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Thread: Greetings from new member

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    Ray Mondo's Avatar
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    Greetings from new member

    Hi All,

    I've been lurking around this forum for a while and it seems a really helpful source of information.
    I thought I would start out by introducing myself.

    Firstly, I live Brisbane Australia (which means I use metric measurements).
    Brisbane has a sub-tropical climate with typical winter temperature range 10 to 20 degrees Celsius, and typical summer range 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. In winter we very occasionally get a frost and in summer an occasional top temperature over 40 degrees Celsius. These extremes are very unusual and the temperature is really very stable. We normally use our pool from September through April.

    We bought this house, with pool, about 9 years ago so have been managing the pool successfully over that time. Our local pool shop changed hands a couple years ago. The previous pool shop owner was very experienced and very practical. A great source of good advice. Recently the advice seems to come from superficially trained but inexperienced sales staff, so I am looking for an alternative source of information that isn't focused on selling product. Hopefully this forum will be it.

    The pool is in-ground and very free-form so not easy to calculate precise volume. I reckon it is 48,000 litres. It has a self-cleaning salt water chlorinator, sand filter, and a plaster/pebble surface. We use an old Aquanaut Pool-Vac cleaner which I have been able to satisfactorily maintain myself so far and it works well.

    A lot of advice on this forum relates to measurements from test kits that seem to be unavailable in Australia. I use the standard one supplied by most pool shops which uses DPD1 tablets to test chlorine, and recommends a Free Chlorine level of 1.0 to 1.5ppm. It also tests pH, recommending a level of 7.4 to 7.6; and Total Alkalinity with a recommended level of 80 to 120ppm. This obviously falls far short of the information requested on this forum, and on Jason's pool calculator.

    I am hoping that there might be some other Aussies on the forum who can suggest where to find a more complete test kit that will allow me to accurately measure CH, CYA, Salt, Borate and CSI.

    Cheers,
    48,000 litre outdoor in-ground pebble/plaster pool; EAQUIP self-cleaning saltwater chlorinator and controller; Waterco S-800 Sand Filter (420 litres per minute capacity); Aquanaut Pool-Vac cleaner.

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    Re: Greetings from new member

    Welcome to TFP!

    Palintest has some decent drop-based or tablet-based (i.e. not test strip) test kits here that are sold in Australia. The SP315C I believe is a DPD test for Free Chlorine (FC) and Combined Chlorine (CC) and also tests pH, Total Alkalinity (TA), Calcium Hardness (CH) and Cyanuric Acid (CYA). I verified that it tests for TA and CH by looking at other Palintest sites such as this one. It seems similar to the Taylor K-2005 except it uses tablets instead of drops for some tests.

    I can't seem to find any Borate test kit in Australia. LaMotte makes the Borate test strips, but I don't believe they are sold in Australia. Of course, Dave at tftestkits.net might ship to Australia though I'll bet that's not cheap. He is prevented from shipping to Canada for Taylor products since there is an exclusive distributor there, but I don't believe that is the case in Australia.

    With the above measurements, you can use The Pool Calculator to calculate the calcite saturation index (CSI).

    Congratulations on your success for the past 9 years. Did you have a saltwater chlorine generator (SWG) that entire time? I suspect that with your low 1-1.5 ppm FC chlorine level you probably had a lower Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level in the pool -- do you know what that was? Were you using any other products such as algicide or anything else except possibly acid and Alkalinity Up (baking soda)?

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Ray Mondo's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from new member

    Thanks Richard,

    I checked out the Palintest Australia web-site and looks like they have what I need. I'll contact them find out about products and prices. My DPD-1 chlorine test tabs are Palintest brand.

    Yes, we have always used the SWG but the original one failed a couple of years ago and we replaced it with a new locally manufactured one that also has the advantage of being self-cleaning.

    We have our chlorinator and pump working 8 hours per day in January, tapering down to 2 hours in June/July. We sometimes suffer an outbreak of green algae if summer temperatures come on suddenly and I am too slow getting the hours up. Easily fixed though. If I keep the chlorine production up the water stays crystal clear, but I am investigating another problem with some sort of dark patchy surface deposit, hence my interest in getting more complete and precise chemical measurements.

