep on the couch. Love the image though!

    Okay so back from vacation, so haven't connected with my pool sitter yet and didn't get the results on the OCLT, so here is the current state and my plan.

    Tonight, pH was >8.2
    FC = 0
    CC = .5
    TA = 150
    CH = 50
    CYA = 30 (but all the stabilizer has not yet dissolved in the sock, so I don't see this test as accurate). And yes, I only added 28 oz of powered CYA once.

    I think the slow delay in the stabilizer dissolving might be related to the poor performance by my filter. So I am going to get it out, rinse it out again, measure it, and then order a new filter tomorrow.

    Not sure why the FC is so low, but will add bleach tonight to bring the FC up to 4, test in the morning (though probably won't be at daylight!), then do the OCLT overnight on Wednesday night.

    I will add 30 oz by weight of dry acid to bring down the pH. From what I have read, I should just keep adding dry acid when the pH starts to rise again, to help gradually bring the TA down.

    More info to be posted tomorrow. Thanks for the help.
    Last edited by RobynA; 07-13-2016 at 01:12 AM. Reason: corrections of amounts and additions
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    You got this! Yes, pH needs to stay in range and FC above the minimum. Hope you had a great vacation.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    Just wanted to update you, only took one day of shocking and the pool had no CC and no OCLT loss overnight. I have had a bit of fluctuation in the pH. It was high for a reading again. I didn't take any action that day and the next day it was normal. Now it is a little low, 6.8 pH, but I added some Borax to take care of that. Everything else is good, the chlorine is coming down slowly, FC 6.5, CC 0, TA 100 and CYA 40, so I think we are all good on that front.

    I read somewhere else here about running the pump without the filter to see if the pump is the reason for low suction, or the filter. Runs great without the filter, strong suction, so it is obviously the filter. I am going to do another cleaning with TSP, then rinsing the filter, and then soaking in muriatic acid. If I can only find dry acid, can I use that after soaking in TSP solution and rinsing the cartridge?

    That is my last question for this thread, if I have more I will go to other forums. Thanks for everyone's help!

    Yes, I did have a nice vacation, not long enough, but a good getaway!
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    Muriatic acid is a very common cleaning product. You might have to look in the paint section at a hardware store. I have no experience with dry acid.

    I'm wondering how your system works and why you find leaves in the cartridge filter. That sounds like a bit of a pain. Would a skimmer be an option for catching the leaves?
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    The sorts of things in the cartridge filter are small thin pieces of vegetation that slip through all the 1/4 inch holes in the skimmer basket in the pool intake, and the even smaller holes in the skimmer basket right before the filter. There hasn't been a lot of debris (except for the first time I cleaned it out, and that was from last year I think.).

    Thanks for the tip on where to find the muriatic acid. I have been having a hard time finding it. Seems like you want to be really careful working with it.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: My second year at Trouble Free Pool (Yea!) and I have a few questions.

    Yes, for both muriatic acid and chlorine, protect your eyes. Also never, ever mix those two. If you measure, don't use the same measuring cup.

    If you get some on your skin, don't panic. Just calmly at the next opportunity, rinse your skin off.

    Your clothes will tell you if you're getting any droplet splashes.

    Glad to hear all is going well.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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