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Thread: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

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    New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    This website is amazing! I bought a house about a year ago with an IG gunite pool that is roughly 10k gallons. I've had pool service for the past year but I decided to save some money and do it myself. First thing I did was buy the Taylor test kit (k-2006) and test my water. The results were:

    pH = 7.8
    FC = 19.5
    CC = 0
    TA = 250
    CH = 1575
    CYA = through the roof (only took a couple of drops to make the black dot disappear)

    So I decided to cancel the pool service, read pool school, and drain/refill the pool. It's been two weeks since I drained it and my readings now are:

    pH = 7.4
    FC = 5
    CC = 0
    TA = 120
    CH = 375
    CYA = 40

    I'm using muriatic acid and generic bleach for chemicals and Kreepy Krauly for an automatic vacuum. Besides the money I'm saving it just feels better knowing I'm taking care of it myself. And I even repaired a leak in my pump and replaced the pool light, saving me at least $300 that my pool company would have charged. I wouldn't have been able to do any of this without Pool School or this forum.

    Anyway... to the point. I live in Arizona. Yuma to be specific. And we are recognized as the sunniest city in America. 90% of our year is cloud free. I have no trees to shade my pool during the day, and it will reach 115 degrees outside in July. Last year it got so warm I was tempted to throw ice into the pool to cool it down. Do my pool levels look good for the area I live in? Should I increase CYA to 70 as some on this board have suggested for sunny areas? My TA seems at the high end of what is recommended. Is 120 an acceptable level?

    Also, I have some leftover clarifier and metal scaling stuff. Are these good for anything or just a way for the pool company to charge me more?

    Thanks for the help!

    Craig
    10K gal, gunite, 1 HP High Flow Challenger pump, 100 sq ft cartridge filter

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    Since you live in a hard water area, I'd say your numbers look pretty good!

    Since you did a drain, you probably won't need those additives any more.

    If you find yourself adding acid every day or two, or if the CSI starts climbing, then reduce TA. (CSI can be calculated here) You do that by lowering pH to 7.0-7.2 then aerate it using waterfalls, spa jets, aim the returns up to break the surface, make some sort of aerator (there's a picture in the pool school encyclopedia, I think), then repeat when pH gets back up to normal, until TA is where you want it. It can take a while. When I finally got my TA down to the bottom of recommended, my pH just flatlined. Acid use is waaaaay down. Your pool will have its own personality, you'll just have to experiment and see.
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    Hi, Craig,

    Welcome to the forum Your biggest problem for your climate and geographic location will likely be keeping CH down to 400 or less. Test your fill water that you use and see if you are adding CH or diluting CH when you refill.

    I would also suggest you wait a season before upping your CYA. It's easy to take it up but a PITA to get it down. You may find your FC consumption perfectly fine (usually 2ppm or so each day).

    If it turns out to be excessive, then would be a good time to take it up to perhaps 60 and try it at that level to see what your FC loss is. 70 always starts to worry me a little but there are some who manage their pools fine at that level. What I'm saying is you will soon learn what's best for your particular pool and can adjust accordingly.

    Leave your TA alone for now. You should only mess with it if you're pH is giving you problems.

    Clarifier is not needed in a well managed pool and it sounds as yours is quickly becoming one. Metal treatments are worthless unless you can verify there is excess metals in your pool. You might hang on to it but I doubt you'll need it.

    EDIT: Richard posted ahead of me but we are saying almost exactly the same thing.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Puffin's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    As I understand it aeration, especially at night can help cool your pool down, in addition to lowering your TA. Maybe a cover or some umbrellas to shade your pool during the day may help. Umbrellas probably look better, but the cover would also help with reducing evaporation and FC loss.

    Hopefully one of the Guru's could comment.
    19,600 gal, Vinyl, Grecian L, StaRite Dura-Glas 1 HP pump, 3/4hp booster, Pentair Clean and Clear 420 Cartridge filter
    The Pool Cleaner 4x, PoolSkim

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    Acid lowers PH and TA. Aeration raises the TA back up. It's the acid that is doing the actual "lowering".

    EDIT: BRAIN FART, AERATION RAISES THE PH BACK UP.... END EDIT

    You can try running with a CYA of 40. If you find it's not quite enough, using the dreaded tablets will slowly increase it a bit, as well as lower the TA a little. If you go that route just track how many ounces your tablets are and keep track of the CYA that way, using the pool calc.

