Become a TFP Supporter Welcome to our new server and new forum software. Pool School
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: My Pool Conundrum

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4

    My Pool Conundrum

    Ooookay, after lurking silently the last two seasons and perusing the various helpful hints on pool maintenance, I have decided to take the plunge (I'm so punny) and beg for pool counseling. I'll try to be brief, but I admittedly quite verbose.

    After last summer's success with a 15ft round above ground, I decided I was going to make aforementioned pool semi-inground for aesthetic purposes. I started digging. I started researching natural swimming pools and fashioned my pool much like a pond with tapered sides to prevent collapse. I have a small backyard and my pond was sculpting into roughly 14ft round-ish with a 5ft deep area and wading areas to a shallow end with stairs (fashioned out of earthbags, fancy!). I brought up the sides with two layers of earthbags. There was no way my yard could afford a bog area big enough to biologically filter the swimming area. I lined the pool with a few layers of "geotextiles" (aka weed-stop garden fabric), then some sand, then a 15ft expandable overlap pool liner. Add some chicken wire and some mortar, voila! We have a ghetto pool. Installed a skimmer in the shallow end and built a small waterfall at the deep end. 2" pvc pipes run to a 3/4 hp Hayward pump, a 25ft Hayward DE filter, then through a DelOzone Eclipse Ozonator, to the waterfall and back to the pool. Whew. I'm tired.

    Anywho, maintenance has been "interesting". With just the waterfall feeding the pool and 3 kids consistently splashing around, I'm pretty sure this is running my ph consistently high. By high I mean 7.8+

    I don't think the waterfall on its own is circulating the water enough, plus with wrinkles in the liner I have to wipe it down every time I get in. I can feel the slipperiness of algae but the water itself is sparkling. I have had no cloudiness, just gorgeous water.

    I run the filter/ozonator at least 6 hours a day so I am hopefully turning over all the water once a day. I've dumped muriatic acid in a few times, get a ph reading 7.2-7.5, then it's back up to all its hydrogen-goodness in less than 24 hours. My FC reading will be around 2/4 immediately after dropping a deplorable amount of bleach or liquid chlorine, then back to yellow (0) the following morning.

    Hardness runs around 200ppm
    Alkalinity 180
    Stabilizer 100

    One of my (many) problems is reading the strips. I'll get tie-dyed readings for the CYA, pH and TA, showing good and terrible colors in the same teeny square. Dip, lay flat 15 seconds, read. Right? Right?!?!

    Well, I hope if you've gotten this far you've enjoyed the novella. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions are welcomed and appreciated. I will have to post some pictures of my Frankenstein pool

  2. #2
    Senior Member In the Industry

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    21,735

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    Welcome to the forum. Would love to see the pics of a very interesting pool.

    Since you have been lurking for a couple of years, I'm surprised the issue of no chlorine in your pool hasn't come up.

    Even though your water is clear, it is not sanitary unless you are able to hold a chlorine residual. How long does it stay at zero? Algae in itself certainly is harmless enough (although...yuck!) but that it is growing indicates the pool can grow and pass along other biological contaminates that can hurt you.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    I have to reach the "break" point with the chlorine, right? I dumped in nearly 116oz of chlorine last night and nada this morning. I don't leave it at 0, I put bleach in every day until I have about a 1 FC reading.

    I thought I was super-chlorinating last night, I guess I need to super-super chlorinate?

    The high ph is above even running a 'high pH' pool, will that affect my FC level?

    Also, the ozonator requires a residual of about .5ppm which is beneath the lowest HTH strip reading. Won't the test strip show a white FC square if there is 0 FC, not a light yellow?

    I'm a skim-reader, which probably means I don't get enough information before I run out and dump something in the pool....

    Thank you thank you for your reply! And thank you for reading my 20 questions which have hopefully not been answered 20 times on different threads!

  4. #4
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    20,932

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    Break point chlorination is a myth.

    Properly shocking the pool requires bringing the FC up to shock level for your CYA and retesting and bringing it back to shock level as often as every hour. Your shock level is based on your CYA.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    10,276

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by Morganna
    I have to reach the "break" point with the chlorine, right? I dumped in nearly 116oz of chlorine last night and nada this morning. I don't leave it at 0, I put bleach in every day until I have about a 1 FC reading.

    I thought I was super-chlorinating last night, I guess I need to super-super chlorinate?

    The high ph is above even running a 'high pH' pool, will that affect my FC level?

    Also, the ozonator requires a residual of about .5ppm which is beneath the lowest HTH strip reading. Won't the test strip show a white FC square if there is 0 FC, not a light yellow?

    I'm a skim-reader, which probably means I don't get enough information before I run out and dump something in the pool....

    Thank you thank you for your reply! And thank you for reading my 20 questions which have hopefully not been answered 20 times on different threads!
    They have....

