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Thread: Elk's 20 questions!

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Elk's 20 questions!

    I am pretty new to this forum, and loving it! I am so very thankful I discovered it very early in my pool ownership process (I bought my house last year, the pool hadn't been used in a few years, and I just opened it and started maintaining it last month.) I have everything to the point where I'm comfortable swimming in it, but even after extensive reading, I still have some things I'm confused/concerned about. I wanted to compile a list of questions that I have. Please, no one feel obligated to answer all of the questions...I have a ton of them! Just take a few you can answer easily! I hope it's okay to include them all in one post...I didn't want to create a ton of separate threads Thank you all SO much, in advance, for any help you can provide.

    First, my current stats, with explanations when helpful:

    Chlorine: 6.0
    Combined Chlorine: pretty much negligible
    pH: 7.0 (maddening! "ph Down", boxes of Borax, and I still always get the joyful pee yellow of a 7.0 reading)
    Alkalinity: 110 (I've gotten it down from 180 or so via muriatic acid. It's tough trying to handle two things that counter one another...)
    Calcium Hardness: ~200 (was virtually zero when I opened the pool, I gradually dumped in a whole 50 pound bag of calcium flakes and I think I'm set now)
    CYA: 100? (I'll comment more on this later, but I was shooting for 60)

    My pool is the first picture. The water is cloudy there, but it's been clearing up perfectly after brushing, it just takes a while.

    Here come the questions and issues!

    1. pH has been the single most frustrating thing. EVERY time I test for pH, I have received the wonderful pee yellow of a 7.0 reading! Neither "pH Up" nor Borax has had any noticeable effect as best I can tell. And I've dumped in a lot of each.

    2. Alkalinity has been consistently high. I've dumped a lot of chemicals in the pool already, and there are still leaves and dirt in the bottom of the deep end, so this may be understandable. But three whole bottles of muriatic acid later, my alkalinity is still at about 110 (down from maybe 180), and I have a sinking feeling it'll be higher tomorrow. What is the best way I can handle the double whammy of low pH and high alkalinity?

    3. I have chemical stains (from chlorine, muriatic acid, etc.) on the concrete around my pool. Some are my fault, many are not. Is there a good way to get rid of them, or do they just come with the territory? An example picture is attached (504...why are the pictures posting in reverse order )

    4. The back part of my ladder looks like it had some THINGIES on it where it goes into the concrete. When my pool was opened, these thingies were not installed, and I do not know if I even have them. I would like to know whether these thingies actually exist, and if so what are they really called and how do I get two more.

    5. My filter/skimmer: This is one of my main issues. (Only three attachments are allowed? Oh no!) I have no idea what type this is, how I can check how well it's working, and how I can maintain it. How do I figure out what type it is? Where does the "earth" go, if applicable?

    6. Is there a section/topic on what to actually do with your pool? Like how to organize a great party, or what games to play? (I have no children, and while I'm not asking about anything "adult", I'm also looking for something other than Marco Polo lol)

    7. What is the shelf life of BBB chemicals? Can I start stocking up on bleach for next season?

    8. Is there any kind of "break-in" needed for BBB? Can I just start using Clorox and Borax right now, or do I need to wait until a certain point? (I've used nothing but pool chlorine to this point, but I've already tried Borax in hope of keeping my alkalinity down.)

    9. How big do you think my pool is? The shallow end is three feet, but it dips down to eight feet FAST just after the point where my ladder is. My guess is 30,000 gallons, is that too high?

    10. For BBB, about how much bleach do you think I'd be adding each day?

    11. Can I still use my skimmer with chlorine pills (they were left here from the previous owner, and still seem to work well!

    12. What if i used scented bleach for chlorine? Would that make my pool smell nice? How long would it take for the smell to wear off?

    13. I have two thermometers: one is a polar bear drinking some kind of yellowish beverage, and one is a rubber ducky. They often don't match. Which reading should I believe? Why?

