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Thread: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

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    Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    Hi, y'all! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend (for those of us in the States, that is!)

    I got my got my supersized TFT kit (it's awesome) and I just conducted my first results. The *only* thing I have added to the pool is 2 gallons of 10% liquid "pool sanitizer", and the last was a few days ago. Since then, we've had heavy rain and we've had to offload water from the pool a few times. (Especially tough since I just paid to have it filled, ha ha.)

    Here's the scoop:

    pH: 7.5 (possibly slightly higher, but not enough to register 7.8)

    Cl/Br: Less than .5/1

    TA: 80 (I stopped just when the water turned light red)

    CH: 120

    FC/CC: 0 on both the FAS/DPD and the Taylor OT

    ETA: CYA appears to be non-existent. No matter how much of the CYA reagent I added to the 'black dot' cylinder, I could still see the dot at the bottom.

    Can anyone tell me what I should begin to add immediately to bring the water to safe swimming quality? I've been studying both pool school and the test results boards, and I would like to use the BBB method to maintain my pool. (The pool is 23,000 gallons - specs in signature.) I believe I have to maintain a certain FC level for a period of time; ie shock my pool.

    Temperature of the water (taken with my Thermapen just below the surface) is 73 degrees - I'm not sure if the pool thermometer included with my kit is accurate just yet, so I grabbed my trusty Thermapen.

    *Any* advice on what to do next (including board posts I should review) would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

    ETA: Water is clear, pool does need light vacuuming on bottom.
    - Michelle in SE Michigan (suburban Detroit)

    54" Desert Spring Doughboy 21x41' oval AG pool, with 7' deep end on half the pool - approximately 23,000 gallons. Including 2 returns/skimmers/main drains, 300lb Doughboy sand filter, 2HP Doughboy pump.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    If you add 2 ppm of chlorine you can swim in half an hour.

    Right now you are losing all of your chlorine to sunlight each day. You need to get some CYA/cyanuric acid/stabilizer/conditioner in the water. The recommended level is between 30 and 50. Once you do that you will be able to maintain an FC level.

    It is important o add chlorine every day if at all possible. The more consistent you are the fewer problems there will be.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    You need to get some chlorine in there pronto.

    And you're going to keep going through chlorine at an alarming rate until you add some cyanuric acid aka CYA aka stabilizer.

    I suggest you bookmark Pool Calculator if you haven't already done so. Just fill in the blanks with your current readings, select a target from the recommendations, and it will tell you what to add. Be sure to select pool surface and bleach and so on at the bottom, that's where those recommendations come from!

    Otherwise, just start with Pool School. Most basic information is there, and it should answer any questions you have.
    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!

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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    OK, I set the pool calculator for a 'shock' level of FC (15) and a CYA of 40. It suggests I add 429oz of 10% bleach and 123oz (by weight) of stabilizer. Am I correct in setting the FC level on the calculator to 15, or should I set it lower? I'm going to split the CYA between the two skimmers and pour it in slowly, per recommendations on the label. Does this sound right so far?

    Thankyouthankyouthankyou!
    - Michelle in SE Michigan (suburban Detroit)

    54" Desert Spring Doughboy 21x41' oval AG pool, with 7' deep end on half the pool - approximately 23,000 gallons. Including 2 returns/skimmers/main drains, 300lb Doughboy sand filter, 2HP Doughboy pump.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    15 is a reasonable target for FC.

    Is this liquid CYA, or granular? If granular, pour it in a sock or nylon and tie it off in front of a return. If you pour it in the skimmer, it will end up in the filter. Which is fine, unless you need to backflush before it all gets dissolved. In which case, you get to watch dollars flow down the drain.
    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!

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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    OK, bleach is in and I had about 1/3 the amount of CYA granules on hand. I did the nylons hung in front of the return - thank you so much for that suggestion, Richard! I'm off to the store to buy more supplies. Just a couple more quick questions... (I swear I *did* read pool school, and will continue to do so - but, as my father would say, I still don't know my arse from a hole in the ground! )

    When do I test next? I plan to run the filter all day (and all night?) and I'll add more CYA granules to spec when I get them from the store. When is it safe to get in the pool? What levels should I be hoping to see - esp with regard to chlorine - when I test next?

    Thank you again!
    - Michelle in SE Michigan (suburban Detroit)

    54" Desert Spring Doughboy 21x41' oval AG pool, with 7' deep end on half the pool - approximately 23,000 gallons. Including 2 returns/skimmers/main drains, 300lb Doughboy sand filter, 2HP Doughboy pump.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    If the water is clear and you have at least 2ppm of chlorine you can swim. yes, leave the filter running while the CYA dissolves. Test tonight and add chlorine if necessary and then test again tomorrow and daily, and you will soon "get to know your pool."
    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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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    Y'all are THE BEST. I never dreamed that I would be lucky enough to find a resource like this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'll post results later for more sage advice.
    - Michelle in SE Michigan (suburban Detroit)

    54" Desert Spring Doughboy 21x41' oval AG pool, with 7' deep end on half the pool - approximately 23,000 gallons. Including 2 returns/skimmers/main drains, 300lb Doughboy sand filter, 2HP Doughboy pump.

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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    All right, I have a few new questions this AM. I added almost the entire amount of CYA granules recommended by the pool calc last night - topped out when I couldn't fit any more in the nylons I'd tied in front of each return. I repeated the CYA test just to see if the 'disappearing black dot' made any more sense to me the second time around, and it didn't. So I figure I should wait a week to test the CYA again, because I was reading several threads here that said that CYA can take a week to register. First question: Am I correct so far? Also, any tips on what that CYA test water will look like in the tube when I repeat the test - will it be cloudy and that's what makes the black dot 'disappear'?

