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Thread: Newbie Jen Here with a New (to me) Pool!

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    Newbie Jen Here with a New (to me) Pool!

    Hi All. OK, don't hate me because I'm pretty naive right now. I'm here to learn! Last year we bought a house with an Auto Pilot SWG pool and fought it all year, breaking constantly and the only service person lives 3 hrs away. I did a lot of research about different systems over the winter then this year took out the SWG and put in place all that you see in my signature (UV, Ozone, Mineralizer). I am committed to having very low chlorine levels as I have young kids who swim a couple times a week so limiting toxicity exposure is my primary concern. I am also now committed to learning how to maintain this pool myself. I've been using test strips at home and weekly water checks at my local pool store (and reading about the testers you guys sell but haven't bought it yet).

    I balance my pool every Friday (today), here are my levels today BEFORE balancing:
    FC: 0.0ppm
    TC: 0.0ppm
    CC: 0.0ppm
    pH 8.0 (I added 2lbs phDown after this test)
    Hardness: 175ppm
    Alkalinity: 112ppm
    Cyanuric Acid: 38ppm
    Copper: 0ppm
    Iron: 0ppm
    Borate: 64ppm

    Water clarity: just the slightest bit white cloudy, my husband wouldn't even notice it but I do because I'm obsessing over learning about pool care. I have non-chlorine shock that I intend to use after my PH comes down in a few hours. Since installing the new system I have found that my PH does creep up and the white cloudiness has been my only other concern. Creeping PH was always the issue when we had the SWG too. Incidentally, I've also been using bacteria tests periodically just to take an extra measure.

    About the tests: I want to buy one but I'm confused why the ones sold here are $80 versus the $10 they go for on Amazon. Do you guys add stuff to them to enhance their value? I tried to read everything I could find, apologies if I missed the obvious.

    I'd love to learn anything you care to share! Thanks so much for making this useful information available.
    16.5k gallons, IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, Ultra UV Sanitizer, Clear O3 Ozone Oxidizer, Pool Frog XL Pro Mineralizer (copper, silver nitrate, chlorine), Seasonal Use: May - September

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Jen Here with a New (to me) Pool!

    Hello Jen and welcome to TFP! Oh my, I sure wish you would've come to us before spending money on the UV, Ozone, and mineralizer. Ugh. You will probably be a bit disappointed now, but let me tell it to you straight like ripping-off a Band-Aid.

    The UV and ozone Oxidizer will do you no good. Mother Nature's sun provides all the oxidation needs for your water. The Pool Frog Mineralizer ... even worse because it's adding metals to yoru water. Eventually the metal content gets so high that color changes in the pool water, your hair, or stains begin to appear. Sorry.

    Now for the good news. You CAN manage your water very easily. Test kit? TF-100 hands-down. The proper test kit (i.e. TF-100 or Taylor K-2006) is the foundation of your pool care. Why these kits? We've learned through extensive practice that you cannot reply on pool store testing, test strips, or simple over-the-counter kits. Personnel training, lighting, and product sales influence accurate testing too much. In addition, simple test kits do not read Free Chlorine (FC) or Cyanuric Acid (CYA) levels accurately or to the high levels we need. If you do not have a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 test kit, it should be your #1 priority.

    I would stop using the Pool Frog immediately. If you do some searches on TFP you'll see why. Since you don't have a SWG right now, stick with regular liquid bleach (generic is fine) and feed your pool every day or evening to maintain the proper FC level. We can't advise you on those pool store tests, so try to expedite obtaining either TF-100 or Taylor K-2006C as soon as you can. The cost of the kit will pay for itself in chemicals. I recommended the TF-100 and speed stir (link below). Your pool is just under mine, so give it a 1/2 gallon of "regular" 8.25% bleach each evening. With cloudiness growing, that probably means algae, so you may need to do more later, but we won't know until you get you own kit.

    You did the right thing coming here and wanting to be in control of your pool. We'll help you all we can.
    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.
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    Re: Newbie Jen Here with a New (to me) Pool!

    I have ordered the K-2006 and will post my results after it arrives. I am committed to the UV system as ONE of my pool tools, having used it in food pasteurization for many years so I am comfortable with the science. I am hoping to find a balance between my goals for low chlorine (I don't need zero but I want minimal) and the obvious need to keep the pool safe (my personal opinion being a high chlorine pool isn't safe either). Your points about copper are noted, and I have it on my radar. For now my levels are super low, but of course we'll see what the Taylor test shows in a week or so. Be back then!
    16.5k gallons, IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, Ultra UV Sanitizer, Clear O3 Ozone Oxidizer, Pool Frog XL Pro Mineralizer (copper, silver nitrate, chlorine), Seasonal Use: May - September

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    michaelrbanks's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Jen Here with a New (to me) Pool!

