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Thread: Looking For Swamp Guidance

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    joshearl's Avatar
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    Looking For Swamp Guidance

    First off, hello to everyone on this forum. I just stumbled upon here and I wish I would have found this plethora of information long ago!

    For starters, the pool is located in the San Joaquin Valley of Northern California. I have an in ground 22,000 gallon gunite pool with a DE filter, with a single skimmer, that has inevitably turned into a swamp over the previous winter. It has been swampy green since late September of 2010 after my Polaris 360 was stolen from the pool and I slowly ignored it and it's need for chlorine. I know the basics of pool maintenance but my source of knowledge may have not been credible so I am hear to start fresh and get on the right track.

    Earlier this evening (before I had found this forum) I netted the floor and surface removing most of the leaves, it wasn't as bad as I thought at that bottom of the unknown, just a small layer of muck and leaves. I threw in 2lbs of Chlor Brite shock (99% Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione dihydrate) and added 3 pucks to the chlorine floater. I then turned on the filter manually with intent to run over night and scrubbed the walls and the shallow end floor. My plan of attack after that was to add 64oz of Kem-Tek green algaecide (30% poly ethylene) tomorrow, which I have already purchased, and scrub in the morning and allow the pump to keep running throughout the day. I'm basically hoping the chemicals with clear everything up so I can clear out the rest of the debris with the net and vacuum and then take my water into the Leslie's Pool and see what they say to do.

    After reading some posts here I went and looked at my pump and found out it is a Pentair Nautilus NS-60. I also found a basic pool test kit and checked my water 2 hours after adding the shock:

    Cl - 2
    Br - 4
    pH - 6.8

    I have read that I will need to get a better tester and I will see if they have one locally asap. I'm basically wondering if I'm on the right track to clearing up my pool and am completely open to any advice or instruction. I would also like some help figuring out how to backwash this beast. I can take pictures of anything you need to see and plan on uploading some when the sun comes up. Thanks in advance for the help!




    Additional info: Last winter the pool became swamp like and being a new pool owner I hired a pool cleaning company to come correct it. They drained it, acid washed, and talked me into allowing them to cut off the pipe that goes to the other mini filter (can't remember what it is called) so that if I backwash it all shoots out right next to my filter. After they got it back to clear water I kept it maintained over the summer by simply keeping chlorine in the floater and shocking when it got cloudy. The filter is currently running at about 27psi. The lever that I assume you turn to set to backwash position only turns a small amount clockwise to a position labeled "open", otherwise it is "locked."
    25,000gal Plaster
    Pentair Nautilus NS-60 DE Filter

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    Re: Another Pool Dummy Looking For Help

    Welcome to TFP!

    Don't add the algaecide. Take it back for a refund.

    Take a sample of your pool water to the pool store and have them test it. You need results for FC, CC CYA, pH, TA, and CH. They are going to give you a phosphate reading, tell you that it too high, and that you need to by "whatever phosphate remover" to lower it. Tell them that you will think about it. What you will really do is ignore that advice because you don't need phosphate removers to fix your problem now, or in the future. Anyhow, take your results and post them back here in this thread. Don't buy anything from them now.

    Buy yourself a high quality test kit. The best one out there is the TF100. Go to the TF Test Kits link in my sig line to purchase. You can also buy a Taylor K-2006. It is good too but you just don't get as much testing reagent (or product support) with it as you would the TF100. You need a test kit that tests for all of the things that I listed in the paragraph above. You usually can't find a test kit like that in a pool store.

    Don't add anymore dichlor and take the tablets out of the skimmer. I suspect that your CYA is high already and that can contribute to high CYA levels even more. Just come back here and post the test results that the pool store gave you and we will get you right. In the meantime, be sure to keep reading in Pool School.

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    joshearl's Avatar
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    Re: Another Pool Dummy Looking For Help

    Wow, thanks for the quick response, didn't expect anyone to be on this late. I will go to Leslies and get the test results first thing tomorrow. While I'm there returning the algaecide should I return the bucket of chlorine tablets I just purchased as well? As far as testers is the TF100 better then the FAS-DPD, because I could get that while I'm there rather then wait for shipping. Finally, I forgot to mention this about pool in my first post but my skimmer srain diverter (the UFO looking kind) has the flap on the bottom that blocks off one drain is broken off, do I need to get a new one?

