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Thread: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

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    Question New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Hello all,

    Looking for some help. I'm a first time and new pool owner. We bought a house, and with it came an above ground pool (full details in my signature).

    Last weekend my father-in-law and I went to Leslie's (literally round the corner) and had the water tested to see where we were at. It was at that point we were told that the town I live in has high amounts of copper in the water. The manager said that we need to put in a 1 liter container Natural Chemistry Metal Free, run the filter for 24 hours and then come back.

    The following day, we went back and had the water retested. This was the results:

    Free Available Chlorine (FAC) = 0
    Total Available Chlorine (TAC) = 0
    Calcium Hardness (CH) = 700
    Total Alkalinity (TA) = 30
    Base Demand = 8
    Copper = 0
    Iron = 0
    Total Dissolved Solids = 1100

    We were told it was OK to swim in that night (our twin girls were chomping at the bit to swim), so we did, after I spent the afternoon scrubbing the pool to clean off the slight amount of algae that was in there. We knew we'd handle the high calcium afterwards. My Father-in-law wanted to show me how to backwash the filter (he's had pools all his life) and basic maintenance. He has a pool service, so doesn't worry about the testing, cleaning etc.

    Leslie's advice was to train the pool a foot, and refill to reduce the amount of calcium. So, the Father-in-law showed me the pump, filter etc. It's in a kind of awkward place under our deck. It's in a such bad position, that we had to take a picture of the top of the sand filter to figure out where the various settings were (filter, rinse, waste etc.). The lack of access and view led to my Father-in-law incorrectly setting the handle to waste instead of backwash. It was set to 'waste' to drain the pool. We drained the pool as much as we could, but as soon as the level dropped, the skimmer wasn't able to pump the water out. I think in total we dropped the level about 6 inches maybe, if that.

    So then we set about filling it up with more water. This is the point where pretty much all **** has broken loose.

    Ever since last weekend, the pool has steadily looked worse. There is a definite green tinge to it, and the algae is back with a vengeance on the stairs and sides. There also a definite cloudiness to it too. My 4 year old girls even asked why the pool is green now, so it's pretty obvious. In my very basic understanding, it would appear from the test results that there's no chlorine to kill/stop the algae from forming.

    So yesterday, I took another sample to Leslie's. Here were the results:

    Free Available Chlorine (FAC) = 0
    Total Available Chlorine (TAC) = 0
    Calcium Hardness (CH) = 130
    Cyanuric Acid (CYA) = 50
    Total Alkalinity (TA) = 30
    Base Demand = 8
    Copper = 4
    Iron = 0
    Total Dissolved Solids = 1700
    Phosphates (Pho) = 300


    The advice from Leslie's is that we have to get the copper removed before we can handle anything else. So this time around, I was told to buy and put in 2x 1 liter container Natural Chemistry Metal Free in. At this point, I'd figured out the timer, and the filter was only running 8am to 8pm all week (including after putting in the Metal Free).

    I went back today, had the water tested (didn't get the results), and was told copper was still high. She asked about the filter, and I told her it was only running 8am - 8pm. Her advice was put in another Metal Free and run the filter for 24 hours. I put in the Metal Free and disabled the timer, so the filter will run constantly for 24 hours. That was this afternoon. I again looked at the pump and filter. I noticed the pump had a significant amount of debris in the basket. Dead insects, leaves and whatnot. I opened the pump up and cleaned out all the debris. Later on, I noticed the basket in the skimmer wasn't sitting correctly, so I guess a fair amount of stuff had got through to the pump. Then I looked at the filter and noticed the where the backwash setting was, as opposed to the waste setting we used the previous week. So, I did a backwash, and the water came out and I could tell it was green. So, I ran it until it was clear, did a rinse, and turned the filter back on,

    So, this evening, I ordered the K-2006 test kit. I want to understand and have less of a dependence on Leslies (even though they've been really helpful) and test as frequently as I can/should.

    I'm asking for advice. I'm at the mercy of Leslie's, and so far the pool has gone from being swimmable to looking pretty grim, so I'm a little skeptical right now. I'm reading the getting started guides and trying to understand the chemistry, but I can't really do much until my kit arrives, other than keep going to Leslies.

    What should my next step be?
    Pool size: 9,400 gallons, AG, vinyl
    Pooline, unknown model sand filter
    Accuflow 02-ACC-72730 pump
    TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Welcome to TFP!

    I guess my first question is - how are you or are you adding chlorine to the pool? Your first test showed no chlorine. Did they not tell you to add some? Did you add any?

    You have ordered a good test kit, great! But, you need to learn some water,chemistry before it arrives.

