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Thread: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

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    deesha23's Avatar
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    Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Hello all!

    My husband and I bought our new house and moved in on May 1 of this year. The home has an inground pool and we have never owned a pool before. When we moved in, the pool had been "opened early" because we requested in our sale contract that it be up and running and clean when we took possession. Within a week of moving in, our pool was green. We quickly realized that we would need some help in learning the ropes so we hired a local pool company to come on a biweekly basis. The first month went really well, although expensive. They charged us $250 to "open" the pool and then $100 for each following visit. But for a month we had a beautiful, blue, sparkling clean pool. We are ending our 2nd month since we bought the pool and the last 30 days has been MUCH different than the first.

    The pool has been green consistently for almost four weeks. I am sure that our triple digit temps every day have been a contributing factor. But, needless to say, I am done paying a pool company to have a green pool. I called them today to cancel the service. They tried to argue with me, saying that I need to replace the sand in my filter but couldn't tell me with any degree of certainty that there is algae in the filter. Then they said I need a new liner, that it is causing the green appearance. I disagree. I know the problem is the water. I just don't know what to do with it.

    So, I have printed the entire Pool School book and I will read it from cover to cover this evening. As of right now, the water is aqua/green and cloudy. We have been using chlorine tablets and dumping anywhere from 2-8 bags of shock in every few days. I am anxious to learn a new, better way to care for our pool.

    So my question is, should I do ANYTHING before I read the book? I have a 6 way test kit from Walmart. We are really running low on money after all the moving and extra expenses. Can I buy a kit that covers what this one doesn't or do I need a whole new kit?

    Thank you so much in advance.
    Deesha
    Southern Oklahoma, 35,000 gallons, Sand filter, Inground, Vinyl liner, 20 year old pool, First time pool owner

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    The Walmart kit is decent, but it is lacking one VERY important test. The FAS-DPD chlorine test (you can order it here: http://tftestkits.net/FAS-DPD-Chlorine- ... t-p47.html).

    Given that you have been using pucks and "shock" (we use that as a verb and not a noun BTW). If the powder was dichlor, then likely your CYA (stabilizer) level is too high and your FC was too low to effectively kill the algae.

    Order the test and then read your new book a few times and you will start to understand what I just said.

    Do a full set of tests with your kit and report the results. If the CYA is too high, the only solution is to replace water ... that could be done before you have the FAS-DPD test.

    By any chance did you copy all of Pool School to a document/pdf or did you just print each article?

    BTW: There is rarely a reason to have to replace your sand.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    deesha23's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Thanks so much for the response Jason!

    So....I read the book. Which I copied and pasted onto a Word document, BTW. And I actually do have a much better understanding now of what to look for and why I am looking.

    I did my Walmart test this evening and, just as you suspected, my CYA is ridiculous high. The test only allows up to 100, but based on the lines for the lower, if used in reverse, I would "guess" that it is somewhere between 130-140. Ugh. We have a 35,000 gallon pool. Draining 50-60% is just not an option right now. This new house has increased our electric bill from $130 average to now a $480 average. I can't even imagine what our water bill would be to refill 20,000 gallons. We may just have to live with the algae fight for the next month and drain some before we close the pool and some when we reopen.

    My other results were great!
    TC 4ppm
    PH 7.2
    TA 100

    Total Hardness - It never really registered, put in 50 drops and still didn't get a blue reaction.

    Any other advice is welcome!!!

    Thanks again!
    Southern Oklahoma, 35,000 gallons, Sand filter, Inground, Vinyl liner, 20 year old pool, First time pool owner

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Living with the high CYA is going to be tough, since the required shock level of FC it's going to be in the 40ppm range.

    You can redo the CYA test using a 50/50 split of tap and pool water to start and then double the reading to get a better idea just how high it is.

    If you are going to try to live with it, which I can not recommend, you can start the shock process you read about ... Although you will need the FAS-DPD test to read the high FC levels ... Get extra reagent as that will take a lot of drops for each test.

