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Thread: New Pool Owner

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    New Pool Owner

    I know I do not have much information to share with everyone yet, but hopefully this is more of a generic question. Had a pool guy come yesterday to open the pool. He said the pool equipment looks close to 30 years old, but seems to be running okay. Put the fear in god in us first that if something went wrong how much money, time and digging up it will take. We just bought the house in January and never owned/worked/operated a pool or it's equipment before. The pool guy was in a bit of a rush (our faults) and left us with some chemicals. He said to always keep the chlorine tablets in the pool in the floating dolphin guy we have. He said to add 8oz. of algaecide 1 time a week. He added 3 bags of shock to the pool when opening, however our question is when do we have to add more shock to the pool? How often do you have to test the pool with those strips? Since so many chemicals were added yesterday when would be a fair time to start testing and monitoring the levels of our pool and taking the necessary steps to care for it? We were supposed to do a "pool school" with him, but due to lack of time - we had to re-schedule until the beginning of June! We just want to make sure we keep on it and know what to do and how often for the next month to avoid any problems that will just cost us more money.
    18,500 IG Gunite Tahoe Blue pool With 7x7 attached Spa
    Jandy CL580 Filter x4
    Jandy Stealth 2.0 Two Speed Pump
    Pentair LA001N BOOSTER PUMP
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    TF-100 Test Kit & Speedstir

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner

    Welcome to TFP and pool ownership!

    We can help you have much better water for much less time and effort than the pool company method will involve. Start out reading Pool School and you'll know enough to do it on your own in no time.

    This is a good article to start with Basic Pool Care Schedule
    as well as these two: Pool Definitions and Abbreviations
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: New Pool Owner

    1. There's nothing wrong with a 30 year old pool. Mine's around 60 years old, and I found receipts for the remodel/new equipment from 1989. My filter worked fine all last season, but I did replace it this year.

    2. Tablets can be OK for short periods of time, but that depends on your CYA level. See #5 below in regards to test kits.

    3. I wouldn't add algaecide.

    4. Read the Pool School in the top right hand corner and read about the shock process. It will tell you exactly how long you need to hold it there.

    5. Since this is the point where you mentioned strips, I recommend getting a good kit from tftestkits.com and do away with the strips. You are going to have a difficult time judging where you are at with strips.

    You can do all of this without a pool guy. I have owned a pool for a total of about 7 months at this point. Check out my OLD pool that has only been touched by ME since purchase!
    my-pool-since-going-bbb-t31104.html
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: New Pool Owner

    Thanks for the tips. I have read and printed out every topic from Pool School. Our pool is pretty much in direct sunlight all day long. So from what I am reading my CYA level should be between 70-80 - or would you say between 30-50, I am reading conflicting things? So I should begin testing my pool as soon as today to check the levels of everything?
    18,500 IG Gunite Tahoe Blue pool With 7x7 attached Spa
    Jandy CL580 Filter x4
    Jandy Stealth 2.0 Two Speed Pump
    Pentair LA001N BOOSTER PUMP
    AQUA PURE PLC1400 SWG
    JANDY LXI 400k BTU HEATER
    AQUA LINK RS CONTROL PANEL
    TF-100 Test Kit & Speedstir

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    Re: New Pool Owner

    You will probably get different answers on CYA, but I am keeping mine between 30 and 50 for now (not a salt pool). That way if I have to resort to tablets for any reason (I have a bunch of them) I don't have to worry about carrying my CYA too high.

    The higher numbers you see are for folks with salt pools so the SWG won't have as hard a time keeping up with chlorine loss.

    Mine gets a lot of sun until about 5 or 6 PM, then it starts to get shade, at least this time of year. It will get more and more sun as we get to summer. I pretty much had to add chlorine every day during last summer, this year I have a Liquidator to do it for me.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Test Results In - Please Help

    Sunday - Pool Opened and Chlorine Tablets added and 3 bags of shock

    Monday morning - Pool was looking cleaner and crisp

    Monday night - we hooked up the dolphin cleaner that was left with the house - this morning the pool is looking kinda cloudy. Not sure if it had something to do with all the dirt in the pool that was getting kicked up by the machine.

    Tuesday morning - since I do not have a good test kit yet, I just used the strips that were left to us. Here are the results.

    pH - was between 6.2 & 6.8
    FC - was like a .5
    TA - was a big 0
    Stabilizer - was between 0 & 30-50 range

    At this point I am not sure what to do - what to add or how much of it? We are so new at this that we are afraid to do that wrong thing.

    Please help.
    18,500 IG Gunite Tahoe Blue pool With 7x7 attached Spa
    Jandy CL580 Filter x4
    Jandy Stealth 2.0 Two Speed Pump
    Pentair LA001N BOOSTER PUMP
    AQUA PURE PLC1400 SWG
    JANDY LXI 400k BTU HEATER
    AQUA LINK RS CONTROL PANEL
    TF-100 Test Kit & Speedstir

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    Re: New Pool Owner

    It's gonna be a little hard to help you in the manner you would like because your test strip results are not accurate.

