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Thread: New Pool -- Need Advice

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    New Pool -- Need Advice

    I can't get my pool water to that clear, sparkly stage--most likely because I can't get the chlorine up past 0.5ppm. I think I've got brown algae because the water is tinged a very light shade of brown and the skimmer has a brown bubbly film at times. I don't know what to do about the alkalinity either and have all ready had to soak my electrolytic cell in vinegar to remove the white crust from it because our water is so hard. The pool girl at the local small town hardware store says to add a pint of muriatic acid everyday until the alkalinity comes down because it appears to her that my pH is in "lock." I haven't done that yet as I hope someone has time to look over my readings and then give me advice as to the next series of things I need to do to get this water under control before the algae takes over completely. (I am waiting on my Taylor test kit...in the meantime, I'm using an hTh 6-way drop test kit.)

    Added 4lb stabilizer
    6-17-11
    Na+ 3000ppm
    Chlorine 1ppm
    pH 7.8
    CYA <30ppm
    TA 180ppm
    Hardness 220ppm

    Added another 40lb salt and another 4lb stabilizer
    6-18-11
    Na+ 3400ppm
    Chlorine 0.5ppm
    pH 7.2-7.5
    CYA 50-70ppm
    TA 230
    Hardness 240ppm

    Added 1-10 ounce chlorine puck
    6-19-11
    Chlorine 0.5ppm
    pH 7.5

    Added 1-10 ounce chlorine puck
    6-20-11
    Chlorine ZERO
    pH 7.2

    6-21-11
    Na+ 3400ppm
    Chlorine ZERO
    pH 7.8-8.2
    CYA 50ppm
    TA 190
    Hardness 230ppm

    THANK YOU for any help you can provide...
    12500 gallons
    24' x 52" metal frame
    Intex Krystal Clear 2650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Saltwater System
    Above Ground
    Vinyl

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    Sounds like it's time to shock. And that isn't a one-time thing, nor is it a pouch of powder you pour in.

    There are directions in Pool School. You'll be having a hard time with it until your test kit arrives. In the meantime, plug your numbers into Pool Calculator and add whatever amount of acid it calls for to drop pH to 7.2. The Ph test is unreliable above 10 FC, so you need to get it right before you start shocking, then ignore 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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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by plumgang
    I can't get my pool water to that clear, sparkly stage--most likely because I can't get the chlorine up past 0.5ppm. I think I've got brown algae because the water is tinged a very light shade of brown and the skimmer has a brown bubbly film at times. I don't know what to do about the alkalinity either and have all ready had to soak my electrolytic cell in vinegar to remove the white crust from it because our water is so hard. The pool girl at the local small town hardware store says to add a pint of muriatic acid everyday until the alkalinity comes down because it appears to her that my pH is in "lock." I haven't done that yet as I hope someone has time to look over my readings and then give me advice as to the next series of things I need to do to get this water under control before the algae takes over completely. (I am waiting on my Taylor test kit...in the meantime, I'm using an hTh 6-way drop test kit.)
    OK, lets start with the simple things... It sounds like you have algae so you need to shock the pool. Shocking is a process, not a chemical (read Pool School). Your SWG will not get you to the shock level needed, nor will "pucks". Use plain 6% bleach. A lot of us us Wal-Mart's Good Value bleach; $2.54 for 182 oz.

    Stop using pucks until the water stabilizes. Pucks are stabilized chlorine, which means that they will be adding to the CYA you already have. In addition, it can take up to a week for the CYA that you put in the pool on the 17th and 18th to really show up in the water results so your CYA may be much higher but right now you need chlorine.

    Where are you taking your readings from, and what test kit are you using? The readings seem to be bouncing all over the place.

    First, get your pH level down to 7.2-7.3. You can use dry acid or muratic. Muratic can be found in the paint section of the big box stores and is pretty inexpensive. Do NOT add the acid all at once; read pool school. Add 1/3, then wait, test, and add another amount, which may not be a full third. It's all dependant on your testing.
    Adding muratic will drop the pH and the TA. Aerating the water will increase the pH and not cause TA to rise but get your pH down and stable.

    With a CYA of 50, your shock level is about 24. Do you understand how to use the Pool Calculator? http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ool_calculator

    Keep your filter running 24/7, and keep the shocking process going. Shocking a pool is not adding a chemical, it's bringing the chlorine level up to the shock level and keeping it there until the algae is dead, the water sanitized, and the pool clear.

