Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 35

Thread: New Pool Owner Getting Started

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    20

    New Pool Owner Getting Started

    First off, thanks to all those that put together this forum and the "Pool School" info. Great stuff.

    I've never owned a pool or spa before, but just bought a house that came with one. I had a pool inspector look at it, and she gave me a brief tutorial on how everything works. She also confirmed that due to a leak in the main drain, which has been plugged, the only way for water to get to the filter is through the (single) skimmer. She said that wasn't necessarily a problem, just that I needed to keep a close eye on water level, which I'm perfectly fine with.

    Now to the water. It's green. Not so green I can't see the bottom, but definitely a nice shade. The first thing I did when I found this site (after reading the "Pool School") was to order a TF-100 XL, which arrives tomorrow. The previous homeowners left behind a bunch of chemicals, including chlorine pucks, a few bags of shock, some Swimtrine algaecide, algae "preventer", and muriatic acid. I'm not planning on using anything until I get the test kit and can test the water, particularly the CYA level.

    So now to my questions: Once I get the water tested, and depending on my CYA level, should I bother with any of the chemicals mentioned above? Should I just proceed with bleach to eliminate the algae? And in the meantime, is there anything else I can or should do, such as vacuum the pool or clean the filter?

    Last question concerning the filter. I got an owners manual and think I understand the procedure to clean the media, but I'm a little worried about draining the tank. The drain plug isn't plumbed anywhere, so water is just going to run all over the place. How much is in there? It looks like I could use my vacuum hose to redirect it to a "better" part of my backyard. Is that fine to do?

    Thanks!

    Rich
    15K Gallon IG Plaster Free Form
    Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1/2 HP

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    First off, I'd physically remove any debris from the pool since that's something you'd do regardless of the test measurements. If there are leaves or other organic matter in the pool, then physical removal is a lot easier than using tons of chlorine and lots of filtration/backwashing/cleaning to get rid of it.

    Then, I'd test the CYA level since if it's very high you will want to do a partial drain/refill to lower it and there's not much sense starting a shock process for a pool that's already about as bad as its going to get and then dilute the water which will get rid of chlorine as well as the CYA. So test the CYA to see if a partial drain/refill is necessary.

    If the CYA isn't too high (< 80 ppm though 50 ppm would probably be a reasonable target depending on where you live) or after you lower it from dilution, then shock with high levels of chlorine using chlroinating liquid or bleach (or if the Calcium Hardness is low and you need to raise it, you can use Cal-Hypo for both chlorine and to raise CH).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Coastalish 'down easter'
    Posts
    4,160

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    Welcome to TFP!!

    It's fine to use the vacuum hose to take the water to a better location. I'd use an adapter to connect the hose to the filter (Hayward SPX1091Z7 works well for this).

    Congrats on the kit Post your test results and we'll be able to offer specific advice on what to do to clear up the pool
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  4. Back To Top    #4
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,965

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    while you wait for your kit, to stay on top of greeny growing things... dump a jug or two of Clorox in there each evening, until everything is running more smoothly and you can shock. Only do this if you have a way to circulate the water.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    20

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    Alright then. This should be fun. I skimmed all the physical debris I could from the pool. Already looks a heck of a lot better, even if it's still green. Now for the test results:

    FC = 0
    CC = 0
    TC = 0
    pH = 8.2
    T/A = 110
    CH = 220
    CYA = 0
    Temp = 64

    So... That CYA of zero can't be a good thing right? We probably get a good 4-5 hours of full sun on the pool right now. Should I raise that first before bothering to add any chlorine? And if so, what level should I shoot for, 30? I've got lots of muriatic acid left by the previous owners that I can use to lower that pH. Should I go ahead and do that now too? And how about the other numbers, anything to worry about?

    Thanks!
    15K Gallon IG Plaster Free Form
    Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1/2 HP

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    20

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    Forgot to add... I discovered a few pretty interesting little creatures while skimming the pool. They are snake/worm looking things, but with four legs, a few inches long and perhaps 1/2 an inch across. I'll post a photo shortly. Not sure I want to show them to my wife or else she may never get in the pool again, regardless of how clear the water becomes
    15K Gallon IG Plaster Free Form
    Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1/2 HP

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    20

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    I guess they're salamanders of some kind. Found three of them...

