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Thread: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

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    New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    There are two parts to my first post. It’s very long and might contain some trivial questions.

    First, I wanted to rant about my soon to be ex-pool man. Second part is my questions on what I have so far.

    I’ve been a pool owner for a year now (bought a house with a pool). Initially, there were many other things to do around the house (like putting up a safety fence around the pool) and I wanted to hire someone to take care of the pool. I signed up for one-year chemical only contract ($89 per month for once a week service; I know I should have shopped around but oh well). Now, the contract period is over and I am ready to fire my pool man.

    I signed up mainly for someone to keep an eye on the pool so I don’t have to but the pool man didn’t really care. For example, during the summer I had noticed a lot of dead bugs on the floor. This was puzzling to me as I see Polaris 280 sweeping every day. About three weeks later, the problem was so bad that it was time to ask the pool man. Until this time, I was under the assumption that he was keeping an eye on everything about my pool and he will let me know if there was any problem. It turns out that a small piece of plastic broke off from the bottom of my Polaris 280 making it float rather than vacuum the floor. All during that time, my pool man visited faithfully once a week but didn’t see any problem with my pool. And that wasn’t the only time it happened. Just last month, the pressure line hose for Polaris 280 kept on coming off the pool wall. I tried to put back in a couple of times but it would come off again. Anyway, I wanted to find out if my pool man would care enough to notice. For next three weeks, pressure line was off floating in the pool. My pool man didn’t say a thing. The dead bugs accumulated to a point where anybody with eyes could suspect a problem. He replaced the wall fitting and fixed it but not till I told him that Polaris line had been off for at least 3 weeks. I had it with this guy.

    I’ve been searching the internet for DIY pool maintenance guide and I found your website. Thank you so much everyone for sharing your knowledge. You site makes me feel more confident that I can be my own pool man.

    My questions are related to what I equipments I have now. I did order a test kit so I’ll read further on water testing and post question about testing later.

    1. I have leaf rake, pole and nylon brush that’s it. What else would you recommend?

    2. What kind of surface do I have? I want to say concrete but that might expose my ignorance.


    3. Here is a close-up of hairline cracks I see on my on the steps above. Should I be concern?


    4. How do you know your flow rate? I have the followings:
    a. Main Pump: Emerson K63CXEPZ-4767 (3450rpm) 1.5 HP
    b. Booster Pump: PB4-60 (3450rpm) 0.75 HP
    c. Hayward Cartridge Filter (pressure says it’s ~14psi)

    I read that you can estimate flow by rpm / 100 *3 so my main pump has about 100 gal per min? I am assuming my pump is not a variable speed one and when I turn it on it will run at 3450prm. How do you find out what speed your pump is running at?



    Note that there are leaks on the pipe fittings. There is a question on this later.

    5. I don’t believe this filter was changed with in last year. It’s at 14psi right now. How do I know when to change the filter in my case? I don't know what the pressure might be if a brand new filter is in place. I read that I need to change filter when pressure drops to a certain point. Anyone famililar with this one. How do you go about finding out which filter goes with what? I don't see any model number on this unit.



    6. At the end of vertical pipe that comes off the pump, there is a garden hose faucet. What is this used for?



    7. There are some leaks from the fitting. Water seem to be sipping out from the yellow bonding material between black and white pipes. How do I fix this? I don't think I should be cutting anything as I'll have less and less to work with. How do I soften the bonding material to loosen the pipes and re-bond them?



    8. Is it typical to have two separate routes for main pump and booster pump? Are they linked in a parallel or serial connection?

    I see the followings in my pool:
    Automatic water level and a hole - water is added automatically by a self-adjusting value


    One of three return line


    Another line used for Polaris 280. I guess this is connected to my booster pump. Is this connected the line feeding the main pump and filter?


    9. Is this okay? That tree seem too big to be so closed to the pool. Anything I can do to eliminate problems later?


    10. I don't know what this hole is for? It's next to the skimmer but I don't think they are connected.



    11. How do I clean this buildup on the rock at the water line? What is that? There is a blue tint to this buildup.



    12. How do I clean soap scum like the white stuff between tiles?



    13. Anyone with a solar pool heater? How much did you spend on it? I have a huge roof directly facing the South. I like to know how much solar pool heater costs and how much did it extend your swimming season? Pictures of south facing roof with no shades all summer. You see a little bit of shade from the trees. In mid-march, the sun will be at this height 9am and going up higher.