    You will get there!
    Triad Region of NC
    18x37 Vinyl IG (24,000 gal.), BBB & GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 SWG, Hayward 1 HP Superpump / Hayward Sand Filter / Polaris 280 cleaner / 6 deck jets / Sheer Descent Waterfall (in coping) / Brick Red Concrete Coping / Stamped Concrete Deck
    Lots of oak trees, maple trees, *and* leaves!

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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    Thank you, fuzzy...

    Taylor test kit is on order for Thursday delivery...in meantime, I'm using HTH 6-way drop test kit...and, you're right in your observation that the readings are all over the place although I'm very careful in using the kit. I take the water sample about 18 inches below the surface and try to wait a day after adding anything before taking new readings.

    Because I'm having problems with low flow, I had to backwash my sand filter only 2 days after applying enough stabilizer to get the CYA up to 70-80 as recommended on this board for a vinyl SWG above ground pool, so my 50 reading doesn't seem implausible...but then I don't have experience with this stuff yet. I run the SWG 9 hours a day, but I don't know how effective it has been as the electrolytic cell developed a white coating within a couple of days, I'm assuming due to our very hard water.

    OK...please let me know if I understand this correctly then...First I need to get my ph down to 7.2-7.3 with muriatic acid...because I don't have my Taylor kit yet and because I doubt it's a good idea to wait until Saturday to start the shock process, shouldn't I just go with the test kit I have now and start the process tomorrow since it's my day off?

    I assume I can get the pH down within a few hours? Or should I wait longer between muriatic acid applications?

    May I begin shocking just as soon as the pH stays stable for a couple of hours, or do I need to wait and check it again several hours later? I'll read the pool school articles again, but I just want to get this straight in my head...

    My concern is this....once I do get the water back to crystal clear, how do I keep it there? This pool has only been up since after Memorial Day. I don't think the SWG has ever generated a chlorine level above 1.0ppm...is this an indication of a generator problem? Or should I have initially dosed the water with clorox to give the generator a helping hand? The pool directions never mentioned anything about problems getting the chlorine levels to acceptable level at start up...

    How will I know when my shocking process is complete since there's not really any sign of algae except the slightly tinted water and sometimes a brown bubbly film on the surface of the skimmer water? There aren't slick spots or brown patches or anything like that on the pool walls/floor...or will I just know when the water is crystal clear again?

    As far as using the pool calculate? I entered my current pH of 7.8-8.2 as "8.0" and the desired level of 7.2-7.3 as "7.2"--calculator says I need to add 63oz of 31.45% muriatic acid...so, I add about 21 oz and wait...HOW LONG should I wait between applications? and how long after the pH gets where I want it before I can begin adding the clorox? With my CYA at 50, how long does it usually take for the FC level to drop once the shock process is complete so the kids can get back in the pool?

    Thank you again for your advice...
    12500 gallons
    24' x 52" metal frame
    Intex Krystal Clear 2650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Saltwater System
    Above Ground
    Vinyl

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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    One observation about the pool calculator I just noticed...if I don't enter my current TA and then the desired TA, the amount of muratic acid calculated to lower the pH from 8.0 to 7.2 is only 26 ounces...but if I enter the current TA and the desired TA along with the pH values, the muratic acid recommended is 63 ounces...when I'm adjusting the pH to prepare for shock process, do I enter the current and desired TA as well as the pH values into the calculator? Thanks again.
    12500 gallons
    24' x 52" metal frame
    Intex Krystal Clear 2650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Saltwater System
    Above Ground
    Vinyl

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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    First, lower your pH. Add MA, wait about an hour (pump running) before testing and adjusting. Lower your pH to around 7.4ish. This could be done in a few hours. I suggest you do this when you get home today or ASAP.

    Next, shock your pool. See the article in Pool School. Instead of waiting for tomorrow, you will be ahead of the game if you start this tonight.

    Shocking is a process and not a one-time event - see red line in my sig.
    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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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    I suggest you take this large project of balancing your pool water and break it down into manageable steps. Your knowledge will increase as you do and many of your questions will be self evident.