    One more question. I feel like I should give the walls and bottom a good brushing. It seems to remove the algae to the water itself. Should I do this now, after I add chlorine, or some other time?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    15K Gallon IG Plaster Free Form
    Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1/2 HP

  8. Back To Top    #8
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    Lower the PH to around 7.2 to 7.4 and remove any debris that you can with a leaf rake. Then start shocking and adding CYA at the same time, targeting a CYA level of 30 to begin with.

    Brushing now won't hurt, but it won't help a whole lot until there is chlorine in the water. The important time to brush is while the FC level is high.
    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

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Sunny Central Florida
    Posts
    91

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    No help on identification, but definitely do NOT show those to the wife. This wife would scream :P and then never go in the pool, LOL.
    IG Plaster 20,000gal, attached spa w/ spillover, hayward C12002 cart filter, 1 1/2hp pump w/ polaris 360
    6/16/12 - PH 7.6, FC 6, CC 0, CYA 30, TA 80, Calcium 310

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    20

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    I added MA yesterday and got pH down to 7.5 I added a bit more to get to 7.4 and then started adding CYA and chlorine. I think I overshot on both, because last night my CYA was at 40 and my FC was at 22. Perhaps I overestimated the number of gallons of water I have. In any case, I gave the pool a thorough brushing and went to bed. This morning the CYA is holding steady at 40, and the FC is down to 16. I guess that's shock level for CYA=40, so I'll leave it for now and check again in an hour or two.

    Meanwhile, my pH is back up to 8.2? Is that due to the CYA or chlorine I added?

    Also, I've had the filter running non-stop, which I'll maintain.
    15K Gallon IG Plaster Free Form
    Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1/2 HP

  11. Back To Top    #11
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    The PH test can read falsely high when the FC level is high. There should be a moment at some point today when FC is below 10 when you can measure the PH and get a more significant PH reading, or you can just wait until you are done shocking to worry about PH.
    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

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    20

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    Okay, that makes sense. I'll just wait to be done shocking and then worry about pH.
    15K Gallon IG Plaster Free Form
    Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1/2 HP

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    20

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    So after several more FC measurements, I think my first measurement of 16 this morning was in error. It was early, and I hadn't had any coffee yet, so perhaps I wasn't careful enough with the measurement. In each test since, my FC is holding steady at 20. It doesn't seem to have changed at all, and the water isn't really changing either. I gave the pool another good brushing. Is something preventing the chlorine from attacking the algae? I guess after reading the pool school articles, I expected things to be going quicker than this. In fact, I assumed I'd be way down on chlorine this morning and be adding more frequently today. I haven't added any since last night.
    15K Gallon IG Plaster Free Form
    Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1/2 HP

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    20

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    I guess I'll bide my time until the FC finally drops below 10 as JasonLion suggests, then measure pH again to be sure where I'm at. Perhaps it's higher than ideal and rendering the chlorine less effective.
    15K Gallon IG Plaster Free Form
    Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1/2 HP

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    Your CYA may also be higher than you think, unless you bought the liquid stuff.

    Also remember that the only time the water at the bottom gets circulated is when you brush it, skimmer and returns aren't usually at much different elevation. If your returns are moveable, aim them at the floor.
    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!

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    20

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    Guess I just needed to be patient. After another careful measurement I'm down to FC = 13. I'm going to bring it back up to shock level and brush again.

    My skimmer and returns ARE at the same elevation, and I'm afraid mine aren't moveable. I'll keep brushing frequently.
    15K Gallon IG Plaster Free Form
    Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1/2 HP

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    20

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    So while inspecting my returns I noticed that they were a LOT less forceful than I remember them being. The pressure gauge on my filter was up to 24 from 19 where it was when I first checked it. Before doing anything else I decided that I just had to get that thing cleaned. As far as I know the previous owners NEVER cleaned it, and I'm going to have to do it sooner or later.

    I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I shut the filter off, closed off the valve next to the pump, released pressure via the valve on the top, then started draining. The water just kept coming, and coming, and coming. Maybe I'm misjudging it, but that thing just doesn't look that big. I'm creating a small lake in my backyard. I also started hearing a "hiss" again from the pressure relief valve as it drained. Anything I'm missing? Do I just need to give it enough time to fully drain? Am I draining my pool unknowingly?

