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Thread: What to do temporarily?

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    jeremycrook's Avatar
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    What to do temporarily?

    Our pool was finished with plaster and water 9/23-24. We put in a SWG, however we were told to wait to add salt until spring. The pool builder added a clarifier, 1/2 gallon of Muriatic Acid and now it's had 4 pucks of 3" chlorine tabs.

    I ordered a test kit, but only have test strips for the time being.

    From the test strips it's just a guess on the numbers, but I do know that chlorine is very low, PH is ok around 7.2, TA is extremely low.

    Should I for now take a sample of water to the pool supply store and let them tell me what to get for now?

    Or should I add bleach to raise chlorine, add baking soda to raise TA, and possibly Borax for stabilizing?

    Our swim season is pretty much over, and I will be keeping the pool open.


    Thanks in advance.
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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    First things first. Does the builder have chemistry requirements you must maintain to keep a warranty on the pool surface? Your primary concern is to maintain that warranty, if you have one. Ask the builder specifically if there is a method that you should use to start up the plaster.

    Barring any warranty requirements, check out this article: Pool School - Start-up New Plaster In the article: "If you have a SWG, do NOT add salt, or turn on the SWG, until 30 days after the plaster was applied." Swim season is likely over in 30 days so it does make sense to wait until spring to add salt.

    Until then, the priority is to get your own test kit. Pool store advice is usually not your friend or your wallet's. A good test kit like the TF-100 or the K-2006 is more convenient and more accurate than pool store testing. Wait for the test kit... You're flying blind until you have accurate results for pH, FC, TA, CH, CYA etc. While you're waiting, spend some time in Pool School, specifically with ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals.
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    The only thing the builder said was to keep up with the PH and TA, as these could hurt the plaster, and to wait to add the salt as by the time the salt is ready to be introduced will be too cold in the season for it to work.

    I ordered the TF-100 and bought the extra salt tester. I know I am going to have to wait for the kit to arrive, I just didn't know if I should go ahead and get started on the TA instead of letting the pool sit for a week untreated.
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    It won't take long for your TF-100 to arrive, so I wouldn't do much other than add bleach each day to maintain a decent level of FC. Too risky to take a chance on those strips, and store testing isn't much better. You may not know what your true CYA level is right now which drives your FC level, but I'm assuming the builder had to add "some" stabilizer/conditioner right? If so, then just add about 1/4 gallon of bleach to the water each evening until your kit arrives. If you do go by the store, I wouldn't put much faith on anything they test and show you on a printout other than perhaps pH and TA. Even then, don't go crazy adjusting things too much until the TF-100 arrives. You'll have more confidence in your own testing - you'll see.

    Also, practice using the Poolmath calculator so you know how to figure-out dosage amounts. The TF-100 and calculator will be your two most important pool tools.
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    jeremycrook's Avatar
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    I will go ahead and a little bleach, as I believe it is really low as there hasn't been anything besides the pucks added by me. I am not sure how quickly anything will get out of hand, I don't want to take any steps back.

    I have had a little experience with a spa, but this is totally different. I've been experimenting with the pool calculator, it was difficult to understand at first, but when I "got it" I can't wait to utilize it.

    I will be back with numbers as soon as my kit arrives. Thanks again
    9,250 IG / JANDY CV580 / STEALTH 1.65 / TRU CLEAR 11K SWG / JE PRO HP / POLARIS 280 / 8X8 BEACH W/2 BUBBLER / TF-100 TEST KIT / 4 DECK JET

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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    OK so here is my first test results:

    POOL TEST

    CYA ~20-15 (the test was above the 20 line)
    FC 2.5
    Ph 7.2
    TA 50
    CC 0
    CH 650

    I am going to keep the pool chlorine throughout the winter months as I can't add salt. When spring arrives I will add salt, but the pool will be a chlorine pool until Spring.
    9,250 IG / JANDY CV580 / STEALTH 1.65 / TRU CLEAR 11K SWG / JE PRO HP / POLARIS 280 / 8X8 BEACH W/2 BUBBLER / TF-100 TEST KIT / 4 DECK JET

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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    TA is in the acceptable range although at the lower end, so I would suggest leaving it for now, TA should generally be the last thing you adjust after you have everything else dialed in. You should also adjust TA to aim for pH stability (after you have your SWG running) not to target for some TA number. The TA number is a guideline for where your individual pool may find pH stability, it also effects your CSI which you only need to worry about if you have high CH, which you appear to have, so you will need to possibly do a balancing act there between pH stability and CSI for scaling due to high CH, hopefully there will be a happy medium. You can continue to add Trichlor pucks for now until your CYA reaches 40 ppm, I would not go over 40-50 ppm CYA with winter coming up, and until you get your SWG going in the spring then raise CYA to 70 ppm. FC is just about in range for your CYA level see Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart although as you continue to add trichlor pucks you may need to also add some bleach to reach your FC/CYA ratio goals.
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    OK, so what exactly is CSI? I have searched around and can't find a match to that acronym? I purchased bleach, baking soda and borax to have on hand. I did though run out of chlorine pucks as I purchased a small bucket of them. Should I go ahead and buy a bigger bucket of them for over the next few months, and also do they contain CYA as well as chlorine? Are all pucks created equal, would buying them at WallyWorld be the same pucks as purchasing the ones from Leslie's pool supply? I did find the CH to be way off the charts, and by the 25th drop I was begging to think I may have messed up, as I may have dropped a few extra drops in accidentally.
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    CSI is calcium saturation index. PoolMath will give you the number after you enter all your test results. With new plaster and SWG you want to keep it between -0.3 and 0 to prevent scale. Tweak PH and TA to move the CSI. You will want TA around 60 most likely.

