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Thread: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

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    New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    First off, no, I haven't got "the test kit(s)yet. I'm new here

    Had a new IG small fiberglass pool put in with an extensive backyard/deck/3 season porch remodel last summer. Pool was finished last Sept. and got to enjoy it through Oct...with few problems. Wish I had found this site before the install, as I found it hard to get good info from the builders/vendors, but thats another story for another day...

    First off, KUDOS for running a very helpful site. For a newbie, pool chemistry isn't simple, but this site has made it about as simple as it gets.

    As a youngster, I helped run my Dads self made brick and motar pool, and we never had issues. Why, because we ran the pool for the few summer months, dumped in gobs of powdered clorine/tabs and some dry acid to keep the PH in check. Then we drained all but about a foot for the winter, emptied the next spring, cleaned and bleached it and started again. Never ran it for a long period like pools of today where the chemistry could get out of whack.

    From what I know now (from this site) I'm sure by the end of the season, the CYA levels would have been getting high, and the ORP of the pool and effectiveness of all that powered chlorine was probably dropping fast...good thing we drained back in those days and missed the algae bloom.

    Anyway, My jerk pool installers dropped in my pool, installed everything, but really were incapable of telling me how to run my new equipment (like my SWCG) It was hard enough getting info on how to clean the canister filter. They left me with a SWG running on 75% and a super clean pool that bleached everything! (oh and of course the PH went sky high)

    After some fits and bad starts from some local pool supply shops (they tried to help, but never really asked enough questions to have a clue what was going on, I started educating myself.

    Good thing I found this site. ANyway, last summers end, I had a slightly over chorinated pool as I played with the settings on my autopilot digi controller, and I had the PH under control.

    After reading this site, I;ve really begun to get a grasp on the important relationship between FC and CYA.

    I had read all the euphmisms like "sun kills your chorine"-"cya is sunscreen for your chlorine" and was confused by other statements "CYA binds up and reduces the effectiveness of your Chorine"

    At first, it seemed like the two issues were contrary to each other...but after reading about ORP and the effects of sunlight/organic matter on CL and CYA on ORP of CL, I began to understand there is a sweet spot...a bit of CYA helps hold your CL reserve until it gets hit again with CL replenishment (either from a bottle or a SWCG) but too much CYA you begin to have diminishing return as your ORP of the CL drops to a point where the CL is unable to kill algae and organisms....

    I am a bit concerned by the SWCGs recommendation of CYA levels of 60-80...this seems a tad high from my slight amount of research here...so I am cautious about bring my CYA levels up that high...(I wonder if they recommend 60-80 because they fear installers may skimp and undersize the SWCG for the size pool)

    I thinking of shooting for about 30-50 to give my FC some stability in the pool, but maintaining a high fast kill rate, and should I ever need to shock the pool, less bleach will be needed.

    My pool is very small, and my SWCG is already only running at about 30%, and it gets overchlorinated. I also have the salt a bit high since installation (around 3500) but my understanding is this is ok as it also means the SWCG will need to work less hard to make chlorine....

    In my understanding from reading, many pool owners get into a vicious cycle with pool tabs.powdered chlorine building up CYA in the water, and killing the ORP of the FC in the pool. I'd like to avoid that trap..

    Also Now also My understanding is having a bit of CYA will mean I won't need to run my SWCG full bore during high bather loads, sunlight, organic boo-boos.....and even if the SWCG kept up the FC level, the high rate of CL production causes hydrogen to be release (I have seen small bubbles near my lights) which is what drives up the PH...

    So far, I envision running low side 30-50 ppm CYA, keep my FC at about 4.5% of the CYA level with the SWCG and add muratic acid only as needed to keep the PH in check....

    My numbers so far this first year with crappy aquacheck 7 test tabs...

    TH stays constant 250
    TC 5
    FC 5
    PH 7.8 (it creeps up from time to time)
    TA 120
    CYA - lowest reading (which means its below 30)

    Allmy neighbors run their pools all winter, so I gave it a shot, and despite getting worried, I lucked through this "man-bear-pig' (South Park reference) of a winter...

    This picture was one of the scary days...when I had 8 inches of snow around the pool, and its shimmering away!

    Anway, I plan to up my CYA a tad to the 30-50 range, get better test kit, run my FC at about 4.5% of the CYA level, and never add anything to the pool except chlorine (generated or bleach) acid, baking soda and borax if I ever need it... If I am off in my understandings, please feel free to set a newb straight..

