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Thread: New pool owner with questions

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    New pool owner with questions

    Hi, I've been reading your forums for over a month now since I got a pool for the first time. It is extremely helpful and I'm glad I found you guys.
    Everything was ok at first until I got an algae outbreak. Foolish me, not knowing better thought that the chlorine tabs were enough for the pool. Boy was I wrong.
    I left for the doc on a Thur. morning and pool looked good and arrived back home app. 5 hours later to an extreme shock. My pool was emerald green! Had no idea it could turn just that quick. It was a pretty color but it had to go. I immediately started working on it. All I had was pool shock that I got when I bought the pool so I added a pound of that. The next morning I began my websearch and found you guys. On the way home I stopped for bleach, borax, baking soda and extra filters. I worked my butt off for 3 days getting the green out then I noticed the milky color. My test kit was **** so I ordered the T-100 everyone suggested and while waiting on it to arrive I continued my vigil. I added lots of bleach, cleaned filters, etc for days. The pool finally starting clearing enough that I could see sediment on the bottom so back to the store for a vac. Pump by this time has been running for 7 days straight. Finally got my test kit in and started making adjustments. Water is now clear and clean and you can see the bottom but things are still a little off so I need recommendations from you guys please. I want clear sparkly water!
    Keep in mind, I'm at work right at the moment and have limited info on my pool but this is what I have so far.
    Pool is 17'x48". Holds a little over 5700 gallons of water. I know the pump is a Skimmer Plus but not sure about the gph. I think maybe it is 1000 but will check tonight to be sure. Took readings last night and made some adjustments but didn't check this morning.
    Last nights readings are:
    FC 1
    TA 150
    CYA 20
    Chlorine 5
    PH 7.2
    Borates 15

    I added Borax to bring up the PH and added bleach to bring up the FC. Had some chlorine tabs so I added them to try and add some CYA since I had no stabilizer at the moment. I made my additions based on what the Pool Calculator suggested. I'm pretty sure the TA is to high and the FC not nearly high enough. Can't figure why my FC and Chlorine had different number so I may have done something wrong. Can someone please point me in the right direction so I can get this under control. Also please recommend a schedule or routine that I could follow so I get in a groove.
    5800 gallon AG vinyl with Skimmer Plus cartridge 780 gph filter pump.
    Build date: July 3, 2012.

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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Tell us a little about the water you used to fill the pool. From the sounds of "Emerald Green", and looking at your numbers, is it possible you filled with well water?

    The rapid turn sounds like metals being brought out by the use of chlorine.
    19204 Gallon L Shape with a 10X10 2nd Step Baja Ledge. Intellichlor IC-40, IntellipH, Cartridge Filter, Pentair Heater/Chiller (Heat Pump). Tons of Deck with Deck Jets. Construction Complete 6/5/17.

    "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it!"

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Welcome to TFP.

    You list FC at 1 and chlorine at 5.

    Do you have the TF-100 yet?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    I filled the pool with city water. I filled on July 3 and it was good for just over 2 weeks. I know I listed chlorine as 5 and FC at 1 and I know that can't be right so as I stated in my comments, I'm sure I made a mistake. I did use the TF-100 to test with.
    Don't know where the metals could have come from as the only chlorine I used was the 1" tabs I got at Wal Mart and I had only used a few of those to start with like the directions stated. No longer using those just straight 6% each. Pool is clear and can see bottom but the numbers still aren't right. Just started storming here so not sure I can test today. Thanks for helping.
    5800 gallon AG vinyl with Skimmer Plus cartridge 780 gph filter pump.
    Build date: July 3, 2012.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    You did not post your CC. It is possible that your numbers are correct:

    The yellow OTO tests for Total Chlorine (FC + CC) which you have = 5ppm
    The FAS-DPD tests FC which you said was 1ppm and then should also give CC.

    If your CC are high ... that could be why the OTO test seems higher.

