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Thread: Hello from Medicine Hat, Alb, Canada

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    LFrankow's Avatar
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    Hello from Medicine Hat, Alb, Canada

    Hello all, and thanks for all the information I have read on this site. This was the third year I ran an outdoor pool, starting small and slowly building onto them by adding accessories, while learning how to maintain a nice clear sparkling pool. A SWG was added two years ago, last years addition was a 1 hp pump with a 19 inch sand filter. This year I built a homemade solar heater, along with installing a SS heat exchanger on my water heater, my goal being to have at least 78 degree water from mid April to mid September. After reading about sand filters on your site I decided to add DE to the sand, it worked wonderful, enabling me to finally rid myself of the small silt problem from blown dust I was getting at the end of the season.
    This year when I drained and stored my pool the water was as sparkling as the day I filled it this spring Learning about adding Muriatic acid to balance ph, helped me keep my ch levels correct and I had very little to no "slime" build up around the edge of the pool, an attribute I use as a precursor to an algae outbreak. By keeping my PH and ch correct I didn't have to use any algecide this year, ch being high enough does that job just fine.
    Next year I am hoping to aquire a larger above ground pool, and of course a full test kit as I have been just using the two test cheapo kit from wally world so far. The wife has been dropping hints of me putting in a full fledged inground concrete pool, we will see how the money comes in though.
    I am also thinking of trying out borates next year as well once I have a full fledged test kit of course.
    Thanks again from me and the grand kids
    Lou - 13.5K Gal pool, AG Intex 24 X 52"
    19" Sand Filter/1 hp pump, Aqua Trol SWG
    90 sq ft Homemade Solar panels + 80 sq ft Fafco panels, coupled with a SS heat exchanger/Hot Water Tank, Pentair SolarTouch, Taylor k-2006

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Medicine Hat, Alb, Canada

    LFrankow:

    Welcome aboard

    If you can keep the water at least 78F from mid-April to mid-September in Medicine Hat, that will be quite an achievement!

    The folks on this forum will help you keep your pool in great shape.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Medicine Hat, Alb, Canada

    Hi LFrankow,
    Welcome to the forum.. officially.


    It sounds like you have done quite well on your setup and learning here at TFP.

    I must point out that MA (Muriatic Acid) only lowers pH and TA. It does nothing for CH (Calcium Hardness). The only way to lower that is through a drain and refill, or partial drain and only if your fill water is low in CH. Lower than what your pool is.

    Also, CH does nothing for algae, only sanitizer's like chlorine do that, to a smaller degree borates help as well.
    CH levels are irrelevant in a vinyl pool, as I'm assuming you have this type since your pool is a temporary AGP.

    With your SWG, or as some say SWCG you need to keep TA between 60-80, CYA 60-80 and pH 7.5-7.8. See Pool School link in my sig for more info on this.
    Yes, do get a proper kit as soon as you can. You will find it much easier to manage your pool and it'll take the guesswork out of it.
    Running a pool with only an OTO and pH tester is, well... difficult and frustrating. Leaving many numbers to chance. CH, TA, CYA and some guesswork on FC.

    Something else, you should never have any sort of "slime" on your water line. White stuff, that's common and is calcium buildup and fixable. But slime, assuming the water is otherwise clear is simply suntan oils, skin lotion, sunscreen, hair products and other oils from bathers.
    This should be removed and kept at bay with regular brushing and proper filtration.
    DE will trap this very easily. Sand should grab it too, just not as quickly.
    Don't backwash too much, only when pressure reaches 25% above starting clean pressure.

    Be sure and clean your sand filter each season, as outlined in my sig.
    If it still doesn't filter that stuff out correctly, you may have a miss matched filter+pump combo. We'd need to know what model and brand pump you have as well as the filter or it's sqft of filtration area.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Medicine Hat, Alb, Canada

    Hey Bo, you beat me to it.
    But my post is longer, so I have a good excuse.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    LFrankow's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Medicine Hat, Alb, Canada

    Well ty for the quick replies and sorry for my slow response.
    Rereading my original post I notice I mistakenly identified Free Chlorine as CH or as you guys call it calcium hardness, oops. Yes I am running a vinyl pool. CH really isn't a problem as our tap water comes to us at about 25ppm hardness.
    Also the year before last I did manage to track down and start using cyranuric acid, that along with keeping the ph in balance made it much easier to keep the pool up to snuff. It is the dead of winter up here so thoughts shift often to a southern vacation and more importantly setting up the pool or a bigger above ground pool this coming summer, but first on my list will be a proper test kit to make my maintenance schedule even easier then it is. People tell me it is a lot of work maintaining a clean pool, I nod and agree but laugh inside as that is the most relaxing part of my day, even brushing the walls has it's therapeutic values.
    From the way my dual heaters, solar and heat exchanger worked this year I am sure, if I wasn't too lazy to cover the pool I could keep it in the mid 70's from mid April until mid September, the trouble is that the air temperature starts cooling after the middle of August and before the middle of May making it less desirable to use the pool, so I will be going for a run time of middle of May to end of the first week in September this year.
    I am looking forward to being half naked and all wet in a wonderful clean pool.
    Lou - 13.5K Gal pool, AG Intex 24 X 52"
    19" Sand Filter/1 hp pump, Aqua Trol SWG
    90 sq ft Homemade Solar panels + 80 sq ft Fafco panels, coupled with a SS heat exchanger/Hot Water Tank, Pentair SolarTouch, Taylor k-2006

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    LFrankow's Avatar
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    Re: Hello from Medicine Hat, Alb, Canada

    Well I did upgrade to a larger pool, and this summer was spent going back to pool school and 2nd year hot water heating for me as I was treating and heating roughly twice the volume of water.
    My biggest problem came at high summer, when it always does and had to do with trying to keep enough FC in my pool to keep it up to snuff. Luckily I didn't have an algae bloom, but I had to some reading and math, tyvm for the PoolMath section of your site which advised me to up my CYA significantly, like 3 times what the manufacturer of my SWG recommended. A bit of reading and some old outdated test strips I managed to knock my TA down to acceptable levels, which helps keeps my ph in check which of course as you guys know too well is part of the key to keeping your pool nice and "shiny".
    I did not get a Taylor kit this year but next year for sure first thing in the spring, just have to find a "friend" from down south to get me one and ship it up, I am not paying 300$+ for something that retails in the States for about 150$. So this year once again I am relying on math and a simple ph/otho kit from Wally world along with salt test strips to guide me along, which has worked well, but being in the plumbing industry I know I can and will do better.
    No algicide or green hair on the grandaughters this year, which was good, should have listened to the oldest one and adjusted my ph lower when she complained of a slight eye irritation whislst swimming ( 4-6 hours a day).
    Now I have to figure out a way of getting my heat from my cast iron fire pit into my pool, but that is a plumbing heating issue.
    Lou - 13.5K Gal pool, AG Intex 24 X 52"
    19" Sand Filter/1 hp pump, Aqua Trol SWG
    90 sq ft Homemade Solar panels + 80 sq ft Fafco panels, coupled with a SS heat exchanger/Hot Water Tank, Pentair SolarTouch, Taylor k-2006

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