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Thread: Maintain your pool the smart way

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    Maintain your pool the smart way

    Just wanted to add this, our pools just like the photo, year after year and the only chems
    I have ever used in the pool is 3"tabs, Clorox and baking soda. the Clorox helps
    me stretch out the smaller tab containers. so I don't have any left over at summer's
    end, personally I think the 24 round would have been perfect for us, but were also
    happy with the 18 as well, and especially the Hayward DE filter., I break it down end
    of year and also break it down and clean it mid summer, it takes about 30 minutes
    if you make sure the filter seal is not pinched and use lube on it, it will never leak and its
    only 2 bolts to remove. just clean the filter fingers during a normal DE change. so that
    way, it only adds about 15 min to everything. I usually do this around end of July.

    The tabs are my lazy option I love them, I know it ups the CYA, but our pool is
    open to the sun all day so the water evaporates every so often plus splash out , so the
    CYA gets adjusted just by filling up once in a while, It maintains around on avg, 50-60, my
    ph goes down due to rain, and tab use of course, but backing soda takes care of that very
    quickly. the key is to keep the ph on the money and the chlorine will do its job economically.
    I have never had to raise the ph level in any pool I had in my life, the tabs and rain constantly
    knock it down automatically.

    I shock the pool with around 182 oz jug Clorox, twice a month maybe more
    depending on load. like a couple days ago my Son had about 12 people in it,
    So I shocked it that night with a little over 200 oz. for example.

    Last year when I closed the pool I packed the floater full of 3 "tabs left over
    no winterizing chemicals at all, when I opened end of May it was crystal
    clear under the cover, I swear, that's not BS.

    I know I have a small 18 round pool, and the larger the size, the more maintenance
    and expertise required, but for those out there, that might be thinking of getting a
    18 round, its not that hard or expensive to maintain and its a lot of fun.

    Gary


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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    Quote Originally Posted by diyguy
    The tabs are my lazy option I love them, I know it ups the CYA, but our pool is
    open to the sun all day so the water evaporates every so often plus splash out , so the
    CYA gets adjusted just by filling up once in a while, It maintains around on avg, 50-60, my
    ph goes down due to rain, and tab use of course, but backing soda takes care of that very
    quickly. the key is to keep the ph on the money and the chlorine will do its job economically.
    I have never had to raise the ph level in any pool I had in my life, the tabs and rain constantly
    knock it down automatically.
    Evaporation will not change the CYA level in your pool if you keep a constant pool level with makeup water. Overflow due to rain and/or intentional drain to waste will lower your CYA level.

    Sounds like you are having good luck with your pool. I do have a few of questions:

    1. What test kit are you using?
    2. What is your TA?
    3. How long is your swim season (where do you live)?
    4. Why do you shock the pool twice a month?


    I ask the above questions because your post caused me pause. Again, your maintainence schedule seems to work for you, but I would not recommend it for others, especially new BBB method users. It has a potential for problems including high CYA levels (as you mentioned) requiring high FC levels, and high TA levels. Also, you should not need to do a shock process unless you are having problems with organics in the pool. Having to shock regularly is not considered normal for a "Trouble Free Pool."
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    I have a hth test kit picked up at wallchart has all the important
    test I see mentioned like CYA etc. last time I checked the total
    alkalinity it was considered fine based on what I read online, will
    test again tomorrow and post back with that,

    I live in the tri state area, the swim season's from what I consider is late
    May to early October sometimes. one year I was swimming in April.

    I would call Luck a month or two, maybe you could make a extreme case
    for a season even, but not 4 years straight of crystal clear water, that's
    usually called normal. as to why I shock the pool twice a month, I don't
    know if you have kids or not? but I have a 3yr old a 12, and 17, along
    with all their friends, believe me I do not mind the dollar something cost per
    shock I spend sometimes. if you say trouble free does not mean shocking
    after all that use, you got me then and I'm fine with that?

    I don't understand your take on CYA, High CYA water needs to removed right?
    we'll evaporation, splash and DE service all do that naturally right, remember I have
    a small pool, I don't know the size pool you have but a 18 round isn't all that much water.
    remember I'm using a tab every 5 days or something not 5, also note sometimes when
    its pouring out, "check out the photo", I pump the water out with the fountain, I haven't
    even filled the pool in about 3 weeks with all the rain and the CYA is around 50,

    Do you think 3" tabs, Jugs of Clorox and Backing soda is not all I need? what other chems
    do you think I should be using then?, what else is there but to Pump out water manually
    or naturally, test, add chlorine, and backing soda when needed, what else is there to do?

    My neighbor next door isn't running laying out hundreds at the pool store either, for ph up,
    ph down and every other chem you can think of. I guess if I had a leaf problem I could see
    me getting a crystallizer to clump fine particles together maybe for filtering purposes,

    You say you have pause? what exactly gives you that? my CYA level is maintained, I explained
    by pumping out, some get splashed out, and the Pools smack in the Sun from dawn to dusk basically,
    is there something wrong with using backing soda to raise the PH? or the Clorox I use, or is it the
    tab a week maybe?. this all seems perfectly normal from everything I have read about so far.

    Gray

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    ivyleager's Avatar
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    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    DIYGUY: your pool looks great, and it appears you have figured out how to maintain it based on your specific circumstances. Enjoy it. I wish I could open my pool to clear water every spring. Turkey season just gets in the way on opening, and deer season messes up my close.
    CaryB
    36 x 18 IG vinyl, 25K, 1 HP pump, sand filter
    1 skimmer, 2 returns, no main drain
    Old school: PoolSolutions test kit

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    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    Turkey season just gets in the way on opening, and deer season messes up my close.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  6. Back To Top    #6
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    diyguy, I am not suggesting your method of pool maintenance is not working for you, but we do not generally recommend trichlor tabs on this forum. They tend to be overused and create a high CYA issue. Your success is atypical for many trichlor tablet user. Most eventually need a partial drain and refill. The shocking you do (your shocking process is not the same as the one on this forum: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...king_your_pool) may/or may not help you. If you happen to get algae, it is unlikely that short shock process will do much, and if you do not have algae why do the shock?

    Just a note: Like I mentioned above, evaporation does not reduce CYA. If you add water to keep the original water level, your CYA will stay the same.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    I know that can be done if you keep on top of the water chemistry. You may actually be able to improve on your method a little by using a half a jug of bleach more often, perhaps weekly. That would smooth out the chlorine levels and you'd lose less on those high FC days and retain more on the low FC days. That way you could easily maintain the FC above what we would consider a minimum of 5 ppm at CYA of 60.

    Let's do the math, not sure the depth but if 4' deep that is 7600 gallons. One tab, 3" is at most 8 oz trichlor. Every 5 days assume constant dissolution is 1.6 oz trichlor each day for 1.4 ppm FC and 0.9 ppm CYA. I am surprised that the pool can be kept clear with that little FC added daily, but it is close. So, let's add in the bleach booster. 182 oz gives you 12 ppm FC which is not enough to call it a shock amount based on CYA of 60 that you say you maintain but it does give you a boost to make it though the week.

    Some assumptions on % FC loss per day... wild guess... if it is 30%loss/day start on bleach day at 12 ppm, next day lose 30% to 8.4 and add 1.4 end day with 9.8, next day lose to sun and add from tab to end at 8.3, next day lose 30% and add 1.4 to end at 7.2, next day lose and add to end at 6.4, then 5.9, then 5.5 at the end of the week. Then next week would be a bit harder to keep things in control especially since you'd have losses beyond this to swimmers. I'd guess that if you did the jug of bleach every week you would be just perfect. Maybe you are already.

    Looking at the CYA, starting from fresh fill, going 140 days at 0.9 ppm CYA/day plus whatever you started at, you'd have to do rather a lot of backwashing to drain off that much excess CYA. Two months into swim season you'd have added 54 ppm CYA less losses to backwashing and splashout but not evaporation losses. Maybe you do replace half the pool volume with backwashing in 2 months. An inch lost each time, wash each week, that's 8 inches in two months out of 48 inches depth or 16%, not anywhere near 50%. That does not work. Maybe splashout is that much again. Call it 30%. Nah, it still looks like you end up with a rising CYA level, unless you use more and more bleach and less and less tablets.

