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Thread: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

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    AnAltruist's Avatar
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    Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    Hi all,

    Just joined the forum. This is an incredible resource and I will certainly be a supporter soon. I'm essentially hoping to get "what's next" kind of help or discovering where I've already gone wrong.

    We recently purchased a house and it included a nice pool. Conceptually, anyway, since it (like the house) had been neglected. It also came with a cat stuck in a tree, which we adopted, but I digress.

    I've already purchased a K-2006 test kit and had a pool company come out and open it. Yes, opening a pool in NW Ohio at the end of June is a sad tale. The pool was quite green and I had no idea where to start hence the pool company. According to the bill they put about 8 gallons of some kind of shock/bleach, vacuumed it quite well, etc. It was left blue but very cloudy and I couldn't see the deep end. Wanted to try to take it from there.

    After going through Pool School and reviewed Pool Math, I started measuring levels and have progressed as follows. Not guarantying all measurements were done correctly but I tried to be very careful.

    Sunday:
    • FC 0
    • pH 7.8
    • TA 30
    • CH 175
    • CYA 0 (dot was easily visible even when filled to the top)


    Monday
    • Backwashed
    • A visit to Menards for 12.5% @ $1.77, Sam's Club for Baking Soda and Walmart to address CH+CYA
    • Added 3 bottles 12.5%; measured 2-3 hours later (around 11pm)
    • FC 7


    Tuesday 6 AM

    • Water is super clear! I can see the bottom. Needs vacuumed.
    • FC 6
    • pH 7.9
    • TA 50
    • CH 200
    • Added pH reducer (too much, it turns out)


    Tuesday 7 PM
    • FC 1
    • pH 7.1
    • TA 30
    • CH 200
    • Added 13 lbs baking soda (easing into it, learning from my earlier mistake)
    • Added HTH stabilizer
    • Added HTH calcium
    • Added 1 bottle 12.5%
    • Brushed the bottom to push dirt into the bottom drain and to ensure I couldn't see any baking soda or other additives just sitting around.


    Tuesday 11 PM
    • FC 4
    • CC 0.5
    • pH 7.2
    • TA 100


    Filter is running 24/7. Will measure in the morning to see how much FC I've lost. Need to measure CYA and CH as well.

    Now I'm wondering about next steps.

    1) If FC is 3-4, do I just focus on raising pH a bit and verifying CYA and CH are acceptable? If not, I guess I plan on getting it back to shock level.
    2) At what point am I putting something in the 940/Chrorinator?
    3) The pressure gauge on the sand filter doesn't work; I assume this is fairly standard to replace.
    4) I don't have a dedicated suction port so I'm thinking of a robot with a top-loading cartridge ASAP.
    Need to convince the wife she can handle loading/unloading/cleaning it since she's a teacher and off during the summer.
    People seem happy with Dolphin but their product page is a maze. I've seen people praise the S300i. For a pool this size, it may not be overkill.

    If you've made it through this whole post, I thank you. The forum rules said to be detailed so I obliged.

    As an essential reference, attached is the cat.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    34K gallon 40x20 Gunite IG, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo sand filter, Hayward H400ED2 heater, Hayward SP2602VSP variable pump,
    Sani-King Perform-Max sanitizer (empty), Taylor K-2006 test kit, TFTestkit pressure gauge, Dolphin S300i (Wall-E).

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    Welcome to TFP Love the cat..

    you are getting it and that is awesome

    how much CYA did you add, did you take it to 30? also, how was it added to the pool.
    how does the water look now? Can you post a picture

    these numbers look good
    Tuesday 11 PM
    FC 4
    CC 0.5
    pH 7.2
    TA 100
    if your water is clear and your CYA is 30

    CC of.5 means you have been killing things and may still be there..

    let us know those questions and we will get you swimming in no time
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    A person after my heart for sure! "a cat in a tree. Adopted of course" with a picture of said cat!

    You have a VERY solid handle on your pool already! NICE job! Just getting the test kit AND doing the tests put you way ahead already!

    I have a set up I share with new pool owners. I am going to guess you have already found some of the pages BUT I do not want to take a chance of leaving anything out so I will share the whole thing with you:

    Print these out:
    Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

    Pool School - Recommended Levels

    Bookmark these:
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    Make sure to ask any and all questions you might have no matter how small! We have all been where you are at one point.

    For the gauge I would go ahead and spring for the filled one as seen here:

    TFTestkits.net

    While you are at it you might want to get one of the speed stirs. Everyone who has one loves it:

    TFTestkits.net

    get a couple of extra beans and maybe some extra vials to make your testing even easier.

