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Thread: New pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardness

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    New pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardness

    AquaChek 7 way test strip results (this is what my local pool store used, so I bought a 25 pack end of last year)
    FC - 0
    CC or TC - 10
    pH - 7.2-7.8
    TA - 180
    CH - 500
    CYA - don't recall

    I bought the pool, er house, last October. It is a 20x40 "play pool", roughly 5' deep at the ends and about 7' deep in the middle, vinyl lined. It has a skimmer at one end, and a main drain in the bottom, 3 jets and a booster jet. There is a sand filter and natural gas heater. It has 2 walk in entries, one end and the opposite end in the corner.

    I paid a crew to "open" it, which was largely a waste. I was hoping to get some answers on plumbing and maintenance, and also expected a balanced pool- but I gather that what I got was typical: remove and stow cover, skim, check for leaks, throw some shock in, as well as some algicide and floc (with subsequent vacuuming.) $515. Blech.

    So, when I tested with some strips, I got the numbers above. From what I have read so far, I need to replace about half the water in the pool to drop the calcium as my first step. The problem is that when it got below the skimmer, it stopped. Since there is a main drain, is there a way to determine if I can divert all suction to that? It is plumbed into the sewage, so waste water just goes into the sewer, which is nice. I do have an old above ground pump I could use, but would need to dump the water somewhere?

    I plan to start using liquid chlorine once I get the hardness down, and I would consider the better testing kit, but the strips are convenient.
    20k gal vollyball pool, IG, Vinyl, Sand filter, 1hp Pentair Superflo Dual Speed main pump 340042 (2016), 3/4hp Polaris PB4-60 booster pump (2015), Polaris 380 cleaner & Hasa Liquidator w/3/8" upgrade (2013).
    Pool approx 10 years old, liner at least 4 years old.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardne

    Welcome to TFP.

    Other than adding some bleach in there, I wouldn't do anything until you get a good test kit. You really don't know what the levels are with the strips.
    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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardne

    I second the recommendation for getting the better test kit. The test strips are just not accurate enough, and there are many ways to mess up the test. So really, get the TF-100 or K-2006 from tftestkits.net, and then you will know what you really have to do. Just another suggestion, while you are waiting for the test kit, read up pool school in the top right.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardne

    Welcome!

    +1 on the test kit and pool school. Also be sure to test your fill water, you have to know what you're putting in, it may help or it may hurt. If you look at my signature you'll see my baseline numbers, draining and refilling won't change my CH. My understanding is CH isn't critical with vinyl pools so I'm slowly lowering my CH with rainwater. When I closed last fall I drained down 6", since I don't have a large leaf problem I left the pool un-covered. Now that the long hard freezes are over here I've plugged the return and skimmer and am letting the rain and snow fill the pool back up.
    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 pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardne

    Ok, so I ordered the TF100 test kit and have my new numbers. I also updated my signature with the pump specs!

    FC - 0.5
    CC or TC - 1
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 130
    CH - 600!!! (city water tested 220 CH)
    CYA - 40

    The water looks dull and cloudy. I purchased some 10% liquid chlorine at Atwoods for $3.99/gallon, which seemed good. Walmart had 8.25% for $2.99, although it is really only 3.78qts.

    Clearly I need to get the chlorine up, although we won't be swimming for a few weeks. There are currently some 3" trichloro tablets in the floater that the pool openers left. He claimed I would have problems with liquid bleach burning off too quickly, not sure I buy that.

    So...what do you think? With the city water being 220 CH I would have to empty the pool to get to 220.

    Thanks for all of the help!

    Michael
    (edit for thanks)
    20k gal vollyball pool, IG, Vinyl, Sand filter, 1hp Pentair Superflo Dual Speed main pump 340042 (2016), 3/4hp Polaris PB4-60 booster pump (2015), Polaris 380 cleaner & Hasa Liquidator w/3/8" upgrade (2013).
    Pool approx 10 years old, liner at least 4 years old.

