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Thread: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

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    Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    We bought the house with a pool that had been neglected since last August. The pool was a dark green frog swamp, home to over thirty frogs and innumerable tadpoles, and looked as thick as pea soup, but darker green. We started in early May with the pool store recommendations, which turned out to be slightly helpful, very expensive, and extremely frustrating. I started doing some research, and found TFP. About two weeks ago, I persuaded my husband to let me try BBB, and I am very encouraged by the results so far.
    I have vacuumed to waste and replaced water so much that I dread the water bill this month. We rejoiced when we first saw the dim outline of the drain in the diving well! After bleach, brushing, and vacuuming, we still have some cloudiness, and although it's fairly clear, it is nothing like what I would call "sparkling." Some days are quite clear, and then it gets a little cloudy again. While swimming after dark for the first time this evening, I noticed lots of white particulates in the water that showed up with the pool light that I hadn't seen during the day. It's swimmable, but I want it to sparkle and be truly clear.
    We have a little grey/black debris that I vacuum almost daily. I know the cartridge filters need to be cleaned again, so that's on my schedule for tomorrow morning. (Thanks for the instructions on cleaning--much more effective than what my beloved had been told to do.) I have not shocked the pool by TFP standards yet, because I have been waiting for my test kit. I plan to begin that on Monday.

    My TF-100 arrived today, and here are the first set of numbers:

    FC-2.5
    CC- .5
    TC-3.0
    CH-300
    TA-120
    pH-7.5-7.8?
    CYA never obscured the dot

    After reading more info, I wonder if I should re-test the CH, because I didn't do it very slowly. Will that make a significant difference?
    Not sure what to do with the CYA results--besides search the TFP site for info.

    So...Is it reasonable to assume that if I shock my pool after the filters are cleaned, that things will clear up and sparkle? Am I missing anything else?
    Thank you so much!
    27,000 gal. IG vinyl
    Hayward cartridge filter

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    Since your test shows 0 CYA and it was a swamp, you may want to go to a pet store and purchase an ammonia test kit. Sometimes swampy bacteria can destroy CYA, leaving ammonia behind and it takes quite a bit of chlorine to get rid of it. You don't want to add CYA until you are sure there is no ammonia in the water. If the test shows 0 ammonia then add enough CYA according to the pool calculator to reach 30 and bring the FC to shock level, based on having 30ppm of CYA in the pool. The CYA will show up on the test after about a week.

    After you have completed the shock process it may take a little patience before you see sparkling, but give the filter time to do its job and you will be pleasently surprised.
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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    Welcome to tfp, kplb4

    zea beat me, but here is my take...

    If the water isn't sparkling, you didn't finish the shocking process. In that poolshcool article there are three criteria that must pass at the same time...I also have included the criteria in my sig. Also, it is a process of keeping you FC at your shock level (for you cya level) until passing the criteria..not a one time event.

    Don't worry about CH for now until you finish the shocking process.

    It will be helpful to get some cya in your pool for the shocking process. Shoot for 30 ppm cya for now. Put it in an old sock in front of a pool return for now.

    Clean the cartridge filters when the pressure goes up 25% from the "clean" pressure. This is an important part of pool maintenance, especially during the shocking process.

    Let us know what questions you have!
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    Wow. I heard you guys were fast with the replies, but that was impressive.

    Didn't know about ammonia. I'll go tomorrow in search of a test.

    Our last pool store test (June 12) showed 24ppm of CYA. For whatever that's worth.

    Thanks!
    27,000 gal. IG vinyl
    Hayward cartridge filter

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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    Our last pool store test (June 12) showed 24ppm of CYA. For whatever that's worth.
    Probably worth absolutely nothing. Trust your own testing.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Our last pool store test (June 12) showed 24ppm of CYA. For whatever that's worth.
    Probably worth absolutely nothing. Trust your own testing.
    +1

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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    Welcome to the forum

    I suggest that this evening you go ahead and bring pool to shock level of FC 10, based on your zero-ish cya test. And, tonight you can run the OCLT.

    With your new test kit you are now in control of your pool!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    I have now shocked my pool! It sparkles!

    It passed the OCLT the second night, and had 0 CC. The water is clear and blue.

    Test results this morning:
    FC 10
    CC 0
    TA 120
    CH 320
    pH 7.5 I think

    I'll test CYA again next week. I'm going to follow the suggestions for daily and weekly maintenance. Anything else I need to do, based on these numbers?
    FC level was 6ppm this evening, so maybe we can swim tomorrow! Thanks for your help.
    27,000 gal. IG vinyl
    Hayward cartridge filter

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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    Forgot to mention the ammonia test, that showed no ammonia.
    27,000 gal. IG vinyl
    Hayward cartridge filter

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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    Congrates

    Have you added cya yet, if not shoot for 50 ppm, but be careful easy add but drain/refill to remove.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    Thanks, Linen. I added all the CYA I had--leftovers from the previous owner--but just a fraction of what Pool Calculator indicated. I figured I would finish the shock process first, and thought it would be good to wait a few more days and test again before I really started adding CYA, so that what I added before would be indicated on the test. Maybe I should add another portion and go from there. I've done enough drain/fill to shock my husband with the water bill.