    1 ppm FC is no good unless you have zero stabilizer. And neither of those levels are any good if the pool gets any sun on it. Back to Pool School
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  6. #6
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    22,194

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    Just adding that test strips are notoriously bad. Drop based kits are much more reliable and repeatable.

    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
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, Dolphin Diagnostic Robotic Cleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Gone: Hayward RS1500 pump, undersized DIY solar heater, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    Haha back to pool school, you mean I should actually take notes this time...

    Direct sun most of the day every day in Northern California. I keep it covered with an oversized gray solar pool cover when not in use, but presumably this still lets the UV through which degrades the chlorine (insert question mark).


    I just dropped in a gallon of liquid chlorine, swirled it around a bit and tested. pH runs a lil high when adding chlorine, no? I know, I know I'm wearing an annoying n00b t-shirt...

    CYA reads tie-dyed 30-50 in the middle and approaching 150 around the edges. TA reads 180-240. TH 200-400 FC 3/6 -ish.

    So if my CYA is around 50 should I keep the FC 2/4 to shock?

    Thanks for the replies, I'm sure it's irksome but it's hard to wade through a lot of the information, especially when some of the questions seem specific to my odd pool.

    And thanks for the tip about test strips, you'd think I'd realize that by now. Much more accurate with the drops!

  8. #8
    Senior Member In the Industry

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    21,735

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    I know at this point it must seem like we have all pounced on you but that is not our intent. What we teach here on the forum is understanding.

    Once you understand the basics of proper pool water chemistry, we can help walk you through how to get there and get that slimy stuff out of your pool.

    Test strips, as jblizzle posts, are really completely worthless. Pool store testing is a very close second in worthlessness.....maybe even first because they will ask you to buy something based on bogus test results.

    We encourage you to take charge of your pool water management through your own, precise testing and then learning what to do with the test results.

    I'm sure it's irksome but it's hard to wade through a lot of the information, especially when some of the questions seem specific to my odd pool.
    Absolutely no problem. Every one of us started at the same spot....knowing nothing. We have all been newbies and those that are responding to your questions do so because they enjoy it.

    (Those that stop enjoying it are poked with a sharp stick until they begin to enjoy it again.....we give everyone choices around here. )
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    I appreciate a good pouncing. That sounds wholly inappropriate.

    I figured I would be getting schooled, which is what I need

    Idle threats along with sharp sticks works wonders for making people happy, generally speaking.

  10. #10
    Senior Member In the Industry

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    21,735

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    Idle threats along with sharp sticks works wonders for making people happy, generally speaking
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  11. #11
    Senior Member Vette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    392

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    Luckily I enjoy helping others, I've never been poked with Duraleigh's stick. Thankfully
    11,700 gallon 21' round 54" deep all-resin AGP - June 2012
    Waterway 1HP 2-speed pump / 100 sq ft cartridge filter
    Hayward 150,000btu Natural Gas heater
    I use and recommend the TF-100 for testing

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,598

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    I spent some time with those test strips.... interpreting the shades of colors is a fool's errand. You need to get a proper test kit, the TF100 that I have gives dependable easy to repeat tests.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    456

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by Vette
    Luckily I enjoy helping others, I've never been poked with Duraleigh's stick. Thankfully
    If I was you I would go read pool school a couple times but before you do that order one of the suggested test kits that are recommended here and while you are waiting for it to arrive read pool school a few more times.......Mike
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

  14. #14
    Senior Member Vette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    392

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by fast1971chevelle
    Quote Originally Posted by Vette
    Luckily I enjoy helping others, I've never been poked with Duraleigh's stick. Thankfully
    If I was you I would go read pool school a couple times but before you do that order one of the suggested test kits that are recommended here and while you are waiting for it to arrive read pool school a few more times.......Mike
    What, what? I'm not the one asking the questions here, I try to help others. My pool is under control. I've read pool school multiple times in the past.
    11,700 gallon 21' round 54" deep all-resin AGP - June 2012
    Waterway 1HP 2-speed pump / 100 sq ft cartridge filter
    Hayward 150,000btu Natural Gas heater
    I use and recommend the TF-100 for testing

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,598

    Re: My Pool Conundrum

    Quote Originally Posted by Morganna
    Haha back to pool school, you mean I should actually take notes this time...
    I read Pool School so very many times, it always made my head hurt. So hard to get the hang of it all. Notes will help a lot.

    I suggest a Pool Log Book in which you take your notes on Pool School and any notes from threads that catch your interest. Also record all the info on your equipment, when things are replaced, where you bought something or looked at parts. I wrote down the phone numbers for the nearest 6 pool stores and prices for common items like liquid chlorine shock and muriatic acid. Most important, record all your tests and what you add to your pool. Later on you may need to know something and it is so hard to recall details months later.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •