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Thread: Intex pool help

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    Intex pool help

    Topic Split off to form new thread.

    I am a new Intex pool owner also. Did some reading but still confused.

    I went to a Leslie's (http://www.lesliespool.com/) with a bottle of my water shortly after filling it a few weeks ago.

    They told me that pH and TA is supposed to be high in a vinyl pool as it helps make the vinyl last?


    They sold me Chlor Brite Step 2 Sanitizer (http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 00/I/12055)

    And Some AquaChek yellow strips (http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 10/I/18684)


    Now I am somewhat colorblind, so reading these silly colors is challenging.


    It appears that my pool is not maintaining Free Chlorine very well.



    Also, I just bought and started using the 12' Intex Solar Cover to help keep it warm, but i read that sunlight can affect FC.


    So if anyone could help?
    12'x36" Metal Frame Intex AG Pool - 2119.5 Gallons
    GAME 4510 1/2 HP Pump & Sand Filter w/ ZeoSand

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Intex pool help

    Quote Originally Posted by pomprocker
    I am a new Intex pool owner also. Did some reading but still confused.

    I went to a Leslie's (http://www.lesliespool.com/) with a bottle of my water shortly after filling it a few weeks ago.

    They told me that pH and TA is supposed to be high in a vinyl pool as it helps make the vinyl last?


    They sold me Chlor Brite Step 2 Sanitizer (http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 00/I/12055)

    And Some AquaChek yellow strips (http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 10/I/18684)


    Now I am somewhat colorblind, so reading these silly colors is challenging.


    It appears that my pool is not maintaining Free Chlorine very well.



    Also, I just bought and started using the 12' Intex Solar Cover to help keep it warm, but i read that sunlight can affect FC.


    So if anyone could help?
    They gave you bad advice, especially about the pH. You want to keep your pH in the normal range for a pool, 7.2 - 7.8 . If you have high TA, then it's going to take regular additions of acid (muriatic or dry) to keep it in that range.

    Your FC isn't holding because I'm betting your CYA level is low and/or you've got organics in your pool. Did they give you a printout of your levels? If so, please post them here.

    A solar cover will help reduce FC loss due to sunlight, which is a good thing. It will also help reduce water and heat loss due to evaporation, also good things.

    Please read or re-read this thread : simplifying-bbb-for-very-small-pools-e-g-intex-t14533-80.html . It's being developed specifically for the smaller intex type pools. After you read it or re-read it, if you have any questions, just ask.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Intex pool help

    Hi and welcome.

    First off, I could not find the pool size listed on the Intex website - are you sure of the size/gallons? This is important when determining how much chemicals to add.

    Since you are somewhat color blind, you might find the FAS-DPD test more user-friendly than other tests, since you are counting drops to see a color change, not shades or comparing colors like other tests. The TF100 and the Taylor K-2006 test kits offer this chlorine test as part of their kits. I'll admit it's a bit overkill for a small pool like yours, so it's up to you. The kit will last several seasons when stored properly, however, so it's a usefull investment.

    At the very least you should get an HTH 6-way drop based test kit for around $20 at Wal-Mart/Kmart stores. Test strips are useless IMHO.

    They sold you Dichlor. Did they sell you 8 lbs? You don't need (or want) that much - but thankfully if stored properly it will last a long time.

    What does your water look like?
    How long has it been up and running?
    How much Dichlor have you added?
    How often are you running the pump, and changing out the disposable filter?
    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: Intex pool help

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    Quote Originally Posted by pomprocker
    They gave you bad advice, especially about the pH. You want to keep your pH in the normal range for a pool, 7.2 - 7.8 . If you have high TA, then it's going to take regular additions of acid (muriatic or dry) to keep it in that range.

    Your FC isn't holding because I'm betting your CYA level is low and/or you've got organics in your pool. Did they give you a printout of your levels? If so, please post them here.

    A solar cover will help reduce FC loss due to sunlight, which is a good thing. It will also help reduce water and heat loss due to evaporation, also good things.