    When I discussed this issue with the pool shop they sold me some BioGuard Back-Up II Algae Inhibitor which seems to be mainly copper-sulphate solution. Subsequent research suggests that this might be the very wrong approach so I stopped using it.

    Until I started browsing this forum I was completely unaware of Cyanuric acid and its purpose. At this time of year the pool seems to need 250ml of Hydrochloric Acid to keep the pH right. When the total alkalinity gets down I have been adding BioGuard Balance Pak 100 but have never quite got my head around the chemistry behind this. Anyway, it sounds as though baking soda will do the job just as well.

    I would rather use non-packaged products if possible as there seems to be a tendency to add a brand label and a product name, hide the ingredients, and increase the price. Hence the BBB approach sounds attractive.
    48,000 litre outdoor in-ground pebble/plaster pool; EAQUIP self-cleaning saltwater chlorinator and controller; Waterco S-800 Sand Filter (420 litres per minute capacity); Aquanaut Pool-Vac cleaner.

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from new member

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Mondo
    I would rather use non-packaged products if possible as there seems to be a tendency to add a brand label and a product name, hide the ingredients, and increase the price. Hence the BBB approach sounds attractive
    You came to the right place. Welcome to the forum!
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Re: Greetings from new member

    A good place to start is to read Water Balance for SWGs, though you really can't adjust much yet until you get the better test kit. At that point, you can post your numbers and we can work with you to minimize the rate of pH rise and amount of acid you need for your pool and to prevent some of the issues you have described.

    Do you have a source for borates? For example, is ProTeam Supreme or ProTeam Supreme Plus available? I doubt that 20 Mule Team Borax is available though there might be some local manufacturer (miner, actually, as it is a mined chemical). Check the laundry aisle for a borax product (see if it contains "sodium tetraborate decahydrate" or something similar, but make sure it isn't a laundry detergent -- just a laundry booster) or check hardware stores where it might be available as boric acid.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from new member

    Welcome
    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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    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from new member

    While TFTestkits has shipped internationally in the past (except Canada), we are no longer able to do so.

    Shipping by UPS or FedEx internationally is stunningly expensive for our kits.....it simply isn't worth it. Shipping by USPS (which was our international carrier) was still very pricey ($25-50) but usually doable simply because there is little else available.

    However, the more we studied the shipping regulations this winter, we decided we were possibly not in compliance with USPS so, long story short, no more international shipments to any country for TFTestkits.

    We did find out, however, that Taylor chemistry deals with a company called HornerXpress for their international shipments.

    Their web address is http://www.hxworldwide.com/
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Greetings from new member

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Sounds like you've got the pool under control and are trying to become more proactive in it's care

    FWIW - I'm almost completely over that whole America's Cup 'incident' from 1983 , so you can trust me to only give my unbiased and best advice, regardless as to where you live
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Ray Mondo's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from new member

    Thanks to all for a big welcome to the forum. Much appreciated.

    chem geek - Re Borates. I'll do some hunting around to find bulk sources of chemicals, including Sodium Bicarbonate and Borates (Borax?). Once I find them the info will no doubt be of interest to other Aussies.

    Ted - Re Americas cup incident. My wife was living in Perth at the time so was part of the hoop-la. But I am originally a Kiwi and we also had a good crack at it! I lived in New Jersey for a while, and loved it, so have probably re-established diplomatic relations with the USA.

    I do have a problem with deposits on the pool surface but I'll get the chemistry right before posting about that.

    By the way, today is Australia Day

    Cheers,

    JT
    48,000 litre outdoor in-ground pebble/plaster pool; EAQUIP self-cleaning saltwater chlorinator and controller; Waterco S-800 Sand Filter (420 litres per minute capacity); Aquanaut Pool-Vac cleaner.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Greetings from new member

    Just wanted to say Hi and welcome!
    (Oh, and..Happy Australia Day! )
    WV Girl

    Custom "L" shape IG gunite pool, 36K gal., main drain, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, hayward heat pump, hayward 1.5hp pump with booster pump, ozonator, 4 cartridge filter.
    one dear hubby, two waterlogged kids, and lots of good times!

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    Molson's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from new member

    Welcome to TFP!
    40 x 16 IG Vinyl. Goldline SWG
    160 Sq Ft Roof mounted solar array
    2014 Hydropool Serenity 5000 Hot Tub
    The Pool School- A great place to start
    Jason's Pool calculator

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