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Thread: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

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    aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    Hello,
    I am introducing myself to the TFP forum today. Wow-this site is great! I just read the previous post, someone in Tulum, Mexico asking for eco-friendly pool keeping advice--how cool is that!

    I've always dreamed of having a pool, never had one before. Well: at the beginning of September we filled our new Endless Pool. The model is the Original Endless Pool, which is made of metal panels with a vinyl liner. (I have put the specs in my Signature bar.) We LOVE it. We have already spent many wonderful hours enjoying being outdoors while in the water.

    But of course I have many, many questions. (I did read "Pool School", and although I still don't understand it, I DID already go into a pool store and encounter an employee who seemed to understand even less...)

    I read the Pool School instructions for starting a seasonal pool to get going--but I didn't follow through: I didn't get the CYA level up high enough to read (never cloudy enough to hide the black dot) before I ran out of DICHLOR granules and switched back to bleach.
    So my first question is: how important is that, given that we keep the sun off the pool with a retractable cover most of the time?

    I have been adding some bleach every night, keeping the FC level at. .5-1, until we had some cloudy water (after I forgot to check the chlorine for a day or 2) Then I added more, shocking, until it cleared. But we still have a FOAMING problem--when the jacuzzi jets go on--it turns into a bubble bath--YIKES. I had added some clarifier from a bottle that came with a set of chemicals from Endless Pool. could that have caused the bubbles? Or switching to concentrated bleach? or is it organic material in the water?

    current testing:
    PH 7.8, TA 90, CH 190, cya--less than 40. Temp: 95 degrees

    Alkalinity has been very stable 100, 90, since the pool has been going. Calcium hardness--I had to add some--the original water was 110. PH has not fluctuated much, has tended to go up.

    Thanks for the help!
    Sincerely
    -A-
    Houston, TX
    as of this Sept., '12, I am a new Endless Pool owner. It is outdoors, above ground.
    3,815 gallons, 8x15, 4'3" deep. Has swim current and spa jets,
    gas heater. We have been keeping the water very warm, and we intend to swim year-round.
    It came with their standard water quality system, which has a paper filter and rather small pump. It has a security cover and stays covered when not in use.
    So far we have been in the pool nearly every day!

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    Hello aralee,
    Welcome to TFP!

    Yes, we have all sorts of knowledge and ideas here in the forum. We are always up for a challenge even in the jungle.

    As you have discovered of the knowledge you can acquire through Pool School (PS) and this forum, you'll know more than most pool owners and pool store "professionals".
    Keep reading PS, you'll absorb new things every time you do.

    You do need to get your CYA up to between 30-50ppm. It's critical for a few reasons.
    1. It's nearly impossible to keep up with the chlorine in a pool that has no buffer from the CYA. Such low levels are required and it just gets depleted far too quickly, both from consuming organics, UV from the sun and natural outgassing.
    2. A pool with CYA in it, using the CYA to FC relation chart provided in PS, will provide you with a far lower FC (Free Chlorine) level than you'll be able to maintain in a pool without CYA.
    3. Buffered FC is much nicer on the skin than a pool with an equivalent amount of FC in a pool with no CYA.

    As long as your cover is completely opaque, it will reduce the CL loss to UV tremendously. But it doesn't eliminate it. Bather load consumes CL as well.

    With that said, it can take up to a week for all of the CYA to show up on your test.
    You can determine exactly how much CYA you have added to your pool, based on how much di-chlor, tri-chlor, pucks or any other form of stabilized chlorine that contains those 1st two listed ingredients.
    You can use the calc at the bottom of PCalc to tell you. Just enter the ounces and chose the type listed under ingredients on the container. You'll then get the CYA amount. Do this for each type of stabilized CL you have used and then add it all up. That's the total CYA you should be registering on your test.

    You mentioned you used granules? Did you pre-dissolve them in a bucket prior to adding them to the pool? If not, they'll collect on your liner and bleach it, or at best just simply take much longer for the CYA to fully dissolve.

