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Thread: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

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    First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    New house and new pool. We put up our pool in April and filled it per a neighbor's suggestion so the liner wouldn't warp in the sun, but the electric work wasn't complete yet. So essentially the pool sat for a month or more with dirty water. Finally got the electrical/filter good to go. Shocked the pool, set up the Tri-Chlor tablets that came with the "kit" and got the pH in check. Water won't hold chlorine -- tests show like .3 ppm, despite the tablets having stabilizer and chlorine in them. We have 6, 3-inch tablets in the automatic chlorinator feed. Now water is cloudy and green again. We have yet to see the bottom of the pool after filter running for almost 2 weeks, roughly 10 hours a day. Pressure is good and filter has been backwashed a few times after vacuuming. I want to switch to the BBB method so we're more hands-on, or a method that works, but don't know where to start. Took the pool water to a place and had it tested -- will purchase a better test kit today for myself. Here were the results.
    TC 0.3
    FC 0.3
    pH 7.3
    TA 85
    Stabilizer 0
    Any help is appreciated. My husband is fed up and I've been put in charge of cleaning up the pool and just wanted to get it right and make it the easiest process possible so we can swim. Thanks in advance!!
    26' round AG pool, vinyl liner, 19'' diameter Waterway Sand Filter.
    Central N.J.

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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    You defintely need to get some CYA/Stablizer in there. If not any FC you put in will be eaten up. So I would shoot for 30 on the CYA for now. Look in pool school upper right and it will show you how to shock your pool. Below are two links that will help you out.

    pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock

    If you have any other questions just ask. Once you do add the stablizer it will take about a week or so to show up fully. But use the shock level as if CYA was already at 30.

    Anymore questions just ask.
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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    Cloudy green pool means you need to go through the shock process as outlined here:
    pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    Pool store numbers are notoriously inaccurate. Even then, to go through the shock process you are going to need a test kit capable of reading chlorine levels over 10. You can get the kit you need from tftestkits.net

    Once you know your true levels, we can walk you all the way through the process. Put on your patience hat, it can take a while to get everything back to sparkling clean!

    EDIT: I got beat to it, but I'll leave mine here to emphasize your need to go through the 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: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    Thanks, I'll try it. Between this and getting sold parts from the pool store that don't meet building/electrical inspections, it's been an uphill battle. I want to swim before summer is over!
    26' round AG pool, vinyl liner, 19'' diameter Waterway Sand Filter.
    Central N.J.

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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    The polite way of saying this is... take everything the pool store tells you with a grain of salt.
    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: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    Just one other question, any clue why there is zippo CYA if the tablets are supposed to have it in them? Also, should I add the stabilizer first or shock the pool, or does it not matter? We were supposed to get the "low-maintenance" package. So essentially we got the sand filter which turns out to not do as good of a job, an in-line chlorinator, which may not be working, and who knows what's up with the trichlor tablets! Putting on my patience hat is difficult.
    26' round AG pool, vinyl liner, 19'' diameter Waterway Sand Filter.
    Central N.J.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    If you've added a good amount of tablets to the pool then I suspect a testing error at the pool store. You need a good test kit.

    Since you don't have one right now I suggest taking a sample to another store and getting them to test it. See if they come up with the same number. If they do, we'll assume it's correct, if not we'll figure out what it should be and go from there.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    Take a sample to another pool store if you can, too.

    Also, there have been some reports of CYA going down if you have an algae problem, so it is possible this could be the cause as well.
    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: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    Tablets diffuse over time, and it's entirely possible the CYA number from the pool store isn't correct. There's likely "some" CYA in there, if all you've ever used is tablets. It would depend on how many have completely dissolved since you started plus the factors mentioned above.

    Get the good test kit and a bottle of CYA (stabilizer) from walmart. I'd shoot for 20ppm CYA for now. That way, if there's less than 10ppm in the pool already, 20ppm worth in a sock will still get you enough to stabilize the chlorine a bit and shouldn't put you over 30ppm either. After it dissipates, test again and add more if needed or calculate what each tablet will add with the pool calculator and let it rise to your goal that way. Then stop the tablets and do bleach only.

    You should have CYA in the pool to shock it or you'll loose too much chlorine and shocking won't work. So yes, add CYA before shocking. Remember that shocking is a process, not a one time dose like the shock packets would lead you to believe.

    The tablet feeder is likely working fine, it just can't put enough chlorine in to deal with the algae and it is being used up as soon as it goes in. You need to fix the water with high doses of bleach (shocking) before the feeder would ever be able to do the job properly and then if you did use it regularly, CYA would rise eventually to a level that requires draining/refilling. Get informed and use with caution would be my suggestion.

    Listen to the experts here (of which I am not one). Everyone who follows the suggestions here ends up with a perfect pool. It can take a few weeks, but it always works eventually. I have yet to see anyone post who said they did everything that was suggested and it didn't work.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    You can also leave the tablets in while you shock. They will help hold up FC during the shock process, and slowly add more CYA as you go. Just remember to take them out before you do your overnight chlorine loss test.
    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: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    I would suggest you get the TF100. It is well worth the cost and saved me $220 the first test i did as the pool store gave me false results and I was about to change half the water in my pool.

