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Thread: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

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    New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Hello everyone, my name is Steven and I'm new to the site as you can tell. My family and I recently moved to Lakewood, CA into a house that has a pool. The details on the pool and the equipment are in my signature. I have been reading in the Pool School section and have ordered the TF-100 test kit so that I can accurately see how my pool chemistry is and make educated decisions on what/how to treat it. I have much more reading/learning to do, but I wanted to post some initial numbers to see what you guys think.

    In the meantime I have purchased initial supplies and test kits from the local Home Depot (prior to finding this great site) and have followed the testing and chemical treatment advice of the brand that is sold there (Pooltime). I've used both the test strips and the dinky 5 way tester kit and through using both the testing kits and inputting the results on their site (pooltime.com), it gave me instructions on what chemicals to add. Well following that has caused me some headache. The pool was clear before I started, but now has a cloudiness to it that doesn't seem to be getting better. Some of the chemicals I've added through the recommendation from that site are...
    • Four 1lb bags of 4in1 Pool Shock

    • Four quarts of Metal, Stain, & Scale Out

    • Four quarts of PH Down Chemical

    • Four ounces of Algacide


    This of course has been added over the course of 1.5 weeks. I have initally found that the filter cartridge was completely useless when we moved in as the original pool guy had ignored the fact that the pressure gauge was broken, and hadn't thought to look into that as there was no pressure from any of the water jets at all. I fixed the pressure gauge and saw it jump from 15psi to 28psi. It previously had been running at 15psi for 2 weeks with no change. After reading on this site I learned that the pressure is a direct indicator as to how dirty the filter cartridge is. So I pulled it out and cleaned it out thoroughly. The clean filter psi reading was now at 5psi. I have been cleaning it each time it reaches 15psi, and the pool looks better, although still is cloudy. I just can't seem to get the cloudiness to dissapate.

    Current numbers as of 5/22 @ 18:00 PST.
    FC: 7+ (hard to tell, the current testing kit doesn't read past 6)
    pH: 7.2
    TA: 250
    CH: 650 (only readable from test strip, maxed out at 1000. But since it reads Total Hardness, subtracted 1/3 for magnesium hardness)
    CYA: 160

    I will get better, more accurate numbers from my TF-100 when it arrives tomorrow. Here are a couple pictures of the pool and cloudiness. Any suggestions? Thanking you all in advance.



    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Welcome to the forum. That sure is a pretty pool so let's go to work on getting it sparkling.

    I suggest simply waiting for the kit. The first order of business might be the CYA test.....your pool, apparently, is quite high in CYA and once confirmed, we need to address that.

    When you perform that test, dilute it down by 50% since your pool is so high. take an equal mixture of pool water and tap water and then use that mix for your "pool water" when you put it in the mixing tube. The result will be fairly innaccurate but I think it will be necessary. Post that result and we'll go from there.

    Very nice pool
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Thanks Dave. I'll do just that and post up the results tomorrow after work. In the meantime, due to the high CYA... I have pulled out the floating chlorinator because the tabs the old pool guy was using have stabilizer in them and I don't need anything else being added to it. Thanks for your quick response and compliments on the pool. It was built in the mid 70's and needs some maintenance on the concrete work, but other than that it is great.
    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Ok, my TF-100 arrived and I ran a full array of tests. Here are the numbers. Please help!!!!!!

    FC: 15.5
    CC: .5
    TC: 16.0
    pH: 7.2
    TA: 210
    CH: 1650 (I thought something was wrong as the solution wasn't turning blue, but I kept going and I'm sad I did)
    CYA: 170 (ran as described by kit, was too low to register so this is an approximation)

    110 +/- 15 (still registered below the line) <--CYA ran as Dave described by mixing 50% pool water and 50% tap water so it would be high enough to register -->
    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Judging by such high CH and CYA numbers, I'm just waiting on one of the experts here to tell me that a water change is necessary. With that said, I've taken pictures of the plumbing to try and figure out how I could drain the pool easily. It appears that I have valving that will dump the water into the sewer, and if that's the case, this should be relatively easy.

    Picture showing the line coming out of the filter and split to 2 pipes with valves going into the concrete. 1 I'm assuming is already open and is the pool return, and the other which should be closed would be the pipe that dumps into the sewer. Can anyone confirm this?



    Picture showing the inside of my skimmer. Would I need to block off that suction hole to get the floor drain to suck water? Right now there is absolutely no suction at the floor drain.



    Thanks again for your advice.
    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Ok, so it's not going to be so easy.... I turned those valves off one at a time and found out that they are seperate controls for the water jets in the pool. One controls the main above the light that aims straight out and the other controls an angled jet next to the light which creates circulation. Close one partially and the other jet gets more flow.

    I blocked off the intake at the skimmer and the psi dropped to 0 at the filter and the floor drain had no suction still. No sure how to get the drain at the floor to start sucking. So I unblocked the skimmer. It seems that's the only point of suction right now.

    Another weird thing is I found this line going into the concrete with a hose strap on it. See the pictures below. Is this line the output into the sewer for draining?




    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Lets tackle this thing.

    As you suspect you do need to drain or have an R/O treatment done. Unless your water is relatively cheap I'd look into the R/O treatment. With your CYA at 220+ and your CH at 1650 you're going to have to replace a lot of water, almost to the point of a total drain and start over.

    I also suggest your test the CH of your fill water and that'll give us a better idea of how much a drain and refill will help that. If your fill water's high in CH that's even more reason to have R/O done.

    In my opinion the high CH is the primary reason for your cloudiness. You've also added algaecide and scale out which also contributes to the cloudiness.

    Now for the equipment.

