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Thread: New Pool Owner - Intex Pool With SWG

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    New Pool Owner - Intex Pool With SWG

    Thread split to form new topic by Moderator.

    Hello,
    I had heard how great salt water systems were and when we purchased our new metal frame pool this summer, I purchased the salt water system as well. It worked very well the first two days, but then began reading low salt. We have since added 5 more bags of salt to the original 6 bags and it still reads low salt. It is a 12300 gallon pool. After reading the trouble shooting guide that came with the salt water tank, I took the cell chamber off of the pump and discovered that the internal mechanisms were covered with calcium deposits. This didn't surprise me because we have well water, which is hard water. I am wondering if using the water softner salt as opposed to the pool salt would help take care of this problem. Also my ph is through the roof which is promoting algae growth. Since I am new at all of this stuff, I am getting very frustrated. Is it really safe to add that acid to my pool water? My husband says that is really strong stuff. The alkalenity is fine and I have been keeping the chlorine levels ok with bleach, but because the salt pump is not working and because the ph levels are so high, I am having to add the bleach almost every day and fighting some algae issues. Also, is it better to keep the pool covered when not in use? I would appreciate your advice as to how to solve my problem. Thank-you
    I have an intex circular metal frame pool measuring 24' x 52". It holds 12481 gallons of water. I use a Krystal Clear Model 633 filter pump. The FC is reading 2, the alkalinity is reading 120 and the ph is reading 8.5.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Intex Pool With SWG

    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    Please post a full set of test results so we can advise you better. (Also, how are you testing - strips, drop test kit?)

    Have you read Pool School yet?
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Intex Pool With SWG

    Currently I am just using the 3 way test strips that came with the pool. I also have a little kit that I bought from wal-mart that you put the drops in, but it tests bromine, whatever that is, and chlorine and ph. I looked at the kit that is recommended on this website. I thought it rather pricey. If I do go ahead and order the kit, how long does it take to get it and what do I do in the meantime? I have read some of the info on the pool school web pages. According to the strips, the cholorine and the alkalinity are fine, but the ph is off the color chart. In years past, with smaller pools, I have always struggled with the ph levels and wondered if the calcium in the water effected that. All of the info is pretty overwhelming and my husband is hesitant about the muriatic acid. I did read the saftey issues on the forum about using borates and was comforted by that. Right now, my biggest concern is getting the salt-water pump working and how to keep that calcium from building right back up again. Thank you so much for responding and I look forward to your response.
    Tammy
    I have an intex circular metal frame pool measuring 24' x 52". It holds 12481 gallons of water. I use a Krystal Clear Model 633 filter pump. The FC is reading 2, the alkalinity is reading 120 and the ph is reading 8.5.

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Intex Pool With SWG

    Hi Tammy, and welcome!

    An alternative to Muriatic Acid is called dry acid, or pH down. This is a perfectly acceptable substitute, though it is a bit more expensive than MA.

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Intex Pool With SWG

    Quote Originally Posted by tthomas
    Currently I am just using the 3 way test strips that came with the pool. I also have a little kit that I bought from wal-mart that you put the drops in, but it tests bromine, whatever that is, and chlorine and ph. I looked at the kit that is recommended on this website. I thought it rather pricey. If I do go ahead and order the kit, how long does it take to get it and what do I do in the meantime? I have read some of the info on the pool school web pages. According to the strips, the cholorine and the alkalinity are fine, but the ph is off the color chart. In years past, with smaller pools, I have always struggled with the ph levels and wondered if the calcium in the water effected that. All of the info is pretty overwhelming and my husband is hesitant about the muriatic acid. I did read the saftey issues on the forum about using borates and was comforted by that. Right now, my biggest concern is getting the salt-water pump working and how to keep that calcium from building right back up again. Thank you so much for responding and I look forward to your response.
    Tammy
    Okay, part of the problem with strips is they aren't very accurate so when you say "fine" that doesn't really tell us anything, numbers do.

    If you can get to a pool store and have them test your water, that may give us some clues.

    So if I can interpret your "fine" that means the Chlorine is reading 1-3, and the Alk is reading in the 100-150 range? And the PH is reading higher than 8.2?