    Jen,

    Texas Splash is right to caution you regarding the UV system. See the thread below about how it can go horribly wrong. I think what you will find in this group is a difference between "over chlorinating" and "correctly chlorinating" your water. The amount of chlorine added has to be sufficient to kill the nasty organics (algae, bacteria, viruses, etc.) and that level is determined by the size of the pool and the level of stabilizer present in the water (think stabilizer = sunscreen for chlorine). Chlorine will be consumed by sunlight (which is why it needs stabilizer) and the amount of organics it encounters and kills, therefore, if it ever drops below a minimum level, it's no longer present in enough strength to keep the water and people in it safe.

    For what it's worth, in my pool, I target 6PPM chlorine and have never had an odor of chorine or any ill effects. BTW - all the chlorine smell and burning eyes, etc. you may find unsavory from an "over chlorinated" pool are typically a result of a pool with a high load of organics and not enough chlorine to keep the water clean and they're called "Combined Chlorine" or "Chloramines."

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...V-disinfection

    Looking forward to your first set of results - we'll make sure your pool is a joy to you and your family.
    16,661 gal IG PebbleTec w/ Spa; 60 ft2 Jandy DE filter, 2 HP Jandy Variable Speed pump; 2 skimmer; 400K BTU Jandy heater; Polaris Sport; opened 9/15/14; TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Newbie Jen Here with a New (to me) Pool!

    Ok, long delay but I've finally done the testing with the Taylor 2006 kit.

    Today is Friday, on Wednesday evening I put a bottle of a Metal Magic into my pool as my iron levels were high (according to pool store test) and there was slight white cloudiness. I've been running the filter since and did two backwashes but still see slight white cloudiness. Taylor test says:

    PH: 7.6
    Alk: 110
    CYA: 33
    FC: .5
    Combined Chlorine: .5
    16.5k gallons, IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, Ultra UV Sanitizer, Clear O3 Ozone Oxidizer, Pool Frog XL Pro Mineralizer (copper, silver nitrate, chlorine), Seasonal Use: May - September

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Jen Here with a New (to me) Pool!

    That cloudiness is most likely bacteria. When FC drops below minimum for your CYA, FC/CYA Chart, the kill rate for bacteria, viruses and algae is not sufficient to sanitize the pool and prevent person to person disease transmission and algae. Always keep your FC above minimum.

    Do a little reading in Pool School, start here,
    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
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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

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Newbie Jen Here with a New (to me) Pool!

    Thank you! I actually have a bactetia testing kit and will do that in the morning just out of curiosity. I also intend to bring up the chlorine level but was waiting a bit to give the Metal Magic time to do its work (everything I read says chlorine should be low before using MM). Do you have any experience with MM, or recommendations for how long I should wait before Bringing the chlorine level up?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I should add that I've kept everyone out of the pool since adding the MM but would like to go back in on Sunday (in two days) so ideally would have the chlorine level up by then. I'm just nervous to interfere with the MM.
    16.5k gallons, IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, Ultra UV Sanitizer, Clear O3 Ozone Oxidizer, Pool Frog XL Pro Mineralizer (copper, silver nitrate, chlorine), Seasonal Use: May - September

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Jen Here with a New (to me) Pool!

    Keeping it at minimum is keeping it low. Keep it at min or 1 or 2 ppm above. Letting FC go too low will cause you to need to SLAM to kill algae. Then the stains will likely return.
    TFP Moderator
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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

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Newbie Jen Here with a New (to me) Pool!

    I took a sample in to the pool store today so I could compare the results from my Taylor test to what their gizmo says, and also so I could see the iron levels which Taylor 2006 doesn't test. Notably though, the water was sparkling clean today, no white cloudiness at all, all signs of discoloration on my steps (hard plastic of some sort) are gone but the stains on the vinyl liner are still visible. Grrrr. I was reading here about the Ascorbic Acid treatment which I might try next although not being able to swim for two weeks is a major downer.

    But the main point of interest following my pool store visit is their test said my iron levels went up after doing the Metal Magic treatment! My iron increased from .2 to .3. I was all set to put ZipChlor in today to bring up the chlorine but now I'm super reluctant because I have even more iron now than I did before! It has been raining here and that's the only water that's been added to the pool. The pool store says to add the ZipChlor even though the Metal Magic bottle says don't use chlorine shock for a week, and plenty of people online say adding chlorine after MM has brought the discoloration right back. I just don't know what to do. I did add phDown but am at a loss beyond that. I have a bucket of pool water sitting now with ZipChlor in it, kind of a test to see what happens. We're having a swim party here tmrw late afternoon and I have to have chlorine in the pool before then. I'm praying my bucket test doesn't turn brown. Should I be using something other than ZipChlor?
    16.5k gallons, IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, Ultra UV Sanitizer, Clear O3 Ozone Oxidizer, Pool Frog XL Pro Mineralizer (copper, silver nitrate, chlorine), Seasonal Use: May - September

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Jen Here with a New (to me) Pool!

    What are the ingredients of zipchlor? Dichlor? Trichlor? Cal-hypo?

    Here's how metal works. When it is in a stain it won't show up on a water test. When it is sequestered it won't show up on a water test. It only shows up on a water test when it is in the water.

    More here, Pool School - Metals in the Water and Metal Stains
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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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