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Thread: need advice on opening pool

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    need advice on opening pool

    This is my second year running this pool. The previous owner used chlorine, but we converted it to baquacil last year. I'm going to switch back to chlorine this year and use the BBB method. I ordered the TF100 test kit and it will be arriving on Friday. Yesterday I removed the cover and hooked everything up and I have the filter running. I won't have a good test until the kit arrives on Friday so I haven't added any chemicals. Without knowing my current levels, I'm not sure what I should do until Friday, if anything. I lowered the water last year when I closed it and it was overflowing from snow melt and rain when I took the cover off. If I had to guess, I would say that about 1/3 of the water in the pool is from rain/snow. Also, I added quite a bit of water last year due to a leak. The pool looks pretty good but it is slightly cloudy. I can see the bottom of the 8 ft deep end without a problem, but it isn't clear. The bottom has a lot of stuff on it and I haven't vacuumed it.

    Here is my current plan and I'm just looking for advice from someone more experienced.

    First, I planned to take a water sample to the pool store to have tested for copper to make sure I don't have too much in there. If there is too much, I plan to drain and add enough new water to lower it sufficiently. Once the test kit arrives on Friday, I planned to run a test and get my TA/PH balanced and make sure I have sufficient CH for the plaster. Then I'll get my chlorine up to shock level and keep it there until it holds overnight. At that point I'll drop the chlorine to normal levels and make sure everything else is balanced. Throughout the process I'll post test results.

    A few questions:

    While I'm at the pool store, should I have them test my levels? It would only give me a starting point and I won't have a way to retest without going to the pool store again.
    When should I worry about CYA? There may be some level of it there since the pool used to be a chlorine pool. Obviously if it's too high, I need to lower it right away, but if it's too low or there is none, when do I add it? Do I add it right away or should I wait until my shock level holds overnight?
    Should I hold off on all the chemicals until I can get a good test with my kit on Friday? I just don't want to set myself up for problems by neglecting it this week. Should I try to get some chlorine in there or is it a total waste until I can get test results?
    Should I vacuum at this point or wait until Friday? I don't want to stir up any nasty stuff on the bottom that will just cause problems without properly balanced chemicals.

    I hope that I included everything I needed to get advice - let me know if I left anything out. I'll repost on Friday or Saturday once I get some test results. Thanks.
    22.5 gal, Inground, Gunite/Plaster, Fiberglass walls, Hayward 300lb sand filter, Jacuzzi Magnum pump, Heater

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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Well, you have a good plan so let me help by answering a couple of your questions.

    I would wait on virtually everything until you get your kit and do your own testing. If pool store tests were reliable, you could get a good jump but they most definitely are NOT reliable (for the most part) so there's no sense modifying something that might not have needed it.

    Always a good idea to vacuum out as much of the stuff on the bottom as you can.....before you start the conversion.

    Then on Friday (don't wait 'til Saturday), post up the full battery of tests and we'll get your conversion started.

    Plan on using more Clorox than you ever thought possible. 20 large jugs is not too much....it will not be wasted.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Welcome to TFP

    Have you see the full instructions for the conversion in Pool School? pool-school/baqua_chlorine_conversion

    We'll follow the process along with you.

    Please post pics!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Thanks for the help. I have read most of the stuff in Pool School and have read the baquacil conversion page a few time. I'm sure I'll be re-reading a lot of it since there's so much to remember. I think I understand the basics, though.

    So far the pool is looking good and the filter has cleaned up all of the cloudiness from yesterday. I vacuumed and brushed half the pool but ran I ran out of sunlight before I could finish. I hope to get the rest tomorrow. I'm going to stock up on a bunch of bleach so I'm ready to start the shock process on Friday. If my CYA level tests low on Friday, how should I get that level up? I've ready posts where people have advised using dichlor until the CYA level is up and then switching to bleach, but I've also read posts that advise against using dichlor to shock and to use all bleach instead.
    22.5 gal, Inground, Gunite/Plaster, Fiberglass walls, Hayward 300lb sand filter, Jacuzzi Magnum pump, Heater

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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    If your CYA level is known to be low by accurate testing, there is no harm in using dichlor to shock or to chlorinate for daily use. Just be sure not to discount the amount of CYA that each bag of dichlor adds to your water as it can add it quickly.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Do not add any CYA until after the conversion is finished. That is when you will change the filter media and then add CYA. Adding CYA now will slow down the conversion process.

