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Thread: New forum member and new to pool

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    New forum member and new to pool

    Hello everyone,

    First I want to thank each contributor to this forum. Unbelievable amounts of great information.

    I found this forum by a link when looking for opening advice, and am so glad I found it. My dad had a pool and growing up I learned that opening the pool was a time intensive, costly event. He used the "traditional" method to clean the pool up and rarely did he get to enjoy the pool.

    I don't want to be that person and thrive for gaining knowledge which my chemistry knowledge and desire to learn really are inline with the BBB. My fiance and I just purchased a home in Evansville, IN with a pool and due to the unusually warm weather, I decided to open it now because I don't want to repeat my dad's fight when the weather is nice enough to allow swimming.

    So moving past the intro, here are the details to our pool:

    I decided since I didn't have a good test kit I would take it to the local Leslie's for testing and to purchase a thermometer for the pool. I also looked for Taylor kits, but during the test, the store said they can only read to 5ppm, so I decided to stop looking at their test kits and just order the TF-100, which is now on its way

    *note: I added 3 gallons of 10% super shock (previous owners had left) and let the pump run for 3 hours. This was what the pool calculator said I would need to get to 15ppm which I thought would be a good place to start until I knew more.

    Temp was unknown but likely 68 degrees, based on temp after I added the thermometer I bought.
    FAC - 5+
    PH - 7.0
    TA- 50
    CYA - 50
    TDS - 450
    Phosphates - 500.

    Their suggestion was to just add 18 lbs. of "Alkalinity Up" which she pushed me to purchase at least 30 lbs. (for just shy of $39), I did so *knowing* I would return it and trade for some supplies today but did not want to offend, upset, or otherwise feel I took advantage of their free water test.

    Then I went to Sam's club and got my baking Soda (13.5 lbs for $6.88), I got two bags and I also got a 3-pack of 1.42 gal chlorox ($8.54). With other chlorine chemicals I didn't want to get a lot until I had consumed all of the Super Shock" the previous owners left.

    I added one bag of baking soda and began leaf duty/mowed for a couple hours, then I noticed the chlorine could not be smelled anymore so I added another gallon of the 10% stuff. I then remembered they left some test strips and thought this would be better than nothing, and they actually go to 10ppm so I had a better idea where my chlorine was at. The test strip said my PH was too high (over 8.4) so I put some leftover MA to get it back down, and let the pump run the night.

    This morning, pool still is green so I used the strips (can't wait for the TF-100) and it showed my chlorine level was about 3ppm, and everything else was "ok" so I added the last of the of the 10% stuff that was left and all 3 of my chlorox to attempt to get back into the 15ppm range. I have let it run for a couple hours since and the chlorine level still tests to over 10ppm on the strip.

    So with the information provided (and sorry if it is excessive, but I feel details only help with more informed answers). Have I used the information provided on this forum correctly? Is my strategy correct so far, and do I continue to just add chlorine until the green clears? I know I will be better armed when the test kit comes next week but I really want to take advantage of the great weather and the fact I have time to work on it now.

    Thank you so much for any feedback and all the great information I have already found!

    Steve
    17,000 gal. (27' round) with Jacuzzi Laser Sand Filter 250L, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, 70 GPM

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    Hi, welcome to TFP! It sounds like you have made a good start. You will love your TF100 when it arrives, it will be your new best friend! Once you are able to test frequently and accurately the shock process will go faster. Keep an eye on your filter pressure and clean/backwash when the return flow feels weak.

    Don't go just by smell to dose chlorine. When you have a strong chlorine smell, you are actually smelling chloramines, the by-product of chlorine oxidation. The chloramines are what causes chlorine smell, burning eyes, and itching skin. They measure as CC (combined chlorine) on the test. You will get rid of them as you continue the shock process.

    Feel free to ask any questions you may have. Good luck with the new house and pool!
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    I fought a problem last year for a couple of weeks and found it helpful to keep the chlorine level at shock point by testing every couple of hours and adding as necessary. My water was clear but was eating chlorine. Once the shock level held and passed the overnite test all was good. My advice....keep hammering that bleach in there.
    16 x 32 15300 gal. IG Vinyl Jandy pump, Jandy sand filter, Paramount circulation system, Automatic pool cover.

