Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 58

Thread: Taking the plunge...

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    44

    Taking the plunge...

    I will apologize in advance for the length of this post, but after reading many remarkable testimonies on this forum I have decided to take the leap of faith into the world of chlorine pools, but will need some guidance along the way! I have taken the first step and ordered a Taylor K2006, which will be here in the next couple days.

    In June of 2007, I bought my house under the impression that despite living in Minnesota and only having “pool season” a few months a year, having a place to take a dip in the backyard would be a perk. Unfortunately, ever since that summer, my opinion has drastically changed to the point that last year I refused to even open my pool. Feeling re-energized, I turned to the web for advice on caring for and maintaining a pool, seeing how my local pool stores advice obviously wasn’t working! My search led me here, where I am pleasantly surprised to find knowledgeable, non-biased people simply helping one another. Bravo TFP!

    When I bought my house, the sellers informed me they had been using Baquacil without any problems (the pool did look spotless when I purchased the house, but never like that again) and directed me to the pool store (LAP) they used for product, as well as any other issues they encountered along the way. I heeded their advice and went LAP, where the family owned customer service was exceptional and as far as I was concerned, they knew what was best for my pool. They recommended sticking with Baquacil and got me all squared away with the chemicals I would need for the summer. Unfortunately, by the time August hit, my pool was filled with Algae. I headed to LAP with my water sample and I was told this happens from time to time. I was told to change the sand in my filter and add (X) amt of oxidizer, algicide, and sanitizer and algistat. This “shock” along with ensuring I am putting the correct amount of maintenance chemical in, backwashing frequently, and using the pool more often to stir things up well should solve the problem.

    Long story short, over the next 2 summers I encountered similar or identical problems at least twice each summer and as you can imagine spent a lot of time at LAP, who I must say tried very hard to make things right (just never supported the conversion to chlorine). Needless to say, this became very expensive and equally frustrating. It got to the point that nearly every time I was in the pool, it was in an attempt to get rid of algae. Multiple times I even spent days cleaning the latter, vacuum, and all hosing with bleach to ensure they were not the source of the problem. I had changed my sand 4 times in the first 3 years and not only was my filter on 24/7, but I was backwashing multiple times a day! It got to the point where if I left my vacuum on in the pool unattended, it would clog the filter and my pump would be running without water going through it, which I have been told can damage the pump. Finally last summer I decided I should drain the whole pool and start over from square one. I drained the pool until there was about a foot of water left, but then decided against cleaning and refilling it for the summer.

    As a side note, I still believe part of the problem is that when the pool was put in, the ground was not completely leveled (or the ground has settled since installation) and there are small crater like holes on the bottom varying in size and shape with the largest one approximately the size of a softball cut in half. These craters make it very difficult for both my auto and manual vacuum to thoroughly clean the bottom of the pool and have left a stain like film in these holes. I have tried to remove these spots with a broom, my foot, and both vacuums without success, which is primarily the reason I was going to drain the entire pool so I could scrub them with some sort of chemical and ensure everything is clean before giving this pool thing one more try.

    Lastly, I am somewhat concerned about my pump because as I mentioned there were a number of times when due to one reason or another the pump was running for a period of time without water circulating through it, which I was told can be very hard on the pump. Is there any way to test the pump to ensure it is still functioning properly? Last year when I used backwash function to empty the pool, it seemed to be functioning fine, but again, ignorance is bliss!

    Now that spring has finally arrived (kind of… its 31* as I write this), my pool is approximately 1/3 full of water d/t rain and snow. It is time to make some decisions:
    1) Should I drain my pool the rest of the way, scrub the whole thing down focusing on the crater like holes in the bottom?
    2) Will having an uneven bottom continue to cause problems with chlorine?
    3) Should I start fresh with new sand in my filter?
    4) Is there anywhere in particular that you recommend buying chemical from either online or otherwise?
    5) Any other thoughts, comments, and advice are more than welcome!

    Again, I greatly appreciate the help and look forward to your responses!
    24ft round AG, 13.5K Gal, vinyl, 1.5HP Pentair Dynamo pump, 22" Pentair Meteor sand filter

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    Welcome to TFP!

    Having an uneven bottom like that is a problem for any system of pool care. The holes provide a place where the water circulation isn't as good and algae can get started. You can compensate for this to some extent by having somewhat higher than otherwise required levels of sanitizer. How much trouble the holes end up causing depends very much on how deep and uneven the holes are.

