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Thread: First timer in need of assistance

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Springdale, AR

    First timer in need of assistance

    Ok guys first of all this site is an absolute lifesaver! Without the generous help offered by you experts a lot of use “newbs” would be in serious trouble. That being said I need some help with knowing what proper steps I need to take to open my pool. I bought my home in July 2011 with the pool that was in bad shape. I spent the next couple months draining and cleaning the 4 feet of debris and bullfrogs out of the pool before I could see what the real condition of the pool really was. After finally finishing the clean up process I realized that the concrete coping and tile were in serious need of replacement. Also the plaster looked like it was in serious need of being redone. I had the pool completely replastered in late October/ Early November 2011. My pool man stated to brush the pool religiously for two weeks in the freezing cold which I and the wife did. My pools specs are as followed:
    18K gal, 1 HP Centurion pump, IG Gunite, 60 Gpm Tagelus Sand filter
    I found this site after being “pool stored” one time and decided that there had to be a better way and thankfully stumbled on to this Holy Grail of pool care. I read through the pool school several times to familiarize myself with the basics. I ordered a Taylor K-2006 test kit and tested the water for the first time since closing the pool in the late fall. The first chemicals I put in the pool were Baquacil and they seemed to do fine although I only applied one treatment. When I had my pool guy close the pool he placed a floater with chlorine tablets in the pool. I tested my levels tonight and this is what I got:
    I could not get the tester show levels of FC or CYA when I tested them. Is this normal or am I doing something terribly wrong? Is this because I used Baquacil then the Chlorine?
    pH=< 7.0 added 6 drops to bring to 7.6ish
    TA-=+ 4 drops= 40 ppm
    CH= + 4 drops = 40 ppm??? Is this right because that seems way low?!
    Secondly when I open my pool this weekend should I open using the New Pool Plaster process? If so I think I will use the Acid technique because it seems simpler for me.
    My pool water looks pretty good so I don’t know what the **** I’m doing wrong or what is going on but luckily I have you guys. Any and all advice will be soaked up and followed to the best of my ability. Thanks
    20K gal, IG Gunite, 1.25 HP Centurion pump, 60 Gpm Tagelus Sand filter

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: First timer in need of assistance

    Welcome to TFP!

    Having FC and CYA both at or near zero is hardly surprising on spring opening.

    Your PH and TA are both too low. You should bring them both up as soon as possible. Low PH combined with low TA and low CH will damage the plaster if left that way for too long. Borax and soda ash are both good ways of bringing the PH up. Bring the PH up to at least 7.2, then test the TA again and adjust it to something reasonable from whatever it is at that point (raising the PH will change the TA).

    Your plaster is more than a month old, so there is no need to go through the new plaster startup process. That has already happened. You will find that the PH will tend to drift up for this pool season because the plaster is curing. Keeping the PH from getting above 8.0 is the only remaining new plaster task you need to perform.

    You won't be able to maintain an FC level during the day until you bring up the CYA level. I would suggest raising CYA by about 30, wait a week, test it again and adjust from wherever it is then up to 50 (if needed). However, the baquacil issue needs to be resolved before raising the CYA level.

    Until the CYA level comes up, add 2 ppm of chlorine each evening after sunset.

    If you were using baquacil and never went through a chlorine conversion process, there will be additional complications. Make sure you get both the PH, TA, and CH levels up to recommended levels before worrying about that too much. Once PH and TA are at appropriate levels, do an overnight FC loss test. If you can maintain an FC level overnight then the baquacil isn't really an issue. If you lose all of your FC overnight you will need to complete a baquacil to chlorine conversion as described in Pool School.
    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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