    EDIT: I read the test kit comparison and will order a TF100 based on better value and more testing options
    25,000gal Plaster
    Pentair Nautilus NS-60 DE Filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Looking For Pool Guidance

    Yeah 257 is around late (or is that early) some nights.

    I'd take the tabs back if it were me. If they have liquid chlorine trade the tabs for as much of that as you can. If your pool is really green then it's going to take a good bit of chlorine to clear it up.

    Also if the skimmer is working well then you don't have to be in any hurry about replacing the diverter.

    The TF-100 is a good choice and you get the Speedstir while you're ordering. It makes the testing much easier.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Looking For Pool Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Yeah 257 is around late (or is that early) some nights.
    This is what you do when you work at night and the ER is slow.

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    joshearl's Avatar
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    Re: Looking For Pool Guidance

    I'm going to go see if I can return the tabs now while I get my water tested. I took some quick pictures of the pool and filter:

    Album with all the picson one page.


    My Swamp



    Strange spots after I shocked pool overnight



    Very old filtration system


    Pump


    Filter Specs


    Closeup of the twisting valve. It doesn't appear to pull up when "open," maybe stuck?


    Closeup of the cut off line


    25,000gal Plaster
    Pentair Nautilus NS-60 DE Filter

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    Re: Looking For Pool Guidance

    I've seen some old equipment in my day, but man, you take the cake

    Keep shocking, keep testing. It will come clean.
    Clearwater, Florida

    12,000 gallon kidney shaped gunite pool
    Pentair Whisperflo 3/4HP Pump
    Pentair CCP420 420sq/ft Cartridge Filter
    Pentair Intellibrite 5G 120V Pool Light

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    Re: Looking For Pool Guidance

    I believe Leslie sells this kit...
    http://www.lesliespool.com/Home/Pool-Ch ... 81329.html

    which is the Taylor K-2006 kit rebadged... and a well received FAS-DPD test kit (Generally just behind the TF-100)
    Bear in mind that if you have very high levels of some chemicals..... the tests may not read accurately...

    test lots... add liquid chlorine often until you get ahead of it... keep the FC's up to/above shock value. If you test high for CYA then that is another problem you should post here too (Beyond me and the knowledge I have only receently acquired via this site, but generally requires water replacement as it prevents the FC's from working)

    once you get those test numbers (Your numbers done with a good kit will be better than the pool stores) get them posted here!
    24' Round 54" Impulse Ovation AGP, 1.5 HP 2 Spd, 150 Sq Ft. Cartridge Filter, RayPak 130K BTU NG Heater, BBB in full effect!!
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    Re: Looking For Pool Guidance

    That pool equipment looks familiar! Sorry, I have nothing else to contribute other than even my timers are the same model as yours. lol


    Temecula, CA
    16X32 (approx) 20k gal, DE filter, IG, plaster/pebble with diving board & slide
    Whisperflo pump; Pentair SMBW 4000 Series filter... that's all I know! Still learning....

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    Re: Looking For Pool Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by grrltraveler
    That pool equipment looks familiar! Sorry, I have nothing else to contribute other than even my timers are the same model as yours. lol
    At least someone else has equipment as old as mine! I actually need to fix mine as the time is way off and one of the switches fell off the ring.

    Quote Originally Posted by denisbaldwin
    I've seen some old equipment in my day, but man, you take the cake
    Where is this cake you speak of, it's noon and I'm hungry :P Surprisingly it all works quite well (I think) for being so old!

