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Thread: Feeling very overwhelmed

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Feeling very overwhelmed

    We bought a Summer Escapes 15x42. Holds 4000 gallons. We filled it with water this past Sat.

    One of my problems...I did not find this site till yest. So we had started with the test strips and regular chemicals.
    The test strip results that we were entering on Aqua Chems water test site was telling us to add PH Down every day, along with stabilizer, which we did. This morning when I tested and I was reading the back of the PH Down bottle (which I should had done since day one) it said to keep your levels between 7.2-7.8. The result on my strips were never over the "low 6.8" result. So I am confused to why it would tell me to put in Ph Down.

    So I went this morning and bought the 3-way test kit.
    My result was 0.6 for FC
    and for PH it was not even turning the color of the lowest 6.8. It looked more like the light yellow color for FC.

    So to start am I right that I need to add 33 ozs of Borax?
    And Do I need to use 3.1 ozs of shock?

    Also, I am confused about the CYA. How do I test for it to see how much I need.
    Thanks so much for the help. I'm ready to pull my hair out!
    15' x 42" Summer Escapes Metal Frame
    1000 GPH

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    First thing first, why are you planning on using "shock" for chlorine additions? You can use regular, store bought bleach, just make sure it's 6%. Clorox is, and a lot of store brands are, but I've seen some store brands at or under 3%.

    You test for CYA with a test kit. The TF-100 kit from tftestkits.net will allow you to accurately test and monitor your pool's chemistry. Because the pool store's CYA tests can be so inaccurate, I won't tell you to try them for testing water.
    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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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    I was looking at the pool calculator for the FC. We have been using the chlorine tablets that go in our filter since day one. I have a huge jug full that I was hoping to use. I bought the 3 way because I thought I read for above ground pools it would work. Like I said, I'm overwhelmed.

    So should I take the chlorine tablet out that we are using now and just go to using Clorox? If so, how much would I use to start with. And should I go ahead with the borax?
    Thanks
    15' x 42" Summer Escapes Metal Frame
    1000 GPH

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    Tablets are not "shock". (by the way, I keep putting the word shock in quotes because shock is a process, not a product). Tablets are a way to maintain free chlorine in your pool.

    Without knowing your current CYA level, I don't know whether to tell you it is OK to use the tablets or not. If your CYA level gets too high, your free chlorine is going to be extremely difficult to keep high enough.

    Yes, add the borax, but don't test again until the next day. It may help you to mix it with water in a 5 gallon bucket before you put it in the pool.

    You can calculate your pool's requirements with poolcalculator.com. Since you are aware of how much borax you need, I assume you've found it already though.
    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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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    So just do the Borax today and then get the other kit so I can measure the CYA right? The kit I can't get till the weekend.

    In the mean time, do I need to do anything else? After I test the CYA, can I switch to regular clorox?

    Sorry I read so much on here last night that I was even more confused than I was before.
    Thanks so much for your help.
    15' x 42" Summer Escapes Metal Frame
    1000 GPH

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    Once you can measure CYA, you'll know to stop using tablets when your CYA gets to around 30-40 ppm. You won't climb it that fast, so don't worry about it for now! Relax, use the tablets you have on hand, and use the pool.

    But add the Borax before you use the pool, measure your pH again after about an hour if you can, try to get somewhere around 7.4 before you swim. It isn't dangerous, but could cause some stinging eyes the way it is now.
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    Your starting at levels similar to mine.
    - you need the CYA test, then add Cyanuric Acid as needed, it takes a while to work so I believe the norm is to test a week later
    - get the ph up
    - boost the FC a bit while the CYA comes up
    - enter your levels into the pool calculator every time you test, it will tell you what to do

    Best advice is to read the relevant pool school sections while your testing/learning, as you see gain the knowledge and see the results change you'll quickly see the cause and effect element of maintaining the water.
    I was overwhelmed at first, but once I started seeing how the water reacted to the chemicals and how much it reacted based on dosage levels, it really simplified quite fast.
    After a couple of weeks I had a solid grasp and now about 6 weeks later I've got most of the testing down to memory.

