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Thread: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

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    Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    My mother gave me an intex pool(more info in my siggy); She was tired of dealing with it, and I'm starting to see why!

    She was using Pristine Blue in it; we tried that and ended up with some serious problems.
    The water was slightly green, we took it to the pool store, they had us add muratic acid, and BAM! Algae blooms the next day.

    We had no luck at ALL getting rid of it until I came across this site. We used Chlorine shock (unfortunately, not DiChlor, just regular chlorine) for a few days, and the pool is no longer green at all. However, it is still cloudy (milky white)-I can't see the bottom.

    Today I went and Purchased Borax, CYA, Baking soda, and Bleach. I bought the 6-way testing kit from wal-mart, and I bought the sticks so I could measure Free Chlorine as well. This is just about as much money as I can afford to spend on this pool at the moment.

    These were my numbers:
    pH -7.5
    TA - 120
    FC - 1
    TC - 1
    CH - Stick 200 Drop 320 (the only one that the two didn't agree on)
    CYA - 0 (no surprise there, as I haven't added any).

    I decided to shock one more time. I used the pool calculator and figured out that I needed to add 128 oz of 6% bleach and 23oz of CYA, which I put in a nylon sock and tied to the ladder.

    The Bottle of CYA said that I would need 3lbs to bring it up to 30, but I went with the calculator-better to err on the safe side, I hope.

    I think that my TA is a little high-will the chlorine or CYA help with that?

    I'm not sure what hardness means, exactly, but I imagine it's high also.

    BTW, we are using well water, not city-so there is a lot of iron in it, according to the pool store. They told us that this meant that we absolutely could not go with chlorine??? I think they just like to push non-chlorine methods.

    I'm really not going back there again. Things were just getting worse and worse when we were listening to them. The methods I have read about here are already visibly working much, much better than anything they suggested.

    I also wanted to ask for vacuuming advice. We are using one of those deals that hooks to the garden hose-there is no way, as far as I know, to hook it into the filter-and even if we could, we have tiny particles in the pool that I can see coming right back in from the filter anyway.

    I rigged the vacuum up with a thin pillowcase instead of the net bag it came with, by inserting a drawstring, and it seemed to catch a lot of the particles, until they just got totally stirred up from the bottom.

    It seems that the water clears up SOME (not completely) when it settles, and I can see debris on the bottom, but as soon as I try to vacuum, no matter how careful I am, I stir it up and it's cloudy again. I'm assuming this is debris from dead algae? We were very careful not to get in with dirty feet. I tried using "super blue" to round it all up, with no luck at all. I eventually want to buy a pool buster, but at the moment I really can't afford to sink any more money into this.

    The whole point of the pool was for my 6 year old to be able to swim for therapeutic purposes (he recently had leg surgery) and the poor thing hasn't gotten to swim in two weeks.

    I apologize for the long post, I just wanted to give a complete overview and ask all my questions at once.

    Am I on the right track? Am I missing anything? And does anyone have any advice about vacuuming?

    I am SO glad I found this site...for the first time, I at least feel like there is hope about this blasted thing.

    *EDIT* I also wanted to add that it may be our climate. Several people I know are having awful pool problems-I know someone with a HUGE in ground pool who just drained and refilled it because of algae- and even my poor fish tank had been having a war with algae and cloudy water-and it never has before.
    Intex donut AG pool, 18X48 (5,593 gallons)
    Cartridge filter and dinky pump that came with pool
    I have no skimmer; for some reason my mother threw it away when she had the pool (?)

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    Re: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    I am a rather newbie, however, based upon what you described, I would recommend using a net to clear any debris from the bottom of your pool. I would also recommend bringing your CYA up to around 30 and adding more bleach to bring your FC level to at least 3.

    Some of the more experienced personnel will be along shortly to provide additional insight.

    Avoid the pool store like the plague. I went to Leslie's the other day to pick up a part for the Polaris and I took a water sample to see what they would tell me. My numbers were slightly off (I needed to Shock) but they recommended a 5 step program that ended 2 days later with a shock. THis program included their money maker, Phosfree and Pool Perfect. There were several other ill fit recommendations that I ignored. I came home, shocked and everything was back to normal.