    14. The BBB method recommends I test every day. I can get kind of lazy. What if I tested every other day? What are the worst case scenarios that could happen?

    15. How long is too long with the same water? My water's probably been in the pool for years and years. How do I know when it's time to change? When it is time, how exactly do I do it?

    16. Robot cleaners...how do they work? is there a good video I can watch? I mean, I'm having a tough time imagining one of those little robots holding tight to the walls of my pool! Are they worth the investment?

    17. How LOUD is swimming? If you're just diving into your pool by yourself, when is the latest time you should do it?

    18. HOW MUCH clarifier is counterproductive? If you add a little at a time, do you have anything to worry about? (note: the cloudiness in this picture of my pool has nothing to do with clarifier, it cleared up) If you were to use too much clarifier, how could it be fixed?

    19. My vaccuum just floats out of the tube thingie, making it impossible to vacuum by myself. Not having the ability to add any more pictures, I'll leave this until another time.

    20. My water is clear now, but I see a ton of dirt and leaves at the bottom of the deep end, if I brush it all (my vacuum doesn't work!), how long would you expect it to take until my water is clear again? I do know from experience that the water becomes mega cloudy right after I start brushing.

    Thank you all SO much for listening, and perhaps replying!

    I already have my pool to the point where I can swim in it (and so far my face hasn't melted off!), I'm just trying to learn all I can about this stuff, and perhaps one day I'll be able to help others
    Attached Images Attached Images
    32 x 16 20,000 gallon inground vinyl. Pool Genie filter. BBB seems to be working well so far despite high CYA. Aquabot Turbo T which I adore.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    Let me see if I can address #1 and #2.

    I think that TA is perhaps the most over estimated element of your water chemistry.

    There are only a few occasions when you need to explicitly adjust the TA in your water:

    1) If your TA is really low... like under 50. The problems are not going to be huge. But, it's easy to fix. Throw some baking soda in and be done with it. Big deal.

    Well that's pretty much it.

    If your TA is too high... yea it can cause some problems: Your pH can drift significantly upwards. If you have a high CH, and high TA and high pH, you can get a high CSI which can cause clouding and scaling.

    But, the solution there isn't to "try" to lower your TA. Just target a lower pH. The lower pH will give you a greater acid demand which will.... lower your TA. In addition, the lower pH will lower your CSI and protect you from scaling and clouding while the TA is lowered with acid as you try to maintain the lower pH.

    As to your specific pH/TA issues... my first question is: What are you testing with. If your test kit only goes down to 7.0, you probably started significantly lower then 7.0. Especially if you added 3 gallons of full strength MA.

    Keep adding borax until you are at 7.5ish. If you find that you are adding a lot of acid frequently, and it annoys you, drop your pH down to 7.2 for a little while... Then let it drift back up and see if it holds a little better. Don't worry about chasing a specific number for TA.

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    How much Borax do you think I'd have to add?

    Because I've dumped in a ton of "pH Up" and Borax, and still get a 7.0 reading! Every time!
    32 x 16 20,000 gallon inground vinyl. Pool Genie filter. BBB seems to be working well so far despite high CYA. Aquabot Turbo T which I adore.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    I am going to watch this thread closely.

    I thought the only way to lower TA was through aeration and that Muriatic Acid was used to lower pH (which would kind of make sense that you are having pH issues because the pH plus would be raising it and the MA would be lowering it back down). I guess have it completely backwards.

    Any of the regular experts out there care to set us straight?
    Matt
    20,000 gallon, sand filter, IG vinyl

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    Are you using the TF-100 test kit?
    Are you using Pool Calculator to figure out how much to add?

    1. pH has been the single most frustrating thing. EVERY time I test for pH, I have received the wonderful pee yellow of a 7.0 reading! Neither "pH Up" nor Borax has had any noticeable effect as best I can tell. And I've dumped in a lot of each.
    What do you consider a lot? According to Pool Calc you need to add 3 boxes of borax to raise the pH from 7 to 7.5 in a 30,000 gallon pool.

