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Thread: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

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    New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    We just put in a new pool. I've tested the water at a local supply store and ended up with $$chemicals to use. A friend told me about this site and so far it's been very helpful!

    I purchased a recommended test kit and used it for the first time tonight.

    Here are the results.

    1.6ppm FC
    8 ppm pH
    150 TA
    <30 CYA

    I have a big bucket of trichlo to use up for the chlorine. If I understand correctly I need to add 7.5 oz to raise my FC.

    I need to add muriatic acid to lower my TA and pH, but which number do I target first, so I don't lower it too much?

    I'm not sure what to use to raise my CYA. My test only went down to 30 and I could still see the dot in the bottom.

    I'm also using 3" chlorine tabs.

    I didnt test test for anything else. Are there only things I need to watch for?

    Thanks!
    Betsy, 07-28-2016, 16k, IG, vinyl, sand, test kit k2006

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Welcome to TFP!

    Here is what to test for
    FC - Free Chlorine
    CC - Combined Chlorine
    pH
    TA - Total Alkalinity
    CH - Calcium Hardness
    CYA - Cyanuric Acid (stabilizer)

    More here on pool chems like CYA and how to add them to your pool, Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    Lower PH to 7.5 for now. Don't worry about TA right now.

    Do a little reading here
    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    And here
    Pool School - Getting Started
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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnsbd View Post
    We just put in a new pool. I've tested the water at a local supply store and ended up with $$chemicals to use. A friend told me about this site and so far it's been very helpful!

    I purchased a recommended test kit and used it for the first time tonight.

    Here are the results.

    1.6ppm FC
    8 ppm pH
    150 TA
    <30 CYA

    I have a big bucket of trichlo to use up for the chlorine. If I understand correctly I need to add 7.5 oz to raise my FC.

    I need to add muriatic acid to lower my TA and pH, but which number do I target first, so I don't lower it too much?

    I'm not sure what to use to raise my CYA. My test only went down to 30 and I could still see the dot in the bottom.

    I'm also using 3" chlorine tabs.

    I didnt test test for anything else. Are there only things I need to watch for?

    Thanks!
    FC/CC/CYA/pH/TA are the most important ones. Watch out with trichlor as it also increases CYA along with FC. You need to increase CYA atm but as soon as it reaches 40 you'll need to switch to liquid chlorine (bleach) exclusively.
    I'd leave TA alone for now and monitor pH. These 2 parameters are somewhat related so it would be really confusing to adjust both.

    I understand your pool birthday is 7/28. Did PB left you instructions what to do with it over first 30 days or it's beyond that startup period and it's fully yours?

    Your pH is at the end of scale- bring it down to about 7.4 level with Muriatic Acid. Do it in 2-3 steps with pump running and about 30 min in between additions, you don't want to overshoot.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Thanks. Those articles are very helpful. I'll probably have to read them multiple times for it all to sink in.

    So, it sounds like I need to stop using the tablets. I actually put my last few in the tube today, and was planning on picking some up tomorrow. so can I just use the trichlor each day until either it runs out or I hit the 40 CYA level? Then switch to bleach each day? Once I do this what happens if I miss a couple of days adding bleach? We travel to see family on weekends, so might miss a couple of days in a row.

    The pool company left me instructions. Always keep tablets in tube. Adjust dial on tube if FC is low or high. Shock once a week. Use algacide once a week. Take samples to local store to test once a week (learned really quickly that I don't want to do that!). Brush and vacuum once a week. Use kreepy crawler as often as I like.

    I was was able to figure out reading here that the reason my chlorine level keeps dropping every day is because the CYA is so low. Even with the tablets I've had to add trichlor every few days to get my FC to register on the test strips.

    Thanks!
    Betsy, 07-28-2016, 16k, IG, vinyl, sand, test kit k2006

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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnsbd View Post
    Thanks. Those articles are very helpful. I'll probably have to read them multiple times for it all to sink in.

    So, it sounds like I need to stop using the tablets. I actually put my last few in the tube today, and was planning on picking some up tomorrow. so can I just use the trichlor each day until either it runs out or I hit the 40 CYA level? Then switch to bleach each day? Once I do this what happens if I miss a couple of days adding bleach? We travel to see family on weekends, so might miss a couple of days in a row.

