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Thread: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

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    I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    We are new to pool ownership and I am afraid we have made a mess of it already! With the best of intentions of course. I went to "pool school" and feel like I have a basic grasp of the concepts. The pool sat uncovered possibly for 2 years without being used and then was covered up for a total of 2 years. We removed a TON of debris by blind raking and vacuming. Literally a trash bag full. It was very gross.


    My biggest concern is the money already spent and what we have on hand. I was wondering if I can give a list of what is on hand and if it can be used along with the BBB system which is what we want to convert over to.

    Chlorinating granules (not much left)
    Chlorinating tabs (large bucket)
    Pool is equipped with a in line filter that holds the tabs and we have 7 in it (in the pump house attached to the pump)
    Stabilizer
    Test strips

    We have used granulated shock from Walmart three times. Initially we only used 6 lbs and only a slight change. The last time we used two 10 lbs and started seeing noticeable results. We also used 2 bottles of algaecide (waste of money) but there is now dead algae floating to the surface that we are scooping away and I can somewhat see the bottom of the pool next to the steps. It just doesent seem to be enough though. I did add some Ph up and some Alkaline increaser a few days ago under the assumption that these need to be up in order to get the chlorine to work. I want to keep the process going before I loose what I have, and I have all weekend to dedicate!

    Results from test strips: (and yes I can go get a cheaper kit from walmart or home depot when I get other supplies for today)
    Total hardness low
    Total Chlorine high (10) or higher
    Free chlorine very high (20)
    Ph high
    Total alkalinity low (40)
    Stabilizer ok (50)

    I'm still confused on the "shock" process. Do I need to get my Ph up more first? Alkalinity up? Stabilizer up? Then how many gallons of bleach are we talking about here? I'm a little confused about the Bleach calculator tool. So do the bleach and Alkalinity are most important right now?

    Thanks for any guidance....I'm standing by in the pool house ready to work!
    Pool is 20' by 40'. My calculations are around 35,000 gallons
    2) Sand filter
    3) IG
    4) Vinyl
    5) Hayward pro series high rate sand filter

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    There is no way that your FC is 20 and your TC is 10. TC is a combination of your FC and CC (bad stuff). Did you post those numbers correctly? Ph high doesn't mean much without a number for it. Your TA should go up to between 70 and 90.
    Figure out those chlorine numbers and get back to us. See the chlorine/CYA chart in pool school for what those numbers should be in relationship to each other. CYA (stabilizer level) is fine. If you're committed to using bleach---take the pucks out of your chlorinator----you're adding the arch enemy CYA with those.
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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    Hi skydust124,

    Until you can get one of the recommended kits, like the TF100, my first suggestion is to take a water sample to a pool store and have it tested. You do not need to buy anything, just post the test results here and we can help.

    Assuming the strip is anywhere near correct (ouch... ) your CYA is already at the top recommended level. Therefore, using the tabs will only add to the problem.

    You should use liquid chlorine or plain 6% bleach for shocking the pool. But first, please have the water tested and post the results.

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    You're done SLAMing when:
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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    Fear not, you can get everything under control. But it might take a little while. Clearing up algae can easily take a week, though most of the work is in the first few days. I know there is a lot to take in. Try not to get overwhelmed.

    If there is any remaining debris in the water you want to continue trying to get it out. Any leaves or sludge on the bottom will significantly slow down the process of clearing up the pool. If the leaf rake isn't bringing anything up, try doing some vacuuming, even if you can't see what you are doing. Vacuuming will probably raise the filter pressure fairly quickly, so you will probably need to backwash the filter along the way.

    By far the best thing you can do is to purchase a top quality test kit. It is difficult to make progress if you don't have a much better idea of exactly what you levels are. I recommend the TF100 from TFTestKits.net. The Taylor K-2006 is also good. If you want to make progress this weekend things will be tricky, as the test strips just aren't good enough and it is usually very difficult to get something really good locally. In the mean time, a set of test results from the pool store, as Butterfly suggests is a great idea. Just be careful not to let them sell you lots of stuff you don't need. They exist to sell you things, so watch out there.

    Guessing quite a bit, lets hope that your PH and CYA are alright. A pool store CYA result will help, I totally don't trust test strips for CYA levels. And the PH reading is meaningless when FC is really high, so lets just hope that is alright.

    I suggest adding enough baking soda to raise TA to the 60 to 70 range. The test strips aren't reliable, but either believe them when they say TA is low, or get a better number form the pool store.

    What specific granular shock have you been using? There are several different chemicals granular shock might contain. We need to know which one you were using so we can guess at what side effects it might have been having.

