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Thread: New to opening pool

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    New to opening pool

    We had our pool closed by a pool service last year as I had just bought the house and had a baby and really didn't have time to worry about the pool. I've never owned a pool and kinda thought I'd take the mesh cover off and it would be a little green but mostly clear. Well I was soooo wrong. I had a little anxiety attack when I saw it. It was nasty dark opaque green. I guess you guys call it a swamp. I also thought paying $270 was for them to get the pool up and running. They dumped 3 bags of shock, 1 bag of algaecide and said to bring a water sample in 2 days later. Well, the next day it wasn't much better at all. So I tested using the strips that the previous owner had left. And the Ph, Alkalinity, FC and Stability were so low they weren't registering. I read a little online and bought and dumped in a box of borax and baking soda. Then 'shocked it' with 2 bottles of mega shock. Until I read this forum yesterday, I thought you just dump in a couple bottles of shock and its shocked. Day 3 I took a sample in and they said all I need was a little chlorine and to bring my alkalinity up. He also said my calcium was a little low but not to worry about that until my chemicals were stable. He didn't give me the print out. They said once it was up the ph would go up. I bought 3 bags of calcium hypochloride (I think thats what its called) because it had more chlorine and I figured it was low on calcium so it was ok. I also bought 4 bottles of 12.5% liquid chlorine (for 2.99 good price) And after the 3 bags of cal.hypo. in 30 min. showed .5 on the strip. Added 2 bottles and tested a couple hours later....back to 0. So then I found you guys online yesterday. I read a lot and think I'm heading in the right direction. I added 15 bottles of 12.5 chlorine last and finally got it to 10 ppm. I have a sock with stabalizer in it but the stabalizer is still reading so low that my strips won't really pick it up. This morning woke to 8 ppm. Now this is a rough estimate because all I have is strip tests and didn't know there was anything else til yesterday.

    But heres the thing...pool is greener than it was yesterday. I've been brushing but I can't see past a few feet. Tried to scoop anything on the bottom and either theres not much debris or I'm not seeing it and missing. Heres the numbers according to strips.

    FC 8
    PH 7.2 barely
    TA 80
    Stability not registering

    So...do I keep it at shock level? Should I wait until night time to shock because of the low CYA or should I just keep dumping in shock and keeping it high? Can I use my dolphin? the shallow end of the pool shows a little debris but not much. Its super murky looking and greenish. Please help me! Wish I could just tear the pool out.
    Mom to two wonderful children, Navy wife and owned by a boxer.

    24,000 gallon, in-ground pool with Sand Filter. Size of filter is unknown. Vinyl liner.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New to opening pool

    Hi, welcome to TFP! You do need to continue to shock the pool, but it will be a less efficient process without a high quality test kit that allows you to test the chlorine at shock levels. The kits we recommend are the TF 100 available on-line, or a Taylor k2006.

    It will take about a week for the stabilizer you are adding to register on a test, but you will treat the pool as if the stabilizer is reading correctly for the amount you added. Example: if you added enough stabilizer to reach 30 ppm, then assume the 30 is active and dose the pool accordingly.

    Please review defeating algae and how to shock your pool. You can use the The Pool Calculator to determine your shock level and how much chlorine you will need to get there.

    Remember, shocking is a process, not a product. The pool needs to stay at shock level as long as possible until the process is completed. That means frequent testing and additions of chlorine to maintain shock level. Keep the pump and filter running 24/7 during the shock process and backwash whenever there is a 10 pt rise in pressure.
    TFP Moderator
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: New to opening pool

    Well, the chlorine fell from around 8 ppm to 0 ppm over the day. I dumped 2 gallons of 12.5 liquid chlorine and about one hour later got .5 and then put in 3 bags of calcium hydrochlorite and its above 10 ppm...since I have the crappy strips they only go to 10 ppm but will be ordering the kit...I can only assume its not much above 10 ppm. Should I put in more or leave it as it is since I don't know for sure? And the calculater doesn't work with the powder...or if it does I didn't notice and did it wrong.

