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Thread: New to the forum!

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    warthogcrewchief's Avatar
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    New to the forum!

    Howdy all!



    My wife decided it was time to get a "real" pool...instead of those little 4 foot round kiddie pools. We (she) decided the best option was to stick inexpensive...so we went with a "Summer Escape" (aka: Walmart) 12' x 36" round AG pool. If my calculations are correct, its close to 2,000 gallons. (The Water company is going to LOVE me this month.) I filled the pool last night and took care of a few leaks and am now working on getting my chemistry degree in backyard experimentation!

    I have read Pool School and found the calculator. Although, I'm still a Newbie at this and am treading water cautiously.

    I purchased an HTH starter kit for Pop-up & AG pools before I found this site. I am now seeing that I'm not too fond of it...as the directions tend to be confusing as they often contradict each other from package to package (i.e.: in order to do step A, you must do step C first..in order to step C, you must do Step D first, But to do step D you have to do step A).

    The kit comes with
    - 1 lb of HTH Shock N' Swim for pop-up pools
    - 1 lb HTH Chlorinating Granules for Pop-up pools
    - 15 oz. HTH stablizer & Conditioner for Pop-Up pools
    - 10 HTH test strips

    The test strips are basically just a "litmus" test for the pool..and only tests FC/Bromine, pH, and TA. I'm thinking that since it's lacking in the tests...I'm going to go out and find a drop test that has at least six different tests.

    The results with untreated water:

    pH: aprox 7.5
    TA: 40 ppm
    FC/Bromine: 0/0

    After treating with aprox. 4 oz of Chlorinating granules, the test results (an hour after treating w/ pump on):

    pH: between 7.2 and 7.5
    TA: between 40 and 80
    FC/Bromine: between 1/2 and 2/4

    Looks like I'll need to add just a little more Chlorinating granules to bring it up (goal of 3 for FC). I think I'll need to buy some HTH Alkalintiy Plus to bring the TA up to an appropriate level (goal of around 100).

    Does this sound correct? I know that I should add some stabilizer & conditioner once I have the FC, TA and pH set up.

    Am I missing anything?

    Thanks!
    Polygroup "Summer Escapes" AG 12'x3' round, 2500 gal capacity, ABS construction w/ steel exterior frame, aprox. 500 gph pump.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum!

    Welcome to TFP!!

    It sounds like you're on your way. Reread Pool School (I tell that to everyone. I think I read it 5 times before everything started to click.), only focus on how to chlorinate your pool and the ABCs of Pool water chemistry.

    The HTH kit you used is fine to start, but with a pool volume as small as yours, you're going to need to stop putting in powdered chlorine. Just one pound of dichlor or trichlor will raise the CYA in your pool to 30. What are the ingredients on the "shock" and granules you put in already? For a truly trouble free pool, you're going to want to switch to plain bleach or 12.5% liquid chlorine soon.

    As soon as you know your CYA level (once you get the ingredients from the package, we should be able to estimate it), you'll want to bring your FC level to the appropriate range. See this chart.

    As for tests,the collective forum recommends either the Taylor K2006 or TF100. I have the TF100 - it's more expensive, but you get more bang for your buck. No matter what you get, it's important to be able to test for pH, TA, CH, CYA, and FC/CC. The last one is the most important. You're going to want a test kit that contains an FAS-DPD kit to test for both FC and CC - that one is important because of it's accuracy up to 50ppm.

    If any of this doesn't make sense, please ask questions. We want your pool to be simple to maintain so that your family can enjoy it.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    warthogcrewchief's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum!

    Thank you, I'm trying the "experiment", and so far so good. I am slightly frustrated with the inaccuracies of the 4-way (actually only 3-way) test strip from HtH. I plan on getting the drop kit from my local pool store once I run out of test strips (another day or so) and when my approving official (aka: wife) allows me to spend more money on her project.