    Please read or re-read this thread : simplifying-bbb-for-very-small-pools-e-g-intex-t14533-80.html . It's being developed specifically for the smaller intex type pools. After you read it or re-read it, if you have any questions, just ask.
    Yes, they gave me a printout of my levels. I'll post them up by editing this post later tonight when I get home from work. Thanks for the heads up on the solar cover and the good link.

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Hi and welcome.

    First off, I could not find the pool size listed on the Intex website - are you sure of the size/gallons? This is important when determining how much chemicals to add.

    Since you are somewhat color blind, you might find the FAS-DPD test more user-friendly than other tests, since you are counting drops to see a color change, not shades or comparing colors like other tests. The TF100 and the Taylor K-2006 test kits offer this chlorine test as part of their kits. I'll admit it's a bit overkill for a small pool like yours, so it's up to you. The kit will last several seasons when stored properly, however, so it's a usefull investment.

    At the very least you should get an HTH 6-way drop based test kit for around $20 at Wal-Mart/Kmart stores. Test strips are useless IMHO.

    They sold you Dichlor. Did they sell you 8 lbs? You don't need (or want) that much - but thankfully if stored properly it will last a long time.

    What does your water look like?
    How long has it been up and running?
    How much Dichlor have you added?
    How often are you running the pump, and changing out the disposable filter?
    That is odd, but a simple google query returns results:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=12 ... f&oq=&aqi=

    I guess I could pick up the drop kit, but that sounds like a pain in the ....

    I want something easy and quick!!

    I still have to read up on chlor's i don't know the difference between drichlor, trichlor, etc..

    The pool has been up and running for about 2 weeks or so now.

    They said to add 3oz of chlor brite once a week to shock it, and 1.5oz every other day to maintain. but this isn't working.

    I run the pump 4.5 hours per day as recommended by intex since its a 530 gph pump and the pool is ~2100gal, I havent changed the filter yet, but i'm going to check it this weekend.
    12'x36" Metal Frame Intex AG Pool - 2119.5 Gallons
    GAME 4510 1/2 HP Pump & Sand Filter w/ ZeoSand

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Intex pool help

    Quote Originally Posted by pomprocker

    That is odd, but a simple google query returns results:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=12 ... f&oq=&aqi=

    I guess I could pick up the drop kit, but that sounds like a pain in the ....

    I want something easy and quick!!

    I still have to read up on chlor's i don't know the difference between drichlor, trichlor, etc..

    The pool has been up and running for about 2 weeks or so now.

    They said to add 3oz of chlor brite once a week to shock it, and 1.5oz every other day to maintain. but this isn't working.

    I run the pump 4.5 hours per day as recommended by intex since its a 530 gph pump and the pool is ~2100gal, I havent changed the filter yet, but i'm going to check it this weekend.
    "Easy and Quick" is not better, and could cause you problems. You need an accurate way to test your levels to prevent problems. It's not a pain in the but, really it isn't. And after a while, you'll "get to know your pool" and skip a day, etc. - it really is like 5 minutes a day and you'll get in a routine and "know" how much bleach to add, etc. once you balance your water, you'll have things stabilize.

    For sure change the filter today, as it's only meant for use for 1-2 weeks under "normal" conditions.
    I'd run the pump at least 8 hours (or whenever it's not being used even. Those filters are pathetic.) If uncovered during the daytime, be sure to get some daytime run in, to prevent FC deadspots.

    I guestimate you have used about 17 ounces of Dichlor? That would have your CYA level now at 30. I would add 6 more ounces of Dichlor to raise your pool to "shock" level. Your "shock" level is now 12. Once you add this Dichlor your shock level tomorrow becomes 16, because your CYA will be 40. See the CYA chlorine Chart.

    Everytime you use Dichlor, it increases your CYA level. I would not go higher on the CYA level, so stop using the Dichlor after this last time. If you used more than you listed, your CYA could already be high, it's probably a good idea to get it tested.