    That's a pretty small filter for that pool but that just means you'll have to clean it more often.

    There's no way for us to know where the two valves on the outlet of the filter go. I suggest you turn on the pump and open the valve that's closed and see if there's any water coming out anywhere. It should be to a port in the pool, but we really don't know.
    We also can't possibly know where the "hose clamped" stub in the concrete goes. I doubt it's to the sewer but who knows. Take a garden hose and run water down it and see if it goes out anywhere.

    The pic of the skimmer shows a winterizing plug in the bottom port. Is it still like that? If so that port most likely goes to the main drain. If that's the case, you'll have to remove it to get the main drain to work at all.
    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: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Drain it all or get reverse osmosis. There's a guy in Escondido, not sure how far he's willing to travel. Here's his website http://www.poolservicestech.com/index.htm I'd recommend calling, he's bad about checking email.

    It's likely that the plug in the skimmer leads to the drain. That's how mine was plumbed. The drain didn't work until I bought a diverter for about ten bucks and dropped it in. All you can do is experiment. Pull the plug, stick the garden hose in it and see if a load of silt gets pushed out the drain.

    Same thing with the sawed off pipe. I have one of those, too, but mine's capped. I suspect that it goes to the cleaner port stuck in the side of my pool, but I've never investigated.
    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: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Thanks Dave and Richard. I've actually contacted that RO treatment company and they will not drive up to LA County to service my pool. I can't seem to find any other company that does that service for the LA County market. It may be that a drain and refill is in my best interest. My cities water company opens up in the next 10 minutes so I'm going to call them to see how much I pay for water so I can get an idea of how much it will cost to refill the pool.

    Regarding the skimmer and the drain plug. I have a great deal of suction coming from that single port and I see the wing nut just below the opening. Are you saying that I just need to remove the wing nut and lift out the rubber/plastic plug and that should reveal a 2nd port that goes to the main drain?
    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Yes
    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: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Ok, just got off the phone with the city of Lakewood's water department. They charge $2.50 per unit. 1 unit = 748 gallons. My 11k gallon pool has 14.70 units worth of capacity, which puts the cost of refilling the entire thing with water to around $36.75.

    I'm now going to test the fill waters CH level to make sure I won't be spinning my wheels here. I'll post those numbers in a second.
    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Ok the fill water from the garden hose has the following numbers.

    CH: 310
    CYA: 0
    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    That's pretty high CH but not as high as some. You need to replace about 3/4ths of your water anyway to get the CYA down and that'll bring your CH down by about 1/2 given the CH of your fill water. If it was me and at those water rates I might just dump it all and start over.

    Do you know what the water table height there is? That's about the only concern you'll have with completely draining it.
    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: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    So I got off the phone with the city and they told me that I was OK to drain the pool into the street so it could run off into the storm drain. I told them it was an inground pool and it had chlorine in it and the lady told me that was fine. I'm not sure if they don't mind about the chlorine thinking it will help clean the storm drain?? Either way I asked her if I needed a permit or anything and she told me no. So here I am about 1/2 way done with draining it into the street.

    I'm rinsing the side walls as it gets lower and lower and will make sure to sweep out any residual dirt or grime before filling it back up.

    Thanks guys
    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Good job!! I'm sure the city water has chlorine so it doesn't bother them to flush a little down the drain.
    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: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Thanks! Yeah, she wasn't concerned at all. The pool has been emptied and it's now filling back up with clean water. While it was still draining I decided to check on the water flow rate to try and get an idea of how much water the pool actually holds, so what I did was measured the time it took to fill a 2 gallon bucket. I timed it 4 times and averaged it out to 13.5 seconds to fill 2 gallons. Divide that in half and it takes 6.75 seconds to fill 1 gallon.

    Now it's just a matter of math to figure out how many gallons this pool holds by the time it takes to get full.
    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Aren't you going to sneak your neighbor's hose over to speed up the process? That will throw off your calculations. And his bill.
    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: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Well the pool is about 2/3'ds full now and it's been filling for 24 hours straight. To my calculations, I'm going to need to update my signature where it says 11k gallons. Right now I'm at 12,800 gallons. This is looking like it's going to be around 18k-20k gallons going into the pool.

    I ran the levels on the water as it is now because I'm bored. Here it is...

    FC: 0
    CC: 0
    pH: 8.2+
    TA: 180
    CH: 250
    CYA: 0

    I'm very happy to see the CH levels like that. I now have things more manageable once this thing fills up tonight. I've already put in 1 gallon of chlorine this morning, but it's not even registering as the water has been diluting the **** out of it and there is no CYA in the pool so I'm sure the sun soaked it all up. I'm going to wait until it's full and the pump is running circulating the water before I add anything else.
    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    You could start adjusting pH now. Just dribble the acid into the hose stream. Then make a couple passes with the pool brush to stir it all in. For that matter, there's no reason not to start adding CYA to bring 12000 gallons up to 30 or so. Tie the sock full of crystals to a pool noodle or a beach ball or float ring - anything that will keep it suspended under water and not touching the walls constantly.
    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: New to pool ownership/maintenance, need advice.

    Done.

    I just added 63 oz of muriatic acid into the stream like you suggested and agitated the heck out of the pool with a leaf net. Then I added 4 cups of cyanuric acid crystals into a sock. I put the sock into the chlorinator floating deal and took out the chlorinator tablets.

    Pool is still filling and should be done in about 6 more hours.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
    20k gal, plaster, 17' x 35' oval, 3/4 HP Hayward pump, 100sqft Hayward cartridge filter, Kreepy Krauly auto cleaner.
    Located in sunny Southern California!

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