    Just to be sure you're testing your CYA correctly. You're performing the mix procedure in the mixing bottle. Part pool water, part CYA re-agent. Then sloshing it back and forth for 1 min, not shaking vigorously. Although it isn't going to horribly mess it up if you do the latter. Then letting it rest for 30sec and sloshing it once more.
    You're then taking that solution and squirting it into the CYA measuring tube. With the tube at waist level and your back to the sun outdoors. Don't do it inside and you have to be standing in full sun.
    As you add the solution, you watch the black dot, it'll become obscured as you add more and more solution. You want it to fully disappear, so there's no trace. Even if you look away, then back again and stare at it for a few moments. Once this point happens, carefully hold the tube up at eye level, then read the number on the side of the tube. If it falls between 2 numbers, average it.
    If you reach the top of the measuring tube and the black dot is still not gone, then it is <20ppm CYA. If it has been less than a week, wait a few days to test it again.
    The higher the concentration of CYA, large PPM number, the less solution will be in the tube when the dot disappears. Less CYA, means more solution in the tube.
    You can carefully pour the solution back into the mixing tube and give it a few sloshes, then try again. Repeating this process until you are sure you have it right. As it's a very subjective test, but you'll know you have it when your results keep coming out the same.

    If you need to add more CYA after this, It is best to buy powdered CYA. Often sold as "stabilizer" in granule form. Take the amount PCalc tells you to add in ounces, by weight is best if you have a scale that can do that. Volume will work too. Place it in an old sock, tie it to your ladder and squeeze it periodically. It should dissolve in less than a day. I take the remaining tiny bit and re-tie the sock so the knot is just down to the toe, then let that dissolve some more and smash it with your fingers. It'll all go bye bye and you can check it by carefully opening up the sock and looking in.

    As for your foaming issue? Never use clarifiers, floculants and other "magic" soups in your pool. You never know what they'll do and none of them work correctly. That is certainly the cause of your foaming issues. It should dissipate over time as your chlorine oxidizes it.
    Bleach will not do this, so long as it's unscented bleach as recommended in PS. No outdoor or specialty splash-less bleach. Just plain old laundry bleach. Generics are fine, but no dollar store stuff and buy from a place that turns stock pretty well.
    Only use what PS recommends.

    CH, ignore that. You have a vinyl pool and CH doesn't matter in them.

    Once you get your CYA up to a value you can measure or know based on what you have added. I would recommend you shock your pool as outlined in PS. Link is in my sig, last line. Read all sub links in there, including the link for "Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparking Oasis." which you'll find in the linked article.
    You can't properly shock without knowing your true CYA level and you don't stop the shock process until you meet all 3 criteria as listed in PS.

    I see it's a cartridge filter pool, I wasn't able to find the size they use, but I'm betting it's quite small as it fits into the skimmer. I would pull 2 nylon leggings over the cartridge to increase its filtration ability and to facilitate ease of cleaning. It makes a big difference in those tiny little cartridges.

    Lastly, the "Endless Pools" brand manufacturer, has equipped their pools with a filtration system that utilizes a copper/silver metals system to sanitize the pool. If you have this, you should disable it. They are a total joke and can't sanitize a pool. That's why they instruct you to use liquid bleach after each swim. All they do is add metals to your water, which when mixed with the chlorine and once built up enough, will turn your hair green and the pool water itself. Then you have to drain it and refill it.
    The list goes on, they just aren't wort it. Stick with liquid CL and proper stabilizer as and you'll feel like you're in fresh water.
    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. 5ft² - 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: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    I forgot to put in my post, what sort of test kit do you have?
    Was it the one they provided you with?
    If so, does it have FAS-DPD testing for FC+CCs, or a chart you use, yellow or red shades, to determine the FC level?
    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. 5ft² - 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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    Re: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    Thank you so much!