    Thanks everyone.
    22000G Oblong shape IG pool
    Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Gray Plaster
    Emerson Threaded Energy Efficient Full-Rate 1.5HP
    Booster pump: Polaris PB4-60

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    Quote Originally Posted by venticoffee
    Hi! Welcome to TFP! I think I can answer a couple of questions for you. I thought it would be easier to answer within your post so I will answer using this color font.

    1. I have leaf rake, pole and nylon brush that’s it. What else would you recommend?
    If you get a lot of leaf debris then you may want to get a manual vacuum and a leaf canister for backup if your Polaris ever needs repairs again.

    2. What kind of surface do I have? I want to say concrete but that might expose my ignorance.


    3. Here is a close-up of hairline cracks I see on my on the steps above. Should I be concern?


    4. How do you know your flow rate? I have the followings:
    a. Main Pump: Emerson K63CXEPZ-4767 (3450rpm) 1.5 HP
    b. Booster Pump: PB4-60 (3450rpm) 0.75 HP
    c. Hayward Cartridge Filter (pressure says it’s ~14psi)

    I read that you can estimate flow by rpm / 100 *3 so my main pump has about 100 gal per min? I am assuming my pump is not a variable speed one and when I turn it on it will run at 3450prm. How do you find out what speed your pump is running at?



    Note that there are leaks on the pipe fittings. There is a question on this later.

    5. I don’t believe this filter was changed with in last year. It’s at 14psi right now. How do I know when to change the filter in my case? I don't know what the pressure might be if a brand new filter is in place. I read that I need to change filter when pressure drops to a certain point. Anyone famililar with this one. How do you go about finding out which filter goes with what? I don't see any model number on this unit.
    Your pool guy may have cleaned the filter recently. What you watch for is an 8-10 point rise in pressure then you remove the cartridge and clean it with a hose. There are more detailed instructions for cartridge cleaning in Pool School. As long as there are no tears in the fabric and the bands are intact you shouldn't need to replace it. If there is any lable on the filter take a close up picture and post it. Otherwise one of the professional pool guys could probably identify it for you.



    6. At the end of vertical pipe that comes off the pump, there is a garden hose faucet. What is this used for?
    It looks like it was intended as a drain line, but that is an unusual location to place it. I would get the opinion of one of the pool professionals here to see if that is an acceptable location for the drain line.


    7. There are some leaks from the fitting. Water seem to be sipping out from the yellow bonding material between black and white pipes. How do I fix this? I don't think I should be cutting anything as I'll have less and less to work with. How do I soften the bonding material to loosen the pipes and re-bond them?
    The yellowish material looks like pipe dope. Is it rock hard or crumbly? You should be able to unscrew the white fitting with a wrench and a little muscle. Check the ends of the pump fitting and the white pipe and make sure there are not any cracks that would cause leaks. You have to be careful not to over tighten the fittings when working with screw in connections.



    8. Is it typical to have two separate routes for main pump and booster pump? Are they linked in a parallel or serial connection?

    I see the followings in my pool:
    Automatic water level and a hole - water is added automatically by a self-adjusting value


    One of three return line


    Another line used for Polaris 280. I guess this is connected to my booster pump. Is this connected the line feeding the main pump and filter?


    9. Is this okay? That tree seem too big to be so closed to the pool. Anything I can do to eliminate problems later?

    [color=#800000]If you are uncomfortable with the tree you can always have[it removed. I don't know how invasive the root system is, but others can chime in with their opinions./color]

    10. I don't know what this hole is for? It's next to the skimmer but I don't think they are connected.



    11. How do I clean this buildup on the rock at the water line? What is that? There is a blue tint to this buildup.
    Can't really say what it is without more information, but you can try rubbing it with a magic eraser and see if it comes off.



    12. How do I clean soap scum like the white stuff between tiles?
    You can try a magic eraser here as well.



    13. Anyone with a solar pool heater? How much did you spend on it? I have a huge roof directly facing the South. I like to know how much solar pool heater costs and how much did it extend your swimming season? Pictures of south facing roof with no shades all summer. You see a little bit of shade from the trees. In mid-march, the sun will be at this height 9am and going up higher.