    Anyway, thanks to all the people who contribute helpful advice to this site..

    Stan

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v28/D ... C05331.jpg
    6600 gal Barrier Reef fiberglass IG
    Cartridge/digital pool pilot SWCG/w/heat pump

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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    just had another lightbulb moment...about possibly why the SWCG mfg's recommend as high as 80 for CYA...

    most home pool operators will be using a cheap dropper test kit or tab strips...

    and looking at my aquacheck 7, with the colored strip tabs you fall in a range...which isn't very accurate

    say your free chlorine checks as a certain color block that is labeled 3ppm

    well, if even if the test is accurate 3ppm could be as low a 2ppm or as high as 4ppm...

    well the pool test strips say the OK range for pool is 1-3ppm, spa =3-5ppm (i know this OK range doesn't factor in cya levels, just what the 'label" says are correct levels.) Thats a big spread actually.

    If the swcg instructions are followed and you have around 60-80, falling in this purple 3 block range would theoretically means you are near a 3- 4.5% range more or less..a shotgun approach...

    Maybe that is the reason they call for 60-80 cya, they feel most people at home can't measure the smaller amount of FC accurately for running low CYA levels?

    Just a thought...
    6600 gal Barrier Reef fiberglass IG
    Cartridge/digital pool pilot SWCG/w/heat pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    First off, Welcome to TFP!

    You have a fairly good grasp of the fundamentals but keep reading Pool School for a while. As you already know, the best thing you can do for yourself is get a good test kit. It'll make a big difference in maintaining your pool.
    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
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    The reason SWG manufacturers recommend CYA be around 70-80 is because you use less total chlorine at higher CYA levels. With less total chlorine needed, the SWG is much more likely to keep up with demand and so you are less likely to have problems. There is also a secondary effect. SWG are more effective than other chlorine sources at getting rid of CC. CC can be a problem at higher CYA levels, but the SWG takes care of that, eliminating at least one of the reasons you would otherwise avoid higher CYA levels.

    When used with a SWG, higher CYA levels have several other advantages, which probably make less difference to the manufacturers, but are still useful for pool owners. Higher CYA levels mean less fluctuation in the FC level over the course of the day. At lower CYA levels direct sunlight shining on the pool will use up a significant amount of chlorine, and could place you into a dangerous situation, even if the SWG catches up later in the evening. The SWG also lasts significantly longer at higher CYA levels.

    Keep in mind that the amount of chlorine used and the FC level in the pool are two separate things. Higher CYA levels require higher FC levels in the pool, but even so less total chlorine needs to be added to maintain that level compared to what you would be doing at lower CYA levels.

    You should take a look at Water Balance for SWGs in Pool School to see our full set of recommendations for chemical levels with SWGs.

    P.S. Is it alright if I add your photo to the slide show?
    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

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    Prav's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    Not to digress, but that is an awesome picture.
    14'x30' (est. 14K gal) w/spillover spa (est. 500 gal) - 1995 // Diamond Brite Blue Quartz - 2006
    Hayward SwimPure Plus T-15 - 2013 // Zodiac MX-8 - 2013
    Plain ol' Intermatic mechanical timer // Pump: 1½ HP Pentair SuperFlo - 2012
    Filter: Hayward C17502(S) Cartridge Filter - 2011 // Heat Pump: Sunrunner/Aquapro 1300 (127K BTU) - 2011

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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    pool-school/water_balance_saltwater_generator

    Where do you think a dumb guy like me learned all this stuff Here reading this forum and reading teh ABC's of water chemisty...

    I plan on slowly bring up my CYA and testing with a good test kit -here is why...at this point (remember as of now, I have just had Aquacheck 7 test strips to use even with my Digi pool pilot SWCG set at 30% run time during the day I test high pool numbers on TC and FC around 3-5ppm for both and at night they rise to the high end of the spa range, a good solid 5ppm for both

    I have a very low bather load , and unfortunately I don't get alot of direct sunlight



    Bringing in more CYA will probably allow me to further decrease the run time (percentage setting) of my SWCG which would probably reduce its wear and tear (more likely since its use is already low at 30% it would just mean less frequent maintanence needed like soaking the coil in MA to remove any buildup, and reduce some electrical costs)

    Why a slow rise in CYA...from my reading here my understanding is, its a bit difficult for folks to measure (the black dot test?) so I want to slowly approach my recommended CYA levels without exceeding and overshooting it (I'm also wary of cya getting in from other sources, such as someone throwing in packaged 'shock' or store bought 'conditioners')

    I'm wary of that because unlike many folks here, my Job often takes me away for extended periods of time 7-9 days....so I have to remote control my pool via my wife who has ZERO interest in learning anything of water chemistry....But I have instructed her not to just go buy any 'miracle product' at the local pool store or wally world and throw it in the pool without telling me first....or let some "helpful" pool guy throw in a bunch of stuff without me knowing exactly what it is..