    My test kit is only the Taylor 1005--it only has the color chart test for Chlorine--a square plastic beaker with one side for chlorine tests and the other for PH. Sounds like I need to upgrade to the T2005, or buy a kit for testing FAS-DPD, if it can be purchased separately?

    Thank you for the clarification on the CYA test. I don't think I did the tests correctly, for one think I was not outside, and I didn't wait very long. Unfortunately, I cannot repeat the test this morning, as I am already out of the liquid.

    I think I put 2 16-oz bags of dichlor granules (dissolved in bucket). According to the pool calculator, 32-oz would raise CYA to 32? This was several weeks ago. So perhaps the CYA is at the right level already?--but I have not been keeping the FC at the right level: chart says:
    minimum FC: 2, target: 4, Shock 12!!!! Wow--isn't this going to be a LOT of bleach going in?

    YES--there is a magic copper cartridge inside the filter. we will take it out.

    I also wanted to add: my hubby got a half-horsepower pump and additional filter that we can plug in pool side and use as a pool vac or leave running for additional filtration. The one which comes with the system, though on all the time, seemed too puny. (We also purchased a "Catfish" vacuum, it was really feeble). I'm not sure I'm correct about the horsepower above, but the suction is VERY powerful (dangerous). therefore, he made a pvc fitting with 3 intake holes pointed in different directions, so that there is no danger of the thing sucking onto the liner (or a person!). I will send a pic of this homemade thing if there is any interest...

    When I go to the pool store for the test kit supplies, I should also get some dry acid for PH down?
    -A-
    Houston, TX
    as of this Sept., '12, I am a new Endless Pool owner. It is outdoors, above ground.
    3,815 gallons, 8x15, 4'3" deep. Has swim current and spa jets,
    gas heater. We have been keeping the water very warm, and we intend to swim year-round.
    It came with their standard water quality system, which has a paper filter and rather small pump. It has a security cover and stays covered when not in use.
    So far we have been in the pool nearly every day!

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    Re: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    See the link in my sig "TF100.." for a proper test kit. There you will also find in the menu on the left, a separate test for FAS-DPD and extra CYA re-agent. You can also just go for the TF100, it's a great value and has extra storage space for other tools you'll get down the road, or now. Like the speed stir so you don't have to agitate by hand.
    The owner there is great, he and hi staff are top notch on service & speed!

    You won't find these at a pool store, they just don't carry them. They either don't understand or don't think they're "necessary".

    That Taylor kit is a good quality kit, it just doesn't have enough quantity of re-agents in it. You just run out quick is all. And as you mentioned, it doesn't have FAS-DPD for CL testing which is required for the testing accuracy in order to perform a shock.

    As far as bleach usage, no, it's not that much. The CYA reduces the CL from being consumed by the sun, only about 20-50% is lost daily at standard levels. Depending on how much sun you get and the UV index. If you use the cover all day and it's purely opaque so no sunlight enters, you'll loose approx. 0.7ppm/day of your FC through oxidation of the CL.
    Every person-hour in your pool would typically create a chlorine demand of around 0.3 ppm FC. So 4 people would be 1.2ppm FC loss per hour.

    You never need to shock so long as you maintain proper FC levels daily. My pool isn't much smaller than yours, by about 600gal, which isn't that much in the grand scheme of CL usage.
    I put about 1/2-1 cup of 8.25% bleach in there about every other day unless the bather load is high. It's pretty miniscule!!
    As the summer progresses more towards fall, that really goes down due to the declination of the sun being closer to the horizon. If you let it get frigid cold in the winter, it consumes nearly ZERO CL below 60F water temp at any time.

    As for the di-chlor, that sounds right. That's what I get at PCalc for your pool. So trust it.

