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Thread: New pool owners - HELP!!!

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    New pool owners - HELP!!!

    We purchased a home in NJ in November, that came complete with its own swamp. The former owners had a cracked sand filter, but thought it was a good idea to install a new vinyl liner and fill the pool anyway. When we moved in, we had the pool closed for the winter, and last week we had a new Hayward Sand filter installed, using Zeosand. Last week the water was green and murky, we have since removed the dead leaves from the bottom (as best as we could since we can't see the bottom!), and the water is cloudy, but not green anymore, but for the life of us we are unable to get a FC reading above .5! It is a 28,500 gallon pool, and here are our current numbers:

    CH - 100
    TC - 10
    FC - .5
    PH - 7.2
    TA - 120
    CYA - 0

    We used Green to Clean and shocked the pool with dichlor last night, and again this morning, and while TC has gone up, FC remains unchanged and PH has dropped. That said, the pool is a much better color - we are currently running the filter through the main drain only, because Green to Clean suggested turning off the skimmers. Before we continue to shock, we found this forum and wanted to get some recommendations. The pool guy we called to do the initial cleaning said it would be better if we could clear the water before he came so he doesn't waste our money....but we can't clear it!

    Thank you for your help!
    26,500 gallon, Hayward 200lb Sand Filter with Zeosand, 1HP Hayward Super pump, IG, vinyl liner

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    Welcome to the forum...

    These look like test strip results? I'm willing to bet if you used Dichlor to shock last night your CYA is not 0. How much Dichlor did you add? We can figure out how high CYA level it is, right now we want it to be about 30 to protect your FC from UV destruction.

    Green to Clean uses chlorimines to kill the algae. IF it works (Green to Clean often causes more problems then it helps) it creates a very huge chlorine demand to oxidize the chloramines. Your CC reading is very high because of this, it will take a lot of shocking to lower the CC to .5 (you actually want to flip your chlorine readings to make progress.) In the future, should you ever have a green pool again - chlorine kills algae, it's really all you need.

    I suggest you use no pool store type products for awhile - just use liquid chlorine/bleach (besides getting some CYA in there.)

    You won't need the "pool guy" you can get this clear without his help.

    Have you read Pool School? There are some key articles for you to read/absorb - "How to Shock your Pool" "Defeating Algae" and "Test Kits Compared" YOu are going to need a good test kit described in the article - I recommend a TF100 XL for your situation.

    You need to raise your pool to shock level, thru frequent liquid chlorine additions, testing and adding bleach/liquid chlorine - as much as hourly but as frequent as possible.

    Right now your shock level is 10. Do you know how to use the Pool Calculator yet?

    Hope this helps. Post back if you need clarification on anything...
    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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    poolgirl22's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    A little tip I figured out about the forum that may help...I clicked 'subscribe to thread' in the upper left (?) corner so TFP sends me an email when I get a reply. My blackberry is a permanent appendage so I get the email right away while I'm doing other stuff.

    I thought that if I responded that subscribed me that way, but it didn't. That way you aren't running back and forth checking for a reply or staying logged on appearing as though you are reading posts from way way back and getting nothing else done...

    pool mom is awesome! she will take very good care of you!
    Backyard pool-less, but used to be.....
    16,100 gallon, 18x38 3.5 ft deep oval AG, Vinyl, Sand, 1hp pump
    http://www.poolservicestech.com Liquidator
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/
    http://www.tftestkits.net TFT100 test kit

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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    Thank you for your help!

    We added 4lbs Dichlor last night, and another 4lbs this morning, if that helps.

    I just purchased 8lbs of Conditioner, and 12 182oz jugs of Clorox at Costco. I also ordered a FAS-DPD service test kit (sorry - had ordered it before I read your recommendation of the XL kit). From the Pool Calculator, if my CYA is truly 0 (which I am not sure of, but that's what the strip says), then I need to add approximately 7lbs of CYA to bring it up to 30. I added 3.5lbs, and will test again this afternoon. Should I go ahead and start with the bleach now, or wait until the CYA level comes up?
    26,500 gallon, Hayward 200lb Sand Filter with Zeosand, 1HP Hayward Super pump, IG, vinyl liner

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    Okay, don't add any more stabilizer. Don't test for it today.

