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Thread: A few questions from a first-time pool owner...

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    A few questions from a first-time pool owner...

    Hi,

    My wife and I just bought our first house and to add to the overwhelming responsibility of home ownership, the house has a pool (20 Kgal, salt water cell, sand filter, vinyl liner). We just had our pool opened on April 19th. Visually, the water has cleared dramatically however it looks like it's hit a plateau; we can see the shallow end easily but the deep end (~8 ft.) is still obscured. It has been this way for about 3 days now. Additionally, there are floating clear 'bits' on the top surface of the pool even though the pump has been running 24/7 since the opening.

    Chemistry as follows:

    pH = ~6.8-7.0
    FC = 10+ ppm (we have added a bit of shock since opening to kill the large amount of algae)
    alkalinity: ~80-120
    stabilizer: ~40-80
    salt: 4000 [ppm?] (to keep the FC up for the algae)
    ~ Gross estimates using test strips.

    My questions:

    1. Are the floating clear bits on the surface dead algae that need to be vacuumed?
    2. Is the cloudy appearance a result of the large amount of undiluted salt or other particulates?
    3. What should be our next steps to get everything crystal clear and balanced?

    Thanks for your advice in advance!
    20x40 IGP Vinyl, 120,000L
    Hayward sand Filter
    Pentair Intelliflo (19gpm max)
    15 boxes(@4x10) of Enersol Solar Panels(S,E,W), Pentair solar controller
    AutoClear SWG, Kreepy Krawly
    Clear Vinyl Solar Cover, with solar reel, turning-your-green-swamp-back-into-a-sparking-oasis-t4147.html

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions from a first-time pool owener...

    Hi, Danny,

    Welcome to the forum Regardless of the source (which means "I don't know" ) always manually scoop out as much debris as possible. Once cleaned up, it is very unlikely to return.

    The cloudy appearance normally means you are simply not finished with the shock process. Run your pump 24/7, backwash/clean as necessary, and keep your FC at a high level to promote oxidation. It will clear in time.

    I have an agenda in that I manufacture and sell a test kit but, if you hang around this forum to read much, you will learn that a high quality kit is absolutely mandatory for good pool water management. The strips simply won't reveal the information you need to keep your pool crystal clear.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions from a first-time pool owener...

    Welcome to TFP!

    The skimmer should be catching things floating on the surface. Does the water circulate nicely around the pool, washing debris into the skimmer? If the return jets are not setup correctly there can sometimes be circulation problems that prevent the skimmer from working correctly.

    Salt doesn't normally cause cloudiness except right when you are pouring it in.

    By far the best next step is to get more reliable test results. Depending on your actual FC and CYA levels you may or may not be at shock level. It is also a good idea to take a look at the filter and see how it is doing, does it need cleaning, how has the filter pressure been behaving?
    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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    Re: A few questions from a first-time pool owener...

    The best thing you can do for yourself right now is

    1) Get a good test kit. TFT Test Kits sell the TF 100 which is going to be the best value (more reagent per $). The Taylor K-2006 is good as well - the important part is to have a real FAS-DPD Chlorine test. These are not found in most test kits.
    2) Spend enough time in Pool School to make sure you understand the chemistry.

    Sand filters can be a little slow to clear a pool - so it may just need more time. Just as likely you may need to shock the pool awhile longer or at a higher level - depending on you CYA levels which we dont know.

    It'll be a little overwhelming at this stage but it gets A LOT easier (I was in your situation last year).

    This forum is the best source of information you are gonna find and the people are great. If you end up at a pool store this week, get a test done but dont buy anything. They will definitely try to sell you clarifier and phosfree at this stage - neither of which you need. Just post their suggestions and we'll save you some money.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: A few questions from a first-time pool owner...

    I've included a low-res picture of the floating debris in question.

    [attachment=0:30ox5ud6]photo.jpg[/attachment:30ox5ud6]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20x40 IGP Vinyl, 120,000L
    Hayward sand Filter
    Pentair Intelliflo (19gpm max)
    15 boxes(@4x10) of Enersol Solar Panels(S,E,W), Pentair solar controller
    AutoClear SWG, Kreepy Krawly
    Clear Vinyl Solar Cover, with solar reel, turning-your-green-swamp-back-into-a-sparking-oasis-t4147.html

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions from a first-time pool owner...

    It's difficult to be sure from the photo, but that doesn't look too bad. Remember that it is pollen season many places, so stuff accumulates fairly quickly on the surface.
    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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    Re: A few questions from a first-time pool owner...

    I thought it was pollen at first. After further reading, I think it could also be dead algae. Either way, the skimmer IS collecting larger debris (bugs, leaves, etc.), but doesn't seem to be getting the pollen/dead algae.

    Next goal is a good test kit.
    20x40 IGP Vinyl, 120,000L
    Hayward sand Filter
    Pentair Intelliflo (19gpm max)
    15 boxes(@4x10) of Enersol Solar Panels(S,E,W), Pentair solar controller
    AutoClear SWG, Kreepy Krawly
    Clear Vinyl Solar Cover, with solar reel, turning-your-green-swamp-back-into-a-sparking-oasis-t4147.html

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    Re: A few questions from a first-time pool owner...

    I like using a skimmer sock as well. It's great at catching pollen, fine dirt, and bugs and keeping them out of my filter. I clean the sock every day or so depending on conditions.
    Garden Leisure Voyager 12x24 AGP, 7500 Gallons, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 1 HP pump, dual speed, Hayward XStream Cartridge Filter, 120 GPM,

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: A few questions from a first-time pool owner...

    Yes - a good kit is essential because there is a huge difference in a CYA of 40 and a CYA of 80 - So your FC "shock" level has to be at least 16 or as high as 31 - and there is no way to read that with strips.
    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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