    Next, chlorine levels last night and still this morning are high - certainly more than the OT can measure. The water turned bright yellow right away. Should I be careful how long I let people swim today for that reason? I need to re-read the directions for the FAS/DPD test before I repeat that, as that's another test I'm not sure I'm doing correctly. Should I do the FAS/DPD immediately? I will do a complete test later on with updated results - I'm assuming I should continue to use this thread.

    My last question: My pH levels dropped from last night to a 7.2. Should I be doing something to offset this drop right away?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
    - Michelle in SE Michigan (suburban Detroit)

    54" Desert Spring Doughboy 21x41' oval AG pool, with 7' deep end on half the pool - approximately 23,000 gallons. Including 2 returns/skimmers/main drains, 300lb Doughboy sand filter, 2HP Doughboy pump.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    Quote Originally Posted by lovemydanes
    All right, I have a few new questions this AM. I added almost the entire amount of CYA granules recommended by the pool calc last night - topped out when I couldn't fit any more in the nylons I'd tied in front of each return. I repeated the CYA test just to see if the 'disappearing black dot' made any more sense to me the second time around, and it didn't. So I figure I should wait a week to test the CYA again, because I was reading several threads here that said that CYA can take a week to register. First question: Am I correct so far?
    Yes. That also conserves CYA test reagent.
    Also, any tips on what that CYA test water will look like in the tube when I repeat the test - will it be cloudy and that's what makes the black dot 'disappear'?
    It will look like you added a spoonfull of milk to the water sample. Just a murky cloudy white color. Videos of the tests

    Next, chlorine levels last night and still this morning are high - certainly more than the OT can measure. The water turned bright yellow right away. Should I be careful how long I let people swim today for that reason? I need to re-read the directions for the FAS/DPD test before I repeat that, as that's another test I'm not sure I'm doing correctly. Should I do the FAS/DPD immediately? I will do a complete test later on with updated results - I'm assuming I should continue to use this thread.
    There's a video for the FAS-DPD, too. If the water is clear and CC is <.5, they can swim up to shock level. And yes, keep it all in this thread, so we have continuity.
    My last question: My pH levels dropped from last night to a 7.2. Should I be doing something to offset this drop right away?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
    pH reads wrong at shock levels. Ignore it until FC drops below 10.
    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!

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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    I have a few more follow-up questions regarding the chemistry.

    Today my results are as follows:

    pH 7.5
    Cl/Br 4
    Borates 0
    CH 110
    CYA ~30
    TA 70

    According to the Pool Calculator, my TA should be in the range of 70-90. Am I borrowing trouble by having my TA at the lowest end of that range or is it OK?

    Also per the PC, the CH range is 50-300, with an auto-fill 'goal' of 260. Should I raise my Calcium Hardness level closer to the high end of that goal?

    CYA is now up to 30 from 0 last week, yay! I'm getting better at reading the test, now that there's some CYA in the pool, too! Per the PC, range is 30-50. I'm guessing that 45 might be a good goal for a pool newbie like me? I plan to add the CYA in small amounts and test every week in an effort to creep up on the right level but not exceed it. Does this sound reasonable?

    Borates are at a zero level, based on stick test results. I need to do some more reading, but should I be more concerned about this right away?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions - y'all have been invaluable to our family this season, and I'm recommending TFP to everyone I know who owns a pool.
    - Michelle in SE Michigan (suburban Detroit)

    54" Desert Spring Doughboy 21x41' oval AG pool, with 7' deep end on half the pool - approximately 23,000 gallons. Including 2 returns/skimmers/main drains, 300lb Doughboy sand filter, 2HP Doughboy pump.

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    pepsiholic's Avatar
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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    Borates at 0 are not a problem, nor are they necessary to add. Some people use them, some don't. I add them to give my water a little extra "polish" and I'm sure they do a little more than than, but they are not mandatory =)
    24 x 52 Round AG Outback Empire Pool 13,500 gal.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    Don't worry about TA.

    Also don't worry about CH - you have a vinyl liner. Too little will do nothing to it, too much can cause scaling.

    How does the pool look? Clear and inviting, dull and dreary, green and disgusting?
    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!

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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    Thanks again for the input and advice!

    Richard, I wanted to take a look at the pool both last night and this morning before answering your question. The pool water looks clear, but when I dive beneath the surface wearing goggles, it seems like I see tiny particles suspended in the water. Now, we do have a cottonwood tree somewhere that blows its fluff for miles around, and I can see some of it on the surface of the pool, but not a lot. Perhaps what I'm seeing is CYA particles still working their way to full dissolution? I last added CYA over a week ago and it dispersed from the nylons hanging in front of the return jets within about 48 hours. I realize my 'eye' for the quality of the water is something that I will have to develop over time, too. But other than those tiny particles beneath the surface, the water looks good.

    Any suggestions?
    - Michelle in SE Michigan (suburban Detroit)

    54" Desert Spring Doughboy 21x41' oval AG pool, with 7' deep end on half the pool - approximately 23,000 gallons. Including 2 returns/skimmers/main drains, 300lb Doughboy sand filter, 2HP Doughboy pump.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Brand New Pool, First Test Results - Please Advise!

    There's always going to be floaters in the water. Can you toss a dime in the deepest part and see it clearly from above? Your numbers look okay.

    Just go enjoy it.
    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!

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