    I can't wait to see your pool!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnAltruist View Post




    1) If FC is 3-4, do I just focus on raising pH a bit and verifying CYA and CH are acceptable? If not, I guess I plan on getting it back to shock level.

    I would take it to SLAM level for at least the weekend. Work on answering Casey's questions about how you added the CYA
    2) At what point am I putting something in the 940/Chrorinator? Never, well not never but only when you are gone of vacation or long weekends. The tablets/pucks you put in there add CYA or CH depending on the kind you buy. After a while it builds up so high you will have to do a water drain to bring it back down.
    3) The pressure gauge on the sand filter doesn't work; I assume this is fairly standard to replace. Talked about this in top post


    4) I don't have a dedicated suction port so I'm thinking of a robot with a top-loading cartridge ASAP.
    Need to convince the wife she can handle loading/unloading/cleaning it since she's a teacher and off during the summer.
    People seem happy with Dolphin but their product page is a maze. I've seen people praise the S300i. For a pool this size, it may not be overkill.

    A friend on this forum has two replacement hips and other mobility problems but LOVES her dolphin and finds it very easy to take care of and put in and out of the water. She is a retired teacher


    My answers are in purple

    Kim (I am also a teacher-31 yrs Kindergarten
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    AnAltruist's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    Thanks for everyone's input so far!

    I appreciate the extra links; some I saw, some I must have missed. For example, I did not use the sock method to raise CYA. The container said to put in the skimmer (slowly) so I poured it in there and let the waves lap over it like at the beach. I tested the water both this morning and 12 hours later. Most results have barely moved other than I could not test CYA this morning:

    FC 4
    CC 0.5
    pH 7.2
    TA 100
    CH 225 (this did go up a bit - I'm betting my sweeping helped mix this up more)
    CYA 40 (it might be lower but I have 20/15 vision and I wasn't sure how picky I was being)

    To answer the earlier question about CYA, I added less than the recommended level on the canister for the same reason I overshot lowering the pH last time. The good news is I am clearly not at zero anymore.

    Despite the low pH the pool is very inviting! It's a high 80s. Is there any harm in a quick dip with a low pH? Do I still need to take it to the higher FC level this weekend?

    I do have the pH increaser but I'd simply love to try it out a bit before putting it in.

    Picture attached. The dirt you see needs a robot/scrub brush to take care of. My brush-on-a-pole can only do so much with elbow grease.

    Thanks again!

    pool-7-6.jpg
    34K gallon 40x20 Gunite IG, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo sand filter, Hayward H400ED2 heater, Hayward SP2602VSP variable pump,
    Sani-King Perform-Max sanitizer (empty), Taylor K-2006 test kit, TFTestkit pressure gauge, Dolphin S300i (Wall-E).

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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    Nice job on getting into the tfp way quickly, you'll save $$$ for sure.

    With a ph of 7.2 I'd take a dip, but probably keep my head above the water since it's not clear yet.

    Looks like you over shot the TA by a bit, but you can probably keep it there for now.

    See how your ph holds once it gets to 7.5....I would think it might actually climb by itself
    with the high TA.

    Gorgeous pool!

    I'd recommend one of the glycerin gauges on tftestkits.net to replace yours.
    A functioning gauge is important to have during a slam.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    AnAltruist's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    That's great to hear. I only have the volunteers and community to thank. The picture isn't the greatest for showing clarity but it is easy to see bottom. It isn't cloudy when looking down as much as there are piles of sediment in the corner.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    You levels are ALL safe for swimming NOW! Once you get dried back off come back and read how I do the CYA test.........

    Have fun swimming? LOL

    Here is how I do the CYA test-

    -mix up the pool water with the regent THEN let it sit for a few (while you do the other tests works for me)

    -sun at back, tube held at tummy (in shade of your body) holding the tube by the top with two fingers.

    -pour the test mixture to the first line (100) GLANCE in. IF you still see the dot, put to the next line. GLANCE in, go line by line until you do not see the dot when you GLANCE in. Call it at that line. We will have you round up to that line so might as well make your life a little easier and just go line by line. Do NOT stare at the dot. You will see it LOL

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    This thread needs more cat!
    16 x 32 17500 gallons
    Vinyl in-ground
    Hayward 250# Sand Filter
    1 HP Pump
    Hayward SWG

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    AnAltruist's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    No surprise: the swimming was great! The water felt smooth. I think I'm on the way to stability, at least for now. FC only down by 1 over the course of yet another day. I appreciate the instructions on CYA testing and the glycerin pressure gauge recommendation. We can get down to a -10 or -20 degree F wind chill or lower in these parts so I'm hoping these temporary chills don't make the gauge a once-a-year replacement.

