Stumbled across TFP today while trying to learn more about our new (to us) pool. Bought a house in California’s foothills this past winter and it had a small pool that I wasn’t too sure about. However, since I’ve started maintaining it myself (with Bioguard product line) I am stoked to have a pool. So are the wife, dog, and friends! I’m hoping I can do better (less work, more swim) with BBB which this website promotes as simpler and thriftier.
The basics… ~ 9,000 gal, cartridge filter, in-ground, fiberglass, 1 hp pump, 120 gpm design flow rate filter, and built sometime between 2000 and 2006. Well water. Not a saltwater pool. I have a solar cover on the pool, which is keeping the water about 92F this time of year, but if I don’t have it on the pool when not in use we get over an inch of evaporation every day. So far, I’m able to keep the water crystal clear and more or less in range of the test strips (detailed below).
In March I initially researched a pool guy, but at $100/month and me being an engineer that likes to fiddle, that wasn’t gonna fly.
Next stop in April, pool store… very helpful folks and I can’t bad mouth them at all as so far I think my pool looks and feels pretty good. For opening I put brand new cartridge filters in back in April as the old ones were trashed. Of course, they have me on a commercial product line (Bioguard) which from reading the Pool School it sounds like I may be able to simplify things with BBB and save some money.
So today I ordered the TF-100 test kit (I was using strips). When that arrives we’ll see where I’m at…
So, first set of questions deal with the pump plumbing and what may be an ionizer thingamajig… refer to pic below for details.
Above the timer control box, there’s a “box” with an AC cord attached, with a wire heading to another part on the plumbing system… reads Thompson Tec Ion System… I take it this thing is supposed to add Cu ions to the water for some reason? I also I take it this is “bad” if I go the BBB route? Or is it considered “bad” to be adding Cu ions in general (if so, why did they install it in the first place)? Regardless, I’ve had it unplugged since I got the house and the pool store says there are no detectable metals in our pool water (a good thing, right?). It appears this is hooked by wires to a little pod that is on the return pipe as it leaves the filter. Any suggestions on what to do about this? Leave it unplugged? Take it apart and take the anode(s) out? Leave it alone?
Question 2… our dog swims with us, a lot. We love it and she loves it… no way to keep her out of the pool short of shooting her (wife would then shoot me). Besides cleaning the filters, anything special to keep on top of? I’m 99% certain the pooch doesn’t ever pee in the pool (she will swim for an hour and then consciously get out and go to her spot to pee).
Question 3… In addition to using Bioguard Shock once a week (because the pool place said to), plus an algaecide, plus a clarifier, I have been keeping the floater full of the hockey puck tabs (Bioguard Silk Tabs). I take it these are continually increasing stabilizer levels (CYA?). Of course, since I’ve only been using test strips I haven’t been quantifying CYA. From reading the Pool School, sounds like I should not be surprised if my CYA is too high… I will cross that bridge when I get the test kit.
Question 4… perhaps most importantly for my specific situation… for at least the next year or two, this pool is not at our main residence so I can’t test and adjust every day… at best, it’s 3-4 days/week or every weekend… should I stick with what appears to be working (Bioguard) or can I still switch to BBB with little hassle? Any major drawbacks with the BBB system if we are weekenders?
That’s it for now… I am stoked to have found such an informative forum… I read several long (10’s of pages) threads where you kind folks helped people turn their nasty swamps into crystal clear pools in short order. I’m convinced I’m in the right place, and hope to learn enough to contribute to others in a year or two.
John (Kayak Lotus)