    And I can't tell you how valuable the pool calculator is, I should probably give all "my" credit to that app, because all I really did was feed it info and do what it told me.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
    Foam Cove, Taylor K-2006 kit, BBB method, 8'X20' Fafco Sunsaver Hard Plumb, DIY Fountain, Margarittaville Fiji


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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    If you filled the pool on saturday, and have used only tablets and shock powder you've got "some" CYA but not much. How much exactly of the tablets and shock powder did you put in so far (how many full tablets have dissolved?)?

    It will take some time to raise CYA to a good level with just tablets and personally, I wouldn't bother with it because when I add stabilizer of a known quantity, I know exactly what I'm adding to the pool. Tablets require testing or careful calculations, it's a bit more hassle than I'm personally interested in.

    If you can get to a walmart, you can buy stabilizer. I'd add enough to get you to 20ppm for now. A week of tablets might have given you 10ppm of CYA but I doubt it so your total can't be much more than 30'ish anyway. If you shocked w/powder ever, you'll need to calculate how many ppm of chlorine they added and this should give you a reasonable guess on how much CYA also went in.

    Then, stop using the tablets or powder. Only bleach for now because having added 20ppm of CYA you're going to be right where you want to be to be able to use pucks for vacations or emergencies where you can't dose the pool daily.

    Pool Calculator is your friend. Embrace it! lol...

    Oh, and what test kit are you planning to get this weekend? Where? Cuz the best deal on earth is through TFTestkits, even with shipping. The Walmart kit doesn't test for combined chlorine and in the end you'll need a FAS/DPD kit anyway. Judge whether the $20 (+ tax if you're in one of those states, most everyone but me is... lol) is worth having to spend another $70 in a few days, or if you can wait for shipping on the TF100.

    In the meantime, maybe a pool store can test for you. I think we (will) know enough to guestimate your CYA within an acceptable error range to help you through the weekend if you want to wait on the kit.
    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.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    My suggestion, get the Walmart stabilizer to get your CYA up in short order, set the Pool Calculator goal for 25. As you use your tablets, the CYA nuber will slowly rise to the 30+ level you are looking for. When that happens, switch over to bleach.

    When splash-out and rain drop the CYA level, you can switch back to the tablets to boost it, then go back to bleach. I love the BBB method, but I use a slightly hybrid version! I'm guessing 90% of my chlorine comes from a bottle, but I didnt wait for tablets to deliver my CYA

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    Welcome ac1007!
    Another thing I would add...measure your pool water height and diameter and not just put in 15'X42" as your water gallon estimate could be high.

    I use 4100 gallons in the pool calculator for my 15X48.

    Is your a quick set like this?
    http://www.shopping.com/Summer-Escap...-Set/info?sb=1
    This one states 3374 gallons at 80% filled.
    Or this one?
    http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Escapes.../dp/B00178R78W
    listed at 3900 at 80% full.

    P.S. I was very panicked too in the beginning from all the info here at TFP, just read more, ask questions and you'll start to see how simple it will become, I was there 2 months ago!
    A TF-100 test kit was a saver for me as the pool store readings seemed off.
    Here's a pic of my pool now from doing it the TFP way.

    Chuck
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    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.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    Thanks for everyones help.
    Since filling with water last Sat we have put in total...
    2lbs of Stabilizer
    3 - 1"Chlorine tablets
    3 ozs of PH Down
    3 ozs of Pool Shock
    3ozs of Algaecide
    And all that was based on the strip results on Aqua Chem water test site.

    We just added the Borax about an hour ago. So we will see where that gets us.
    Thanks again.
    15' x 42" Summer Escapes Metal Frame
    1000 GPH

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    Quote Originally Posted by supertune
    Welcome ac1007!
    Another thing I would add...measure your pool water height and diameter and not just put in 15'X42" as your water gallon estimate could be high.