    BTW, don't buy your supplies at the pool store, unless they're cheap there. You can get them elsewhere cheaper, Wal-Mart usually has a good price on Cyanuric Acid granules. Big 4lb container by HTH "Arch Chemicals" for around $7-8. It's labeled as "Stabilizer & Conditioner" with a BIG purple cap, it's a solid not a liquid. You can find CYA liquid, but it's spendy stuff. As for lowering pH, don't buy dry acid, it's too expensive. Buy MA "Muriatic Acid", 20-25 baume / 31.45%-34.6%. Around here, the former being more common. You won't find it in most grocery type stores like Walmart Supercenter, Kroger, etc.. You have to go to a hardware store, or better yet, a farm supply type store. Mine was $6.99/gal of the 20 baume. Super super strong stuff!! Don't breathe it!!!
    Lowes has it, but it's closer to $8.
    DO NOT! I repeat, do not buy the "GREEN", "SAFER" MA. It's junk and it'll cost you an arm and a leg, a foot and your first born children from all marriages in the end. Just kidding, it's not that horrid, but it's spendy!! :P
    BTW, this stuff just turns into salt & Co2 once it dissolves in the pool in about 30min. Not safe out of the bottle, IE. don't drink it, or get it on your skin, or inhale it unnecessarily. But once it's in your pool, it's perfectly safe.
    Oh and never add water to acid, always acid to water and never mix with straight bleach. So just add it to the pool, slowly, in front of a return (jet of water entering the pool), let run for 30min to mix, re-test pH and you'll be OK!!

    If you do have to shock, it won't take all that much. Maybe a few gallons, maybe 3. Hard to say, every pool is different. But bleach is CHEAP!!
    Use this formula to find the cheapest stuff. It will be your friend while shopping. 12.5%=0.125 - 10%=0.10 - 6%=0.06 and so on in decimal form.

    (Ounces) X (Percentage in decimal) = CL Oz per bottle
    $Price / CL Oz. per bottle = Cost per CL Oz.
    (182 oz * 8.25%) 182 * 0.0825 = 15.015 Oz of CL
    $2.69 / 15.015 = 0.1791 Cents per CL Oz.

    That's a Kroger price BTW. I have yet to find anything cheaper either around here, or from most of the forum members posts.
    They still label it as 6% here, but it has been 8.25% since I got my pool. Took me a while to figure out why things were so high with my "color match" CL tester. When I got the FAS-DPD, it clicked almost immediately.
    So now I key in 8.25% in pool calc at the top.

    Yaaayyyrrr!! You took the magic out of the pool!!! :P
    Meh, you'll have to post pics of that pump when you get a chance. I'm not really envisioning the big picture there.
    The catfish is pretty lame. I highly recommend, as do many TFPers, the Pool Blaster Max. Same company, superior product.
    THE CG vs non-CG is just a power and battery life difference. It's even the same unit, they just put a bigger, stronger battery in it that runs the motor at a higher speed, thus more suction.

    http://watertechcorp.com/products-PBmaxCG.htm

    Also, go read pool school some more. It'll eventually sink in.
    You're doing awesome thus far.
    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. 5ft² - 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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    Just to be clear ...

    You want to get either the TF-100 or the K-2006/T-2006. The 2005 does NOT include the FAS-DPD test, only has the same DPD test you already have. You can not typically find the 2006 locally and many local employees will say the 2005=2006 and may not know what the FAS-DPD test is or will tell you there is no need to have it. Don't believe them.

    Order either the 2006 or the TF100 (better value) online.

    BTW, you can also find the FAS-DPD chlorine test by itself to add to a 2005 to upgrade to a 2006. See tftestkits.net (owned by the owner of this forum and has excellent customer service)
    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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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    Thank you so much, y_not! (may I call you y_not?), and Jason

    y_not said
    "You can also just go for the TF100, it's a great value and has extra storage space for other tools you'll get down the road, or now. Like the speed stir so you don't have to agitate by hand."


    I just ordered the TF100--storage space--I love gadgets!!!--what other things should I get? The magnetic stirrer?

    Meanwhile, I got some more reagent and did the CYA test 3 times--the black dot still visible every time at 30. I must be off about how many ounces of the dichlor I added back in September. (Maybe it was two 12oz. bags--that would put the CYA for my pool at 24.)