    At this point I'll probably start re-reading the pages on maintaining levels. If I'm not to use the chlorinator, it sounds like I'll just be measuring smaller amounts of the liquid shock as needed (25-30% of the jug according to the calculator). I certainly need a measuring cup. For a pool this size I can see myself with a growing collection of bleach bottles after a few weeks. It's interesting to hear other people's reaction outside of this forum to using liquid shock instead of tablets. Pure bewilderment.

    My next series of challenges appear to be on the equipment side. My pump seems to be pretty loud and it is at the possible expense of getting good flow. (If only I had a gauge...) The two returns in the main section of the pool have modest pressure but the three returns on the swim-out have next to nothing. Even when I close the valve for the main returns I get very little if any flow to the swim-out returns. Closing the swim-out valve certainly improves the main return pressure. On top of that the fancy color changing pool light seems to be mounted/screwed-in at the top but there's nothing on the bottom anchoring it down. Thus it flaps around a bit. Hopefully just missing another screw.

    For my robot overlord, I may have landed on the Dolphin Oasis Z5. I can order it online, it has a 3 year warranty (on Epic Pool Supply), and includes the caddy. While a lot of people seem to like the S300i, the closest retailer appears to be 80 miles away. I'll look around here more to see how many people have experience with the Z5/Triton Plus/Explorer Plus. Amazon reviews for the Triton Plus are either glowing or tragic tales of woe because it gets stuck on the deep end return. The Epic Pool Supply reviews for the Z5 do not mention this; perhaps a subtle difference in design. The Supreme M series at least has a dealer 30 miles away and is along the route to my in-laws. Not sure if the third set of scrubbers is life changing.

    One way or the other, I will end up with a caddy, a good warranty and a top loading filter. Given the size of the pool I'm sure the 2.5 hour cycle is important too.

    Last, as a hat tip to Griswald, here is the cat in his version of the pool.

    cat-sink.jpg
    34K gallon 40x20 Gunite IG, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo sand filter, Hayward H400ED2 heater, Hayward SP2602VSP variable pump,
    Sani-King Perform-Max sanitizer (empty), Taylor K-2006 test kit, TFTestkit pressure gauge, Dolphin S300i (Wall-E).

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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    Clearly the cat was the best end of the deal.
    21000 gal IG Pebble Sheen (Blue Surf), Pentair quad DE filter, Sta Rite Intellipro VS pump; Paramount PCC-2000 inground cleaner; Installed May 2016.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    That's a pretty cool cat.
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    That cat is SO cute. Definitely a keeper! Have you checked at the vet to see of he has a microchip? It seems like he was once loved...

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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    Well, now you've gone and done it!
    You do realize that from now on, you are going to have to post a picture of your cat with each post, right?


    ^^ closest thing I could find to a cat.
    14600 gal Intex 24' Round 52" deep AG Pool (Heavily Modified)
    200lb sand filter w/2 speed 1.5/0.5hp pump
    Stenner 45MHP10 Liquid Chlorine (well... bleach) Injector. Borates added.
    K-2006 test kit w/Speedstir
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    What about this???
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    LOL the cat gets the posts LOL He does seem to like it there! CUTE!

    Okay on to the pool stuff-quite a few people in your part of the world winterize their pools. In fact we have a link to how to do it.

    Pool School - Closing an In Ground Pool

    You could take the gauge in to protect it.

    The pump............I have to say you are kind of lucky in that you have ANY equipment at all. We just had one member with NO equipment left at all when they moved into the pool house.

    It sounds like it might be time to rebuild or replace. I know how to replace LOL but not so sure on the rebuild. If you want to go that route post up your model and I bet someone will know how to rebuild it.

    Returns.........I wonder if your sand filter needs a deep clean? Well we have a link for that!

    Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

    We will get you all set up a piece at a time.

    Kim (what is the kitties name?)
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    I'm a newbie too this year and added the CYA stabilizer the same way you did because that's what the container said to do. The CYA didn't move. I reread on here and some pointed out to put it in a sock, tie the sock to a broom handle or something hanging a couple feet down and let it hang in front of a return. This worked much better. I had to squeeze the sock every now and then to get it to dissolve faster.