    1. Double check your testing method as it is very unlikely pH will fluctuate as you have indicated yours has. Whatever kit you currently have is OK for pH only. Use that old kit and get your pH where you can test it and get the same repeatable results. Your pH needs to be around 7.4 or so.

    DON'T WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE until your pH is in place. If you cannot get your pH testing to settle in, wait for the new kit to arrive and go to step 2 below.

    2. Go to the store and purchase a LOT of Clorox 10 large jugs is not too much....they won't go to waste. Pour in one large jug of Clorox this evening and relax and wait for your test kit to arrive.

    3. Once the test kit is in your possession, post back with a complete set of test results and then we'll help you begin the shock process.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    Thank you for the added information...I'm feeling more confident.

    Again, I am very careful with the testing...always rinse the tubes before, always take the water from the same depth, always hold the bottles upright and squeeze one drop with agitation at a time...and take the reading outside in daylight...maybe I'm making a mistake in that I gently shake the indicator/reagent bottles before adding the drops???

    I assumed the pH fluctuation had something to do with the alkalinity level being so high, the fact that it has rained here, and/or the fact that we have had quite a few hours of swimmers...I haven't been able to get a lot of information on lowering alkalinity, or at least haven't understood how TA can be so high when the pH is in an acceptable range---other than the pool girl telling me my pH is in "lock" and that it needs to be lowered to get the TA down...she didn't say how low the pH needed to go but sold me some muriatic acid...sounds like her plan was the correct one...

    Anyway...I will add small amounts of muriatic acid until my pH holds steady at 7.3...I think I need to go the lower reading to get my alkalinity in check...if the pH holds for several hours, I'll add a jug of chlorox today and wait until tomorrow when my T-100 test kit arrives to start the shock process...

    If you guys have any other suggestions, I'd appreciate any assistance. I'll post the new T-100 readings ASAP...

    Oh!! Does the shock process go on around the clock? If I get home from work at 7pm, should I put my first jug of clorox in and then test as recommended (every 30-60 minutes) throughout the night or just wait until Saturday morning when I have the whole day and sunshine?

    Thanks again...
    12500 gallons
    24' x 52" metal frame
    Intex Krystal Clear 2650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Saltwater System
    Above Ground
    Vinyl

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    Your call. However, you lose no FC to sunlight overnight, so everything you add goes to killing algae.

    If I had enough bleach stockpiled, I'd hit it at 7, 9, and 11. Then set the alarm clock, get up at 5, hit it again, go back to bed, then hit it again before I had breakfast. That should get a good kill going. Then I'd start brushing, and watching the filter pressure. And maybe start checking hourly, as the sun will startwasting FC.
    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: New Pool -- Need Advice

    Well...got a call from the hardware store that was ordering my Taylor test kit...it's on back order so it won't be here tomorrow afterall...I ordered
    another test kit from the website recommended on Trouble Free Pool USPS Priority, but I don't know when it will get here...

    Sooooo, I'm getting the pH down now with muriatic acid...any suggestions as to what I can safely and reasonably do while I wait
    for my test kit? And does it make sense that the pool calculator recommends I add 622oz chlorine to get my FC from 0 to 24?
    Good grief...will I be able to find enough bleach in this area to maintain shock level? Does that sound right?

    Thanks for any advice...
    12500 gallons
    24' x 52" metal frame
    Intex Krystal Clear 2650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Saltwater System
    Above Ground
    Vinyl

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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    If you ordered the TF-100 I'd try to cancel the backordered Taylor test kit.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    I did cancel the back-ordered kit...which is made by the TF-100 guys but was more expensive and called a K-2500 (I think...)...
    12500 gallons
    24' x 52" metal frame
    Intex Krystal Clear 2650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Saltwater System
    Above Ground
    Vinyl

  13. Back To Top    #13
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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    622/128 = 4.85 gallons. Not that bad. If you can find 12.5% chlorine, you'll only need half as much. My local Lowes has it, out in the pool section by the garden department. 2 gallons/case. You won't get strange looks there if you buy 10 or 12 boxes.
    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: New Pool -- Need Advice

    Used 1.25-1.5 quarts of muriatic acid over a 24 hour period...got the pH down to approx. 7.4 and the alkalinity is STILL 170...

    Been running the filter pump 24/7 and have NOT had the brown, bubbly film on the skimmer water since Tuesday...water
    is not crystal clear or sparkly though...

