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Thread: Order of operations

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Order of operations

    Basic details: I have a 18 x 36 in ground pool with steps, about 24K gallons i think. It came with the house, we bought the place in 1999, and I don't have a great clue about maintaining things. We replaced the liner last year, so the pool was refilled completely in late July.

    I found this site a few days ago and have been researching some stuff.

    I'm using test strips and they read PH 6.8, Alk 40, FC 0, CYA 0 and CH was pretty low as well. I added about 18 or so lbs of Calcium Monday and that is now registering 100. I added 20 lbs of baking soda today and my ALK seems to be around 80ish. The 1.42 gallons of 6% bleach i added today didn't last that long... So I've added maybe 3 lbs of CYA since I didn't have much to begin with.

    So I never really got all the new pool water situated correctly last summer. My question is what should I focus on first. I was thinking ALK, which is why the bakinf soda and then PH. Then deal with CYA completely and start the shock process. My pool is cloudy and I just took the cover off 5 days ago. Years past it'd be crystal clear when I took the cover off.
    24,000 18 x 36 IG vinyl. Hayward S-244T sand filter( up to 52 GPM flow rate) w/ EZ Flo 3/4 HP 1.0 SF

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL

    Re: Order of operations

    First things first - the strips are not going to cut it. If you want to take total control of the pool once and for all, that is where you need to start.

    Yes, targeting your TA first is fine, you can use just baking soda and then target the PH separately with Borax. Alternatively, soda ash will raise both. Do you know how to use the Pool Calculator yet?

    CH of 100 is fine for vinyl. Get your CYA in the 30-50 range and then use bleach accordingly. Regardless of what you decide to tackle first, you need a little bleach each evening to keep the pool sanitized.

    Post back if you need clarification on anything. Welcome to TFP
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Order of operations

    I have been using the pool calculator. That's what clued me into how much baking soda to use. I also got the Borax amount for my PH. I'll buy that tommorow morning.

    I read the test kit section and know I need to order a better quality kit. That will take some time, so I'm hoping to get the ball rolling now and then fine tune it once i have the new kit.

    I've already learnt alot reading post here in the last day or so. Got alot more learning to do though.
    24,000 18 x 36 IG vinyl. Hayward S-244T sand filter( up to 52 GPM flow rate) w/ EZ Flo 3/4 HP 1.0 SF

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Order of operations

    TF-100 kit has been ordered. I read a post on algae and it mentiooned having a lower PH around 7.2 - 7.4. So I'll target that lower range when I add the borax. This should be interesting...
    24,000 18 x 36 IG vinyl. Hayward S-244T sand filter( up to 52 GPM flow rate) w/ EZ Flo 3/4 HP 1.0 SF

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Order of operations

    This is interesting.

    I added 16 lbs of Borax this morning and let it mix in. I checked my PH and it was around 7.4 based on my test strips.

    I added about 4.2 gallons of 6% bleach at 9 AM, this should get me to 10 ppm FC. I tested the water around 10 AM and my FC was 1 and my total chlorine was reading near 5. So I added another 4.2 gallons around 11 AM. I was wondering if the test strips were working, so I did a test right away near where I put the chlorine in and it showed a FC result.

    I test around 1 PM and my FC is about 1 and my total is down around 3 or so.

    If I understand things, this is telling me my chlorine is working on organics in the water. Makes sense since the water is a little cloudy and the liner feels slimy even though the film on the liner is clear. IE I don't have any algae you can see.

    I just added about another 4 gallons of bleach and my FC read 10 PPM in the shallow end. I added the chlorine to the deep end. I'll check it again in an hour or so. I have another 3 gallons on hand that I can add if needed. I wiped out the shelf stock at the local grocery store unless I want to start buying Chlorox.

    My test kit shipped already, though i didn't get a tracking number so I'm hoping it'll show up in a few days.

    Luckily being in Maine no one is gonna be swimming anytime real soon. So i have some time to get the water situated better before swimming season.
    24,000 18 x 36 IG vinyl. Hayward S-244T sand filter( up to 52 GPM flow rate) w/ EZ Flo 3/4 HP 1.0 SF

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Order of operations

    Algae can use up chlorine quite quickly, as you have seen.
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Order of operations

    Yup, the sun finally came out this afternoon but I do have some CYA in my water from yesterdays additions, and my early morning FC drops were during the overcast period. I checked my FC levels at 3:00 and it was down to 5 PPM, so I added about 1.5 gallons of bleach. 3:30 reading was 10 PPM. I brushed the pool again and checked at 4 pm and it was 5 PPM FC and 10 PPM total chlorine. So I added my last 1.5 gallons.

    When I brush the pool I see 'dirt' kicking up into the water. You can't see it looking at the liner but the brush head creates this little wave of brown stuff as it goes across the bottom. So that got kicked up into my water column. I'm not sure how well the sand filer will pull it out but no biggie. I'll probably vacuum in a few days. Maybe sooner.

    I added some more CYA via my skimmer and it's registering at 30 PPM or so now. I'm sure I'm not doing things 100% correctly but I feel like I'm making progress.
    24,000 18 x 36 IG vinyl. Hayward S-244T sand filter( up to 52 GPM flow rate) w/ EZ Flo 3/4 HP 1.0 SF

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