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Thread: New to BBB and Pools, Please Check My Numbers!

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    New to BBB and Pools, Please Check My Numbers!

    I have read through the pool school and checked out the pool calculator and I think I have a general idea of what I need to do, but I wanted to get some clarification before I do it! I have an Intex 12' round above ground pool. I filled it a few days ago and my family has thoroughly enjoyed it thus far! We haven't added any chemicals to it yet, but I think it's time to before it gets funky! I can't afford an expensive testing kit so I got one at walmart that tests Chlorine and PH (the dropper kind). I would have gotten the strip one but didn't realize it would give me all the other results that I probably need. :/ Anyway, hopefully this will get me started. I also bought the 3 B's. I tested the water tonight and here are the numbers:

    FC: 0.6 or just barely over
    TC: 1.0
    PH: (the lowest matching color says 6.8 and mine is even lighter than that, considerably lighter actually so I'm guessing it's maybe 6.0 or even less?)

    Based on the pool calculator, if I'm reading it right, it says my pool is 2500 gallons (12 ft. diameter and 2.9 ft. deep) I need to add 18oz of bleach and 64oz (by weight) of Borax. I don't know about the baking soda because my kit doesn't measure TA. Any other way to find (or guesstimate) what the TA would be based on the FC and PH? I'm so confused. I failed chemistry in high school so I'm no good at this stuff but my little girls (6 and 7) love their new pool and me and my hubby are loving it too so I wanna keep it healthy and sparkly for us.

    Any thoughts? Oh and I will add some photos of our pool tomorrow when we have daylight lol. Thanks so much in advance, I have enjoyed learning, reading and checking out everyone's awesome pool photos on this forum!
    12 x 24 AG in central NJ
    SD40 sand filter 1hp

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    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Cupertino, CA

    Re: New to BBB and Pools, Please Check My Numbers!

    Is this an Easy Set or the metal frame? If it's an Easy Set then the volume is more like 1800 gallons. If it's the metal frame then the 2500 from the pool calculator should be correct.

    You probably do want to upgrade to a test kit that includes the TA test. As we're about to see, it can make a difference.

    You do need to fix the pH right away, use borax for that. Be cautious (under-dose) because the TA affects how much you need, and you don't know your TA. If the TA is low, the borax will work really well and you won't need much. If the TA is high, you'll need more. (In an 1800 gallon pool with TA 0, you'd only need 2oz to bring the pH up from 6.8 to 7.2; with TA 100, you'd need 15oz. Just to give you an idea.)

    Aside from that, for these little pools we're just starting to figure out what the recommendations should be. (Disclaimer: The following suggestions are somewhat experimental but founded on what I think are reasonable assumptions.)

    You do need chlorine and stabilizer; my suggestion is to get some powdered chlorine where the ingredients say "sodium dichloro-s-whatever" (dichlor, for short) because that's roughly half chlorine half stabilizer. If the pool is 1800 gallons, get 1 lb and dose it 2 oz at a time; if the pool is 2500, get 2 lb and dose it 3 oz at a time. (Did I mention you should get a plastic measuring cup, to be dedicated for use with pool chemicals?) Those doses ought to bring up the FC by about 5. Early on the FC won't last long, but as the stabilizer from the dichlor starts to build up, the FC will start lasting longer.

    Basically, you want to add chlorine whenever your test shows FC less than 2. For the first couple days I suggest testing FC twice a day: morning an hour or two after the sun hits the pool, and evening after the sun is off the pool. Pretty soon the morning test will be showing FC in the 4-5 range and you'll only need to test and dose in the evening.

    When you run out of dichlor, your stabilizer will be about where we like it, and you should switch to 6% bleach as your chlorine source. By this time you'll have a feel for how much chlorine your pool uses normally, and you'll be able to use the pool calculator to decide how much to use. (It'll be on the order of 1-2 cups at a time.)

    Well, that's about as far out on this particular limb I want to go... I really hope it works out for you! And I really really want to know what happens.
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: New to BBB and Pools, Please Check My Numbers!

    Get you water tested by a pool store, and tell us everything they tell you.

    In the mean time, add 2 ppm of chlorine with bleach each evening.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL

    Re: New to BBB and Pools, Please Check My Numbers!

    Great advice so far - I would just add that you should spring for the HTH 6-way test kit at Wal-mart for around $20.

    I agree with Paul to use some Dichlor to get your FC and CYA levels stable.... then switch to a little bleach each nite.

    And if you do run into trouble, you can just drain it and start over, might be easier....

    Also I just want to add that the little paper filters are disposable and meant to only last 1-2 weeks with normal use and then thrown away. You can hose them off daily, and reuse, but best to toss them after that, they are not meant for long term use and pretty useless if you do develop green water....

    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner

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