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Thread: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

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    Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    First of all, I wanted to say this is an amazing forum. I am so glad I stumbled on this site. I have been a silent reader (visitor) for a couple of days. I always thought that pool needs lot of work, but reading here, it seems it is not that bad. Experts are willing to help newbies like me.

    We bought our first home, and it came with pool (tried hard not to buy a house with pool ). Anyhow, currently we have a pool guy coming once every week. I want to learn about pool care, and at the same time want to save money, so I am trying to learn from this fantastic site.

    Reading the forums, I ordered Taylor K-2006 (FAS-DPD kit). Today, for the first time, I tested my water using my brand new kit (though I screwed up a bit, took sample from 2" below surface than 18" as recommended (didn't see that till now).

    Here are my test results:

    pH - 7.6
    Total Alkalinity - 110 ppm as Calcium carbonate
    Free chlorine - 5.2 ppm
    Combined chlorine - Absent
    Cyanuric Acid - 130 ppm (kind of guess as this reading is below the markings on the kit, but should be pretty close).
    Calcium hardness - 200 ppm as Calcium carbonate (kit says that initial color will change to red, in our case it was light pink. Final color was light purple while kit says it will be blue)
    Saturation Index - 0.8 (using Taylor kit's Watergram Water Balance Calculator)

    Where do we go from here so that pool stays in excellent condition? What do I need to do before I can get rid of pool service.

    There are some rocks on the side of the pool where some algae is growing. I have scrubbed it once and it went in pool, and then pump cleared it. What should I do to get rid of this algae on the rocks..spray it with some algaecide?

    I don't know if our pool is vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass. I can upload photo of the pool so that you can tell me what type I have, or teach me how to find that, and I will do my best.

    We dont have any chemicals yet. I need to buy everything, and I will do that based on the advice here. So, please let me know what route I should take...BBB method or regular chemicals.

    I am in Sacramento suburb (California), so if there is anyone from this area, we can meet up and help each other. Let me know.

    I have costco membership and also access to Sams Club (if it helps where to get any chemicals or supplies).

    Looks like this site is going to be one of my favorite site now

    Thanks in advance.
    ----------------
    9,700 gallon, in-ground pool, Cartridge filter, Irregular (kidney) shape, Taylor K-2006 test kit, small rock waterfall.

    Pool School + Test Kit + Test Kit Directions +The Pool Calculator = A TROUBLE FREE POOL

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    First I want to say welcome, hang around and we will help you.

    Now down to business,
    First stop adding anything that will raise your CYA level, it is already insanely high, this mean no more dichlor powder (sometimes sold as "shock"), no more trichlor (pucks, pellets, sticks, or powder), and certainly no CYA stabilizer (liquid or powder). You may try routine of trying to slowly lower it over time, or you might want to bite the bullet and replace over 70% of the water in your pool. (the only other alternative to lowering CYA is reverse osmosis treatment, but it is not available in many places). Other than that little detail everything else looks fairly good, just know that at such high CYA levels, if your chlorine levels ever drop you will have a very hard time killing the algae that would likely take over. Speaking of FC levels you should probably boost yours a bit given your high CYA levels a target minimum FC of 10 ppm is not unreasonable. When it comes to your algae on the rocks, I would try simple diluted bleach in a spray bottle first, if that does not work, maybe a polyquat algacide, just stay away from any algaecide that contains copper.

    Now go back and read pooll school again, it makes a lot more sense the 2nd and 3rd time through, particularly after you have ran the tests a few times.

    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
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    Welcome.

    Try the CYA test starting with a 50/50 mix of pool and tap water and then double the result to find out how high your CYA really is.

    Then you need to replace enough water to get into the 30-50ppm range. May require multiple smaller replacements as large changes can be structurally dangerous.

    Then if the algae is in the pool water, you should follow the shock process as described in pool school. This will require a lot of bleach which may be cheapest at Sam's club.

    At least you do not have to wait for a test kit!!!

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    Welcome to TFP.