    Sunday: I found a local pool shop, and used some of the tips I found online (one of which is free testing). I had the pool shop test the water. They said most was pretty good, but I needed 1.5 lbs of baking soda to bring up the TA, and drop 1 lb of shock, and that the pH was perfect at 7.2. So, I added the baking soda and 1 lb of HTH's shock n' swim. (note: the pool store doesn't recommend HTH "aka: walmart brand"). Since I had it on hand, I used it up.

    I tested the water an hour later, and the numbers looked good. TA was up to a good level, FC was up to around 3 and PH didn't change.

    Fast Forward to the end of the day: lots of sun, kids swimming for an hour or two. FC dropped down to zero, so I used up the rest of the clorinating granules (aprox 12 oz), and put 2 oz of HTH's stabilizer and conditioner in the filter area.

    Monday: Checked it this morning and this afternoon, FC was around 2, TA was around 80-100, and pH was around 7.0-7.5.

    I used up the last of the test strips today...so I guess I'll be looking into the drop kit either tonight or tomorrow.

    You asked about the ingredients I added:

    Shock & Swim: 47.6% Calcium Hypochlorite and 52.4% of other ingredients. (Minimum Available Chlorine= 45%)
    Chlorinating Granules: 47.6% Calcium Hypochlorite and 52.4% of other ingredients. (Minimum Available Chlorine= 45%)
    Stabilizer & Conditioner: 96% Cyanuric Acid, 4% inert ingredients
    Polygroup "Summer Escapes" AG 12'x3' round, 2500 gal capacity, ABS construction w/ steel exterior frame, aprox. 500 gph pump.

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    Re: New to the forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by warthogcrewchief
    Thank you, I'm trying the "experiment", and so far so good. I am slightly frustrated with the inaccuracies of the 4-way (actually only 3-way) test strip from HtH. I plan on getting the drop kit from my local pool store once I run out of test strips (another day or so) and when my approving official (aka: wife) allows me to spend more money on her project.
    Be careful. Hardly any pool stores carry the Taylor K-2006. Some carry the K-2005, but that is not the same thing. You may need to order your test kit online and if you get it from TFTestkits, they are very fast to get it out to you.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    warthogcrewchief's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum!

    Since we ran out today of our cheap test strips, I went back to Wal-mart (as the only place open at 11pm) and got the 3-way drop test kit and a 6-way strip test kit. Since the strip kit reads FC and the drop kit reads TC, I could then do the math the figure out the CC. I've read that the OTO shouldn't be used, but I figure it's better than nothing in a pinch. I do plan to order the TF-100 as it seems to be the most tests for the cheapest price (almost half). So, once my wife and I budget it in the next pay period, I'll be ordering that.

    As for my results after the kiddos played for two or three hours tonight:

    TH: 200
    FC: 0
    TC: 0
    PH: 7.6
    TA: 120
    CYA: 0

    The Calculator said to add 21 oz of 6% bleach, and 13 oz (weight) of stabilizer. Well, I had just enough of that HTH stabilizer to add, and I also added the 21 oz. of bleach. I'll test it again in the morning to see if the results are nicer.

    I do think I am starting to get the hang of this...and reading about BBB sounds a lot nicer on my pocketbook than going to Leslie's once a week.
    Polygroup "Summer Escapes" AG 12'x3' round, 2500 gal capacity, ABS construction w/ steel exterior frame, aprox. 500 gph pump.

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    warthogcrewchief's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum!

    I'm guessing that the CYA and the FC are down to zero because I didn't shock it today. I do remember reading about the "4-day" prep requiring the shocking of the water for 4 days in a row.
    Polygroup "Summer Escapes" AG 12'x3' round, 2500 gal capacity, ABS construction w/ steel exterior frame, aprox. 500 gph pump.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: New to the forum!