    How did you add it/what method? Did you pour it into the skimmer?

    Your CYA should be about 30 now, based on that amount of Dichlor and Stabilizer.
    Don't test for it, it can take up to a week for the stabilizer to fully dissolve and register on tests. Assume tho that your CYA level is 30, which means your shock level is 12.

    Go ahead and add the bleach. You'll need 4 of the large jugs to reach 12 - pour it slowly into the return flow, leave the pump running and wait an hour and test again. Use your result as your "now" and put "12" in the "target" to get your next dose of bleach. It is very likely that 4 jugs will be consumed rather rapidly. I "float" the jug of chlorine in the water, pouring slowly, this means alot less splashing (and ruined clothes, LOL).

    That kit is fine, but the XL comes with bigger reagents sizes for the FAS-DPD test and CYA test, which is why I recommended it, better bang for the buck. It just means you'll need to order refills sooner. Perhaps you can cancel that order? Up to you.

    Make sure you are running the filter 24/7 and cleaning/backwashing as necessary. But if you added the CYA to the skimmer, you will lose most of it when you backwash - we recommend using the sock method for CYA additions so that you can backwash without losing CYA.

    Glad to assist - and if you have any other questions don't hesitate to post.
    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 owners - HELP!!!

    Dopey me added the CYA according to the recommendation of the pool store, by mixing it to a slush with water and then pouring it around the pool.

    I'll go ahead and add the bleach now, will keep you posted. My hubby's working nights this week, so I'm taking the pool by the reigns myself for the time being. I'm sure I'll have about a million other questions, but rest assured that I read all of Pool School before I posted - just needed some specific clarification. It was just freaking me out that I was unable to get a FC reading. Thanks again!
    26,500 gallon, Hayward 200lb Sand Filter with Zeosand, 1HP Hayward Super pump, IG, vinyl liner

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    Make sure you brush the pool - you don't want that stuff dissolving on the bottom... wouldn't want to risk damage to the liner. But at least now you can backwash if needed

    Glad to help!
    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 owners - HELP!!!

    Hooray, the clorox worked! We obviously don't have the good kit yet, but using the strips we had, after the second application of 4 large bottles of bleach, we finally have an FC reading of 10+! We have worked for the past week trying to get ANY FC reading at all, and regular old bleach is what did it? Thank you!

    I will recheck the pool in the morning - hopefully the FC holds, otherwise I will add more bleach. At this point, do we just maintain the shock level until the water clears?

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    26,500 gallon, Hayward 200lb Sand Filter with Zeosand, 1HP Hayward Super pump, IG, vinyl liner

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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    theroos17,

    Welcome to the forum. Chlorine is the one parameter in your testing that is a consumable item. It will never hold as it is constantly being consumed by organics (mostly algae) and sunlight.

    The reason you couldn't get a reading before is your chlorine was being consumed very rapidly as you killed a lot of algae. That consumption will slow down now but you will always need to add chlorine to your pool.

    The "shock" (di-chlor) that you used contained chlorine as does the clorox. The clorox is just (for now, at least) a better delivery method to get chlorine in your pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by theroos17
    At this point, do we just maintain the shock level until the water clears?
    Yes, and once you have your test kit you'll be able to confirm your numbers more accurately
    Once things have stabilized we'll help you get comfortable with the daily routine of testing/adding bleach aka liquid chlorine. This will keep you from having to deal with green stuff again!
    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 owners - HELP!!!

    Hooray - our test kit came in! Our pool is now blue, but still very cloudy - here are our first results:

    FC - 15.5
    CC - .5
    TC - 16
    Ph - 7.2
    TA - 150
    CH - 80
    CYA - 50

    So, from looking at these numbers, our Calcium Hardness is very low, and our shock level should be 20 for the above CYA reading of 50. I'll add 1.5 big jugs of bleach now, but how soon should I start working on the CH level?
    26,500 gallon, Hayward 200lb Sand Filter with Zeosand, 1HP Hayward Super pump, IG, vinyl liner

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    CH is fine since you have a vinyl pool you don't need to increase it.
    So yes, just up your FC and resume the process.
    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 owners - HELP!!!

