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Thread: Newbie with a problem. Super long, so I aplogize in adv.

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    Newbie with a problem. Super long, so I aplogize in adv.

    Ok, let me preface this post by saying that I know if I wanted to read through the forum then I'd probably find an answer to my problems. However, patience is not one of my strong suits. Let me also say that I am a complete newbie with a T-total of 3 months experience owning an inherited 3 to 4 year old pool. The only thing I knew about pools before now, was you had to add chlorine and other chemicals and keep them in check (which was a nightmare as described to me). Therefore the intimidation factor was already in affect before I even got started.

    I know just a little about my current pool setup. We bought our house in March and it came with what looks to me like the world's smallest in-ground pool. After having a friend over to show me how to turn it on from the winterized state it was in and clean it, things went great for the first couple of months. The water was clear and I had the chemical levels in the "preferred" range according to the HTH test strips I have. A few weeks ago, the water started turning "cloudy" or "milky" if you prefer. After shocking it once, trying algaecide a couple of times, clarifier once, and some Leslie's Ultra Bright once, I still had no cure. Finally, I broke down and took a pool sample to Leslie's and got my results. Turns out the conditioner level was too high and nothing but time would clear that up. How much time will it take? Crud, I didn't even know what conditioner was before then (CYA after looking it up).

    Here's a breakdown of what I know.

    FC - 3
    TC - 3
    CH - 100
    CYA - 90
    TA - 80
    pH - 7.4
    Copper - 0
    Iron - 0
    Phosphates - 2500 (I know it's super high, but I live in the sticks and I have a living dead frog in my pool most mornings, not to mention all the bugs.)

    Here's what else I know.

    It is a gunite pool in an hour glass shape. It's ~3 ft. in the shallow end to ~5 1/2 ft. in the deep end (my friend who helped guestimated it to be around 10,000 to 11,000 gallons.) I have a Hayward setup, with a 1 1/2 HP Super Pump, a Hayward Pro Series sand filter (not sure on the size, but I have pictures and can find out), a Hayward Chlorine Feeder, and some smaller pump (Simer is the brand?) that looks like all it is for is discharging water maybe? The strainer is Hayward also. It has two (2) "ports" in the bottom of it. The front "port" appears to produce more suction than the other. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to cap the other one when I vacuum or not (tried both ways and it worked both ways), so any advice there would be appreciated.

    The guy at Leslie's told me, which sounds right, that there is nothing I can do to lower the CYA (conditioner) level except to turn down my chlorine feeder and wait and see. What I failed to ask was, how long do I have to wait? Any ideas on how long it will take or other options I have? I read somewhere about draining part or all of the pool and starting over. Does that sound legit? Now that I've turned my chlorine feeder from 4 to 3, I show zero (0) FC when I test with my strips. I would like to use my pool this summer, and so would my 11 year old.

    I know the phosphates are an area of concern and apparently the CH is as well, but my main concern is making it look like a pool I'd want to swim in and not a murky pond. Once I get the water clear, then I'll work on the phosphates and anything else. Where I'm at, I get a lot of dirt/dust blown into the pool, so any advice I can get on dealing with that would be helpful as well.

    I am open to any and all advice/critiquing. I will not get offended by comments, unless they are just direct attacks, so feel free to be constructive in your criticism or comments. I want to thank each and everyone who posts help here in advance. I will actively monitor this post, so I should respond to comments quickly if more information is needed. There is probably more to say than I can remember, so this will be the start, and if I remember anything else, I'll post it. Thanks again.

    Chris
    ~10K gal, IG fiberglass, 1 1/2 HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S220T sand filter, installed around 2009 (already here when house was purchased)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with a problem. Super long, so I aplogize in adv.

    The advice you got is just wrong. Turning down the feeder will reduce the rate that CYA goes up, but will not do anything to reduce CYA. The only practical way to reduce CYA is to replace water, which I recommend you do quite soon. Unless you reduce CYA to something reasonable you will have a very hard time maintaining and appropriate FC level.

    You are using trichlor tablets for chlorine. Trichlor is constantly adding CYA along with chlorine. Eventually your CYA level gets to high and things become problematic. You should think about using a different source of chlorine, perhaps liquid chlorine/bleach which does not contain any CYA.

    Your CH level is low, and long term that will damage the plaster. I wouldn't bother with CH until everything else is taken care of, but you don't want to forget about it.

    By the by, ignore phosphates, it doesn't many any difference as long as you maintain appropriate FC levels.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Newbie with a problem. Super long, so I aplogize in adv.

    Jason,

    The friend of mine who helped me with opening up has been trying very hard since day one to sell me on a salt water generator for my pool. I almost have my wife convinced to drop the money on the setup (though it is very hard to part with that money now that the new mortgage has to be paid.) From what I've read on this site, it seems to be the best way to go.

    Let's play this from both angles. If I drain my pool and keep the setup I have now, do I have to drain the whole darn thing or just a percentage of it (recommendations please)? If I go with a salt water system, would the same amount of water need to be drained? I have a feeling the answer is yes, but I won't know for sure unless I ask.

