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Thread: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

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    bytecowboy's Avatar
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    First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    Been the owner of this pool for about a week now and have been voraciously reading all the great info on this forum for several days. The previous owners had been renting the house for several years and the pool had been in various states of neglect. This year the pool did not get opened until July (about a week before we moved in) and I'm told the pool was pretty gnarly when it was opened. Owners had a pool company come in and open the pool up and it was nice and clear last weekend when we moved. We swam in the pool over the weekend and I noticed substantial cloudiness building up on Sunday. Intending on taking care of the pool myself, I ended up finding this forum and ordering a TF-100. FC came back 0, so I grabbed some bleach to see if I could get the pool to levels that would register on the kit just to make sure I was testing correctly.

    Current numbers look like this:

    FC = 1
    CC = 6
    pH = 7.2
    TA = 150
    CH = 240
    CYA = 0

    Seems pretty obvious that a SLAM is in order, I've tried to dose to shock levels (10-11ppm) twice now and something is eating the chlorine extremely quickly. Going to pick up bleach in bulk this evening and hopefully get this SLAM going properly. I work from home, so I can keep a close eye on the pool during the day. I also snagged some CYA and have it suspended in a sock in front of a return to get that up to acceptable levels as well. I'd really like to get this in a manageable state before this weekend because I'm going to be out of town next week, which I know makes things just that more complicated. I do have a tablet chlorinator that I can use in a pinch to stop it from diving off a cliff again while I'm gone if necessary. Our in-laws live around the corner as well, so I could always have them just add maintenance chlorine during the week.

    I ordered some calcium chloride to deal with the CH, but I wasn't going to actually attempt to mess with that until after the chlorine levels are in order.

    Does my plan make sense? I just wanted to get a sanity check since this is the first pool I've ever owned and wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything major or obvious when going about things.
    40,000g IG fiberglass walls w/ painted concrete - Bleach Chlorination - Hayward Northstar 1.5 HP Pump - 500lbs Hayward S310T Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    If your CYA is really 0, you're probably fighting both the algae AND the sun. Get that CYA to 30 ASAP (use stabilizer or conditioner), recalculate your SLAM FC, and go to town.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    I tested it once and had my wife test it a second time to make sure the CYA was actually a 0, the water in the test tube was crystal clear both times. I have the CYA in a sock dissolving in front of a return now, so hopefully can get that remedied soon.
    40,000g IG fiberglass walls w/ painted concrete - Bleach Chlorination - Hayward Northstar 1.5 HP Pump - 500lbs Hayward S310T Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    Awesome! You're all over this.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    May want to read up on ammonia. A neglected pool may have ammonia and it will eat up the chlorine and the CYA. I am no expert, so i will let others instruct how to overcome it. Essentially you dose FC To 10 and check again in 15. Until it holds around 5 you dose again to 10 and test in 15. Once it holds at least 5 you have cleared the ammonia.
    User "Texas Splash" has some thorough steps to complete the procedure.


    Free form 17X30. 14,500 Gal. Pentair sand filter and 1.5 hp pump. Aqua-Rite SWCG. TF-100 Test Kit w/Speed Stir

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    Ammonia was on my list of possible culprits given the state of the pool before I got it, but I didn't want to automatically assume when I didn't have a quick way to test ammonia levels. When I grab the bleach tonight I'll keep a close eye on the pool while dosing and see how the levels fluctuate. Appreciate the advice!
    40,000g IG fiberglass walls w/ painted concrete - Bleach Chlorination - Hayward Northstar 1.5 HP Pump - 500lbs Hayward S310T Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    Usually you'd have a persistent FC of 0 if you had an ammonia problem from what I've seen, but you can certainly do an ammonia test, can't hurt to make sure.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    Went from a FC of 10.5 last night to 4.5 this morning, CC around 1.5. Dissolved 7 lbs of CYA over 2 days and now we're registering close to 20, rest of the CYA should be on the UPS truck tomorrow. Looks like we're on the right track so far and luckily doesn't appear to be an ammonia issue from what I understand of how that would present.
    40,000g IG fiberglass walls w/ painted concrete - Bleach Chlorination - Hayward Northstar 1.5 HP Pump - 500lbs Hayward S310T Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    Agreed, if your FC is holding that well, I'm pretty sure it's not ammonia.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    So I started up the SLAM again when I got back this last Saturday, my father-in-law had been stopping by last week and dumping some maintenance bleach in while I was gone so the pool was still roughly in the same shape as when I left.

    The thing that's irritating me is that the water clarity hasn't changed a bit 5 days into the SLAM. Since I had 0 information about the state of the sand filter and it seemed to be running a higher PSI (clean is about 22 psi) than I had seen other people mention, I went ahead and did a deep clean two days ago just to rule that out (clean pressure is still 22) and then added some DE yesterday afternoon. The pressure spiked after just a few hours, so I backwashed and added some more DE. There's no sand returning into the pool so there shouldn't be a broken lateral.

    I've had the automatic vacuum running during the day just to keep everything kicked up and have brushed the walls in the evening.

