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Thread: New Here would like some assistance!

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    New Here would like some assistance!

    Hi all!

    I'm Alvin from Melbourne Australia and would like to say hi to everyone. I've stumbled across this website which I have found very useful but at the same time overwhelming. I'm hoping to get some help with understanding my pool and of course in the long term I'd like to be able to give back to others

    So my situation is as follows; I've recently settled into a house with a swimming pool which I know very little about except certain specs and I'm trying to learn more about how everything works. I've read pool school (which I admit I don't seem to quite understand it all) but I've picked up things here and there and of course my aim is to understand more about my swimming pool and of course how to take care of it.

    My pool specifications are in my signature and I also have a salt water generator.

    Now I have some basic knowledge which was passed onto my from the owner which I'm trying to follow like keep the cover on to stop sunlight destroying chlorine, clean the skimmer?filter? which collects leaves in the actual pool being sucked up by a hammerhead. Clean another filter?(it's situated next to my pump) and backwash once a month.

    So that's pretty much as far as my knowledge is concerned and I suppose I was hoping that I could have some assistance with queries below so I can understand my pool better and what exactly pool school is trying to tell me.

    1) I have a SWG and a Pump and is it correct to say that all pools need pumps and the SWG runs off the pump? Or does it have another pump of its own?

    2) Waterline tiles,concrete shell with Washington white pebble and diamond brite finish. Should i treat my pool like it's made of concrete and follow the ppm's etc based off this information? Or does the white pebble and diamond brite finish mean i treat it differently?

    3) Chlorine does not affect PH levels, rather it acts differently depending on what the PH level is.

    4) muriatic acid(I have a bottle of hydrochloric acid, whats the difference?)<pH>borax (pH's resistance to change is affected by Total Alkinity)

    5) What's the difference between Total Alkinity and Borates? (They seem to serve the same purpose in that to control pH's resistance to change)

    5) rain,sunlight, swimming <Free Chlorine> Salt water generators& chlorine (chlorine's resistance to change is affected by CYA levels)

    6) Which test kit will be most suitable for me? I'd like to test for pretty much everything including salt(I tried reading the difference between the two but I have no idea as to what the differences are)

    I know it's a lot of questions and any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Alvin
    1) 9250 Gallons (35k Litres)
    2) Sandpiper 650 sand filter
    3) IG pool - Waterline tiles,concrete shell with Washington white pebble and diamond brite finish.
    4) Flow rate of filter is 4000 Gallons/Hr (15k L/H). )
    5) Build in 1993, MELB AUS

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    Welcome to TFP!

    1) Water from your main pump flows through your SWCG where the chlorine is generated.

    2)Yes, you have a plaster pool and should use those numbers.

    3)Chlorine doesn't affect pH levels, but it can affect the pH test at higher levels. That depends somewhat on which pH test you have. Chlorine chemistry varies somewhat with pH, but not really enough to concern yourself with.

    4)Muriatic acid is hydrochloric acid. Also called Spirits of salts in some places.

    5)Rain has only a very slight affect on your water. It dilutes everything of course, but generally not by much. Sunlight can reduce your chlorine level, and CYA helps protect the chlorine from UV light. Sunlight also breaks down combined-chlorine which is a good thing. SWCG pools run at higher CYA levels than other chlorinated pools, and tend not ot have CC problems, probably due to the high chlorine levels within the SWCG cell.

    6)Go with the TF-100 with either of the salt tests added. Check it out at tftestkits.net, but you'll have to order from a different supplier, http://www.tdchlorinators.com.au/tf100.php Don't know for sure about the salt test, but they may carry them as well.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    Thanks a lot for your help John!

    If you don't mind I hope I can trouble you with a few more questions. Now that I at least know roughly what I'm meant to do, there are still a few more queries.

    Thanks for your response regarding the CC. However, I have a pool cover on my pool which I plan to keep on to save water and prevent leaves etc getting into the pool. Is the best way to get rid of this CC just to put in extra FC?

    Another issue is that I think I do see algae growing on the top of my pool cover but not in the pool. Does this mean I need to shock my pool? Or can I just take my cover out and give it a good clean. Also, what makes swimming in algae so dangerous since people swim in ponds etc?

    Thanks again for your help! Greatly appreciated. Now my next step is to buy that test kit!
    1) 9250 Gallons (35k Litres)
    2) Sandpiper 650 sand filter
    3) IG pool - Waterline tiles,concrete shell with Washington white pebble and diamond brite finish.
    4) Flow rate of filter is 4000 Gallons/Hr (15k L/H). )
    5) Build in 1993, MELB AUS

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    A little bit of sunlight when you are using the pool should take care of the CC unless you have a heavy bather load. With a SWCG it shouldn't be a problem.

    Depending on what kind of cover you have, you may find that it makes the pool dirtier because the skimmers aren't effective and the dirt settles to the bottom. You'll have to see how things work for you.

