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Thread: Please help me get a handle on inherited pool

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    Question Please help me get a handle on inherited pool

    Good afternoon! I'm new here. I've spent the past two days reading every recommended article, pouring through threads, and getting to a point that I truly understand pool chemistry. With that, I still need advice on what to do first/second/third, etc. My pool is around 20,000 gal in ground, with a sand filter, polaris vacuum, with full Austin, Texas sun from noon-6pm. I have no idea if/when the filter has ever been deep cleaned or sand replaced. I've backwashed and rinsed a few times. We have had a consistent algae problem since moving in last October, and each time followed Leslie's advice ($$$), but the algae always comes back. I can't seem to keep any FC - always at zero, even just a few hours after shocking. At one point they told me my CYA was zero, so we added two jugs of liquid CYA. I just learned it's still too low (obviously why I can't keep FA) I shock at night, run filter all day. Now I see that shocking wasn't correct, and we need bleach instead. I went to Leslie's yesterday for detailed water test, detailed below. I have stabilizer (granules), lots of bleach, borax, Perfect Weekly, super-shock bags and a regular water test kit (ordered recommended one, using Leslie's for detailed test in meantime). I'm dedicated to spending as much time as needed to get this pool in order and back in use - I took the rest of the week off to deal with it. Please let me know if you need any further info. I appreciate any and all guidance!

    20,000 gal in-ground plaster
    FA: 1
    CC: 1
    CH: 410
    CYA: 29
    TA: 110
    pH: 7.6
    Copper (added for algae a month ago): 1
    Iron: 0
    Total Dissolved Solids: 950
    Phosphates: 200
    Kaoni
    20,000 gal IG, plaster, sand filter, polaris vacuum

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get a handle on inherited pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    What you need to be able to move forward is your own test kit. Pool store results are suspect at best and terrible most of the time.

    Stop adding copper.

    Add more chlorine. You just have to keep adding more to get to the level you need whether that is once an hour or once a day. See the FC/CYA Chart to figure out the appropriate chlorine level and then add whatever it takes to maintain that level.


    What does your water look like? If it's clear now, your water is okay other than copper and chlorine. I'd operate as if your CYA is 29 until you know otherwise, but their testing is typically so bad it could be anywhere between 0 and 200ppm.

    Stick with TFP! A year from now you'll forget you ever had problems. It really becomes so easy you seldom even think about the pool except when you are enjoying it.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Please help me get a handle on inherited pool

    Thank you! I haven't added any copper since the one and only dose a month ago. Guessing it's residual? So I should leave CYA at 29, or try to increase it? Or leave it be and start adding bleach until I can re-test? Wondering if low CYA is making the chlorine burn off in sun all day. Pool is definitely light green and cloudy. How much bleach should I start with? Pool Math says with a CYA level of 29, my FC shock goal is 12. To get to 12 (from 1), it says to add 3 jugs of 8.25% (I bought walmart brand - doesn't say % on bottle). Do I add all three at once (around pool edge, in front of jet, or in skimmer?), or one at a time every hour? Or 3 jugs at a time every hour until it holds at 12? Sorry - while I understand how it all relates, I'm still figuring out the process. Thank you!
    Kaoni
    20,000 gal IG, plaster, sand filter, polaris vacuum

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get a handle on inherited pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaoni View Post
    Thank you! I haven't added any copper since the one and only dose a month ago. Guessing it's residual? So I should leave CYA at 29, or try to increase it? Or leave it be and start adding bleach until I can re-test? Wondering if low CYA is making the chlorine burn off in sun all day. Pool is definitely light green and cloudy. How much bleach should I start with? Pool Math says with a CYA level of 29, my FC shock goal is 12. To get to 12 (from 1), it says to add 3 jugs of 8.25% (I bought walmart brand - doesn't say % on bottle). Do I add all three at once (around pool edge, in front of jet, or in skimmer?), or one at a time every hour? Or 3 jugs at a time every hour until it holds at 12? Sorry - while I understand how it all relates, I'm still figuring out the process. Thank you!
    The copper is there for the long term. It is the cause of green hair on blonde swimmers.

    Don't try to increase the CYA until you have reliable test results. I can't emphasize enough that pool store testing is not much better than rolling dice.

    You should SLAM the pool, and this requires adding the chlorine all at once. The algae uses it quickly, so if you don't add enough it will go to zero and let the algae get started again. Trickle around the edge of the deep end.

    Walmart bleach is 8.25%. Pay attention to size because the jugs aren't all the same and aren't 1-gallon.

    Once you get the chlorine to shock level, you need to retest every hour and add more chlorine to get back to shock level. You'll be amazed how quickly you'll use chlorine at first. It will probably be near 0ppm at the end of the first hour. This is why the test kit is critical. Your pool store can't test chlorine at 12ppm and neither can most home kits. You need a FAS-DPD test to do this and you aren't likely to find it in a store. Check out Test Kits Compared If a store tells you they have the same thing, they are probably lying unless it's one of the listed kits.

    Get the TF-100. You'll have it before the weekend and you'll have clear water next week if you follow the SLAM process.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Please help me get a handle on inherited pool

    Ok ~ test is ordered and shows delivery to be between Aug 1-4. Do nothing at all in the meantime, until I get actual numbers from Taylor K2006 test kit? Or start blindly adding bleach so it doesn't get worse?
    Kaoni
    20,000 gal IG, plaster, sand filter, polaris vacuum

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get a handle on inherited pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaoni View Post
    Ok ~ test is ordered and shows delivery to be between Aug 1-4. Do nothing at all in the meantime, until I get actual numbers from Taylor K2006 test kit? Or start blindly adding bleach so it doesn't get worse?
    Do you have test strips or any other method to measure your chlorine?
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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