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Thread: Just landed in the deep end...

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    Just landed in the deep end...

    So, we just expanded our family with twin girls, for a total of 4 kids.
    We needed a new house, and finally bought a house - with a pool.

    Yep, in at the deep end.

    I have never owned a pool before, and my wife has only ever taken care of a hot tub. So, we have a bit of a learning curve ahead of us.

    The pool is about 500sqft, is kidney-bean shaped, with a dark plaster bottom and hot tub.
    All the equipment is Jandy; it is salt-water, and has a PDA remote.
    Oh, and we live in Sothern California.

    The PDA remote is pretty cool, and tells me what's going on, but it is really slow. I have since discovered that it's a pretty old version, and I can replace it with a newer version that will be much faster.

    So, to start off with the pool heater would not work.
    The pool guy came out, and changed something (still not sure what.)
    He charged me $100, and left.
    Everything worked.

    Then a few weeks later I started getting an error message on the PDA.
    Then the pool turned green.
    Doh.
    Spoke to the pool guy, and found out that the AquaPure (chlorine generator) was bad.
    I tried cleaning it, but was still bad.
    I called the home warranty company, but they told me that even though I had a pool policy, it did not cover salt-water pools, as the wrong policy has been purchased.
    Called the realtor, who put things right.
    Called the insurance company who sent someone out, who agreed that it was bad (they also tried to clean it) and ultimately agreed to replace it.

    Meanwhile, I found the local pool store, and a VERY patient lady behind the counter who has been explaining things to me.

    My pool had no conditioner, and no chlorine, and high phosphates.
    I opted to wait until the chlorine generator was working, instead of shocking the pool. Not sure that was the right decision, but it's in the past now.
    I added conditioner, and my chlorine levels are now good – now that the aquapure has been replaced.

    Now I'm working with killing the phosphates / algae.
    Getting there, and the green is going away.

    I had a SunRay pool cleaner. It would get stuck in the corner all the time.
    We replaced it with the Zodiac MX8. The MX8 is great - never gets stuck and runs all over the pool all day long.
    The SunRay left a definite line around the pool - where it would not climb the walls. The MX8 climbs the walls all the way to the water line. We have nicknamed him Robbie the Robot - he's the new family pet.
    The MX8 does a great job of any vertical surface and the floor of the pool – but should be noted that it really can’t do the steps.

    With putting in the chemicals to kill the phosphates, I was told that I would have to back-wash the main filter, and might even have to clean it.
    Finally I took the cleaner apart, and it was a total mess.
    The dirt was caked on so thickly that some of the filters were stuck together with more than an inch of grime in-between.
    So, I learned how to clean filters, and made a mess of my driveway.

    We are almost there.

    I have been wiping down the pool walls with my newly purchased pool brush.
    I’m wondering if I should get a small hand brush for scrubbing all the corners, steps, etc.
    Not sure if I want to climb into the pool, and then scrub the corners, but it might be the only way.

    I don’t think I would have gotten through this without the local pool store – a mom & pop operation. They have given me the best advice, and test the water every time I go in.

    I do have a couple of issues with the rock around the edge of the pool.
    The rock around the edge of the pool is called “Bouquet Canyon”. It is not used in the pool itself, but is around the pool as a decorative feature.
    The salt water gets into the rock, and is causing it to flake apart. I’m told that there’s nothing I can do, except to replace it.

    I also need to replace some of the grout between some of the rocks. Not sure what to use there yet.

    Still, I feel that I’m most of the way into my learning curve.
    The pool will get used this weekend, and I will spend my summer learning about chlorine % generating, pump run time, and all the other stuff I never knew existed.

    Anyway, just saying Hi.
    ~15000 Gal Saltwater Pool. Jandy Controls. Too many kids.

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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    First, be sure you read Pool School.
    Second, if you had algae, just getting the chlorine correct is not going to be enough. You are going to need to go through the shock process to get rid of all the algae, otherwise you are going to be fighting a never-ending battle. Get rid of it all, now, so you can have a beautiful, TFP all year.

    You are going to need a GOOD test kit to do your shock process.
    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: Just landed in the deep end...

    By far the best thing you can do is to get a top quality test kit. Without knowing accurate levels you can't properly take care of the pool. I recommend the TF100 from TFTestKits.net. The Taylor K-2006 is also good.

    The first thing you need to do is get a full set of water test results and post them. If you don't have a test kit yet, post some numbers from the pool store.

    I wouldn't worry about phosphates at all. That is mostly just a way for the pool store to make money and causes more problems than it solved.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    It sounds like you may have a fairly good pool store, even so it is best to take control of your own pool. One tool you will need to do this is a good test kit, I use the TF-100 from tftestkits.net it is the best value, and they also sponsor this site so by buying it I can give a little back to them for providing such a great resource, the Taylor K-2006 is another good kit, but it gives you equal portions of reagents not more of the ones you use most like the TF-100. When you have an algae outbreak like you seem to be going through, it is important to raise the chlorine levels to shock values and maintain them there until the algae is dead, in a bad outbreak at the beginning of the shock process this can mean testing every couple of hours. It is the bit about maintaining shock values that is often left off by the pool store method, after all if you owned a pool store how many of your customers do you think would be willing to come in every 2 hours with another water sample, and would you have the time to do all that testing..... It is easier on them to throw chemicals at the problem and guess how much is needed, if they are wrong it is just wasted chemicals and more money in their pockets when they then guess again at a higher dose.

    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    Uh Oh, sounds like some more learning.