    2. Alkalinity has been consistently high. I've dumped a lot of chemicals in the pool already, and there are still leaves and dirt in the bottom of the deep end, so this may be understandable. But three whole bottles of muriatic acid later, my alkalinity is still at about 110 (down from maybe 180), and I have a sinking feeling it'll be higher tomorrow. What is the best way I can handle the double whammy of low pH and high alkalinity?
    Adding 3 gallons of muratic acid will lower your TA by 50 so your numbers sound right. Aeration raises pH without raising Alkalinity. pH-up, borax, etc raise pH AND TA. Aeration is your best bet.

    3. I have chemical stains (from chlorine, muriatic acid, etc.) on the concrete around my pool. Some are my fault, many are not. Is there a good way to get rid of them, or do they just come with the territory? An example picture is attached
    You could try pressure washing it but I think you're going to have to live with it.

    4. The back part of my ladder looks like it had some THINGIES on it where it goes into the concrete. When my pool was opened, these thingies were not installed, and I do not know if I even have them. I would like to know whether these thingies actually exist, and if so what are they really called and how do I get two more.
    No clue from me. I've seen them both ways.

    5. My filter/skimmer: This is one of my main issues. I have no idea what type this is, how I can check how well it's working, and how I can maintain it. How do I figure out what type it is? Where does the "earth" go, if applicable?
    A better picture using flash is required to tell what you have. Then we can give more info.

    6. Is there a section/topic on what to actually do with your pool? Like how to organize a great party, or what games to play? (I have no children, and while I'm not asking about anything "adult", I'm also looking for something other than Marco Polo lol)

    7. What is the shelf life of BBB chemicals? Can I start stocking up on bleach for next season?
    Bleach is the most short lived chem we use. No, I don't recommend keeping more than a few weeks worth. Everything else will make it a year if stored properly.

    8. Is there any kind of "break-in" needed for BBB? Can I just start using Clorox and Borax right now, or do I need to wait until a certain point?
    No break-in needed. Start using it immediately.

    9. How big do you think my pool is? The shallow end is three feet, but it dips down to eight feet FAST just after the point where my ladder is. My guess is 30,000 gallons, is that too high?
    We need a lot more info than depth. Width and Heigth at a minimum.

    10. For BBB, about how much bleach do you think I'd be adding each day?
    It's different for every pool but providing you lose a normal amount (about 3ppm per day) you'll be adding 1 large jug a day.

    11. Can I still use my skimmer with chlorine pills?
    Using Trichlor pucks will raise your CYA over time and will most likely cuse you problems. Only use pucks in the skimmer if your pump runs 24 hours a day.

    12. What if i used scented bleach for chlorine? Would that make my pool smell nice? How long would it take for the smell to wear off?
    Don't use scented bleach. It has additives that we don't know what are and could possibly cause harm. It's not worth the risk.

    13. I have two thermometers: one is a polar bear drinking some kind of yellowish beverage, and one is a rubber ducky. They often don't match. Which reading should I believe? Why?
    Unless one is obviously wrong, pick one and throw the other one away. You're like a man with two watches, You never know what temp it is.

    14. The BBB method recommends I test every day. I can get kind of lazy. What if I tested every other day? What are the worst case scenarios that could happen?
    You really need to test every day in the beginning at least. After you learn the personality of your pool you can possibly got 2 days. The worse scenario is that it's not sanitary and someone contracts a disease.

    15. How long is too long with the same water? My water's probably been in the pool for years and years. How do I know when it's time to change? When it is time, how exactly do I do it?
    Water doesn't have an expiration date when properly maintained.

    16. Robot cleaners...how do they work? is there a good video I can watch? I mean, I'm having a tough time imagining one of those little robots holding tight to the walls of my pool! Are they worth the investment?