    Thanks everyone.
    Ordering a quality test kit such as a Taylor K2006 or a TF 100 will help you gain control of your pool and correct any water quality issues you may have. I hope this helps! Some of the others will come around in the next day or so and answer more of your questions.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3
    What you watch for is an 8-10 point rise in pressure then you remove the cartridge and clean it with a hose. There are more detailed instructions for cartridge cleaning in Pool School. As long as there are no tears in the fabric and the bands are intact you shouldn't need to replace it. If there is any lable on the filter take a close up picture and post it. Otherwise one of the professional pool guys could probably identify it for you.
    After I posted, I read more and realized that the pressure would rise.
    Also, I read about the cartridge cleaning. When I started to use the pool man, he mentioned that filter needs to be replaced but it's been one year since. He didn't mentioned a thing about changing. Maybe he cleaned it.

    I'll clean it when it warms up a bit. I'll post more pictures when I do that.

    Thank you.
    22000G Oblong shape IG pool
    Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Gray Plaster
    Emerson Threaded Energy Efficient Full-Rate 1.5HP
    Booster pump: Polaris PB4-60

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    welcome to TFP! Lets see if I can add a few things to what Zea said.
    Quote Originally Posted by venticoffee
    I’ve been searching the internet for DIY pool maintenance guide and I found your website. Thank you so much everyone for sharing your knowledge. You site makes me feel more confident that I can be my own pool man.
    By reading and learning here being your own pool man is easy.

    My questions are related to what I equipments I have now. I did order a test kit so I’ll read further on water testing and post question about testing later.
    You did the right thing there. Which kit did you order?

    1. I have leaf rake, pole and nylon brush that’s it. What else would you recommend?
    I'd go with a manual vacuum just in case you need it. They're cheap and nice to have around.

    2. What kind of surface do I have? I want to say concrete but that might expose my ignorance.
    Looks like plaster to me but I'll let the other experts chime in here.

    3. Here is a close-up of hairline cracks I see on my on the steps above. Should I be concerned?

    4. How do you know your flow rate? I have the followings:
    a. Main Pump: Emerson K63CXEPZ-4767 (3450rpm) 1.5 HP Your pump isn't and Emerson that's just the motor mfg.
    b. Booster Pump: PB4-60 (3450rpm) 0.75 HP That's a Polaris booster pump.
    c. Hayward Cartridge Filter (pressure says it’s ~14psi) It'd be nice if you could get the model of the filter

    I read that you can estimate flow by rpm / 100 *3 so my main pump has about 100 gal per min? I am assuming my pump is not a variable speed one and when I turn it on it will run at 3450prm. How do you find out what speed your pump is running at?
    I doubt it's putting out 100 GPM. Mark (mas984) is good at figuring flows if you can give him some info.

    5. I don’t believe this filter was changed with in last year. It’s at 14psi right now. How do I know when to change the filter in my case? I don't know what the pressure might be if a brand new filter is in place. I read that I need to change filter when pressure drops to a certain point. Anyone famililar with this one. How do you go about finding out which filter goes with what? I don't see any model number on this unit.
    I can see the label turned toward the wall. The model should be on there.

    6. At the end of vertical pipe that comes off the pump, there is a garden hose faucet. What is this used for?
    That's usually used for removing water because cartridge filters don't have a backwash valve.

    7. There are some leaks from the fitting. Water seem to be sipping out from the yellow bonding material between black and white pipes. How do I fix this? The red "C" retainer keeps that fitting from loosening and the hose from popping out. I don't have one but with the collar removed (as in the photo) you can unscrew or press the nut down and the tubing will come loose and then you can just unscrew the fitting from the pump discharge. That'll allow you to clean and reseal the connection.

    8. Is it typical to have two separate routes for main pump and booster pump? Are they linked in a parallel or serial connection?
    I've seen it where the main pump & the booster pumps are circuits all their own (like yours). I've also seen it where the booster pumps suction came off the discharge of the main pump.

    Another line used for Polaris 280. I guess this is connected to my booster pump. Is this connected the line feeding the main pump and filter?
    That port is connected to the booster pump. It shouldn't be connected to the main pump and filter.

    9. Is this okay? That tree seem too big to be so closed to the pool. Anything I can do to eliminate problems later?
    If it were mine, I'd have it removed. It looks to big and too close to me. Others might know more.

    10. I don't know what this hole is for? It's next to the skimmer but I don't think they are connected.
    No clue about that. someone else might have an idea.