    I hear you on the cats, when this deck is done, it will be screened in mainly for the cats
    24K white plaster IG pool (2016), Jandy DE, Jandy 1.5 HP pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, Hayward H400DN heater

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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    That cat is SO cute. Definitely a keeper! Have you checked at the vet to see of he has a microchip? It seems like he was once loved...
    I doubt you will find a chip. It looks like he has a notched ear tip, which means a stray/feral that has been spayed and released.
    My Pool: 18'x36' Grecian. Vinyl Liner, 500# sand filter, SWG.

    My hobbies: Brewing beer and flying rockets.

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    AnAltruist's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    Cat portion:
    His name is Mew because he does not meow. It's more of a breathy, quiet noise. When we first took possession of the house and found him in the tree, we did rescue him but he took off. Over the next few nights he would always come find us and roll around on the ground wanting attention. We also noticed the notch and figured he was a catch-and-release. After deciding to adopt him we scheduled a vet appointment. No health issues or chips. He was only a few months old at the time and unlikely belonged to someone.

    Pool portion:
    Motor - I've been spending some time reading about motors and see that single speed replacements are around $140. Interestingly enough it's about the same as a local shop charges to rebuild them. Energy efficient motors are closer to $200 and variables are $650. On reading the "determine pump run time" guide, 4-6 hours at night might be enough. Since it isn't a year-round pool season in NW Ohio, the long term value of energy efficient motors might be worth investigating but certainly not more than that. The existing motor does work, though loud, and reading the sand filter deep clean process leans me toward starting there.

    Sand filter - I'm sure this thing hasn't been opened in ages. I'll probably start the deep clean process today. The backwash port leaks when running the filter so the multiport likely needs replaced. For now we just have a drain plug on it and have no issues. When I take off the top for the deep clean I'll be able to see how serviceable that portion is. I do hear noise coming from the top and I wonder if there is air being introduced to the the multiport wear. Do people just replace the multiport instead of the whole top portion if it is possible or is it not recommended?

    Winterizing - With my limited knowledge about pools, when we first took the cover off I was aghast to see the water was higher than the skimmer basket. It turns out they closed it using a Gizzmo; the returns were capped and the Gizzmo kept water out of the lines. Is there an advantage to this? Would I still be able to close it myself this way? It was certainly nice not having to fill the pool when we opened it this season. All of the equipment was left outside with nothing that I noticed set different than when it's in use now. There were no bags under the safety cover. It was just very taut using some tool I don't seem to have that pulls the cover clips over the anchors.

    CYA - Just curious if solid CYA stabilizer could be put in the chlorinator since I won't be using it for tablets? Would it still need a sock?

    I'm limiting cat pictures to this thread of course (and at the risk of going overboard this is the last one). Needless to say he is highly entertaining. At least we don't have high vet bills because of tooth decay.

    cat-plaque-fighting.jpg
    34K gallon 40x20 Gunite IG, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo sand filter, Hayward H400ED2 heater, Hayward SP2602VSP variable pump,
    Sani-King Perform-Max sanitizer (empty), Taylor K-2006 test kit, TFTestkit pressure gauge, Dolphin S300i (Wall-E).

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Bought a house, came with a pool and a cat.

    Filter-there is a "spider" gasket under the handle of the valve. Can you find the manual of yours online? Here are some tips on the filter:

    -only turn the handle in one direction. This keeps the gasket from getting bound up or such. I even drew an arrow on mine just in case someone would need to turn it.

    -Turn the pump off before moving the handle

    -I have heard it is a bear to get the handle back on after doing the gasket so be ready for that. (thankfully have not had to change mine yet)

    -CYA-we had someone try it and it did not work for some reason. He left it in for a couple of days and most of it was still there when he checked on it. The fastest and laziest way is to crack open a cold one, get a bucket of pool water, put the CYA in a sock and let it sit in the bucket for a few mins/sips. Have a seat in a comfy chair with your cold one by you and squeeze the sock until the CYA is all dissolved. Pour it into the pool and brush the pool to help mix it all in with the pump running.

    I will let someone else talk to you about winter. I live in FL and my pool is open year round. I do NOT get in it but my husband does.

    Mew-cute name and looks like he tamed right down and made himself right at home and pick out his toothbrush LOL

    If you read for any time you will find we love pics of family, kids, pet, etc. We have one pool that has goats, two with donkeys, several with cats, as well as many with dogs. We don't mind LOL

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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