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Thread: New to pool maintenance!

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    Join Date
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    New to pool maintenance!

    This is my first year with our new pool. We have a 18 x 36 20,000 gallon vinyl liner with a sand filter. We've had it professionally maintained all summer up until about a month ago and decided we could do it ourselves instead of paying $65/week.

    I feel very ignorant when it comes to all the chemicals and such. Currently, we're using the little test strips that the pool company gave us. But overnight, the pool got cloudy. We tested it and according to the strips, we had 0 total chlorine and 0 free chlorine. We shocked it with 2 pouches. We also use the 3-inch chlorine tabs in the auto-chlorination. How do I figure out what/when to add? Do we need to shock? I've read such mixed reviews on shock.

    I've read a little bit about a different type of test kit. Is the Taylor k-2006 kit a good one and do we need it?

    Also, do or should we get a robot vacuum for the pool? My hubby manually vacuums about once a week.


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    TFP Guide

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    Re: New to pool maintenance!

    Welcome to the forum
    You are about to get all sorts of help, first off the k-2006 is a good kit and you absolutely need it, the strips just don't have the accuracy you need to get the pool under control. Most around here use the TF-100 (link in my signature) it's has the same capability as the 2006 but has more reagents so a little more value for the money.

    The problem with any type of powdered chlorinating product is it adds either stabilized or calcium to the water. Most add stabilizer commonly called CYA, in short the more CYA in the water the more chlorine you will need. Most who use tablets and powdered shock end up at a point where the stabilizer level is so high they can't keep the chlorine levels high enough to do it's job.

    All the info you will need is in the pool school link at the top of the page. You can start reading thought that while you are waiting on the test kit to arrive. Once you get a kit post a full set of test results back here and we will get you started on the path to getting the pool balanced.

    If you don't mind the vacuuming you don't "need" a robot but they sure are nice to have.

    I am sure others will jump in shortly
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool maintenance!

    Netterz,

    Welcome to TFP, you will love it here...

    I know it sounds just like one of those late-night TV commercials.. Buy this.. and it will cure cancer and bad breath.. But, that is not really the case here. Before we can help you fix your pool problems, we need reliable test data from your pool. Pool store tests, or other test kits, do not provide the data we need to be able to help you. Look through some of the bazillion posts here and you will see what I mean.

    We will need the following chemical levels, and the only way to do that is to buy one of the recommended tests. The tests are easy to do, and you, not the pool store, control the quality and accuracy of the tests.

    FC
    CC
    pH
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    Each of the above tests are somewhat interrelated, so it is very important for us to have accurate test data. We do this by asking everyone to use the same basic test kit, so that we are always comparing apples to apples.

    As attach-2 says, the TF-100 test kit is the best way to go.. One good thing is that you just don't have to worry about "all the chemicals and such.." Most of the time liquid Chlorine/bleach is all you need for daily upkeep. The best thing is, we can teach you how to test your pool so that you know exactly what it needs, and you can do all this without ever having to go back to expensive Pool Store.

    While I think robots are great!!! I also believe that it makes sense to tackle one thing at a time. Let's get your water cleared up first and then look into if a robot makes sense for you.

    I suggest that you add two 121 oz. jugs of 8.25% bleach (Regular bleach, not scented or splash-less) to your pool tomorrow morning and then one jug everyday until your new test kit arrives. Just pour the bleach in front of a return jets while the pump is running.

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2.

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: New to pool maintenance!

    Good advice from Jim, adding the bleach likely will not fix the water but will help keep things from getting much worse until we can get those test results and get you started with the process called SLAM.

    SLAM is similar to shocking the pool in that you raise the chlorine level aka FC above normal, but unlike what the pool stores call shocking SLAM is a process that once complete does not need to be repeated unless you accidentally let the pool get out of control and get another algae bloom. There are members on here that have gone years without ever having to SLAM.

    Reading other posts from members with algae will give you an idea of the process and start reinforcing the suggested levels that are described in Pool School but no better teacher than going through the process. For most all of this is overwhelming at first, unless you are a fast learner don't expect to retain all the information on the first reading. It took me a couple of weeks of reading and rereading to feel I had a handle on the basics and a couple months once the pool was complete before I could know what to do without having to come back to the site and run the test results through the PoolMath calculator.

    When you get a chance at the top of the page under the "Rules" button there is a "quick links" drop down can you use that to fill out your signature with info about your pool similar to what Jim and I have. That info will guide some of the suggestions you will receive about balancing the water with out people having to ask specifics about the pool. HERE is a guide of what we are looking for in a signature.

    Best part of all your $65 a week is about to drop a few hundred a year on average once you get past the SLAM.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: New to pool maintenance!

    I love my K-2006C!

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    Auburn
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    Re: New to pool maintenance!

    I finally got my TK-100 and did my first test this evening. Here are the results:
    TC: 5
    TA: 180
    CYA: about 55
    pH was around 7.4

    Water is crystal clear! Given these results, now what?


    20k gal IG vinyl
    sand, variable speed pump
    TF-100, well

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool maintenance!

    Netter,

    Look at this Chlorine CYA Chart

    For a CYA level of 60 you are at the lower limit. You never what the FC level to get lower than 5, so you really should try to keep the FC level at about 7 or so. How are you chlorinating your pool? Your CYA is about as high as you ever want to go, so adding 3" tabs is not what you want to be doing.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2.

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    Re: New to pool maintenance!

    We're currently using the 3" tabs, yes. What do I do now?

    20k gal IG vinyl
    sand, variable speed pump
    TF-100, well

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool maintenance!

    netter,

    Well, there are a number of options..

    1. Use liquid Chlorine or plain old bleach. You can add it manually or with an automated system like a Stenner pump.

    2. Convert over to a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWCG) system.

    3. Drain and replace about half your pool water to reduce the current CYA level, and continue to use 3" tabs, until your CYA increases to the point where you have to drain the pool again.

    The whole point of the TFP process is for you to test your own pool water and do whatever you decide to keep your chemicals in balance. If you do that, you will never have a cloudy or green pool again... and, you will not have to "shock" your pool on a weekly basis.

    While you decide what direction you plan to take, I recommend that you use "pool math" see :http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html Go to the bottom and enter your pool size and then go to the section "Effects of adding Chemicals" and determine how much bleach you will need to add to increase your FC from 5 to 7 ppm. I show that for your size pool you will need to add about 121 oz of 8.25% bleach.

    Until you get used to your pool, you will need to test your water everyday and make whatever adjustments are necessary to keep your chemicals in balance.

    I also suggest you read the following..

    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Pool School

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: New to pool maintenance!

    I vote option 1. Regardless, I would get the FC up to 7ppm with bleach/liquid chlorine before the FC drops any lower. Then you can look at your options.

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