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Thread: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics inside!

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    Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics inside!

    Hi All,

    I picked up a 15'x48" Intex metal frame pool on closeout last season for my kids for Christmas last year. I added an Intex 2650 Sandfilter as well as the Intex SWG, I also put in a Hydro Tools wide mouth in wall skimmer. I just got it all set up finally and I have lots of pics and several questions I'm hoping to get some guidance on. I'll start with pictures of the build etc and end with the questions in another post...



    This is where I decided to put the pool, the rod in the ground was the center point of the pool. My back yard while somewhat level is filled with lots of small ruts/divots and lots of hardpacked dirt and dead grass. I opted to rent a sod cutter to get started.




    Same area from the other side. There you can see the shed that was present when we purchased our house which is the next project on the list as well as a tractor I found behind said shed. I think I am going to try and get it running with my kids as a good lesson in mechanics at some point.

    I opted to level the area and then set the pool down on 1" extruded polystyrene insulation boards with 12"x12" concrete pavers under each foot. The pool came out level all the way around to about 1/4-1/2". Sadly, I can't seem to find any of the actual assembly photos so lets jump to filling..



    Houston, we have a problem.... As you can see I have a well, and a crappy one at that. My iron is greater than 5ppm and manganese is greater than 8ppm, total hardness is 93 grains. I considered having water trucked in, but the only source of non-well water I could find would have cost over $800! So well water will have to work..



    While it was filling I got out the template and razor knife and went to work on the skimmer opening. I tried to create the opening as high on the wall as possible to give me the max depth. I think I measured about 6 times before cutting and held my breath the whole time!





    Another shot of the pool filling, Yes my water still sucks! The pool took a day and a half to fill basically and finished about 8PM. I turned the Intex sandfilter on and let it run all night. By the next day the water was clear but still the wrong color.



    More filtering and 32oz of sequestrant later The pool was clearer and a new color!



    Another 32oz of sequestrant, more filtering and we had more of a change. At this point I thought I was well on my way.



    Up until this point I was only running the sandfilter so I got out the SWG and proceeded to start with the install.. Here is a shot of the widemouth skimmer installed, I added the small stake under the bottom because when it was running it sagged a bit from the weight of the skimmer and water. With the stake in place it is level and very stable.



    A couple shots of the completed pump/SWG install.



    At this point it was about 8pm so I set the SWG to run for 10 hours and called it a night. When I awoke the next morning things had changed again, Which leads me to my questions in the next post and even more pictures!
    Intex 15'x48" Metal Frame Pool with a Hydrotools Wide Mount through wall skimmer installed. Intex 2650 Sand Filter and Intex SWG with copper plate unplugged.

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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    So the SWG ran for 10 hours last night and when I awoke this morning I had yet another new color, sadly it was still not the right one!



    Thankfully my wife pointed out that on the bright side it was still very clear

    I am going to assume a few things at this point, one is that the SWG kicking out chlorine all night is what generated the color change to a much darker shade. I busted out my TF-100 Test kit and took down my readings.

    FC:1
    CC:0
    PH:7.8 ( I had already been aerating for awhile to bring the ph up as I knew I was going to have to knock it down due to very high TA)
    TA:500
    CH:1400
    CYA:0 I haven't added any at all yet
    Borates:0
    I also added 110lbs of salt per the Intex manual to put my salt level at optimum for the SWG.

    So tonight my readings were the same, color of the pool was very similar after running the filter all day, I even tried the paper towel trick I read in another thread. I added another 32oz of sequesterant ( that's 96oz total so far for the folks counting at home) and backflushed the filter again. This time I had the camera ready so I could get some cool pics!



    Isn't it pretty?

    Anyway, time for my questions. I noticed after running the SWG all night the cell looked like this.


    I'm going to assume it's not supposed to look that bad after 10 hours, is it?

    Anyone have any ideas on how I can get my water to actually be clear? I'm getting concerned about the amount of sequesterant I've already added and the prospect of adding more has me worried about how safe it will be for my kids to actually get in it.

    And to end my rambling I have to add that I am seriously glad I opted for the speedstir in my TF-100 test kit, if I had to mix all these drops by hand I'd prolly call it quits lol! Any chance in the future we could get a box that has space for the speedstir in it as well if you order them together? I've started leaving the little magnet in the kit as I am worried I will lose it otherwise.

    Thanks for listening as well as for having such a great site! Additionally any help/suggestions are welcome!
    Intex 15'x48" Metal Frame Pool with a Hydrotools Wide Mount through wall skimmer installed. Intex 2650 Sand Filter and Intex SWG with copper plate unplugged.