    Today I was at Lowes, I looked for chemicals there, there was no pure dichlor product, so I bought an 8oz. tablet pack (puck?) of 99% tricolor. My idea is I could place it in the-sock-like strainer bag we have and attach it the hose flowing out from our auxiliary filter (the one I described earlier), and take it out when it is 1/3 to 1/2 dissolved--as 5 oz. tricolor would raise the CYA into the 30's according the the PoolCalculator. (love that pool calculator!)
    What do you think of that plan?
    ( Once dissolved, will it register in the test, or does it still take a week to show?)

    I think I understand the FC to CYA better--Could you tell me if this is right?
    Without stabilizer, one's FC target # would be lower (perhaps on.y .5 ppm., BUT, that does NOT mean that one would be USING less liquid chlorine from day to day--in fact the opposite. With an ideal CYA # (30) you would need to keep the FC level higher, but you would use less chlorine, day to day, to keep it there. And the higher FC would not "feel" as chlorinated as it would w/out stabilizer.

    OK, now I have a discovery to report. I looked at our liquid bottle with my glasses on and darn if it didn't say "SPLASHLESS", contains sodium hypochlorite AND sodium hydroxide OOOPS. we have used this kind for several weeks, maybe that is why we have bubble bath. OH NO.

    purchased at Lowes today:
    Concentrated Bleach
    Active Ingredient: Sodium Hypochlorite 8.25%
    Other Ingredients 91.75 %
    THAT should get it, shouldn't it?

    Sorry this post is so long. Thanks again for the great help!
    I will send a picture of our filter rig separately.
    I also thought of several general questions I'd like to throw out there as a beginner--will post those separately, too.

    aralee,
    Foaming in Houston...
    -A-
    Houston, TX
    as of this Sept., '12, I am a new Endless Pool owner. It is outdoors, above ground.
    3,815 gallons, 8x15, 4'3" deep. Has swim current and spa jets,
    gas heater. We have been keeping the water very warm, and we intend to swim year-round.
    It came with their standard water quality system, which has a paper filter and rather small pump. It has a security cover and stays covered when not in use.
    So far we have been in the pool nearly every day!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    I am not sure why you think it was not pure Dichlor ... there are not usually additives. dichlor = dichlor

    Sounds like you get the FC/CYA relationship ... basically the CYA protects the FC from the sun, so you loose less each day.

    Splashless bleach would certainly causes your bubbles. The 8.25% is the right stuff (used to be 6%, but saving weight to reduce shipping costs now) assuming it does not say "splashless" or "fruity smelling" or some other odd thing.
    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: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    General, miscellaneous questions about pools and pool owning, from a newcomer.

    Is it necessary to keep a precise water testing log? If so, any suggestions on how to make or buy a handy one?
    How DANGEROUS is improper water, exactly. If the water is very clear, but Chlorine at zero, should one REALLY not go in? (I'm talking in a family pool, not a public one?)
    What could happen?
    What about protozoa?
    How high FC is really NOT safe to swim in?
    What are some other worst case/are there some other worst case scenarios of poor water care, besides the obvious green or murky or smelly water?
    Dogs in a pool--any cautions or anecdotes?
    Showering before: does it make a big difference to the water maintenance? (in a low usage, low number of bathers pool) (not counting super sweaty, grimy or makeup-hairspray caked, just a normal body?)
    Sun block--don't allow it???
    What do you do if something awful gets in the pool--baby poo, vomit, oil, food or beverage???
    Swim noodles--do they disintegrate and add toxins?--anything else that should not be left floating in there?

    aralee,
    imagination-running-wild in Houston
    -A-
    Houston, TX
    as of this Sept., '12, I am a new Endless Pool owner. It is outdoors, above ground.
    3,815 gallons, 8x15, 4'3" deep. Has swim current and spa jets,
    gas heater. We have been keeping the water very warm, and we intend to swim year-round.
    It came with their standard water quality system, which has a paper filter and rather small pump. It has a security cover and stays covered when not in use.
    So far we have been in the pool nearly every day!