    Are you testing and recording your tests? I find that what I think I do and what I wrote down are not always the same.
    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.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    Nice analysis anon.
    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    Two months into swim season you'd have added 54 ppm CYA less losses to backwashing and splashout but not evaporation losses. Maybe you do replace half the pool volume with backwashing in 2 months. An inch lost each time, wash each week, that's 8 inches in two months out of 48 inches depth or 16%, not anywhere near 50%. That does not work. Maybe splashout is that much again. Call it 30%. Nah, it still looks like you end up with a rising CYA level, unless you use more and more bleach and less and less tablets.
    I sometimes wonder if people like diy and myself in northern clims actually might sometimes get by with climbing CYA since our swim season is short. Without adding heat, mine is about 3 months, so one might be able to make it, cool nights at end of season, etc. Then most of us drain well below our skimmers, so we remove some CYA and at least in my case something about the wintertime lowered CYA an additional 20 ppm (in addition to the water change). Seems like eventually we would still run into trouble, but might take awhile (number of years). Since diy has higher, but not super high CYA at this point, maybe he makes to the end of the season...still i wouldn't consider this a robust pool maintenance plan. Being able to independently control CYA and chlorine gives the maintainer much more control.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Nice analysis anon.
    Fun with calculators... how some people amuse themselves.....

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    I sometimes wonder if people like diy and myself in northern clims actually might sometimes get by with climbing CYA since our swim season is short. Without adding heat, mine is about 3 months, so one might be able to make it, cool nights at end of season, etc. Then most of us drain well below our skimmers, so we remove some CYA and at least in my case something about the wintertime lowered CYA an additional 20 ppm (in addition to the water change). Seems like eventually we would still run into trouble, but might take awhile (number of years). Since diy has higher, but not super high CYA at this point, maybe he makes to the end of the season...still i wouldn't consider this a robust pool maintenance plan. Being able to independently control CYA and chlorine gives the maintainer much more control.
    Well, you know, it is all about knowing what your limits are. I think the floater plus bleach can be a great way to go as long as you are monitoring it. Having a sand or DE filter introduces a lot of fill water to dilute the CYA buildup. And, I suppose that as the pool gets out of control, one would backwash that much more, so that is sort of self correcting in a location that was not under water restrictions.

