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Thread: Hello, first post.

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Hello, first post.

    Hello everyone,

    This forum is so great, so helpfull. I am a new member from about 2 weeks ago, haven't post anything yet. Only by reading many good posts here I have understand much more than before. I had my pool from 7 years ago but I have never spent time to study a little bit on how to take care my pool except that I just use shock and chlorine tab (3"). Every year I take all dirty water out and put new water in, try to keep it clean by chlorine tabs and shock and sometimes with algaecide for about 3 months and then forget it when the swiming season is over (when it is too cold to swim)... until the next swiming season, do all that works again...

    This year I will try to maintain it all year round. I hope I can do it, with the help from many of the experts here.


    Thank you Jason and everyone that make this site so usefull.

    Cuong
    10,000 Gallons plaster in ground, Cartridge filter.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, first post.

    Welcome to TFP, Cuong!

    Two tools to get you off to a good start:
    • 1. Read the articles in Pool School. Lots of great information here.

    • 2. Become familiar with the Pool Calculator. This will tell you how much of each chemical to add to your pool to reach a target result based on the pool's size and actual test results. Also note that the items in the left-most column (e.g., FC, TA, pH, CYA, etc.) are hyperlinks that you can click on for more information about that item and why you need to test for it.


    I would suggest using liquid bleach in place of the chlorine tabs. Most tabs contain CYA (stabilizer) which can build up to high levels making the chlorine less effective and could lead to algae outbreaks or pink slime (a.k.a., "red algae") . The only way to lower CYA is to do a partial drain & refill. With the recent Texas drought, water is at a premium. By following the BBB method, you will avoid many problems that lead to unnecessary partial drain/refills. Liquid bleach does not contain stabilizer. You will have to manually test the free chlorine (FC) and total chlorine (TC) levels daily and add bleach as needed (daily) during the summer. Use the Pool Calculator to determine how much bleach to add. You can use regular (unscented) Clorox or generic bleach. I would suggest a strength of at least 6% (listed on the label). If you follow this procedure, you will rarely need to shock. This will make up for the extra few minutes per day you spend testing.

    I would also advise that you not forget about the pool when swimming season is over. I live in North Texas and keep my pool operational all year, even when it is too cold to swim. I keep the chlorine up to the minimum recommended level for my pool and monitor the pH and Total Alkalinity (TA). You will find that the maintenance is easier in winter compared to the summer because the pool will not use as much chlorine during the winter due to less sunlight and cooler water. This will save you work in the long run compared to ignoring the pool each winter and then having to go through the shock and cleanup process in the spring.

    Finally, get a good test kit. I recommend the TFT Test Kit. There's no substitute for regular testing with a good kit.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Hello, first post.

    Thank you, Bodarville, for a rather long reply.

    I have read the Pool School, severall times to try to understand the process. I have try to use Pool Calculator a little bit. I have ordered the TFT Test Kit (TF-100) and have tested severall times.

    My number a few days ago are:

    FC= 10
    CC= 1
    TA= 70
    CYA= 0
    CH= 80
    pH=6.8

    I then add Baking Soda to increase pH. It is now at level 7.2. Then I added Stabilizer & Conditioner (HTH product that shows it has 96% Cyanuric Acid) to increase CYA. I read somewhere that it take up to a week in order to have all the Cyanuric Acid grain to disolve completely. So I haven't taken CYA measure again. I still take the TC & pH test almost everyday. I found that is simple to do compare to the more detail test for FC and CC. I will do the full test in 1-2 days.

    Rightnow, it is raining and I found the water a little bit not as clear as the begining (new water). My question is what we have to add after it rains, in generall? Also, can we just use the simple test of TC and pH after all the level has fall into their good range?

    Thanks,
    10,000 Gallons plaster in ground, Cartridge filter.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, first post.

    The likely reason your water is less clear with the rain is that debris (dust, pollen, and other "stuff") got washed out of the air and off your roof/patio into the pool, especially with the heavy rains we've had tonight.

    The rain does not affect my test schedule. Rain or shine, I follow the TFT Test Kit Instruction schedule here: http://tftestkits.net/Test-Kit-Instructions-10.html. I also perform an OCLT weekly or as needed (e.g., high bather load, heavy rain).

    The debris washed into the pool by the rain may cause your filter pressure to rise, so keep an eye on that and clean/backwash if needed.