    Algae on the cover can be a problem because water can get there and be isolated from the chlorine in the rest of the pool. It is unrelated to pool chemistry generally, though allowing algae in the pool is going to make it worse on the cover. Cleaning would probably help.

    Algae in the water presents two issues. First, if there is algae, the water isn't sanitized properly to prevent other pathogens, which aren't visible, from remaining in the water and being transferred between swimmers. Once algae takes hold, you'll find that your chlorine level is going to stay at 0ppm until you follow the shock process to kill the algae.

    Second is that when the algae gets bad enough you can't see the bottom of the pool, so if a swimmer is drowning you may not even notice they are gone until it is too late. Drowning victims virtually never yell or give any obvious indication that they are struggling, so they will just disappear quietly.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    Quote Originally Posted by zazzy
    5) What's the difference between Total Alkinity and Borates? (They seem to serve the same purpose in that to control pH's resistance to change)
    You had two question #5's and I don't believe this one got answered. Total Alkalinity (TA) is a measure of the resistance of the water to a lowering of pH. For small pH moves, it also reflects the resistance to a rise in pH. TA is mostly a measure of bicarbonate and though it is a pH buffer, it is also a SOURCE of rising pH due to carbon dioxide outgassing. Borates also act as a pH buffer but do not result in any outgassing of carbon dioxide so do not contribute to rising pH. Also, borates have a fairly low TA since their buffering strength is mostly against a rise in pH. So in some sense, these two complement each other in terms of pH buffering, but the borates don't have the side effect of making the pH rise.

    Also, the TA that is due to the carbonates is also there, along with calcium, to protect plaster surfaces. The pH, TA, CH, salt or TDS, and temperature all determine the Calcite Saturation Index which tells you if the water is in chemical balance with your plaster.
    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"

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    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    Thanks for all the help guys!

    Hopefully my test kit is on its way and when it arrives I'll be sure to update you all on my before and after tests and how it went!
    1) 9250 Gallons (35k Litres)
    2) Sandpiper 650 sand filter
    3) IG pool - Waterline tiles,concrete shell with Washington white pebble and diamond brite finish.
    4) Flow rate of filter is 4000 Gallons/Hr (15k L/H). )
    5) Build in 1993, MELB AUS

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    Hello again guys!

    Received my test kit and like a newbie I initially had no idea what to do. I did eventually find the instructions on the TF website and before I knew it, I had my results.

    Here are my initial readings and I'll most likely run a second and third test because I have a feeling somewhere along the lines I've done something incorrectly.

    Chlorine 5
    PH 7.2
    FC 3.5
    TA 210
    CYA 20-30
    Ch 800
    Salt N/A

    I do have some further questions though regarding what exactly I should be looking for in my tests.. The Chlorine & PH test are easy enough to test by comparing the colours and I have no real issues with that. The free chlorine is also fairly easy to tell as it turns a clear white, however, the other tests I'm finding are a bit trickier.


    1) What sort of blue do I look for in the calcium hardness test? Do I look for a full blue? I found this test quite tricky because the change in colour was very gradual and I had no idea what I was searching for so I ended up using a lot of drops.


    I hope that someone might be able to clarify those few things so I can get better accuracy with my tests, especially with the calcium hardness test. The 800 figure kind of worries me and I'm unsure how exactly to tell if my pool has scale building up, is cloudy or I just read the results incorrectly. (If it helps, when the water is put in the test tubes it looks kind of clear? I can't really compare as I haven't seen a pool that looks like its full of life)

    I also have a two more kind of newbish questions. When rinsing my tubes before testing, should I be rinsing with tap water or pool water? Lastly, how exactly do I fill up the water in my pool? Do i just get tap water from a garden hose and let it run?

    Apologies if the questions seem kind of obvious too! Thanks again!
    1) 9250 Gallons (35k Litres)
    2) Sandpiper 650 sand filter
    3) IG pool - Waterline tiles,concrete shell with Washington white pebble and diamond brite finish.
    4) Flow rate of filter is 4000 Gallons/Hr (15k L/H). )
    5) Build in 1993, MELB AUS

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    The CH test is hard. Go faster than you think you need to, look on you tube for a video of this test. Swirling must be done constantly, I hold the sample in one hand and constantly agitate with the other. When I did this at first I put the sample down and picked it up to swirl after each drop and my results were way higher than they are with the correct technique.

    You are supposed to rinse before each test with pool water. I usually rinse with tap water after each test also and at the end of all testing I rinse with tap water.

    Typically we fill the pool using our hoses, unless you are on a well where metals are a concern.

    Sent via Tapatalk...
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    Thanks!

    I bought the speed stir so I was just watching it whilst dropping it in. I did just check the other testing thread where someone also had his colours go from red,purple,blue. Is this a issue with metals?

    I will go take a look at youtube and maybe someone will show me how to perform it properly.

    Looks like I've been doing it correctly then. Thanks! I'll give my tests a second and third chance and see what I get.
    1) 9250 Gallons (35k Litres)
    2) Sandpiper 650 sand filter
    3) IG pool - Waterline tiles,concrete shell with Washington white pebble and diamond brite finish.
    4) Flow rate of filter is 4000 Gallons/Hr (15k L/H). )
    5) Build in 1993, MELB AUS

  10. Back To Top    #10
    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    You may want to do a PH TA & CH test on your fill water for a baseline. If I want to lower my CH I have to do it slowly with rain/snow. There are people here that have been higher than you are and have managed their pools until it could be brought down with rain water.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    Quote Originally Posted by msgtdan
    You may want to do a PH TA & CH test on your fill water for a baseline. If I want to lower my CH I have to do it slowly with rain/snow. There are people here that have been higher than you are and have managed their pools until it could be brought down with rain water.
    Thanks for that advice. I've vacuumed some dirt so it got rid of some water and replaced it with some fresh tap water but it hasn't changed the reading. I suppose it will take a long time since it was at 800 levels.

    Today I also went to test my pool water with the local pool shop (In case I'm not at home and I need someone to use them) and the owner said that I needed to take a sample of when the filter(I'm assuming pump+chlorinator) was running and he said this was due to the chemicals sitting at the bottom of the pool. I'm also running my chlorinator twice a day for 3 hours each time, once in the morning and once at night as per the chlorinator manual but he has also said that it's better to run the filter for 6 hours straight as 3 hours isn't enough to turn the water.

    I've read pool school and also looked in the testing link but there has been no mention about taking the test when the filter is running. Is this a really important step?

    Also, I was advised by him to spray chlorine chlorine on my covers to get rid of the algae growing onto it but now that I think about it won't the chlorine destroy the covers?

    Thanks for all the help!
    1) 9250 Gallons (35k Litres)
    2) Sandpiper 650 sand filter
    3) IG pool - Waterline tiles,concrete shell with Washington white pebble and diamond brite finish.
    4) Flow rate of filter is 4000 Gallons/Hr (15k L/H). )
    5) Build in 1993, MELB AUS

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    Stay out of the pool store. You are getting sketchy advice and likely sketchy testing.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    Where to start...

    Find another store if you need someone for when you are out of town. This person you talked to is confused and will only make things more complicated.

    The chemicals don't settle, but they do need to be circulated. Chlorine can get used up locally and circulation avoids having areas where the chlorine gets too low locally.

    Multiple filter cycles are a good as single long one - ignore this silly advice.



    Sent via Tapatalk...
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    Thanks guys.

    I'll definitely take a look at surrounding shops.
    1) 9250 Gallons (35k Litres)
    2) Sandpiper 650 sand filter
    3) IG pool - Waterline tiles,concrete shell with Washington white pebble and diamond brite finish.
    4) Flow rate of filter is 4000 Gallons/Hr (15k L/H). )
    5) Build in 1993, MELB AUS

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Re: New Here would like some assistance!

    Quote Originally Posted by zazzy
    Quote Originally Posted by msgtdan
    You may want to do a PH TA & CH test on your fill water for a baseline. If I want to lower my CH I have to do it slowly with rain/snow. There are people here that have been higher than you are and have managed their pools until it could be brought down with rain water.
    Thanks for that advice. I've vacuumed some dirt so it got rid of some water and replaced it with some fresh tap water but it hasn't changed the reading. I suppose it will take a long time since it was at 800 levels.

    Today I also went to test my pool water with the local pool shop (In case I'm not at home and I need someone to use them) and the owner said that I needed to take a sample of when the filter(I'm assuming pump+chlorinator) was running and he said this was due to the chemicals sitting at the bottom of the pool. I'm also running my chlorinator twice a day for 3 hours each time, once in the morning and once at night as per the chlorinator manual but he has also said that it's better to run the filter for 6 hours straight as 3 hours isn't enough to turn the water.

    I've read pool school and also looked in the testing link but there has been no mention about taking the test when the filter is running. Is this a really important step?

    Also, I was advised by him to spray chlorine chlorine on my covers to get rid of the algae growing onto it but now that I think about it won't the chlorine destroy the covers?

    Thanks for all the help!
    +1 for staying away from the pool store.

    [in Australia] I get my 12% bleach from Bunnings once I am sure it is a fresh batch, or if I am in a rush can get bottles of bleach from Aldi pretty cheap.

    I would like to pick up on the comment about spraying the covers with chlorine/bleach though.

    I scrubbed my cover yesterday very carefully, was a hot day so managed to do a very thorough job on it while still in the pool... It was quite enjoyable. Even got the scrubbing brush and went around the waterline it was not a hard job....

    Still there are some small stubborn algae on the solar cover that I would like to spray with bleach to eliminate....

    Does anybody else have experience with this, will bleach eat away the solar cover (light blue bubble type cover) ???
    13,000 gallon; sand filter; inground; fibreglass; pump not sure yet (need to check); Installed over 12 months ago.

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