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    Re: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    This post might be helpful to you for distinguishing between the different kinds of bleaches and which ones to avoid.

    Some people keep logs; others don't. It's probably most useful initially until you get a good feel for what is "normal" for your pool.

    If the Free Chlorine (FC) is at zero and has been for more than just a few hours, I wouldn't get in until I put chlorine in first and circulated for a while (one hour should be enough if FC holds). One bacteria can turn into 4 billion in 8 hours if there are sufficient nutrients in the pool. The risk is still low, but much higher than a properly disinfected pool. It's partly a function of whether your immune system is strong enough to handle an onslaught of bacteria. Viruses and protozoan oocysts don't reproduce outside their hosts so that's mostly an issue for person-to-person transmission of disease so more of a problem in commercial/public pools where one sick person can infect dozens if not hundreds. This is less of an issue in residential pools since the bather-load is so much lower and you have other routes of disease transmission with your family.

    The FC measurement alone doesn't tell you about chlorine's strength. The CYA level is critically important since when CYA is present the active chlorine level is proportional to the FC/CYA ratio. So with CYA in the water even a "shock" level of chlorine (FC that is 40% of the CYA level) is safe in terms of the chlorine not being too strong from a short-term health point of view, but it will oxidize swimsuits, skin and hair faster. It's technically equivalent to having around 0.6 ppm FC with no CYA. Now it's not water you'd want to drink in large quantities over an extended period of time, but that's not something you'd normally do. Technically, the EPA considers any FC above 4 ppm to be too high, but they don't consider CYA and some states allow for up to 10 ppm in their commercial/public pools.

    The most dangerous water conditions are the ones where you think everything is OK but the water is not disinfected since those can cause serious disease depending on what pathogens are present. Water that is so cloudy where you cannot see the bottom is dangerous since someone can be drowning and no one would see them at the bottom. Algae is actually the least problematic -- it's unsightly but not a health hazard unless the water isn't clear enough to see the bottom or unless it makes surfaces so slippery that someone can fall. Serious over-chlorinating, especially with no CYA in the water, can lead to noxious nitrogen trichloride fumes if the bather load is high (lots of ammonia and organics in the pool). And, of course, there are all kinds of chemical combinations that can be a problem such as Trichlor with Cal-Hypo.

    Dogs are fine in a pool, but create a much larger chlorine demand than humans. So you may notice your chlorine usage going up and your filter may get dirtier faster. The only thing you might avoid is using borates in the water if your dog drinks a lot of it on a regular basis.

    Showering makes a big difference in high bather-load situations such as commercial/public pools and in all spas, but in a residential pool you'll hardly notice the difference unless you have a pool party with lots of people. Nevertheless, it is good practice to at least rinse off if not soap-and-water-rinse before using the pool. It's not essential, but helps. Then again, an outdoor pool exposed to sunlight means that you'll have sunscreen on and that's obviously more important than trying to keep the pool cleaner. In my own pool, our annual over-sized cartridge filter cleaning has mostly sunscreen in it, but I'd never tell my wife not to wear it since it prevents sunburn from her swimming nearly every day over 7 months in our pool.

    If something bad gets in the pool, odds are the normal chlorine levels are enough to kill pathogens or oxidize excess chemicals, assuming you physically remove the bulk of what went into the pool. Nevertheless, shocking the pool with chlorine can give peace of mind.

    Swim noodles do slowly disintegrate, but aren't harmful. Pool sweeps, especially their bags and tires, slowly break down. Pool covers also break down. Chlorine is an oxidizer will attack the more flexible organics that tend to have chemical constituents that chlorine can attack. Harder plastics tend to be more impervious to chlorine. Metals will corrode which is why some metals aren't used in pools/spas. From strongest to weakest, it's roughly: titanium, high-quality stainless steel, cupro-nickel alloy, low-quality stainless steel, copper, raw steel (iron), aluminum, zinc. The rate of corrosion is a function of many things including active chlorine level and salt level.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  11. Back To Top    #11
    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by aralee
    General, miscellaneous questions about pools and pool owning, from a newcomer.

    Is it necessary to keep a precise water testing log? If so, any suggestions on how to make or buy a handy one?
    I wouldn't say it's "necessary", but it's helpful for getting an idea of how it behaves and what works best for yours, etc.. Plus it's just nice to have. Because data is cool, right?
    Personal preference is what it really boils down to.
    I made my own, before I found this one. Of which I haven't yet used, but it looks pretty nifty. There is a small error in it, somewhere. But I don't remember what it was and I'm not seeing it ATM. But it wasn't critical and is something you can fix yourself.
    pool-calculator-update-t53193.html#p437928

    Quote Originally Posted by aralee
    How DANGEROUS is improper water, exactly. If the water is very clear, but Chlorine at zero, should one REALLY not go in? (I'm talking in a family pool, not a public one?)
    What could happen?
    What about protozoa?
    It'll totally melt your skin and dissolve bodies. J/K HAHA
    That's a good question, one that actually gets asked a fair amount but not enough I think.
    You should never let CL hit zero, it takes about 15-60min according to "Chem Geek" for micro organisms to double in number. You can't see them at the early stages, or rather their net effect on the water. But they're busy in there doing their thing.
    If this ever happens, which it likely won't unless you go on vacay and no one takes care of it. Just dose it /w the required usual bleach to bring it up to target level, wait 30min for it to mix with the pump running and you're good to go.
    What will happen? Person>Person disease transfer, strep, herpes (skin, eye, other..), other disease to innumerable to list and so on. So basically people could get sick or end up with a disease from one whom is a carrier.

    Oooh, sheesh. Protazoa? Really?? Is this bio-chem class? :P
    Protazoa are just micro-organisms in the protist class that have animal like movements. Some algae can fall into this category as well. But I'm no bio-chemist. That's a question more for Chem Geek.
    What I can tell you is that chlorine kills everything. Some things slower, some faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by aralee
    How high FC is really NOT safe to swim in?
    Up to shock level as listed in the chert for your CYA level.
    But if you're shocking your pool, you should only swim once you can see the bottom and the water is no longer green. However, swimming while still shocking, even though it's safe. Will slow and prolong the shock process due to the added bather waste.

    Quote Originally Posted by aralee
    What are some other worst case/are there some other worst case scenarios of poor water care, besides the obvious green or murky or smelly water?
    Do you really want to know that? LOL
    Gee, let's see. Black murky water, typhoid fever, green swamps, one user found an organism growing in his water that looked like 100's of teenagers all hawked loogies into it. There's black algae which destroys plaster with it's "roots" and on and on goes the list. There are 100's of thousands of species of algae. They're nearly innumerable.

    The basic idea and practice is to dose your water to a target level of FC with bleach each day. Such that it doesn't drop below the minimum listed for your CYA level. If you do this, and don't get lazy with it, you'll have beautiful water year round!!

    Ex. I have 30ppm CYA (for now) in my pool. Its minimum is 2.5ppm FC (rounded up), I dose it to about 6ppm FC every night after sundown. Since I loose about 40-50% of my FC in the hottest summer months during the day, then this gives me a reserve of 0.5ppm at minimum and guarantees that I never drop below the minimum. So if I loose have during the day in July, I still have 3ppm by nightfall.
    If you want to dose it less, thus less loss each day. Add more CYA, but no more than 50ppm. Every pool is different. Experimenting on your own yields true answers for yours. Plus it's fun!!
    *Note, the minimum number was taken from more detailed CYA/Chlorine chart by Chem Geek from Ben Powell's original chart. The link of which is at the bottom of the simplified chart in Pool School.

    Quote Originally Posted by aralee
    Dogs in a pool--any cautions or anecdotes?
    Keep their nails trimmed and the tips rounded over to minimize tearing of the liner. Place nylons over the cartridge like I suggested. Put a dog in the water with them on there and when done, take it out. You'll see why and how much easier it is to clean.
    Do keep in mind that having a dog in the water will typically create a considerable chlorine demand as opposed to people. So you should check it when the dog gets out and everyone is done in the pool to see where it's at. This will give you an idea of where to have your FC level at before the pooch dives in.

    Quote Originally Posted by aralee
    Showering before: does it make a big difference to the water maintenance? (in a low usage, low number of bathers pool) (not counting super sweaty, grimy or makeup-hairspray caked, just a normal body?)
    Not really, so long as the bather hasn't showered for days, working/playing outdoors, never showers or is just generally disgusting. Then no, not a big deal. We call it bather "waste" for a reason. It's the simple biological facts of the human body. We leave behind "stuff" in the water that is necessary to "kill", lest bad things grow. Technically even if you shower and scrub down something fierce beforehand. You're still not technically "clean" when it comes to things the chlorine will find and kill.
    But of course we're clean to one another, meaning we won't get sick or nauseated. HA HA Pigpen anyone??

    Quote Originally Posted by aralee
    Sun block--don't allow it???
    Sunblock is fine, the chlorine will oxidize it and the filter will pull out the scum. Especially /w nylons on there.

    Quote Originally Posted by aralee
    What do you do if something awful gets in the pool--baby poo, vomit, oil, food or beverage???
    As far as urine goes, which you didn't mention, but I'll add that. It's no big deal. Urine is actually sterile, yeah I know it's gross, but it is. LOL Assuming not bacterial infections. The ammonia gets oxidized and broken down by the CL and any germs or bacteria get wiped out within 15-30sec IIRC.
    If fecal matter ends up in the pool, that's a different story.
    You don't need to evacuate ala "Caddyshack - Bill Murray Style". But you do need to raise the FC up to shock level for a while. I'm not sure exactly how long, or what. But I know it's standard shock process, or at least higher than usual CL. Someone else can give you more info on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by aralee
    Swim noodles--do they disintegrate and add toxins?--anything else that should not be left floating in there?
    They don't so much "disintegrate", but they do break down over time from UV. But honestly, the kids will destroy them before that happens. Then you'll be picking bits out of the skimmer for days. HAHA
    Toxins? No, I wouldn't think so. They're a polyethylene foam. Which is a petroleum product like all other plastics, foams, styros, polyester fabric and so on. It would take eons for the substance to begin biodegradation such that the chemicals would release in any sort of measurable amount. Even then, I don't know if it'd be enough to worry about.

    You probably should leave small woodland creatures, house critters, bugs, leaves, branches, trees, vehicles, mowers, computers, cell phones, cameras, yard tools or people floating in there, or sunk at the bottom or in the skimmer for very long. Tends to create issues. Some of those things I'd be worried more about how they got in there than anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by aralee
    aralee,
    imagination-running-wild in Houston
    Lol, yes it is!!
    BTW, from your previous post. You can call me Tony if you want. Or Ynot works too. I take it your name is Aralee? I have never heard that name, I like it.
    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. 5ft² - 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

  12. Back To Top    #12
    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: aralee: first time pool owner in Houston: Endless Pool

    Richard!!! You beat me to it man!

    Aralee, one things for sure. You seldom ever get too little or no help on here. It's usually the opposite, too much help!!!
    But that's not a bad thing. Lots of information to process and have at your disposal, sure beats too little and swinging your bat in the dark at the candy filled donkey.

    But Chem Geek's posts are always very informative and educating. Ones of which I personally look forward to reading whenever I see them. Often providing info on things none of us fully understand, or maybe even had a clue about.
    Knowledge if power!!
    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. 5ft² - 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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