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Thread: Questions about my pool.

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    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Questions about my pool.

    I found this site last weekend while searching for parts for my sand filter. I've been a pool owner in sunny southern Arizona for 10 years now without much issue really - at least that's what I've always thought. I attended a pool school class, put on by a BioGuard rep, at my local pool supply house shortly after buying our house and have used BioGuard products exclusively since then. After reading the entire "Pool School" section on here, I can't help but think I've been led down the wrong path. Anyway, I have some equipment questions as well as some water questions that I hope you all can help me with.

    My pool is a ±12K gallon in ground with white plaster that was built in 1984. The plaster, tile, and cool deck are all original. Below are the details on the pump and filter:

    Filter: Age unknown, but at least 10 years old and probably more like 15 judging by how it looked 10 years ago. Though I'm sure it is not the original 1984 filter since Leslie's is a competitor to the local company that built the pool.
    Leslie's Stay Clear Sand Filter by Hayward
    Model #: S-LE-42084
    Effective Filter Area: 3.14ft^2
    Filtration Rate: 20GPM/ft^2
    Design Flow Rate: 62GPM
    Media Amount: 300lb
    Backwash Valve: Replaced 10 years ago with the pump.

    Pump: I installed this pump myself 10 years ago.
    Challenger High Head
    1hp motor with a 1.65 SF

    Vacuum is a Classic Kreepy Krauly plugged into a dedicated vacuum port that is teed into the pump's main suction line with a Jandy 3 port valve.

    I replaced the sand in my filter 10 years ago when we bought the house and realize now that it's way past due to be changed again.
    Is it worth it to put new sand in this filter given the age?
    This thing has been sitting in the hot sun for 15+ years - how long does the outer shell normally last?

    Below are the test results from today taken at the pool store using their BioGuard Accu-Scan water analyzer and ALEX software.
    FC: .6
    Total Chlorine: .6 (meaning CC is 0?)
    pH: 7.6
    TA: 173
    Total Hardness: 377 (meaning CH is ±251?)
    CYA: 147
    Water Temp - 86°F
    TDS (Total Disolved Solids): 1,900
    Total Alkalinity: 173
    Adjusted Total Alkalinity: 129
    Water is clear.

    I have used the following BioGuard products for the past 10 years.
    3" Silk Tabs - Trichlor
    Burnout Shock - Calcium Hypochlorite
    Balance Pak 200 - Sodium Carbonate
    Balance Pak 100 - Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate
    Used to have to add acid to correct pH, but have not needed any during the past few years - lots of Balance Pak 200 though (±12 lbs the past two weeks). Not sure why.

    Based on today's test, I added some Trichlor tabs to the skimmer and a bag of shock. The guys at the pool store tell me I'm close to needing to drain and refill I think due to my CYA readings. Can I save the water or will I have to drain it?

    Based on what I read in the "Pool School" section here, I'm assuming I need to stop using BioGuard products. Looks like I'll probably need to construct an aerator and purchase a better test kit as well.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
    Shawn
    12K gal, white plaster, 1hp Challenger high head pump, Hayward 300# sand filter.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Questions about my pool.

    I'll adress some issues here. for the CYA level, it is on the high side. Unfortunately, there are no chemical to remove this from your pool and a partial drain/fill may be necessary. You don't really want to drain more the 50% of the pool. In New Orleans, we hace a high water table and we never drain more than that before a re-test. Your Free Chlorine is slightly low. For tablets in the skimmer, we frown upon this sine tablets are corrosive and can weaken orings, pump seals and fitler valves to name a few. Adding to the skimmer also causes them to dissolve too quickly. Also, tablets contain 10% stabilizer. Normally this is not a problem, but when your levels get as high as they are it will only add to the problem. Granted, 1 table = approximately 1/2 pound. so 2 tablets is roughly 1/10 of a pound of stabilizer. So in the long run, it's normally not an issue. All this info may not be fully necessary now, but for future reference, just a little FYI. We do not have any customers on BioGuard, so I can not give you too much info on this. There are many knowledgable people on this site and I am sure you will get more info that you expected soon.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about my pool.