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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    Welcome to the forum!
    You made a wise choice on getting the Tftestkit
    The education on pool maintenance you can get here is amazing!!
    18' x 42" Intex (4786 Gal @ 80% capacity) Intex 8110 SWCG, 2000 GPH cartridge filter.
    Full Sun, Well Water, Borates at approx. 50
    TFTestKit-100--The Pool Calculator--Pool School

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    Welcome to tfp, byersj
    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: New forum member and new to pool

    Hi byersj and welcome to TFP!
    I think your starting to understand some, you stated that you think the CYA is 50 ppm.
    If so, your probably are not going high enough for shock level.
    Use this chart here:
    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock
    This CYA/chlorine shock chart states your shock level is at 20ppm. (pump should run 24/7 while in the shocking process)
    Don't bother checking the pH, this reading will not be valid with any FC reading above 10 ppm. You must wait to test until your done with the shocking process and the FC drops below 10ppm FC.
    Once you get the kit follow the instructions and post your readings from the TF-100 results here.
    Now go to the pool calculator here:
    http://www.thepoolcalculator.com/
    and put in your gallon size at the top, put in your results in the now column, click the suggested goal level for troublefreepool.com
    Put in target of 20ppm chlorine and the calculator will give you the amount of bleach to add (put in % your using)
    After 1 hour after putting in the bleach and brushing the pool, you should test again for FC and see how much it has fallen and re-adjust back up to 20 ppm. If your going to be away from the pool monitoring, go ahead and bump up the shock level 2-3 more than shock level to 22-23 ppm FC.
    Your goal is to not let the FC levels fall below shock values, if you do it will take longer and more costly to stay ahead of the algae consuming all of your FC.
    Continue to read the chapters in Pool School link at the top of every page.
    We're all here to help you have a great summer with your pool, just as we do now that we have used the Trouble Free Pool methods taught here!

    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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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    Hey everyone,

    Thank you for the warm welcome and the advice. I went to a much more informed pool store in town that the previous owners used. During a conversation with them they indicated I was missing some parts to the nozzle. I bought the missing components and then when I tried to put them in there was not threads... come to find out they had a light housing used for the exit nozzle for the pump system. needless to say my circulation was insufficient. I also had them test the water and it was about 20ppm. It stayed above 10 all day but is still green - so I added a couple jugs of bleach and it appears to be getting better.

    I definitely cant wait for the TS100, but I think I am on the right path now, fixing the circulation problem. Also the gage wasn't working so I didn't have confidence in the filtration, as I was guessing when to backwash. Now my pressure is staying at 15 and visually the pool is becoming clearer albeit slowly.

    Tomorrow I will hammer with more bleach. Tonight hopefully the better circulation will allow continuous improvement.

    One question, after the pool clears, about how much bleach is typical for weekly use? I plan on adding borax/MA once it has cleared. Unfortunately my local Walmart only had 4 boxes and I believe I will need 14 or so based on calculations. I bought 2 gal of MA, I would suspect this should be sufficient to offset the PH increase the borax will create.

    Thanks for the support and advice!

    Steve
    17,000 gal. (27' round) with Jacuzzi Laser Sand Filter 250L, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, 70 GPM

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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    Steve,

    I would suggest the addition of borates several weeks after your pool has been crystal clear and you know it is mechanically running well. Too often, newbies think borates will cure many problems that it simply wont.

    Basic understanding of pool water chemistry and getting your pH, FC, TA, CH and CYA correct are the building blocks to a troublefreepool.......get to that level first and make sure you are comfortable with it.

    I would return the borax and the MA....you may decide never to use it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    I will definitely hold off on adding anything new to the mix until the pool has become clear. I bought that stuff partially because my fiance was listening to the pool place person when I went to buy new parts for the circulation system and he told her about the tablets. I told her we would be doing the same thing with borax and MA. See he had her believing all chlorox will be gone during the day because it isn't stabilized like the tablets. So to prevent a detailed discussion I gave her a little information to calm her curiosity

    I am also curious if I should be concerned that the pump pressure doesn't seem to be going up very much? When I backwash it doesn't look to be very dirty water either. I hope I don't have a filtration problem by am curious if there are any tell-tale indications or if I just need to be patient?
    17,000 gal. (27' round) with Jacuzzi Laser Sand Filter 250L, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, 70 GPM

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    RaviePoolGirl's Avatar
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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    Quote Originally Posted by byersj
    I added one bag of baking soda and began leaf duty/mowed for a couple hours, then I noticed the chlorine could not be smelled anymore so I added another gallon of the 10% stuff. I then remembered they left some test strips and thought this would be better than nothing, and they actually go to 10ppm so I had a better idea where my chlorine was at. The test strip said my PH was too high (over 8.4) so I put some leftover MA to get it back down, and let the pump run the night.
    When you have high levels of chlorine in your pool, your pH will be incorrect. When you are "shocking" don't worry about the pH at all. You may be treating an incorrect number and wasting money. The best practice would be to adjust pH to get it in the correct range prior to shocking, then shock.

    Bobbie
    20,000 gal inground hourglass shape with 7' Hot Tub with overflow; Gunite
    Hayward TriStar 1.85/.22 THP - Hayward cartrige filter- SWG.
    Hayward Gas Heater

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    Quote Originally Posted by RaviePoolGirl
    Quote Originally Posted by byersj
    I added one bag of baking soda and began leaf duty/mowed for a couple hours, then I noticed the chlorine could not be smelled anymore so I added another gallon of the 10% stuff. I then remembered they left some test strips and thought this would be better than nothing, and they actually go to 10ppm so I had a better idea where my chlorine was at. The test strip said my PH was too high (over 8.4) so I put some leftover MA to get it back down, and let the pump run the night.
    When you have high levels of chlorine in your pool, your pH will be incorrect. When you are "shocking" don't worry about the pH at all. You may be treating an incorrect number and wasting money. The best practice would be to adjust pH to get it in the correct range prior to shocking, then shock.