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    david_22_33's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    Hi! Welcome to TFP. I'm new hear two but have had excellent success in the few weeks I've been working on my pool. I went from a green swamp to a sparkling oasis! If you haven't already, I recommend you read pool school pool-school/pool_water_chemistry and any other topics that might relate to getting started. Just off the top of my head, I think you need to take the SWG out of the mix and shock with bleach. If I'm running the numbers right, you need about 5 gallons of bleach to bring your shock level to 24 (Assuming you bring your CYA up to 60). Next, your TA and CH are off the charts. You can bring your TA down but if you're not willing to bring in water I don't know what you can do about the high CH levels.
    30,000 gallons, Aquarite salt system, 72 sq ft Hayward DE filter, Stonescape Pebble finish, Hayward Eco Star Variable speed pump (water fall), Hayward Tristar Variable speed pump (pool),
    Hayward 400,000 BTU Heater, 7' high rock waterfall/mini grotto/slide, 80 sq ft Baja bench, Belgard pavers and coping, Hayward LED colorlogic light

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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    Welcome to TFP!

    I am pretty certain that we can get you cleared up. Do you have all of your test numbers? We need actual values on your metals if possible, as well as pH, calcium hardness, FC, CC, CYA, and TA.

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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    Quote Originally Posted by 257WbyMag
    Welcome to TFP!

    I am pretty certain that we can get you cleared up. Do you have all of your test numbers? We need actual values on your metals if possible, as well as pH, calcium hardness, FC, CC, CYA, and TA.

    Hi, test results were at the end of my second post but I have new numbers from just now. Sadly, I can't test with greater accuracy at the moment for the metals, but the results I do have show greater than 5ppm for iron, greater than 8ppm for manganese, and trace amounts for copper, and arsenic.

    Current results:

    Temp: 82.7 (I'm assuming the calculator wants water temp, not air temp correct?)

    FC:1.5
    CC:0
    PH:7.8
    TA:480
    CH:1400
    CYA:0 (Still haven't added any yet)
    Borates:0
    Salt: 3000ppm

    Last night I added 20oz of MA and it looks like it dropped the TA by 20. I aerated the pool all night and just added another 20oz of MA and am continuing to aerate. The pool has moved from a dark but very clear shade of brown to a much lighter shade. My wife says it looks like very weak tea at this point but it is very clear. I'm guessing there really isn't anything else I can do aside from continuing to add more sequestrant until it clears completely, which is getting expensive pretty quickly lol.
    Intex 15'x48" Metal Frame Pool with a Hydrotools Wide Mount through wall skimmer installed. Intex 2650 Sand Filter and Intex SWG with copper plate unplugged.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    Welcome to tfp, rclifton

    I think you are on the right track, when you turned on your swg, the water got darker due to more metal precipitate, but as you noted, still was clear, just tinted.

    So from that and your high fill water CH (and TA) I see two issues for you:

    1. I have not seen CH as high as you have, so although it might be possible to maintain your pool with it, it will take work, especially since you want to use an swg. I used pool calculator to calculate your csi (calcite saturation index)value and I got 1.5 (which is the highest I have seen). Generally you want to keep this index below 0.6. But this is not the end to the world. If trucking in water is not an option, then you will need to get TA down and keep your ph down around 7.2 religiously. Here is the article for lowering TA: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...l%20alkalinity Here is the article to help you understand csi: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...alcium_scaling

    I would turn off the swg off until you get your csi value down and just use chlorine to chlorinate for now.

    2. Metals. If you are willing to be patient, you can try to filter that metal out. It works for me, but does not work for everyone...only time would tell. Use the paper towel trick as well. You may find it takes too long and you need more sequesterant to speed it up though. I would guess it will take a minimum of 2 weeks...maybe more if you are able to filter.
    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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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    By the way, I am sorry to drop the fairly advanced topic of csi on you, but with your test numbers and the swg, I felt you should know up front. Normally vinyl pool owners do not need to worry about csi, including most of the swg users as well. My past experience with high CH and high TA caused my swg to get deposits on the plates quickly, rendering it useless until I dropped TA.
    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: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Welcome to tfp, rclifton

    I think you are on the right track, when you turned on your swg, the water got darker due to more metal precipitate, but as you noted, still was clear, just tinted.

    So from that and your high fill water CH (and TA) I see two issues for you:

    1. I have not seen CH as high as you have, so although it might be possible to maintain your pool with it, it will take work, especially since you want to use an swg. I used pool calculator to calculate your csi (calcite saturation index)value and I got 1.5 (which is the highest I have seen). Generally you want to keep this index below 0.6. But this is not the end to the world. If trucking in water is not an option, then you will need to get TA down and keep your ph down around 7.2 religiously. Here is the article for lowering TA: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...l%20alkalinity Here is the article to help you understand csi: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...alcium_scaling


    I would turn off the swg off until you get your csi value down and just use chlorine to chlorinate for now.