    I love having my TF-100 test kit. It's fun now, but I can see where it could get a tad bit tedious as the novelty wears off, and the magnetic stirrer will be on my purchase list for next year. But as someone said in this thread, with my own testing, I am in control of my pool! We had a water sample done when we stopped at the pool store for more CYA. It was amazing how different our test results were. They said my chorine level was 8.7 while my testing said 11.5. Their CH results were much lower, and said I should add calcium, while my test said it was already at 320. Hmmm. We've been following their advice and buying their chemicals until I found BBB. Now that our pool is clear and sparkly, my husband is sold on BBB!!
    Thanks, everyone!
    27,000 gal. IG vinyl
    Hayward cartridge filter

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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    I wouldn't wait to long to get cya in there, unless you can be around the pool during the sunlight hours and test and redose (to normal FC levels) often. The problem with low cya is much of the chlorine you put in the pool will not be used on organics but will be used by the UV light from the sun.

    I believe your TF-100 test indicated less than 20 ppm (never blocked the dot) originally? How much more cya did you add from what was "leftover"?

    Do not trust the pool stores results anymore. Your new test kit has the right answers.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    I only added a little--less than 2 cups. That was on Sunday, I believe. According to my novice testing, the level seems to be about 25 today. Chlorine level was down to 3 at noon, so I don't know if that's because it's in full sun with low CYA, or if I should have continued shocking. I'm going to assume it's the low CYA level, since it met the pool shock criteria. So after consulting PoolCalc, I'm going to add 70 oz of CYA, and re-test next week. I read that it takes about a week for additions to show up in the testing. Does it take that long for it to affect chlorine consumption?
    27,000 gal. IG vinyl
    Hayward cartridge filter

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    Quote Originally Posted by kplb4
    Chlorine level was down to 3 at noon, so I don't know if that's because it's in full sun with low CYA, or if I should have continued shocking. I'm going to assume it's the low CYA level, since it met the pool shock criteria.
    I would guess it is sun since your cya is low (may even be lower than 25, since anything below 30 is hard to really measure). I would say if you pool is crystal clear and you CC is still <0.5 ppm, let's see if the cya fixes the problem. You could do a OCLT tonight to confirm if you want, but that is up to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by kplb4
    So after consulting PoolCalc, I'm going to add 70 oz of CYA, and re-test next week. I read that it takes about a week for additions to show up in the testing. Does it take that long for it to affect chlorine consumption?
    Usually not. You can start using the the new cya concentration the day after it disappears from the sock. I get the 70 oz of granular cya will raise your 35000 gallon pool by 15 ppm.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    I have checked chlorine levels each day since I shocked, and adjusted the chlorine, but it had dropped to 3ppm yesterday afternoon, so I added more. Went out today at noon and had algae growing on the sides and bottom of the pool, and cl level of 3ppm. I added 64 oz CYA yesterday, because that's all I had, and the sock is empty today. I'll get more today or tomorrow (it's a bit of a drive to the pool store) because the Calculator says to add 76 oz more, to achieve a level of 50. Filter has been running 24/7. Added a little over a gallon of bleach today, according to my testing and PoolCalculator, and ended up brushing the entire pool in the heat of the day because I just couldn't stand to leave it there until it was cooler. I really didn't expect to have algae grow so quickly. It was only two days ago that it was clear blue and sparkling! I'm going to continue to test throughout the day, to keep the chlorine levels up. I didn't think I needed to brush every day, but perhaps I do, at least for now.

    *What chlorine level should I aim for? It's in full sun all day, CYA is low, though I'm working on that.
    *Should I aim for 60 CYA? I've read that in full sun, CYA levels should be between 60 and 80.
    *Should I expect to add chlorine every day, even when CYA levels are up?

    Interesting discovery side note: The water still looked blue, though a little dull, until I saw it through my polarized sunglasses--then I could see the algae swirl on the bottom as I swept, although I couldn't see it without them. Without the polarization, I could see what was growing on the sides of the pool, nice and green, but not the layer on the bottom.

    Thought I had it under control, but now I wonder...Am I going to have to shock it again???
    27,000 gal. IG vinyl
    Hayward cartridge filter

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    Re: Noob: No longer a frog swamp, but no sparkles

    Quote Originally Posted by kplb4
    I'll get more today or tomorrow (it's a bit of a drive to the pool store) because the Calculator says to add 76 oz more, to achieve a level of 50.
    I would test cya in a couple of days and only add enough to get to 30 ppm for now since you need to do the shocking process.

    Quote Originally Posted by kplb4
    *What chlorine level should I aim for? It's in full sun all day, CYA is low, though I'm working on that.
    Since we don't quite know and what you just added may take a couple days to show up on test, I would assume 30 ppm cya for now and shock accordingly (I get 13 ppm FC for 30 ppm cya from poolcalculator.com).

    Quote Originally Posted by kplb4
    *Should I aim for 60 CYA? I've read that in full sun, CYA levels should be between 60 and 80.
    Not yet, see not above.

    Quote Originally Posted by kplb4
    *Should I expect to add chlorine every day, even when CYA levels are up?
    During the shocking process test and redose back to your shock FC level as often as possible (hourly would be ideal). Once you get done with the shocking process, then it is typical to add chlorine daily, usually in the evening.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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