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Thread: New to TFP and need help please!

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    New to TFP and need help please!

    I have a 15' X 4' round Intex pool and seem to be having a serious cloudiness problem I use test strips (hth 6-way test strips) because that is all I can afford at this time. Right now my TA is reading between 180 and 240 and pH is approx. 6.8. For about 2 weeks now, we have been fighting a cloudiness problem. In the morning, after the pump hasn't been running all night, there is patches of cloudy water sitting at the bottom of my pool. I took a sample of water to the local pool store and followed the recommendations that was given to me. A couple of days ago we bought a bigger stronger pump, which I notice circulates the water a LOT better. However, the water is still cloudy and every couple hours I have to go out and clean off the filter because it gets a slight slime build up in it. After doing some research yesterday, I added Muratic Acid (approx. 2 pints) last night. My water is still cloudy and you can actually see little particles floating in the pool. Funds are limited, so any suggestions on what I can do would be greatly appreciated!
    15' X 48" Metal Frame Intex Pool (approx. 6,000 gallons)

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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    your PH is low.. muriatic acid will bring it down.. you want to bring it up. should be around 7.2-7.4 what are your chlorine levels at?
    13500 gallon AG, build late 90's, Hayward S220T sand filter,1Hp aqua coastal
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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    Welcome!~ "slight slime" indicates the need to shock. Raise your PH with borax or PH up and read shocking yor pool in pool school. Run the pump longer is a good guess and keep cleaning your filter.
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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    Right now, apparently the strips are showing no chlorine. Do I add chlorine and shock it at the same time? The chlorine I have has only 10% sodium hypochlorite.
    15' X 48" Metal Frame Intex Pool (approx. 6,000 gallons)

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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    Without knowing your CYA level, it is hard to know how much chlorine you need to add. Test strips are pretty unreliable. The fact is that you may need some CYA in there as you may be losing FC to the sun.

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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    CYA was 0 last night. I added a gallon of chlorine and shocked the pool. I know test strips are unreliable, but that's all I have right now.
    15' X 48" Metal Frame Intex Pool (approx. 6,000 gallons)

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    New to TFP and need help please!

    The problem is with unreliable data from test strips comes unreliable suggestions and recommendations.

    The slime, assuming its algae, needs to be killed with chlorine, how much depends on your CYA level. The water will only clear after all the algae is dead and your filter removes all the debris. If, as you said, you need to rinse or change you filter every two hours, then you need to do that. It will not get clear without filtering out the junk.
    -- 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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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    Thank you techguy!

    Right now my TH is 100, FC is 10/20 (very high, I know), pH is 7.5, TA is 120-180, and CYA is somewhere between 0 and 50. I shocked it last night and added 1 gallon of chlorine (mine is only 10%), when I went out this morning, it looked better until I vacuumed it and stirred up all the cloudiness again
    15' X 48" Metal Frame Intex Pool (approx. 6,000 gallons)

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    New to TFP and need help please!

    Read the Pool School

    Shocking the pool is a process and not a product. To kill the algae, you need to keep the FC high enough to kill the algae. At 0 CYA you need 10ppm CL to effectively kill, at 50 ppm CYA you need 16 ppm. Each time the FC drops, you loose ground, like climbing up the down escalator, you need to kill faster than it grows.

    Read the pool school.
    -- 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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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    After looking over Pool School, I have determined that I apparently have dead algae in my pool. Am I correct in assuming a high FC level will help get rid of this, but that I also need to get my CYA level up as well? What doesn't make sense to me, is that I had Optimizer 100 in a sock in my pool when this problem started to occur. Now I know why people don't get pools...very frustrating!!!
    15' X 48" Metal Frame Intex Pool (approx. 6,000 gallons)

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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    I understand your feelings about pool stores (PS) and the information they offer. One difference between BBB and the PS and service companies is they attempt to manage the pool by making one measurement and an action that's goal is to last a week without any other actions. BBB requires you test and act daily. The PS is frequently using test strips or vendor specific computer to make recommendations on what product you need to buy to meet their standards. BBB users test their own water so they can determine what action is needed today and that only need to last until tomorrow. PS employee , typically, do not understand the CYA/FC relationship so they focus on phosphates and TDS and say you only need 1-2 FC, BBB is all about knowing the effect of CYA on your FC levels and making informed decisions.

    Bottom line, PS is all about making money and getting you to come back next week for testing and more chemicals, BBB is about knowing your own pool and the knowledge required to make educated decisions and actions to make your pool trouble free (and to stay away from pool stores)
    -- 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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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    I went out this morning to check the pool and I could literally see a cloudy slime-like substance sitting on the ladder (walls and floor of pool are not slimy). Yesterday, I unhooked the skimmer basket and screwed on a screen fitting to the outlet of the pool, thinking this would better filter out the cloudiness of the water rather than skimming from the top of the water. The filter was a lot more slimy this morning, so I'm hoping this will work quicker in clearing up my water issue! My chlorine level has dropped down to 5/10, pH is at 6.8, TA is between 120-180, CYA is still between 0-50 leaning more towards 0 probably (hard to determine with these darn strips).

    I have gone through the Pool School, and the only info I saw about algae is clearing up green algae...does anyone have any suggestions for me in how to get this "slime-like" cloudiness out of my pool?
    15' X 48" Metal Frame Intex Pool (approx. 6,000 gallons)

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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    I have gone through the Pool School, and the only info I saw about algae is clearing up green algae.
    Algae is algae....the same procedures apply.

    read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School

    Then, read "How to Shock Your Pool".

