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Thread: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

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    judge smails's Avatar
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    Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Hello all. I've been reading this forum for a few weeks and have learned more than I ever could have from my pool builder or other 'pool guys'. But I do have a few questions that I can't seem to find specific answers for so I thought I'd ask you. The builder didn't give me much more than a brief introduction on how things work so I could use a little more info. My pool has only been opened 2 weeks now and the family and I are very excited. I try and act like I know what I'm doing so the wife doesn't worry too much but truthfully I've been kinda flying by the seat of my pants. I think I got the basics down but need to nail down some details.

    First off:

    1. Do the the pump and filter listed in my signature seem to 'fit' with my pool or are they too big (if there is such a thing)?

    2. My filter does not have a manual air bleeder valve. should it and, if so, can I have my builder put one on?



    One of the first things I did after reading this site was to buy a TF100 Test Kit. Here are my results from last night:

    FC 3.5
    CC 0
    TC 3.5
    Ph 7.5
    TA 160
    CH 210
    CYA 10ish


    my FC has always seemed to be low so every night I try to get it up to 3-4. if we swim all day, I'll end up with .5-1 before I add more bleach at night.

    3. Ph seems to always want to creep up. once it gets to 7.8, I add some Ph down to bring it back down to 7.5. is this ok or should I bring it down even further to 7.2?

    4. should I adjust my TA and CH?

    5. the test for CYA has been a little confusing to me. I end up with basically a full tube and can still see a dot on the bottom, although its not black, more of a silver color but I can still make it out. so I estimate it to be around 10 but am I doing this test right? I've added some conditioner last night to see if I can bring it up but didn't think I should test it again for a few days. maybe once I bring it up I can see how the black dot is supposed to disappear.....

    6. The 'Recommended Levels' link in Pool School mentions that adjustments to those recommended levels should be made for new plaster but doesn't mention what these adjustments are. Can anyone tell me what my levels should be?


    I've been concentrating on my FC and Ph levels since the pool opened and figured I'd adjust the other levels once I got those to where they should be. I think I've done that. I've been adding bleach daily, adding in Ph down here and there, and added Conditioner twice now (the last time last night). my pool is pretty clear but I think it could be more clear. not sure if one of my levels is a little out of whack, preventing a crystal clear pool. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    16'x32' Inground Plaster pool (@15,000 gallons)
    Pentair Tagelus TA 100D sand filter (100 GPM)
    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS 3 Hp Pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    1. Those pieces of equipment fit your setup well. That's a nice large filter and though the pump is rated at 3hp it's a variable speed so no issues there.

    2. The manual air release should be on the side of the multiport valve near the pump inlet port. Which valve do you have?

    3. Your TA is high so you should adjust your pH down to 7.0 or 7.2 each time it gets up.

    4. As you lower the pH each time the TA will come down too.

    5. If you have CYA in the pool greater than 10 ppm the black will completely disappear. Like it was never there. How are you chorinating the pool?

    6. There is a section in Pool School about new plaster startup. Have you read it?

    How old is your pool?
    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: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Sounds like your off to a good basic start. You are doing great by being here.. lots of helpful information.

    Your ph is likely creeping up because your TA is high. Like Bama said, as you lower your ph to keep it w/in values, your ta will come down too.. and likely stabilize. When that happens your ph will be more stable as well.. although if you have a lot of aeration, splashing or swg you may still occasionally have to lower it w/acid.

    If you added dry stabilizer, CYA, it can take up to a week for it to register on a test. Keep that in mind as you're trying to get your level set.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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    judge smails's Avatar
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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    2. The manual air release should be on the side of the multiport valve near the pump inlet port. Which valve do you have?

    6. There is a section in Pool School about new plaster startup. Have you read it?

    How old is your pool?
    2. not sure what valve it is. I have a pressure guage on one side and a flat area on the other where it looks like a release valve would go. nothing is there right now.

