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Thread: Another first time pool owner!

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    Another first time pool owner!

    Hey guys,

    I've been lurking for a while... I think it's finally time to post something. We purchased a new home (sweet right?) and close on Oct 14th. It has a pool (super sweet right?) but man I tell you what I've never taken care of a pool before. I'm not quite sure what I'm getting in to, but I'm excited that I found this site. I've already gained great info just from reading the pool school stuff and the other threads.

    I don't know a lot of the specifics about the pool yet because we aren't in the house, but I do have some info:

    30,000 gallon vinyl in-ground pool
    Rectangular (I think it was 18x40)
    Chlorine system

    The previous owner told me it wasn't much work taking care of the pool. Her routine was:

    - 3 gallons of regular bleach a week
    - 3 tablets in the return basket a week

    - 2 gallons of bleach during the non-season

    There are a lot of trees around, so skimming and getting things out of the bottom seem to be most of the work. She said there's a Polaris that does a pretty good job. No pool cover though, so it's a year round job.

    I'm going to purchase the K-2006 test kit before we move in so I can get you guys some numbers, but based on her routine is there anything specific you think I should look for? It seems like a pretty laid back maintenance plan... but the water looked good when we were there.

    Some other questions:

    1- What's the difference in the tablets and just pouring in bleach? Why both?
    2- Should I go ahead and purchase some other chemicals (besides bleach) to have them ready at move in?
    3- Is a pool cover a worthwhile investment if pine needles and other debris is fairly common?
    4- Would I even "close" the pool seeing how I live in south Georgia?

    I know this is sort of a broad stroke thread right now because I'm not there and I don't have specifics, but I'm just looking to get a head start.

    Thanks


  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    1- What's the difference in the tablets and just pouring in bleach? Why both?

    Just use bleach unless you are going on vacation (or better yet, install a SWCG and just use salt). Tablets contain other ingredients which affect your chemistry, such as adding CYA. tablets are fine if you are leaving town for a week and can't manually add chlorine.

    2- Should I go ahead and purchase some other chemicals (besides bleach) to have them ready at move in?

    Baking Soda never hurts to have around, and you will most likely eventually need muriatic acid. You can buy them as needed though.

    3- Is a pool cover a worthwhile investment if pine needles and other debris is fairly common?

    Most stuff either sinks or floats. If it floats, the skimmer/ilter will get it. Clean the skimmer ever few days and backwash/rinse the filter every week or so depending on pressure. If it sinks, vacuum it. I have tons of pine trees, and it hasn't been an issue.

    4- Would I even "close" the pool seeing how I live in south Georgia?

    Most would. I would not. I do close mine, but I am in North Georgia. The only reason I close it is the off chance power goes out when it is below freezing. You don't get below freezing much down there, but you will need to keep the water circulating when it does.

    In Ground 14 x 28 vinyl liner; 11,600 gallons; Hayward EcoStar VSP; SWCG - Hayward T Cell 15.

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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Welcome and congrats on the new pool w/ a house!

    If you're absolutely set on buying the K2006 testkit, be sure to get the K2006C. The 'C' provides larger bottles of reagents than the 'normal' K2006 kit. I'd recommend you consider buying the TF-100 test kit though. It provides more reagents for the tests you will do most often and is a better bang for the buck. Also consider getting the SpeedStir if you can swing it. The TF-100 is available at TFTestkits.net

    All the chemicals you need to care for your new pool are mostly available at the grocery store. No need to pre-buy any stock. Best to have the testkit on hand and post a full set of test results here first.

    The 'return' basket is most probably the skimmer basket on the suction side. Returns return water to the pool. Not a good idea to put tablets in the skimmer basket.

    You can study up a bit on pools in general, and our method of pool care by reading through Pool School - Pool School.
    Gene
    ​12,300 gal IG play pool - Pebbletec - built 10/1999 || Hayward S360SX 36" sand filter || Hayward Ecostar SP3400 VSP || A&A In-Floor cleaning system || Quik Water Leveler || Quik Dek-clor (limited use)
    TF-100 testkit / Speedstir - A good test kit is not an expense, it's an investment

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    MarianParoo's Avatar
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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Congrats on the new home as well as the purchase of a recommended testkit! I also hope you bought the C! Welcome to the forum!
    27K IG rectangular; vinyl liner; sand filter; 1hp pump; auto-cover; heater; K-2006C.

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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Hey guys just wanted to post an update. We close on the house tomorrow, but I swung by yesterday to get the knowledge transfer on the pool. I updated my sig with all the relevant information. Couple of questions:

    1- I noticed the pressure gauge on the filter was reading zero. The homeowner said it never worked in the 10 years he has been there. I went ahead and ordered a replacement. I found some instructions on the site below. Any other recommendations before I start the repair this weekend?