    The only things you need to get started are a good test kit, time and lotsa bleach!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Correction, Butterfly: And a camera. We want to see the colors.
    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: need advice on opening pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Correction, Butterfly: And a camera. We want to see the colors.
    How could I forget that!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    OK - I got my test kit and did all of the tests except chlorine. At this point I haven't added any so there shouldn't be any there. I also had a test for copper done at the pool store and it came back 0.0.

    Here are my results:

    PH 7.8 (might be slightly higher than this but I think its pretty close)
    TA 50
    CH 60
    CYA 0

    Also did a bacquacil test and it shows a level of 20. Not sure how accurate that is. So I need to raise TA and CH and maybe bring PH down a touch just to be sure I'm in the right range. I plan to run to get some supplies shortly. Do I need to finish raising CH before I start the process or can bring that up as I go? I'd prefer to get started with the chlorine sooner rather than later. Thanks for all of your help!
    22.5 gal, Inground, Gunite/Plaster, Fiberglass walls, Hayward 300lb sand filter, Jacuzzi Magnum pump, Heater

  10. Back To Top    #10
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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Quote Originally Posted by rdaunce
    OK - I got my test kit and did all of the tests except chlorine. At this point I haven't added any so there shouldn't be any there. I also had a test for copper done at the pool store and it came back 0.0.

    Here are my results:

    PH 7.8 (might be slightly higher than this but I think its pretty close)
    TA 50
    CH 60
    CYA 0

    Also did a bacquacil test and it shows a level of 20. Not sure how accurate that is. So I need to raise TA and CH and maybe bring PH down a touch just to be sure I'm in the right range. I plan to run to get some supplies shortly. Do I need to finish raising CH before I start the process or can bring that up as I go? I'd prefer to get started with the chlorine sooner rather than later. Thanks for all of your help!
    Just adjust pH with muriatic acid, and spend your weekend watching the technicolor show. You will likely be losing a lot of water through backflushing during the conversion, so don't waste any other pool chemicals. Once you're done, it's real easy to fix the rest.
    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: need advice on opening pool

    Thanks. The only place I could find muriatic acid at the time I went was at Lowes (all the pool stores were closed), but I didn't buy it. It said that I shouldn't use it in combination with chlorine based bleach so I wasn't sure if I should use it. I read a review on their website that said the specific brand shouldn't be used to lower PH in a pool because of additives that are used to help control the fumes. There was another brand as well that said the same thing. Would it have been OK to use that or was it good that I passed on it? Instead I was able to pick up some dry acid and I used that. It ended up costing the same so in the end it didn't really matter.

    I just finished up adding 8 x 96oz bottles of 6% bleach ($0.99 @ Aldis). The pool went from fairly clear with just a slight clouding in the deep end to totally clouded everywhere. No crazy colors at this point - just a grey/white cloud. It was interesting to watch it spread throughout the pool as it slowly took over the clear water. I have a single light in the deep end that was on and it illuminated the shallow end fairly good at the start. After 3 bottles the shallow end was dark and I really had to look closely to be sure I was still pouring in front of the return stream.

    I took some before/after pictures that are loading on my computer now. I'm not sure how they turned out because it was pretty dark out, but I'll post them if they look good. I'll get better pictures tomorrow during the day.