    17. How LOUD is swimming? If you're just diving into your pool by yourself, when is the latest time you should do it?
    depends on where you live and how loud you tend to be. I could be in the pool 24 hours a day and not bother anyone.

    18. HOW MUCH clarifier is counterproductive? If you add a little at a time, do you have anything to worry about? (note: the cloudiness in this picture of my pool has nothing to do with clarifier, it cleared up) If you were to use too much clarifier, how could it be fixed?
    Any is too much IMO. If you use too much it'll take a while ofr it to clear. Properly maintained pools very rarely, if ever, need clarifier.

    19. My vaccuum just floats out of the tube thingie, making it impossible to vacuum by myself. Not having the ability to add any more pictures, I'll leave this until another time.
    Post some pics when you get a chance and we can help. It should not just float out.

    20. My water is clear now, but I see a ton of dirt and leaves at the bottom of the deep end, if I brush it all (my vacuum doesn't work!), how long would you expect it to take until my water is clear again? I do know from experience that the water becomes mega cloudy right after I start brushing.
    A very long time just brushing. You need to get the vac working.

    You also need to drain about half of your water because of the CYA. You could also have it ran through a Reverse Osmosis process if that's available in your area.
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6
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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    3. I have chemical stains (from chlorine, muriatic acid, etc.) on the concrete around my pool. Some are my fault, many are not. Is there a good way to get rid of them, or do they just come with the territory? An example picture is attached

    Definitely try pressure washing. I just did my concrete apron (which I'm sure hadn't been done for many years, if ever in the pool's 22-year life) and I was amazed, it looks brand new (and I know this because I just had my skimmers replace, with new concrete around them - and you can't tell the old from the new).

    4. The back part of my ladder looks like it had some THINGIES on it where it goes into the concrete. When my pool was opened, these thingies were not installed, and I do not know if I even have them. I would like to know whether these thingies actually exist, and if so what are they really called and how do I get two more.

    Not sure if this is what you mean but they are called escutcheons and you can order them in pairs. Google "escutcheon pool ladder" and you'll find vendors.

    16. Robot cleaners...how do they work? is there a good video I can watch? I mean, I'm having a tough time imagining one of those little robots holding tight to the walls of my pool! Are they worth the investment?

    I have the Polaris 360 and it works well. This is our first season with it. It does have its moments, so I have to keep an eye on it - and the little filter insert (inside the hose connector) can get clogged up pretty quickly (especially for me right now as I am waiting on new filter cartridges, a lot of debris is getting pumped back into the lines and gets in this little insert). There is a "thrust jet adjustment" on the back that you can manipulate based on how high (and what direction, i.e. left or right) you want the cleaner to climb. At its highest mine can go almost to the top of the water. You can read more about how low pressure cleaners work here: http://www.poolcenter.com/polaris_360.htm. Which cleaner you get depends on whether you have a dedicated line, if you have enough pressure, etc.

    Here's a quick video of a Polaris 280 at work:

    [youtube:sh6v4mki]CWoXUy-nDPw[/youtube:sh6v4mki]
    18x36 IG Vinyl, 8.5 deep, 28K, Hayward C4025 SwimClear Filter, Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1HP

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    1. pH has been the single most frustrating thing. EVERY time I test for pH, I have received the wonderful pee yellow of a 7.0 reading! Neither "pH Up" nor Borax has had any noticeable effect as best I can tell. And I've dumped in a lot of each.
    What do you consider a lot? According to Pool Calc you need to add 3 boxes of borax to raise the pH from 7 to 7.5 in a 30,000 gallon pool.

    2. Alkalinity has been consistently high. I've dumped a lot of chemicals in the pool already, and there are still leaves and dirt in the bottom of the deep end, so this may be understandable. But three whole bottles of muriatic acid later, my alkalinity is still at about 110 (down from maybe 180), and I have a sinking feeling it'll be higher tomorrow. What is the best way I can handle the double whammy of low pH and high alkalinity?
    Adding 3 gallons of muratic acid will lower your TA by 50 so your numbers sound right. Aeration raises pH without raising Alkalinity. pH-up, borax, etc raise pH AND TA. Aeration is your best bet.
    Hear, hear. If you want to lower TA, you need to add acid and then wait for pH to come back up without adding any pH-increasing chemical. Otherwise you end up going in circles.

