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Thread: noob with new pool lots of questions

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    noob with new pool lots of questions

    Howdy all,

    I am new too pools and this site. I have done a lot of reading here but I still have some questions. My family will be getting a new Intex ultra frame 16'x48" pool. I have also purchased a SWG to go with it. I live in Michigan and have well water with IRON. Here are some of my questions

    First off I KNOW this is not the best AGP in the world. I have 3 kids, 2 dogs, an ex wife and current wife. I'm on a budget **** it!

    1. Do I have to take this thing down every year? I understand removing the pumps and storing them and removing some of the water. But should you take it down?

    2. For setting up the ground I am planning on cutting up the sod and leveling the ground with a rented compactor then put 2-3 of sand down (compacted) then the tarp/pool. I was thinking of the XPS foam board vs. sand but it's pricey. Is one really better than the other? Also if you have to take the pool down every year what do you do with the bare sand/foam spot? Throw a tarp over it and call it good?

    3. For the test kit I'm debating between the Taylor K-1005 & K-2006. Is the 2006 worth the extra $30?

    4. With the SWG besides salt, it sounds like I need muriatic acid, borax and baking soda. Is there anything else for chemicals?

    5. I plan on filling it off my well as I said before I do have iron. It is my understanding that the iron will eventually filter out or need to be cleaned off the bottom. Am I right on this?

    6. As for cleaning I am looking at the aqua broom. Is this good or is there another recommendation for under $40?

    7. I'm sure there is something else but I can't think of it now. Are there any other recommendations for my situation?

    Thanks!
    16 x 48 Intex Ultra frame, SWG - stock pump, intex floating skimmer.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    I'll take a couple of those questions....

    It is my understanding that the iron will eventually filter out or need to be cleaned off the bottom. Am I right on this?
    No. The iron will not go away. Think long and hard before you fill that pool with iron laden water. Your problems will be forever. In the long run, it is cheaper to bring in iron free water. Google "iron" on this forum if you want to read about the hassles other owners have goon through.

    2. This forum is completely about precision testing and understanding your pool water. We typically suggest either the Taylor K-2006 or TFTeskits TF-100. They are the only two residential kits that will give you all the tests you need to have a pristine pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    Just to follow up

    first what Dave said, but I along with many other of us here feel his TF-100 test is a much better bang for the buck since it gives larger amounts of the reagents you use the most, the K-2006 may look neater with matching size reagent bottles, but this is not exactly practical when you use 3 drops of reagent A and 10-20 drops of reagent B to do a particular test.

    second exactly what chemicals you will need and how much will be highly dependant on your pool conditions, water, etc. Some pools go through gallons of acid every week, others don't go through a gallon in 5 years.

    third cleaning will depend again on your demands, trees around the pool, etc., but there are not many options on a $40 budget
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    Okay, yes, its worth springing for the "better" test kit - I also concur on the TF100.
    Test your fill water BEFORE you buy any chems like PH/TA adjusters. I agree with Dave - take a sample to pool store and request a test for Iron which they should be able to do (at least the "decent" pool stores)...
    Go for the foam, if the budget allows. I totally get budgets!
    Yes, you can leave, cover and stake down a tarp over, or remove for the winter. You do need to take it down in Michigan.
    I agree, depends on your surrounding which cleaner but you should get... considering the pump that comes with your set up.
    Lastly - read the article in Pool School pertaining to "temporary pools" - a wealth of information - then do the Google search (bottom left corner) of this website regarding Intex pools. Again - you can spend hours reading (better to be prepared). But don't forget when the time comes - enjoy the darn thing - don't obsess too much. Cheers!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    I am not Intex expert, but is this not the type of pool that we keep seeing threads about the pools being unlevel due to the legs sinking into the ground? Solution is to put pavers under the legs and ensure they are within 1" of each other.
    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
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I was leery about TF test kit. It's a bit pricey and of course the owner of the test kits and this site would be pushing their kit. No offence, really. I would do the same thing. BUT the arguments are sound and I'm leaning toward the TF-100 kit. I will have some explaining to do to my wallet and wife but maybe, just maybe I can sell it as an early mothers day gift? probably not
    frustratedpoolmom "You do need to take it down in Michigan."
    Thanks for you info poolmom but on this I'm assuming you meant "don't" instead of "do". You have also pushed me towards the foam. I was already on the fence about it. But factoring in the cost of sand/rental equip the foam is about the same. I will take a water sample to a local pool store (maybe 2) and see what they have to say about my water. In regards to water. I was thinking if I have my pool filled by a water source and keep having to top it off throughout the summer off my well wouldn't that negate the original fill?

    For the legs of the pool I have seen both of people placing the pool legs straight on the foam with no problem and on blocks. I guess I will have to see how things go.