    The value of having a good kit is you'll have exact numbers to go by, and you'll be able to use those exact numbers to adjust the pool's levels, using the Pool Calculator. TFtestkits ships same day before 2pm, you can get your kit in 2-3 days (they ship Fed Ex.) Not sure about Taylor. Some Leslie's pool stores carry the kit, but make sure you get the correct one:
    http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Ho...400000/I/81329

    For certain I would suggest you learn how to use the Pool Calculator, so that you can add enough acid to lower your PH down to 7.6, which you need to do today. You're SWG unit sounds like it has calcium scale on it, which will require cleaning with an acid solution, look in your manual to see if there are instructions for cleaning the cell.

    Muratic Acid is safe to use, yes it is strong stuff. You use gloves and protective eyewear and stay upwind of the fumes. Dry acid is also fine to use.

    As for your water issues, read Water Balance for SWGs. Do you know your CYA level? Because you need to shock the pool with bleach or liquid chlorine. Understand that FC readings over 10 will make the PH read false-high, so don't adjust PH when the FC is high.

    You need to be able to test your salt level with strips. Blue Bags water softner pellets are okay for pool use, make sure you get the kind with no additives. But I don't know that you need more salt - just because the unit says that doesn't make it so. Get some salt test strips.

    IMHO You need to do the following to obtain a Trouble-Free Pool:

    1. Order a good test kit, either the TF100 or the Taylor K-2006. You also need some Aquachek Salt Test Strips.
    2. Learn how to use the Pool Calculator.
    3. Lower the PH down to 7.6, today. Maintain the PH at 7.6 with acid additions.
    4. Clean the SWG unit with an acid solution, follow the manufacturers directions.
    5. Shock the pool with liquid chlorine or bleach. Read How to Shock your Pool. You need to know the CYA level before you can shock correctly.
    6. Read all the articles in Pool School, then read them again. While overwhelming at first, eventually it will make sense.

    In general covering the pool makes sense when it's not being used, but while having problems right now, you probably should not till we sort this out.

    Lastly, I too balked at first about ordering a good kit. I didn't want to spend any more money...so my first summer with TFP I limped along with the cheapy 6-way kit from Wal-mart. Once I did have the kit, I understood why it was so important. The kit changes everything, it really makes pool maintenance simple and straightforward, no more guess work. I can't recommend it enough.
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Intex Pool With SWG

    for reasons I read somewhere but don't remember, muriatic acid is recommended for swg systems. has something to do with the cell, and since your cell is already having problems...
    pool-school/recommended_pool_chemicals see the part about lowering ph.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    New2Me's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Intex Pool With SWG

    Hi! Welcome to TFP!
    I use the Intex SWG for my in-ground pool, and I am very happy with it because I used the advice of the great people here. Trust me on this, if you are using the test strips that came from Intex, throw them away! If you can't spring for the TF-100 recommended here, at least get the HTH 6 way drop based kit from Wal-Mart for ~$20. Read the Pool School section, three or four times is what it took for me to start to understand it.

    I took a quick look at the pool calculator, and if you are using 40 pound bags of salt, then your saltlevel is at least 4275(the bleach will raise it a little) which should be OK.If you haven't added stabilizer(CYA), get you some at Wal-Mart too. Used the Pool Calculator to see how much you need, slightly more than 8 pounds will put you at 80. With your CYA ~ 70-80, you shouldn't need to run the SWG for much more than 2 hours a day(the longer it runs, the more it builds scale.) Also, with a higher CYA, your bleach usage will drop. Just make sure to maintain it above the minimum level AT ALL TIMES. I would also recommend that you look into adding borates, but that will require using more acid.

    Personally, I use Muriatic Acid in gallon jugs. I take care in opening them, but I feel more comfortable just pouring it in than having to mix the dry stuff. Not sure if your Wal-Mart will have that(mine doesn't) but the Rural King farm supply store has it for $3.99/gal (I've used 12 gallons so far this year for 2 fills!!)
    22 x 40 IG vinyl lined, 23,570 gal.
    1 hp. Pac-Fab Challenger pump 300# sand filter
    Intex 8110 SWG, Hayward CL220 offline feeder
    Hayward 250K Btu gas heater
    Aquabots

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