    Based on your test results, I would continue getting the pH and TA up (which you are doing). You are among the few who could also use some extra CH, especially with a plaster pool. Your choice here is either (1) Add calcium hardness increaser, or (2) Temporarily switch from bleach to Calcium Hypochlorite (Cal Hypo) for chlorination. I would choose option 2 since that will add the CH and chlorine in one step. Look for CalHypo with a strength of at least 65% as listed on the label. I recommend using the Pool Calculator to figure the proper dosage while using the Cal Hypo and perform more frequent testing of your CH level. When your CH gets to around 300, convert back to liquid bleach for chlorination. One other note: CalHypo may temporarily make your water a little cloudy (that's the calcium). It is safe to swim in as long as your FC is below shock level.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Re: Hello, first post.

    I then add Baking Soda to increase pH
    Back up to Pool School for you!!

    Raise your pH using borax. Baking soda will raise your TA but has virtually no effect on pH. I'm glad your TA tested at 7.2 but the baking soda didn't do it, I think.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Hello, first post.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    I then add Baking Soda to increase pH
    Back up to Pool School for you!!

    Raise your pH using borax. Baking soda will raise your TA but has virtually no effect on pH. I'm glad your TA tested at 7.2 but the baking soda didn't do it, I think.
    Yes, sure. I am just starting and will have to read it again many times.

    I have many unclear things to explore/question/organize.

    Thanks
    10,000 Gallons plaster in ground, Cartridge filter.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Hello, first post.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville
    The likely reason your water is less clear with the rain is that debris (dust, pollen, and other "stuff") got washed out of the air and off your roof/patio into the pool, especially with the heavy rains we've had tonight.

    The rain does not affect my test schedule. Rain or shine, I follow the TFT Test Kit Instruction schedule here: http://tftestkits.net/Test-Kit-Instructions-10.html. I also perform an OCLT weekly or as needed (e.g., high bather load, heavy rain).

    The debris washed into the pool by the rain may cause your filter pressure to rise, so keep an eye on that and clean/backwash if needed.

    Based on your test results, I would continue getting the pH and TA up (which you are doing). You are among the few who could also use some extra CH, especially with a plaster pool. Your choice here is either (1) Add calcium hardness increaser, or (2) Temporarily switch from bleach to Calcium Hypochlorite (Cal Hypo) for chlorination. I would choose option 2 since that will add the CH and chlorine in one step. Look for CalHypo with a strength of at least 65% as listed on the label. I recommend using the Pool Calculator to figure the proper dosage while using the Cal Hypo and perform more frequent testing of your CH level. When your CH gets to around 300, convert back to liquid bleach for chlorination. One other note: CalHypo may temporarily make your water a little cloudy (that's the calcium). It is safe to swim in as long as your FC is below shock level.
    Thank you BoDarville,

    That helps.
    10,000 Gallons plaster in ground, Cartridge filter.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, first post.

    You're welcome. That's what we're here for.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Hello, first post.

    I have a bottle named "Ultra Clarifier" from http://kem-tek.com/poolcareproducts_step_5.html that I bought long ago but haven't have a chance to use. Does any of you has used it and/or know what is its ingredient? I can't find this information on the label.

    Thanks,
    10,000 Gallons plaster in ground, Cartridge filter.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, first post.

    Hi Cuong:

    I would be leery of adding any chemical to my pool unless it is needed. I've learned that lesson in the past. I aim to keep it as simple as possible. Far better, in my opinion, to check out the basics first.

    If water clarity is an issue, I would focus on maintaining the FC level within the target range for your CYA. I would also test for CC's and run an OCLT to see if you need to shock. I would also make sure your filter is working properly. In particular, check your cartridges and make sure there are no tears which would reduce filtering efficiency. Assuming your filter is OK, try increasing the pump run time. With the heavy rain we had a few days back, it may take more pump/filtering time to remove debris that got washed in (dust, pollen, and other "stuff"). I increased my pump run time the day after that heavy rain.

    If you checked all of the above and are still having water clarity problems, then I might give the clarifier a shot and see how it works for you.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, first post.

    The MSDS only states that it's Cationic, so it's about the same stuff as a lot of the other clarifiers out there. If you decide to use it, let me know whether it works or not if you don't mind.
    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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