    After this last shock level with Dichlor, switch to bleach. Plain Clorox/generic brand 6% bleach. You need to maintain shock level until the FC holds overnight. You need a good test kit to monitor this, and you need to learn how to use the Pool Calculator so you can figure out how much bleach to add each night.

    So get a good test kit, post accurate numbers, and read Pool School.
    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: Intex pool help

    What about something like this to help me read my strips:

    http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 20/I/18708


    12'x36" Metal Frame Intex AG Pool - 2119.5 Gallons
    GAME 4510 1/2 HP Pump & Sand Filter w/ ZeoSand

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Intex pool help

    You've been given great advice already. Better reading of an inaccurate test isn't going to help. For what that thing costs you can buy a really good drop test kit. To me the drop tests are no harder to use than the strips. By the time I dip the strip and spend time trying to figure out the color (yeah, I'm colorblind too) I can run just about all the tests in the TF-100 kit. Plus, I get much better and easier to read results.

    Buy a good kit and stop trying to shortcut things. You'll be much happier in the end.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Intex pool help

    I don't want to spend a ton of money on a test kit for a kiddie pool (2100 gallons)

    That hth 6way kit sounds nice, but i can't find it on any stores websites, so i doubt they carry it.


    Theres a pool store around the corner from my house. Do any of these kits looks good?

    http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 000:400000
    12'x36" Metal Frame Intex AG Pool - 2119.5 Gallons
    GAME 4510 1/2 HP Pump & Sand Filter w/ ZeoSand

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Intex pool help

    The FAS-DPD kit is the one you want but you've already said you don't want to spend that much.

    Here's 6-way Test Kit one that's suggested for small pool owners.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Intex pool help

    Quote Originally Posted by pomprocker
    I don't want to spend a ton of money on a test kit for a kiddie pool (2100 gallons)

    That hth 6way kit sounds nice, but i can't find it on any stores websites, so i doubt they carry it.


    Theres a pool store around the corner from my house. Do any of these kits looks good?

    http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 000:400000
    The Chlorine FAS-DPD test kit for $63 is the rebranded K-2006 that we recommend. IF that's out of the price range, try this one:

    http://www.poolgeek.com/HTH-6-Way-Test-Kit-P3888.aspx
    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: Intex pool help

    Thanks I ended up getting the rebranded Taylor Technologies kit they had on the shelf (but it's not on the website), not sure the kit number...It says:

    "Leslie's Total Pool Care DPD Test Kit: Free & Total Chlorine or Bromine, pH, Acid & Base Demand, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, Cyanuric Acid. Contains Water balance Tests"

    It was about $40. Hope this is a good enough kit.

    I Also changed the filter cartridge, skimmed the water with my net, vacuumed it with the hose/sock thing, and added a couple inches of water.


    Here are the numbers from the tests:

    2119.5 gallons
    86 Fahrenheit

    FC 2ppm
    Br 4ppm
    TC 3ppm
    CC 1ppm
    pH 7.4ppm
    TA 150ppm
    CH 270ppm
    CYA 40ppm (This one was hard because no matter how much I filled it I could still somewhat see the black dot at the bottom)

    Also had my water analyzed at the pool store. Here is what they got:

    Free Available Chlorine 3.0
    pH 7.2
    TA 80
    Total Dissolved Solids 700
    Phosphates 0

    So I dunno...
    12'x36" Metal Frame Intex AG Pool - 2119.5 Gallons
    GAME 4510 1/2 HP Pump & Sand Filter w/ ZeoSand

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    Re: Intex pool help

    have you started shocking? a cc of 1 = problems. see pool-school/ for instructions.
    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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    Re: Intex pool help

    Quote Originally Posted by pomprocker

    FC 2ppm
    Br 4ppm
    TC 3ppm
    CC 1ppm
    pH 7.4ppm
    TA 150ppm
    CH 270ppm
    CYA 40ppm (This one was hard because no matter how much I filled it I could still somewhat see the black dot at the bottom)
    Isn't it this one?
    http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Ho...400000/I/81330

    The only drawback is the chlorine test only goes up to 5. With the dilution method we can test higher though. It's a decent kit, better than the HTH 6-way.