    11. How do I clean this buildup on the rock at the water line? What is that? There is a blue tint to this buildup.
    As Zea said, try Magic Eraser.

    12. How do I clean soap scum like the white stuff between tiles?
    See #11.

    13. Anyone with a solar pool heater? How much did you spend on it? I have a huge roof directly facing the South. I like to know how much solar pool heater costs and how much did it extend your swimming season? Pictures of south facing roof with no shades all summer. You see a little bit of shade from the trees. In mid-march, the sun will be at this height 9am and going up higher.
    Solar will extend your swim season about a month on each end of the season as a general rule. You may get more depending on where you're located.
    Please post a full set of test results as soon as you get your kit. Since I see a floater in one of the pics I suspect your CYA is gonna be really high.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp 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: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    welcome to TFP! Lets see if I can add a few things to what Zea said.
    Quote Originally Posted by venticoffee
    I’ve been searching the internet for DIY pool maintenance guide and I found your website. Thank you so much everyone for sharing your knowledge. You site makes me feel more confident that I can be my own pool man.
    By reading and learning here being your own pool man is easy.

    My questions are related to what I equipments I have now. I did order a test kit so I’ll read further on water testing and post question about testing later.
    You did the right thing there. Which kit did you order?

    1. I have leaf rake, pole and nylon brush that’s it. What else would you recommend?
    I'd go with a manual vacuum just in case you need it. They're cheap and nice to have around.

    7. There are some leaks from the fitting. Water seem to be sipping out from the yellow bonding material between black and white pipes. How do I fix this? The red "C" retainer keeps that fitting from loosening and the hose from popping out. I don't have one but with the collar removed (as in the photo) you can unscrew or press the nut down and the tubing will come loose and then you can just unscrew the fitting from the pump discharge. That'll allow you to clean and reseal the connection.

    8. Is it typical to have two separate routes for main pump and booster pump? Are they linked in a parallel or serial connection?
    I've seen it where the main pump & the booster pumps are circuits all their own (like yours). I've also seen it where the booster pumps suction came off the discharge of the main pump.

    Another line used for Polaris 280. I guess this is connected to my booster pump. Is this connected the line feeding the main pump and filter?
    That port is connected to the booster pump. It shouldn't be connected to the main pump and filter.

    9. Is this okay? That tree seem too big to be so closed to the pool. Anything I can do to eliminate problems later?
    If it were mine, I'd have it removed. It looks to big and too close to me. Others might know more.

    10. I don't know what this hole is for? It's next to the skimmer but I don't think they are connected.
    No clue about that. someone else might have an idea.

    11. How do I clean this buildup on the rock at the water line? What is that? There is a blue tint to this buildup.
    As Zea said, try Magic Eraser.

    12. How do I clean soap scum like the white stuff between tiles?
    See #11.

    13. Anyone with a solar pool heater? How much did you spend on it? I have a huge roof directly facing the South. I like to know how much solar pool heater costs and how much did it extend your swimming season? Pictures of south facing roof with no shades all summer. You see a little bit of shade from the trees. In mid-march, the sun will be at this height 9am and going up higher.
    Solar will extend your swim season about a month on each end of the season as a general rule. You may get more depending on where you're located.
    Please post a full set of test results as soon as you get your kit. Since I see a floater in one of the pics I suspect your CYA is gonna be really high.
    Thanks for that info. I ordered TF-100 from http://www.tftestkits.net/. It should be here in a week.

    1. Can you recommend one? Or can you tell me which one you have?

    7. I am so glad that you mention the red retainer. I had taken one off yesterday when I took the pictures and didn't put it back on. Pool pump has been running for about 3 hours this morning and I am very happy to report that it didn't pop. I think it was matter of time before it came off though. When I put the retainer back on I had to push the hose in to make it click.

    I have to go but I'll be back with more questions. Thank you.
    22000G Oblong shape IG pool
    Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Gray Plaster
    Emerson Threaded Energy Efficient Full-Rate 1.5HP
    Booster pump: Polaris PB4-60

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    You made the right choice with the TF-100. You'll like it even better if you opted for the speedstir to go along with it.

    1) I have a tri head vacuum but it really doesn't matter what kind you get. Just get one from the local Wally World or your favorite pool store. It makes it easier if you get a hose with swivel cuffs.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp 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: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    Pool Finish appears to be gray plaster.