    But--do you really need to lower TA any further? 110 is on the high side but not outrageous. If you stop messing with the chemicals, what happens to the pH?
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by beaumatt
    I am going to watch this thread closely.

    I thought the only way to lower TA was through aeration and that Muriatic Acid was used to lower pH (which would kind of make sense that you are having pH issues because the pH plus would be raising it and the MA would be lowering it back down). I guess have it completely backwards.
    This is backwards.

    The only way to lower TA is with the addition of acid.

    Aeration raises pH, without adding any chemicals which would also raise your TA again.

    So, if you want to explicitly lower your TA, you add acid, which reduces your TA and pH, then raise your pH back up again with aeration.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    Have you read How to Lower TA?
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    Where those gallon sized bottles of muratic acid? If so, you probably lowered the pH well below what your test kit can show you and you probably should bring it back up to normal ranges ASAP.

    The Pool School link at the top, right side of the page will take you a number of articles that will help you care for your pool.

    Two of those are the Pool Calculator: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ool_calculator
    and the Test Kits Compared (if you don't already have a drop based kit): http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...kit_comparison
    27K gal, IG vinyl, 1.5 HP pump, 24" sand filter, Goldline Aqua Plus SWG

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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    Thank you everyone for your replies!

    I'm going to start taking things one at a time. This weekend, I'll film and post a short video showing my difficulties with the vaccuum.
    32 x 16 20,000 gallon inground vinyl. Pool Genie filter. BBB seems to be working well so far despite high CYA. Aquabot Turbo T which I adore.

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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    OK, here is a video showing my confusion at setting up the vacuum.

    I'm sure I am missing something simple...but I just can't figure out how I'm feeling water shooting into the pool, yet don't feel any water sucked out anywhere.

    Thanks in advance!



    Hmm, the youtube tags don't seem to work...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPBpUmkvdLA
    32 x 16 20,000 gallon inground vinyl. Pool Genie filter. BBB seems to be working well so far despite high CYA. Aquabot Turbo T which I adore.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    OK, I watched the video and here's how it should work. The flow you feel coming out of the front of the skimmer is a discharge from the pump. The round port below the skimmer is indeed the vacuum port. The skimmer should be sucking water in through the throat and that's where yoru pump is getting at least part of it's water. There may be some coming from the main drain too. There is a valve somewhere that opens it to the pump. There is also another valve to restrict the flow from the skimmer and maybe the main drain. One of those could be a three way valve.

    Videos are not the best way for me to see things so if you could post pics of your equipment pad we can probably guide you in how to set the valves.
    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: Elk's 20 questions!

    Regarding TA, I think some of the confusion arises from what the TA lowering procedure actually does. It simply accelerates a process that would likely occur anyway over a longer period of time. The total cumulative amount of acid to get to a lower TA is the same in both situations -- the TA lowering process which uses a lower pH with aeration as well as adding acid simply speeds up the process of getting the TA lowered. It's a pay-me-now vs. pay-me-later situation -- you end up paying with the same amount of acid either way.

    Some people prefer to get the TA lower so that they aren't as frequently having to add acid to have the pH not get too high while others lower it because of the risk of scaling if their CH is also high. If the TA isn't very high and the pH isn't rising too quickly, then one can just add acid over time as needed to keep the pH in proper range and eventually the TA will drop over time, assuming the fill water isn't high in TA and there is a lot of evaporation/refill.
    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
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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    My lovely three-day weekend begins now, and I can get back to all of this. I'll take some pictures of the pool equipment, and hopefully we can figure out how to get my vacuum going. After that, I'll get back to all the other issues in this thread. Thanks again to everyone who's contributed so far.