    I'm on hold for now. Guess I'll have to start the shocking process over again.
    15K Gallon IG Plaster Free Form
    Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1/2 HP

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    530

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by snipes
    So while inspecting my returns I noticed that they were a LOT less forceful than I remember them being.
    So probably time for a backwash
    The pressure gauge on my filter was up to 24 from 19 where it was when I first checked it.
    So probably time for a backwash
    Before doing anything else I decided that I just had to get that thing cleaned.
    Correct, by "backwashing" alone should be ok
    As far as I know the previous owners NEVER cleaned it,
    He most likely did clean it, but the algae etc now has it dirty again and I'm going to have to do it sooner or later.
    You'll backwash somewhat frequently till you get it balanced & then maybe another time or 2, then it'll probably become far less frequent. You have to watch that pressure. Once you backwash, it is somewhat clean and starts at whatever, in your case maybe 19 as you wrote (but lets see what it STARTS at after you backwash) then when it gets about 9psi higher means time to backwash

    I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I shut the filter off, closed off the valve next to the pump, released pressure via the valve on the top, then started draining. The water just kept coming, and coming, and coming. Maybe I'm misjudging it, but that thing just doesn't look that big. I'm creating a small lake in my backyard. I also started hearing a "hiss" again from the pressure relief valve as it drained. Anything I'm missing? Do I just need to give it enough time to fully drain? Am I draining my pool unknowingly?
    It sounds like you are doing it wrong. We need to know what kind of filter you have BTW. To backwash you: Power Off the pump so that you can turn the Multiport Valve (MPV) to the Backwash position, then Power On & it starts to backwash (out into the grass via a pipe/ maybe w a flexible tube on that pipe etc). Once done backwashing, maybe 2 minutes(?) (read up here on TFP re backwashing), once the water is clear then maybe 10 seconds more; then power Off so you can move the MPV to Filter again, Then Power On to start filtering. Never turn your MPV while the power is On
    That is backwwashing.
    You can indeed "clean" the filter, but so that you can keep shocking, maybe try "backwashing" for now, see if you feel more normal return water. It's fine to "clean" the filter too, but even if you do, you'll likely be "backwashing" a bunch till you get it balanced
    There are several threads on "cleaning" filters


    I'm on hold for now. Guess I'll have to start the shocking process over again.
    Maybe not, if you can apply what I wrote. Keep that FC up at shock level & the filter pressure in range (backwash as needed). We can probably assume your pH went to the proper range when you added the acid, but if FC is below 10 then do a pH test, but FC/shocking is more important now
    Jason & the others will chime in but its getting late for many.

    You'll loose water backwashing so watch the water level as you said

    What can you rig to get some flow toward the bottom? A sump pump w a hose shooting to the bottom ? Don't scratch the plaster. Something plastic/pool freindly/non-metal in front of a return to direct the water down? Other may have some ideas
    19,800 gallons (closed/winter 18,654 gal); plaster; 18x34 Ft kidney bean shape, Depth 3Ft-5Ft. Built 1992
    Pentair Whisper Flow Pump 1HP. Winter safety cover w anchors.
    Sand filter, Pentair Sand Dollar Top Mount Model SD80; Effective Filtration Area 3.5SF
    - FlowRate 75GPM, 8Hr 36,000, 10Hr 45,000, 12Hr 54,000; Pressure Weight 50PSI
    BBB (Hayward Chlorinator when leave town). Polaris 360 cleaner.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    20

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    Johnny, thanks for all the help... I have a Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120 Cartridge filter and according to my owners manual, it cannot be backwashed. My only option is to take the thing apart and clean it. In theory this sounds quite easy, I'm just surprised at how much water was draining out.
    15K Gallon IG Plaster Free Form
    Sta-Rite System 3 Mod S7M120
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1/2 HP

  20. Back To Top    #20
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: New Pool Owner Getting Started

    It sounds like you are doing it right. They hold a lot of water. You are probably also draining a little of the water out of the plumbing.
    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

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •