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Thread: New pool owner... first time opening... some questions.

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    New pool owner... first time opening... some questions.

    Hi everyone,

    I’m new to pool ownership… we purchased a house in Southern New Jersey last September that has a 30k-gallon vinyl pool with a DE filter and Hayward pump. I had an issue with an algae outbreak when we first moved in. The prior owner apparently used tryclor pucks in two floaters and in the midst of moving in and getting set up, I didn’t realize that the floaters were empty. By the time I checked, some algae had developed so I went to the pool store and they sold me some phosphate remover (probably a waste, I know) and “shock.” Surprisingly, the algae went away rather easily, it left some grey/brown stuff (like sand) on the bottom that I suppose was dead algae or phosphates??

    Anyway, that became a PIA because I didn’t know how to isolate the skimmer box I was using to vacuum, so when I tried to vacuum, the debris on the bottom just got stirred up (even though it looked like it was being picked up) and then resettled a few hours later. I finally figured out how to isolate the skimmer box and managed to remove most (if not all) of the debris before the pool store closed the pool (which they did for free).

    Anyway, we’ve had a very mild winter and warm spring so I’m kind of concerned about algae forming before I open. I pulled the cover back and from what I could see, the water was clear and looked pretty good. I took a sample from one of the skimmer boxes and tested it. Here are my results:
    FC: 0.5
    CC: 0.5
    PH: <6.8
    TA: 20
    CYA: 0

    About my results, I have the Taylor K-2006 kit… There are two ways to test for chlorine, where one drop = either 0.2 ppm or 0.5 ppm. I used the latter and thus, my results are only accurate to 0.5 ppm. I suppose I should have retested, but I didn’t.

    Regarding the PH, 6.8 is as low as the K-2006 kit goes, but the sample looked more orange than the lowest reading on the scale, so I’m assuming that means it is lower than 6.8.

    TA is really low, which I think may be affecting my PH results.

    I have no idea how my CYA is so low. I know the Taylor kit is only accurate at +20 ppm for CYA, so maybe it’s higher than 0, not sure, but as I said, the prior owner used the chlorine pucks and I used the pucks from September of last year until the pool was closed in October. Also, whatever the pool store sold me as “shock” probably had CYA in it as well, so I have no idea how my CYA could be so low.

    Anyway, please comment on my numbers and give me whatever advice you think would be helpful. I had posted another thread about using my floaters under the cover until I open, but the consensus seemed to be that that would be bad for my liner, without some circulation. Also, the temps are supposed to go back down over the next couple of days and we’re even supposed to get down to below or near freezing temps tomorrow night. Will that kill any algae that has began to develop (assuming it has begun developing)?

    Thanks,

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner... first time opening... some questions.

    I'm typing on my phone here Kevin so I won't answer all of your questions, but I can honestly say this. You're on the right track! You've got a good understanding of what's in your pool and what you're adding to the pool. This is what the BBB method really means to me. You're one of the lucky ones it seems who is gonna open to a clean pool and you'll have no problem your first full pool season.

    WELCOME!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: New pool owner... first time opening... some questions.

    Keep in mind that water testing without having had the pump running recently can be fairly far off from the actual numbers.

    You want to get the PH up to at least 7.0 as soon as practical. Low PH can, over time, damage the pool surface. Raising the PH will also raise the TA, so don't worry about TA until the PH is up to something more reasonable.

    The CYA test can be problematic when the water is very cold. I suggest you bring a cup of pool water inside and let it warm up to room temperature and then test CYA again. Low PH is normally caused by long term use of trichlor tablets, which raise CYA. So it seems unlikely that CYA is really zero.

    Algae doesn't die in cold temperatures, it just mostly stops growing. With an opaque cover on the pool it won't be growing very much anyway. You will want to deal with the algae as soon as you take the cover off, but in the mean time there is no harm in leaving it alone.

    I would not bother with phosphate remover again. It leaves that phosphate residue on the bottom which is difficult to clean up properly and really isn't needed if you maintain your FC levels appropriately.

    Testing FC and CC by 0.5s is fine. There is never any real need for the higher precision test (unless you run a public pool), and it uses up the reagents more quickly.
    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

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    Re: New pool owner... first time opening... some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo
    I'm typing on my phone here Kevin so I won't answer all of your questions, but I can honestly say this. You're on the right track! You've got a good understanding of what's in your pool and what you're adding to the pool. This is what the BBB method really means to me. You're one of the lucky ones it seems who is gonna open to a clean pool and you'll have no problem your first full pool season.

    WELCOME!
    Thanks for the words of encouragement... I have to admit that in the brief time my pool was open last year, it was kind of a PIA... Mostly because I didn't know what the sandy substance was in the bottom and I had to vacuum every other day until I figured out how the **** vacuum worked. I'm really hoping for a much more stress-free season this year. I have the test kit and, as I've read, I'm hoping if I closely monitor and adjust as needed, I can avoid any major issues.

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: New pool owner... first time opening... some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Keep in mind that water testing without having had the pump running recently can be fairly far off from the actual numbers.

    You want to get the PH up to at least 7.0 as soon as practical. Low PH can, over time, damage the pool surface. Raising the PH will also raise the TA, so don't worry about TA until the PH is up to something more reasonable.

    The CYA test can be problematic when the water is very cold. I suggest you bring a cup of pool water inside and let it warm up to room temperature and then test CYA again. Low PH is normally caused by long term use of trichlor tablets, which raise CYA. So it seems unlikely that CYA is really zero.

    Algae doesn't die in cold temperatures, it just mostly stops growing. With an opaque cover on the pool it won't be growing very much anyway. You will want to deal with the algae as soon as you take the cover off, but in the mean time there is no harm in leaving it alone.

    I would not bother with phosphate remover again. It leaves that phosphate residue on the bottom which is difficult to clean up properly and really isn't needed if you maintain your FC levels appropriately.

    Testing FC and CC by 0.5s is fine. There is never any real need for the higher precision test (unless you run a public pool), and it uses up the reagents more quickly.

    Thanks for the reponse... for some reason, the CYA measured near zero at the end of last season as well... I posted a thread on here back then, but I can't find it now. I was thinking my reagent was bad, but I've used both vials and both show the same results. I ordered a 16oz refill, so I'll try that when it gets here. The only thing I can think of is perhaps the pool was drained and refilled shortly before we moved in. Anyway, I guess it's better to be low than high.

    I have a mesh safety cover, so hopefully that will help prevent algae.

    I assume there's no way to raise my PH until after I take the cover off and open, right?

    Thanks again,

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: New pool owner... first time opening... some questions.

    By the way, would you recommend shocking my pool immediately upon opening to cofirm that I pass the overnight chlorine loss test first, and get my FC levels in order before addressing my other issues?
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  7. Back To Top    #7
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,649

    Re: New pool owner... first time opening... some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by kodiak1120
    By the way, would you recommend shocking my pool immediately upon opening to cofirm that I pass the overnight chlorine loss test first, and get my FC levels in order before addressing my other issues?
    It is likely you will need to do the shocking process so I think you idea of starting at shock levels to do the OCLT is a good one.

    Quote Originally Posted by kodiak1120
    I assume there's no way to raise my PH until after I take the cover off and open, right?
    You will need to be circulating the water when you do this.
    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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