    6. yes, I read that but it doesn't specify any adjustments to the recommended levels


    pool has been open all of 2 weeks and 3 days now. brand spanking new :P
    16'x32' Inground Plaster pool (@15,000 gallons)
    Pentair Tagelus TA 100D sand filter (100 GPM)
    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS 3 Hp Pump

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    judge smails's Avatar
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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Suziqzer
    Your ph is likely creeping up because your TA is high. Like Bama said, as you lower your ph to keep it w/in values, your ta will come down too.. and likely stabilize. When that happens your ph will be more stable as well.. although if you have a lot of aeration, splashing or swg you may still occasionally have to lower it w/acid.

    If you added dry stabilizer, CYA, it can take up to a week for it to register on a test. Keep that in mind as you're trying to get your level set.

    kids were in the pool all weekend, plenty of splashing so that had to contribute to my high Ph, it sounds like. I'll try lowering it to 7.2 and see what happens with the TA
    16'x32' Inground Plaster pool (@15,000 gallons)
    Pentair Tagelus TA 100D sand filter (100 GPM)
    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS 3 Hp Pump

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    judge,

    You have a pretty good handle on your chemistry. I think your biggest issue to address is the CYA. You are doing the test correctly and you DO NOT have enough in your pool.

    What target did you shoot for when
    added some conditioner last night to see if I can bring it up but didn't think I should test it again for a few days.
    Ina back door way, I think this may be the cause of your lack of "sparkle" in the water. Tell us how you are chlorinating and the CYA answer and we'll go from there.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Follow this link and down load the oweners manual, it shows where the air bleed valve is:

    http://www.pentairpool.com/pool-owner/p ... er-176.htm
    20x40 IG Vinyl, 1.5 HP Whisperflo, Sta-Rite System 3 (300) Sq. ft Cart
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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    judge,

    You have a pretty good handle on your chemistry. I think your biggest issue to address is the CYA. You are doing the test correctly and you DO NOT have enough in your pool.

    What target did you shoot for when
    added some conditioner last night to see if I can bring it up but didn't think I should test it again for a few days.
    Ina back door way, I think this may be the cause of your lack of "sparkle" in the water. Tell us how you are chlorinating and the CYA answer and we'll go from there.
    I added about 18 oz of stabilizer planning to test it in a few days to see if I could get it to register on the test. hoping for anything really, 20 or 30 maybe. about a week earlier I added about 20 oz and when I tested it 5-6 days later, the test was cloudier but I could still make out the dot so I added more yesterday.

    I have an inline chlorine feeder that takes the 3" pucks but it has never produced enough chlorine since the pool was started up. when they did that, they just filled up the chlorinator with pucks and put 2 pucks in each skimmer (I have two). my chlorine was always 1 ppm or less the first week so I started adding bleach every day to get it up to 3-4 just so I had a little cushion in case the kids were in it all day and the chlorinator wasn't producing enough. I realize the pucks have CYA in them which again makes me wonder if my chlorinator is working properly.

    I am wondering if my chlorinator is producing enough chlorine and if its related to a pump issue I may or may not have. here's a long story I will try to make short:

    when my pool was first opened, I had great flow from my returns. then I vacuumed for the first time and the next day my flow was very little. I came home from work and noticed it. I though maybe I had gotten some air in the lines. I tried repriming the pump but it has only gotten a little better since and mostly because I turned up the speed on the pump to 1600 rpm (from what I thought was 1100 rpm, although thinking back I don't know what the builder set the speed to. he has since told me 1600 rpm should be about right). either way, even at 1600 rpm the flow is not what it was when it was opened. I'm no expert in pumps but I think this one self primes basically (maybe an expert on pumps could tell me if this one does that?). there is no air bleeder on the filter so I can't get it out that way and the builder said the air will make its way out by itself. there are a few bubbles that come out once in a while but the flow still is not what it was. I wonder if the poor flow is affecting the amount of chlorine the inline feeder is producing?