    The next question is about your filter. Have you backwashed the filter recently? How has the filter pressure behaved? Even under ideal conditions, with the algae all dead, a sand filter can take a week or more to completely clear up the water.

    The key to shocking is to get PH, TA, and CYA basically into range, doesn't need to be exact, and then to focus on keeping the FC level high using bleach or liquid chlorine. Just a the moment your FC level is high. When it comes down add more bleach.

    Good Luck and feel free to ask more questions!
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    Imagine all those little growing algae cells in your pool. First there's 2 million, then 4 million, then 8 million, etc. etc.

    "Shocking" adds enough chlorine to the water so that you kill the algae faster than it can grow. As chlorine kills the algae it gets used up (becomes salt basically) so that's why you have to keep adding more.

    If you add only enough chlorine to kill half the algae and then let it grow back you dont get anywhere. That' all that is happening.

    Once the water is clean you can lower your chlorine levels way down because there's virtually no organic matter to use up the chlorine.

    Jason's given you some good advice and some homework on the chems/tests.

    If's it's totally overwhelming at the moment I would just stop (as long as the pool is Green right now). Do some more homework, work through all the processes, ask lots of questions - and get a good test kit! Once you've put the knowledge together with a test kit - clearing the pool will be simple simple.

    *If your pool is kinda cloudy blue at the moment you might not want to stop shocking. You are close to killing the algae and no need to waste the $ you've already put in the pool.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    Ok...so my husband just went to purchase some bleach...and I need to remove the hockey pucks correct?

    We have made excellent progress and I hate to loose money while waiting on the test kit to arrive. We are for sure kind of blue! Can actually see the bottom of the shallow end. I was obviously wrong on the reading the test strips so this is what I have: a high on total chlorine and a high on free chlorine.(obviosly cant tell you the exact amount). Over 10 on both. Turn the darkest colors on the strips.

    CYA seems to be in the ok range...maybe 50 (I hope I'm making sense)

    I'm not avoiding the pool store it is just that the closest one is almost an hour away and they will be closed when I get there.

    So, my goal is to get my TC down and now it is off the charts so we are going to add chlorine bleach. I have calculated 3 gallons to start with 6%.

    Not sure if I'm going to cry or laugh at this point....
    Pool is 20' by 40'. My calculations are around 35,000 gallons
    2) Sand filter
    3) IG
    4) Vinyl
    5) Hayward pro series high rate sand filter

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    You are doing great. If you can see the bottom of the shallow end that is huge progress!

    You want to keep the FC level high, which you do by adding bleach. My suggestion is to wait to add bleach until sunset. It sounds like your FC level is high enough for right this moment. By waiting until evening the FC level will have come down a little and need raising back up, and you will lose less chlorine to sunlight, so have more available to clean up the pool.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    Definitely smile at this point. Dont stop - your really 80% there!

    1 quick point - Total Chlorine (TC) is the sum of Free Chlorine (FC = good) and Combined Chlorine (not so good). TC = FC + CC

    So in a "perfect" pool TC and FC are the same number.

    So just keep that Chlorine elevated until the pool clears. By the time it clears you'll have your new TEST KIT and you can post those results and balance out correctly.

    After that smooth sailing ......
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    Deep, thick, unattended swamps will form long fronds of algae. Trying to shock the water clear costs both time and money. Given that you have scooped as much as you have, I would expect that the water is still far too clouded with flotsam to see more than a foot in.

    This is a situation where a bottle of liquid floc or a couple pounds of powdered broadcast over the surface will work best. Follow the instructions on the package. They usually want you to circulate the pool for an hour and then shut it off. The next morning, the water is clear and all the crud is on the bottom, ready to be vacuumed to waste.

    Scott
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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    Thanks Jason....I fear not. In the meantime the pool house is lovely and I will just stand by and wait! Amazing how I can save lives as an ER nurse but am getting whooped by a swimming pool. The thing is my hubby started this task and I officially took over as the debit card continued to swipe. I always believe in evidence based practice so I found this great site and I don't feel like I'm getting wripped off by the pool guys...buy this...buy that. We have backwashed the pump and it is running beautifully!
    So, should I attempt to sell the hockey pucks?
    Type of shock used is Trichloro-s-triazinetrione with clarifier/filtration enhancer/sunlight protector added
    Thanks, Cysily
    Pool is 20' by 40'. My calculations are around 35,000 gallons
    2) Sand filter
    3) IG
    4) Vinyl
    5) Hayward pro series high rate sand filter

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    That was the shock used yesterday....with decent results. As of now I have added 3 gallons of chlorine removed the pucks and running the pump. I can go get flock if needed....
    Pool is 20' by 40'. My calculations are around 35,000 gallons
    2) Sand filter
    3) IG
    4) Vinyl
    5) Hayward pro series high rate sand filter

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    No real need to sell the pucks as they store very well. Your CYA seems to be at a good level so if you go on vacation some time you can throw the pucks in the feeder and leave for a week without worries.