    I am starting to obsess about this thing. My wife already makes fun of me for talking about it all the time and we don't even have the pool!!
    16 x 48 Intex Ultra frame, SWG - stock pump, intex floating skimmer.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    I got the TF100 as a gift, but you can see from my signature the financial difference it made. You might spend $30-40 more than the other kits available locally, but in the long run you will literally save hundreds of dollars by only buying what you need, and not buying the fancy pool chemicals which contain stuff you don't need.

    As for pool store testing, I wouldn't waste your time. Order your own kit, and wait til it shows up so you can do your own testing. Pool store tests are notoriously unreliable, so going that route will just add to the confusion as you make your way through the learning process.
    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: noob with new pool lots of questions

    Agree 100% with Smykowski. This kit has saved me tons of money. Most importantly, I'll never get "pool stored" again.

    Just the other day, I took some water down to the new chain pool store that "replaced" our local store. Local store was honest by the way!
    My water is absolutely perfect and the test they did was pretty accurate to my surprise. The testing guy did say that there was one item out of whack - Phosphates.
    I goated him by asking him "what are those?" and got the spiel about how phosphates are food for algae, etc. "but i have no algae." I said.
    "oh, but you will!" he blurted out.

    I kept my mouth shut and left with my liquid chlorine that they tried to tell me wasn't as good as trichlor!

    The TF100 and this site saved me money, so I donated to become a lifetime member. Do yourself the favor, you won't regret it. My $.02
    1992 15X30 14000 Gal IG plaster, Pentair 011018 - Intelliflo VS Pump with Timer, 350 lb Sta-rite hrpb30 sand (yeah, the 32-bolt clamshell)

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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    TFTestKits is owned by a beloved forum member, yes. But it is still the best value out there, and you get amazing service, and if you ever have any questions about how to do anything most of us on the forum can help because so many of us use that exact same kit. It is easy to order refills of what you need, and only what you need. If this test kit saves you buying the wrong thing just once, you will have made back the money on it. I strongly recommend this kit, though if you read Pool School, Test Kits Explained, you will see the other kit that is also sufficient for the sort of testing we do here.

    As for the cost, it will last you for probably two years, so do spread that cost over that time frame. Then, when it is time to get refills, you will probably not need everything refilled and we can advise about which items are good for longer. I got partial refills after one year but I have the pool open year-round here in Texas. Your season will be so much shorter.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    Alright. Alright I'll get the TF test kit!! As long as it comes with port and starboard attachments. That being settled on to my current obsession. The BASE

    As my arm was being twisted I settled on the foam board. I'm going to use the 1" XPS with gorilla tape on the seams. Am I supposed to cut it so it forms to the round pool or leave it as a big square? I was planning on leaving it a 18' square with the 16' pool in the middle but other post I read have me wondering.
    16 x 48 Intex Ultra frame, SWG - stock pump, intex floating skimmer.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    While you are in the buying mood ... the SpeedStir is a great addition that makes the testing faster, easier, and for some people more fun
    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
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    I understand budgets, I did without the speedstir the first year, but it is nice. You can always add it later.

    For water if a local town has iron free water you might have the initial fill trucked out. That would save you from having problems initially and top off water wouldn't be to bad. Sometimes local volunteer fire departments will truck it for a donation, might be worth checking into.
    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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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    Welcome to tfp, liquid1287

    Quote Originally Posted by liquid1287
    Am I supposed to cut it so it forms to the round pool or leave it as a big square? I was planning on leaving it a 18' square with the 16' pool in the middle but other post I read have me wondering.
    I would cut it round, since leaving the square corners sticking out will likely just get in the way and be damaged. Also, if you plan right, you might be able to get by with fewer boards.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    No, I meant do. How much snow do you get? Do your temps go below freezing? I don't think those pools are built to withstand the weight of heavy snowfalls.
    The topping off water shouldn't affect your iron level that much in one season. Bringing in water devoid of iron may cost but so will sequesterants. So weigh the pros and cons of both.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    Snow and Ice float on water so are lighter than water. Ice expands but not nearly as violently as when kids are splashing and jumping. How the cold affects the liner material might be a concern but the intex liners are a lot tougher than regular vinyl liners. We don't get as cold here but I've seen them up year round and I've heard of others farther north being up year round. Might void a warranty? I think it's a personal decision and probably no right or wrong answer.
    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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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    I agree with msgdan...many intex pools get let up during the winter here (MN) and are fine in the spring. They see plenty of snow...in fact another 8" today I suppose the pool life might be shortened, but the relatively low cost of the pool combined with the effort to take it down and put it back is worth leaving it up imo. My neighbors has survived 3 winters now.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: noob with new pool lots of questions

    i am from ohio and left my 18x52 intex up all winter with no cover and it is still crystal clear thanks to the BBB methhod and this forum.....i used sand under mine and i love the feel.......Mike
    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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