    By following this site, you too will feel comfortable with your decisions and refute the ill advice you receive from your local pool store.
    14,500 Gallon Chlorine Pool made with Plaster. Pentair 320 Autochlorinator, Polaris 280 w/ pump, Jandy DE Filter, Jandy Onetouch Automated system.

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    everyone you know is having problems because no one but this site preaches the true way to care for your pool, which is simply chlorine based on your cya level, and relatively few people know about it. why search when the pool store must know what they're talking about. there are a few other things of course, but that is by and large the biggest issue in the entire pool industry imo.
    so anyway, all you need to do is follow the methods outlined in pool school. add that cya like you're doing and stay on top of your chlorine levels based on your cya level. (assume your cya level is whatever you shot for after 24 hours.)
    what do you mean unfortunately not dichlor? because dichlor has cya? forget about dichlor and any other chlorination method besides bleach/liquid chlorine and you will have the best pool around
    without a recommended test kit (particularly the fas-dpd chlorine test), it takes more time, effort and money to correctly shock. and with 0 cya you were probably losing a lot of chlorine to sunlight as well as organics. and because your pool is not clear, you are not done shocking. you might be, but without a fas-dpd test there is no way to tell for sure. so you're gonna have to shock until the water is clear. you can order a standalone fas-dpd test from here if you want to help yourself out some more: http://www.tftestkits.net/index.php?act ... oductId=23
    you haven't added any pristine blue have you? that stuff has copper which you don't want in your pool at all.
    don't worry about TA.
    also, the intex filters are designed to be trashed after 1-2 weeks of normal use. so you should be going through a lot of them.
    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-Am I on my way?

    Hi and welcome.

    Don't worry about your TA or pH - they are both fine for now. You don't need dichlor or trichlor or anything but liquid chlorine.

    Keep your chlorine up to shock level until you don't lose more than 1 ppm from the evening until the morning. Run your pump 24/7 until it's cleared up and you are holding chlorine levels. Then let your chlorine level drop to the range prescribed for your CYA level.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    Crystalline888, just to clarify a little, you can't tell if you lose more than 1ppm overnight without the fas-dpd test. this is why you have to keep shocking till you're clear. see my diatribe about it above.
    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-Am I on my way?

    Actually, because it's clear doesn't mean you are done, either. Many people have clear pools but are still harboring algae. You really need to use the test of 1ppm to be sure. You can try using distilled water and the dilution method which is explained elsewhere on this site. However, it would be best to get a really good test kit as is recommended here. I personally think the TF100 is the best kit for the money.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

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    Re: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buggsw
    Actually, because it's clear doesn't mean you are done, either. Many people have clear pools but are still harboring algae.
    yes pools can have nascent algae blooms, but not clear pools that have been undergoing the shock treatment as outlined in pool-school/
    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-Am I on my way?

    Sure they can, but without a FAS/DPD you are guessing that because it's clear that you are done. Not always so.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

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    Re: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    Thanks for all the quick answers! The fas-dpd test is much less expensive than I expected-I'm going to order one on Thursday, when I get paid. In the meanwhile, I'll just keep shocking each evening.

    I've been reading Pool School but so far I haven't come across the part about adjusting chlorine according to CYA level. I'm still in the beginner parts, so I'm going to look for it a little harder. But if anyone could provide a link my laziness would thank you.

    Out of curiosity-what causes cloudy water? is it tiny algae particles that no longer look green? Or white algae? There is definitely no green left to the water.

    The filter-when my mother had the pool she invested in two of the 70 dollar "wash and reuse" filters, for which I thank her. They're supposed to be cleaned every 4-8 hours the filter is running, and allowed to dry. I've been keeping up with that.

    Just for clarity-the only reason I wanted Dichlor was because it was recommended for the first few days in the Pool School. Hopefully, it's not needed as I added CYA separately.