    My FCOLT last night went from 12.5 to 9 with a CC of 0.5.
    pH 7.6
    CYA 30
    CH 300 (the raise from the first post is because I added calcium chloride)
    Haven't tested TA since the first post in this thread.

    This is what the pool has looked like this whole time, just a milky blue:

    http://imgur.com/a/8O7lM

    I'm guessing at this point it's just going to take patience and that I'll see more progress once the FCOLT passes? Just annoying not seeing any visible progress in the pool yet.
    40,000g IG fiberglass walls w/ painted concrete - Bleach Chlorination - Hayward Northstar 1.5 HP Pump - 500lbs Hayward S310T Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    How often are you testing and adding. Is the pump on 24/7?
    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: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    Testing and adding about every two hours, pump has been running non-stop.
    40,000g IG fiberglass walls w/ painted concrete - Bleach Chlorination - Hayward Northstar 1.5 HP Pump - 500lbs Hayward S310T Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    Ok it sounds your doing everything possible. Assuming that your maintaining the FC of 12. Just wondering how confident you are on your CYA reading? Otherwise I would persist with the DE and see if that starts to help clear things up.
    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: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    If anything the CYA is lower around 20, because I started at 0 and have been slowly bumping it up and the test seems very close to the underside of 30 now. So I don't think it's an issue of hitting the shock level.
    40,000g IG fiberglass walls w/ painted concrete - Bleach Chlorination - Hayward Northstar 1.5 HP Pump - 500lbs Hayward S310T Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    I am fairly new and definitely not an expert so take it for what it is worth. It appears you are very well read on the subjects on this forum but here is a mistake I made last year. Did not clean light niche. I did really well until using solar cover then had algae. This year I cleaned light niche and could not believe all the black algae I had in there. Also, I am very impatient and when I opened this year had a green swamp (did not properly cover pool, another of my many mistakes) So I ordered a slime bag to help me clear faster and it did a good job in my opinion. When my water looked similar to yours I was still washing green out of slime bag so I knew I still had algae but I did clean the pool up in about a week. Used solar cover again and had another algae outbreak and Slammed again and used slime bags again only took 3 days (still do not know where my lurking algae is, and only seems to come out when using solar cover). I also use it every so often just to see if it catches anything and it does, just does not wash out green. There is a post about a guy who modified a Diesel fuel filter bag (which is basically same thing) It is cheaper but you have to modify, but I like his mod, can easily turn bag inside out for better cleaning. So it may be worth a search to read about. I do not use DE and many here who I highly respect report it is not necessary if you have properly working filter, but I like it.
    28,000 gals (20 x 40), IG, vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, old Hayward
    Super pump (not sure of HP secondary to corrosion of label),

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    How much FC are you losing between testing? If your not already doing it, it can help to record your FC between testing/additions. Progress in the numbers can be good for the sanity.
    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: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    I've been writing my numbers down in a notebook, been meaning to make it a spreadsheet so I can chart it and get a better idea of a trend.

    For example, yesterday:
    Using 121oz 8.3% Chlorox Performance bleach

    0730 brought FC up to 12.5
    1100 FC = 11.5. added half a jug
    1400 FC = 8.5. added 1.5 jugs
    1700 FC = 11. added one jug because I was going to be gone for a few hours
    2130 FC = 11.5. Added half a jug
    2200 FC = 11.5. Added half a jug

    Then at 0800 this morning FC was 9

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Amateur View Post
    I am fairly new and definitely not an expert so take it for what it is worth. It appears you are very well read on the subjects on this forum but here is a mistake I made last year. Did not clean light niche...
    This is definitely a good idea given the state of the pool when I got it. I'll plan on taking the cover off tonight, seeing what I find, and giving it a good scrub.
    40,000g IG fiberglass walls w/ painted concrete - Bleach Chlorination - Hayward Northstar 1.5 HP Pump - 500lbs Hayward S310T Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    I guess the fundamental question I have here is should I be seeing incremental progress in water clarity, or is this something that happens mostly towards the tail end of the SLAM process? This being my first season as an owner I'm just trying to get a handle on what's "normal" while doing my best to not get frustrated.
    40,000g IG fiberglass walls w/ painted concrete - Bleach Chlorination - Hayward Northstar 1.5 HP Pump - 500lbs Hayward S310T Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    Yes, you should be seeing some improvement every day. Pictures are good, sometimes when you are looking at it several times a day you don't notice the improvements.

    With your FC consumption, there is still stuff to kill. You are doing great, keep aiming for FC 12 like you've been doing. Brushing helps in a couple ways, don't forget to brush once a day at least. 5 days might be a long SLAM if the pool was just a bit hazy, a giant 40k pool full of dead and dying algae is just going to take some Pool Owner Patience.
    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: First time pool owner, sanity checking my numbers

    I'll start taking some pictures, but my gauge so far has been being able to see the fourth step which has been consistently hidden since the beginning. I would think 5 days into a SLAM when FC is at least holding somewhat well I would be able to consistently see the shallowest part of the pool, but maybe not. Not having any discernible progress in clarity is just annoying.
    40,000g IG fiberglass walls w/ painted concrete - Bleach Chlorination - Hayward Northstar 1.5 HP Pump - 500lbs Hayward S310T Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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