    The pool company left me instructions. Always keep tablets in tube. Adjust dial on tube if FC is low or high. Shock once a week. Use algacide once a week. Take samples to local store to test once a week (learned really quickly that I don't want to do that!). Brush and vacuum once a week. Use kreepy crawler as often as I like.

    I was was able to figure out reading here that the reason my chlorine level keeps dropping every day is because the CYA is so low. Even with the tablets I've had to add trichlor every few days to get my FC to register on the test strips.

    Thanks!
    OK, science starts with reliable data- get yourself TF-100 test kit: TF100.

    Please disregard what I said above, I based those recommendations assuming you got your numbers using either TF100 or K2006 test kits. Pool store tests are notoriously inaccurate by a factor of 2 or more. At that scale of error nobody can make any sensible recommendations.

    Don't use algaecides, they usually contain copper which is hard to get rid of.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    You can use trichlor to raise CYA, but it is pretty slow. Might be better to save them for later and raise CYA quicker for now.

    Two options for vaca. Raise FC to shock level for your cya, FC/CYA Chart. Or use some trichlor oucjks. Or both.

    No pool store and no algaecides.
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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Welcome to TFP! Good to have you here

    You'll need to decide on the best short term approach to keeping your free chlorine (FC) on target.

    Either way, add liguid chlorine right away to get to a correct target per this chart: Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

    One way to go:
    - Play around with PoolMath (link at the top of every page).
    - Figure out a schedule on paper or in Excel for using the tabs and how fast you need them to dissolve to maintain FC.
    - You can base it on 2.5 ppm FC loss per day and fine-tune that later.
    - Also determine how quickly your CYA will rise with that amount of pucks.
    - Don't take your CYA past 40 so you have some room for puck use on vacations.
    - After you reach 40 ppm CYA, you follow TFPC - switch to liquid chlorine exclusively, except for absences over 2 days.

    Or, Start Trouble Free Pool Care (TFPC) right away:
    - Put the pucks away and save them for vacations (they don't deteriorate noticeably)
    - Immediately add the correct amount of stabilizer (CYA, cyanuric acid) by using PoolMath to figure it out, and then buying powdered stabilizer to put in the pool
    - Robelle Stabilizer and Conditioner for Swimming Pools - Walmart.com
    - Three $16 jars of 1.75 lbs each will add 40 ppm CYA to 16,000 gallons (use PoolMath to double-check my numbers cause it's your pool
    - Test your water, use PoolMath to determine how much liquid chlorine to add, and pour it in.

    The second option is the easier way to learn TFPC.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    You can use trichlor to raise CYA, but it is pretty slow. Might be better to save them for later and raise CYA quicker for now.

    Two options for vaca. Raise FC to shock level for your cya, FC/CYA Chart. Or use some trichlor oucjks. Or both.

    No pool store and no algaecides.
    he doesn't have test kit, that CYA<30 could be anything ... OTOH since this is fresh fill may be this will work. I hate guesstimates.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Yes, he does. Ist post 2nd paragraph says
    I purchased a recommended test kit and used it for the first time tonight.
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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    The numbers I posted are based on the test kit I used for the first time tonight. It's the K2006.

    I think I'll go with the TFPC option if I can talk my hubby into it.

    Liquid chlorine is regular household bleach, correct?

    Thanks again!
    Betsy, 07-28-2016, 16k, IG, vinyl, sand, test kit k2006

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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Yes, he does. Ist post 2nd paragraph says
    I see, the reference to pool store and FC test strips threw me off. I need a break

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnsbd View Post
    The numbers I posted are based on the test kit I used for the first time tonight. It's the K2006.

    I think I'll go with the TFPC option if I can talk my hubby into it.

    Liquid chlorine is regular household bleach, correct?

    Thanks again!
    It is, the most important it needs to be plain bleach - not splashless, scented or something else.

    Could you please put details of your pool and test kit in your signature so I won't get confused again?