    Thanks again for all your help. I'm looking forward to clearing it all up and taking a swim.
    22.5 gal, Inground, Gunite/Plaster, Fiberglass walls, Hayward 300lb sand filter, Jacuzzi Magnum pump, Heater

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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    I just did a chlorine and PH test with the following results:

    FC: 10
    CC: 5
    TC: 15
    PH: 8.2

    The PH seemed a bit more pink this time - I'm not sure if I did it wrong one of the times but I'll keep an eye on it and add more dry acid if my test in the morning still shows high. I'm not sure how long it takes the dry acid to bring the PH down so I want to make sure it has had a chance to change the PH before I add more.

    Just a quick question on the chlorine levels. I'm not sure what the difference between FC and CC is at this point. I know that FC is the number I need to keep up because it is the free chlorine that can be used to clean the water, but what is the CC? Is that chlorine that started out as FC and combined with something in the water and will be removed by the filter? I don't remember seeing it in any of the Pool School links, but I read so much info that I'm sure I could have forgot it already.

    Anyway, I'm going to top FC back up to 15 before I head to bed. Thanks again.
    22.5 gal, Inground, Gunite/Plaster, Fiberglass walls, Hayward 300lb sand filter, Jacuzzi Magnum pump, Heater

  13. Back To Top    #13
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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Ignore pH while shocking. High chlorine alters the reagent. Worry about it after the pool is clear, you have no more C, and FC holds overnight.
    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: need advice on opening pool

    Here are some pics. These are before adding any thing. In the second one you can see the drain in the deep end so the water was pretty clear.

    [attachment=1:3s5e61ww]IMG_4122.jpg[/attachment:3s5e61ww]
    [attachment=0:3s5e61ww]IMG_4124.jpg[/attachment:3s5e61ww]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    22.5 gal, Inground, Gunite/Plaster, Fiberglass walls, Hayward 300lb sand filter, Jacuzzi Magnum pump, Heater

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Here's some pics right after I added it. You can see the cloud as it progresses through the deep end.

    [attachment=2:3qt8l9it]IMG_4127.jpg[/attachment:3qt8l9it]
    [attachment=1:3qt8l9it]IMG_4128.jpg[/attachment:3qt8l9it]
    [attachment=0:3qt8l9it]IMG_4129.jpg[/attachment:3qt8l9it]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    22.5 gal, Inground, Gunite/Plaster, Fiberglass walls, Hayward 300lb sand filter, Jacuzzi Magnum pump, Heater

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Richard320 - Now that you mention it, I remember reading that the PH test would be inaccurate with high levels of chlorine. Thanks for reminding me. I won't waste my supplies testing it again until I'm done and can let my FC drop down again.
    22.5 gal, Inground, Gunite/Plaster, Fiberglass walls, Hayward 300lb sand filter, Jacuzzi Magnum pump, Heater

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Good news! Over the course of today, the pool went from barely being able to make out the bottom of the shallow end to totally clear. I'm going to keep holding FC at 15 and I have a bit of cleaning to do now that I can see the floor again. I'd post test results but I don't need any advice on them until I pass the overnight FC test. Hopefully I'm there in the next day or two. I'll post an update with my test results when I get to that point. Thanks.
    22.5 gal, Inground, Gunite/Plaster, Fiberglass walls, Hayward 300lb sand filter, Jacuzzi Magnum pump, Heater

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Those are some REALLY cool pics. Nice job.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

  19. Back To Top    #19
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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Along with that test result update, please post a pic
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: need advice on opening pool

    Everything is looking good and I've managed to vacuum up all the gunk from the bottom. At this point the pool is clear and I'm maintaining FC at 15. CC has gone from 5 on Friday to 2 on Saturday, 1.5 on Sunday, and 1 today. Seems like I'm close to reaching the second milestone on the shock process and I'll be doing an overnight chlorine loss test soon. I've stocked up on CYA and calcium chloride to bring those levels up. Would it be a problem to start adding some of either? I don't expect to lose too much water now that everything is clear and my filter pressure isn't going crazy anymore. Right now I have the following levels:

    TA 50
    CH 60
    CYA 0
    22.5 gal, Inground, Gunite/Plaster, Fiberglass walls, Hayward 300lb sand filter, Jacuzzi Magnum pump, Heater

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