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Thread: New pool and hot tub owner

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    New pool and hot tub owner

    I've been following other threads to get tips for my own pool and hot tub, but it's time for me to stop lurking and start my own thread.

    We bought a house 2 months ago that included an IG pool and a hot tub. If the rest of the property is any indication, these things were never maintained properly (house is 14 years old, pool and hot tub are probably 8-10 years old). We had no clue on how to maintain either, so we went to a local pool store for advice. The upside is we've had almost no trouble with the pool as it's been sparkling and clean for the summer and the hot tub has been fine. The downside is that it cost around $500 for all of the chemicals the pool store pushed on us (and we naively accepted). I know now what to do for next summer (I think), but there are still a few things I'm unsure of.

    The pool store had us using the trichlor pucks, which according to How to Chlorinate your pool is bad. We haven't had any issues so far and like the post says, they are incredibly convenient. How dangerous are they truly? I have had (twice now) issues with the chlorine getting too high. We put 4 pucks in each week and the pool store guy told us to put the new ones in each week even if the previous week's batch hadn't dissolved yet. I don't know if that is sound advice, but when the chlorine levels get too high, I just take the skimmer basket out for a day and retest. That seems to do the trick.

    The pool also came with a propane heater. We had a big Labor Day party yesterday, so we ordered a propane delivery so we could make sure the pool was useable in case it was cold (it wasn't!). I tried turning it on, but I couldn't get it to work (I don't think, hard to tell). The pilot was lit, but I turned it on for a good 25 minutes and I don't think it used any propane.

    Oh, I just bought the TF-100 test kit, but I've only used it for the chlorine and pH tests, so far. The other ones seem daunting! Counting drops and doing math...yikes! I really hate the subjective nature of looking at the colors (same with the test strips that we've been using until now). How much are those digital testers?

    Most of my other questions are related to the hot tub. Should I post those in the hot tub section?

    Thanks for any advice!
    30,000 Gal, IG, Sand Filter, Vinyl, Filter info = Unknown
    Hot Tub 500-600 gallon Master Spas Legend Series (specific model unknown)

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    Re: New pool and hot tub owner

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesG17
    Oh, I just bought the TF-100 test kit, but I've only used it for the chlorine and pH tests, so far. The other ones seem daunting! Counting drops and doing math...yikes! I really hate the subjective nature of looking at the colors (same with the test strips that we've been using until now). How much are those digital testers?

    Most of my other questions are related to the hot tub. Should I post those in the hot tub section?

    Thanks for any advice!
    The pH test is the only subjective one. All the other tests are counting drops until an obvious color change happens.

    Trichlor pucks arent bad, but they add CYA. The CYA keeps chlorine from getting burned off by the sun, but at higher levels of CYA you need higher levels of chlorine to sanitize the pool. Once CYA gets too high, then you need ridiculous levels of chlorine and it is really easy to get an algae outbreak. As long as you are monitoring your pool chemistry, the pucks are fine. You just need to understand how they impact things.

    Also you shouldnt put pucks in the skimmer as the concentrated chemicals can damage pool equipment. The pucks are acidic which especially damages the coils in pool heaters.
    17,800 gallon, IG pool, 595 sq feet (17x35x4.5 avg rectangle), Hayward 525 cartridge filter, diamondbrite, 2 hp 2 speed hayward tristar filter, Stenner 45mhp10 automatically chlorinating

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: New pool and hot tub owner

    The chlorine test is subjective unless I do the drop test. It was hard for me to tell if my chlorine was high or REALLY high.

    Where should the pucks be placed? That was more pool store guy info.

    Thanks
    30,000 Gal, IG, Sand Filter, Vinyl, Filter info = Unknown
    Hot Tub 500-600 gallon Master Spas Legend Series (specific model unknown)

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New pool and hot tub owner

    The pucks should be place on the shelf until you need them to raise your CYA or for a long weekend out of town.

    Once you get used to the tests you will not even have to think about them. It took me about a week of everyday testing until I did not have to read the directions step by step. I bought a calculator just for the pool kit. I have every thing together on a white plate so all I have to do is pull it out to test.

    What part of the pool do you get your water from for the test? You should be getting it from at least the middle of the pool if possible. As in as far down as your arm can reach from the side.

