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Thread: Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

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    Temecula, California
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    Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

    Hi! I posted the other day about our pool but didn't have numbers so I'm back now.

    We just bought this house and it was maintained up until about two weeks ago.

    Pool water still looks clear, nice, weather has been 40s at night, high 70s during the day, and it rained a few days last week. It'll be in the 80s later this week.

    Here are my numbers from today (using Leslie kit recommended on this site):

    Pool:

    FC=2
    TC=2
    CC=2-2=0
    pH=8.2
    acid demand=took 3 drops to get it to 7.2
    TA=12 drops
    CH = turned red for hardness but kit shipped missing the reagent that tells how many drops
    CYA = 100

    Spa:

    FC=1
    TC=2
    CC=2-1=1
    pH=8.2
    acid demand=took 4 drops to get to 7.2
    TA=14 drops
    CH = yes turned red
    CYA=100

    Today we found the chlorine feeder and its tabs. The feeder looks like it has just the very end of a tab left in it. Should we go ahead and put a new tab in or should we do various fixes to correct the problems above first?

    Any help greatly appreciated--thank you!
    Temecula, California (1999), 32K gal, IG plaster, 320 sq ft cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SRVS (model 11017) pump, Zodiac Nature2 Model G inground purifier, pool solar hot water and Riley 400K BTU heater, SWG Pool Pilot DIG-220, spa

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

    Drucie:

    Welcome to TFP

    The first thing that jumps out is that your FC is way too low for your CYA of 100. That is an algae bloom waiting to happen. At that level of CYA, you're looking at an FC maintenance level of between 8 and 13 ppm. I would get your CYA down to around 50 which will require draining & refilling half the pool's water. At a CYA of 50, the maintenance FC level drops to between 4 and 8 ppm. In all likelihood, the previous owner used pucks in the automatic chlorinator which resulted in the CYA getting so high. Going forward, I would use plain liquid bleach as your chlorine source since it does not contain CYA (or CH either for that matter).

    As for the pH of 8.2, that is a bit high. Recommend getting that down in the 7.5 - 7.8 range for your pool. BTW, do not put much stock in the acid demand reagent as a guide to how much muriatic acid you should dose your pool with. Use the Pool Calculator (link in my sig) for dosing amounts.

    Regarding CH, until you get the reagent needed to turn the red to blue (s/b reagent R-0012) the CH level cannot be determined.
    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
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    Re: Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

    I have been reading the pool school articles and don't want to use the "pucks" anymore. So am I correct in thinking the first step will be to do the shock as described in the "shock process" article?

    Also we are talking about buying a saltwater generator. We do travel fairly frequently for 6 or 7 days at a time and from what I've read, the saltwater system will be much more forgiving for us. We are gone for that length of time for maybe 3-4 times a year and then shorter trips of 3-4 days a few other times a year. Any tips or recs on saltwater? Because of the size of our pool 32K gal looks like we are a bit more limited in what systems are available to us.

    What type of worker installs the system? A plumber? Electrician?

    Thanks!
    Temecula, California (1999), 32K gal, IG plaster, 320 sq ft cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SRVS (model 11017) pump, Zodiac Nature2 Model G inground purifier, pool solar hot water and Riley 400K BTU heater, SWG Pool Pilot DIG-220, spa

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

    Quote Originally Posted by Drucie
    I have been reading the pool school articles and don't want to use the "pucks" anymore. So am I correct in thinking the first step will be to do the shock as described in the "shock process" article?
    If the water is clear and the CC = 0, you shouldn't need to do the shock process. With your CYA level, it would take a huge amount of chlorine. Just get the FC level up, fast. Liquid bleach is the easiest way.

    You will probably want to do a partial drain and refill to get the CYA level down a bit. But don't do it just yet; you don't know what the CH level is. Wait until you know what that is so you can drain the appropriate amount. For what it's worth, the "recommended levels" for CH are mostly fantasy in SoCal. My experience: if you start the season at 500ish you will end up in the 800 range by the end of summer. It might be a little worse where you live since it gets a little hotter than where I live. Just as an aside, you're one of the lucky people who live where reverse osmosis is available. If CH is astronomical, it might be worth having that done. Then you can start the season with CH really low.

    A cover reduces the losses, but it will also make the pool heat up. Bathwater is not that refreshing, so you'll have to play the balancing game of minimizing evaporation versus a pool that's too hot for comfort.
    Also we are talking about buying a saltwater generator. We do travel fairly frequently for 6 or 7 days at a time and from what I've read, the saltwater system will be much more forgiving for us. We are gone for that length of time for maybe 3-4 times a year and then shorter trips of 3-4 days a few other times a year. Any tips or recs on saltwater? Because of the size of our pool 32K gal looks like we are a bit more limited in what systems are available to us.

    What type of worker installs the system? A plumber? Electrician?

    Thanks!
    I don't have one yet, so no personal experience there.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

    I think we are going to try to get saltwater in place ASAP. I was looking at prices online and I think in the long run it's going to be a good investment for us. For instance, we are moving in this weekend, will be in the house for five days, then gone two days, then back one day, then gone seven days. That is not an ideal schedule for just starting out with a new (to us) pool. We need something that is lower on maintenance.

