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Thread: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

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    n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    My wife and I just bought a house with a pool and we've had trouble keeping it clear. To start, it was a foreclosure, so the pool was full of leaves when we got it. When we stirred them up, it turned green. We tried to clear it by backwashing (advise of a friend), but after 2 days of this we just drained it and started fresh. We shocked it, added conditioner, and it was god for a few days before the algae showed up. It was a mix of black and mustard I think, just judging by color.
    We balanced it again, added shock, algecide, and phospho-free, and cleared it up, only to have it come back again a week later.
    The ONLY think I can think of that we haven't tried is cleaning the filter. I have not taken it apart (Hayward DE-3600) to get inside since I want to make sure I can put it back together. I haven't found an online manual for it...let me know if you have one.
    My questions are:
    1.) Should I embark on this, or hire someone to come clean the filter?
    2.) I am willing to do this on my own, but what do I need to have on hand ahead of time to give it a full cleaning so it won't be down for days?
    3.) Anyone else in PHX or AZ and can give some tips for summer pool ownership?

    Cheers!
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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    I was reading some other posts and most ask for some of the chemistry of the pool. We take samples into Leslie's and have them test it. I lost the most recent one, but I have their printout from 06/12:
    Also since I didn't mention it before, the pool is ~15,000 gallons.

    FAC-0ppm
    TAC-0ppm
    Bromine-1ppm
    pH-8.2
    TA-140ppm
    CYA-75ppm
    TDS-800ppm
    Phosphates-300ppm

    We added muratic acid and shock per their recommendations, then added conditioner, algaecide and clarifier.
    Newer printout had OK chlorine and pH, but the phosphates were up still so we did pretty much the same as above, but added the phospho-free.
    If I find the printout I'll post it, or just take a new sample in to get tested.

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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    Welcome to TFP!

    Please don't buy anymore of the pool store's products. You don't need algaecide or clarifier. You also don't need anything for phosphates as you phosphate level is irrelevant.

    Have you started reading Pool School? This is something that you can deal with on your own as long as you are willing to learn a little bit of pool water chemistry and be patient.

    Here is a section from Pool School on getting rid of the algae...pool-school/defeating_algae

    You also need your own high quality test kit to test your water. The TF-100 at www.tftestkits.net is the best one out there. You can only purchase it from that website.

    For starters, get a new set of test results from the pool store and post them here for us to see. Then we can guide you in the right direction. We need the following values...FC, CC, CYA, pH, TA, and CH.

    If you read Pool School and follow our directions, you will be swimming in clear blue water in a matter of days. Don't buy any more stuff from the pool store for now.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    Read pool school and ask lots of questions. The great folks here will guide through the process of clearing your pool. Pool school will teach you how to keep your pool chemistry in balance and to recognize problems if/when they occur.
    11,872 Gallon IG Shotcrete play pool
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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    The ONLY other thing that you need from the pool store right now besides a test result is... Liquid Chlorine
    You need start the shock process using TFP pool school way!!
    See above link at the top of site page-POOL SCHOOL
    As was said, get some test #'s and post them here and then we can help!

    P.S. Order a TF-100XL kit as soon as possible if you serious about learning to care for your OWN pool and not be jerked all around not have a kit to know what your water is doing.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    Even though you THINK you shocked it............you probably just tickled it. You have to reach shock level and HOLD it there until you meet the 3 criteria in pool school. Shocking is a process..........not a one time shot. Good luck!
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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    Thanks for the startup direction. I've looked through the pool school and it makes sense. I am somewhat versed in chemistry (biochemistry) so a lot of this should sink in eventually, although analytical chem was never my strong suit...
    I'll order a TF100 kit soon (but use Leslie's until that arrives, and part of a kit we got from there as well).

    I will get some liquid bleach and start with that to get to shock levels of Cl, then keep that up through the weekend and early next week before I retest. I did find the most recent chem sheet, but forgot to bring it to work to enter on here, I'll do that later tonight (not that it's incredibly relevant anymore...).

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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    @woodyp...I am finally learning that!

    Alright...sorry I couldn't update more frequently, it was a rough weekend. It was REALLY hard to keep the Cl level at shock level with straight bleach, so I resorted to the granular pool shock we had on hand, and it works MUCH better. I struggled with the liquid stuff for a couple days before I switched so it's been shocking for just 3 days now..."smells like...victory..." Seriously, it does smell like a chlorinated pool though. Why did the liquid bleach not work well? Does the PHX sun break liquid down faster than granular? I've only had to add the granular twice a day to keep it up, where the bleach was **** near hourly.

    I apologize again, but I forgot the pool sheet at home and didn't enter it from before...I'll try to remedy that tonight. The cholorine level prior to switching to the granuals was hovering around 4ppm (was I just not adding enought 6% bleach?), the TDS was low, and the pH was 7.6 (I added some muriatic acid to drop it to 7.4/7.5).

    @supertune...How much should I be adding to a 15000 gallon pool? I've been using ~3/4 gallon each time, and it's not doing the trick (unless the sun/heat effect is different).