    I use 4100 gallons in the pool calculator for my 15X48.

    Or this one?
    http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Escapes.../dp/B00178R78W
    listed at 3900 at 80% full.



    Chuck
    Its like that one but we got ours at Walmart and it says it holds 4000 gallons on the box and online.
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/My-Sunshin...-Pool/15711192
    So I guess we will have to measure it to be sure.
    Thanks
    15' x 42" Summer Escapes Metal Frame
    1000 GPH

  13. Back To Top    #13
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    2 pounds of stabilizer in your pool, at 4000 gallons puts you at 60ppm of CYA (according to the calculator).

    I'd consider that pool over stabilized.

    At 60ppm CYA, your minimum is 5, target 9, and shock 18. Too much for me. This means your pool must never fall below 5ppm FC. It also means you can never use the OTO test kit, you'll HAVE to use the FAS/DPD every time you test.

    Count on maybe 5ppm more CYA from the few ounces of shock and the 3 tablets you've added. Not so much but you should factor it in.

    Oops, actually if you set the calc at 65ppm CYA, your target goes up to 10.

    Quite honestly, I'd suggest a partial drain and refill to get CYA back down to 30-40ppm and then stop the pucks, just use bleach. Two pounds of stabilizer was 1 pound too much. Especially if you want to use pucks... ever.
    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.

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    Yikes. How much water do you think I would need to drain? Sad we just paid $195 to get it filled. One thing about it,by the time this swim season is over, I'll know the right way to open the pool next year!
    15' x 42" Summer Escapes Metal Frame
    1000 GPH

  15. Back To Top    #15
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    Use the pool calculator, enter 65 in the now column, and 40 into the target column. To the right of that area it will tell you how much to drain. These numbers say drain 38%. If you enter 50ppm, it'll be less. To go to 30ppm, it'll be over half.

    Can you refill from the hose? You could get by with 50ppm, but it will take a bit more chlorine this summer than lower CYA levels. Maybe do this... drain to get to 50ppm which is about 25%, refill with the hose and let the kids splash their hearts out. In a week or two, you will have replaced maybe another 10% of the water. By then you'll have a test kit to verify that it's going down. A month from now, tell the kids no more splashing. hehe...
    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.

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    Your pool is the same as a Intex 15X42 frame pool...
    Here a link from them, rated at 3860 gallons.
    http://www.intexcorp.com/metal15x42.htm

    Use no more than 3800 gallons in the pool calculator so you can be closer than at 4000 gals.
    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.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    I notriced you added ph down and then you said you added borax. Those do opposite things. Why did you need both? I'd take a water sample to the pool store and have it tested. Strips are even worse then the pool store.
    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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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    I added the Ph Down the first few days we had the pool only because that is what my strip test and Aqua Chem's water tester told me to do. That is one of the reasons I was searching and found this site. I went yest and bought the 3 way test because I had read on the back of the Ph Down about what my ph level should be.
    We are going to find a pool store and get a sample to them. I had no clue how bad the strips were till I found this site.
    15' x 42" Summer Escapes Metal Frame
    1000 GPH

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    If you can find a HTH 6-way drop test kit at your local Walmart that will do for a while. If you have a OTO chlorine/pH tester you can order the TF-50 from tftestkits and that makes you have a very good kit.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Feeling very overwhelmed

    One thing to consider regarding drain vs not drain is what happens over the winter. It may be that you can manage the high CYA this summer, if you get a big tropical storm that drops a lot of rain, you can drain the pool several inches and let the rain refill it. That plus splashing may help to lower the levels. Then if you have a wet winter, you may find a lot of free dilution of the pool occurs, lessening the need to drain and refill.

    Frogabog, who suggested drain and refill to get to 30 CYA is in Oregon. They have a lot less sun than we have in Texas. You may be in between in your location, depending on how close to the coast you are. You may be able to handle the high CYA for now. But, you will certainly need the correct test for FC, the drop test, FAS/DPD, as he mentioned.
    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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