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Thread: Newbie Wanting Input

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    Newbie Wanting Input

    Okay guys, well this is year two in the pool world for me. My pool is an in-ground vinyl liner pool which is at least 15 years old with a sand filter located under two pecan trees and a sweet gum tree (with the little prickly balls just right to clog a vacuum hose). Last year I attempted to follow the "accepted" way of doing things according to my local pool store and the former owner of the home; translation is that I continually added chlorine tablets and many other chemicals including Metal Out and copper based algaecide. The pool never consistently looked that great last year and from the time of opening it had a terrible brown stain on the liner. I mainly used the little test strips available from our local Wal-Mart.

    Over the Winter, I did a little research on here and went up just a little in my pool IQ, but you will see I am still far below average. About a month ago the southern heat here began to really warm up and I took my cover off (plastic tarp), unfortunately some of the trash/sludge off the cover got into the pool and proceeded to infest it with terrible trash and algea (did I mention my blessed old southern trees). I proceeded to use about oh 14 lbs of the Aqua Chem Shock Xtra Blue (http://www.aquachem.com/mp/v/index.j...extfmt=default), thinking the chlorine along with copper algaecide would help halt the algae while I vacuumed and fished the leaves and twigs out. This somewhat worked. I got most of the trash out little by little and ran my filter continually with frequent backwashing. I ran the chlorine tablets wide open in my in-line dispenser and had the water looking a little less green and a little bit clear although still yellow green. I then popped in some Aqua Chem Algaecide 50% (http://www.aquachem.com/mp/v/index.j...extfmt=default) and raised my alkalinity up to respectable levels along with PH using baking soda. Decided to go for straight Wal-Mart chlorine bleach and put quite a few gallons in the mix. Now my filter started showing brown, I mean big time brown, on the backwashes. The test strips said it was good except for the really high chlorine.

    At this point, the water still had a greenish hue. But, I noticed it was visible only while in the pool and during a backwash the water looked okay. I felt pretty sure it was the liner which was blue along with the brownish yellow stains on the sides causing the green. Getting rather ambitious and impatient, I bought about 14 lbs of ascorbic acid powder and proceeded to dump it in little by little around the edges along with another bottle of before mentioned 50% algaecide. The pool literally came alive before my eyes. The water was crystal and the stains were gone within a few hours. I probably put in about 6 lbs of the powder then added a bottle of Aqua Chem Scale, Metal, & Stain Control (http://www.aquachem.com/mp/v/index.j...extfmt=default). The test strips now showed a really low PH and zero CYA, chlorine, and alkalinity. I raised alkalinity slowly with more soda and the same with more bleach little by little. Added a bottle of Metal Out on the second day to see if it would help prevent stains from reappearing and maybe crystallize the metals (maybe fiction). Eventually the alkalinity was up to speck and the chlorine was up to speck albeit a little high. Since this point, I have been attempting to raise the PH little by little with Borax and keep the chlorine fairly constant with a little bleach every day. I also slowly ran the chlorine tablets in the dispenser to help raise my CYA.

    The water looks great now, the liner looks better than it ever has, but my problem at this point is the PH. On the test strips it shows an orange red color which doesn't look quite like the pics on the chart for the PH, my CYA is good according to said strips, and Chlorine does not want to hold but I am using bleach almost exclusively.

    I have elected to purchase a Poolmaster 22260 Basic 5-Way Test Kit http://amzn.com/B00107039U. I know, I know, I should have gone with the TF-100 or K-2006, but money is a little tight and I thought this kit a least was better than the strips. Hopefully, when it comes in I can a little more accuracy as to where my PH actually is.

    I wonder of your opinion about the kit I have bought. I also would be interested on whether you think the constant stream of leaves/debris from the surrounding trees (requiring daily vacuuming) might be part of the problem with my inability to hold a consistent chlorine number in spite of CYA which seems pretty good. I am unsure whether to stick with Chlorine tablets partly because of convenience and ability to add some CYA or whether to try to do bleach exclusively. I wonder if there any big issue just using the tablets in the in-line dispenser. Regardless, your opinion matters greatly. I am far from where I need to be and just want some input.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Newbie Wanting Input

    I dn't see any way you have zero CYA after all that shock and all those tablets. I don't think that test kit is going to help you get an accurate CYA measurement either. I'm also wondering what all that copper did to the pool. Can you post pics of the water?
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Newbie Wanting Input

    I wonder if the CYA number just showed non-existent temporarily because of the crazy PH numbers after the abscorbic acid treatment? No big deal, but it shows now in the middle of the test strip reading (dark tan) for CYA. But, perhaps I need a kit with a real CYA test?

    The water is crystal, but I will take a pic and post it. Also, I might possibly post a pic of my multiport valve, which I am trying to find replacement gaskets for as well (it dribbles water when in filter mode and terribly when in recirculate mode).

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Wanting Input

    We gets lots of debris from the trees constantly, the only time it is a problem is when the skimmer fills up and the pump shuts down because of no water flow.

    You should post whatever test results you do have.

    Getting a the best possible test kit is probably the single most effective way to save money on your swimming pool there is. If you don't know what is going on with you water you can't do the right thing and things spiral out of control. That isn't an especially good test kit. It doesn't do everything you really need it to do and it is more prone to interference (incorrect results due to various causes) than some of the other brands.

    I suggest you do some reading in Pool School. There is lots of wonderful background material in there and answers to a few of your questions.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Newbie Wanting Input

    I am unsure of the PH as it is a vibrant bright orange with a redish tint, I believe around 7.8. Total hardness is around 250 ppm. Total chlorine and free chlorine were white (nonexistent) this afternoon. Total alkalinity around 140 ppm and CYA (stabilizer) a little higher than 50 ppm. All according to test strips, so may be unreliable.

    Here are the images for my water:



  6. Back To Top    #6
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Wanting Input

    Ok, first welcome, hang around and you will get there:

    Now down to the blunt truth, the first thing you need to once you get a drop based kit in your hands is adjust the pH, the second thing you need to do is find out your CYA level, without a test kit of your own your next best way is to take a water sample, split it up and take it to 2 or 3 pool stores for testing. With luck you will get 3 results that are all in the same ballpark, and may be close to right. If your CYA is not too hight (say below 50), you can manage with your current kit as long as you don't get an algae outbreak. Although to tell the truth it would be a lot easier with the K-2006, TF-50 or TF-100. Once you get your CYA level where it needs to be, just make sure to avoid anything that will increase it like dichlor, trichlor or stabilizer (sometimes sold under other names like conditioner in pool stores)
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Wanting Input

    The only thing I disagree with Isaac about is that you can manage with the strips. There are a lot things that can happen that you won't know about using strips. You never know how accurate they are. They don't measure FC and CC. They don't measure CH, only TH, Even taking a sample to several pool stores doesn't gaurantee you an accurate result on CYA (or anything else for that matter).

    The whole premise here at TFP is accurate testing and dosing. Knowing what you're putting in your pool and why and what to expect when you put it in there.
    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
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Wanting Input

    Dave, I agree strips are useless, but OP stated they bought a 5 way drop based kit, I am guessing it is a DPD, but may be OTO chlorine test, which I feel is good enough in a pinch to work, if you maintain a reasonably low CYA level where your target FC is in range and you never let things get out of hand so you have to shock.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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