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Thread: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

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    Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Hi all,

    we bought a house with pool this winter [never had a pool before]. I don't know how deep the deep end is, so I guesstimate the pool is approximately 33K gallons. We were told to pump the water off the pool cover. DH has been doing it all winter and we ended up with half empty pool [it turned out the cover had holes]. We filled the pool and went to pool store, bought Dolphin and scheduled pool opening and SWG installation. Since they're very busy, they could come only in 10 days.

    When the pool guy arrived, the water had slight green tint, but he said the water is good. He turned the pump on, said everything is good - no leaks, put 4 tabs in chlorine feeder and half of blue scoop of DE to the skimmer [previous owners' leftovers] and said that's enough for now. He also said he can't install SWG because an electrician has to update something and we better ask the electrician to move timer from the house to the pool [because it's more convenient and everyone does it]

    In a couple of days the pool turned into a swamp. We went to the pool store to test the water.
    FAC 0
    TAC 0
    pH 8
    TA 80
    CYA 50
    TDS 900

    They prescribed: 4lbs of Green to Clean, 4lbs of Chlor Brite, wait 12 hours, 2lbs of Chlor Brite, wait 12 hours, 2lbs of Chlor Brite, wait 12 hours. Backwash the filter.

    The water turned blue in a few hours, but was still cloudy... Then we [finally] noticed that chlorine feeder was turned off [still wondering why the pool guy didn't turn it on ]

    I've been researching how to backwash the filter and realized that our filter pressure is not rising, which probably means it's not filtering anything... and we probably need to add more DE. I added 2 scoops this morning. The pressure started rising slowly... but pool water is still cloudy.

    I found some [leftover] tests. TAC was 4 today.
    I also added ascorbic acid to remove yellow stains... I know I'm not supposed to do it with chlorine ... anyway, pH is somewhere between 7.2 and 7.5 now.

    The question is: what do we do now?
    and how long those 4 tabs of chlorine will last? They were ProTeam 3" Pure Tabs.

    Thank you! I truly appreciate your help!
    32/33?k gallon IGP
    Concrete? white plaster
    pump Pentair WhisperFlo, 1HP
    filter Pentair Clean&Clear Plus Cartridge 520 sq. ft.
    robot Dolphin Deluxe 4

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    gboulton's Avatar
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Quote Originally Posted by noopa
    The question is: what do we do now?
    It's a 5-step process...

    Step 1) Grab a cool drink, relax, take a few deep breaths.

    Step 2) Head to TFTestkits.com and grab either a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 test kit. You may see a comparison of the two here.

    Step 3) Spend the brief delivery time devouring everything you can in Pool School. Pay particular attention to the parts about How To Shock Your Pool, the Chlorine/CYA chart, and Maintenance and Cleaning of Pool Filters.

    Step 4) When the test kit arrives, do a thorough round of water testing, post the results here. EDIT - Removed link to putting pool details in sig line. See you've already done that.

    Step 5) Enjoy your new-found family of friendly pool experts!

    and how long those 4 tabs of chlorine will last? They were ProTeam 3" Pure Tabs.
    Impossible to know without knowing the turnover of the pool, its size, etc...but, as a guess, 3-7 days.

    More importantly, however, it doesn't really matter. They won't put enough chlorine in the pool to shock it, and shouldn't introduce enough CYA to raise your current level to any worrisome point.

    The rest of your numbers look pretty darn good, actually, at least imo.

    Thank you! I truly appreciate your help!
    Welcome to TFP! We hope you stick around, and join our gang!
    -Gordon
    Pool School helps me maintain my 13,500G 24' x 48" ASP with Sand Filtration using a TF100 Test Kit and Pool Calculator.
    Remember, the Shock Process should be followed until : 1. CC is less than 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less and, 3. The water is crystal clear.
    --I didn't buy my pool to swim in it. I bought my pool to watch my wife swim in it. :wink:

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Hi, welcome to TFP! You need to put your pool through the shock process. The stuff the pool store told you to add gave you a start, but you need to finish the job or you will be back to a swamp in a couple of days.
    First, lower the pH to 7.2-7.5, then read through shocking your pool and defeating algae for more information on the shock process. You can use the pool calculator to determine how much of each chemical you need to shock and balance the water.

    You should purchase a high quality FAS-DPD test kit such as the TF 100 that will enable you to test chlorine levels greater than 5 ppm in order to complete the shock process. When you conduct your own testing you will have more consistent results and you will be able to dose the pool accordingly. During the shock process you will be testing FC every couple of hours in order to keep the pool at shock level and that makes running back and forth to the pool store inconvenient, and you won't have to deal with the staff trying to sell you more stuff that you don't need.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Thanks!

    I did have a drink and ordered the test kit last night.

    The deep end seems to be 8 feet so updated guesstimate is 32K gallons.

    I have [old?] hth 6-way kit. It does show chlorine and pH changes, though
    TC - 2 right now
    pH between 7.2 and 7.5
    I tried to do CYA test, but the solution didn't become really cloudy

    My concern: the filter pressure is 14 - just like it was 24 ago. It can't be right, can it? and I don't see any significant improvement in water clarity [it's still cloudy blue]

    Also I'm having a hard time figuring out what kind of bleach I should buy and how many of them
    Attached Images Attached Images
    32/33?k gallon IGP
    Concrete? white plaster
    pump Pentair WhisperFlo, 1HP
    filter Pentair Clean&Clear Plus Cartridge 520 sq. ft.
    robot Dolphin Deluxe 4

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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Quote Originally Posted by noopa
    Thanks!

    I did have a drink and ordered the test kit last night.
    Then you're well on your way!

    Also I'm having a hard time figuring out what kind of bleach I should buy and how many of them
    What kind is "Whatever's cheapest". What you want is just plain ole' bleach...nothing scented, no 'special magical cleaning powers', nothing like that. Just...bleach. What you're interested in is the percent of sodium hypochlorite. Most consumer grocery store bleach is 6%, though you may find 10% or 12% pool chlorine in some places, and there's also 3% solution. Avoid any bleach you can't determine the percent of sodium hypochlorite in, or that contains any added chemicals/scents/etc.

    If you want to get real picky, you can calculate the cost of treating your pool as follows:

    Price / (Quantity * Concentration)

    So, for example, a $3.00 182oz bottle of 6% bleach would be:

    $3.00 / (182 * .06) = $3.00 / 10.92 = $0.27 per oz of chlorine.

    There's a 4 page thread on Bleach Prices 2012 that might give you a heads up on some sources to look for.

    =========

    As for how much, just use Pool Calculator to determine how much is needed to bring your pool up to shock level, and then allow for enough to keep it there. Remember that you'll want SOME CYA in there to keep the Chlorine from being rapidly consumed by sunlight, but not so much that it takes a wicked amount of bleach to shock the pool. A CYA level of 30 seems to be the most commonly recommended starting point for shocking a pool.

    As a very rough guesstimate, so you can kind of budget your shopping trip:

    At 30 CYA, 7.5 pH, and 0 Free Chlorine (if it's not there now, it will be soon *heh*, so let's just presume that) it would take 796 oz, or 6.21875 gallons of bleach...since this isn't rocket science, we can just say 6 1/4 gallons, and call it good...to raise your FC level to 12, which is shock level for a non-swg pool with 30 CYA That will bring the pool UP to shock level...but you'll be consuming chlorine at an amazing rate, so you'll need a bunch more on hand.

    Personally, if it were me, since bleach frequently comes in cases of 4, I'd probably by 6 cases, or 24 gallons, and go from there. Even at $3/gallon (which would be high) that's still only about a $75 purchase, and it's not like you won't use it down the road.
    -Gordon
    Pool School helps me maintain my 13,500G 24' x 48" ASP with Sand Filtration using a TF100 Test Kit and Pool Calculator.
    Remember, the Shock Process should be followed until : 1. CC is less than 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less and, 3. The water is crystal clear.
    --I didn't buy my pool to swim in it. I bought my pool to watch my wife swim in it. :wink:

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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Hi there. I too am a new pool owner and just converted a very very black swampy foreclosed pool.
    To get it cleaned up took 58 gallons of supermarket (ALDI was cheapest) over 12 days. I suspect you'll need less, depending on how sunny and hot your location is.
    Any bleach that is unscented and says it's 6% (or active 5.7%) is fine...also the heavy duty stuff from the hardware store (10%) is fine, and so is the concentrated bleach from the pool store (12%).
    Just be sure to use the pool calculator to know, reach and MAINTAIN the shock level to the recommended level for your CYA level until you pass that overnight chlorine test (drop less than 1 ppm FC, less than .5 CC and sparkling clear water.)

    I bet it will only take you a few days based on your color. When I hit that color, I think I was about 3-4 days away from CRYSTAL clear -- and I have a sand filer, which is slower than DE. YMMV.

    As a new pool owner, I can assure you that any time spent on this site with these folks will be a great investment and will give you what you need to make smart decisions, save money, and ultimately save time and frustration through pro-active pool management!

    I've found a new local indie pool store that I actually like (because I wanted ph neutral optimizer/borates and was content to pay more than borax costs) and showed her my pics and she a) agreed with pretty much everything I was advised on this board (rare in a pool store owner) and b) exceptionally impressed with the water clarity, condition and the series of pics of the "shock and awe" process.

    OOPS, cross posted.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Thank you!

    Went to the pool store and canceled the SWG order because I don't want their guy anywhere near my pool ever again - we got enough 'help' from him already

    Test results from the pool store:
    FAC .5
    TAC .5
    CH 100
    CYA 20
    TA 60
    pH 7.8
    TDS 500
    Pho 100
    Temp 65

    Someone ate my CYA but now I need less bleach, right?
    32/33?k gallon IGP
    Concrete? white plaster
    pump Pentair WhisperFlo, 1HP
    filter Pentair Clean&Clear Plus Cartridge 520 sq. ft.
    robot Dolphin Deluxe 4

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Your inconsistent test results is exactly why we tend to recommend avoiding the pool store tests and trusting your own.

    There is very little likelihood that your TDS (which we do not use) dropped from 900 to 500 and your CYA dropped from 50 to 20.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Noopa, I see you're in PA (I am in Mich). If your water is as cold as mine still is, let your water sample sit inside to room temperature and then test your CYA again. To get the hang of this highly subjective test, remember you can pour the water in, out, and back into the tube repeatedly to find the most "consistent" level in clear lighting condition. I didn't need the pool store to test my water b/c now I test my own, but because I wanted to buy the optimizer/borate and was out of reagent and didn't have a borates test, I wanted to make sure that the previous owner hadn't previously added borates to the water before I bought same. So the pool store tested my water for borates and gave me a readout at the same time. My CYA was about 15 ppm lower than I had tested it at home this morning!

    She said to me -- What did your test at home say? I told her 50 ppm. She said "If I were a diabetic I'd be dead if I had to rely on this X#@ CYA test " Essentially she holds with the trust-what-you-put-in thing.

    Moral of the story is in your case, you had TWO pool store tests, showing first 50 ppm then 20 ppm. Since you don't really WANT more than 50 and since this test is a bit tough to master, don't make any adjustments and shock as if you're at 50 ppm to be on the safe side, and then practice the cya test until you get consistent levels every time you read. Yours will in this case will eventually end up being the most accurate!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    We inherited floating polar bear thermometer it reads 70 degrees. Can it be wrong? or the pool store was wrong?

    I think I need some time to get used to the idea of pouring gallons of bleach in my water I poured 2 jugs so far - it smells terrible... all over the property... *sigh*
    32/33?k gallon IGP
    Concrete? white plaster
    pump Pentair WhisperFlo, 1HP
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Quote Originally Posted by noopa
    it smells terrible...
    That's the chlorine doing its job. Give it time. Once the pool is clean, the smell goes away.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Quote Originally Posted by noopa
    We inherited floating polar bear thermometer it reads 70 degrees. Can it be wrong? or the pool store was wrong?