    For now, let me post my test results...what do you think?
    I'm hoping to handle this with a combination of BBB and pool chemicals, without draining at all, at least not this year.

    FC: 10.2
    CC: negligible
    pH: 7.2ish, just added half a box of Borax and we'll see what happens
    TA: 140
    CH: 240
    CYA: somewhere between 80 and 110. Let's say 80, that will make me feel better.
    Leaves in bottom of pool: lots
    Water other than that: crystal clear

    I have some algaecide and water clarifier...I know they're not needed when one has BBB running to perfection, but given my high CYA, is there any down side to throwing in a few ounces of each each week?
    32 x 16 20,000 gallon inground vinyl. Pool Genie filter. BBB seems to be working well so far despite high CYA. Aquabot Turbo T which I adore.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    I suggest that you address the leaves in the pool right away. Do you have a Leaf Rake? It is an oval shaped net that is flat along one rim, probably with a hard edge. You drag the hard edge along the bottom of the pool, catching leaves in the net. Scoop all that debris out of the pool. It is just eating up your chlorine. Probably adding to cloudiness as well.

    Pass on the other additions like algaecide and clarifier. Water is clear and not green, save the $, those things will keep.

    As for CYA, let's say 110 as that will overshoot your FC need rather than undershoot. So, from the CYA chart, your shock level is FC 39 at CYA 100, so maybe FC 43 at CYA 110. Are you sure you want to NOT drain water to reduce that CYA? A 40% drain and refill will get your CYA to between 48 and 66 based on it starting at 80-110.

    Now, before you go adding even more chemicals to the pool.... what sort of test kit are you using? Are you at the limits of the tests valid ranges?

    Also very important.... we really do need to get a good estimate of the pool volume before you go dumping any more stuff in the pool. Please give us all measurements you can, length, width, depth and where it changes, so that volume can be estimated.
    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.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    To reiterate the others:
    Stop tinkering with acid/borax because you are indeed going in circles. If you really want to lower TA, you must AERATE, but at 7.2 and 140 you are safe for now.

    Now for the questions nobody answered:

    6. Is there a section/topic on what to actually do with your pool? Like how to organize a great party, or what games to play? (I have no children, and while I'm not asking about anything "adult", I'm also looking for something other than Marco Polo lol)
    Ping pong ball races....Paint them like easter eggs and see which one gets to the skimmer first.

    13. I have two thermometers: one is a polar bear drinking some kind of yellowish beverage, and one is a rubber ducky. They often don't match. Which reading should I believe? Why?
    The bear has been sucking down the OTO drops. He is drunk. Throw him in the deep end. Trust the duck...after all, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...its a duck. Reliable , those ducks.

    17. How LOUD is swimming? If you're just diving into your pool by yourself, when is the latest time you should do it?
    You need to have a buddy...otherwise you could hit your head and drown. Invite the neighbors over then they won't complain.

    18. HOW MUCH clarifier is counterproductive? If you add a little at a time, do you have anything to worry about? (note: the cloudiness in this picture of my pool has nothing to do with clarifier, it cleared up) If you were to use too much clarifier, how could it be fixed?
    That's kinda like the first time I wore contacts....I said "Suddenly everything looks much clearer than it actually is..." That means you added too much.

    19. My vaccuum just floats out of the tube thingie, making it impossible to vacuum by myself. Not having the ability to add any more pictures, I'll leave this until another time.
    The video was entertaining. Love the MD accent. The skimmer is supposed to suck. Hopefully someone can help you with that. In the meantime, no pong pong ball races for you, they'll just wander around aimlessly.
    33' above ground pool, 52" deep, about 27500 g
    sand filter w/zeobrite

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Elkridge, MD
    Posts
    104

    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    So...I saw this at Wal-Mart, so I bought it and figured I'd try and use it with a garden hose:

    http://www.amazon.com/Poolmaster-28008- ... B0007PZN7S

    It worked to some extent...I pulled out two bags of dirt...but it also made the water really cloudy, really quickly.