    JRock80-I have tried my behind off to do that, but these are TINY particles-they slip right through the net. I got under the water with goggles to watch them, and I could see a cloud come in...and a cloud come out. Thus my pillowcase/vacuum rigging, which just stirred everything up. I'm about ready to drain and refill out of frustration.
    Intex donut AG pool, 18X48 (5,593 gallons)
    Cartridge filter and dinky pump that came with pool
    I have no skimmer; for some reason my mother threw it away when she had the pool (?)

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    dichlor isn't needed since you added cya separately. the chlorine/cya chart is in the chemistry section. I highly recommend you read all the articles in the chemistry section. it will give you a much better understanding of your pool. sounds like you have dead algae that needs to be filtered out. some people have luck using clarifiers, but they are not recommended or needed. the filter will take care of it eventually. cloudy water can also be an algae bloom starting, high calcium levels, phos-free treatments, and probably some other things that I can't think of too.
    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-Am I on my way?

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    dichlor isn't needed since you added cya separately. the chlorine/cya chart is in the chemistry section. I highly recommend you read all the articles in the chemistry section. it will give you a much better understanding of your pool. sounds like you have dead algae that needs to be filtered out. some people have luck using clarifiers, but they are not recommended or needed. the filter will take care of it eventually. cloudy water can also be an algae bloom starting, high calcium levels, phos-free treatments, and probably some other things that I can't think of too.
    Eek. I sure hope it isn't calcium...I imagine it could just be our tap water is high in it. From what I've found, it's hard to reduce. Yikes! Crossing my fingers that it's just algae, which I can take care of with bleach.
    Intex donut AG pool, 18X48 (5,593 gallons)
    Cartridge filter and dinky pump that came with pool
    I have no skimmer; for some reason my mother threw it away when she had the pool (?)

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    Re: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crystalline888
    CH - Stick 200 Drop 320 (the only one that the two didn't agree on)
    it shouldn't be judging from your calcium test results.
    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-Am I on my way?

    It sounds like you have been using what I call a leaf bagger. You need the other kind of vacuum, the one that most people call a vacuum, that hooks into the skimmer. A leaf bagger can't pick up fine debris, only fairly large things like leaves. If you aren't sure which is which, you might want to look at the visual encyclopedia, which has pictures of various kinds of vacuums.

    Your cloudy water is being caused by dead algae, which will have been bleached white or gray by the chlorine. The filter will be able to remove all the algae that is suspended in the water, but to get the stuff that has settled to the bottom you will need to use a vacuum.
    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
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    Re: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    Hi and welcome!

    Without a good vacume it will be harder for you to get the crud that's settled. I wonder if in the future you'd be able to order the skimmer part that your Mother tossed? I would keep experimenting on ways to get the crud on the bottom that has settled.

    Some Intex users report success with a Pool Buster, but it's a bit pricy, IMHO.

    Keep shocking... You will save money with reusuable filters so that's good.

    Without the FAS-DPD test the third criteria is clear water. If you are able to get the test, you can stop shocking when you meet the first two, then just let the filter try and clear it up (good luck! ).

    If Iron were a big issue, you would likely see the effects of that by now - the water would be a funny color from the reaction with chlorine, yellow-green or reddish-brown if the iron precipitated out into rust. Are you seeing any of 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
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    Yay...Improvement!

    Yesterday, I could see the bottom...just barely, but there it was! I could alco see the piles of crud on the bottom and where they were. So I walked around the pool with a push broom and stirred them up . My numbers were:
    pH -7.5
    TA - 120
    FC -5
    TC - 5 (but the drop test doesn't go above 5, so...that's not very helpful
    CH -Stick 200 Drop 320
    CYA - 0

    So I used the pool calculator to decide how much more to bring up to shock level, and added 2quarts 2 cups bleach, concentrating on throwing it on the clouds of crud that were floating in various places.

    This afternoon...It's almost completely clear, and the areas of crud on the bottom are MUCH smaller. Apparently they wither hit the filter, or were something that can be shocked out(not sure what that would be).

    IT ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING I WOULD SWIM IN!!!!

    Except...the chlorine was still high.