    I recommend switching to chlorine from baquacil. This will be a bit of a project just at first, but will make everything much simpler afterwards.

    There is a slightly involved procedure you need to follow to convert to chlorine. Read the article in Pool School on doing baqua conversions and follow the steps as outlined there. Doing a complete drain and cleaning out the depressions in the liner first will speed the process up, but you still need to go through the entire conversion process once the pool is full of water again, it will just go more quickly than otherwise.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Largo, FL USA
    Posts
    7

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    Is it a pool with a vinyl liner? I was assuming so based on your description. Read this first, if so: draining-a-vinyl-liner-pool-t19242.html#p157674
    Foxx Pool Grecian 27000 gallons (vinyl liner)
    Sand Filter w/ 300 #'s of Brand New Sand 6/3/11

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    If I read correctly, mogie's pool is an above ground pool, which doesn't have those issues.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Voodoo_Pool's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    On the border AR/TN
    Posts
    82

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    With the pool only 1/3 full (or is it 2/3 empty?), I would think that you can keep this water since it is "natural" from rain and snow...that is to say, without chemicals and hopefully without algae. You should probably wait a bit longer for the weather to increase in temperature before filling the pool, as you do not want to risk any freeze damage. Once you decide that it is 'safe', then re-fill the pool. Determine the level of CYA you want to maintain (from POOL SCHOOL) and add your bleach (CLOROX or other similar liquid chlorine product), along with CYA (leftover pucks or granular). Let everything run for 24 hours and test the water. Post your results for any help that you may desire. Since you have 'pockets' of water that may not get enough circulation, I can NOT stress enough that you need to brush the pool. Luckily, your pool is not very large and should be a quick job to brush it (got kids?). Once the weather is hot enough and you are swimming daily, you may be able to brush less. In this case, circulation from added brushing and "play" is going to be much better than what your pump can provide. AG pools are probably more sensitive to ciruculation 'problems' because of their notoriously undersized pumps and filters (not always, but sometimes). Your sand should be fine and I would recommend keeping it for now. You will have to do some research for the best place for YOU to get chemicals. I use Wal-Mart, COSTCO, and local grocery stores personally. Watch the paper for sales on BLEACH. BBB is simple and BASIC. Don't forget to get a quality test kit and take charge of your pool. Know what you put in the water and why. Enjoy!
    22,000 gallons "L" shaped with spillway spa; Hayward 4820 DE; IG Vinyl; 2000 ppm salt; 50 ppm Borates; liquid chlorine; Polaris w/ booster; TF-100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir

  6. Back To Top    #6
    TravisD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    142

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    I certainly feel your pain. I fell into the Baquacil trap when I first bought my pool. It was installed in March of 2009 and by July I was ready to switch. The water quality was horrible and I threw a lot of money away trying to clear it. With the help of the members of this forum, I successfully switched to chlorine in about six days and could not be happier. I have had nothing but crystal clear sparkling pool water (with the exception of pollen in the springtime) ever since. It is very easy to maintain and I never have to buy anything but chlorine and muriatic acid. No more expensive useless chemicals. Switching has not only been cost effective, it has been a time saver too. Speaking from experience, you will be so happy you made to swap.
    as far as your pump is concerned, I don't think there is a test to perform to see if you have caused damage to it. I have read before it only takes a small amount of water running through it to keep it from overheating. If you overheated it, it probably would have died during the time it had no water running through it. I'd just use it and not worry about it. If it's not broke, don't fix it.
    24' Round AGP | 13,600 Gallons | Waterway Cartridge Filter | Waterway 2 Speed Pump | K-2006 Test Kit
    100% Trouble Free Since The Baqua Conversion

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    lebanon tn
    Posts
    370

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    pretty much- if it aint broke, don't fix it!
    The clearances and the bearings is what gets damaged, usually from lack of lubrication/overheating
    no noise means no bearing damage, and pumping copious amounts of water means little/no clearance (impeller/housing) damage.
    24ft x 52in AGP 18000 gal
    sand filter, 200#,1.5 hp single speed pump
    Wood deck (still in progress...)