    Listen to the advice above. Deal with the CYA now rather than later. Since you have a cartridge filter you can't depend on backwashing helping you out.

    In Sacramento R/O service may be available to you but since your CH isn't any higher than it is, I don't know if it's worth it. It all depends on your water costs.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    Looks like your definitely on the right track, you got a good test kit and learned how to use it. From your post it also seems like your motivated to read and gain the knowledge, as such everything will fall into place soon.
    Looks like you need to deal with the CYA and all should be good, taking the sample from 18" or 24" isn't critical.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    Thanks everyone for the welcome and advice. I will do the CYA test again later today with 50/50 mix of pool and tap water, and post my result here.

    For now, we just pay a flat rate for water , though it is going to change to metered water next year. So, I can replace the water without any charge. But, I dont know how to drain the pool

    The pool service guy has added those chlorine pellets in the floating thing (sorry, dont know what it is called). Should I take it out?

    I will try the diluted bleach for rock algae. I am guessing it is ok for the excess bleach to run to pool? How much dilution do I need to do? Any pointers?

    jblizzle: dont worry about short message..you did much better that me using phone..I dont post at all using my phone

    Algae is not in the pool yet. Hopefully, reading here and with experts advice, there will never be.
    ----------------
    9,700 gallon, in-ground pool, Cartridge filter, Irregular (kidney) shape, Taylor K-2006 test kit, small rock waterfall.

    Pool School + Test Kit + Test Kit Directions +The Pool Calculator = A TROUBLE FREE POOL

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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    The bleach running into the pool is no problem. You are going to find yourself pouring a lot of it in there anyway!
    chiefwej
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    Thanks Chiefwej. That's what I thought about bleach running into pool, but still wanted to confirm.

    What is the best way to replace water? Drain the pool empty, how? Or something else?

    Should I take out the chlorine pellets since pool's CYA is so high? I will wait till I recheck the reading.

    Also, I need to replace the pool light. It is about a foot under water. Google search shows that it is safe to get the light out and replace the bulb. Is it so? No risk of electric shock or anything like that?
    ----------------
    9,700 gallon, in-ground pool, Cartridge filter, Irregular (kidney) shape, Taylor K-2006 test kit, small rock waterfall.

    Pool School + Test Kit + Test Kit Directions +The Pool Calculator = A TROUBLE FREE POOL

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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    Ok, first off there are dangers in fully drainning any type of pool, with different risks for each type (floating out, liner wrinkles, cave in, etc.), as a rule of thumb the safest thing is to drain no more than 20-30% of the water at a time and repeat. Water bagging is another good approach where you partition off one end of your pool with a plastc barrier, fill from that end and drain from the other end, slowly allowing the barrier to move from end to end (in a perfect world this barrier would be a giant plastic bag, but even a large sheet of plastic like painters use to drape things will work as long as it is big enough to wall off the pool and have a few feet of "gasket seal" around the edge and bottom. As to how to drain that depends on how your pool is set up, if you have a main drain that can be isolated from the skimmer and a backwash/waste setting on your pool pump you can use it, alternatively you can use a small sump pump style pump conencted to a garden hose(often available as refurbs on ebay, etc. for around $50), one advantage of using a small sump pump is it will drain water at roughly the rate you can refill if using the water bag method.

    Ike

    p.s. as to your dilution of bleach, I would try somewhere around 20:1 bleach to water, it does not take much to kill algae on contact, certainly no stronger than 10:1.
    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 jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    If the pellets are dichlor or trichlor then they are adding CYA (which you know is high). Cal-hypo solids add CH to the pool in addition to the FC, which can also be problematic if the CH gets too high.

    Liquid chlorine (bleach) only adds FC (and some salt) so it does not have the side-effects of the solid forms of chlorine.

    Bottom-line ... take the floater out and only use bleach.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    You have a couple of issues here and basically everyone has addressed them but I will chime in.

