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Thread: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

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    New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Im currently using some cheap HTH test strips from Wal-Mart and was curious if i should start adding chlorine now or wait til I have a better test kit to get more than just a guess at numbers.

    Current readings from the strips are as follows:

    FC 0
    CH 150-200 (hard to gauge)
    pH 7.2
    TA 120
    CYA 0

    Pool hasn't been opened in several years. I've nearly completed raking all leaves and debris off the bottom but still have a significant amount of algae / suspended solids.

    Camera is dead i'll post images soon.

    My main questions fall back to these test strips. Can I trust these numbers? I see that the Taylor K-2006 is one of the recommended kits how does a K-2005 compare to this? I've been able to find these locally should I purchase the 2005 to start getting better readings or wait for a TF-100 / K-2006 to ship.

    Thanks for the help in advance.
    Vinyl IG, 19k gal, Intelliflo Variable Speed, Hayward S244T Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Welcome to TFP.

    The K2006 and the TF100 can both measure shock levels of chlorine. The K2005 and your strips can't. You can get close enough for the rough cleanup by diluting your water with distilled water. 3 parts (teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, whatever) to one part pool water, test the mixture, then multiply the reading by 4.

    Go ahead and add chlorine, but expect the pool to eat it like candy! You will probably have to add more hourly for the first few hours, every 4 hours for the next day, then every 8 hours for a couple of more days. Raise your chlorine to 15ppm and be persistent about keeping it there.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Welcome to TFP!

    You do need a better test kit. The Taylor K-2006 is good. It differs from the K-2005 in that it has the FAS-DPD chlorine test in it. The FAS-DPD is a far superior test to the OTO or the standard DPD test. To see the various quality test kits compared see the Test Kit Comparison here. Because of this, I would wait opt for a better kit than the K-2005. Test strips aren't worth much when it comes to seeking the accuracy that is called for in keeping your pool trouble free.

    You are going to need to shock your pool to clear it and you are also going to need to get some CYA in there as well. After you have decided upon and ordered a test kit, go ahead and start reading up on things in Pool School. If you have water in there and things are circulating, you can use the Pool Calculator (link in my sig) to calculate all of your chemical amounts to add.

    This page will be helpful to you as well...Shocking Your Pool

    As for the number you have now, you need to get some chlorine in there and shock. Best thing to use is regular unscented bleach. After reading Pool School, things will make a little more sense. Post back here and let us know what other questions you have and we will guide you through things as you need it.

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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Thanks for the quick assistance. I started shocking last night... really weren't kidding about sucking up the chlorine like candy. I've emptied the shelves at the local Wal-mart of GV bleach.

    I was vacuuming today and noticed that much of the gunk is just getting stirred up in the water. Should i keep at the vacuuming to get what i can off the bottom or let it settle again before going back at it?

    I'll have a K-2006 on Monday to start getting better numbers.
    Vinyl IG, 19k gal, Intelliflo Variable Speed, Hayward S244T Sand Filter

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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Another question. Working in filtration I never would have expected a clean DP of 0 psi. Is this normal? Or do I possibly have a gauge that is out of calibration and just showing this?
    Vinyl IG, 19k gal, Intelliflo Variable Speed, Hayward S244T Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Your gauge may not be working. New gauges are fairly inexpensive and easy to replace. Its o.k. to keep the stuff stirred up so the filter will catch it. Be sure you vacuum to waste when you vacuum and back wash the filter when needed.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Yeah, your guage is broken and needs to be replaced ($10). A working guage is really essential to cleaning up a messy pool. Since I turn my pump on manually, As soon as I hit the switch I check the psi to reassure that all is normal......No pool should be without a working guage.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Real numbers from tonight, prior to adding more bleach

    FC 4.4
    CC 3.2
    pH 7.2
    TA 100
    ch 140
    CYA to low to read

    I'm adding CYA as we speak should be better levels in the week.

    Here's my assumptions for next steps. Any other suggestions?

    Allow CYA to slowly drop pH
    Wait for TA to drop to 80
    Begin adding det booster or aerating to get pH back to 7.5

    How long should I be trying to maintain the shock levels? Pool is still kind of a murky green color.

    The water is definitely what i would consider Cloudy and I'm starting to think its suspended solids to small for my sand filter. I picked up a box of DE and will start adding probably this weekend to bring the retention down and im hoping that clears things up. Should i consider some clarifier/flocculant to help remove these?


    Thanks again for all the tips. I would be lost without this site.
    Vinyl IG, 19k gal, Intelliflo Variable Speed, Hayward S244T Sand Filter

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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Wlcome to TPF! I haven"t posted much but did the same thing to my pool last year.
    My recommendations are to not worry about the TA or pH until you get it cleaned. I would suggest:
    1. get the gauge fixed asap. (if you haven't already), and run your pump 24 hrs a day until the water clears
    2. get the FC up to at least 12, and keep it there until the water is clear
    3. bring up the CYA, but remember it may take a week after you add it for an accurate reading
    4. vacuum, vacuum, vaccum; vacuuming to waste will get rid of the tiny things the filter isn't catching
    5. watch the gauge and clean/backwash filter when it rises
    6. but should be first, get LOTS and LOTS of POP(pool owner patience) you will NEED LOTS before you get it sparkling clean!
    7. once the water is cleaned then adjust the TA, pH
    I tried the clarifier for those tiny particles and it did not help with our situation, so I don't have much faith, we just had to vacuum to waste. And I ralized early on that until the algae and debris was out of the water adding things to raise the other levels was a waste of time and $$ so we just used the bleach and vacuumed the heck out of it!
    1) 26,000 IG, vinyl, cartridge, Polaris Auto Clear Plus SWG, Polaris 280 cleaner
    Bought the frog pond in Dec'08, and learned a great deal turning it into the beatiful pool it is now!