    So, I took the opportunity to take apart my filter for the first time. Turns out it's a cartridge filter, and it was filled with slimy grey stuff. I hosed everything off, put it all back together, and the filter seems even more "powerful" now. Looking down at the pool from the window, it's very noticeable how the water is shooting out from under the filter and causing rippling waves in the pool. But there is still no suction whatsoever from the apparent vacuum hole. It's really quite confusing.

    How often do you think I will want to clean the filter?

    I can't find any sort of valves or anything that look like they would turn a vacuum on...

    There are a lot of other issues I need to get to, but I really want to solve this vacuum problem first.

    A few quick answers...I use the Leslie's/Taylor K-2006 test kit. And my pool is 32 x 16 and gets deep (8 feet) pretty quickly. I'd say it's between 20,000 and 25,000 gallons.

    As always, thank you all so much...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    32 x 16 20,000 gallon inground vinyl. Pool Genie filter. BBB seems to be working well so far despite high CYA. Aquabot Turbo T which I adore.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    That filter looks like mine. There should be a pressure gauge on top. Take note of the pressure after you cleaned it, when it gets 7 psi over that you need to clean it again. Add that to the list of stuff you do every week, check the filter pressure. Usually it rises slowly, except in pollen season it may climb quickly. Also, if I had to shock, on the verge of algae, it may climb quickly as it is clearing dead algae from the pool.

    A hint the pool inspector told me, when you are replacing that clamp around the center, first clean the o-ring really well and lube with silicone lube from pool store (I use disposable gloves to do this), then as you reassemble it, tap lightly with a rubber mallet along the band as you are tightening it to help it settle in. When the band closes completely and still drips, you need a new o-ring.

    Re greekgranny's post... that filter may also be a Pentair Clean and Clear Plus and that would not use any DE or other media, it works just fine with clean cartridges. My carts are just too big to find any way to soak them at all. I have used a spray filter cleaner but now cannot find more of that brand, most I find are soaking types and I'd need a 60 gallon garbage can to hold these fellows.

    To spray it off, use that small brass nozzle that you will find a photo of here on the forum somewhere. Very cheap and just the right thing.
    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.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    1,358

    Re: Elk's 20 questions!

    Edit anonapersona, sorry I deleted that post as soon as I realized the filter was a C/C Plus.


    This looks to be a Pentair Clean and Clear Plus Cartridge filter. There should be a pressure valve on the top. When the pump is off the pressure gauge should read 0. The pressure gauge give you a good idea when you need to clean the cartridges. I'm not all that familiar with the cartridge filter "norms" for starting clean filter and when to clean, due to psi rise, but others will let you know.

    The pressure will rise pretty fast when you are clearing or cleaning up a pool and could require very frequent cartridge cleanings. There is a change that your cartridges need a good soaking in dishwasher detergent.

    Is there any kind of valve near where the pipes go in and out of the filter. If so what does it look like. If there is a valve there could be an issue with the way it is set or even the valve. One thing for sure is, you DO NOT want to backwash a cartridge filter!!!!!!

    Getting back to your video and questions. The square thing in your pool is the skimmer. This is where the pump draws water from the pool. The water should be entering the skimmer from the pool. Water should be flowing into the skimmer. This is called the suction side as the pump is sucking water from the pool.

    If it is not them the pumping station could very likely be plumbed wrong.

    Do you have a bottom drain?

    Are there any other "holes" or pipes in the pool anywhere other than the one below the skimmer? If not, then the hole below the skimmer may be a "return". A return is where the pump sends the water back into the pool after it has gone through the filter. If it is a return then water should be flowing into the pool.

    These things need to be sorted out. There could be issues with your pluming anywhere from at the pool all the way to and from the pumping station.

    Good, well lighted pictures of all the pipes and valves, at the pumping station, will certainly help.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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