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Thread: Total Newbie Pool Questions

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    Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Hi,

    I just moved into a new house which has a pool - my first pool. The previous owner was a kind of DIY guy, but wasn't much of a learner - more of a "water looks OK to me!" guy. So he left me with a lot of issues. The Polaris wasn't working, so I took it apart, no issues. Figured out it was the pump - the filter basket was literally full of leaves to the point the basket will not come out - I am working on that one. Removing as much as I can - Polaris works fine now - but the duct-taped bag had to be replaced.

    Anyway, I read the pool school articles and am trying to figure it all out. I'm on to the chemical part. According to my local Leslies, the water chemicals are as follows:

    FC - 1.1
    TC - 1.1 (that can't be - water stings my eyes, smells like "chlorine" and irritates my skin - chlorinates, right?)
    CH - 200
    CYA - 35
    TA - 70
    pH - 8.1

    So I am going to shock the pool. Since CH is so low, I was thinking of using a Cal-Hypo to raise the CH at the same time. Is that OK?

    Even so, I will likely need to add more calcium chloride and some muriatic acid to fix the CH and pH.

    There's a sight film of algae on walls in places but the water looks clear other than the constant supply of leaves from the neighbor's oak tree.

    So what order do I do this in and how long do I wait between the steps? Can I add it all in the same day?

    Thanks
    IG plaster pool, 16000 gallons, Hayward DE6020 filter (120GPM) , 2.0 HP 230v single speed 1.3SR motor on Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas 1 pump, Polaris 280 (with Polaris 1.5 HP booster pump), spa.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Welcome to TFP.

    First off, "shock" is a process, not a one-time thing. To do it right, you will need your own test kit. There's an article in Pool School, or just skip it and go to http://tftestkits.net and order a TF100 with the XL option since you need to shock. May as well order a speedstir, too. Nobody who has one regrets buying one. There's no point trying to clear the pool without a test kit, you'll just be wasting chemicals by dumping them in blind.

    Once you have your own readings that you can trust, then decide if your CH is low enough to use Cal-hypo or not.

    In the meantime, pH needs to come down. Yesterday. Get it right before you start shocking because the high FC levels will distort the pH readings. You can't fix pH while you're shocking.

    If that CYA reading is correct, it's just about perfect for shocking. After the pool is clear, you'll want to raise it some. But like the other readings, it's suspect.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Thanks for the quick response!

    I am going to order a test kit today. I thought I'd shock it now rather than wait for the kit due to the beginnings of algae. Was worried that by this time next week the algae might be harder to kill off.

    But I will add the muriatic acid first instead.

    So the Leslie's readings are generally not reliable? Good to know until the test kit gets here.
    IG plaster pool, 16000 gallons, Hayward DE6020 filter (120GPM) , 2.0 HP 230v single speed 1.3SR motor on Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas 1 pump, Polaris 280 (with Polaris 1.5 HP booster pump), spa.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by RickyEarl
    Thanks for the quick response!

    I am going to order a test kit today. I thought I'd shock it now rather than wait for the kit due to the beginnings of algae. Was worried that by this time next week the algae might be harder to kill off.

    But I will add the muriatic acid first instead.

    So the Leslie's readings are generally not reliable? Good to know until the test kit gets here.
    It's not unique to Leslies. Any pool store. Even the ones with the fancy tester that prints out results. They may be right on the money, might be off so far you wonder if they tested your water or someone else's. But you'll never know if you have a good one until you test it yourself and compare. But once you have your own test kit, why would you even need them to test for you?

    You're correct that the algae will be harder to kill off the longer it grows. But if you don't hit it hard enough with chlorine and sustain it, it will grow back again anyway, and all the chlorine you added was wasted. And you don't know if you hit it hard enough without a test kit. It's easy enough to calculate how much bleach or cal-hypo to add if you just want to get it to, say, 20. But two hours later, how much do you need to add to get it back up to 20? And two hours after that?

    When you're shocking, you're killing the algae off faster than it can reproduce. And you have to keep killing it until every last bit is gone.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    I made a mistake of shocking the pool (week+) before getting the pH in order. If i had read the basics better i think i'd already have my pool in order.

    First get your pH right then i'd follow the green swamp to sparkling oasis article. Take my advise w/ a grain of salt i've only been doing this for about a month. If i had to start over again that's how i'd do it.
    27.8K gallons, Salt Water, IG, Gunite, Sand Filter, Pentair everything.

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    I'm not resisting. I'm going to add muriatic acid first. How long will it take to know what the muriatic acid has done? In other words, if I add the muriatic acid now, how long until a test will show the full result?
    IG plaster pool, 16000 gallons, Hayward DE6020 filter (120GPM) , 2.0 HP 230v single speed 1.3SR motor on Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas 1 pump, Polaris 280 (with Polaris 1.5 HP booster pump), spa.

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    About an hour with the pump running. Really it's sooner than that, but an hour gives plenty of time for the water to mix.
    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

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by RickyEarl
    I'm not resisting. I'm going to add muriatic acid first. How long will it take to know what the muriatic acid has done? In other words, if I add the muriatic acid now, how long until a test will show the full result?
    Assuming you have the pump running and good circulation, you'll see results on pH in about an hour. If you brush the walls and floor during that interval, it will take even less time. Acid works fast; it's getting it mixed throughout the pool that takes time.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    For entertainment purposes, I took another sample to Leslie's today. Here are the results:

    pH - 7.8
    FC - 2.5
    TA - 60
    CH -225
    CYA - 40


    Nothing added to the pool other than rain and leaves. So now I don't know what to do. Maybe I just wait for the test kit to arrive.
    IG plaster pool, 16000 gallons, Hayward DE6020 filter (120GPM) , 2.0 HP 230v single speed 1.3SR motor on Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas 1 pump, Polaris 280 (with Polaris 1.5 HP booster pump), spa.

