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Thread: New Guy Needing Some Advice

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    New Guy Needing Some Advice

    Hello All!

    First off, great site! It has been a great resource for information.

    My wife and I just bought our first house with a pool, and look forward to it being trouble free! Unfortunately, the previous owners did not keep up with the maintenance as they should have so we have been trying to learn and correct at the same time.
    When we moved in, the pool was a bit cloudy with a little algae growth. They had been using 3" Trichlor pucks for sanitization. I bought a good test kit right away as recommended, and realized there was no chlorine in the pool. I have been treating it and trying to get everything in balance. After buying a good test kit, adding chemicals, rebuilding my pool vac, and cleaning all my filters the water is almost perfectly clear.
    This is where I need help:
    I cannot keep chlorine in the pool. Everytime I test, it is almost non-existent. I am concerned about my high CYA and CH. I have noticed a few brown stains on the plaster. It seems that some of the plaster could be missing in these areas. They are small areas, but they concern me. I have read organic stains will lift if you can get the chlorine where is needs to be. Here was my last test results from the store:

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!

    Thanks in advance,

    The Woodlands, TX
    Working for my Tropical Oasis!
    Roughly 15,000 Gallons IG pool with plaster/quartz finish
    Hayward Cartridge Filter and Polaris 360 Vac

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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: New Guy Needing Some Advice

    Hi, Ben,

    Welcome! Almost surely you have live organics in the pool that is consuming chlorine.

    Actually, your bigger problem is your CYA. Managing a pool with CYA at 100 or over will be nothing but a headache from here on out. I suggest you brace yourself to do some draining and refilling to get your CYA to 40-50ppm. Do you need advice on the best way to do that or have you read it here on other threads and are ready to go ahead?

    Once you do that, we can help tackle your FC problem and very likely reduce your CH (which is too high but don't worry about that right now).

    Have you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry in Pool School? Why did you get the pool store to test when you have your own kit? Your tests are much more trustworthy.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New Guy Needing Some Advice

    Thank you for the response! It is good to be here. I believe in the methods I have found here, and look forward to using them to maintain my pool. I have been reading everything I can to educate myself, and have found Pool School to be a fantastic resource. I have been testing using my own kit, but wanted to get a second opinion. I am still learning to trust myself But, I realize I care about my pool more than the guy behind the counter.
    I have been reading a bit about draining. Can you offer some tips and recommendation on this procedure? Where I live in TX has been experiencing a drought, so I am a bit nervous about doing this.
    Should I be concerned about the loss of plaster in the small areas I have seen? Can I slow this or is it somewhat normal due to the age and maintenance history of the pool? It was built in 2005. I am assuming I can remove the dark brown spots within the areas.
    The Woodlands, TX
    Working for my Tropical Oasis!
    Roughly 15,000 Gallons IG pool with plaster/quartz finish
    Hayward Cartridge Filter and Polaris 360 Vac

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    Join Date
    May 2010
    Dallas TX

    Re: New Guy Needing Some Advice

    Don't worry about wasting the water, your few thousand gallons is insignificant in the big scheme of things, use the water to green up your yard if you feel bad about it Honestly all the lakes from N Texas on up are pretty close to full. This will lower both CH and CYA. Then do a complete test including CC's and do a real shock if needed. good luck!
    33k Gunite, CompuPool CPSC48 SWG, Sta-Rite System 3 DE, 2.25hp dual-speed, POOLVERGNUEGEN Pressure-side

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: New Guy Needing Some Advice

    We have some serious water issues in Austin, but when I needed to fill my pool, I contacted a bulk water seller and they trucked potable water to my house for 95$ per 2000 gallons. If you are really worried, you can go this route
    Austin, Texas
    30,000 gallon Gunite/Pebble
    Pentair Clean and Clear Plus CCP 520 Cartridge 150GPM
    Pentair Whisperflo WF-28 2HP Pump
    Delzone Eclipse 4 Ozone Generator

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: New Guy Needing Some Advice

    You ought to call the MUD district and see if they can read the meter before and after you refill the portion you drained. Water charges include sewerage fees and for pool refills that can be waived. Not sure if they need to read the meter or just have you estimate the refill volume. Easy to call them to ask. They probably have a time of day that the water system is not as stressed and so can handle this.

    I don't think the rest of the country quite understands how bad it still is around here, I've considered taking photos of some of the woods just for reference. It is going to look a lot different here, for sure. I think half the trees in the greenbelt behind my house are dead. Lots of 80' tall pines and 60' tall oaks. Some of the small ponds in The Woodlands are down more than 2' now, those ponds are not too deep to start with.

    Before you do, you need to get a better reading on the CYA. Could just as easily be 150 or 200, the test increments are pretty broad at high levels. You can dilute pool water with tap water 1:1 then retest CYA. I assume you have the TF100 test kit? Always good practice to pour the mixture back into the bottle and redo a few times to get the best 2 out of 3 readings. Also, I sometimes fill the tube to the 20 level first, then check the dot, then the 30 level, check the dot, 40, 50, and so on until it disappears.

    Once you know the CYA, then you can decide on the drain and fill volumes.

    And I agree on the wasting water, just run that hose to some part of the yard and let the trees take it. You might want to get a salt test, just in case it is high, before you run that water into the yard. Doubt it would be very high though. Not sure what would be too high for land plants. I used to have some data on aquarium and pond plants but can't locate that - you could search online if you care.
    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.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: New Guy Needing Some Advice

    I plan to start the draining/refilling process today. It looks as if I am going to have to drain around half the water to get my numbers where I want them.
    Any advice on proper draining procedures? I want to be cautious about this and obviously not damage my pool by taking too much water out at once.
    The Woodlands, TX
    Working for my Tropical Oasis!
    Roughly 15,000 Gallons IG pool with plaster/quartz finish
    Hayward Cartridge Filter and Polaris 360 Vac

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: New Guy Needing Some Advice

    If your water table isn't a concern you can just drain half and refill it. As long as you don't wait an extended period of time you're not going to damage anything.

    If you know your water table is high you can either curtain wall the pool with a tarp and drain from one end while you refill at the other side of the tarp, or do several smaller drain/fills.
    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

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: New Guy Needing Some Advice

    That is a point of concern. We just moved in and I have no idea about the water table level.
    The Woodlands, TX
    Working for my Tropical Oasis!
    Roughly 15,000 Gallons IG pool with plaster/quartz finish
    Hayward Cartridge Filter and Polaris 360 Vac

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