    Disregard the pool store testing, now that you have your own kit trust your testing. Lets go thru it.

    Ignore references to BR or Bromine, as you are using Chlorine.

    A CC of 1 indicates the need to shock (or drain and start over, it's up to you.)

    In normal everyday pool routine a FC of 2 is too low for a CYA of 40 (Refer to the CYA chart for recommended range) Which further indicates a problem. However, see CYA below....

    PH is good

    TA - given the large discrepancy with the pool store - lets review your testing - you are looking for a color change from green to reddish/pink. Once the color completely changes, you stop swirling/adding drops/counting. Are you sure you did this correctly? Even if it is 150, it's not a problem. High TA simply means the PH might drift up to 7.8 or higher.... if it does, you just use some dry acid to lower the PH down to 7.2. The acid will also help to lower the TA into range. It's nothing to be concerned with.

    CH is fine (high for a vinyl pool, but fine)

    CYA - check out this page - it's possible your CYA is closer to 20-30 since you could still see the black dot. I doubt it's 40, unless you used more Dichlor than you think?

    http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Ch...P?ContentID=44


    So.... you have a lot of Dichlor left, right? The easiest and simplest thing to do is drain/refill and start over with careful Dichlor dosing to reach the desired CYA level, then switching to bleach. You can avoid shocking and trying to clear up this problem with the lousy Intex filters.

    It's up to you, let me know if you prefer the shock method and we'll help you thru that.
    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: Intex pool help

    mom, its not that kit. mine didn't come with a booklet, or a wheel. just an insert. And my test block looks different.

    These drop tests aren't much easier for me than the strips since I'm colorblind....


    I've taken another test this morning after adding 6% bleach last night according to the pool calculator.


    FC 4 or 5?
    TC > 5 (maybe 6?)
    CC 2?
    pH 7.3 or 7.4
    TA ~100?
    CH 260? (the color changes to pink, and then to light blue. There are so many shades I don't know which is right.)
    CYA 30 or less. At 30 the vial was full, but I could still see the black dot somewhat.
    12'x36" Metal Frame Intex AG Pool - 2119.5 Gallons
    GAME 4510 1/2 HP Pump & Sand Filter w/ ZeoSand

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    Re: Intex pool help

    I did a few tests again just because I wasn't sure about my accuracy...

    FC 4 or 5
    TC > 5 (off the block)
    CC ?
    pH 7.5
    TA 120
    12'x36" Metal Frame Intex AG Pool - 2119.5 Gallons
    GAME 4510 1/2 HP Pump & Sand Filter w/ ZeoSand

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    Re: Intex pool help

    Anyone else around who can offer color opinion?

    I'd say your PH/TA are fine. Don't worry about CH isn't important for your pool.

    I'm guessing you have around 20-30 for your CYA.

    The CC reading concerns me....

    What do you want to do, add bleach to shock or drain/refill? Up to you.

    If you want to shock, raise your FC to 10 using bleach or 3 oz of Dichlor (predissolved in a bucket of water).

    If you want to drain, that's okay too, then you would use 4 oz (or 1/2 cup) of dichlor for 5 days, then switch to bleach for your daily chlorine.
    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: Intex pool help

    I would get two glasses of water and put a few drops of red food coloring in one of them and swirl it around. If your eyes can tell the difference between the plain water and the food coloring water, you can reliably do the FAS-DPD test. It costs $25.00 or so, plus shipping. I like this test the best by far for FC and is really the only way to shock -- you simply need to know if you are at 8, 10, 12 FC versus just knowing it is "5 or more". But you've already spent $40 for a kit, so another 25 may not be reasonable for you (you've likely spent more on tests than on the pool -- I know I did).