    The pool is still cloudy, so I assume that's due to the dying algae and suspended undissolved chlorine or calcium? I've been reading that it will take time to remove the cloudyness...should I consider recharging the DE in my filter or wait until it's cleared up, then recharge to start "more fresh"?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    If your CYA is really 75 ppm (although pool stores can be quite far off ... you will have a better idea when you test kit comes in), your normal FC level should be maintained between 6ppm and 11ppm, but your shock level is 21ppm.

    There is the first problem you will see, my guess is your current test kit and the pool store generally only test FC up to 5 or maybe 10ppm.

    For a 15,000 gallon pool, to raise the FC level by 5ppm, you need to add 156oz of 6% bleach OR 93oz of 10% liquid chlorine OR 75oz of 12.5% liquid chlorine.

    So if you pool was down to 0 FC, you would need to add 655oz of 6% bleach (5+ gallons) to reach a shock level of 21ppm (assuming CYA of 75).

    You too can calculate these numbers using the http://www.poolcalculator.com

    ETA: If you truely have mustard algae ... then you shock level becomes a FC of 42ppm!!!
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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    Did you actually add the stabilizer in an amount to reach 75ppm? I ask because you say you drained the pool and started fresh. Which would mean no stabilizer. Then you added some that the pool store sold you. How much? The test result of 75ppm was after you refilled, correct?

    Then you say you've used the powder shock product. This would have added even more CYA to your pool. If you've ever used tablets, those add it as well.

    If all this is correct, you're over stabilized already. Which means your shock level is high, and with the bleach you probably didn't put enough in to reach shock level of 21 which is why it was taking so much bleach at first. Additionally, a couple days of adding bleach often like you were isn't abnormal if you're dealing with algae, especially if you weren't getting it all the way up to 21ppm every time. i'm guessing here but what probably happened is when you switched to the powder, you actually added the correct amount and the pool finally got "shocked", at which point the algae gets effectively killed. Dead algae doesn't eat chlorine, so now that it's actually dying you've turned the corner so to say and you're loosing less chlorine because there's less algae that needs to be killed.

    Chlorine is chlorine. It is a gas which without compression and containment would disperse to the air. When chlorine gas is combined with water, at 3-6%, we call it bleach. To get chlorine gas into a solid form, it is stabilized with cyanuric acid. But that doesn't mean the actual chlorine it's combined with is more stable (i.e. powder lasts longer, not true). It does gradually increase the CYA levels which allows your pool to have more and more "reserve", or inactive chlorine. This is why higher CYA levels require higher min/target and shock levels. Your reserve of inactive chlorine is high which means you have to dose the pool above the reserve to allow the active chlorine to do it's dirty work.

    I would suggest going back to bleach and make sure you get a good test kit... like today. Somewhere around here there's a list of the CL ppm:CYA ppm ratio for powdered shock. IIRC, for every 10ppm of CL from powder it raises CYA either 6 or 9ppm. So, if you've put in 20ppm worth of powdered shock you've already raised CYA up from 75 to maybe 85 or higher. And thus, your minimum and target levels are already higher than what has been recommended in this thread and we're missing the shock boat... yet again.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
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    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.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    We refilled, then added stabilizer (per Leslie's suggestion). We did not have tablets, but did have the granular shock.
    I probably did not add enough bleach if the CYA was that high. My friends test kit didn't measure it over 10ppm, but I'm sure it was an old kit (the black dot at the bottom of the tube was clearly visible when the solution filled the tube). I will retest when the TFT kit comes in. I can also have a different Leslie's test it and see what they come up with (not all store employees are good at their job...).
    I will keep adding bleach, but I don't want to spend $400 in bleach either...

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    You'll spend more on bleach over the next few weeks hovering at too low CL levels to kill the algae if you don't quite hit shock level than you would if you hit it hard and keep it there till you have no more combined chlorine.

    You'll also spend more on chlorine in general if you use the powder and cya goes up and up and up over the summer...

    And then you'll spend even more on bleach/chlorine if your CYA continues to go up and you don't make sure you put enough chlorine in to meet the increasing levels of CYA every day... all summer long every day.

    Then, your pool will need to be shocked again if you aren't getting enough in every day (algae bloom)... with CYA levels high it will be lots of bleach/chlorine to do it. That will cost even more.

    Oh, and if you add more CYA, soon it will get out of control and you'll end up draining it again just so you don't have to spend so much on bleach/chlorine. There goes some more cashola...

    It's a spiraling whirlpool of craziness designed apparently by the pool industry to make us give them our money. We here have no such interests, as no one here is a bleach manufacturers representative lol. We get nothing but satisfaction at seeing your pool succeed from you using bleach, you actually get a clean and clear sparkly pretty pool.

    Overall... doing the bleach now likely would save you $, then you can go buy pool toys :~}
    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.

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    Any updates on this one?
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  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: n00b Pool Owner In AZ

    The pool was coming around (very very slowly...). I was just getting to the point of seeing the drain at the bottom when the haboob (giant f'in dust storm) rolled through PHX and now the pool is red with dirt.
    My test kit should be here later this week, then I'll be able to post more stats.

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