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Thread: 2nd year in a house with an older cement pool.

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    MJCP's Avatar
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    2nd year in a house with an older cement pool.

    I found this site last year, and by the end of the year I thought I knew what I was doing. This year I find I'm still not so smart. I'll recount some of the events so far, both as a lesson to other newbies in "what not to do", and also sprinkle in a request for advice, from those who know better.

    1st My pool is a "Bromine" sanitized pool, not my choice it was already that way, and changing over to BBB is still a bit beyond my beginner skills at this point, maybe next year.

    I closed the pool pretty well- drained below everything, covered, then a Leaf net on top. (Previous owner omitted leaf net and I had a major problem last year) Note to self and others: always use the leaf net.

    After removing the leaf net this year, I peeked under the cover - Ughh Green and murky!
    Remembering last year- I thought what the heck - if it's already green and murky and I don't have a zillion leaves this year, forget draining the cover. I pulled it off and half way through the process I realized the pool was really pretty clean, not nearly as bad as it looked at first peak - but by then there was no turning back! the cover was already half off and the water and filth from the cover poured into the pool. Now it was Green and murky!

    The filter started up fine - needed a few tweeks in the plumbing but that was it.
    I started adding Bleach and vacuuming, brushing, skimming (repeat Ad Nauseum)

    It began improving, the green began to fade but not entirely - the water is still very cloudy
    Bromine level is High (5-10) Free Chlorine (5)
    Question: Last year I was sure I had read that shocking a Bromine Pool with Chlorine kind of rejuvinated the Bromine. This seemed to work well for me last year. But I just read on another site that adding Chlorine to a bromine system was Dangerous and a terrible thing to do - Which is correct?

    I got impatient and reasoned that the Shock would not be effective as long as there are leaves, Pine needles, worms and toads at the bottom of the pool. I attacked the "as yet unseeable" bottom with the vacuum. Note to self : never vacuum what you can't see Now I have leaves Pine needles, worms and toads somewhere under my patio, far from the vaccum port and far from the filter - Drain rooter time for me!

    Lesson learned - Short cuts take me far from where I want to be.

    Final question - Will the sanitizer eventually reduce the cloudyness? or is it time for a flocculant?
    15x32 Lazy L Inground / Concrete - 20,000 US Gal 1979 build
    1.0Hp Maxiglass/ Sand Filter, 7th season with Pool
    Painted cement finish repainted 2011
    400,000 btu Pentair Master Temp NG

  2. Back To Top    #2
    OK, I know nothing of bromine pools, but it seems to me if you are already adding bleach, brushing, etc, you could simply sanitize your water with chlorine, and let the bromine go away (if indeed it does go away). I think I would keep hitting it with the bleach. Consistent application of bleach and filtration are usually all that is needed to clear cloudy water!

    Use a leaf rake (the bag-looking skimmer) to get as much debris out of the bottom. If your bleach is busy trying to 'clean' the leaves, that leaves none left to destroy your algae.

    Someone else will probably be around to help with the bromine issues...

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Check out waterbear's bromine pool writeup.

    Converting to chlorine can take months with a bromine pool, depending on the amount of bromine reserve in the pool.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    MJCP's Avatar
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    Update - Pool Cloudiness, Shock don't scare~

    More on this, and more advice for newbies.

    My Daughter Graduated from College yesterday, and this Once in a lifetime event included a Pool Party!
    Yes a Pool Party in Michigan - on May 10th. That was the reason for my panic.

    Everything went very well! The heater brought the water up to 84 ( the fountain was like a Hot shower)
    The pool was Clean, Clear and for the first time since we bought the house, the chemical balance was right where it should be. Even the weather was good. :P

    Since the last panicked message I relearned the following:

    POP - I know it is said here on this site many times, but I will attest to it - Pool Owner Patience (POP) is what solved my problem. Secondly - for us newbies all this BBB discussion from very knowledgeable people finally taught me about a very simple mistake I was making (and made all last season) -----

    I kept scarring my pool!!! adding some bleach then some more bleach, testing then a few days later I would add more bleach ---- They Call it SHOCKING the pool not Scarring the pool! Once I bit the bullet and began adding bleach by the case not by the bottle, my water started cleaning itself. For my 28 - 30,000 gal pool I added 13 gallons of bleach at a time when I shocked it. The Bromine levels shot up to over 10ppm and free chlorine was over 10 (but only for a while). last year after shocking I was lucky if my bromine level was ever 1ppm now the pool seems stable at about 5.

    Once the chemicals were balanced and the pool was clean - the problem I still had was cloudiness. I was going nuts!
    I filtered 24/7 for a week and it was still cloudy, I considered replacing the sand in my filter, everything, then I decided to try shutting off the filter and letting some dirt settle. - POP - after 2 days I knew that was my answer the pool was clearing up and the bottom needed frequent vaccuming, but the morning of graduation the pool was still hazy and I was resigned that it would never be clear. We spent the day at graduation, came home and was thrilled to see the pool had finally cleared.

    I'm sure I will have more problems throughout the year, and learn a lot more, but at least everything worked out well for the one day I needed it to. Now I just can't wait to see the gas bill for turning my pool into a 30,000 gal HOT TUB for 3 days

    MJCP
    15x32 Lazy L Inground / Concrete - 20,000 US Gal 1979 build
    1.0Hp Maxiglass/ Sand Filter, 7th season with Pool
    Painted cement finish repainted 2011
    400,000 btu Pentair Master Temp NG

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Guest
    Just to clarify something, unless you are using bromine tablets and/or adding sodium bromide to the water you might have a chlorine pool by now. If you are adding bromine then even when you add chlorine you will not have chloirne in your pool. It gets converted to chloride ions (salt) as it converts the bromide in your pool into active bromine sanitizer. Many chlorine testers that use a color comparator also ha bromine scale. This is because the same tests test both chlorine AND bromine, only the numbers are different. You can convert a chlorine reading to a bromine reading if you have a bromine system by multiplying the reading by 2.24 (doubling it is close enough for govenerment work and is what is usually done when the comparators have both chlorine and bromine scales.)

    So this means if you test your water with a 'chlorine' test and you get 5 ppm it does not mean that there is chlorine in your pool or spa, even if you just added bleach. It means your bromine is about 10 ppm (10.48ppm).

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    MJCP's Avatar
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    Thx For following up!

    I've read your stickies and understand the basics,

    Yes I use Bromine test strips, that also tell me Free Chlorine readings (I also learned the limitations of strips)
    and Yes I have a Brominator with Tablets.

    The numbers I gave were after I had shocked the pool (a few hours after)

    Last year - when I was only scarring the pool, the bromine level never went higher than 2 after scarring. And rapidly dropped to 0.
    This year when I shock - The bromine level shoots past the last indicator on the strip, Free Chlorine only remains high for a while (as the proccess uses it up it goes down) But so far this method keeps the bromine level in the 2-5 range after it stabilizes and stays there for several days - again a major improvement while I learn to tame the beast.

    The best news was that the pool was fine for my Daughters Graduation Party

    Thanks again for being a contributor here
    15x32 Lazy L Inground / Concrete - 20,000 US Gal 1979 build
    1.0Hp Maxiglass/ Sand Filter, 7th season with Pool
    Painted cement finish repainted 2011
    400,000 btu Pentair Master Temp NG

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