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

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    Quote Originally Posted by Voodoo_Pool
    Determine the level of CYA you want to maintain (from POOL SCHOOL) and add your bleach (CLOROX or other similar liquid chlorine product), along with CYA (leftover pucks or granular). Let everything run for 24 hours and test the water. Post your results for any help that you may desire.
    Not a good idea at all. This was recently a baquacil pool, and needs to go through a baquacil conversion before CYA is added.
    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
    Voodoo_Pool's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    On the border AR/TN
    Posts
    82

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Quote Originally Posted by Voodoo_Pool
    Determine the level of CYA you want to maintain (from POOL SCHOOL) and add your bleach (CLOROX or other similar liquid chlorine product), along with CYA (leftover pucks or granular). Let everything run for 24 hours and test the water. Post your results for any help that you may desire.
    Not a good idea at all. This was recently a baquacil pool, and needs to go through a baquacil conversion before CYA is added.
    OOPS! Got ahead of myself on that one. My mistake. Thank you Jason.
    22,000 gallons "L" shaped with spillway spa; Hayward 4820 DE; IG Vinyl; 2000 ppm salt; 50 ppm Borates; liquid chlorine; Polaris w/ booster; TF-100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    44

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    So to clarify, I had approximately 1ft of water in my pool for the majority of last summer and it is approximately 1/3 full now after winter snow and spring rain. It is an AG pool. Should I expect problems from my liner due low levels of water over the summer? Should I avoid draining any further at all cost?

    If draining will not be a problem since it is AG and I decide to fully drain the pool, is there anyway to further level the ground without digging up 8-12in or dirt?

    Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it!
    24ft round AG, 13.5K Gal, vinyl, 1.5HP Pentair Dynamo pump, 22" Pentair Meteor sand filter

  11. Back To Top    #11
    dmanb2b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    3,728

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    I would not fully drain a AGP, unless you plan on repacing the liner. The only way to get rid of those craters is to install a foam bottom, but IMHO is not worth it if it means scraping the liner. Liners, when left dry, even overnight can become brittle/shrink and have a very hard time being re-seated as it was originally installed.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    Hum, my understanding is different. Many above ground pools are taken down every winter, so obviously some above ground pools can be drained and refilled. As far as I know, the only risk from draining an above ground pool is a small chance that the walls will fall down when there isn't any water in the pool. If drained completely you may need to make minor adjustments to the wall and liner positioning as you start to fill, just as was done when it was first setup.

    There are ways to level the ground, but they involve some work and aren't 100% sure to work. If you drain and remove the pool liner you can fill in the low spots with sand, or something else that doesn't settle much, and that should improve things a great deal. How well that works depends on what kind of material is down there. If the ground is very soft/mushy it might not help much. To really get it really completely level you probably would need to dig it out and then fill back in with some non-compressible fill, but you will usually be able to improve it noticably without doing that.
    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

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    44

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    Well I spent the majority of my free time at work last night reading (and re-reading) many threads throughout the forum and my knowledge base and understanding is growing each day. I wish I would have stumbled into this forum years ago!

    So, it doesn't look like there is a consensus on whether or not I have comprimised the integrity of my liner by having my pool partially drained for the last year, but I guess there is nothing I can do about that at this point anyway. I would just hate to throw a bunch of money at it again and then find out my liner is shot.

    Jason, I am hesitant about draining the pool, taking down the liner, attempting to level the ground, and then putting the liner back up because A) I am not confident in my ability to do this and B) this may not even be the cause of my algae problem. In your opinions, do you think it would it be worth while (significantly decrease my previous algae issues) to take on this task or do you think the switch to chlorine will do the trick?

    In regards to the stains at the bottom of the pool, specifically in the small craters, do you think I need to drain the pool to get after those with some sort of chemical (any recommendations?) to get those clean or will the chlorine take care of these? Again, 2 summers ago I tried to clean them with everything I could think of while the pool was full without success. Any chance these could these be "copper stains", which I read can form due to the high use of algicide? I had used high doses of Baquacil algicide while trying to clear up my pool 2 years ago...

    Lastly, I received my Taylor k2006 in the mail yesterday, but the more I read, the more I wonder if I shouldn't have bought the TF1000 instead. From what I understand, the TF1000 has the OTO chlorine test which can be useful for daily chlorine checks and comes with more reactant. Is that correct? Is the OTO chlorine test what most of you use on a daily basis to check FC and CC? The other concern I have is whether or not I will have enough reactant while I am ironing out the conversion. Would I be better off sending the K2006 back and purchasing the TF1000 or will I be just fine with the K2006?