    Read pool school and start off by adding CYA to bring it up to recommended levels (all in pool school). You will have to be patient till you get that up so that you start holding chlorine (FC) in.

    Then shock as per pool school. If your algae is thriving then try adding chlorine even before CYA registers but it might prove costly especially if your pool gets some sun. Try adding bleach (chlorine) at night so that most of it goes to killing the algae (sunlight removes chlorine from water).

    Trichlor tabs can only keep up FC levels to a certain extent and cannot be the only source of chlorine. They also add CYA to your water. High CYA levels means you have to maintain higher levels of chlorine, raising the cost of maintenance (i learned it the hard way). So be careful of that. See CYA/ FC chart and you will see how CYA effects FC levels.

    Dont go buying the chemicals the pool stores try to sell you. You dont need to keep adding a different chemical for each symptom. With a bit of time, work at start up of your pool and following the BBB method, you will get it crystal clear in a bit.... at a fraction of the cost of following the pool store methods.

    So right now all you need to do is add CYA and if it is feasible add liquid chlorine at night or after sun down...

    Keep us posted!
    Suley, West Hills, CA
    IG 23000 Gallons with IG Spa Gunite plaster, Pentair Intelliflo VS 3HP, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420 Cartridge filter, Teledyne Laars One series 400,000 BTU Nat Gas Heater, Hayward Max Flo 1HP Single Speed Spa pump, Noisy Spa blower, Dolphin Deluxe 4 robotic vacuum.

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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    I went through a bad time last year with buying way to much stuff the pool store was telling me to do!
    Never got it right last year! So this year I decided to figure this out on my own...
    I'm VERY happy to have found TFP forum and the method of science to back up what works.
    The 1st thing in order now that your in charge is to get your TF-100 test kit.
    Test with the simple directions on the lid and come here and post your test results.
    Best thing to do is read, read and read some more.
    Start with pool school, when your head hurts get away and just read posts and will reinforce your will to win with all of the help here you can't lose.
    Like what was said earlier, be patient and then all it it will make sense when you start getting the results you need.
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    Chuck
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
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    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    Well, last night I purchased a more in-depth test kit, not the T-100, but at least this one lets me know the FC, TC, pH, TA and CYA ranges. I brought the FC level up to 10 (or more) and let it filter a while. This morning I added the liquid stabilizer and tested to bring the FC just a little higher than 3 ppm so that it can still work on the algae. Color is better, still cloudy, but I know it'll take time to clear up. CYA levels are improving and as of a test a little while ago, FC is between 3 and 4 ppm and CYA is in the 30-50 (ideal) range. pH is a little high, but I'm attributing that to the shocking. I'm running the vacuum to try and get up any clinging algae at the bottom.

    Later I plan to add a little DE-type product to the skimmer to aid the filter in catching the smaller particles and then backwash. Hopefully being on top of the FC levels from now on will keep the algae at bay and then simply clear up the cloudiness all together. Then I can phase out the trichlor tablets and just do my simple bleach thing. Keeping my fingers crossed. Rain is expected this week, so I'll be assisted by the overcast skies in keeping chlorine in the pool. Maybe we'll be swimming in clear water by the weekend!

    Thanks for all the help so far. If I hit any roadblocks, I'll check back.
    26' round AG pool, vinyl liner, 19'' diameter Waterway Sand Filter.
    Central N.J.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    Did I read that right? You lost more than 7 ppm FC last night?

    Which test kit did you get?

    For a CYA of 50 your shock level is 16 and you need to test and add hourly to keep it there. Diligent shocking is the key to good success.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    I got an AquaChek Select from Leslie Pools. I was going to buy the more expensive "Taylor" type one, but the employee said why spend $60 when you can spend $20, and well, the bargain-hunter took over. Plus, we've been dropping all types of cash on this pool already and I was trying to conserve before I have to put the house up for sale because the pool bankrupts us! The test strips measure Total Harness TC, FC, pH, TA and CYA. But they're in ranges, so I can't get a pinpoint number.

    I'm simply just trying to be diligent adding chlorine to keep the FC number up. The test does not measure CC, however, just TC and FC. This morning both FC and TC seemed to be equal at around 5 ppm, so I'm hoping that CC is around 0. I do seem to be losing a lot of FC overnight, but we don't run our filter at night because my husband is weary about leaving the pump unattended. I humor him. Don't know if that plays a role. Apart from the Total Hardness, which I'm really not sure what that is and if it's equal to Calcium Concentration, all the other readings are well within range. I'm trying to maintain FC on the basis that CYA is 30.

    I understand that this is a process, but it boggles my mind that some people can simply open up their pools for the summer, barely test for anything, drop in a few tablets to a floating dispenser and have crystal-clean water the entire season. Anyway, the pool is no longer green, just cloudy, so I'll keep on chugging on this week and see what we come up with. I imagine I'll be hitting up all the area stores and buying them out of Clorox.
    26' round AG pool, vinyl liner, 19'' diameter Waterway Sand Filter.
    Central N.J.

