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Thread: New pool owner from SoCal

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    thehowheels's Avatar
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    New pool owner from SoCal

    Hi everyone!

    Some background... My wife and I purchased a house with a pool last August. We weren't terribly excited about owning a pool at the time, but loved everything else about the house, so we went for it.

    I knew nothing about pool maintenance, so we hired a pool guy.

    6 months later, we fired him because we were paying him $90 / month to do nothing. He might show up once or twice a month and clean the skimmer basket then leave.

    I bought a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Pool Maintenance and started learning as much as I could. I was able to perform a lot of important maintenance right away like cleaning out the DE filter which had been neglected. However, I found the book to be pretty light on technical information regarding chemistry.

    So we went to the local pool store and had our water tested. We were told that we had "zero chlorine" and to dump a pound of dichlor into it. The next week we came back, and there was still no chlorine in the pool. "Keep adding dichlor. Put 3 trichlor tablets in a floater. Dump this Phos-Free gunk in the skimmer once a week." Well a few weeks of this go by, and I still can't keep any chlorine in the pool, and mustard algae is starting to pop up. The stupid test strips are nearly worthless at telling me what's going on in the pool.

    I decided "enough is enough" and bought a Taylor K-2006 test kit. I immediately determined my CYA is through the roof. Literally off the scale. I'd guess at least 200+ PPM. Now it's time to drain and start from scratch.

    I've been reading everything I can, have gone through the Pool School several times, and I feel like I'm ready to take on the world. I'm going to go the BBB route, but I sure feel like an idiot with a huge bucket of trichlor tablets and dichlor powder I won't be using.

    -Matt
    Matt
    9k gallon, plaster, IG. Raised spa w/ spillover into pool. AO Smith Century Centurion / Purex Triton WisperFlo 0.5 HP, Hayward 1.5 HP (spa), Polaris 1-516-01 1.5 HP (blower). Hayward DE3620 36 ft2 72 GPM DE Filter, Polaris 145 cleaner. Pool built ~1980.
    Trouble-free, BBB since: April 25, 2013

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    Welcome to TFP!!!!

    Don't feel bad ... most of us have the same backstory.

    The tablets will last forever and you can still use them sparingly when you want to raise the CYA or if you are heading out on vacation. I recently replaced a lot of water and actually bought some tablets and have them floating in the pool now raising my CYA for 20 up toward 50ppm and will soon be adding a SWG so will need to raise the CYA up to 70-80ppm. As long as you understand what the chemicals you are adding will do to ALL the parameters in the pool (hint: poolcalulator.com) then they are fine to use.
    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
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    Welcome to tfp, thehowheels

    Per the draining...What type of pool surface? Do you know what your ground water level is? What will be you refill water source?
    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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    thehowheels's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Welcome to tfp, thehowheels

    Per the draining...What type of pool surface? Do you know what your ground water level is? What will be you refill water source?
    It's a plaster in-ground pool. I don't know the water table numbers of the top of my head, but I do have access to that and will check into it. I seem to remember that we're well above it.

    I have a sanitary sewer drain pipe near my pool, which I am permitted to drain the pool into in my city. Refill will be municipal city water, unless there's any reason why I shouldn't use it.

    My initial thinking is it's probably a better idea to perform a partial drain than completely drain it, unless I can be absolutely sure that it will be safe with my pool. Although with how high my CYA is, I am worried I may need to drain several times.

    -Matt
    Matt
    9k gallon, plaster, IG. Raised spa w/ spillover into pool. AO Smith Century Centurion / Purex Triton WisperFlo 0.5 HP, Hayward 1.5 HP (spa), Polaris 1-516-01 1.5 HP (blower). Hayward DE3620 36 ft2 72 GPM DE Filter, Polaris 145 cleaner. Pool built ~1980.
    Trouble-free, BBB since: April 25, 2013

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    You can try the CYA test using 50/50 split of pool and tap water to start and then double the reading. That may give you a little better idea just how high the CYA is and how much water it will take to lower it.

    Previous pool company here got mine up over 300ppm
    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
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    thehowheels's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    You can try the CYA test using 50/50 split of pool and tap water to start and then double the reading. That may give you a little better idea just how high the CYA is and how much water it will take to lower it.

    Previous pool company here got mine up over 300ppm
    Great idea. I'll give this a shot tonight when I'm near my pool!

    -Matt
    Matt
    9k gallon, plaster, IG. Raised spa w/ spillover into pool. AO Smith Century Centurion / Purex Triton WisperFlo 0.5 HP, Hayward 1.5 HP (spa), Polaris 1-516-01 1.5 HP (blower). Hayward DE3620 36 ft2 72 GPM DE Filter, Polaris 145 cleaner. Pool built ~1980.
    Trouble-free, BBB since: April 25, 2013

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    I even went to 2/3 tap and 1/3 pool water and tripled and was still around the 100 line. You lose accuracy, but gives you a better ballpark.
    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: New pool owner from SoCal

    Welcome aboard,

    I was going to suggest using a 5 gallon bucket, half pool half tap as a quick and dirt test. Makes sence as an alternative to a complete refill and a higher water bill$$. Use the water at BBB test depth

    Good Luck
    Kirk
    Pool IG, 20'x30'x5', 15,000 gals, QuartzScapes NPT Tahoe Blue, Sundek Classic Texture, DE Hayward Pro-grid DE7220 , Pentair erosion auto CH, Main PMP Century 1.5hp , Polaris 280, booster PMP Century 3/4hp, Electronics PNL timer/light Pro Logic Model AQL2-SS-RF w/Remote CNTL

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    thehowheels's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    Quote Originally Posted by ktc211
    Welcome aboard,

    I was going to suggest using a 5 gallon bucket, half pool half tap as a quick and dirt test. Makes sence as an alternative to a complete refill and a higher water bill$$. Use the water at BBB test depth

    Good Luck
    Kirk
    I filled a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 way with water from the pool ~1 foot down, and the rest from my garden hose and re-tested CYA. At 50% dilution, my CYA measures at just a little above 100 PPM, so my 200 guess was not too bad! Looks like I'm going to have to drain the pool way below half-way! Fortunately the pool is on the small side.