    I think I need some time to get used to the idea of pouring gallons of bleach in my water I poured 2 jugs so far - it smells terrible... all over the property... *sigh*
    The smell is not the bleach, the smell is the combined chlorine which is the what is produced as the chlorine destroys organics. The chlorine also eventually destroys the combined chlorine, but you need even more.
    17,800 gallon, IG pool, 595 sq feet (17x35x4.5 avg rectangle), Hayward 525 cartridge filter, diamondbrite, 2 hp 2 speed hayward tristar filter, Stenner 45mhp10 automatically chlorinating

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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Your inconsistent test results is exactly why we tend to recommend avoiding the pool store tests and trusting your own.

    There is very little likelihood that your CYA dropped from 50 to 20.
    especially because 'Chlor Brite' we used is dichlor, "features a built-in stabilizer" [according to their website] so it's supposed to raise CYA

    I think the second test is more accurate because we added a lot of tap water... 17k gallons actually... tap water has no CYA, right? so our CYA can't be high.
    32/33?k gallon IGP
    Concrete? white plaster
    pump Pentair WhisperFlo, 1HP
    filter Pentair Clean&Clear Plus Cartridge 520 sq. ft.
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Did you add the tap water after the first reading?
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    tap water has no CYA, right? so our CYA can't be high.
    Tap water has no CYA but depends on how much Dichlor you've used and where your CYA started, it could still be fairly high. CYA is one test that Pool Stores are notoriously bad at. I've had several different stores show CYA in tap water. I've also had them show no CYA when I run 50 - 60 ppm all the time. About the only thing they're decent at is pH and I'm scared to trust even that.

    You'll be much better off trusting your own tests results.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Swampwoman, we added the tap water before the first reading [the explanation is in my opening rambling ]

    and I'm very sorry - I provided wrong info just found box: the stuff we used was actually Power Powder. It's calcium hypochlorite, no stabilizer

    My kit had 2 CYA tests. I tried it twice [second time with warmed up water as Swampwoman suggested] and both times the solution wasn't cloudy enough - I could still see the dot. So it's possible we don't have CYA at all?

    The pool gets sun from early morning till around 4pm, btw
    32/33?k gallon IGP
    Concrete? white plaster
    pump Pentair WhisperFlo, 1HP
    filter Pentair Clean&Clear Plus Cartridge 520 sq. ft.
    robot Dolphin Deluxe 4

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    If you haven't used any Dichlor or Trichlor and haven't added it specifly then you probably don't have any CYA. You do need some because without it the sun will consume all the FC you put in the pool in a few hours.

    When is your new test kit supposed to be there?

    Raise your CYA to about 30 ppm and continue the shock process using that CYA.

    Once you get the test kit you can verify things and begin doing a better job of shocking. You'll be done soon.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Thanks!
    The kit departed from RALEIGH, NC yesterday evening, so I suppose it should be here tomorrow?

    Could anyone please tell me if it's dead algae or it's alive or it's something else. When you touch it, it turns into 'dust'
    Attached Images Attached Images
    32/33?k gallon IGP
    Concrete? white plaster
    pump Pentair WhisperFlo, 1HP
    filter Pentair Clean&Clear Plus Cartridge 520 sq. ft.
    robot Dolphin Deluxe 4

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    gboulton's Avatar
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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    Looks and sounds like algae to me.
    -Gordon
    Pool School helps me maintain my 13,500G 24' x 48" ASP with Sand Filtration using a TF100 Test Kit and Pool Calculator.
    Remember, the Shock Process should be followed until : 1. CC is less than 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less and, 3. The water is crystal clear.
    --I didn't buy my pool to swim in it. I bought my pool to watch my wife swim in it. :wink:

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    Re: Noob pool owner: we have a problem - need your help

    not dead?
    32/33?k gallon IGP
    Concrete? white plaster
    pump Pentair WhisperFlo, 1HP
    filter Pentair Clean&Clear Plus Cartridge 520 sq. ft.
    robot Dolphin Deluxe 4

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