    as far as the pump, what speed should I have this it running at and for how long each day? I've been running it at 1600 rpm 24/7 for now just to make sure my pool was clean. I was thinking about trimming that down now but have no idea to what speed and for how long. I have 2" pipes if that affects the pump run time. any advice on this would be great.


    thanks for the replies so far. this is very helpful
    16'x32' Inground Plaster pool (@15,000 gallons)
    Pentair Tagelus TA 100D sand filter (100 GPM)
    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS 3 Hp Pump

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by TripleB4me
    Follow this link and down load the oweners manual, it shows where the air bleed valve is:

    http://www.pentairpool.com/pool-owner/p ... er-176.htm
    yes, I printed that out. It talks about it but its not there. I called the builder on this issue and he told me my filter does not have a manual bleeder on it. should it and can he put one on if I tell him to?
    16'x32' Inground Plaster pool (@15,000 gallons)
    Pentair Tagelus TA 100D sand filter (100 GPM)
    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS 3 Hp Pump

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    this is what my valve looks like. in this pic, you can see the guage. I think the bleeder should be on the opposite side but you can't see it here.

    16'x32' Inground Plaster pool (@15,000 gallons)
    Pentair Tagelus TA 100D sand filter (100 GPM)
    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS 3 Hp Pump

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Judge,

    Find the pool calculator down in my signature. Use it for your dosage calculations.

    In a 15K pool, the calc will tell you you need 5 lbs of stabilizer to get to the suggested 40ppm. Please put about 3 more lbs of stabilizer in your pool.

    As soon as you do that, add at least 2 large jugs of clorox all at once....three won't hurt. I think the dull water may be from algae and I hope that this stabilizer and FC will start to get rid of it.

    Secondly, have you backwashed and rinsed your sand filter?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by judge smails

    One of the first things I did after reading this site was to buy a TF100 Test Kit. Here are my results from last night:

    FC 3.5
    CC 0
    TC 3.5
    Ph 7.5
    TA 160
    CH 210
    CYA 10ish

    3. Ph seems to always want to creep up. once it gets to 7.8, I add some Ph down to bring it back down to 7.5. is this ok or should I bring it down even further to 7.2?

    4. should I adjust my TA and CH?
    Unless you already have a big stockpile of dry acid (what I think the pH down is), you might want to look into muriatic acid for cost savings. For example, with a 15K gallon pool with a TA of 160, it takes 77oz (wt) of dry acid or 57 oz of muriatic acid to bring the pH from 7.8 to 7.2. (So, basically 5 lbs of dry acid or 1/2 gallon of muriatic acid.) That is around $10 of dry acid and $3 of muriatic acid. You may need to repeat this lowering every few days until your TA gets lower and your pH stops drifting upwards. The cost will add up. (Volume needed of the two is almost the same, but I did the comparison based on the weights I normally see them sold by.)
    ~~ Allison ~~
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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Judge,

    Find the pool calculator down in my signature. Use it for your dosage calculations.

    In a 15K pool, the calc will tell you you need 5 lbs of stabilizer to get to the suggested 40ppm. Please put about 3 more lbs of stabilizer in your pool.

    As soon as you do that, add at least 2 large jugs of clorox all at once....three won't hurt. I think the dull water may be from algae and I hope that this stabilizer and FC will start to get rid of it.

    Secondly, have you backwashed and rinsed your sand filter?
    from what I've read, I didn't want my CYA to get too high as its hard to get out and the fact that my feeder should also be producing CYA on a daily basis. so I've been adding a little at a time hoping to get it up to where I want without the danger of having way too much. I have been using the calculator but probably incorrectly input my CYA at 20 with a goal of 30 which put my around 20 oz of stabilizer.