    Ok so I got my water tested and got the values 257WbyMag told me:

    FC - 0
    CH - 90
    pH - 7.4
    TA - 50
    CYA - 60

    He said that the CC value would be zero as well since FC is zero. He did give me a TPS value as predicted of 200. They took back the chlorine tablets and after seeing I have a FC of zero I bought some 10% (strongest they had) liquid bleach, 2 2gal boxes for $7.99. BTW my filter is currently running at 30psi. I added 1 gal of 10% liquid chlorine, poured over the course of 3 minutes in front of return in middle of the pool. Will go get my water tested again possibly in a couple hours.
    25,000gal Plaster
    Pentair Nautilus NS-60 DE Filter

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    Re: Looking For Swamp Guidance

    First off keep in mind it is 2 am and I can't seem to get to sleep:

    I assume you have read pool school, go back and read it again particularly the part about shocking being a process not a product.

    Your water is surprisingly good, well better than many peoples if the store numbers are to be trusted

    Your CYA is borderline high, don't add any stabilizer or stabilized chlorine products which would raise it any more, the only practical way to lower CYA is through water replacement.

    For now you will want to use only liquid chlorine or household bleach they are the same thing, bleach is just not as strong, buy which ever is cheaper per concentration (5.5% bleach at $2 per gallon is the same cost per concentration as 11% liquid chlorine at $4, it is just a bit more weight to carry so buy accordingly)

    To shock your pool with a CYA reading of 60 you need to raise your FC level to 25 or slightly higher and maintain it there until it remains at this level overnight. See the CYA /chorine / shock chart in pool school

    Poolcalculator.com will tell you how much you need to raise it to that level if you input the size of your pool and strength of liquid chlorine , it can't tell you how much you will need to keep it there, as the pool gets better it will take less and less chlorine to keep it at shock level. So after starting to shock check chlorine level after an hour, then every 2 or 3 hours adding more chlorine as needed to maintain an FC of 24 on the FAS-DPD test Once test levels drop by less than 1 ppm FC over night (dark at night until dark in the mornin) you will be done shocking, and can let FC fall to target level of 7 and a minimum of 5. At this point we can worry about fine tuning your water.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    joshearl's Avatar
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    Re: Looking For Swamp Guidance

    Well it is nice to hear that my water is somewhat good despite its appearance! I re-read the pool school info, particularly how to shock and defeating algae, and it made a lot more sense after your explanation. I unfortunately didn't buy enough liquid chlorine earlier and don't have anything but a basic CL & PH test kit for now but over the course of the night I've added 384oz of 10%, about 200oz short of the pool calculator's recommended dosage to hit FC 24. I'll run down and get my water tested in the am and see how it's doing. Hopefully I won't have to restart the shocking process but either way I'm going to need more liquid chlorine!

    I am a bit worried about my filter however. It is running fairly high, a bit above 30psi, so I think I need to backwash it. I have figured out how to put it in backwash position, turns out it just takes a bit of muscle to pull it open and to close it back up. Is my thinking correct and should I also give the filter a hosing down? Also, sorry for posting in the wrong forum, didn't even realize there was one for algae advice. Thanks again.
    25,000gal Plaster
    Pentair Nautilus NS-60 DE Filter

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    Re: Looking For Swamp Guidance

    Definitely back wash the filter..not sure about the rinsing part though . My guess is that you will need quite a bit of bleach, not just to get to shock level, but to keep it there for 2-3 days in a 22k gal pool. Walmart has 182oz bottles of great value 6% unscented bleach for $2.54 each, grab 15+ of them and keep what's left for daily chlorinating. Don't worry about the strange looks with the cart full of bleach They also carry HTH liquid shock (10% bleach) but it's a bit more pricey

    Keep the filter running 24/7 after the backwash and during the shock process

    Excellent choice on the TF100

    The leslie's kit red shirt mentioned is a great kit too, but is not available in local leslie's store (online only) and when it is, it's usually an internet purchase return, or they will try to sell you their version of the k2005, which is not a fas-dpd kit.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Looking For Swamp Guidance

    Hi Joshearl, welcome to TFP! I was looking at the pool store's testing results and it says your CH is 90. That is too low for a gunnite pool. (By the way, please edit your signature for a larger, darker font. It's a little rough on my middle aged eyes!) You can use some calcium hypochlorite in the shock process to bring up your calcium to at least 150. Go to The Pool Calculator and check out the "effects of adding chemicals" section near the bottom of the page. That will tell you how much cal-hypo to use to raise your CH.
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    Re: Looking For Swamp Guidance