    So, if it were me, and if I just didn't want to shell out another $25 for another test kit (even though it is awesome) or if my eyes couldn't tell pink from clear water (which you'll need to discern to do the FAS-DPD test) I'd just dump, clean, refill, and add liquid bleach only from that point on. You'd have to add it each evening and use the pool calculator to get from zero FC to 4 or 5 FC -- then just add that amount each night. Bleach before bed, swim all day, assume Mr. Sun at up all the chlorine, and re-dose the same amount nightly. My guess is you'd be fine doing that, even with no CYA. If it ever felt the least bit slimy, just bump up the bleach for a day using the calculator. Just my two cents -- and keep in mind, I'm no guru like the other folks helping you. Their way certainly will work, I just offer a possible alternative given some of the concerns you've raised. I recognize this does nothing for pH, but to be honest, for a pool your size (mine is almost the same) I wouldn't mess with any chemicals to get pH up or down -- if aeration didn't work for me to raise it, I'd dump and refill anyway. I do test it pH every day, but only because I already have the kit - it hardly ever changes for me. Its mostly about keeping chlorine in there, and you can do that with bleach and no CYA if you are diligent.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Intex pool help

    I'm re-posting -to recant a little on my prior post. My thought is if you know you have zero CYA after a refill, and never add any CYA, you will always know your CYA level (zero) so you will always know your appropriate FC level. It still seems to me this logic holds, but I'm not sure putting in a target value of 4 or 5 FC in an evening will in fact carry you all the way through to the next evening without your FC ever getting too low, even for zero CYA (as I intimated in the prior post). The experts would need to weigh in and tell you how often to add what amount to keep FC at or above the minimum for zero CYA. Sorry if this is confusing, it makes perfect sense to me but not sure it is coming out right. It is definitely different than what is standardly advised on this board, where they want CYA in the pool, I just thought the CYA was sort of messing you up due to then needing to distinguish between 2, 3, or 5 FCs on a test you can't really see well enough. (And actually, I'm not color blind but had a hard time knowing with the OTO if my TC was 3 or 5 - which is why I opted for the FAS-DPD kit).

    Anecdotally, my neighbor, who has an 18 x 42 intex, simply adds 1 trichlor tablet per week (not sure of the size tablet). This adds some chlorine and some CYA with each tablet. Because he drains and refills seasonally, and because he doesn't OD on the tablets, he has found a very user-friendly way to keep sufficient FC in his pool, have enough CYA to help maintain the FC, and, by the end of our summer, still has little enough CYA that the FC can still do its job. He literally does not test the pool all summer -- but I did, and his numbers were perfect -- after three weeks of this routine he had: FC - 2.5 CC - 0 CYA - less than 20. His water was crystal clear. I was surprised, but he said its the same thing he did all last season. Of course, other than knowing his pool always looked and felt good last year, he doesn't have any test numbers to back it up. Again, I know this is not BBB, and I'm not by any stretch saying it is a preferred method --- I won't do it this way because I'm more of a precision/test-result type person and I don't want to tell my kids even once that they can't swim cuz I let the pool get funky -- I'm just pointing out that there are other ways of caring for a pool and in your case daily testing under BBB may never be very useful if you can't read the tests.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

  19. Back To Top    #19
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Intex pool help

    With zero CYA, you really don't want more than 2-3ppm chlorine in the pool while swimming.

    Also without CYA to protect the chlorine - the levels will be unpredictable, and you'll be testing more.

    I think as I outlined above is your best bet - either drain/refill and start fresh using the dichlor, then switch to bleach (probably the easiest option) or shock.

    Tabs can work for some people, especially smaller pools, and pools that are emptied refilled if a problem develops.

    Some tablets contain copper, so keep that in mind. Tablets can lower PH/TA so that should be monitored. Prolonged periods of low PH can ruin the pool.
    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: Intex pool help

    I ran another test this afternoon after removing the solar cover and stirring the pool.

    Water was about 91F with a floating thermometer (are floating or sinking thermometers better?)

    FC 0.5
    TC 1
    CC 0.5
    pH 7.5
    12'x36" Metal Frame Intex AG Pool - 2119.5 Gallons
    GAME 4510 1/2 HP Pump & Sand Filter w/ ZeoSand

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