    Here are more detailed instructions for all the tests:
    extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html#p206390

    Here is another article from Pool School (have you read it all a few times yet):
    Basic Pool Care Schedule
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Thanks, I don't think I tested the CC cause its vinyl and I didn't think it mattered. Will do as soon as possible. I have read Pool School several times but will do so again.
    5800 gallon AG vinyl with Skimmer Plus cartridge 780 gph filter pump.
    Build date: July 3, 2012.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cntrygrlmel
    Thanks, I don't think I tested the CC cause its vinyl and I didn't think it mattered. Will do as soon as possible. I have read Pool School several times but will do so again.
    Based on that comment I have to recommend this:
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    CH (calcium harness) does not matter for vinyl on the low side
    CC (combined chlorine) is important in any pool.
    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: New pool owner with questions

    Sorry, got them backwards. Hard to remember it all. May have to print and laminate it and keep it with my test kit
    5800 gallon AG vinyl with Skimmer Plus cartridge 780 gph filter pump.
    Build date: July 3, 2012.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    No problem ... just takes some getting used to. It can be information overload when you get started.
    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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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Lots of overload! I was just looking at ABC's and thought I should mention that after I cleared the pool and got it almost clear again I did have a chlorine smell for a couple hours. It now it's gone. I will have to do another complete check when I get home but most likely will be late as I'm at the hospital with husband having surgery. Is it better to test in afternoon or morning? I want to get on a routine so that I don't forget anything.
    5800 gallon AG vinyl with Skimmer Plus cartridge 780 gph filter pump.
    Build date: July 3, 2012.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Does not really matter when you test as long as the pump has been on for at least 1 hour and that it stays on for at least 1 hour after you add any chemicals.

    That said, CYA test is best done with indirect sunlight, but you should not be having to test that very often.
    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: New pool owner with questions

    i think it is best to test in the evening after the sun is off the pool, thats the way i do mine and i lose about 2 ppm fc during the day, i dose mine about 2 ppm above my target fc so i never drop below my minimum fc level = no algae. Now as far as your possible situation with your pool you most likely need to shock, shock is a process not a product you buy in a store, to properly shock your pool you will need to bring your ph down to around 7.2 and then bring your fc level up to shock value per the cya/chlorine chart in pool school. Then you will need to test add bleach to get to shock level or a couple above and re-check as often as possible and add more bleach to maintain shock level and you will also need to brush your pool atleast once a day. you are done with the shock process when you have .5 cc or less and a oclt which you lose 1 ppm or less fc and the hardest one of all is that the water is crystal clear......Mike P.S PUMP MUST BE RUNNING
    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

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Ok I didn't get to test last night. Got home really late from the hospital. Did test at 6:30 this morning. No sun on pool. Pump running constantly.
    This is what I got. And it may still be wrong cause I noticed some things I was doing wrong and tried to correct them. Should be so simple huh.
    FC 1.65
    CC .05
    TC 1.7
    TA 150
    CH 20
    CYA 40
    Borates 15
    I did the FAS/DPD test and it gave me a 33 drop count x.05 to get my FC and 1 drop x .05 to get CC and added them together to get 1.7 TC
    I followed directions exactly. Some of the test are a bit hard to read when it comes to color cause it can be so close.
    When doing the test (can't remember which) that you drop till it turns red does that mean red red or the pink color I get? I have tried getting red red but I think it would take 100 drops to get there and that just can't be right.
    One other thing I noticed is that I was guesstimating pool size a bit. I stated 5700 gallons cause the box said 57?? can't remember the last 2 numbers yet when I go to pool calculator it gives me 6800 and if that is correct then all additions to pool is incorrect. arrgghh
    I did notice this morning that the pool is completely clear. Can see all the way to the bottom. I can see some sediment on bottom but I think that is from the torrential rainstorm we had yesterday. Just need to vacuum that out. Please tell me I'm on the right track. I do have a pic if I can figure how to post it.
    5800 gallon AG vinyl with Skimmer Plus cartridge 780 gph filter pump.
    Build date: July 3, 2012.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    The multiplication is 0.5ppm per drop ... so you have FC 16.5 and CC 0.5

    What height did you use in the pool volume calculator? Note the often the water level is 6" shorter than the listed pool wall height.
    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: New pool owner with questions

    I'm not dumb I promise. It said multiply by .05 so thats what I did. I guess I just don't under stand the ppm part. Depth of pool is 48" and no I did not allow for the 6", I assumed the 48" was the water level. So with what you stated about my FC that means I'm above shock level and need to let that go down?
    5800 gallon AG vinyl with Skimmer Plus cartridge 780 gph filter pump.
    Build date: July 3, 2012.

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Redid my calculations after adjusting pool size to allow for 6" below pool height and came up with 5900 gallons so that puts me above shock level and in need of borax to adjust my borates.
    5800 gallon AG vinyl with Skimmer Plus cartridge 780 gph filter pump.
    Build date: July 3, 2012.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Shock level is based on your CYA not your pool size ... so I don't quite follow your last post. You are very close to the shock value for a CYA of 40ppm.

