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Thread: Rocky Beginning...

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    Rocky Beginning...

    Hello all, I am a new (first time) owner of an existing pool, as of the middle of June. First couple of weeks were fine, as the investor (house was a foreclosure prior to him) was using a pool service, which continued for a bit after we closed. They kept the chlorine levels up. By July 4 (pool party!), the pool was a bit cloudy. It stayed that way, until we went on vacation in mid to late July, returning to a green swamp. I was using pucks, wasn't shocking, really just didn't know what I was doing. To the pool store, they sold me Suncoast Stop Yellow, with instructions to put in half a jug of chlorine, with a dose of it for two days in a row. That seemed to do the trick, I started shocking the pool weekly, with liquid chlorine, with them testing the water.

    The cloudiness returned. It hasn't gone to full green, just stayed cloudy. Additionally, the pool store told me that my CH level was low, and I needed to raise it. Sold me a 25 lb box of calcium chloride, told me to add about 5 lbs/day, and return to test water in a week. In the meantime, I searched, found this site, read and read some more, and decided to hop on board. Ordered a TF100, which I have started using. Did an OTCL test last night, and commenced with a slam today. When I tested my CH yesterday, it was at 450! And I didn't even use the whole box, as instructed.... I stopped when I ordered the TF100, as I wanted to verify where my levels were. I'm confident with the info in pool school, etc., I'll get this cleared up. So thank you to everyone who contributes and put this information together!

    What's weighing on me is that I have two jets that continue to shoot out air bubbles (one in the pool and one in the spa), and the jet furthest from the pump in the pool has next to no flow coming out of it. Additionally, the spa has a large amount of sand in it, and the pool gets a bit of an accumulation in front of the two jets that actually have pressure. Does this indicate a pipe that is leaking underground and sucking in sand? In this part of FL, we don't have a lot of dark, rich, soil, but we do have sand!

    Sorry for the long first post, just wanted to give a background, and admit to my ignorance leading to part of my current problems!
    15,000 gallon, IG, deteriorating plaster pool
    Fountain spills over into spa spills over into pool, but only one pump!
    US Motors 1.5 HP pump, Sta-Rite Posi-Flo II Cartridge filter, Model PTM100
    Filled with county (pottable) water

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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    Welcome to TFP Chet

    You've taken the big step and have a good test kit so now it's just a matter of seeing your numbers and hopefully pointing you in the right direction.
    Yup, 450 you have plenty of CH !!

    Can you post where you're at ??

    Are there any bubbles you can see in the pump strainer basket ??
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    Hi there FL person! You are going to LOVE how your pool looks after we get done with it!

    First off I am thinking the "sand" is really dead algae.

    Second have you cleaned your filter?

    Lets do this one step at a time. So as kiss says and post up your numbers like this:

    FC
    CC
    PH
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    AND share pictures of your pool. Show the sand and how cloudy it is. Look down at the steps when you take the cloudy picture.

    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: Rocky Beginning...

    I had to leave home, for my MILs bday, but from memory,
    FC - 16
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.2
    TA - don't remember
    CH - 450
    CYA- 40

    Yes, I have cleaned my filter numerous times. It's sitting at clean pressure, at the moment. I'll have to take pix at the stairs tomorrow, since I'm no longer at home. If I could figure out how to attach a pic from my phone, I could show the sand- I really think that's what it is, but you can correct me, if necessary. There's just a touch of air in the top of the strainer basket. Could that be it? They are big bubbles, not fine.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    I get those every once in a while. Have you lubed the o-ring in the lid? Most of the time that is all it takes.

    You can use a turkey baster to suck up some of the sand. Squirt it out onto a white paper towel inside a colander. Let it dry and take/share a pic.

    Enjoy your day with the B-day lady!

    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: Rocky Beginning...