    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    SLAM
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Thanks for replying! Yeah, the first AND second test showed no chlorine. I bought a bucket of the chlorine pucks for the floating chlorinator after the first test, but it's clearly not increased the level at all. This has been somewhat of a mystery to me. I understand the need to remove the copper, but having zero chlorine and not suggesting to increase it seems a little odd. In fact, they recommended not to, for reasons I can't remember. All the times I've been to Leslie's, they've said to do nothing but remove the copper, due to the effect it's having on the other readings.

    It's my assumption i'd need to do a SLAM to a) kill algae and b) raise the chlorine levels, but as a brand new pool owner, up until now, I don't have the experience or knowledge to second guess my local pool store.
    Pool size: 9,400 gallons, AG, vinyl
    Pooline, unknown model sand filter
    Accuflow 02-ACC-72730 pump
    TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Please,understand, the local"pool store,is in business to move money from your pocket to their cash register. I trust a new pool owner armed with the knowledge in Pool School and a test kit over a dozen pool store "experts"
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny_Login View Post
    Thanks for replying! Yeah, the first AND second test showed no chlorine. I bought a bucket of the chlorine pucks for the floating chlorinator after the first test, but it's clearly not increased the level at all. This has been somewhat of a mystery to me. I understand the need to remove the copper, but having zero chlorine and not suggesting to increase it seems a little odd. In fact, they recommended not to, for reasons I can't remember. All the times I've been to Leslie's, they've said to do nothing but remove the copper, due to the effect it's having on the other readings.

    It's my assumption i'd need to do a SLAM to a) kill algae and b) raise the chlorine levels, but as a brand new pool owner, up until now, I don't have the experience or knowledge to second guess my local pool store.
    I personally don't understand pool store testing results for copper when it suddenly jumped from 0 to 4 between 2 tests they did. The only thing which was done in between was draining 6" of the pool and refilling it with city water. Even if average depth is 4' = 48" it means city water had copper content at 4 x 8 = 32 Is it even possible?

    Kenny_Login: is it possible to find copper content in your city water buy any chance? In the worst case can you bring sample of your tap water to Leslie's to test for copper? Just trying to understand what to expect when chlorine is added.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    I am jumping ahead a little but I wanted to share this set of links I set up for new pool owners. It is a lot of info. so take it a bite at a time. I hope these will help you understand how and why we do things here at TFP:

    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 owner, not sure what to do next...

    Quote Originally Posted by max2k View Post
    I personally don't understand pool store testing results for copper when it suddenly jumped from 0 to 4 between 2 tests they did. The only thing which was done in between was draining 6" of the pool and refilling it with city water. Even if average depth is 4' = 48" it means city water had copper content at 4 x 8 = 32 Is it even possible?

    Kenny_Login: is it possible to find copper content in your city water buy any chance? In the worst case can you bring sample of your tap water to Leslie's to test for copper? Just trying to understand what to expect when chlorine is added.
    Here's the town's water report:

    chrome_2016-08-08_09-27-52.jpg

    My copper testing kit will arrive tomorrow, so I'll test it myself tomorrow after having put in the Metal Free and ran the filter for 24+ hours.
    Pool size: 9,400 gallons, AG, vinyl
    Pooline, unknown model sand filter
    Accuflow 02-ACC-72730 pump
    TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD

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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    I am jumping ahead a little but I wanted to share this set of links I set up for new pool owners. It is a lot of info. so take it a bite at a time. I hope these will help you understand how and why we do things here at TFP:

    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.

    Thank you! Still working my way through all the handy guides and information.
    Pool size: 9,400 gallons, AG, vinyl
    Pooline, unknown model sand filter
    Accuflow 02-ACC-72730 pump
    TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD

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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Please,understand, the local"pool store,is in business to move money from your pocket to their cash register. I trust a new pool owner armed with the knowledge in Pool School and a test kit over a dozen pool store "experts"
    I'm waiting on my test kit for copper and the K-2006 test kit. I'm going to buy a bunch of bleach today for the purpose of SLAMing the pool. My question would be, do I ignore Leslie's advive and/or the copper readings and work on SLAMing the pool to kill/control the algae? Then once that is taken care of, then work on bringing down the copper levels? The other test results seem that they need a few tweaks, but aren't wildly out of whack like the chlorine and/or copper.
    Pool size: 9,400 gallons, AG, vinyl
    Pooline, unknown model sand filter
    Accuflow 02-ACC-72730 pump
    TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Yes, slam first and work the copper afterwards.
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    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    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, not sure what to do next...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny_Login View Post
    Here's the town's water report:

    chrome_2016-08-08_09-27-52.jpg

    My copper testing kit will arrive tomorrow, so I'll test it myself tomorrow after having put in the Metal Free and ran the filter for 24+ hours.
    if I understand this correctly you most likely with probability of 90% have copper level of 0.04 ppm or less. I think it can hardly be considered as 'high' copper water so at least you'll have an option to refill the pool with that water. I'm not saying you'll have to, just an option.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    So, I'm in the process of shocking the pool, and I took a CYA reading and it jumped from 40 (pre-shock) to 55. I used the Pool math to recalculate the amount of chlorine based off this new number, just to be on the safe side. Is this normal?
    Pool size: 9,400 gallons, AG, vinyl
    Pooline, unknown model sand filter
    Accuflow 02-ACC-72730 pump
    TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD

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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny_Login View Post
    So, I'm in the process of shocking the pool, and I took a CYA reading and it jumped from 40 (pre-shock) to 55. I used the Pool math to recalculate the amount of chlorine based off this new number, just to be on the safe side. Is this normal?
    CYA does not jump on its own. What did you use to 'shock' the pool?
    Please note SLAM is not one time event but rather process where you bring FC to the 'shock' level corresponding to your current CYA and keep it there until you pass OCLT. You bring up FC using liquid chlorine (bleach) and nothing else. Your current SLAM FC level based on CYA=55 should be 24ppm and you should check it regularly, every 2 hrs at the beginning as it will drop due to algae killing process so you'd need to bring it back to 24 ppm. It gets easier as time passes. Please run your pump 24/7 and brush the pool as often as you can.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    I bought 12 gallons of the Home Depot 8.25% bleach. I've been keeping the FC at whatever level Pool Math has been telling me since Thursday and brushing every day. I'm testing every ~4hrs with my K-2006 test kit. I may have misread the CYA, but I've been keeping the level on the high side (currently it's at around 20.5 ppm). Is the CYA test reliable during a SLAM, given that the process adds murkiness to the water, and the CYA test is looking at a black dot through already cloudy water?
    Pool size: 9,400 gallons, AG, vinyl
    Pooline, unknown model sand filter
    Accuflow 02-ACC-72730 pump
    TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD

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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny_Login View Post
    I bought 12 gallons of the Home Depot 8.25% bleach. I've been keeping the FC at whatever level Pool Math has been telling me since Thursday and brushing every day. I'm testing every ~4hrs with my K-2006 test kit. I may have misread the CYA, but I've been keeping the level on the high side (currently it's at around 20.5 ppm). Is the CYA test reliable during a SLAM, given that the process adds murkiness to the water, and the CYA test is looking at a black dot through already cloudy water?
    You need to check CYA once (or few times to make sure) at the beginning of SLAM to determine your target FC level using FC/CYA chart. CYA is not changing on its own if you're using bleach only for chlorinating so there's no point in checking CYA often as you'd be getting the same results. FC is the only parameter you need to monitor during SLAM.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Ok, cool. Just finished brushing the pool, and decided I would unbolt the steps and remove them. When we first inherited the pool, that was the hot-spot for algae. The back of the steps were pretty green. I'm glad I did. Although it's not bad, there's definitely pockets of algae still clinging on for dear life, so I'll be scrubbing the steps pretty thoroughly too.

    Pool size: 9,400 gallons, AG, vinyl
    Pooline, unknown model sand filter
    Accuflow 02-ACC-72730 pump
    TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD

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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny_Login View Post
    Ok, cool. Just finished brushing the pool, and decided I would unbolt the steps and remove them. When we first inherited the pool, that was the hot-spot for algae. The back of the steps were pretty green. I'm glad I did. Although it's not bad, there's definitely pockets of algae still clinging on for dear life, so I'll be scrubbing the steps pretty thoroughly too.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
    I think you got it- good luck with SLAM! Please keep close eye on your FC level. It tends to drop fast at the beginning of SLAM and you need to keep bringing it back with bleach.
    Don't hesitate to ask any questions, this forum has a lot of very helpful members.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Thanks for your help. Hopefully I'm pretty close. FC dropped by 1.5 overnight, and CC is at 0.5. The water is still cloudy, but I know that will take running the filter 24/7. Fingers crossed!

    Pool size: 9,400 gallons, AG, vinyl
    Pooline, unknown model sand filter
    Accuflow 02-ACC-72730 pump
    TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner, not sure what to do next...

    Max has you well covered!

    How about taking and sharing a picture of your pool. If you take one a day you can watch it change color and clear up. Your eyes will not be able to see it day to day. The pictures help you keep your sanity during the SLAM.

    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 owner, not sure what to do next...

    Just wanted to share some pics of the pool. Here it is 2 weeks ago, just after we moved in:

    IMG_20160730_115703.jpg

    Then 1 week ago:

    IMG_20160808_183748.jpg
    Pool size: 9,400 gallons, AG, vinyl
    Pooline, unknown model sand filter
    Accuflow 02-ACC-72730 pump
    TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD

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