    Btw it is easy to determine the water cost by looking at your bill. Likely it is less than a penny a gallon ... which will still add up but make pool life much easier.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    The problem is a TC of 4 with a CYA in excess of 100 is almost impossible to kill algae. It requires at least 10 ppm to maintain a clean, clear pool with a cya of 130. To clean a pool with that cya will require at least 30 PPM to start shocking the pool and with a starting point of 4 and 35K gallons, that is 15 gallons of 6% bleach (about $45 at Walmart) or 7.5 gallons of pool store 12.5%, $60 at my store for 8 gallons). This is assuming you have a CYA=130. Witht eh CYA test, once the reading is over 100PPM, it could easily be 200-300 PPM.

    I know the kits from Wal-Mart came with enough CYA fluid for two tests. If you want to swim in the pool at all this year, you will need to get your CYA under control. If you want to try, you could take your pool water and mix it with an equal amount of bottled water and re-run the CYA. This must be done in sunlight with your back to the sun to get accurate readings. The answer you get will one-half the actual value with a high margin of error.

    Let us know what you decide to do... but I would assume you need to replace at least 50% if not 75% of the water.

    opps.. he was faster.
    -- 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: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    The water may be cheaper than the chlorine required to kill your swamp. I know mine was last year. It was cheaper to buy new water than the bleach to clean it. I could have called my water company to ask how much it would cost me for my 10K gallons.

    Spelling/meaning fix
    -- 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: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you think your CYA is 130-140 it likely may be much higher, the best way to test is to dilute a sample of pool water 1 to 1 with CYA free water (tap water works), then run the test again and multiply the result by 2, while this will introduce some error, it will hopefully have the test closer to its easier to read and more accurate range.

    Also while I understand money is tight, the choice at this point in time is leave it like it is or to drain a large portion of the water (we don't know exactly how much, but likely well over half, if you right on your 140 number your looking at more like 3/4 drain. ( I note you say in your first message that your pool is in ground, and in your last signature you say above ground, which one is it, as advice on safe amount you can drain without risking damage to your pool somewhat depends on the type?) either way you should never drain any liner style pool to the point the bottom becomes covered with less than 6 inches or so of water.

    If you do decide to tackle it I suggest going ahead and buying the full TF-100 kit, for the few extra dollars you do get a lot of value, and if you keep the pool it will be money you save in the long run over the next several months as you will likely go through a fair amount of all the test reagents killing off the algae then getting the water balanced. The one bit of good news that I can tell you is that if you follow our advice here, learn what your pool needs, test and treat the water daily (or even every other day once it gets balanced) your cost of ownership will be a fraction of what you were paying the pool service, and the pool will look and feel much better. Excluding the cost of water and a good test kitI suspect the cost to clear up the algae bloom and get the water balanced will total less than you were paying your service every week, and then the continuing cost in chemicals will be on the order of the cost of they hype of one of those late night "save the children" charity fund raisers. (depending on conditions, use, etc. probably less than a dollar per day).

    I know it is a tough choice, but dumping more chemicals in now without first reducing the CYA through water replacement is just throwing money down a bottomless well.
    Ike

    p.s. you may want to call your water department about refilling your pool, in many places sewer chargers are tied to water charges and they may drop the sewer half for pool fills, some places will bring out a special meter that goes on a water hose for this, others will do other types of discounts for one time water purchases.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    deesha23's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Thank you all for the advice! This is something I am definately going to have to call the water company and find out what kind of cost will be involved with 20-25,000 refill. I wish I would have done this research two months ago and saved my *** on the chemicals and pool service fees from the beginning. Oh well. We knew there would be a learning curve this first year.

    Sorry for the typo in the second post, our pool is an inground liner pool.

    Anyway, I will work on getting the new test kit and getting the info on the price of the water.

    Thanks again!!!
    Southern Oklahoma, 35,000 gallons, Sand filter, Inground, Vinyl liner, 20 year old pool, First time pool owner

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    deesha23's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Also, I was trying to put a picture of our pool as my avatar, but even at 2.5 k it is telling me the image is too large. Any ideas?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Southern Oklahoma, 35,000 gallons, Sand filter, Inground, Vinyl liner, 20 year old pool, First time pool owner

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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Here's one
    Attached Images Attached Images
    -- 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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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    You can buy the refill reagents plus a $.15 scoop and have a decent test kit if you have the hth kit.
    You need:
    R~0003
    R~0870
    R~0871
    R~0013

    You can buy the taylor refills which are tiny, but cheap. Or the tftestkits.net refills which will provide you enough reagent to clear your pool. This would be less than $30 with shipping.
    All the reagents both taylor and tftestkits versions (taylor reagents in bigger bottles) are available there.