    Drain.

    At least half.

    CYA is waaaaaay too high. Don't add any more dichlor or trichlor. I don't believe that CH reading either.

    Get your own test kit and join us! It's not that hard.

    I haven't got a clue about the filter. Sorry.
    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!

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Questions about my pool.

    I will go along with Richard. I can't say too much about the filter except hayward makes most of their equipment. But.. The average life of #20 silica sand is about 5 years. The reason for this is as the sand get backwashed and compressed, it slowly begins to grind against itself and round off. This causes the sand to compress more and create either higher pressures or trailing in the sand which defeats the filtration process. Some people let the sand go longer, but we recommend a sand change every 5 years. The only exception in a baquacil pool, which you should change each season. Since the chlorine is not super high, I doubt you are getting a false calcium reading (chlorine is Calcium Hypochlorite). I have seen calcium as high as 1100 before, but normally it's in the around 300 or so. Anywhere between 250-350 is recommended.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about my pool.

    Bioguard products are just fancy and expensive repackaged baking soda and soda ash, etc. they can charge more for it because they want to. No reason to use Bioguard at all.

    You do need to drain out and replace 50% of the water. Your other option is Reverse Osmosis if available in your area.

    I would go ahead since you will be working on things replacing the sand.

    Refer to the CYA chlorine chart - your CYA of 100 puts you off the chart - your FC is not "a little" low - its too low for any level of CYA much less CYA of 147. You are likely one step ahead of a full blown bloom.

    Definitely purchase one of the recommended kits. I wouldn't worry to much about your TA level - that is the least of your problems right now.

    Post back if you need clarification on anything, hope this helps
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Questions about my pool.

    Thanks guys. Since sand is cheap, I think I'll just replace it and keep the filter.

    If I had been using bleach instead of the trichlor the past 10 years, would I still have the high CYA today?

    I found a place that does reverse osmosis. The gal I spoke with said they "kill" all the chemicals including CYA before beginning the process. She said the main reason to perform the reverse osmosis is to lower the Total Dissolved Solids. Based on what I've read here, it doesn't sound like she knew what she was talking about as the reverse osmosis is what will bring the CYA down. The price wasn't too bad though and would probably be considerably cheaper than the cost to refill.

    I am confused about what the Total Dissolved Solids and Total Harness are. Anyone? I didn't get a reading on CH either, but I read here that you can approximate CH by taking 2/3 of the Total Hardness value?

    The other issue I have that plays into this decision is the condition of the plaster. Like I said, it is original from 1984 and is heavily stained. I assume this staining is copper from some previous algaecide treatments. Here are some pictures I took today. These stains look the same today as they did when we bought the house 10 years ago. The plaster itself appears to be in good shape with only a few spots where it has a rough texture. There are also a couple small quarter size areas of loss on the edge of the steps. All the tile is still in place and in good shape as well.







    An acid wash would be considerably cheaper than a re-plaster, but would it be worth it given the age of the plaster?

    Thanks,
    Shawn
    12K gal, white plaster, 1hp Challenger high head pump, Hayward 300# sand filter.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Questions about my pool.

    Here's something to think about. I recently had to make the same decision on my filter due to it leaking sand into the pool. I could have fixed the broken seals and laterals, but decided due to the age of the filter (1989) to go ahead and replace the whole thing. If you can find the equivalent Hayward filter, it's a VERY easy job. Mine took almost no time to replace. If you do it yourself, be sure you fill the filter up about halfway with water before you start putting the sand in to buffer the impact so as not to break your laterals.

    Think about it, that filter is pretty old and the seals and such are probably not going to live much longer if it is 15+ years old.

    On the other hand, if your water is clear and you don't have any issues, I wouldn't change the sand OR the filter. Just leave well enough alone.
    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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  8. Back To Top    #8
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about my pool.

    If the R/O is Calsaway, don't worry about what the girl on the phone says, the guys who actually come out and do it have a good reputation. They'll remove everything that ain't water from the pool, but leave a little old water behind, and then I believe they balance things for you before they go.
    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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