    Tested my water before work this morning:
    FC - 17
    CC - 1
    PH - 7.8 (was between 7.5 and 7.8, but closer to 7.8)
    TA - 50
    CH - 425
    CYA - 35

    FC held over night. We'll have to see where it's at when I get home from work today, FL sun is brutal this time of year! I lubed the o-ring in the lid a few weeks ago, but I will try again. I'm sure I'll need to clean the filter cartridge when I get home this evening, so I'll lube both o-rings then. I took a pic this morning of the steps, but there wasn't much daylight left, so it's hard to see the cloudiness in the water. I'll try again this evening. The pic of the "sand" I took yesterday - I vacuumed it out of the spa. If you still need to see it dried on a paper towel, I'll do that tonight as well.
    Attachment 53694Attachment 53695Attachment 53696
    Last edited by chet999; 08-22-2016 at 07:49 AM. Reason: Compressed picture files
    15,000 gallon, IG, deteriorating plaster pool
    Fountain spills over into spa spills over into pool, but only one pump!
    US Motors 1.5 HP pump, Sta-Rite Posi-Flo II Cartridge filter, Model PTM100
    Filled with county (pottable) water

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    Mr Bruce's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    You can skip all the tests except FC and CC until your SLAM is over. pH isn't accurate anyway with FC > 10.
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    So the pool seems to be getting clearer, but my TOCL number regressed. I'm wondering if I had an errant reading last night, because the number was high (19.5), though I had used pool math earlier in the evening with a target of 16. I grabbed water down stream (relatively speaking) from where I poured in the chlorine. This morning FC was at 16. Frustrating. I didn't bother with CC because of the FC number. Pump is still running 24/7 too, and it is very, very hot. Maybe this will break it and give me an excuse to buy a VS pump.... Maybe? Anyone have any thoughts on the "sand" in the above picture? does it look like it could be dead algea? I think I solved the air in the system problem. When I took my pool cleaner out last night, the air in the basket went away, and the amount of bubbles coming from the jets decreased significantly. To me it seems that air is being pulled in from the joints in the hose.
    15,000 gallon, IG, deteriorating plaster pool
    Fountain spills over into spa spills over into pool, but only one pump!
    US Motors 1.5 HP pump, Sta-Rite Posi-Flo II Cartridge filter, Model PTM100
    Filled with county (pottable) water

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    Good job finding the bubble trouble!

    "Sand" how does it feel? It sure does look like sand! Is that stuff wet in that picture?

    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: Rocky Beginning...

    Unless you really want to replace that pump, if it were me I would shut it off for a couple hours each day during this slam, maybe 2 times a day for an hour each
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Good job finding the bubble trouble!

    "Sand" how does it feel? It sure does look like sand! Is that stuff wet in that picture?

    It feels like sand. That picture was taken one day after vacuuming it out, so it was probably still damp. I just don't know how this stuff would be getting into my spa! Maybe it was all already in there when we moved in, and I just didn't realize how much there was, but it sure seems like more and more keeps showing up. The deck is grouted, so it's not sand that would be in the joint washing into the pool.

    I got home late last night, cycled my burning hot pump off for a bit (thanks for the idea/permission Matt), brought my FC up, and went to bed, so I have no idea what, if any, FC losses I had over night. Guess tonight I'll do a TOCL test. Question on testing FC though - how critical is it to swirl the tube as you are adding R-0871? I've been putting in 20+ drops and then I will start swirling, since I know my FC is higher than that. Is this leading to inaccurate results?

    My wife did say that the water looked clearer when she got home yesterday, so it seems to be on it's way. Getting this little bit of cloudiness to go away is taking forever!
    15,000 gallon, IG, deteriorating plaster pool
    Fountain spills over into spa spills over into pool, but only one pump!
    US Motors 1.5 HP pump, Sta-Rite Posi-Flo II Cartridge filter, Model PTM100
    Filled with county (pottable) water

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    So the $1000 ? is WHERE is that SAND coming from??? Dog? Ghost? Children? overgrown kid?

    I am glad it is clearer! That last bit IS the longest and hardest for sure!

    So long as your drops are consistent as you can get them you are fine with the drops then swirling (that is what I do). One day maybe both of use will get a magic stirrer. I am asking Santa for one this Christmas! It does all of the work for you!

    TFTestkits.net

    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: Rocky Beginning...

    The Magic Stirrer made my LOL. I've often wondered if I was stirring to much with that thing.