    You can do it and it IS easy once you get used to it. There is a learning curve but it does not take long to get over it. It is SO worth it! It only cost me $4-$6 a WEEK to treat my pool!

    Good luck!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: New pool and hot tub owner

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats
    The pucks should be place on the shelf until you need them to raise your CYA or for a long weekend out of town.
    What should I use for chlorine then? The bleach/liquid chlorine seems to be the best, but it has to be closely monitored daily, it seems. I don't really have a lot of free time with young children running around.

    Any tips on the heater? Also, after a recent backwash, my pressure gauge is showing 2.5-3%. Isn't it supposed to be around 10-15%?
    30,000 Gal, IG, Sand Filter, Vinyl, Filter info = Unknown
    Hot Tub 500-600 gallon Master Spas Legend Series (specific model unknown)

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    Re: New pool and hot tub owner

    Okay, I just finished doing a full run of tests on both the pool and hot tub while my 2 year old napped. The results are scary. No, we won't be going in the pool until the chlorine comes down as I know it's super high. Note that we accidentally left the pump on all night last night. I'm guessing that made the pucks dissolve a little quicker than usual. Also, the chlorine levels were high 2 days ago before our big labor day/house warming party, so we figured it would even out with all of the use (and kids peeing!) and we weren't too concerned.

    Pool:
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 150-160
    FC - 20.5ppm (I know, hopefully I'm bad at testing as it was my first time with the drop test)
    CC - 1ppm
    TC - 21.5ppm
    CH - 530
    CYA - 65

    I don't know why the CH is so high. TA is a little high and obviously the chlorine is super high. I thought if you had high FC, you should have no CC? I think I missed the point on that lesson in Pool School.

    Hot Tub:
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 100
    FC - 0.5
    CC - 2.5
    TC - 3ppm
    CH -160
    CYA - 65

    This one I really don't get either. We super chlorinate it almost every day and the next day the chlorine levels read almost zero. Same as the pool, I thought shocking it would rid the CC. It's also very cloudy right now (heavy use the other night during the party, minimal use any other day). Before today it was never cloudy.
    30,000 Gal, IG, Sand Filter, Vinyl, Filter info = Unknown
    Hot Tub 500-600 gallon Master Spas Legend Series (specific model unknown)

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New pool and hot tub owner

    Once you learn your pool the bleach is easy. I only test every other night now and add what I need to take me to my set point of 7ppm. The test only takes about 5 mins.

    If/when you want/need to use the pucks put them in a floater OR get and install an inline. You do not have to have anything in it but it will be there if/when you want to use it.

    Please read about the shocking PROCESS (see the bottom of my post or in pool school). Notice it is not a one time deal. It is a process until you can pass the key points mentioned in the link. Once you pass the three points you will be much better off in the long run.

    Kim

    You have something about to happen to your pool. Your CC and cloudy is trying to tell you something is happening. I bet the only reason it has not happened all of the way yet is your high FC.
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: New pool and hot tub owner

    How many jugs of bleach are you putting in per week? I'll look into the floater. We actually have a automatic feeder, but I don't know how it works and I think I was told not to use the pucks in it. Maybe I was dreaming that.

    The cloudiness was in the hot tub, not the pool. The pool is still sparkling.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Edit - The pool guy told us to put the pucks in the skimmer because using a floater would damage the liner.
    30,000 Gal, IG, Sand Filter, Vinyl, Filter info = Unknown
    Hot Tub 500-600 gallon Master Spas Legend Series (specific model unknown)

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New pool and hot tub owner

    On average I put 60oz of 11% chlorine in a night. My jugs hold 196oz so I get at least 3 days out of each jug. Please note that it is 11% chlorine that I get from our local ACE Hardware store. The bleach that is bought from Walmart is 6% (some places are finding that the % has gone up with the amount going down.)

    The only thing I would about a floater with is your kids. They might (2 yr old WILL) play with it-NOT a good idea. Take a pic of your equipment and we might be able to see what every thing is and point you in the direction of use.

    BUT you need to use bleach instead of pucks. Pucks have so much extra stuff that is NOT good for your pool in the long run.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: New pool and hot tub owner

    Raining today. I'll try to take some pics when it's nicer out.

    Thanks
    30,000 Gal, IG, Sand Filter, Vinyl, Filter info = Unknown
    Hot Tub 500-600 gallon Master Spas Legend Series (specific model unknown)

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