    2. Metals. If you are willing to be patient, you can try to filter that metal out. It works for me, but does not work for everyone...only time would tell. Use the paper towel trick as well. You may find it takes too long and you need more sequesterant to speed it up though. I would guess it will take a minimum of 2 weeks...maybe more if you are able to filter.

    Thanks for the links! I had read and was already attempting the lowering of TA, it has been a bit difficult as the calculator gives me an amount of acid to add and I guess in the beginning I was expecting a bit more of a drop than around 20 TA per cycle. One question I do have is, should I add any CYA at this point and if I remove the SWG for now what FC number should I be shooting for? 3-5? I have already tried the paper towel trick but they get satuarated very quickly, going out every hour or so is doable, every 15 mins to change the paper towels is not lol. Anything else I could do to add some mechanical filtration into the mix? On the plus side the sequestrant seems to be binding to alot of the metal and sticking in the sandfilter, I've been backflushing in the morning and at night and it is a very bright orange which I assume means alot of the metal is actually being filtered out completely. On the down side it means I'm adding even more crappy fill water...


    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    By the way, I am sorry to drop the fairly advanced topic of csi on you, but with your test numbers and the swg, I felt you should know up front. Normally vinyl pool owners do not need to worry about csi, including most of the swg users as well. My past experience with high CH and high TA caused my swg to get deposits on the plates quickly, rendering it useless until I dropped TA.

    No problem I appreciate the links and the info, I'm reading up on CSI now and will go and disconnect the SWG for the time being. I do not want to ruin it in less than a week!

    Thanks for all the advice so far, I'm open to any and all suggestions at this point as well!
    Intex 15'x48" Metal Frame Pool with a Hydrotools Wide Mount through wall skimmer installed. Intex 2650 Sand Filter and Intex SWG with copper plate unplugged.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    What you are trying to do is not for the faint of heart but it is doable, and I think you already have a good handle on the issues. I would personally see it as a challenge that would be fun

    Quote Originally Posted by rclifton
    One question I do have is, should I add any CYA at this point and if I remove the SWG for now what FC number should I be shooting for? 3-5?
    I would add at least 30 ppm cya using the old sock in front of a pool return method. For using bleach/liquid chlorine, poolcalculator.com gives me 1-3 ppm FC for 0 cya and 2-6 ppm FC for 30 ppm cya. Once you start getting the cya into the pool, which can take awhile, 1-2 days later, even it has not all dissolved you can start using te 30 ppm cya FC level.

    Quote Originally Posted by rclifton
    Anything else I could do to add some mechanical filtration into the mix?
    When I running my previous pool with the cheapo intex A size cartridge, used one of the water filter jars and a separate pump on a separate plumbing loop. It did the job, since the intex cartridge would not. When I moved to my agp, I had plans to incorporate a whole house wound filter in the mix, but found that the sand filter did it fine without.

    Looking at your last picture, I do not think you have an organic issue...but, you may want to confirm using an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test (OCLT). See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...rnight_fc_test If you decide to do it, I would raise your FC up to 10 ppm (per poolcalculator shock value for 0 cya) to make sure you get a good test.
    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: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    What you are trying to do is not for the faint of heart but it is doable, and I think you already have a good handle on the issues. I would personally see it as a challenge that would be fun

    Quote Originally Posted by rclifton
    One question I do have is, should I add any CYA at this point and if I remove the SWG for now what FC number should I be shooting for? 3-5?
    I would add at least 30 ppm cya using the old sock in front of a pool return method. For using bleach/liquid chlorine, poolcalculator.com gives me 1-3 ppm FC for 0 cya and 2-6 ppm FC for 30 ppm cya. Once you start getting the cya into the pool, which can take awhile, 1-2 days later, even it has not all dissolved you can start using te 30 ppm cya FC level.

    Quote Originally Posted by rclifton
    Anything else I could do to add some mechanical filtration into the mix?
    When I running my previous pool with the cheapo intex A size cartridge, used one of the water filter jars and a separate pump on a separate plumbing loop. It did the job, since the intex cartridge would not. When I moved to my agp, I had plans to incorporate a whole house wound filter in the mix, but found that the sand filter did it fine without.

    Looking at your last picture, I do not think you have an organic issue...but, you may want to confirm using an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test (OCLT). See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...rnight_fc_test If you decide to do it, I would raise your FC up to 10 ppm (per poolcalculator shock value for 0 cya) to make sure you get a good test.
    Thanks again for all the help, I agree about viewing it as a challenge, especially since I've got a few folks who have AGP's much bigger than ours telling me it's not going to be possible and I'm wasting my time/money etc...