    Now the filter...it starts at 20 psi...and was told by the pool guys to backwash when its at 30 psi. I've been backwashing about 4-5 times a day when it reached 30 psi. Well today it never got to 30. But I could tell it wasn't circulating anymore. When I checked again it was still at 25 but the needle was pulsing about 5 degrees of psi up and down. Once I backwashed, it dropped back to 20 and immediately the water started moving again. Well that was about 2 hours ago and now its already reading 28 psi. Can the filter fill up that fast and does it sound like the filter is running okay? I bought the house last year, I don't know how long its been since the sand was changed or anything.
    Mom to two wonderful children, Navy wife and owned by a boxer.

    24,000 gallon, in-ground pool with Sand Filter. Size of filter is unknown. Vinyl liner.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: New to opening pool

    Can the filter fill up that fast and does it sound like the filter is running okay?
    Welcome to the forum The answer is a resounding, "Yes!" It is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.....filtering debris (dead algae) from your pool water.

    Read How to "Shock your Pool" up in Pool School. You must follow that process carefully and understand that it is not a one time dose but rather a constant process of adding chlorine, backwashing, brushing, etc. etc. until you pool is sparkling. It works every time if you just stick with it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: New to opening pool

    Ok... been following it and keeping my chlorine roughly in the shock zone...its at least 10 since my strips won't go higher. But it disappears soooo fast in daylight and its only 10 am! So, how long should this process take. This morning it was quite clear on the shallow end and very blue grey! Woot! But the dark end...greenish blue and cannot see the bottom, but I can see where the slope starts which is an awesome sign. Should I up the chlorine or is getting it blue something that happens over a few days. I know it can stay cloudy because of the dead algae, but I just want to get it blue. I've been brushing, ran the dolphin, skimming, backwashing and everything. Only thing I don't know is the chlorine because my test strips suck. Should it turn blue overnight? Is there anything I can do with the low CYA levels to stop the chlorine from being murdered by sunlight?
    Mom to two wonderful children, Navy wife and owned by a boxer.

    24,000 gallon, in-ground pool with Sand Filter. Size of filter is unknown. Vinyl liner.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New to opening pool

    The best thing you could possibly do is to get a good test kit. I recommend the TF100 from TFTestKits.net. The Taylor K-2006 is also good. Without reliable test results there is a lot of guessing, and things go more slowly and require more chemicals.

    Now would be a good time to raise the CYA level to around 30. CYA is increased with stabilizer/conditioner/cyanuric acid. It is sold under various names but the ingredients list should say 95+% cyanuric acid.
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: New to opening pool

    I got CYA in a sock right now. Should I just dump it all in?
    Mom to two wonderful children, Navy wife and owned by a boxer.

    24,000 gallon, in-ground pool with Sand Filter. Size of filter is unknown. Vinyl liner.

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    Re: New to opening pool

    Keep it in the sock.

    Also I noticed you mentioned you don't know when the sand was changed. Don't worry about that, it's rare that the sand actually needs to be changed.
    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: New to opening pool

    Keep at it.... your FC will disappear faster in the sunlight, but your process will take longer if you let your chlorine fall to 0 because the algae will take hold again at that point. Make sure you get your levels up to shock at night because it will have a longer affect on the algae then w/o the sunlight breaking it down.

    Your sand is most likely fine. It sounds like it's doing it's job at this point since you have to backwash frequently.

    Get yourself a good test kit on the way. It will save you many headaches later and help you confirm that you've reached a true sparkly pool when you get to that point now.
    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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  10. Back To Top    #10
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: New to opening pool

    Squish the sock. It will help disperse the stabilizer.
    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.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: New to opening pool

    Ok...thanks so much guys! The pool is blue and just a little cloudy! I think it'll swimmable tomorrow! Just in time for the weekend. The CYA is going up...only about 10 but thats still better than nothing! Alk and PH are a little low but ok, and FC is holding fairly steady at around 10! Thanks. Just got to fix my pump issue, but i'll post that somewhere else.
    Mom to two wonderful children, Navy wife and owned by a boxer.

    24,000 gallon, in-ground pool with Sand Filter. Size of filter is unknown. Vinyl liner.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: New to opening pool

    Don't trust the strips for CYA. They are junk. Trust what you know you put in.
    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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