    I was looking at the Hayward Aqua Rite system (15K cell). The guy at Leslie's was trying to sway me away from salt, but I think that had a lot more to do with him selling me chemicals and less about it's overall effectiveness. He tried to make it sound like handling muriatic acid was scary (could be if you're not careful I guess.)

    Also, what are the recommendations for running your pump. Mine is on a switch and I turn it on in the afternoon's when I get home from work and turn it off at night before I got to bed. Roughly 6 to 8 hours run time daily. Is this sufficient? Is there anything wrong with running it all the time? Will the motor burn up or burn my house down if I leave it running? These are serious questions, though I know they sound elementary.

    Thanks.

    Chris
    ~10K gal, IG fiberglass, 1 1/2 HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S220T sand filter, installed around 2009 (already here when house was purchased)

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    Re: Newbie with a problem. Super long, so I aplogize in adv.

    I've recently installed a SWCG on my pool. The system cost less than $800 for a pool the size I have. At CYA of 90, I'd just leave it where it is, and let it slowly go down via splash-out.

    You are right, mostly you'll just be handling muriatic acid, but there are ways to stabilize that, too. But, it's not hard to handle. It's not the strength of battery acid.

    You are probably running enough time, but if you go SWCG you probably want to get a timer. The only thing you'll hurt by running it all the time is your pocketbook (electricity bill).

    Here's a SWCG for a 26,000 gallon pool. They have a smaller unit, but the price difference is small. The bigger the cell, hopefully the longer it'll last.
    http://www.poolnpatio.net/products/Comp ... llons.html
    $541.00
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with a problem. Super long, so I aplogize in adv.

    For a non-SWG we recommend a CYA of 35-50ppm ... so you need a 50% water replacement*
    For a SWG pool we recommend a CYA of 70-80ppm ... so you need a 20% water replacement*

    *ASSUMING that the 90ppm level you got from the pool store is correct and more often than not ... the pool store screws up that test.

    The first thing you need to buy is one of the good recommended test kits and get the truth on what your levels are.

    All a SWG will do is help you maintain the chlorine in the pool instead of you having to carry bleach bottles and add some almost everyday. It is a convenience and not necessarily a money saver as the cells need replaced every 3-5 years. Also I would recommend going with the 25k cell instead of the 15k as it should last longer.

    Running the pump all day will not hurt anything but your wallet ... although with a SWG you probably will not want to run it 24/7 as it may produce too much chlorine. Ideally you would add a timer so that the pump runs the same amount each day and then you can dial in your SWG production.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with a problem. Super long, so I aplogize in adv.

    You've come to the right place!

    Where do you live?

    How expensive is your water?

    I love my SWG but pool maintenance can be easy without one I've read.

    You and your 11 year old will be swimming soon! Everything you want to know can be learned in Pool School ( link at top of page) but ask away people will answer!

    I would suggest printing out pool school and having your 11 year old read up and become involved, my 5 year old can read the CYA test and loves helping, good basic chemistry lesson too!
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    Re: Newbie with a problem. Super long, so I aplogize in adv.

    If you order the kit and are going to go salt, make sure you get the salt strips or the Taylor salt drop test.
    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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    Re: Newbie with a problem. Super long, so I aplogize in adv.

    Guys,

    Holy mess, when I got home this afternoon, I could see the bottom of my pool for the first time in weeks. It is filthy and now it has a filmy brown substance all over it. I don't know if it is from the Ultra Bright or the Pool Perfect plus Phos Free I used, but apparently my filter didn't catch any of this stuff. I had run the pump constantly for about 56 hours straight over the weekend because I was using the Pool Perfect stuff. I shut it off at about midnight last night and checked it this morning and it still was "cloudy" and I was unable to see the bottom. And now behold, the filth. If I vacuum this evening, will my filter catch it, or will it just settle to the bottom again when I am done?

    Thanks for all your input. I hadn't heard of the Compu Pool brand. Definitely cheaper than what I was looking at, so I'll look into it more closely. I'm also going to look into one of the test kits listed on the site.

    I live in northeast Texas, about an hour northeast of Dallas. I'm probably about as close to Oklahoma as I am to Dallas. I am going to call my water company tomorrow to find out what my rate is, since I'm not sure. Pool School sounds, good and I hate to admit it, but my 11 year old will probably be teaching me things.

    Thanks,

    Chris
    ~10K gal, IG fiberglass, 1 1/2 HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S220T sand filter, installed around 2009 (already here when house was purchased)

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with a problem. Super long, so I aplogize in adv.

    If you can, vacuum the brown stuff to waste and top off with fresh water. This way it's not all in your filter. You will need to add water to replace any vacuumed to waste.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with a problem. Super long, so I aplogize in adv.

    Techguy is right, if you can vacuum to waste, that's the best way to get rid of it. That way it's gone for good and you don't have to rely on your filter catching it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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