    I've already nearly blown through my CYA reagent bottle and I've only had my kit for 2 days!
    Matt
    9k gallon, plaster, IG. Raised spa w/ spillover into pool. AO Smith Century Centurion / Purex Triton WisperFlo 0.5 HP, Hayward 1.5 HP (spa), Polaris 1-516-01 1.5 HP (blower). Hayward DE3620 36 ft2 72 GPM DE Filter, Polaris 145 cleaner. Pool built ~1980.
    Trouble-free, BBB since: April 25, 2013

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    Quote Originally Posted by thehowheels
    I've already nearly blown through my CYA reagent bottle and I've only had my kit for 2 days!
    That's one of the main reasons we suggest the TF-100 over the K-2006, the amount of reagents you actually use. You can order a large bottle of R-0013 from www.tftestkits.net. You can also order any other K-2006 reagents you're getting low on.
    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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    thehowheels's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    That's one of the main reasons we suggest the TF-100 over the K-2006, the amount of reagents you actually use. You can order a large bottle of R-0013 from http://www.tftestkits.net. You can also order any other K-2006 reagents you're getting low on.
    Lesson learned! I just picked up a 16oz bottle from the local pool store, so I should be set for re-testing to my heart's content.
    Matt
    9k gallon, plaster, IG. Raised spa w/ spillover into pool. AO Smith Century Centurion / Purex Triton WisperFlo 0.5 HP, Hayward 1.5 HP (spa), Polaris 1-516-01 1.5 HP (blower). Hayward DE3620 36 ft2 72 GPM DE Filter, Polaris 145 cleaner. Pool built ~1980.
    Trouble-free, BBB since: April 25, 2013

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    thehowheels's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    An update ... I rented a submersible pump from Home Depot and drained the spa and pool, and refilled it over night.

    I plugged the main drain, and it actually did make a noticeable improvement in performance of my Vac Mate. I can now dial back the valve about 30% toward the weir in order to achieve optimal pressure for the cleaner. I'm actually getting pretty decent skimming action now!

    I took my initial measurements:

    FC: 0
    TC: 1
    CC: 1
    pH: 8.2
    Acid Demand: 2 drops
    TA: 140
    CH: 260
    CYA: 0

    Using http://www.poolcalculator.com/ I added the following:
    41oz 8.25% bleach
    21oz 20° Baumé muriatic acid
    48oz CYA in a sock in my skimmer basket

    I'm going to let the pump run over night and will re-check chems tomorrow. It's looking good!
    Matt
    9k gallon, plaster, IG. Raised spa w/ spillover into pool. AO Smith Century Centurion / Purex Triton WisperFlo 0.5 HP, Hayward 1.5 HP (spa), Polaris 1-516-01 1.5 HP (blower). Hayward DE3620 36 ft2 72 GPM DE Filter, Polaris 145 cleaner. Pool built ~1980.
    Trouble-free, BBB since: April 25, 2013

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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    Assuming you filled with municipal water, then the CC you are seeing is likely from that and is likely nothing to worry about.

    I would retest your ph a hour after you made the above adjustments and then if still high adjust and test again (letting it circulate for 1 hour between). 8.2 on the ph test really means 8.2 or higher.
    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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    thehowheels's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Assuming you filled with municipal water, then the CC you are seeing is likely from that and is likely nothing to worry about.

    I would retest your ph a hour after you made the above adjustments and then if still high adjust and test again (letting it circulate for 1 hour between). 8.2 on the ph test really means 8.2 or higher.
    I wasn't able to retest within the hour, but I got to it about 4 hours later. Chlorine had dropped back down 0 (TC and FC), so I re-added bleach. I'm guessing this is because the CYA had not dissolved into the skimmer yet. pH was right at 7.5.

    I checked Chlorine in the morning, and it was still at 3, so at least I'm not losing any overnight.

    My TA is still a little high, 130 PPM. Should I continue to add acid, or should I wait for pH to raise first (I have a waterfall from the spa to the pool, so it's bound to happen)?
    Matt
    9k gallon, plaster, IG. Raised spa w/ spillover into pool. AO Smith Century Centurion / Purex Triton WisperFlo 0.5 HP, Hayward 1.5 HP (spa), Polaris 1-516-01 1.5 HP (blower). Hayward DE3620 36 ft2 72 GPM DE Filter, Polaris 145 cleaner. Pool built ~1980.
    Trouble-free, BBB since: April 25, 2013

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner from SoCal

    Quote Originally Posted by thehowheels
    My TA is still a little high, 130 PPM. Should I continue to add acid, or should I wait for pH to raise first (I have a waterfall from the spa to the pool, so it's bound to happen)?
    I would just wait and add acid when the ph gets up to 7.8 to bring it down to 7.2.
    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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