    1. Your CYA is too high. This can either be a problem now or a problem later. The problem is that you don't know how high it is since it is off the chart, so to speak. TEST AGAIN WITH TAP WATER DILLUTION METHOD ASAP. Even though your CYA is too high there is a chance you could continue to have clear water as long as you are able to keep enough chlorine in it. It just depends on how high it is and also it will cost you a LOT because you will have to use WAY more bleach, or stabilized chlorine for that matter if you go that route.

    2. You don't know how to drain your pool. You need to also learn this as soon as possible otherwise you can't proceed with lowering CYA. As others stated don't completely drain your pool. It took me 3 days of continous flush in conjunction with fill to get my cya to zero. So in other words, you will likely be filling while draining which increases the amount of time it takes to get rid of CYA.
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    Thanks once again. I will start with draining no more than 20-30% of the water at a time, and hope that will get me the right CYA.

    Any recommendations on a sump pump? I dont know why would someone rent a pump from HD for 40 or so bucks while one can buy from ebay for 60 or so?? Can someone please enlighten me?
    Also, if I am using a sump pump, should I drain the water first and then fill in, or do it at the same time (not doing the bag method). My feeling is that drain water first and then add fresh water.

    Thanks for bleach ratio. Will try it in a day or two.

    I don't know what type of pellets are, but I am guessing trichlor like (reading here seems like dichlor is for shock only), but I might be mistaken. I am reading so much these days, that now information is getting murky or should I say cloudy now that we are talking about water

    The floater is coming out...definitely!!
    ----------------
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    Pool School + Test Kit + Test Kit Directions +The Pool Calculator = A TROUBLE FREE POOL

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    Drain and then fill is more efficient ... the more you can drain at once the better, but that also increases the risks.

    Harbor freight also sells cheap sump pumps. When you rent (I did before I knew better), you can also get as much hose as you need to get the water where you want it to drain ... may also have more flow rate.
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    Update:

    CYA with dilution method (using tap water and pool water, half-half) came to 140. My yesterday's guesstimate was 130, so fairly close . One thing the floater was within a feet or two of the sample collection place, so that might have been responsible for higher reading (didn't notice the floater before taking sample), or the pellets raised the CYA within a day. Anyhow, I have removed the floater now.

    So, my next step is to replace the water to bring CYA down to reasonable value..is it between 30-50, or I am confusing with something else?

    I guess, when I drain water, that would be a good time to replace the bulb too.
    ----------------
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    You are correct, target 30-50ppm ... certainly easier to add CYA than to remove it as you have now learned.

    You should be able to replace the bulb by pulling the fixture out of the water while the pool is full ... hopefully the cord is long enough ... if not, have choice words with whoever installed it.
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    How do I tell what pool type I have? Any pointers? Read the pool school for pool types, but still dont know how to tell.
    ----------------
    9,700 gallon, in-ground pool, Cartridge filter, Irregular (kidney) shape, Taylor K-2006 test kit, small rock waterfall.

    Pool School + Test Kit + Test Kit Directions +The Pool Calculator = A TROUBLE FREE POOL

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    What do you mean pool type? plaster vs. fiberglass vs. liner?

    {You stealing my signature line? }
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    You should be able to tell by looking at the surface of the pool. If not, post a pic just above the waterline and we'll probably be able to help fiigure it out.

    {go ahead and steal JB's sig, I won't care}
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    jblizzle: yup..I wanted to have all those links handy. but I modified it a bit, so technically, it is not stealing , but yes, I got the idea from your signature. So, all credit is to you

    Yes, that is what I meant, plaster vs. fiberglass vs. liner. I will post a picture soon so that experts can help me figure out. I am just curious as to what type it is.

    Also, how do I tell what pump do I have? I would like to have all the info in my signature
    ----------------
    9,700 gallon, in-ground pool, Cartridge filter, Irregular (kidney) shape, Taylor K-2006 test kit, small rock waterfall.

    Pool School + Test Kit + Test Kit Directions +The Pool Calculator = A TROUBLE FREE POOL

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Total noob in pool care, but want to learn from experts.

    Post pics of everything and maybe we cna help.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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