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Thread: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the summer?

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    New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the summer?

    Good day, everyone! I am a total newbie at the pool care thing. We just bought a house in Little Rock, AR with a 20,000 gallon vinyl in-ground pool. Itís got a sand filter with a brand new 1.5 HP Century motor. Looks like it has four returns plus the main and skimmer to pull water into the filter. Again, Iím totally green regarding this stuff, so feel free to ask more questions or correct any nomenclature I may have wrong.

    Before we bought the house, the owner said he had all the chemicals out in the shed that we would need for the rest of the summer. Being the DIY guy I am, I found this forum and set about going through Pool School and learning as much as I could. I bought a Taylor K2006 test kit, and got straight to testing as soon as we took ownership. The chlorine and CYA were a little low (roughly 3 and 35 respectively), and the pH and TA were nonexistent, though the pool water looked fantastic.

    I spent $30-40 on bleach, borax, baking soda, and muriatic acid based on my reading here at TFP, and I have everything dialed in just right after several days of testing/treating. Here are the latest numbers:

    FC: 5
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.5
    CYA: 30-35
    TA: 100
    CH: Pretty low, if any

    Water is crystal clear perfect as of this morning, and has been since we took possession over the weekend.

    I feel like maybe my CYA number is a bit low, but that may not be a big deal at this point, and I've tested so much that I ran out of R-0013 already . Also, Iím not sure if I should want any calcium or not, given this is a vinyl pool.

    The current air temperature is between 90-98 F in the heat of the day, and this pool gets full sun most of the day, so the water temperature gets into the upper 80s, even though Iím running my pump 24/7 at the moment.

    My question to the forum right now is this: Is it worth using any of the products I have on hand to finish out the summer? Hereís what Iíve got in the shed:

    • About 15-20 Trichlor pucks
    • Several boxes with packets of hth Shock Ďní Swim, which appears to be Calcium Hypochlorite, mostly
    • Several canisters of Lo Ďní Slo granular pH decreaser, which appears to be dry acid, maybe - it says sodium bisulfate on the label


    So Iím curious if I can get by with this stuff for the next 6-8 weeks without having to buy any more products, or if Iím better off just getting rid of this stuff and following the advice found here (with stuff from the grocery store/Home Depot). Any thoughts would be appreciated. Also, any advice about reducing pool water temperature would be helpful, since weíre in the dog days of summer here, and 100-degree-plus heat indexes are pretty common right now.
    20,000 Gal IG, vinyl, 1.5 HP Century pump, Polaris 360 Pressure Vaccum, Big Hayward Sand Filter, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the sum

    So I’m curious if I can get by with this stuff for the next 6-8 weeks without having to buy any more products, or if I’m better off just getting rid of this stuff and following the advice found here
    You can do both.

    1. The pucks last forever and can be used when you go on vacation if you manage your CYA correctly.

    2. The Cal Hypo is just chlorine.....use poolmath and chloreinate your pool.....your calcium is already low.

    3. That dry acid has a long shelf life and the tendency will be for pH to rise. Use PoolMath to calc the dose and then use it to lower your pH, if needed.

    Most leftover chemistry is complete junk but you got very lucky and happened across some stuff with a long shelf life and no excessive side effects.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the sum

    Great to know. Thanks! Guess I shouldn't have purchased the muriatic acid before surveying the leftover stuff. What's the shelf life of the liquid muriatic acid compared to the dry acid?
    20,000 Gal IG, vinyl, 1.5 HP Century pump, Polaris 360 Pressure Vaccum, Big Hayward Sand Filter, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the sum

    I'd use the MA first.
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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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    Re: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the sum

    Thanks for the clarification. That stuff is brutal so I'd definitely like to get it off my hands sooner than later.