    How To Replace a Pool Filter Pressure Gauge on a Cartridge Filter - INYOPools.com

    2- The homeowner said he usually runs the pump 12 hours a day. I read in the pool school that 4 hours should be sufficient, but that's a ways off from what he was doing. Given the size of the pool, do you agree that a 4 hour run time is a good place to start for pump cycles?

    Thanks again for the great site and information.
    IG 18x40 30k w/ vinyl liner. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. 1 HP Hayward Super Pump. Polaris 280 with 3/4 HP PB4-60 pump. TF-100 w/ Speed Stir. Sweet diving board.

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Not really. The gauge repair is pretty simple. Just have that Teflon tape handy before you start to seal the threads. As for pump run time, try starting at about 8 hrs if you want to try something different. Then you can always lower slowly over time as you evaluate the quality of your water to determine how well your skimmer is able to remove surface debris. If surface cleaning and overall circulation seems to be adequate, lower by another hour until you find a sweet spot in your pump run time.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    GaryT58's Avatar
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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Welcome fellow Georgian and new pool owner (mine installed this year).

    Cover - I have an automatic cover. During the summer, I left open unless it was going to rain, or we were going to be away. A cover will keep the heat in, which is good in spring/fall, but would turn pool into hot tub in summer. I am keeping it closed now unless I want to swim - because it keeps it warmer, and because of all the pine needles. I have so many pines that my skimmer will complete fill in a few hours.

    2 - Pump time. You need a minimum to move water, and if you install a Salt Water Generator (SWG) to generate needed chlorine. Beyond that, its a personal preference thing. A 1 HP pump will use a good bit of electricity (I had one). I, like some others, like to run pump longer to keep water moving (clear out the bugs and summer (fewer) pine needles). So I upgraded to a variable speed (VS) pump, which I can run for about $5/month for 24/7. That said, with it getting cooler, and having it covered, I have now set for 8 hours and will reduce more as water temp drops. So yes, you can start at 4, and if you don't like the amount of stuff on pool, schedule to run a couple of times a day or longer.

    3 - Closing. I am not closing my pool. I will have it covered, or it would just become one big pile or pine needles. But you could leave it all collect and clean it in the spring. Not sure how cold it get in Savannah, but up here (near Athens, GA) I will have my pump controlled by my SWG that will turn it on if the temperature gets low to keep pipes from freezing (auto freeze protection). Some vs pumps have this feature as well as you can program your timer to just turn on a couple times day for short period. The VS pump is nice for this as well, as it can be set to very low RPM to just move some minimal water - like when you leave a water faucet drip to keep pipes from freezing.

    You will have no lack of things you can spend your money on with a pool. So prioritize what is important to you.
    38'x16' Fiberglass pool - 3.5' - 8' deep - 19,000 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWG (RC-52 cell), Pentair SuperFlo VS, Pentair SD70 Sand Filter, Coverstar Automatic Cover, 10' board, PAL Treo lighting, Polaris 9550 Sport robot, Lamotte ColorQ Pro 7 test kit.

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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    First set of numbers!

    CC 0
    FC 1.5
    TC 1.5
    CH 75
    TA 0
    CYA 60
    PH < 6.8

    I assume the TA was 0 because the test turned pink right from the start and never changed to another color. Based on that I put in a couple of jugs of bleach and a 4lb box of Borax last night. I might need to put in some more Borax today but my kids are dying to go swimming. The jugs of bleach should fix the CL issue, and the water looks good. Do you guys see any issues with swimming in there?
    IG 18x40 30k w/ vinyl liner. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. 1 HP Hayward Super Pump. Polaris 280 with 3/4 HP PB4-60 pump. TF-100 w/ Speed Stir. Sweet diving board.

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    MarianParoo's Avatar
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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Egads. Your post got missed! Hopefully others will chime in soon. I am crazy-busy at work.

    Did you test after adding the borax? You need to get the TA up as well as pH. If they are both low still, try Arm and Hammer WASHING SODA in the laundry aisle. That will raise both TA and pH.
    27K IG rectangular; vinyl liner; sand filter; 1hp pump; auto-cover; heater; K-2006C.

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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    I would be careful about swimming, but perhaps you already did.... Get the pH into the 7's (testable range) before you swim.

    I hope you brought your FC up to around 8 for your CYA of 60. See here: Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

    Do you know how to use poolmath? Here is a tutorial: Pool School - PoolMath
    27K IG rectangular; vinyl liner; sand filter; 1hp pump; auto-cover; heater; K-2006C.

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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Yeah they went for a dip. Hard to stop them when it looked so blue.

    I ended up adding quite a bit of Borax and Baking Soda over the past few days. Poolmath said I needed about 50 lbs of soda it so I took a baby step and started with 10 lbs. I went with about 8 lbs of the Borax. I'm going to redo the suite of tests tonight to see where we stand.