    Being very blunt, you are pretty much spinning your wheels with the test strips. They will not provide you the information you need to clear your pool correctly. An equivalent to CYA being somewhere between 0 and 50 might be for the bank to tell you you have somewhere between no money and 500,000 in your checking account and you want to plan a vacation.

    You simply must have better information than the strips can give you. The methods we teach here begin and end with accurate testing and it is almost impossible to give you the information you need without you giving us a valid starting point.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Being very blunt, you are pretty much spinning your wheels with the test strips. They will not provide you the information you need to clear your pool correctly.
    I just read about shocking and the ABCs again. I shocked 2 days ago, which boosted my chlorine level way up, so I figure as long as I maintain my chlorine level and continue to clean my filter and cartridges, I will get to the bottom of this problem (Pool School says it could take about a week).

    I know the test strips are pretty much useless, but that's all I have and all I can afford at this time as we are trying to support a family of 4 on a single income

    My only concern right now is...am I fighting a lost cause by cleaning and reusing my cartridges (I am constantly switching between 3)?
    15' X 48" Metal Frame Intex Pool (approx. 6,000 gallons)

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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    I have no experience with cartridge filters. Others will be along soon.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by cheath76
    I just read about shocking and the ABCs again. I shocked 2 days ago, which boosted my chlorine level way up, so I figure as long as I maintain my chlorine level and continue to clean my filter and cartridges, I will get to the bottom of this problem (Pool School says it could take about a week).

    I know the test strips are pretty much useless, but that's all I have and all I can afford at this time as we are trying to support a family of 4 on a single income

    My only concern right now is...am I fighting a lost cause by cleaning and reusing my cartridges (I am constantly switching between 3)?
    I know of lots of people that clean and re-use their filters. If the filter is getting plugged with algae and other debris, it is doing it's job. Keep your pressures down and you flow up by changing and cleaning your filter.

    As to your CYA, the reading of the test strip of 0-50 ppm is completely useless. I my mind, why bother testing with these. If your CYA is 0 PPM, you need to keep your pool above 10 PPM until all of the algae is dead and filtered out, this would be about 1 big bottle of of Wal-Mart 6% bleach assuming you're near 2ppm to begin. If you water has 50 PPM CYA, you would need to shock at 16 PPM you need 1.7 of those same 182 oz bottles to start.

    You said that two days ago, you were "shocking" the pool, can were assume you meant you added a bag of shock and have since let your CL levels drop back into a range that test strips can (maybe) measure (0-5ppm) if so, you killed some of the algae but in the last two days the stuff you didn't kill off has since multiplied. Someone equated this to climbing the down escalator. If the escalator is moving towards you at a speed of 2 down, you need to move faster than 2 UP just to make no progress. A shock level of CL would be like moving 5 steps up for every two down so you are actually making progress of 3 up and you will get to the top and off the escalator. Adding a bag of shock is like taking five fast steps up and then standing still. You end up where you started and the work you did is wasted.

    To shock your pool, you need to move your CL level to something between 10 and 16 PPM for as long as it takes to kill off and filter out the debris and dead algae. The kits being recommended will tell you know what level you need to get to and how long you need to leave it there,
    -- 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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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    Thank you sooooo much techguy! You are being a huge help!

    Yes, I added a bag of shock and also 1 gallon of chlorine (10%), which raised my FC to at least 10 if not more (since 10 is the highest on the strip). I am at a 5 right now, so I will shock it again tonight, or do I have to wait until the night time? Also, how long should I let my filter run after I shock it? I also noticed my pH dropped to about 6.8...should I do something about this?
    15' X 48" Metal Frame Intex Pool (approx. 6,000 gallons)

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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    Shock it now. Use liquid chlorine to leave your CYA lower.

    The more CYA you add (using bags and pucks of di- and tri) it will make it harder and harder to get to shock levels. The CYA/Chlorine relationship is the most important thing to understand LINK. Your bag "might" be cal-hypo and it won't add CYA but it tends to be much more expensive.

    If it drops back into the Yellow range on the tester block, it has dropped too low and you need more bleach/chlorine. You need to stay in the orange family. To make your testing "better", you could mix your pool water with bottled water 50/50 before adding the drops and double your results (ie. you do a 50/50 mix and your block reads 5, its really about 10-12 ppm). The problem is this is much less accurate and you may find that even at 50/50, you need to stay near orange or a good rich yellow color. This is why the test kits recommended are so important. They are accurate from 0.2 to 50.0 ppm CL in water. The yellow cap OTO drops are only viable when your CL is 0-5 ppm, or less.
    -- 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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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    Well...I have to start all over My liner got a hole in it and of course it was on the bottom!

    I want to make sure I am understanding Pool School correctly:

    After filling my pool, I add bleach to get my FC level up to 6 and then shock it every night for 4 nights to get my CYA level up? It looks like I only need 66 oz. of bleach, which doesn't seem like enough to me. It also looks like I add 2 1/2 to 3 bags of shock a night for 4 nights. This seems like a lot to me. Am I correct? My pool is only 5300 gallons.
    15' X 48" Metal Frame Intex Pool (approx. 6,000 gallons)

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    Re: New to TFP and need help please!

    There isn't anything in PoolSchool about four nights specifically, is there?

    The best thing to do is fill the pool and post test results....you may not need to shock at all.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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