    Just come from testing again, and the pool has now changed from a clear light brown to a very clear light yellow color just since this morning. PH was at 7.5 and TA had dropped to 440. Added another 24oz of MA per the calculator and continued with aeration. So if I can do this perhaps 3 more times today I may get the TA below 400 by tonight! I am very glad at this point I bumped up to the 2650 filter/pump combo as I think with a smaller pump I'd be much further behind then where I am right now. With this setup I can get the whole surface of the pool chopping very well which I'm sure is doing an excellent job of bringing the PH back up quickly for another round of acid.

    Thanks for all the advice/encouragement, I'll post a couple pics in just a few. I am shocked at what the SWG cell looks like after less than 48 hours in the pool! It looks like it's been at the bottom of a swamp for a couple years!
    Intex 15'x48" Metal Frame Pool with a Hydrotools Wide Mount through wall skimmer installed. Intex 2650 Sand Filter and Intex SWG with copper plate unplugged.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    My neighbor was able to clear his 16' intex of precipitated metals with the intex 1600 gph, but I am sure it is faster with the 2650.

    I am not sure what you are seeing on the swg...is it slimy? I do know running where you were would likely build up scale on the plates rendering them ineffective until cleaned.
    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: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    Here's a couple photo's from just now. The color has changed over to a yellow as I said earlier and appears even lighter than it was just a couple hours ago. Could the lower TA/PH be affecting the color as well? Or is it more likely I've just gotten over the hump and the sequestrant is reaching the right level for the metal content contained in the water?

    New tests show PH is 7.2 and TA is 420 now. I'll wait till PH gets back to 7.5 before adding more MA.



    Intex 15'x48" Metal Frame Pool with a Hydrotools Wide Mount through wall skimmer installed. Intex 2650 Sand Filter and Intex SWG with copper plate unplugged.

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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    Just two things to add:

    1) having never heard of the "sock" method for putting the stabilizer in the pool, my first reaction was "this is the dumbest thing I have ever heard." Turns out... jokes on me. Works like a charm. I got the HTH brand stabilizer from Walmart and I filled up a sock. Within a few hours, it was empty and ready for the second filling. AWESOME trick.

    and

    2) I read in your second post that there are levels of arsenic SO, when you have your pool party .. I'll be washing my hair that day


    You got quite the task at hand. Your TA and CH are ridiculous. Best of luck, sir. I'll be watching this one.
    Ottawa, Canada
    15' x 30' x 54" Oval Above Ground Vinyl Pool
    Salt Water Generator, Hayward 150CC Cartridge Filter
    2 speed 1.5HP Matrix pump

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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    We ran our water for the pool out of our pond - talk about black - ugh - ran
    a week with the sand filter only. And threw in 3 bags of shock - and that
    is what started to clear it up. It was once the brownish color you have as well
    - then after the shock had time to work. We started testing it - ended up
    buying a bag of baking soda to get levels up. And one cholorine tablet
    to get everything going.

    200 lbs of salt - I threw in - pool is sparking clean
    wishing you the best of luck

    Attaching pics of our pool - in steps -
    There is hope - good luck
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20 x 48 Intex Ultra Frame
    Sand filter with SWG attached.
    Deck added on (05/18/2013)
    Thinking about adding more deck
    Pool steps added in - (got rid of that crappy ladder that came with Intex pool) 05/18/2013.

    "A little bit of paradise in our yard"

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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    I am not sure what you are seeing on the swg...is it slimy? I do know running where you were would likely build up scale on the plates rendering them ineffective until cleaned.

    I'm not sure "slimey" is what I'd call it. Not really sure what it is. Here are a couple pics. This was after just a day and a half in the water and 10 hours total run time.



    This is looking into the cell, The copper block is on the right.



    This is some of the stuff I fished out of just one end, the darker stuff is actually kind of hard where as the other stuff is very soft, wet and squishy lol.

    Anyway, the TA is continuing to drop with a lot of effort. I'm down to a TA of 320 now and have started to notice it is taking much more time to bring the PH up after each acid cycle. should I assume this is the buffering effect of the lower TA starting to come into play?
    Intex 15'x48" Metal Frame Pool with a Hydrotools Wide Mount through wall skimmer installed. Intex 2650 Sand Filter and Intex SWG with copper plate unplugged.

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    It's getting there!

    TA hit 200 last night, so it's well on it's way. I've used 2 gallons of sequestrant at this point lol, but the water is soooo close to being cystal clear, just a slight yellow tint left!!

    Intex 15'x48" Metal Frame Pool with a Hydrotools Wide Mount through wall skimmer installed. Intex 2650 Sand Filter and Intex SWG with copper plate unplugged.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Yet another newb with a new pool, questions and pics ins

    How does it look? did it ever get cleared!?
    15' X 36" intex quickset pool

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