    More here, Pool School - Calcium Scaling
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    OK. I am just making sure that I am totally understanding that the recommendation for the next 5 or so months until Spring, I should primarily maintain or get my CYA up to around 40 by using chlorine pucks, then maintain CL levels throughout the winter months in accordance with the chart below: Min: 3 Target 5-7

    Then when Spring comes, I will add salt and worry about the CH, TA, Ph, etc., do nothing currently regarding these other elements? I purchased Borax, Bleach, and Baking Soda to have on hand.

    CYA (Stabilizer) Minimum FC Target FC Shock FC
    20*
    2
    3-5
    10
    30
    2
    4-6
    12
    40
    3
    5-7
    16
    50
    4
    6-8
    20
    60
    5
    7-9
    24
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    Keep your FC level at target using bleach. I guess you could use pucks until your CYA is at your target but for the money, I think you would be better off just buying some stabilizer and adding it that way. Then just use bleach to chlorinate. You can find out what each puck will add to your water on the PoolMath page down at the bottom.

    Keep your pH in check as new plaster tends to make it rise rapidly. When you get into the 7.6-7.8 range, add MA to bring it back down to 7.2.

    Read the article about new plaster start up in post #2 by JVTrain and follow those instructions as well.
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    OK, so my initial test results are still valid as I tested again.

    POOL TEST

    CYA ~20-15 (the test was above the 20 line)
    FC 2.5
    Ph 7.2
    TA 50
    CC 0
    CH 650

    I am going to keep a journal of results and document what effects I get from each item added.

    I purchased CYA, and added 4 cups (in a sock in the skimmer) to raise CYA up towards 40. I also added 2 1/8 cups 8.3% bleach to try and raise FC towards 4 (poured directly into deep end).

    I figured I would work on the FC & CYA, then move the PH & TA after I see what effects this brings.

    I didn't know if focusing on one item at a time is right, or would adding multiple chemicals at one time be dangerous?

    I will take a new reading tomorrow, please let me know if I am on the right track.
    9,250 IG / JANDY CV580 / STEALTH 1.65 / TRU CLEAR 11K SWG / JE PRO HP / POLARIS 280 / 8X8 BEACH W/2 BUBBLER / TF-100 TEST KIT / 4 DECK JET

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    Your TA is ok at 50 as long as the pH remains stable and doesn't bounce around. 7.2 is the lowest you want your pH. If it drops below 7.2 then raise it to 7.4 or so. But, it may raise a bit on its own. With high CH iypt is good to have a little lower TA and ph.
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    OK thank you. The cooler weather is slowly arriving so I will have more time to read and familiarize myself. The pH hasn't moved much, but it does seem to be getting a bit more red in the test, between 7.2 & 7.4. I have the TF-100 test kit, and from what I remember the blue box in the test kit is the only way to test pH? I will for now test my CYA and FC after work and see what 24 hours brought on. Colder weather is coming.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    Yes, the K-1000 blue box hs the only pH test in it.
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremycrook View Post
    ........

    I am going to keep the pool chlorine throughout the winter months as I can't add salt. When spring arrives I will add salt, but the pool will be a chlorine pool until Spring.
    Just to clarify, when you add salt in the spring and turn on the SWG, your pool will still be a chlorine pool.

    The only difference is that the SWG will be maintaining chlorine levels instead of you doing it
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    Just to clarify, when you add salt in the spring and turn on the SWG, your pool will still be a chlorine pool.

    The only difference is that the SWG will be maintaining chlorine levels instead of you doing it
    Yea, I am still learning, I will be solely adding chlorine. Thanks for clarification.
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    After adding the 4 cups of CYA in the sock, it was no where near dissolved. I was able to mash the CYA around and get it out of the sock and brush it to nearly completely dissolved. How bad is touching a sock full of wet mashed CYA, being an acid and all? I really don't know too much about these chemicals and need to really find out what is corrosive/dangerous? So is CYA like chlorine tabs or not as bad? 2nd question, the chemical regents in the test kit? Should I avoid at all cost getting them on me, concrete, chairs, etc., can I pour the final tests down the drain, in the grass? What about rinsing the test tubes in the pool after testing, big no-no or ok?
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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    POOL TEST

    CYA ~35-40
    FC 2.0
    Ph 7.3
    TA 40
    CC 0
    CH 300-325

    Readings changed quite a bit after this week and the additions of CYA. I am happy the CH reading went down, I am not sure if it was a bad test or just the pool getting
    acquainted? I am going to add bleach to raise to the appropriate level for CYA test. ~4
    9,250 IG / JANDY CV580 / STEALTH 1.65 / TRU CLEAR 11K SWG / JE PRO HP / POLARIS 280 / 8X8 BEACH W/2 BUBBLER / TF-100 TEST KIT / 4 DECK JET

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    Re: What to do temporarily?

    Due to the unseasonably warm weather I decided to add salt and fire up the SWG. I was 30 days past the initial fill so I said what the heck. I overshot the salt but assuming the ~400+- differentiation reading (and the SWG is happy) it's reading "chlorinating at 70%". I was extremely surprised when I took the FC reading and it was 6.5, that is the highest FC reading I have taken. When I added the salt this weekend, I tried to raise TA and get my FC around 6. I added 4 cups bleach and 5.5 cups baking soda.

    So my question: To try and dial in the SWG, should I take a reading tomorrow mainly focusing on FC to verify if I am over chlorinating? The SWG was set at 70% when it fired up, so I didn't know if that is a starting place or should I turn it down to 50%? I know that when spring comes around I am going to raise CYA higher, but I figured I would keep it lower now as the SWG may have a few weeks run time.

    POOL TEST

    Salt 3600
    CYA 40
    FC 6.5
    Ph 7.8
    TA 70
    CC 0
    CH Didn't test (last test 300)
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