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Thread: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

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    New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    My wife and I just purchased a home with a salt generator. It's fairly clear, but has a decent amount of algae. Bought a vacuum to use today. When using it, I could get it to suck things like leaves up, but didn't really do anything with the algae. Does the algae need to be killed or anything before I can begin sucking it up? Or does the SWG system take care of it for me?

    I have a 23,900 gallon printed vinyl pool. I decided to take a water sample to the local pool shop and I just want to make sure I won't be getting ripped off. I can still return the chemicals if necessary. She said the previous owners did not maintain the pool well, and it is going to need a lot of treatment to get it to where it needs to be. Chemicals ran to about $250. These are the results followed by their computer system recommendations:

    Saturation
    Current: -3.4
    Ideal: -.3 - +.3

    TDS
    Current: 1400
    Ideal: <2500

    CYA
    Current: 100
    Ideal: 60-200

    Tot. Chlorine
    Current: 0
    Ideal: 1-3

    pH
    Current: <6.2
    Ideal: 7.4-7.6

    Total Alkalinity
    Current: 10
    Ideal: N/A

    Adj. Total Alkalinity
    Current: 0
    Ideal: 80-125

    Tot. Hardness
    Current: 221
    Ideal: 200-400

    Salt
    Current: 2900
    Ideal: 3000

    Optimizer +
    Current: 23
    Ideal: 30-35

    Iron
    Current: .2
    Ideal: 0


    RECOMMENDATIONS

    Today (Friday) - Add 3 quarts of Pool Magnet Plus (For the Iron)

    Sunday - Add 12 pounds of predissolved Balance Pak 100 for Alkalinity every 4 hours for a total of 48 pounds (What's the best method of predissolving?)

    Monday - Add 8 pounds of Optimizer Plus and 4 pounds of Lo 'N Slo. Repeat once after 3 hours for a total of 16 pounds Optimizer and 8 pounds Lo 'N Slo

    Tuesday - Add 31oz of Alagae Inhibitor for initial Spring Setup

    Next Friday - Add 2 bags of Smart Shock (She was also going to have me add 2 pounds of Balance Pak 200, but changed her mind and scratched it off)



    The lady in no way seemed like she was trying to screw me over, and at no point tried to "sell" me anything. She was very helpful and even showed me in the store how the SWG pump works and how to run the backwash. I think the cost is what threw me off a bit, but if this all looks legit, then I'm perfectly fine spending it. Any comments are greatly appreciated!

    ALSO:

    I have a AQUA RITE system. When I opened up the box, the switch was turned up to the SUPER CHLORINATE, but there were no light indicators on. I turned it down to Off, and after turning it off then on, the light next to "Off" started blinking. I did not try to put it on AUTO and reset it (When I flipped it up after seeing the "Off" light come on, the light indicator didn't change). I may have questions about that as well.
    23,900, IG Printed vinyl, .5-2 HP SuperFlo pump, Sand Dollar Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    I can't write much now (hopefully someone else will shortly, but I will check back).

    But basically, you would likely be better of taking EVERYTHING back to the pool store. Reading Pool School (button at the upper right), ordering a test kit and taking control for yourself ... this will save a LOT of money in the long run.

    You got what we call ... "pool-stored"
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    I totally agree with what jblizzle said. To elaborate a little: your PH and TA are both way way too low. Yet their instructions have you adding 8 pounds of Lo 'N Slo. Look up Lo 'N Slo. It's purpose is to *lower* PH and TA. There is no possible use for Lo 'N Slo in this situation.

    About the only thing they told you that makes complete sense is "the previous owners did not maintain the pool well, and it is going to need a lot of treatment to get it to where it needs to be", but certainly not most of the steps they are recommending.

    Another tidbit, did you known that Balance Pak 100 is exactly the same stuff as household baking soda. Compare the price of baking soda in the grocery store to the price of Balance Pak 100 when you have a chance.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    First: take back ALL of the pool store chemicals. Second: order your own test kit (either the TF-100 or K-2006 from tftestkits.net). Third: While waiting for the kit, read pool school a few times. I do not trust the pool store results, but if it is correct about CYA, you are going to have to replace at least 50 % of your water. If the pH and TA tests are right, they are very low. Once you get your test kit, you are going to have to adjust pH and TA, and then follow the shock process in pool school. I can't help with the SWG, so I will let someone else do 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.
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    Welcome to TFP Sportztawk. Never trust anyone who tells you a CYA of 200 is OK. Bring all that **** back. Wih a SWG you can get away with 70-80 but 100 might be pushing it but getting it cleared up with a level of 100 is going to be tough. Hopefully it's a little lower than that. Start stocking up on bleach and reading pool school while you wait for your kit. Pay attention to shocking and the OCLT.

    And yes you have to kill the algea. Stick around here and stay out of that pool store and you'll be in good shape.
    10,800 gallons Gunite/Plaster
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    Hi, welcome to TFP! You may have had a very nice lady waiting on you, but I'm afraid either she's not very knowledgeable and/or her testing is inaccurate.

    First, there is absolutely no reason to string out what needs to be added to your pool over a week's time span. Second Bioguard products are expensive and there are plenty of less expensive alternatives from the pool or grocery store.