    I wouldn't worry about the TA, it's no biggie whatsover in your case.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    Cool, thanks guys for the comments. I'll leave my CYA and TA levels alone for now.
    10K gal, gunite, 1 HP High Flow Challenger pump, 100 sq ft cartridge filter

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    Don't raise the alk though. It will lower on it's own soon enough. My concern is, and I didn't check it, is the CSI level. You want that ever so slightly negative and I think you are on the positive side at the moment, meaning a little scale can start to form, especially if the pH rises.

    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 Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Acid lowers PH and TA. Aeration raises the TA back up. It's the acid that is doing the actual "lowering".
    You meant aeration raises the pH right?
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    Hi Craig,
    Wow, someone from Yuma. I too had some of the same problems as you until I found this forum. I am currently using the BBB method along with a floating solar chlorine generator.(Solachlor). I figure since it's 110 degrees in the shade during the summer here, solar would be the way to go. My experience with the local pool stores has been hit or miss, mainly misses. I have the Taylor 2006 kit for testing and looking for a speed stirrer.
    10,000 gallons IG Freeform, 8ft raised spa,pebble finish
    FNS 60 Sqft DE Filter,2HP Whisperflow for Pool/Spa filtering
    2HP Whisperflow for Spa jets
    1HP Whisperflow for Waterfall
    Master Temp 400,000 Btu Heater

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    Quote Originally Posted by crudsrus
    I have the Taylor 2006 kit for testing and looking for a speed stirrer.
    http://tftestkits.net/SpeedStir-Magneti ... r-p56.html

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    Thanks for the link. I'm becoming a supporter today and ordering my speed stirrer.
    10,000 gallons IG Freeform, 8ft raised spa,pebble finish
    FNS 60 Sqft DE Filter,2HP Whisperflow for Pool/Spa filtering
    2HP Whisperflow for Spa jets
    1HP Whisperflow for Waterfall
    Master Temp 400,000 Btu Heater

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    Quote Originally Posted by crudsrus
    I am currently using the BBB method along with a floating solar chlorine generator.(Solachlor).
    This sounds interesting.
    Can you elaborate on this?
    12500 AGP 2HP Sand filter
    Five years on BBB & loving it!

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    This is the link to the website. http://solarchlor.com/OutputChart.htm
    I'm new to posting so hopefully the address shows. This will be my second season using the Solarchlor with fairly decent results. I still manually add liquid chlorine (bleach) to keep the FC level higher during the extreme summer months. July and August are usually the hottest days in the nation here in the desert southwest Hopefully results will be better this season with the knowledge gained from reading and understand Pool School. Let me know if you have any more questions. I purchased mine online at Samsclub.com
    Harrison
    10,000 gallons IG Freeform, 8ft raised spa,pebble finish
    FNS 60 Sqft DE Filter,2HP Whisperflow for Pool/Spa filtering
    2HP Whisperflow for Spa jets
    1HP Whisperflow for Waterfall
    Master Temp 400,000 Btu Heater

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: New Pool Owner - Are my levels good?

    Very similar experience with Solarchlor. It was my first time (and season) owning a pool. I read a lot, and then I read some more. Having maintained fish tanks full of life over the years and having learned from scratch I figured I'd use some of that experience with a 180 turn to self maintain my pool.
    My first purchase was an electric pool sweep, aquabot brand. Solarchlor was my second purchase Then came the solar blanket. That combination allowed me to make extremely minimal use of my pump, only maybe after a big party for a few hours. Solarchlor does work. In combination with the solar blanket it works wonders. I made a cut in the solar cover and stuck the solarchlor there where it got sun most of the day. I had the Aquabot running throughout the day when I was at work to circulate the water within the pool and move the produced chlorine about. Once a week or 2 weeks I'd add a couple of gallons of liquid chlorine or a shock packet. Never had too high a chlorine level in my water but it was never too low either, just constant. Don't remember exact values. I also checked salt levels once a month and add a sack or two as needed. So yes, it works, just don't expect it to work some kind of miracle with massive amounts of chlorine in the water while the sun is beating it down every day.
    18' x 36' Vinyl Kidney 24,000 gallons
    Soon to have Salwater system up and running.
    Intelliflo pump, Colorlogic LED Light and a lot less money in the bank

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