    One more question regarding "managing CYA." If I'm going to mostly use the Cal Hypo and the Trichlor to chlorinate the rest of the season, along with MA to manage pH, how often should I check CYA, and what levels/signs should I be looking for to effectively manage it until mid-September or what have you?
    20,000 Gal IG, vinyl, 1.5 HP Century pump, Polaris 360 Pressure Vaccum, Big Hayward Sand Filter, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the sum

    Your CYA will only go down by way of splash out or backwash/rinse/waste or over flow from rain, etc. Evaporation leaves behind CYA, CH, and salt. Thus, it is not necessary to check daily.
    Honestly, during the heat of the summer I am getting very little rain, so I am always adding water and not backwashing very often. I normally just test once a month simply as a sanity check.
    I do a quick check of the FC and pH daily.
    If you think the CYA is currently 30-35, you should round it up to and call it 40. I will reiterate Dave's point #1 on how to incorporate a strategy for those trichlor pucks - you are already in the zone of 30-50 CYA for a non SWG pool.

    Welcome to TFP


    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: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the sum

    Sounds good. We're going on vacation Saturday for five days. I think I'll throw a puck or two in the skimmer for chlorination. Sound right?

    Also, I'll retest CYA sometime after we get back (no big rush) to make sure I'm still in range. Adding water a couple times a week, swimming regularly and backwashing here and there should be enough to keep CYA from getting too high, as long as I'm not overusing the pucks and I'm checking once a month or so to be sure I'm not going above 50?
    20,000 Gal IG, vinyl, 1.5 HP Century pump, Polaris 360 Pressure Vaccum, Big Hayward Sand Filter, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the sum

    We just took a 6 day trip - my first significant time away from this pool. I added bleach up to shock level (maybe a bit above) and put 5 tabs in a floater. When I got back the FC was 7.5 (CYA around 50) and the tabs were about half gone. Water was clear save the piles of leaves at the bottom. I'd say it worked perfectly. I haven't re-checked my CYA yet, but the math says I raised my CYA by about 5 ppm.
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the sum

    Wow, great job! I am going away for a week at the end of the month and have finally gotten control if my pool, so I've been trying to figure out what to do for when I'm gone....good to know what you did worked for you as I may try the same thing since I don't have anyone around who can add chlorine daily. Thanks for updating this thread!
    27' round (18,000 gal) above-ground, vinyl-lined, metal surround, with a deck around half. Hayward "Pro-Series" sand filter. Taylor 2006 test kit.

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the sum

    Madyogi,
    That is an excellent plan. And even if it did go above 50, no big deal because you know have an understanding of how to handle your regular maintenance - grab the chart and keep your FC above the min. Pretty much all there is to it. When the CYA gets above 100 is when everything really gets problematic because there is no way to determine the actual value and when you do need to SLAM you have to keep the FC in the 40s I think.


    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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    New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the summer?

    A fellow employee has a fiberglass pool and after one year she noticed her water did not look right - her husband could not tell the difference.
    I knew they were doing the Trichlor/liquid shock/powder shock dance, so I mentioned that it is probably high CYA. And as predicted her Pool store had it at 185...pool open for one year. I brought my test kit to work just to get some readings and to show how easy it really is to test.
    Still not convinced to buy test kit, but I did convince her that she needs to drain - issue with fiberglass is you cannot drain it down much due to worries about cracking. So she is doing that. And I convinced her to forget about that 1-3 FC that stores recommend. Determined how much FC a bag of cal-hypo and liquid shock would add and told her she really wants to keep the FC at min of 10 and at least use the pool store regularly to verify. I find it humorous that people would rather work harder and not smarter...oh well.



    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: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the sum

    I would not put the pucks in your skimmer. You can buy a "floater" for under $10. Then anchor it somewhere so that it doesn't sit along the sides of your pool.

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Should I use inherited pool store products to finish out the sum

    Awesome! Turns out the previous owners even had a "floater" in the supply shed just for this occasion.

    Thanks again for the advice!
    20,000 Gal IG, vinyl, 1.5 HP Century pump, Polaris 360 Pressure Vaccum, Big Hayward Sand Filter, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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