    The key, of course, it to test often and record the data. Then use the appropriate chemicals to get the result you want. No dogmatic adherence to a "method", just using the science to get what we want.
    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.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    The key, of course, it to test often and record the data. Then use the appropriate chemicals to get the result you want. No dogmatic adherence to a "method", just using the science to get what we want.
    I agree with you to a point on this, but for new pool chemists (like so many that show up on here with problems) the "dogma" is usually more useful than a more "freeform" understanding of pool chemistry. Once a person is familiar with pool chemisty and how to monitor/change theirs, then a more "freefrom" approach might be appropriate...again on an individual basis. The OP title suggests that his/her way is "smart" seems inappropriate, since what he/she is really doing is a self-proclaimed "lazy" way to maintain. If others tried to emulate that approach, we would hear about problems from a good portion of them. As we all know, each pool is different, the "dogma" put forth here helps most/almost all users avoid the pitfalls that exist when using an approach similar to the OPs. If a forum member becomes more interested in the chemistry, testing, and recording/trending of data, then by all means, experiment away (though that has it's risks as well) off the beaten BBB method path.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    The OP title suggests that his/her way is "smart" seems inappropriate, since what he/she is really doing is a self-proclaimed "lazy" way to maintain. If others tried to emulate that approach, we would hear about problems from a good portion of them.
    I agree completely, my pool simply could not be run that way. We have a cartridge filter and so I don't consume a lot of fresh water that way. Normally we get 55" of rain a year yet I cannot count on that to overflow the pool as a snow accumulation would. Mostly that just replaces evaporation and so does not dilulte CYA. And of course, this year we are so far behind normal in rainfall and are under water restrictions. The newspaper keeps a tally but I recall it is something like 1/3 the normal amount, I see 15% of the woods are dead and another 50% of the woods are in serious trouble. Hard to justify a lazy pool maintenance method that requires dumping half the water every month when Lake Conroe is falling by an inch a day. Adding 0.9 ppm CYA per day means that when you reach 60 ppm you must dump half the water each month in order to continue. For me to dump 11,500 gallons of water out of the pool each month would be tragic.
    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.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    I wish I could send you some of our rain, I have only had to drain the pool this year. I am wondering if we just banked the sides of Interstate 35, it would collect enough to get down to you...
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    I wish I could send you some of our rain, I have only had to drain the pool this year. I am wondering if we just banked the sides of Interstate 35, it would collect enough to get down to you...
    Awhile back we were talking to someone in the path of the Achafalaya spillway that was opened to divert water from the Mississippi River. The ground was so dry that the water never reached them, it just got soaked up. (heard secondhand so cannot verify that)
    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.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    I agree with you to a point on this, but for new pool chemists (like so many that show up on here with problems) the "dogma" is usually more useful than a more "freeform" understanding of pool chemistry. Once a person is familiar with pool chemisty and how to monitor/change theirs, then a more "freefrom" approach might be appropriate...again on an individual basis. The OP title suggests that his/her way is "smart" seems inappropriate, since what he/she is really doing is a self-proclaimed "lazy" way to maintain. If others tried to emulate that approach, we would hear about problems from a good portion of them. As we all know, each pool is different, the "dogma" put forth here helps most/almost all users avoid the pitfalls that exist when using an approach similar to the OPs. If a forum member becomes more interested in the chemistry, testing, and recording/trending of data, then by all means, experiment away (though that has it's risks as well) off the beaten BBB method path.
    diyguy "me" is a guy for the record, I never said lazy maintenance plan as per se, you should know what I meant if you read that in the context I typed it, also remember I didn't give a blow by blow blog of exactly what and when I do things, like if the CYA showed really high I'd pump out half the water if I had too, but never needed too so far, your right through the name of the tread should have been "get to know your pool" instead maybe. as far as swim season go around here its more like 4 months then 3, as far as the tabs go, I think they do far more good then bad if you know how to implement them into a maintenance schedule and your far more less likely to miss a daily dose as well. I work for myself and am in and out of the house all day and I missed Chlorine doses before. trying to stretch out a small container of tabs to end of summer. again if I was dealing with a larger pool in another area maybe everything I do would become completely different, look they say a picture's worth a thousand words, that's why I included the photo, I must be doing something right? yes

    a pool is like a Woman everyone is unique and has different needs and temperament., if your a gal reading this, just switch that around.

    2. What is your TA?
    The TA was around 130, no big deal, because my ph, as I explained earlier, always heads down, due to rain, tabs etc, and the fountain tends to up the ph slightly and lower the TA, that and splashing just from general use, hope I made sense?. I been doing this so long I just know the pool. even though sometimes I can't explain what I'm doing, we have a hurricane coming on the east coast soon, by the time I'm done pumping out for that, the CYA should be in the low 30's. that is if the pool's still standing.

    Gary

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Maintain your pool the smart way

    Gary, sorry I called you a he/she...I guess diyguy should be obvious...

    As can be seen from your experience, you understand the "rhythm" of your pool and appear to be testing often and accurately enough that you have avoided significant algae breakouts. I appologize if I used lazy out of context. I originally was going to put "easy" but then noticed you called it "lazy". Anyways, what you are doing works for you, and that is good.

    I like the "get to know your pool" title or another suggestion might be "I have established a pattern to my pools chemical maintenance"...

    Just curious, how many times in the last 4 years have you had to do a partial drain refill?

    By the way, as you can see in my sig, I using the intex swg, in fact I just got back from vacation (5 days up on the North Shore of Lake Superior...if you get a chance, it makes a great vacation, in some ways similar to the Maine coast line, but unique as well), and my pool was maintained the whole time with the swg. Might be something to consider if you are just using tabs to not miss dosing, not carry bleach, etc...

    I wish we could get 4 months without heating, I am hoping to get that with the solar panels I am running.

    TA at 140 tends to be high for most pools, but this is one parameter that is really pool specific (and chlorine source specific). Just a couple notes on this; TA is not lowered with aeration. It is lowered when pH is lowered (in your case using tabs), aeration just raises pH. Also, if your fill water has a lower TA than your pool water, splash out etc. will lower TA. However, many peoples fill water TA is higher (mine is ~250 ppm).

    I hope the hurricane does not cause you much damage!
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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