    You'll get mixed opinions on flock. It sounds like your filter is doing just fine.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    Trichloro-s-triazinetrione is what we call trichlor. It adds CYA along with the chlorine. That is not a very good thing when you are shocking, since more CYA means you need higher FC levels, and if you raise FC with more trichlor you have even more CYA and need even more chlorine. Trichlor also dissolves too slowly for most purposes. If you leave it sitting undissolved on the bottom of the pool it can cause stain the bottom and in extreme cases cause damage.

    I don't like flock, it is a lot of work and fails too often for my tastes. Still, if you are in a huge hurry that is the best way to try and speed things up.
    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

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    I'm only using liquid bleach and not in a big hurry so no flock. I'm more intereted in doing it correctly and stopping the checkbook from draining. I like the BBB system and I'm sold on it. I will just need continued support from y'all....

    The testing kit will be in soon and then I will use those chemistry classes I took!

    This site has made this possible for me instead of the pool folks coming out for 200 dollars and then a ton of chemicals on top of that!

    Pool is 20' by 40'. My calculations are around 35,000 gallons
    2) Sand filter
    3) IG
    4) Vinyl
    5) Hayward pro series high rate sand filter

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    When you have some time, could we see a pic of your pool?

    We can't get too many pics and we love to follow the progress!

    You'll have all the support you need from TFP!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    I use Green to Clean with granular chlorine, it will significantly increase the power of the chorine that your putting in. Usually see a big difference within two days. 2 pounds per 15000 gallons then five minutes later the same with chlorine 2 pounds per 15000. It is made by Coral Seas I believe.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    I really don't recommend Green to Clean. Sometimes it works great, but way to often it causes more problems that it solves. It really only helps when your CYA level is way to high to begin with, and then you need to lower your CYA level anyway and might as well do so first.

    One of the principals we teach is to only use things that you really need to use, and stay away from optional chemicals. Most of them are designed for very specific situations that you probably don't have and many of them have side effects or possible complications that you don't want.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    We have put in a total of 10 gallons of chlorine today...patiently waiting now. Free and total chlorine levels are high on my pitiful strips but I feel like we are heading in the right direction. Only concern is that we were having a lot of dead algae coming to the top yesterday after the store baught "shock" yesterday and havent had any lately...pool is still murky. We did scrape the sides and bottom stirring up a big mess after the first dose of chlorine today, could that be why?

    My husband is watching me with skeptisism and I am preaching BBB to him! I would LOVE to post pics and will tomorrow in the daylight. I can do youtube as well. I like having y'all around. I don't feel so overwhelmed by that massive body of water!



    P.S. Test kit is route!
    Pool is 20' by 40'. My calculations are around 35,000 gallons
    2) Sand filter
    3) IG
    4) Vinyl
    5) Hayward pro series high rate sand filter

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    On the cloudy part - yeah that's it. You've killed off a ton of algae which settles to the bottom and doesn't get filtered out. When you stir it up the water gets cloudy - BUT it gives the filter a chance to filter it out. So stirring all that stuff up is a big part of the process.

    Now is the time for POP (pool owner patience). The water will clear - it just takes time.

    Dont worry about the skepticism. When one first encounters BBB it just sounds like using laundry detergent in the pool. That has nothing to do with it - it's the science, the chemistry, that is important. It just so happens that the chemistry can be achieved with inexpensive off the store shelf products. If the pool store was the only place to get hydrochlorus acid or sodium tetraborate then that's where you would have to get it from. If walmart wants to sell those products for %30 of the cost - we dont mind
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: I could really use some help...ready to start now!

    So, pool is looking magnificant! Can see the bottom even in the deap end. Only problem I am having now is residue floating on top. I'm thinking it is pollen since I do live in Georgia. What can I do for it?

    Also, I need to scrub the sides and steps of the pool to remove algae and grime. Suggestions?
    Pool is 20' by 40'. My calculations are around 35,000 gallons
    2) Sand filter
    3) IG
    4) Vinyl
    5) Hayward pro series high rate sand filter

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