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Wait for your test kit. Though you'd be ok to raise you CL a bit while you wait. That's a great example of how pool store results can vary - though those aren't all that bad compared to some posts we've seen
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    OK. Test kit arrived. Not happy. Ran every test 4 times to make sure I didn't screw up. My results are different from Leslie's, to say the least.

    FC - 19.5
    TC - 20
    TA - 70
    CH - 440
    CYA -35
    pH - 7.2

    Before it came, I added Muriatic Acid to fix the "high" pH. That appears to have been a mistake.

    I also shocked the pool on Sunday. Used cal hypo because I supposedly needed CH. Another mistake, apparently.

    Other than that, I have done nothing other than keep the 6 trichlor pucks in the two floaters.

    So now what do I do? The chlorine's so high. How can that be? Shouldn't it have gone down? Is it caused by the avalanche of oak leaves falling in my pool?

    Is there anything I can do about the CH now?
    IG plaster pool, 16000 gallons, Hayward DE6020 filter (120GPM) , 2.0 HP 230v single speed 1.3SR motor on Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas 1 pump, Polaris 280 (with Polaris 1.5 HP booster pump), spa.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    FC will come down on it's own, the CH will take a partial drain and refill.
    18' x 42" Intex (4786 Gal @ 80% capacity) Intex 8110 SWCG, 2000 GPH cartridge filter.
    Full Sun, Well Water, Borates at approx. 50
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Like George says FC will come down...just stop putting in chlorine for now. Your CYA is at a good level, so stop using the trichlor. Your Ch is high, so stop using cal hypo. I wouldn't adjust your CH level now, unless you have scaling. Make sure to read pool school (link in my sig).
    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: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Is there any chance I'm doing this wrong? I tested the chlorine with the little Taylor kit, too, and it was dark orange.

    I tested my tap water and got CH around 150. Is that possible/normal?
    IG plaster pool, 16000 gallons, Hayward DE6020 filter (120GPM) , 2.0 HP 230v single speed 1.3SR motor on Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas 1 pump, Polaris 280 (with Polaris 1.5 HP booster pump), spa.

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by RickyEarl
    Is there any chance I'm doing this wrong? I tested the chlorine with the little Taylor kit, too, and it was dark orange.
    If the taylor kit indicated dark orange then your TC is between 15-30, so it confirms the other reading you got with the FAS-DPD FC test.

    Quote Originally Posted by RickyEarl
    I tested my tap water and got CH around 150. Is that possible/normal?
    It is possible and not too bad.
    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: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    I checked my CSI on the Pool Calculator and even at 440 it's within the range.

    I will be vacuuming leaves with the venturi leaf eater this weekend, so that will add a little tap water, which will raise my pH and lower chlorine and CH, right?
    IG plaster pool, 16000 gallons, Hayward DE6020 filter (120GPM) , 2.0 HP 230v single speed 1.3SR motor on Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas 1 pump, Polaris 280 (with Polaris 1.5 HP booster pump), spa.

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    With FC that high, your pH reading is suspect. Leave it alone until FC drops below 10.

    CH is manageable for now. I'm actually not sure if mine has ever been that low! With a number that high, use a 10ml sample, add 10 drops of R-0010, 3 of R-0011, and each drop of R-0012 counts as 25. Saves reagent, saves a whole lot of mixing, and whether it says 425 or 450 instead of 440 it isn't really much of a discrepancy.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Well they were close on your TA and CYA...the CL was read before you "shocked" with the cal hypo so who knows if they were right before or not. They were way off on the CH - there's no way you put in 200ppm with the shock you put in. So just goes to show the free testing gives you what you pay for.

    Your numbers are all good right now. Watch your CSI but you're in range right now. The pH may actually be lower - it will read falsely high at high levels of CL. As Richard said wait for the CL to drop and then re-measure. For now don't do anything else until the CL levels drop down to normal which for your CYA is 3-7. Leave the pool uncovered and the sun will burn off the CL in a few days. It burns off faster at higher concentrations too.

    Your CL is so high because you put in the cal-hypo shock. The CH levle is nothing to worry about - plenty of people manage much higher levels and when you put those numbers in the pool calculator your CSI is still fine.
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Hi RickyEarl and welcome to TFP!

    Don't forget to take out the pucks to let the CL come down faster!
    I had the same runaround with my pool store and is the reason I found TFP by searching knowledge for pool water chemistry.

    With the free info I was provided with this wonderful forum and my TF100 kit I now have a perfect balanced pool chemistry all the time and big bonus is I have truly a trouble free pool!

    Let us know how it goes!

    Chuck
    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.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Total Newbie Pool Questions

    Hi RickyEarl and welcome to TFP!

    Don't forget to take out the pucks to let the CL come down faster!
    I had the same runaround with my pool store and is the reason I found TFP by searching knowledge for pool water chemistry.

    With the free info I was provided with this wonderful forum and my TF100 kit I now have a perfect balanced pool chemistry all the time and big bonus is I have truly a trouble free pool!

    Let us know how it goes!

    Chuck
    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.

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