    It is good that you are getting started, the suggestion of using some Cal Hypo if you can find it will save the step of adding a Calcium hardness increaser later and add chlorine at the same time for the shock process. It will be hard to maintain correct shock levels without an accurate FAS-DPD chlorine test (the cheaper test kits will read off scale at the levels you need for shocking at your CYA level, but you can at least get in the ball park by adding 4 parts pure chlorine free water to 1 part pool water on a cheap DPD chlorine test then multilying your result by 5. This will read a max color reading for a chlorine level of 25. Then go back and rest again with 5 parts chlorine free water and 1 part pool water and multiply by 6, make sure it does not read off the top of scale at this level with this you should be able to keep your chlorine level between 25 and 30. The same could be done with the even cheaper OTO test, but trying to distinguish shades of yellow are harder to do and just add to the reduction in resolution you get with multiplying results.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Looking For Swamp Guidance

    that should be test again not rest again
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  17. Back To Top    #17
    joshearl's Avatar
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    Re: Looking For Swamp Guidance

    Thanks for your replies, I appreciate all the help I can get and I'm starting to grasp all the concepts after reading over pool school and various posts a few times . I do plan on ordering the TF-100 in the next few days, but even then it is going to take a while to ship. So while I wait I bought the best DPD test kit at Leslie's Pool Supply with the intent of returning. It unfortunately has a crappy chlorine test so this is going to be difficult to really know if I'm maintaining appropriate shock levels but I will be able to test everything else without driving to Leslie's. Isaac if you could over the steps you outlined in greater detail, specifically what is free water vs pool water.

    Meanwhile, I backwashed the filter but didn't notice any DE or crud coming out, just lots of water that looked about the same color as the pool. This lead me to believe i needed to pull out the filter and clean it. When I opened it up I was shocked at how disgustingly dirty it was, I'm talking leaves and lots of crud (besides the dirty DE) everywhere! I forgot to take a pic but remembered quickly after doing an initial quick rinse on the top. It was still extremely dirty at this point, especially towards the core of the slats.



    I did my best and used a spray nozzle to get most of the crud and leaves out but some in the core and some at the bottom were stuck. After I put it back in turned the pump on I added 8-10 1lb coffe cans worth of DE, I hope this was the right amount. The pump is now running at 15psi, half of what it was when it was dirty, and the returns are blowing out considerably harder.

    Last night I put in enough liquid chlorine last night to raise it to around 20ppm and while I was at Leslie's this morning my chlorine was at 3. I used the pool calculator and added 575oz of 10% liquid chlorine again now to raise it back up to shock level; I have enough on stock to keep it there until the sun sets. I will also test the CH level after this chlorine has a couple hours to work around and then see how much hypochlorite to add.

    The weather report is showing possible rain and thunderstorms this weekend, will this affect my progress?
    25,000gal Plaster
    Pentair Nautilus NS-60 DE Filter

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    Re: Looking For Swamp Guidance

    With CYA at 60, shock level is 24ppm. Since you are flying visually impared on the test kit, you can safely aim to raise the FC to 30ppm or so to get things going
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Looking For Swamp Guidance

    Rain won't affect anything (except how comfortable you are ).

    Which DPD test kit did you get? If it's the big one that has all the other tests (pH, TA, CH, CYA), you can just buy the single FAS-DPD kit from TF testkits.
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    Re: Looking For Swamp Guidance

    Dmanb2b, sounds good I'll add a bit more chlorine then if going over 25ppm is ok.

    Melt In The Sun, its only model number seems to be 18-576, the biggest kit they had, here's a couple pics:



    It's been over an hour since I added the 3+ gallons of liquid chlorine to get into shock mode and my CH is reading 80-90ppm just as the pool store test found before. I'm going to go get some cal-hyp and get that level up as I shock as per zea-3's advice.
    25,000gal Plaster
    Pentair Nautilus NS-60 DE Filter

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