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    Re: New pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardne

    Since the water is dull and cloudy, you are going to have to follow the shock process in pool school. As to the tablets in the floater, you won't need those, as they raise your CYA. I know that with high CH, you need to keep the pH lower, but I am not sure just how low. I will let the more experienced people help with that.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardne

    First off, chlorine is chlorine. Whether you put bleach or pucks in the pool, the resultant FC will burn off based on CYA, sunlight, temp, etc., but not where the bleach came from.

    Based on the dull water, and the fact that FC got so low, you probably need to shock the pool (remember, process not product). Head over to pool school and take a look at some of the threads in Defeating Algae for the proper way to shock a pool. After the shock process is done, based on a CYA of 40, never let the FC get below 3.

    As for the other numbers, you've got some decisions to make. At a cold temperature, you're ok. As the water starts warming up, you'll be at the upper fringe of normal with regards to possible scaling (not an issue for the vinyl, but think about equipment). If water is cheap, you can drain and refill, but because of the high CH of the fill water, you won't really get a good bang for your buck. You can use rainwater,but it will take longer and there's no guarantee with the weather. But again, not too much rush because the potential problem occurs after/as the water warms up.

    Priority one needs to be the shock process. Keep those questions coming.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: New pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardne

    That chlorine must be seriously bad. I added 3 gallons of bleach and tested 30 minutes later, and barely got a FC of 2. Added another 2 gallons and barely 5, 2 hours later. I just added 2 more gallons and I'll test again in about 30 minutes. I decided to fallback to the simple test in the TF-100 kit just to double check that my DPD powder wasn't bad.

    It says "heaping spoon"...this is a tiny spoon, so heaping is hard to define. I also read that you can't really get too much, just too little. So, it's mounded a bit, and riding up the spoon arm a tiny bit...is this the correct amount? I can try and take a picture I suppose.

    Surely 7 gallons of 10% bleach in a 20,000 gallon pool is WAY overkill.
    20k gal vollyball pool, IG, Vinyl, Sand filter, 1hp Pentair Superflo Dual Speed main pump 340042 (2016), 3/4hp Polaris PB4-60 booster pump (2015), Polaris 380 cleaner & Hasa Liquidator w/3/8" upgrade (2013).
    Pool approx 10 years old, liner at least 4 years old.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardne

    Since the FC level has been zero recently and the water is cloudy, that really isn't all that much bleach. One of your problems is that you are not adding enough chlorine at a time. Raise the pool to shock level, which is FC of 15+ with CYA at 40.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: New pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardne

    Ok, so I have followed recommendations and here are my new numbers:

    FC: 1
    CC: 1
    TA: 90
    CH: 500
    CYA: 40
    PH: 7.5

    After the advice, I purchased an 8gal Liquidator w/ 3/8" upgrade, shocked the pool with Dichlor (to raise CYA as well) and have been running the pump 6 hours overnight and about 2 hours in the afternoon. The Liquidator is set on 3.

    I think the FC got low (it had been hovering around 3-5) because of recent heavy rains and some swimmers this weekend. Crazy kids, its still 68-70 degrees!

    I should be able to just run the pump some more, and looks like I should probably set to 4 during use or after rains...would you agree? The water is still nice and clear. I do get a lot of vegetation, and the polaris is always running when the pump is to keep it clean- that could affect the FC as well.

    Also, I think I may have goofed by running the liquidator into the inlet of the heater- it specifically says not to run super-chlorinated water into it as it could affect the heat exchange. Thoughts?
    20k gal vollyball pool, IG, Vinyl, Sand filter, 1hp Pentair Superflo Dual Speed main pump 340042 (2016), 3/4hp Polaris PB4-60 booster pump (2015), Polaris 380 cleaner & Hasa Liquidator w/3/8" upgrade (2013).
    Pool approx 10 years old, liner at least 4 years old.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner- help with equipment configuration/hardne

    The way that the LQ works, the connection to the heater is flowing from the heater to the LQ. Not into the heater. Where did you hook the LQ outlet to?

    The proper way to handle extra loads (extra bathers, rain, etc.) is to manually add bleach to get the FC at high normal for 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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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