    GAH! This process is so slow! While we are definitely seeing clarity improve over the past couple days, we still can't see the bottom of the deep end. We were testing so much that we already had to order more titrating agent for the chlorine!

    Here are my current numbers:

    FC - 18.5 - added bleach so will be back up to 22 shortly.
    CC - .5
    TC - 19
    Ph - 7.6
    TA - 160 (could this affect clarity? How do I bring it down?)
    CYA - 55

    We've been adding Fiber Clear to the sand filter once or twice a day for the past 2 days...the improved clarity we're seeing seems to correspond directly to this addition...
    26,500 gallon, Hayward 200lb Sand Filter with Zeosand, 1HP Hayward Super pump, IG, vinyl liner

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    poolgirl22's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    It seems that way but keep at it! Remember Dory? Just keep swimming...just keep going! just keep going!

    I assure you once everything is cleared up you'll do what I did today...stand by the sparkly pool, scratch your head, and think 'hmm...I SHOULD do something shouldn't I?' So I brushed the sides and scooped out the 4 whirly birds by the steps. Neither of which was really necessary.

    Stay the course.
    Backyard pool-less, but used to be.....
    16,100 gallon, 18x38 3.5 ft deep oval AG, Vinyl, Sand, 1hp pump
    http://www.poolservicestech.com Liquidator
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/
    http://www.tftestkits.net TFT100 test kit

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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    Well, this morning we can actually see where the pool slopes to the deep end, so progress is being made! I did the overnight FC loss test, and the level this morning was exactly what it was last night - 17.5. Does this mean I can stop shocking now?
    26,500 gallon, Hayward 200lb Sand Filter with Zeosand, 1HP Hayward Super pump, IG, vinyl liner

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    Usually... what about the CC reading?
    Any chance you can post a pic of 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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    You shouldn't worry about TA while shocking. Eventually, when everything settles down, you can follow the directions in the how to lower TA article in Pool School.
    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

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    CC is .5 - good, right?

    I'll try to remember to take some pics this afternoon, then figure out how to post them...
    26,500 gallon, Hayward 200lb Sand Filter with Zeosand, 1HP Hayward Super pump, IG, vinyl liner

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    Right.
    You can shock for one more night or let it drop down to 'normal' levels if you like - we like to see clear water but sometimes you just need to give a sand filter additional time to work on clearing up the dead stuff. YOu should see visible improvement each day - if not...post back.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: New pool owners - HELP!!!

    Just a quick update - the end is near! As of this afternoon, I can finally make out the main drain in the deep end of the pool. The water is still a little cloudy, but the numbers are under control, so we swam last night - it appears that this stirred up the water and cleared a bunch of it out. I think I have discovered exactly why this is taking so long - from what I can gather, the filter we bought (we just got the same one that was already there) is a little too small for the pool (Hayward 200lb sand filter), and the pump is only 1HP. The filter is rated for a 21,000 gallon pool, but we think ours is 27,500. It might be less than that, because it is an older pool 18x40' with sloped sides, so maximum depth is only a small portion of the pool area. I don't think we could go up in size anyway, because the pipes are 1 1/2". I had to do this research because there was a small leak on the pump housing....used epoxy putty, and it seems to be fixed.

    Here are the numbers from this morning:

    FC - 6
    CC - 0
    TC - 6
    Ph - 7.2
    TA - 110 (was 140 2 days ago, but we used acid to bring it down, will repeat in the next day or so, when the Ph rises again)
    CYA - 40

    Once I finally have this darn thing under control , do we shock weekly or not? I think the answer is no....just keep everything in balance, right? I couldn't have done it without the help I received here, so thank you all!!!
    26,500 gallon, Hayward 200lb Sand Filter with Zeosand, 1HP Hayward Super pump, IG, vinyl liner

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