    [attachment=1:1kqrzuam]Pool on 6-22-11 003 resize.jpg[/attachment:1kqrzuam][attachment=0:1kqrzuam]100_8182 resize.JPG[/attachment:1kqrzuam]
    Quote Originally Posted by warthogcrewchief
    I'm guessing that the CYA and the FC are down to zero because I didn't shock it today. I do remember reading about the "4-day" prep requiring the shocking of the water for 4 days in a row.
    Hi warthogcrewchief and welcome to TFP!
    The 4 day shocking was to add the CYA, you don't need to do this if you add CYA and bleach or higher % liquid chlorine separately.

    About the CYA, once you put it in, it doesn't go away except through splash out and drain and refilling. The only other way is sometimes it will disappear after a full winter season of being closed up. (bigger pools that are not taken down)

    Shocking is NOT needed on a fresh fill if you get the chlorine up right away and get enough CYA in there to protect it from the sunlight from depleting your chlorine.

    My first pool was a '15 X "48 Intex. I was constantly going to the pool store for testing and buying chemicals.
    Pool store always said I needed this and that and then the next week the pool store said I need to do this now....$$ out the door like every week!
    I was really was never happy with the water clarity, other than the day I filled it!
    I just about got rid of it, but thanks to TFP, I now have a bigger one and really enjoy life now with a perfect pool all the time!
    Beginning the 2nd season I wanted to learn more about pool chemistry myself...with some goggling I landed here after going through several other sites!
    It became very apparent after some reading that I needed to do my own testing and stay out of the pool store. I purchased the TF-100 and followed the instructions here:
    what-we-need-to-know-to-answer-your-questions-t10341.html
    I got a overwhelming amount of responses of help! At that moment I knew I was in the right place!
    The TF-100 is the best tool in my toolbox, it will fix just about any problem I have and will never have!
    This may seem hard at first (was for me) but we all have been in your shoes before so post here with your TF-100 results and we will help (give back to TFP for saving me)
    In 3 months of BBB I was just spending under $10 month to have a perfect pool all the time with no problems other than a couple of broken hoses, buying a better net and a wall brush.
    This link is now one of my favorites, as without this forum, I wouldn't have a pool!
    click-here-to-become-a-troublefreepool-com-supporter-t183.html

    First Intex pool...

    2nd pic of our 21' "Swim N Play" that I bought off Craigslist and rebuilt it!


    Chuck
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
    I am a Platinum contributor because I want everyone who comes here to Trouble Free Pool to have the same success that I enjoy with my pool and family.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    warthogcrewchief's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum!

    Thanks for the links. I'm going to have to become a TFP supporter! I'll just have to wait until my wife and I can budget it in.

    After a little help from the calculator last night, I added 21 oz of bleach last night, and brought up the FC to 3 or 4 this morning. It also brought down the pH, so I had my wife put some borax (7oz) to bring up the pH.

    When I checked it at noon, the pH was about 7.5 and the FC was almost at zero. So I hit it with 10 oz of bleach (3/4 of what the calculator called for). It's now up to about an FC of 3.

    TA is at 120.

    CYA is around 20-30.

    I'll have to get some more CYA this evening and continue to build it up slowly until I get it where I want while I continue to add Clorox (6%).

    I'm thinking as soon as I get the good kit, I'll be able to get more accurate results...which will make this easier to do.

    Thanks again for all the help!
    Polygroup "Summer Escapes" AG 12'x3' round, 2500 gal capacity, ABS construction w/ steel exterior frame, aprox. 500 gph pump.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: New to the forum!

    Follow pool school for above ground pools.....it has never failed me. The four night routine is meant to get chlorine in the pool plus build up CYA over four days, not shock it. I follow this then move to just bleach and borax, I only get to keep my pool up for two months being up north but it starts crystal clear and ends crystal clear. However, since you are in TX you made need a CYA of around 40 to prevent your cholrine from burning quickly given the amount of heat and sun you get.
    Intex 16x48 Ultra Frame
    5100 gallons
    Intex Sand Filter and Pump
    BBB Bliss Baby!

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