    I doubt the testing is accurate and here is why:
    CYA can actually be much higher than 100 since most tests for CYA only test up to 100 ppm. Odds are if the result is 100, it is really 100+. You can check this by mixing 1 part pool water with 1 part tap water and have it tested, then double the result.
    The TA and pH results are very suspect. I have a hard time believing numbers that low are accurate.

    The best way you can ensure accurate testing is to invest in your own high quality FAS/DPD test kit. You will rarely find one in the pool stores but they can be found online. The Taylor K2006 is available at multiple sites and the TF 100 is a very good value.

    Once you have accurate testing you can enter the results in the Pool Calculator to see what you need to add to balance the pool.

    I have a question. Do you use well water to fill the pool? I was wondering where the iron in the report came from.

    Finally, if you have algae then you will need to complete the shock process before you balance the pool. Algaecide will not kill existing algae, and vacuuming it will not make it go away. You need to add chlorine, preferably liquid chlorine, to raise the chlorine to shock level for your pool and brush the pool during the shock process. You keep the pool at shock level by frequent re-testing and adding enough chlorine to keep the pool at shock level until the pool passes the overnight test.

    Read through our Pool School in the upper right corner of every page, especially the sections on "shocking your pool" and "defeating algae".
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    One of the principles we try to adhere to is we don't suggest mix and match of advice. You'd be better off EITHER going with your pool store's advice OR with ours.

    Trying to do both usually wastes your time, often gives you confusing results, makes it VERY difficult for us to help, and usually doesn't help your pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    Not to mention it also usually wastes a lot of money. I am sure it will not cost $250 in BBB chemicals to clear the pool.
    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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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    Hey guys, thanks for the responses. I did return all the chemicals back to the store. So I'm seeing that I need to Shock the pool. My first question is:

    Do I need to lower my CYA levels BEFORE I start the shocking process?
    23,900, IG Printed vinyl, .5-2 HP SuperFlo pump, Sand Dollar Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    Did you order the proper test kit yet? If not, do that. Get the TF-100 (better value) or K-2006 (what I use) from tftestkits.net. Since your CYA says 100, it could be much higher. Either way, you will need to drain at least 1/2 of the pool to get it down to a reasonable number before you shock.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    Quote Originally Posted by SportzTawk
    Do I need to lower my CYA levels BEFORE I start the shocking process?
    Only if you trust that test result to be correct ... knowing that CYA seems to be the test that the pool stores are notoriously the worst at getting right.

    Have you ordered one of the recommended test kits yet with all the money you just saved returning all the chemicals?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    I haven't yet, haven't had a chance to jump online, but I plan on doing that either tonight or first thing tomorrow. I did buy some test strips from Lowes very cheap thanks to my discount just as something I have on hand as I wait for the better kit. Those strips also supposedly measure CYA.
    23,900, IG Printed vinyl, .5-2 HP SuperFlo pump, Sand Dollar Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    I did buy some test strips from Lowes very cheap thanks to my discount just as something I have on hand as I wait for the better kit. Those strips also supposedly measure CYA.
    BBB teaches precision when you test. Strips simply do not provide it. Importantly, adjusting your water based on an inaccurate test result can often make matters worse.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    Yea, I definitely don't intend to rely on them. They were very cheap and I figured it was a way for just a very quick test in the future.

    I am about to order one of the test sets now. I have a SWG. Should I be running the pump while I wait for the test kit? And if I should be, should I be running the Aqua Rite with it?
    23,900, IG Printed vinyl, .5-2 HP SuperFlo pump, Sand Dollar Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    And to add to that... Starting from the very beginning, is there a roiugh time frame as to when I should be all set to start using the pool?
    23,900, IG Printed vinyl, .5-2 HP SuperFlo pump, Sand Dollar Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    It depends on how diligently you follow the shock process. Could be days, could be weeks. Sounds like your may not look too bad, so I would say around 5-7 days, but again, depends on how bad the pool is and how strict you are with following the process.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    OK cool. I bought the test kit, but didn't have this question answered:

    Should I be running the pump while I wait for the test kit? And if I should be, should I be running the Aqua Rite with it?
    23,900, IG Printed vinyl, .5-2 HP SuperFlo pump, Sand Dollar Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    Does not really matter. Running it may keep it from getting much worse, but not really helping. There is no reason to be adding any chemicals since you may have to replace water anyway.

    When you get the kit. Post a full set of results. Then you will likely need to replace water to lower the CYA. Then you will go through the shock process (SWG off). Then you will adjust the rest and get the SWG fired back up.

    Where are you located? Which kit did you order and from where?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    I'm assuming the DWG is the Aqua Rite correct? And when I rep[lace the water, do I just run the backwash into the yard?

    I am located about 30 minutes north of Charlotte, and the kit I ordered was from the link provided in this thread to be shipped out of Raleigh. So with UPS, I'm expecting it to be here by Friday. I'm working Tues-Thurs shifts at the moment, so I'm hoping it will be here on Friday for a nice 4 day weekend of pool prep!
    23,900, IG Printed vinyl, .5-2 HP SuperFlo pump, Sand Dollar Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New House with Salt Water System - Need chemical help!

    You will certainly have the kit by Friday, maybe even Thursday ... Dave is quick.

    SWG (SaltWater chlorine Generator), yes the AquaRite. You may not be able to use just the pump to replace the water. Depends if you can isolate a floor drain and if you have a waste setting on the filter (backwash is not a good idea).

    Please add your pool details and location as described HERE
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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