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Thread: Rough Start-up, Can't Get Water to Clear-up

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    apwelb's Avatar
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    Rough Start-up, Can't Get Water to Clear-up

    My wife posted while I was out of town, went to the pool store for a water test and was basically told using the chemicals we were (bleach and soda ash) were going to ruin the filter and trash her hair so I apologize for the single post with no follow up...

    Here's the deal. We bought this house back in September. We are new pool owners. When we did the final walkthrough the pool was green because the pump had failed. He replaced it and when we moved in it was already "Winterized." He did have a receipt from a local pool company for the winterization. The pump and filter are both less than a year old (see signature).

    When we opened it up it was nasty. Skimmed the bottom, added 16 gallons of shock. Next day, FC=0 (no surprise now having read the forum...man I wish I had found this place prior to opening) Went back to pool store and the guy recommends Lithium based shock "cause it will last a little longer,". Bought 4 bags to the tune of about $50, poured it in and almost immediately had a huge amount of green floc on the surface. The told me they had never heard of this before. Next day, FC=0. Bought 12 more gallons of shock.

    We have been vacuuming every day.

    Next day, things are a little better. FC is around 3 but CYA levels are 0 and pH is fubar. Fortunately, I had some left over lo and slo so was able to add that (BTW, in Chitown I picked up a 50# bag of dense soda ash for $11 from a buddy that inherited a family flux manufacturing business ).

    They told me to just dump the CYA into the skimmer.....

    I left town on 5/25 and just returned yesterday. While I was gone was talking to the wife and informed pool was turning green. Told her this was bad and asked her to read the guidelines and post on this site. Told her to get a lab ASAP.

    When she went to the pool store (as I mentioned previously) they basically told her I was an idiot and putting bleach in the pool was dangerous and borax would ruin the filter(these guys obviously slept through chemistry class).

    They sold her 12 more gallons of shock based on the lab results below (taken 5/31):
    CYA: 40
    TC: 1
    FC: 1
    pH: 7.5
    TA: 140
    TH: 200

    It cleared up the green overnight and I talked her into getting bleach and maintaining the TC levels at 3.

    This morning the pool is what I would term a 'sparkly blue' but the clarity is still poor. I can see the bottom step of the front entry (about 3' deep) so that is encouraging but we still have a way to go.

    Just took a sample and TC is 2 and pH is 7.6. Poured 2 large bottles of 6% bleach in last night, FWIW.

    I am really tired of the pool store run-around and have a fairly decent chemistry background, so am real confident that with a little guidance (perhaps a lot out of the chute ) I can get this thing going and keep it straight.

    Thanks for your help. I am home all day and should be able to respond to questions, etc. promptly.
    30,000 gallons, Hayward S244T Sand Filter; 160 lpm, WhisperFlo; 1HP, IG, vinyl

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Rough Start-up, Can't Get Water to Clear-up

    You're an excellent candidate for one of the two test kits recommended here if you're fed up with the pool store. We would need a CC reading to know if your pool is past the point of being shocked if your water is clearing. Keep running pump and filter 24/7 and backwashing as necessary until it clears. Read shocking your pool in pool school, and the criteria to know when you're done. Welcome!
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    apwelb's Avatar
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    Re: Rough Start-up, Can't Get Water to Clear-up

    I am buying one today. I have a BioGuard kit that was left behind (but cannot perform all the things I need) so I bought new Cl tabs and pH reagent for the time I was gone, with the plan of purchasing the kit recommended here when I returned.

    Should I turn the heater on or will this make things worse? Current water temp is like 65.

    Also, is there any merit to throwing some Cl discs in the floating dispenser for maintenance, or should I just stick with liquid for now?
    30,000 gallons, Hayward S244T Sand Filter; 160 lpm, WhisperFlo; 1HP, IG, vinyl

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Rough Start-up, Can't Get Water to Clear-up

    Quote Originally Posted by apwelb
    I am buying one today. I have a BioGuard kit that was left behind (but cannot perform all the things I need) so I bought new Cl tabs and pH reagent for the time I was gone, with the plan of purchasing the kit recommended here when I returned.

    Should I turn the heater on or will this make things worse? Current water temp is like 65.

    Also, is there any merit to throwing some Cl discs in the floating dispenser for maintenance, or should I just stick with liquid for now?
    Hold off on the heat. You'll be losing it without even being able to swim in the pool for the added expense. Plus algae grows faster in warm water, which you don't want to encourage.

    If that CYA reading is correct, you don't want to add pucks. They'll just raise it higher and reduce the amount of active (for want of a better word) chlorine when you really need it to kill algae.

    Just keep shocking and be patient til you get your TF100. I hope you got the speedstir, too, it makes things so much faster and consistent.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Rough Start-up, Can't Get Water to Clear-up

    Welcome!

    Read pool school. Go pour in some bleach. Play with the pool calculator. Read pool school again. Pour in some more bleach - as best you can guess until you have your test kit.

    Find another pool store; you'll find you prob won't really need one pool chem wise with BBB. I go to a mom and pop shop fo liquid CL which they sell lots of to pool techs and homeowners but otherwise I dont buy anything from them as they don't stock much else besides equipment, chems and cleaning tools.
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
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    apwelb's Avatar
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    Re: Rough Start-up, Can't Get Water to Clear-up

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    If that CYA reading is correct, you don't want to add pucks. They'll just raise it higher and reduce the amount of active (for want of a better word) chlorine when you really need it to kill algae.

    Just keep shocking and be patient til you get your TF100. I hope you got the speedstir, too, it makes things so much faster and consistent.
    Thanks. Based on what I read here I was worried about spiking the CYA level at this point and binding up FC.

    I was also concerned that heating it would encourage algae growth because right now I am basically refrigerating it which I figured would slow it down.

    Thanks for the replies. DL'd the pool calculator and have already been using it.

    Will stay the course and having read the shock document you suggested, now have a better understanding of what FC vs. CC is telling me in terms of progress in the battle.

    Thanks for the reference!
    30,000 gallons, Hayward S244T Sand Filter; 160 lpm, WhisperFlo; 1HP, IG, vinyl

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