    Numbers from this evening (after a rain storm):
    pH -6.8
    TA - 120
    FC -10 (but the stick doesn't go any higher)
    TC - didn't measure, since it doesn't go above 5 anyway and I didn't want to waste drops
    CH -Stick 200 Drop 320
    CYA - 0

    I know that PH is a little low...I'm kind of afraid of what will happen when I bring it back in range (algae...I sure hope not). And do I use the Borax for that, or the baking soda? *EDIT* Stupid question, just found the answer on my own. Sorry.* I'll hit the pool calc.

    This is the third day since I put my CYA sock in there, and it doesn't appear to be dissolving much. It's levels are still at zero, but...I wonder why I haven't lost more Chlorine? Maybe because it's been cloudy (weather, not water, lol).

    It's pouring rain at the moment, so I'm going to wait to work on the PH and bringing chlorine back up to shock level (assuming it is actually 10, and not more) when the storm is over. I went ahead and disturbed the (much lessened) stuff on the bottom again, in hopes that it will end up in the filter (which was NASTY each time I cleaned it today).

    I am finally beginning to see light at the end of this looooong tunnel. Thank you so much to everyone!

    I'll be ordering a proper testing kit on Thurs, no way around it. Any advice in the meantime?

    Thanks again!
    Intex donut AG pool, 18X48 (5,593 gallons)
    Cartridge filter and dinky pump that came with pool
    I have no skimmer; for some reason my mother threw it away when she had the pool (?)

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    Re: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    Also, I was thinking of transferring my cya sock (the whole thing, to avoid particles leaking out) into the old chlorine floater I have for the pool. Anyone see any reason why this is a bad idea?
    Intex donut AG pool, 18X48 (5,593 gallons)
    Cartridge filter and dinky pump that came with pool
    I have no skimmer; for some reason my mother threw it away when she had the pool (?)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    Where is the sock now? It should have dissolved by now.
    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-Am I on my way?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Where is the sock now? It should have dissolved by now.
    That's what I was thinking. But it HASN'T. It's hanging off of the ladder, right by the "water out" hole. It's not dissolving very fast at all and my CYA is still 0.
    Intex donut AG pool, 18X48 (5,593 gallons)
    Cartridge filter and dinky pump that came with pool
    I have no skimmer; for some reason my mother threw it away when she had the pool (?)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Intex Pool-Am I on my way?

    Is the bulky part of the sank "dangling" in the return flow - the force of the water should be hitting the bulky area and moving it around so it dissolves faster. You can also try squeezing the sock, manipulating it with your fingers to help it dissolve. (I did that when I added CYA at the end of May-my skin didn't melt LOL)

    Or is the return flow not very strong? I'm assuming the flow is just missing the sock.
    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-Am I on my way?

    I have a suggestion about the fine stuff that is on the bottom of the pool. If you can get the end of the hose to a level that is lower than the bottom of the pool, not much is needed but 6 inches or more is nice, you can use a hose to siphon the fine stuff out.

    I prefer clear vinyl tubing but a small diameter hose will do -- I used to drain my above ground fish pond this way. A 1/2" hose moves way less water than a 5/8" hose, smaller than that introduces a lot of friction and clogs fast if you get a leaf in it. You'd have to measure how long in needs to be to reach all around the pool and still have length to get to a place where it is lower than the floor of the pool where stuff collects. Shorter is better, due to friction losses. You'd have to rig up a way to attach the hose to a pole or else you may have to get into the water to reach the debris, without stirring it up too much.

    First, if you can stir the water in a circle, you may be able to collect some of that stuff in the center. Of course, make sure the pump is off, for you want the water to get still after it swirls around.

    Now, make sure the hose is *totally* empty of water (if it has water in it you have to work really hard to move those slugs of water, instead of just moving air plus the water you need to get past the rim of the pool). Put one end on the ground outside the pool, where it is lower than the floor of the pool, and secure it if you need to.

    Then put one end in the pool just below the surface a foot or so and secure it, so it does not flop out. Go to the other end and suck on it once, forcefully. You will need to move just enough water to get the first bit of water over the edge and lower than the pool level. Then gravity will take over.

    Now, you can use this siphon to carefully remove the stuff collected. If there are leaves in the pool it will clog up and so you will need to have used a net first to get that stuff out. But, that pile of dead algae and so on should be easy to remove.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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