    Have you tried to capture sand from any/ all of your returns to eliminate sand coming from them as a theory? You'd have to rig up some sort of catcher (mesh bag/panty hose/IDK) and then leave it in position to capture water coming out of your returns.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    Doh! That is an awesome idea!!!! Wish I had said that lol
    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: Rocky Beginning...

    The SLAM is done!! FC loss was zero overnight, CC was zero. Water is looking good, at least until I try to clean up the sand, which stirs it up. Slowly I'll get it! I'll most likely do full testing this weekend, and we can start looking at my other levels. Time to get this pool stable and silky!

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo View Post
    Have you tried to capture sand from any/ all of your returns to eliminate sand coming from them as a theory? You'd have to rig up some sort of catcher (mesh bag/panty hose/IDK) and then leave it in position to capture water coming out of your returns.
    I'm pretty certain the sand is being deposited in the spa via the jets. My theory now is that all this sand was in the pool/spa/fountain, but spread all around, as the pool was pretty dirty when we moved in. We got a suction cleaner, so it would suck this stuff up, it makes it past the cartridge in the cartridge filter, and gets returned to the pool/spa/fountain. The stuff in the pool would then make the trip again, but the stuff in the spa/fountain doesn't, since the cleaner doesn't go in there. Over time, more and more ends up in there. At this point, I think I just need to keep working on cleaning it out, and see if it lessens, or continues to accumulate. In the pic, you can see the darker particles in a pattern coming from the return. And yes, the plaster is shot. After my old house sells, I will be looking into having the pool resurfaced. Already got a few quotes.... Yep, need the old house to sell!!!
    . Attachment 53782
    15,000 gallon, IG, deteriorating plaster pool
    Fountain spills over into spa spills over into pool, but only one pump!
    US Motors 1.5 HP pump, Sta-Rite Posi-Flo II Cartridge filter, Model PTM100
    Filled with county (pottable) water

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    You can put a skimmer sock on the skimmer basket to help catch the sand AND put some kind of bag (sock???) on the returns to help catch it there! Maybe that one, two punch will do it?

    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: Rocky Beginning...

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    You can put a skimmer sock on the skimmer basket to help catch the sand AND put some kind of bag (sock???) on the returns to help catch it there! Maybe that one, two punch will do it?

    It's worth a try. Now I just gotta find a way to rig socks on the returns.

    On a different note, does anyone have any thoughts on the fact that one of my returns is barely functioning (very low to non-existent pressure)? I guess I should shut off the fountain and spa, and see what that does. Perhaps my pump is not strong enough for all of the returns in the pool. Originally, this pool had a separate pump on the fountain and spa, but I guess it broke, and rather than replace it, someone redid the plumbing so that everything is running off of the one pump.
    15,000 gallon, IG, deteriorating plaster pool
    Fountain spills over into spa spills over into pool, but only one pump!
    US Motors 1.5 HP pump, Sta-Rite Posi-Flo II Cartridge filter, Model PTM100
    Filled with county (pottable) water

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    Do you have valves? Shoot and share a picture of your equipment and we may have some ideas. It might take some playing around to see what works best.

    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: Rocky Beginning...

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Do you have valves? Shoot and share a picture of your equipment and we may have some ideas. It might take some playing around to see what works best.

    Here is the equipment. Took some monkeying around for me to figure out what was what, and get the levels where I wanted them for the fountain and spa spill over. While we're looking at this, the spa drains down when the pump is off. Looks like there is a check valve, can't really see it, but it's upper left in the photo. I don't know if it's working, and don't know if it even has a chance to work, given how the plumbing was redone to put everything on one pump. Any thoughts on keeping the spa full when the pumps not running? Oh wait, should probably deal with one thing at a time!!!
    Attachment 53824
    15,000 gallon, IG, deteriorating plaster pool
    Fountain spills over into spa spills over into pool, but only one pump!
    US Motors 1.5 HP pump, Sta-Rite Posi-Flo II Cartridge filter, Model PTM100
    Filled with county (pottable) water

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Rocky Beginning...

    That is going to take some looking! I will work on it when I get home! Maybe take a shoot from head on as well as well as from other side to make sure we can see everything!

    Spa draining does sound like check valve not working. Will work on that next.

    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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