    And to your previous question- I'm not adding bleach daily, every other day when it's hot and much less often when temperature drops so weekends are not a problem at all. When your water gets stable few days don't change much.
    Ppl around here use tablets when going on vacations for weeks but that requires to be low on CYA to begin with.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    A few options for chlorinating liquid and just a matter of shopping for best deal ($/gal divided by % strength)

    8.25% household bleach (not scented or splashless)
    10% liquid pool shock at Walmart
    12.5% pool chlorinating liquid (some hardwares and pool stores)

    There needs to be a "% sodium hypochlorite" listed. Best to buy fresh with a recent manufacture date code, e.g. "16180" which means 2016 and the 180th day of the year (late June)

    This link can give you an idea or two: 2016 bleach prices - Page 15
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    John,

    Can you please add your pool information in your signature? This will help people here help you. Go under the settings button and look for edit signature (this link should get you there). Pool size/type and equipment brands/model numbers etc are extremely helpful.

    In many states you can buy liquid chlorine in refillable 2.5 or 5 gal containers. Leslie's has it here in FL and that's the only thing I buy there unless I need a part in an emergency. We have friends in Houston that get cl at Napco from recommendations I found on this site. Best prices run about $1.40/gal for 10%. Pool calculator will tell you how much CYA each trichlor tablet adds. For my pool its 2.6 ppm per 8 oz (3") tablet. You can ratio based on the size of your pool to get your number. I opted to raise mine to 40 ppm with trichlor during winter and then switch back to liquid. Worked pretty well and I only put tablets in when I travel. I lose a little CYA each month from rain that needs to be pumped out so it's pretty easy to manage here in Florida.

    I hope this helps.

    Chris

    -Chris-
    2013 In-ground plaster/pebble, screen enclosed, 12000 gal w/ Jandy 2 speed 1 HP pump, Jandy CS 200 cartridge filter, 800 gal spa w/ 1.5 HP booster pump, Solar heater, 2 LED lights in pool 1 light in spa, TF-100 test kit, The PoolCleaner Next Generation, Jandy RS-12 Automation system with iAqualink 2.0 control, Separate Hayward/Goldline Solar control

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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Thanks for the help everyone. I need to figure out how to get my signature to show up when I use my iPhone. Works ok on my iPad.

    Looks like I need to do some supply shopping today.

    Betsy
    Betsy, 07-28-2016, 16k, IG, vinyl, sand, test kit k2006

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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Is there a good article or rules of thumb that tell you which chemicals (from pool math) to add first, how long to wait till adding next chemical, when to retest, and when it's ok to swim?

    Betsy
    Betsy, 07-28-2016, 16k, IG, vinyl, sand, test kit k2006

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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    The main ones don't require much wait or a specific order because it's all done in an hour anyway. Pump running:

    1. Add enough muriatic acid to correct your pH
    2. You reported CYA as <30, so add that in steps of 10 ppm
    3. Add chlorinating liquid to achieve 4 ppm FC (30 minutes after adding the acid)

    Never mix concentrated MA and bleach. So for example triple-rinse pails, measuring cups, etc. or don't measure the bleach. Just use 1/2 jug as an increment and pour straight from the bottle, with the bottle floated on the water.

    This article describes some things about adding chemicals: Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    The other things can be fine-tuned one at a time after these are done.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Thanks!
    Betsy, 07-28-2016, 16k, IG, vinyl, sand, test kit k2006

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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Safety-wise, unless you wear nice big glasses or sunnies, pick up some safety glasses. Muriatic acid (MA) or bleach in the eye is a bad thing.

    If you get some on your skin, don't panic. Just rinse your skin next chance you get.

    MA has fumes depending on weather conditions. When/if you breathe MA fumes, it will startle you (you will know it). It is an acute risk and will not accumulate or damage you permanently cause you will feel it right away and move! The trick is to stay upwind or hold your breath. After a while, you'll be able to just float the bottle and estimate a cup or two.

    If you're alarmed by either chemical, regular household rubber gloves will protect your hands, or you can take as much precaution as you're comfortable with. Both can leave bleached spots on your clothes and most paving, so due care is always a good idea.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Here is a set of links I share with new pool owners. It is a lot of info. as you have found. Take it a bite at a time. It will all make sense as you start using it:

    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.

    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: New pool and first time pool owner - understanding test results

    Awesome! Thanks everyone.
    Betsy, 07-28-2016, 16k, IG, vinyl, sand, test kit k2006

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