    I don't think I have algae as my CC has always been 0 using the TF100 test kit.


    the builder backwashed the filter when he opened the pool. I haven't touched it since.
    16'x32' Inground Plaster pool (@15,000 gallons)
    Pentair Tagelus TA 100D sand filter (100 GPM)
    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS 3 Hp Pump

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    the builder backwashed the filter when he opened the pool. I haven't touched it since.
    I'll bet that's why your flow is so low. You should backwash immediately. It is a very specific procedure. Ask for help if you don't know how.

    Secondly, algae is not always visible nor do you have to have cc's. I'm pretty sure algae is plugging up your filter.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by aa62579
    Unless you already have a big stockpile of dry acid (what I think the pH down is), you might want to look into muriatic acid for cost savings. For example, with a 15K gallon pool with a TA of 160, it takes 77oz (wt) of dry acid or 57 oz of muriatic acid to bring the pH from 7.8 to 7.2. (So, basically 5 lbs of dry acid or 1/2 gallon of muriatic acid.) That is around $10 of dry acid and $3 of muriatic acid. You may need to repeat this lowering every few days until your TA gets lower and your pH stops drifting upwards. The cost will add up. (Volume needed of the two is almost the same, but I did the comparison based on the weights I normally see them sold by.)

    thats the plan for the future. for the time being, the builder left me with some chemicals to get started, which is what I'm using for now.
    16'x32' Inground Plaster pool (@15,000 gallons)
    Pentair Tagelus TA 100D sand filter (100 GPM)
    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS 3 Hp Pump

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    the builder backwashed the filter when he opened the pool. I haven't touched it since.
    I'll bet that's why your flow is so low. You should backwash immediately. It is a very specific procedure. Ask for help if you don't know how.

    Secondly, algae is not always visible nor do you have to have cc's. I'm pretty sure algae is plugging up your filter.
    I've read the manual to know how to do it. doesn't seem like it'd be hard to do.

    not sure if it matters but the pressure hasn't moved at all since I started watching it a day or two after startup. is there any downside to backwashing it if its not needed? if not, I'll do it anyway just to see if it helps
    16'x32' Inground Plaster pool (@15,000 gallons)
    Pentair Tagelus TA 100D sand filter (100 GPM)
    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS 3 Hp Pump

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Your gauge may be faulty. Yeah, do it anyway. Lack of flow simply means there is a restriction preventing water from moving through as freely as it once did.

    Unless you have a tennis ball in the pipes, etc., by far the most common restriction is the filter is plugged up....doing exactly what it is supposed to do.

    Note your filter psi before you start and note it after you're done. Make sure it drops to zero when the pump is off.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    let me ask this seemingly simple question: how much air should be in the pump? mine has been running with the water an inch below the top. previously, I'm pretty sure it was all the way to the top so that all you could see was a couple bubbles swirling around.

    should I stick a hose in this thing until it overflows, tighten the top, and turn it on? I put a hose in before but it never brought the water to the top and if it got near the top, by the time I put the top on, it was back down a couple inches. maybe I could leave it in longer?
    16'x32' Inground Plaster pool (@15,000 gallons)
    Pentair Tagelus TA 100D sand filter (100 GPM)
    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS 3 Hp Pump

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Your gauge may be faulty. Yeah, do it anyway. Lack of flow simply means there is a restriction preventing water from moving through as freely as it once did.

    Unless you have a tennis ball in the pipes, etc., by far the most common restriction is the filter is plugged up....doing exactly what it is supposed to do.

    Note your filter psi before you start and note it after you're done. Make sure it drops to zero when the pump is off.

    I'll give it a try. thanks
    16'x32' Inground Plaster pool (@15,000 gallons)
    Pentair Tagelus TA 100D sand filter (100 GPM)
    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS 3 Hp Pump

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    Re: Brand New Pool - first time owner could use some advice

    how much air should be in the pump?
    None. Air in the pump strainer basket is an indicator of a suction side air leak and could also be the cause of your low flow. What is your current psi?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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