    In other news I had to replace the pressure gauge on the S244T. After replacement, I'm only getting about 5 PSI indicating on the gauge. Seems kinda low to me... but it was 0 before. I can't find any information in the manual other than max PSI is 50 and backwash recommendation is 5-8 lbs over clean PSI. Could 5 PSI be a normal pressure for this filter?
    IG 18x40 30k w/ vinyl liner. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. 1 HP Hayward Super Pump. Polaris 280 with 3/4 HP PB4-60 pump. TF-100 w/ Speed Stir. Sweet diving board.

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    MarianParoo's Avatar
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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Could be... Turn off the pump and see if the gauge goes to zero. If it doesn't, that indicates a problem with the gauge. Other than that, I have no other info. The manual just says pressure varies from pool to pool.

    What are your new testing numbers after your additions?
    27K IG rectangular; vinyl liner; sand filter; 1hp pump; auto-cover; heater; K-2006C.

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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Tested last night:

    CL 3
    PH < 6.8 (color still well below range on kit)
    CH 75
    TA 10
    CYA 75

    I added two boxes of Washing Soda after the test as well as a couple jugs of bleach. Still trying to get that PH and TA up.

    For the gauge, yes the gauge returns to zero when the pump is off, so I guess it's not much of a concern right now. I think I was just expecting a higher reading.
    IG 18x40 30k w/ vinyl liner. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. 1 HP Hayward Super Pump. Polaris 280 with 3/4 HP PB4-60 pump. TF-100 w/ Speed Stir. Sweet diving board.

  14. Back To Top    #14
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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    You can retest that TA and pH an hour or so (2 hours for my pool) after your addition to see where you are. Low pH is a fix-it-ASAP issue IMO.

    Your FC is also way too low still and now your CYA is at 80*. FC needs to be at about 10, never falling below 6ppm. See this: Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

    *(I am wondering why your CYA has gone up. Have you added anything containing CYA? Pucks or bags of "shock"?)
    Last edited by MarianParoo; 10-20-2016 at 10:16 PM. Reason: STOOPID auto-save
    27K IG rectangular; vinyl liner; sand filter; 1hp pump; auto-cover; heater; K-2006C.

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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    *(I am wondering why your CYA has gone up. Have you added anything containing CYA? Pucks or bags of "shock"?)
    Probably error in testing to be honest. I haven't added anything other than bleach, baking soda, borax, and washing soda. And yeah I agree I want to get that PH under control. I'm scared to put more than 2-3 boxes of product in at one time... maybe that's just a rookie feeling. I'll do another set of tests tomorrow. Thanks for helping out!
    IG 18x40 30k w/ vinyl liner. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. 1 HP Hayward Super Pump. Polaris 280 with 3/4 HP PB4-60 pump. TF-100 w/ Speed Stir. Sweet diving board.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    MarianParoo's Avatar
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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    You betcha! Just remember that you don't have to wait a terribly long time between additions to retest. Did you get that FC up? With your posted FC levels so low, algae/bacteria is knocking on your doorstep. Can you test in the morning? Twice a day might be a good idea until your FC, pH, and TA are in range.
    27K IG rectangular; vinyl liner; sand filter; 1hp pump; auto-cover; heater; K-2006C.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    MarianParoo's Avatar
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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Still crazy at work. I wish someone with more time could chime in here as you need more frequent help than I can give now.

    Just in case you never read this, it is a handy summary: Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    27K IG rectangular; vinyl liner; sand filter; 1hp pump; auto-cover; heater; K-2006C.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Sorry I missed this tread! I can't wait to see a pic of this pool!

    Lets work on getting that PH up and fast! Turn your returns (eyeball looking things that sends the water back to the pool from the filter) up so they roll the water. I know the kids want to swim but that low PH could cause some skin irritation as well as eyes.

    PH-test, add, brush, repeat until you get a "good" reading..........the low PH is one of the worst things for the liner as well It is what ruined my liner in my last pool before I found TFP.

    Use pool math (link at the top of this page) to find out how much you should add at one time and add it asap. Keep doing it until the PH is at least 7.0.

    Gauge-mine also reads at 5 or lower when the pump is on low so all is good there.

    Let us know how the PH is doing!

    Kim
    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, Become a TFP supporter!

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Thanks for the tips guys. Here are the latest numbers...

    FC 6.5
    PH 7.2
    CH 75
    TA 40
    CYA 70

    I haven't been able to get on top of this every day like I wanted. New house means lots of things to divide your time with... and lately that's been painting bedrooms.

    Good news for the pool tho! PH is coming alive and it looks like we're getting closer to good numbers. Poolmath is suggesting I throw another box of Borax in there so I'm about to do that. Thanks again!
    IG 18x40 30k w/ vinyl liner. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. 1 HP Hayward Super Pump. Polaris 280 with 3/4 HP PB4-60 pump. TF-100 w/ Speed Stir. Sweet diving board.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    MarianParoo's Avatar
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    Re: Another first time pool owner!

    Great! With a CYA now of 70, target 8-10 for your FC. Good job balancing all your new home responsibilities!!!
    27K IG rectangular; vinyl liner; sand filter; 1hp pump; auto-cover; heater; K-2006C.

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