    I will post my numbers next time I go to the store (perhaps tomorrow.)

    Question.
    What constitutes algae?
    Just "green stuff" on the walls?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    ~15000 Gal Saltwater Pool. Jandy Controls. Too many kids.

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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    PS. I ordered the test kit.
    ~15000 Gal Saltwater Pool. Jandy Controls. Too many kids.

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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    I'd say there are two things that will tell you that there is algae present:
    1. Green water, green walls, or green clouds when you sweep (the clouds can be pollen on the bottom sometimes so not 100% accurate)
    2. A CC greater than 0 (TC minus FC)

    Pretty much if you have green water, you have algae.
    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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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    You did a good job of cleaning that DE filter. Did you add the proper amount of DE back to it after reassembling it? I ask because it didn't look like it had any on it in the dirty pics.

    You'll love the test kit. You'll really love it if you ordered the speedstir to go along with it.
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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    Hmm, did not know about putting back any DE.
    Not even sure what that is.

    I did read the Jandy/Zodiac manual, and it did not mention anything.
    http://www.zodiacpoolsystems.com/Produc ... 95200.ashx

    Any hints on DE?
    ~15000 Gal Saltwater Pool. Jandy Controls. Too many kids.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    If you look at page 9 if that manual it tells you how much DE to add to a clean filter. You can buy DE at the Pool Store as well as most big box stores. I got a box at Walmart.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    DE (aka Diatomaceous Earth) is the actual filtering media in the filter. It is a very fine white powder that coats the grids (the things you hosed all the gunk off of) and collects the dirt as it flows through the filter. You should not run the pump without DE in your DE filter or you may damage the grids.

    DE is sold at pool stores and some hardware stores. Some Walmarts carry it also. If you look around where the prior owner kept their pool supplies you may see a partial box of DE and a DE scoop.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    Good choice on the MX8 Sweep. I have sold and installed several of those sweeps in my clients pools and they are the newest and best sweeps on the market right now.

    And yes, buy a 25lb bag of D.E. and add several lbs of the D.E. powder into your skimmer while the pool is running. Do it as soon as possible. You must also add D.E. after you backwash your filter.

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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    Thanks for the DE advice guys.
    I had missed that in the instructions, but will pick some up in the morning...

    The MX8 is a great little robot.
    It blows the stingray thing out of the water, figuratively speaking.
    It really does climb the walls rotate 270 degrees and then work it's way along the water's edge. Most importantly, it does not get stuck in the corner.
    The interesting thing has been adjusting the pressure going to the hose as there is a lot more pressure available when the pool filter is clean...
    ~15000 Gal Saltwater Pool. Jandy Controls. Too many kids.

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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    Thanks for the DE advice guys.

    I picked up a big bag today, and added the required amount (I hope.)

    In answer to my levels, here are the results
    Date 4/30 : 5/10 : 5/12
    Salt 3800 : 3700 : 3600
    TDS 5000 : 5000 : 4800
    FC 0.25 : 3.59 : 2.99
    TB/Brom 0.27 : 3.59 : 3.05
    pH HI : HI : 8.07
    CH 357 : 368 : n/a
    TA 122 : 142 : 134
    CyA 76 : 65 : 65
    Phos 750 : 300 : 0

    My Chlorine Generator was replaced on Friday (5/6).
    I cleaned my filter on Tuesday (5/10)
    I cleaned the filter again, and added DE. (5/12).

    The Phosphates are down to zero, and the sized of the pool only have trace amounts of green stuff on them.
    They are slowly removing, and I am brushing the sides of the pool 2 or 3 times per day.

    I'm told that I need to add acid to the pool - about 3 cups.
    Oh, my pool is about 13,000 Gallons and about 500 sq feet.

    Nick.
    ~15000 Gal Saltwater Pool. Jandy Controls. Too many kids.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    You have to suspect those pool store numbers but if we can believe them then your FC is a little low and your CYA is a little low for a swcg. The first issue you should work on is the pH and start with the 3 cups of acid the Pool Calc suggested. Then bump your swcg up a bit.

    Once you get your new test kit, run all your tests and post them back here and we'll help get you straightened out.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    Great advice so far, so I'll just say welcome to TFP

    Congrats on the new addittion...we have 4 too, the pool will get it's use and that test kit is cheap insurance that your family will be swimming in well balanced sanitary water
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    Yeah don't always trust the numbers the pool store gives you. If the person doing it messes up, adds a drop or two too much, or not enough, etc. You'll get tainted numbers.

    Best to test it yourself with your own kit for sure.

    And after you add that acid, hopefully you'll be able to lower your TA to under 120, which should keep your PH between 7.4-8.0.
    However depending on the size and gallons of your pool, it takes quite a bit of Acid to lower the Alkalinity/PH by 10ppm. Start with the 3 cups, but you may need a little bit more. And when you add the Acid to your pool, always add it in the deep end and away from any steps or return lines.

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    Contrary to what PoolNinja said it's perfectly acceptable to pour the acid in front of a running return. In fact that's the preferred place to pour it. With the return running, the acid will mix almost instantly in the flow of the water. A lot faster than if you pour it in the deep end.

    In fact there was a post just today that talked about an experiment where dyed MA was poured into a pool while it was still and how it sunk right to the bottom and sat there slowly dissolving.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    Listen to Bama, he's a Pro!

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    Re: Just landed in the deep end...

    Just note, it depends on the depth of the pool, where the return line is pointing to (towards or away from the Shallow end or steps), and how much Muratic Acid you're pouring. Lots of factors.

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