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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by jeanettepool
    I got an AquaChek Select from Leslie Pools. I was going to buy the more expensive "Taylor" type one, but the employee said why spend $60 when you can spend $20, and well, the bargain-hunter took over.
    Test strips are not accurate enough nor consistent enough, especially since it looks like you need to complete the shocking process. TC only goes up to 10. How are you going to be certain you are holding at your needed 16 shock level? How are you going to preform an overnight FC loss test? You still need the "Taylor" type kit, but now you will be spending $80 instead of $60.
    ~~ Allison ~~
    Intex 18' x 48" Easy Set Pool, approximately 5455 gallons
    Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Filter Pump Model 56635EG - 635 with Auto Timer
    BBB FOR BEGINNERS ~ THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE OVERWHELMED!!

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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by jeanettepool
    I'm simply just trying to be diligent adding chlorine to keep the FC number up. The test does not measure CC, however, just TC and FC. This morning both FC and TC seemed to be equal at around 5 ppm, so I'm hoping that CC is around 0. I do seem to be losing a lot of FC overnight, but we don't run our filter at night because my husband is weary about leaving the pump unattended. I humor him. Don't know if that plays a role.
    If you are losing a lot of FC at night, that means you need to complete the shocking process.
    ~~ Allison ~~
    Intex 18' x 48" Easy Set Pool, approximately 5455 gallons
    Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Filter Pump Model 56635EG - 635 with Auto Timer
    BBB FOR BEGINNERS ~ THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE OVERWHELMED!!

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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    Test strips are no where near as good as a proper test kit. For many purposes the strips are completely useless. This is a perfect example of that, the variability of the test strip readings make it impossible to tell if you lost chlorine overnight or not. This is a case of penny wise pound foolish, by saving money on the test kit you are going to need to speed much more on chemicals because you don't know how much to add, so you have to add too much and hope it is enough.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    In the beginning you will have to bite the bullet and get the necessary setup to be able to maintain the pool economically and better than any "professional" pool service.

    It seems like a lot of money is going out of your pocket right now especially when we make mistakes when we are new. Trust me, in the long run, your own setup is going to benefit you. The pool is there to stay and you need a reliable setup to maintain it.

    I made the same mistakes... bought the taylor test kit ($40)... had no way to know how to shock the pool with that one... I was dumping chlorine in my pool with algae still blooming. Pool stores trying to sell $70 bottle of phosfree to get rid of the the algae and one more thing to do every week. The money is one thing in that scenario but the headache is another.

    I brought another test kit from walmart ($20) and then finally the TF100 with speed stir and extra chlorine test reagents (about $100).

    So I have done worse than you!

    Wipe the slate clean and get yourself a foolproof setup. Soon you will see how your pool sparkles. Yesterday my roommate took a swim for the first time and was surprised that his eyes didnt burn and his skin wasnt even dry after the swim.... and I am only on the first B of BBB!
    Suley, West Hills, CA
    IG 23000 Gallons with IG Spa Gunite plaster, Pentair Intelliflo VS 3HP, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420 Cartridge filter, Teledyne Laars One series 400,000 BTU Nat Gas Heater, Hayward Max Flo 1HP Single Speed Spa pump, Noisy Spa blower, Dolphin Deluxe 4 robotic vacuum.

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    Re: First Pool -- Very Frustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by jeanettepool
    I got an AquaChek Select from Leslie Pools. I was going to buy the more expensive "Taylor" type one, but the employee said why spend $60 when you can spend $20, and well, the bargain-hunter took over. Plus, we've been dropping all types of cash on this pool already and I was trying to conserve before I have to put the house up for sale because the pool bankrupts us! The test strips measure Total Harness TC, FC, pH, TA and CYA. But they're in ranges, so I can't get a pinpoint number.

    I'm simply just trying to be diligent adding chlorine to keep the FC number up. The test does not measure CC, however, just TC and FC. This morning both FC and TC seemed to be equal at around 5 ppm, so I'm hoping that CC is around 0. I do seem to be losing a lot of FC overnight, but we don't run our filter at night because my husband is weary about leaving the pump unattended. I humor him. Don't know if that plays a role. Apart from the Total Hardness, which I'm really not sure what that is and if it's equal to Calcium Concentration, all the other readings are well within range. I'm trying to maintain FC on the basis that CYA is 30.

    I understand that this is a process, but it boggles my mind that some people can simply open up their pools for the summer, barely test for anything, drop in a few tablets to a floating dispenser and have crystal-clean water the entire season. Anyway, the pool is no longer green, just cloudy, so I'll keep on chugging on this week and see what we come up with. I imagine I'll be hitting up all the area stores and buying them out of Clorox.
    WOW, what a store will do...
    Another way of getting "Pool Stored"
    A great salesman for the company.
    Save you a little now to cost you more later, get the cheap kit so it won't tell you much about your water condition, this way you can keep coming back to buy this, some more of that, Blah, Blah, Blah.
    Here, let me try and help you with a visual of what you'll get if you do it the TFP way.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
    I am a Platinum contributor because I want everyone who comes here to Trouble Free Pool to have the same success that I enjoy with my pool and family.

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