    The booster is getting it's water from the filtered water. The connection is underground.

    A few wraps with teflon tape will seal the leaks.

    The hose bib is for drainage purposes.

    The cracks are not anything to worry about.

    I expect the pump is pushing about 70 GPM. Looks like a 1 HP motor.

    The hole near the auto filler is how the auto filler knows the pool water level. When the pool level drops, it drops in the auto filler's tank too. The float valve lets water in. Water seeks it own level and so it will flow into the pool.

    The hole near the skimmer is likely to be an overflow drain. When it rains, I'll bet it doesn't get much above it for long.

    I think the palm is a Queen Palm. I suggest you get a better pic and show it to a local landscape designer. It does appear to be getting a large for that planter.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    Could the hole near the skimmer also be a safety relief for the main drain? I have one on deck, but don't see why it couldn't be there.
    13'000 gal - cartridge - IG - plaster - UltraPure ozone

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    Re: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    1. I have leaf rake, pole and nylon brush that’s it. What else would you recommend?
    I'd go with a manual vacuum just in case you need it. They're cheap and nice to have around.

    Please post a full set of test results as soon as you get your kit. Since I see a floater in one of the pics I suspect your CYA is gonna be really high.
    I've postpone buying a manual vacuum. I hardly get any leaves in the pool all year.

    I'll post test results as soon as possible. I got an automatic email that said order was completed on 2/4 but I think it takes 5 days to CA.
    I better read up on how to use test kit.

    Thanks.
    22000G Oblong shape IG pool
    Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Gray Plaster
    Emerson Threaded Energy Efficient Full-Rate 1.5HP
    Booster pump: Polaris PB4-60

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    Re: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    I expect the pump is pushing about 70 GPM. Looks like a 1 HP motor.
    I have a picture of the main pump. It's a 1.5HP. Do you think it pumps more than 70 GPM?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidnjina ... otostream/

    Here is a picture of filter with model info. However, I don't see any marking to indicate which one of the four mine is.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidnjina ... otostream/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidnjina ... otostream/

    Another question on a pipe from the filter. Why is this there? It doesn't do anything except it wraps the pipe.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidnjina ... otostream/

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Please post a full set of test results as soon as you get your kit. Since I see a floater in one of the pics I suspect your CYA is gonna be really high.
    I read up on CYA and basically you can't lower that without drain/refill, right? Assuming that I have high CYA of 80 and above how do I go about draining and refilling the pool? Since water level is automatically added by auto valve, how do I drain? How much to drain? Recommended level of CYA for plaster is 30-50. Should I aim for that?

    Thanks.
    22000G Oblong shape IG pool
    Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Gray Plaster
    Emerson Threaded Energy Efficient Full-Rate 1.5HP
    Booster pump: Polaris PB4-60

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    Re: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    Expect about 75-90 GPM, depending on how dirty the cartridges are.

    The filter is either the 3 or 4 hundred sq. foot.

    Wrapping the pipe is a magnet to "catch" any iron and "align" any ions, neither of which are needed,

    WRT draining, putting a hose on the hose bib and running it to the street or to a location, down hill from the pool and away from the neighbors, is the usual method. There is a wrinkle though. Since you don't have any valves at the pad, I can't tell if you have a bottom drain or how it is connected or if you have a second skimmer.. You might need an external pump you can drop in the pool in order to go below the skimmers.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    I put in a solar heater 2 years ago and love it (for about $6K if I remember right). I live in San Diego near the coast, so the pool never got very warm even in the summer. The solars keep the pool 80 or higher from May-Sept. Depending on one's tolerance for 70 degree water and the weather (a cold spell has the pool at 65 right now), it is usable year round.
    ___________________________________
    10K gal, plaster, SWG, DE filter, solar heat

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New Member with a long post with a lot of newbie questions

    A CYA of 80 is manageable if you don't want to drain right away. As long as you switch to non-stabilized chlorine it will not increase any more. If you have a rainy season where you live you can take advantage of mother nature and drain a few inches before any predicted heavy rains. There should be a cut off valve for your auto fill and if there is not then you need to install one. Wait until your kit arrives to decide whether or not to drain based on your test results.

    You can attach a garden hose to the spigot coming off your pump and use it to drain the pool. I'm not sure if you need to run the pump after the flow of water starts or if you can turn it off once things get flowing.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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