    Bobbie
    Bobbie is right on this, you should not adjust your ph when above 10 ppm FC.
    Quote Originally Posted by byersj
    I am also curious if I should be concerned that the pump pressure doesn't seem to be going up very much? When I backwash it doesn't look to be very dirty water either. I hope I don't have a filtration problem by am curious if there are any tell-tale indications or if I just need to be patient?
    Does you pressure go to 0 when you shut your pump off? If it doesn't, then you have a bad gauge. Other than that, pop (pool owner patience) is needed until you pass the OCLT and CC test (see my sig). Then, if you still have no change in pressure and your water is not clearing, we will troubleshoot.
    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: New forum member and new to pool

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Does you pressure go to 0 when you shut your pump off? If it doesn't, then you have a bad gauge. Other than that, pop (pool owner patience) is needed until you pass the OCLT and CC test (see my sig). Then, if you still have no change in pressure and your water is not clearing, we will troubleshoot.
    Pressure gauge was not working so I purchased a new one. Now it reads around 15-16psi after back-flush. I back-flush when it approaches 20. I have re-positioned the discharge line so I can see the color and now know it is working. I would expect a larger change in pressure between back-flushes.

    My sand filter I believe is a 150 lb version. My dad and I spoke today and I told him about my opening and he said he changed sand every year (I know that is way over kill) but his pressure would run around 10-12 psi after back-flush. I also now know why he struggled so much to get the algae out, he only went to about 9-10ppm on chlorine when he opened.

    My curiosity is do I need new sand? The filter has 1996 date on it, and I have no idea on the age of the sand.

    The green tint is slowly fading, I have all the leaves vacuumed along with most of the visible particles on the floor. I REALLY can't wait to use my TF-100 to know where I stand!
    17,000 gal. (27' round) with Jacuzzi Laser Sand Filter 250L, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, 70 GPM

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    maxepr1's Avatar
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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    Keep checking your filter, as it is filling with all that Algae. Backwashing is going to be almost daily or every other day until you kill off all the algae.
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


    Pool School, Pool Calculator,TFTestKits,

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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    I thought I would provide an update:
    With the pool circulation improved and continuing to maintain shock level to the best of my ability with the limited ability to know chlorine ppm, the green is getting fainter and I can see much more detail on the bottom. I was suprised not to see a white or gray color change prior to the clearing, based on the information I have thus far read on the forums and pool school.

    The. I am hopeful to have the TF-100 today, if not surely tomorrow. This will improve my current system of waiting until my chlorine level drops to 10 (highest that I can currently measure) and then adding enough to get it up to 22 based on the pool calculator.

    I am still concerned that the pump pressure is high after backwash, but it is apparently cleaning the water so I feel better about it now!

    Thank you again, as I am pretty excited to see what happens in the next couple days
    17,000 gal. (27' round) with Jacuzzi Laser Sand Filter 250L, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, 70 GPM

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    Quote Originally Posted by byersj
    I am still concerned that the pump pressure is high after backwash, but it is apparently cleaning the water so I feel better about it now!
    Your pump is pretty large for that smallish filter so 15 psi clean does not surprise me.
    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: New forum member and new to pool

    Ok, I can understand that (and thank you) I didn't realize 150lb filter was small for the pump So if 15psi is good for clean, about when should I backflush? I was doing it at 20 psi but it seems that may be excessive and I need to let it get a bit higher?
    17,000 gal. (27' round) with Jacuzzi Laser Sand Filter 250L, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, 70 GPM

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    Which filter do you have?
    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: New forum member and new to pool

    I will have to check, After some research (without being able to look at the filter) it appears I have an L250, the year on the 7 position dial valve is 1996. When I look at the filter from the top (it is below a deck with an access point) it appears the radius is larger than 12". I will look for an ID plate tonight and if not, measure the circumference, and height to better know what model number I have.
    17,000 gal. (27' round) with Jacuzzi Laser Sand Filter 250L, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, 70 GPM

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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    So if 15psi is good for clean, about when should I backflush? I was doing it at 20 psi but it seems that may be excessive and I need to let it get a bit higher?
    I would backwash it right where you are at 20.

    a 25% increase from the clean pressure makes sense and 20 psi is virtually that.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New forum member and new to pool

    Another way to tell when it is time to backwash is by feeling the force of the water coming out of the return. Next time you backwash, after you have switched back to filter and turned on the pump, put your hand in front of the return flow. It should feel nice and strong, like a faucet on full blast. When the pressure gauge shows a rise in pressure, feel the water coming out of the return. If it still feels nice and strong you are good to keep filtering. If the flow feels weaker, like the flow from a drinking fountain, it is time to backwash.
    TFP Moderator
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