    Still haven't received the test kit...anxious to get chlorine in the pool and worried about using more of the muriatic acid
    so I decided to leave the pH at 7.4 for now and added 294 oz of clorox half an hour ago...

    Within the responses to this post, I've been advised to get the pH to as low as 7.2 on up to 7.4...at 7.4, the alkalinity
    is still 170...should I go ahead and take the pH lower with the hopes of reducing the TA? I'm not able to shock the
    pool yet because the test kit is still on its way...

    Still don't have any brown patches or things floating in the pool...do I really need to shock? Would it be reasonable
    to just try to get the chlorine level within acceptable range for my CYA while I'm waiting on the test kit? Right now,
    the chlorine count is ZERO....

    With CYA of 50...vinyl pool...SWG....TA 170...CH 230... "These levels will work for most pools most of the time, but are not ideal in all situations... If you have high TA or high CH fill water and lots of direct sunlight, you should expect to need adjustments to these recommendations. For advice on what would be ideal for your pool please ask on the forum." Can anyone advise on the recommended FC and pH when I have high TA AND high CH fill water and lots of sun with CYA of 50?

    Thanks again...
    12500 gallons
    24' x 52" metal frame
    Intex Krystal Clear 2650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Saltwater System
    Above Ground
    Vinyl

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    Yes, I'd add a gallon or so of bleach nightly until you get your kit.

    We really can't answer all the q's until you post the test results.
    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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  16. Back To Top    #16
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    About the pH, if you want, you can aim for 7.2 since you are trying to also lower your TA.

    Lowering TA is something that we usually address after the more important issues, like shocking, are resolved.
    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!

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    I'll second that, keep adding chlorine and then work on the shocking process first as soon as your kit comes, then work on the TA.

    Chuck
    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:
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    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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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    OK...got home from work to find my TF-100 test kit in the mail box FINALLY.

    6/25/11 3PM readings:
    FC 6.5ppm
    CC 0
    TC 6.5ppm
    pH 7.4
    T/A 200
    CYA 30
    Temp 87 degrees

    The water is clear...I have NOT shocked my pool yet because I've been waiting on this test kit. Instead, I have
    been pouring 2 or 3 96 ounce 6% clorox bottles in every morning. This afternoon is the first time I've recorded
    over 1ppm FC...and I was able to duplicate the FC level on my old HTH 6-way drop test kit...

    This morning, I added another pint of muriatic acid to get the pH down hoping to lower the T/A...

    Any suggestions...haven't had the brown film on the skimmer water for at least 3 days...water
    is NOT dull...

    Still haven't lowered the pH enough to get the TA down...
    Still don't know how the SWG is at generating chlorine as I haven't been running it while dosing manually...
    And although I put in 8lbs of stabilizer last week, which should have been enough to get my
    CYA to 70, CYA has never been higher than 50 and reads 30 today...may have been
    due to the fact that my filter required back wash within 3 days of applying stabilizer...

    Please give me step by step advice...what do I worry about first...and while I'm doing
    all this adjustment (if any), can we swim in the pool....it's HOT here in SE Kansas...

    I have another 4lb tub of stabilizer, maybe a half quart more muriatic acid, pH decreaser,
    pH increaser, 15 big jugs of 6% clorox...

    Thank you for your help...
    12500 gallons
    24' x 52" metal frame
    Intex Krystal Clear 2650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Saltwater System
    Above Ground
    Vinyl

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool -- Need Advice

    I suggest you do an OCLT to determine if there are organics in the pool.

    If you don't pass the test, start shocking and no swimming.



    If you do pass the OCLT and your FC & pH are within range, with CC less than .5 and the water is clear, then yippee, start swimming .

    Add CYA to get to about 80. You can use the sock method in the skimmer and it will not interfere with swimming.
    Also, it will not all wash out should you need to backwash.

    Maintain your FC manually until you get the SWG dialed in.

    Each time your pH gets to 7.8, lower it to about 7.2. The SWG will aerate and help speed the TA lowering process.
    You're gonna' need some more MA.

    Hope this helps
    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: New Pool -- Need Advice

    Where can I read about OCLT?
    12500 gallons
    24' x 52" metal frame
    Intex Krystal Clear 2650 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    Saltwater System
    Above Ground
    Vinyl

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