    Hopefully PH you mean 7.2 - 7.8, not 6.2
    TA = 0, I doubt it.

    The best advice I can give you is this (and I went through the exact same process your going through) -

    Take a deep breath
    Get some more chlorine in the pool (tabs, shock whatever - it's all the same) and keep the FC at 5 for now.
    Order a good test kit - TF 100 is what most of us use and love
    Spend the next few days reading and re-reading pool school until it kinda makes sense.

    Once you have a complete set of real test results post it and we can help. For now - just dont let that FC level be really low for days and days.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner

    Test strips are inherently unreliable, but if those numbers are even close to right you need to bring the TA and PH up right away.

    By far the best thing you can do would be to get a top quality test kit. I recommend the TF100 from TFTestKits.net. The Taylor K-2006 is also good. Without accurate test results it is impossible to be sure of what you need to do.

    Since getting a test kit may take a few days, it would be good if you could double check your test strips by taking a sample to a pool store.

    Assuming the test strips are essentially correct, you should raise TA to around 50 with baking soda, allow that to mix in for at least an hour with the pump running, and then get a new set of test results for PH and TA.

    What kind of "shock" are you using? It should give a chemical name on the package somewhere, or if you tell us the brand name we can probably figure it out for you.
    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: New Pool Owner

    I am going to order the test kit today - in the meantime I will take your advice and bring sample of water to pool store. I emailed our pool guy who opened the pool to find out what type of "shock" he left us. I am not sure off the top of my head - know they were in white bags with red writing.

    The strips I have to say - are not changing in color much from when I pull them out of the container and dip them in the water - they look like the same colors just wet! It makes me wonder if they are even working at all!

    But I am sure something is off in the pool - it is looking a cloudy to me.

    I just do not want the pool store to suck me into buying hundreds of dollars worth of chemicals - hopefully they will tell me what I need and I can revert to this site for expert help!
    18,500 IG Gunite Tahoe Blue pool With 7x7 attached Spa
    Jandy CL580 Filter x4
    Jandy Stealth 2.0 Two Speed Pump
    Pentair LA001N BOOSTER PUMP
    AQUA PURE PLC1400 SWG
    JANDY LXI 400k BTU HEATER
    AQUA LINK RS CONTROL PANEL
    TF-100 Test Kit & Speedstir

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner

    The pool store will almost always try to sell you something. Just say you think you have some at home and do not buy anything. If you feel like you must buy something, then get some liquid chlorine.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Day 2 - Test Results

    Well we added some shock to the pool last night and ran the filter all night long...the pool looked clearer today. However when I tested the water, the TA and pH were very low but the FC was high.

    Was going to try to buy baking soda to raise the TA - but how much do I put in - 1 small box? 1 large box?

    Should I instead buy Soda Ash/Washing Soda and use that to attempt to raise both the TA and pH?

    Or just stick with the baking soda for the TA and borax for pH?
    18,500 IG Gunite Tahoe Blue pool With 7x7 attached Spa
    Jandy CL580 Filter x4
    Jandy Stealth 2.0 Two Speed Pump
    Pentair LA001N BOOSTER PUMP
    AQUA PURE PLC1400 SWG
    JANDY LXI 400k BTU HEATER
    AQUA LINK RS CONTROL PANEL
    TF-100 Test Kit & Speedstir

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner

    Using baking soda and borax is a little easier, a little less expensive, and those are the chemicals you would tend to want to have on hand. But you can do it either way.

    The best thing to do is to raise TA up to around 50 to 60 with baking soda, give it an hour to mix in, then retest both PH and TA and see what adjustments are needed from there.

    You can calculate quantities with the Pool Calculator.
    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: New Pool Owner

    Seems like you have a lot of unknowns regarding your filtration system, effectiveness of your equipment, let alone the chemicals. There are so many what ifs and variables when dealing with a pool with older equipment. Your filter may be dirty, or may be kicking back, could have bad/torn grids or cracked manifold, etc. I would try to find a reputable, and affordable professional to come out and give you an estimate on weekly maintenance, or atleast going through the filter to make sure you have proper filtration to start with, then go from there.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner

    Don't be alarmed by what Poolninja says, I see nothing in your posts to indicate any problems that point to any non-working equipment. I don't see any issues that you can't handle. Your first order of business should be to get a good test kit. I recommend the TF-100 if you haven't already ordered one.

    Keep adding some chlorine every day until you get your kit and then come back and post the test results here and we'll help you get going.

    It would help if you could take some pics of your equipment and post them too.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: New Pool Owner

    I was just about to post a message saying some pictures of your pool and equipment would really help about now, but Dave beat me to it. Also get back to us on what is in the "shock" you are using, and get us those pool store numbers while waiting on your good test kit to arrive. As to your target CYA level, part of the reason you will see a lot of variation on advice is you have not shared with us where you are located. Simply put, full sun light is brighter in FL than in WA. Until we get some good numbers the best we can hope for is that you don't get into a runaway algae bloom situation, which I fear you may be close to doing. My advice at the moment is to keep the Chlorine level up using only liquid chlorine or bleach until we get some idea of your CYA levels.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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