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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jswinehart
    Thanks for the quick assistance. I started shocking last night... really weren't kidding about sucking up the chlorine like candy. I've emptied the shelves at the local Wal-mart of GV bleach.

    I was vacuuming today and noticed that much of the gunk is just getting stirred up in the water. Should i keep at the vacuuming to get what i can off the bottom or let it settle again before going back at it?

    I'll have a K-2006 on Monday to start getting better numbers.
    Get rid of the gunk. It's using Chlorine. Let it settle while you eat dinner or whatever, then resume. Move the vacuum very slowly, so the stuff gets sucked in before you push it away. Kinda like a dentist with the novacain. He lets the numbness precede the needle, so you only feel the initial stab. Well, a good dentist, anyway...
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jswinehart
    Here's my assumptions for next steps. Any other suggestions?

    Allow CYA to slowly drop pH
    Wait for TA to drop to 80
    Begin adding det booster or aerating to get pH back to 7.5
    You are not close to done shocking - your CC is extremely high.

    Maintain shock levels by testing and adding bleach as often as hourly if you can until the CC is much lower and the FC is holding. Hold it at shock level until the FC holds overnight; the CC is .5 or less; and the water is clear.

    Ignore your PH and TA for now - they are ok where they are at and you can tweak them after the shocking process is complete.

    Your water looks that way because you haven't completed the shock process. Don't attempt DE in the filter or clarifiers until the FC holds overnight.
    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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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Shock question. Should i be maintaining my levels above the chart FC value for shocking or should I be raising it to that level on a regular basis?

    Example, raised it to ~ 14 last night, dropped to 6 by noon today and added more to raise it back up.

    Is this correct or should I be trying to always keep it above 12?
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    Vinyl IG, 19k gal, Intelliflo Variable Speed, Hayward S244T Sand Filter

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Just FYI; solar cover manufacturers usually do not recommend having the cover on when shocking. I'm not sure that it REALLY matters, but high chlorine will oxidize the plastic more rapidly.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    A few ppm's over is fine and generally, the frequency with which you must replenish depends on how rapidly it depletes.

    FC will deplete very rapidly in a really nasty pool and may need replenished within a few hours. As the pool begions to clear, the FC will not deplete nearly as quickly and you can stretch out the time in between doses.

    From your numbers, I would say you should probably be dosing about twice daily. More often doesn't hurt a bit and less often slows down the process.
    Dave S.
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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    You should leave your cover off while shocking - sunlight helps destroy CCs.
    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 To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Updated pictures attached.

    Question on the white foam on the surface is this due to the CYA that i'm still dissolving?

    Seem to be making progress otherwise, maintaining an FC of 12 to 14 only using about 2 of the 182 oz jugs of bleach a day dosing about every 4 to 6 hours.
    [attachment=2:f64e9jbz]IMAGE_100.jpg[/attachment:f64e9jbz]
    [attachment=1:f64e9jbz]IMAGE_101.jpg[/attachment:f64e9jbz]
    [attachment=0:f64e9jbz]IMAGE_102.jpg[/attachment:f64e9jbz]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Vinyl IG, 19k gal, Intelliflo Variable Speed, Hayward S244T Sand Filter

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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    No, the foam has nothing to do with CYA. The only pool chemicals that normally causes foam are some of the less expensive "linear quat" algaecides (which we don't recommend ever using).

    Your foam probably comes from some organic residue of some kind that is breaking down especially slowly. It should go away by the time you are done shocking.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    I think im having an issue with the lid oring in the whiserflo pump and it may be causing the foaming. Anyone know how to correlate a pentair part number to an actual oring size it looks from the owners manual to be p/n 350013 but im having a hard time finding the actual oring size online.
    Vinyl IG, 19k gal, Intelliflo Variable Speed, Hayward S244T Sand Filter

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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    Foaming is getting much more substantial:

    [attachment=2:1xricpqp]IMG_0350.JPG[/attachment:1xricpqp]
    Foaming


    [attachment=1:1xricpqp]IMG_0351.JPG[/attachment:1xricpqp]
    Pump / Filter Setup

    [attachment=0:1xricpqp]IMG_0352.JPG[/attachment:1xricpqp]
    Seems to me, maybe im way off on this, but am I losing enough of prime to cause air entry into the system? Or do you guys suspect this foam is still due to organics etc.
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    Vinyl IG, 19k gal, Intelliflo Variable Speed, Hayward S244T Sand Filter

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: New To Pools / Start Up Questions

    An air leak may be causing the foaming just like when you blow bubbles in soapy water. At any rate, I've never seen foaming like that - is it thicker closer to the returns?

    What is your current pH?

    Check the filter o-ring for cracks and such as well.
    45,180 gallon 26' x 53' IG Vinyl, irregular shape. Hayward sand filter / pump. Polaris AutoClear SWG, supplemented with a Hayward Automatic Chlorinator (In-Line). Hayward 400K BTU heater. Paramount "turnover" system. Polaris 480 PRO cleaner.

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