    The chlorine to fix you pool will be very likely more expensive than water. Check it out, but note that when it was said your first dose to shock level is sixteen bottles of bleach, at 2.50 per bottle... Thats just the first dose. An hoir later youll probably nees a couple more bottles, and so on. It's a lot of chlorine for a high cya pool. So much easier and cheaper to do this at 40ppm cya if at all possible.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Is it just me, but by looking at the picture of the pool, I'm surprised it is 35k gal. I'd believe 25k maybe, but 35k seems high.

    How did you come up with that number?
    23,000 IG Plaster pool w/ spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE Filter, Hayward RS1000 Main pump, Polaris booster pump, CPSC48 SWG, Legend pool sweep. Dallas, Texas, Full sun, Taylor K-2006

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    deesha23's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    I thought 35,000 seemed really high too. It is 18' wide by 40' long, half of it is 4' and half of it is 9' deep. Please let me know if you get a different number.

    Thanks!!
    Southern Oklahoma, 35,000 gallons, Sand filter, Inground, Vinyl liner, 20 year old pool, First time pool owner

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    deesha23's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Thanks so much, Techguy, for the avatar! It worked!
    Southern Oklahoma, 35,000 gallons, Sand filter, Inground, Vinyl liner, 20 year old pool, First time pool owner

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Is it literally half 4' and then a vertical drop to 9' (that would be 35k gallons)? Or is half of it 4' and then a slope down to 9'?

    Average depth would have to be 4.5' to be 25k gallons and that seems too shallow. My guess is it is closer to 30k gallons if you do not have a vertical transition in the middle.

    More specifics on where the depth changes would help get better estimates.

    EDIT: Although I now see the poolcalculator does not take the rounded corners into account if you use rectangular, so it could be a little lower.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    deesha23's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    It is a pretty drastic slope, if that helps any, maybe 60 degree angle or so... I am posting another pic, from above, with a red line where the slope begins.
    Southern Oklahoma, 35,000 gallons, Sand filter, Inground, Vinyl liner, 20 year old pool, First time pool owner

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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Also, in thinking this over more last night, I am wondering about how will I drain 2/3 or so of the pool, without the water getting too low on the shallow end?
    Southern Oklahoma, 35,000 gallons, Sand filter, Inground, Vinyl liner, 20 year old pool, First time pool owner

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Well, that line looks about 1/3 and if the slope is 1/3 and the 9' is 1/3 ... that comes out to 35k gallons for a rectangular pool (without the radius corners).

    Oval with the same dimensions would be 31600 gallons (not sure how the pool calculator defines oval). So, I would put you around 34000 gallons. You will get a better feel for this if you are consistently seeing you are not hitting your targets in the poolcalculator.

    You should leave about 1 foot of water in the shallow end ... so you may only be able to drain 3 feet at a time and have to do this 2 or 3 times to get the CYA down.

    There are other methods ... like draining from one end and filling at the other with the pump off. Or the much talked about never proven method of putting a plastic sheet/tarp over the pool and then draining from below and filling on top.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    deesha23's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    Wow! The tarp idea sounds CRAZY!! I think I will try the 3 foot drain and refill and see where my CYA level is then. And this is, I'm sure, a (stupidly) obvious question, but once I start draining and get below skimmer level, I will have pump off till we get refilled up to skimmer, right?? I keep thinking the water we leave in the pool will be even more disgusting than it already is if it isn't circulating at all... I have not done this kind of fill before, but I'm guessing 20,000 gallons or so could take several days. All with the pump off? Also, I am planning on draining with my backwash system. Will this work when it is below skimmer, just pulling from central drain? Thanks in advance!!!
    Southern Oklahoma, 35,000 gallons, Sand filter, Inground, Vinyl liner, 20 year old pool, First time pool owner

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    deesha23's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie! (Looking for advice...)

    On a side note, I am SOOOOOO glad I found this forum. You all have been a priceless resource for me already!!! Thank you so much!!!!!!
    Southern Oklahoma, 35,000 gallons, Sand filter, Inground, Vinyl liner, 20 year old pool, First time pool owner

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