    I really wanna keep the pool to the strict basics, and since I have to leave my pool, I'd rather fare on the high side of acceptable chlorine levels than have to deal with water issues...

    Thanks for the info, good to know about the CC's and a swcg!

    Prav, thanks for the comment on the photo, heres one more brought to you courtesy of this years winter of 'man bear pig"

    6600 gal Barrier Reef fiberglass IG
    Cartridge/digital pool pilot SWCG/w/heat pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    Once you get things all lined out you'll only need to check pH & FC regularly you may be able to convince her to run those two tests at least every other day. If you find that your pH keeps climbing you could always add an acid feeder to automate that.
    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: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    Thanks Bama...I was just starting to read on acid dosing systems last night when it became time to go to bed...Last I was reading, IIRC a guy was saying he installed one for a few hunred dollars...

    That might definitely be an option, once I get a good feel for what feeding and care my pool will need. I will certainly research that further here in the forums....Once again, what a great resource you folks have set up here...I can't say thanks enough!
    6600 gal Barrier Reef fiberglass IG
    Cartridge/digital pool pilot SWCG/w/heat pump

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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    Stan,

    Welcome to the forum You are being very modest when you say you haven't grasped some things yet. Your understanding of the principles taught on the forum are very complete.

    You will have a sparkling oasis this Spring thanks to your efforts to educate yourself.....nice work!!
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    susa's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    >> installed one for a few hunred dollars...

    mine was 200, purchased from Italy and they shipped to US in one week. link in sigline.

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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    If your pool does not get very much direct sunlight, then there isn't as much need for the higher CYA level. If you find that even during peak summer your SWG on-time is rather low and daily chlorine demand is therefore low, then having the CYA at 50 ppm may be fine for you with an FC target of, say, 3 ppm.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    Welcome to TFP

    Chemgeek makes a very valid point if you find your pool is in a lot of shade I am one who strays to the 50ppm area vs the 60-80 range as I find may water chemistry and SWG run times to be more stable. I my case it happens to be that I use a no-frills intex SWG so I can only set it to run in 1hr timed increments at 100%. Keeping CYA at 50 for me helps my FC from climbing too high during a 3hr run time vs not generating enough FC during a 2hr run time at a higher CYA level.

    Duraleigh hit the nail on the head...you really are much further along than most and I would say you are in the stages of figuring out your pool's personality

    It is important to take into account in that Pool School will give 90% of folks a great baseline to start with, but you may have to adjust to personal taste

    Either way, a TF100 or the Taylor k2006 will help you master it all
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    First off, Duraleigh, Hi!! Good to meet a neighbor here! Just a question, since we are in the same town, do you winterize, or stay open all year? The last really bad one I remember was about 2002 with the ice storm and power outages (about 5 days without power on that one) and the big hundred year snowstorm of 1999.

    I could live with replacing my equipment, but I'd sure hate to ever have to have underground pipes or skimmers bust and have to be fixed...

    Anyway, everyone thanks for the comments, but all credit goes to a nice site here at TFP. If I had to euphimise my understanding of the FC/CYA relationship to another newbie, I think I would tell them to think of CYA as Goldielock's porriage. You don't want too little, and you don't want too much. It needs to be 'just right.'
    6600 gal Barrier Reef fiberglass IG
    Cartridge/digital pool pilot SWCG/w/heat pump

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    Re: New Pool owner/fast learningcurve

    Hey, Duraleigh, one other thing...A thread on the moddy's was pointed out to me (thanks Dman), and it seems we may cross paths at work on occasion at RDU....That big brown and yellow MD-11 parked at cargo is my ride to work (My work car is the A-300-6F) Shoot me a PM so I can find out what you are flying these days...
    6600 gal Barrier Reef fiberglass IG
    Cartridge/digital pool pilot SWCG/w/heat pump

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