    Also not sure how borates fit into that post. You can use borax to adjust pH, but you did not actually report that number. You should NOT add borates intentionally (for the other purposes) until you have your pH and more importantly your TA is in range. Having high levels of borates makes TA adjustmetn difficult.
    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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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    I see how I made that confusing and I apologize. You previously mentioned the size of my pool and asked did I allow for 6" below height of pool. I went back and did those calculations and it changed the gallon amount from 6800 to 5900. As for me saying I was above shock level, you mentioned that I wasn't doing ppm meaning my reading of 1.65 was actually 16.5 which if I'm correct with a CYA of 40 puts me just above the listed shock level. I guess what I was thinking was not how I typed it.
    Now about the borates. Pool calculator gives the option of how much borates you have vs. what you should have so I entered my amount I have being 15 and to bring it up to 40 which was a recommended amount it says I need to add borax. Is this not correct? I thought you added to borax to get the sparkly soft water. Is this not correct?
    I know I have done some things wrong as I am learning and I am trying to correct it all. As it stands I think the pool can be swam in probably after today since my FC is so high and it is clear and everything else seems to be ok so maybe I should just leave it alone.
    I just wanted someone to try and tell me if I was finally getting a handle on this or if I was going in the wrong direction. Would love to have the sparkly water everyone else has now that I have it cleared up and have a correct test kit so I can keep on top of it but I may just be asking to much.
    Thanks for the help.
    5800 gallon AG vinyl with Skimmer Plus cartridge 780 gph filter pump.
    Build date: July 3, 2012.

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cntrygrlmel
    Now about the borates. Pool calculator gives the option of how much borates you have vs. what you should have so I entered my amount I have being 15 and to bring it up to 40 which was a recommended amount it says I need to add borax. Is this not correct? I thought you added to borax to get the sparkly soft water. Is this not correct?
    I know I have done some things wrong as I am learning and I am trying to correct it all. As it stands I think the pool can be swam in probably after today since my FC is so high and it is clear and everything else seems to be ok so maybe I should just leave it alone.
    I just wanted someone to try and tell me if I was finally getting a handle on this or if I was going in the wrong direction. Would love to have the sparkly water everyone else has now that I have it cleared up and have a correct test kit so I can keep on top of it but I may just be asking to much.
    Thanks for the help.
    Borates for the "sparkly water" are completely optional ... there is no "should have" amount.

    Review:
    so-you-want-to-add-borates-to-your-pool-why-and-how-t4921.html

    The borates stabilize the pH, making it hard to change ... this in turn make is difficult to lower the TA. A high TA will tend to pull the pH up. So, you should get the TA in range so it is not trying to pull the pH up before adding 40-50ppm of borates.

    Again, they are optional ... many people do not have them (me included) ... although when I get my SWG going, I may consider it to help stabilize the pH.

    BTW: It should be easy to just put a measuring tape in the water to see how deep the water actually is.
    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
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: New pool owner with questions

    Ok I get what your saying. I know you don't have to have Borates and that there is no 'should have' amount however I do have Borates added as when I first started reading your site and trying to get the pool in line with the BBB system I put in the Borates as it was part of the B's. Under the Definitions sections it states 30-50 as recommended so I chose 40 to use since it was middle of the road. As I have stated several times I know I did some things wrong and am trying to correct them so in after thought I should have waited to add the Borates. I had a strip test kit to begin with and that did not help at all but I have a good one now so I should be ok going forward.
    One last thing hopefully.... The TA recommendations for a vinyl pool shows 90+ on the high side so I didn't think 150 that I have was bad. Please correct me if this is wrong. Basically with all this said, I need to lower my TA by first lowering my PH then bringing my PH back up in line. If I'm going to add Borates, which I do plan to do since I already have some in there, since they raise TA should I add them first and level out my TA then start bringing it down or should I bring it down first then add my Borates? Seems Borates should be first or else once I get the TA down and raise the PH and then add Borates it will bring the TA back up which means I have to do it all over again to get the TA down. Yes I know I have done this the hard way but I found this site after I got started so nothing but corrections going forward. I really do appreciate the help. Otherwise I would still be pulling my hair out. Sorry if I have not understood some of what you have been saying.
    5800 gallon AG vinyl with Skimmer Plus cartridge 780 gph filter pump.
    Build date: July 3, 2012.

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