    So for today -- I only have 15 min at the new house. Tomorrow I have as much time as I need to do whatever needs to be done. Would it be advisable today to dump in a bunch of liquid bleach (planning to use grocery store household bleach)? For a 32K gal pool, how many gallons of bleach are we talking?

    Also as for the pool water, is it important that it still *looks* totally clear and sparkling? It does not look the least bit cloudy.
    Temecula, California (1999), 32K gal, IG plaster, 320 sq ft cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SRVS (model 11017) pump, Zodiac Nature2 Model G inground purifier, pool solar hot water and Riley 400K BTU heater, SWG Pool Pilot DIG-220, spa

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    Re: Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

    According to the pool calculator you will need to add 2455 oz of 6% bleach to get to your shock value of 39 ppm and need 54 oz of muratic acid to lower your ph from 8.2 to 7.5
    The cya test only reads to 100 ppm so it could be much higher so i would redo the test using half pool water and half tap water and double the results to get a accurate reading and then drain 50% of the water and refill after you get the ch tested and don't. Start the shock process until to lower the cya to around 50ppm to save you alot of money.....good luck and ask as many questions as you wish
    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: Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

    Right now I have to say you do not know your current CYA level. Most tests stop at 100, so you are going to want to dilute the pool water 50/50 with tap water, then retest. If you are going to go with an SWCG, you will want your CYA to be around 70-80, so knowing exactly how much water to replace is going to be your most important first step. (I see now fast1971 beat me to it).

    I was going to recommend a SWCG, you can see what I have in my signature line. I looked at the site where I purchased mine, and it appears they are doing some site maintenance and do not have it listed right now. If you need an email or phone number, let me know. The exact unit I have on my pool will be the size you want on yours, it is good for up to 60,000 gallons and therefore will not have to work as hard to keep your chlorine level up in your size pool.

    I installed my SWCG myself. If you are comfortable working with PVC and are OK running one wire to your timer, you can do it. It's not hard at all.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

    So I need 25 bottles of 96 oz bleach! That is a lot of bleach. I am assuming the muriatic acid I can buy from pool store. Can I add both together on the same day? And do I just pour it in all at once or do it in stages, try to mix, etc? I only have about 15 min at the house today.
    Temecula, California (1999), 32K gal, IG plaster, 320 sq ft cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SRVS (model 11017) pump, Zodiac Nature2 Model G inground purifier, pool solar hot water and Riley 400K BTU heater, SWG Pool Pilot DIG-220, spa

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    Re: Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

    You can get MA (Muriatic Acid) from the pool store, but I recommend going to a hardware store like Home Depot or Lowe's, that way you won't get "pool stored". They may try to sell you dry acid or pH Down, which is more expensive and not necessary. With the pump running, pour the acid directly into the pool very slowly near a return. Do not mix water into acid, always acid into water. I recommend using eye protection at the very minimum. I use my full coverage sunglasses, and turn my head away while pouring to avoid fumes.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

    It doesn't appear that you need to shock, and even of you do, you need to get the CYA down first, so I'd add about 3 gallons of bleach after you adjust the pH.

    It looks like you'll need about 2 quarts of 31.45% muriatic acid to get to the mid 7's. Go ahead and add that and wait about 30 mins and test it again. Then add more if you need to. Then about 30 mins after the acid you can add the bleach.

    Once you have that done you can work on the CYA.
    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
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Getting slightly neglected pool back into shape

    Quote Originally Posted by Drucie

    FC=2
    TC=2
    CC=2-2=0
    pH=8.2
    acid demand=took 3 drops to get it to 7.2
    TA=12 drops
    CH = turned red for hardness but kit shipped missing the reagent that tells how many drops
    CYA = 100

    Spa:

    FC=1
    TC=2
    CC=2-1=1
    pH=8.2
    acid demand=took 4 drops to get to 7.2
    TA=14 drops
    CH = yes turned red
    CYA=100
    Actually if you are measuring CC's by subtracting from TC then you are not using the recommended kit.

    Tell me which of these is how you are measuring chlorine levels:

    DPD (click here for details)
    FAS-DPD (click here for details)
    OTO (click here for details)

    Based on your posting I would guess it's the DPD one. This is a common problem. Leslie's doesn't stock the FAS-DPD in stores only the DPD based kit. You can easily add a FAS-DPD kit to your Leslie's kit and you'll have everything you need for keeping the pool in great shape. Without it you will have trouble following the methods used here which rely on a very high accuracy and precision for both FC and CC's. All the other tests you have are correct and will work fine.

    Which kit is the one you bought?

    The recommended kit is this one: Part Number 81329
    Which is very similar to this one: Part Number 81325
    However this is more commonly in stock at the stores: Part Number 81330

    The 81330 is the same as 81325 but has smaller 0.75oz bottles vs. the larger 2oz bottles in the service kit. Neither one has FAS-DPD - only the 81329 contains that. You can order a FAS-DPD only kit separately from a number of places to augment what you have.
    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

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