    I apologize for all the questions, but greatly appreciate the help! Thanks again,

    Matt
    24ft round AG, 13.5K Gal, vinyl, 1.5HP Pentair Dynamo pump, 22" Pentair Meteor sand filter

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,337

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    My personal opinion is that unless the craters are causing you significant problems I wouldn't worry about them. Keeping your pool chems in the ranges recommended here will eliminate any algae issue you have had in the past.

    You can try cleaning the depressions with a Magic eraser but don't get too energetic if they don't come clean pretty easily.

    The K-2006 is a good kit and it will do the job but it's really up to you whether you send it back and get the TF-100 or not. It also depends on the return policy of the place you bought it from as to whether I'd send it back or not.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  15. Back To Top    #15

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

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    Quote Originally Posted by mogie
    Lastly, I received my Taylor k2006 in the mail yesterday, but the more I read, the more I wonder if I shouldn't have bought the TF1000 instead. From what I understand, the TF1000 has the OTO chlorine test which can be useful for daily chlorine checks and comes with more reactant. Is that correct? Is the OTO chlorine test what most of you use on a daily basis to check FC and CC? The other concern I have is whether or not I will have enough reactant while I am ironing out the conversion. Would I be better off sending the K2006 back and purchasing the TF1000 or will I be just fine with the K2006?
    The TF-100 has a larger and more logical allocation of different reagents for the various tests. However, if they won't take back the K-2006 there is really nothing wrong with keeping that kit. As for the OTO test, it can only be used as a daily check if you have a fairly consistent daily chlorine demand and add fairly consistent amounts of chlorine to your pool. Even then, it's a good idea to double check with the FAS-DPD chlorine test at least weekly. That would save on reagents, but there's nothing wrong with just using the FAS-DPD test for chlorine. That's what I do, but I only test and add chlorine twice a week because of the relatively low chlorine demand due to use of a mostly opaque pool cover.

    Note that the comparator tube for the pH test is different between the two kits. Personally, I prefer the larger tube of the K-2006 though the pH range is somewhat narrower (I have both kits and use pieces from each). See this link for the K-2006 comparator that is 3.5" tall vs. this link for the K-1000 comparator that is 2.75" tall and is part of the TF-100 kit.
    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"

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    44

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    There is a 25% restocking fee ($15) plus shipping if return the K2006. Not really sure it is worth it. Where do most of you buy more reagent if needed? Also, what is the benefit of the "stir stick", which is an option with TF1000? Is it more of a novelty than a necessity?

    Is the magic eraser something you use while the pool is empty or full? Will it work on a vinyl liner?
    24ft round AG, 13.5K Gal, vinyl, 1.5HP Pentair Dynamo pump, 22" Pentair Meteor sand filter

  17. Back To Top    #17

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

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    Many of the reagents are common between the K-2006 and the TF-100 so you won't lose out there. Just note that the pH reagent is different between the two as their concentration is different corresponding to the different sized sample/comparator tubes.
    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"

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,337

    Re: Taking the plunge...

    The speed stir is definitely worth having. While it's not required if you ever perform the tests without it and then with it you'll wonder how you ever ddi without it in the first place.

    The Magic Eraser can be used with the pool filled with water. It's designed to use water only and no detergent so it's great for pool use.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    44

    Let the conversion begin...

    Well, the pool is full and I am FINALLY getting the conversion ball rolling today.

    When I ran my initial pH test it read > 8. Does this sound correct? Again, I basically started with fresh water this year as I fully drained the pool last summer and didn't fill it again until this year. If this sounds correct, it looks like I should add 30oz. of Muriatic acid. Can I add this all at once, or do I need to add 50%, 25%, 15%, and then the last 10% over 24hr intervals like my Taylor book recommends? Are there any other test I should run before starting? Thanks!
    24ft round AG, 13.5K Gal, vinyl, 1.5HP Pentair Dynamo pump, 22" Pentair Meteor sand filter

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Let the conversion begin...

    Well.... I know that Pool Calculator loses accuracy the larger the change. It even has a disclaimer on it somewhere about that. But 30 oz is not much in a pool your size. I'd personally dilute it in a bucketful of pool water then pour it all in at once, in front of a return. Then grab the brush and give the pool a going-over. Recheck pH in an hour and add some more if needed.

    Take pictures from several angles.

    Then go to town with the bleach, just like the directions say. Take pictures from several angles at least every hour. We want to see the show. Although it might be disappointing since all the bacquacil you have is the residual on the walls and in the plumbing.
    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!

Page 1 of 3 123 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
  •