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Thread: New member with little pool knowledge

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    New member with little pool knowledge

    Hi, folks!

    I've been browsing through Pool Schol for a few days and decided that I would create an account and post both to thank the website for the information, and to attempt to increase my knowledge of pool maintenance.

    I shall begin with a little background information. I had a couple of pools when I was a kid, but I was never really involved with the maintenance. I would occassionally vacuum and help install the winter cover, but I rarely ever messed with the chemicals. Fast forward to last year. I purchased my first home, and it has a pool (specs in signature). The pool was not maintained very well. It had the appearance of a swampy pond when we moved in. I didn't move in until June, so I sort of got a late start on getting it ready for the summer, but I tried my best. I bravely got into the pool one day to attempt to begin cleaning it out. Not only did I find several inches of leaves, but I also ended up pulling about 4 very old beer cans and several concrete blocks from the bottom. Many weeks and several hundred dollars of chemicals later, the pool was finally clear. It didn't last long... I think the longest I ever saw it clean and clear was about 2 days. If it wasn't green (usually was), it was horribly cloudy.

    In addition to being incredibly difficult to maintain, the pool also began leaking once I got all the trash out of it. I purchased and applied several patch kits, attempting to maintain the pool through the swimming season. I knew if I drained it and got a new liner that late in the year that it would never have time to get warm enough to swim in. Eventually, I became so disgusted with the pool that I just gave up on it. I did not winterize it, nor did I cover it.

    Fast forward, once again, to yesterday. I drained the pool and just had a brand new liner installed. This year, I intend to do things the right way. I do not have a test kit, so I am unable to give you numbers. I think I have some little cheap test strips left over that I might try tomorrow so I can give you something to work with, but I did order a TF100 last night, based upon Pool School's glowing recommendation. The pool was filled with water from the tap, so I assume it should be a little easier to work with. I do have a large amount of chlorine tablets and shock left over from last year, and, ideally, I would like to be able to use them so I don't feel like I completely wasted the money. I estimate that I probably spent around $1,000 on chemicals last year. I do intend to use the BBB method once my leftover chemicals are gone.

    I know all tap water is different, but should there be any CYA in tap water? If not, I'm thinking it might be beneficial for me to actually use the tablets and shock in the beginning. As for my sand filter, I did change the sand in it last summer, but it is now filthy and full of algae. Do I need to, once again, replace the sand? I also have a large set of wedding cake steps that came with the pool. They are also filthy and full of algae. I've cleaned most of it off, but I was wondering if I need to clean it completely before putting it back into the pool? I was planning on putting bleach water on it to help remove the rest of the filth... mostly on the inside of it.

    Sorry for the incredibly long post... I tend to get rather out of hand sometimes. I'm happy to have found this site, and I look forward to gaining every bit of knowledge I can. Thanks for reading!
    24' x 48" round vinyl AG, ~13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New member with little pool knowledge

    Welcome!

    on ordering a test kit. Keep the strips for laughs later, comparing readings.

    Tap water will have no CYA.

    A good blast of chlorine should take care of whatever's living in the filter. Backwash it and you're okay. I'd scrub the steps good before I put them back in. Maybe even take the pool up to shock level right away.

    You can use your Trichlor pucks to keep chlorine in the pool and add CYA until you get some numbers from your new kit. Just keep track of how many you've added. The Pool Calculator will do the math for you. I see one 8 oz puck will raise FC 4.1, Raise CYA 2.5, lower pH by .22 so work backwards from that and figure out how many you can safely use. We generally recommend adding CYA and FC separately, since it makes it easier to calculate, but since you already have them and you need both....

    Check the ingredients on your powdered "shock", it will be dichlor or Cal-hypo. Pool Calculator can tell you how much of what they will add. I'd avoid the cal-hypo until I got the test kit. Low Calcium is no problem for a vinyl pool, but high Calcum will still cause scaling.
    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: New member with little pool knowledge

    Thanks for the quick response, Richard!

    I'm sure the cheapo test trips will be quite humorous after the proper test kit arrives. It's no wonder I had such trouble with my pool last year... I tested regularly, and everything was usually in line with where I thought it needed to be...

    What exactly would you describe as a "good blast of chlorine?" Should I simply put a puck in the floating dispenser and add it to the pool? Or do I need to put some bleach in to get chlorine in immediately? My fiance looked at the pool this evening and said it already looked like it was turning green, as it's been over 24 hours with no chemical.

    My fiance was inspecting the filter pump a couple of hours ago and noticed the strainer cover is broken, so I will be without filtration until I can get a replacement. Bummer... Maybe I can duct tape it in order to get the pump operational in the meantime... LOL.

    Not sure on the shock, but I do believe it was purchased at Kmart. I wouldn't expect it to be anything fancy, as it's just a generic, cheapo brand. I'll look at it and let you know.

    I'm just trying to figure out what I need to do to the pool to get it started out on the right track. Does anyone have any experience with purchasing CYA online? I figure it has to be cheaper on Amazon than at the pool shop... everything else is. There's only one dedicated pool shop in my town, along with several chain retailers (Walmart, Kmart, Lowe's). I also saw that it was helpful to use a skimmer sock in the application of the solid (cheaper) CYA. Anyone have any recommendations on brand? I would like to get the best bang for my buck. Quality is more important than price, though.
    24' x 48" round vinyl AG, ~13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New member with little pool knowledge

    [center:srxa6q3z][youtube:srxa6q3z]uijLXS-IJZM[/youtube:srxa6q3z][/center:srxa6q3z]

    Get some bleach in there, now. Mix it in with the brush. Take it up to 3 or so. Then stuff the floater with pucks and set it in there.

    Duct tape will not work on the strainer. You'll get an air leak, lose prime, and damage your pump.

    CYA is CYA. Just look at the label. If it's 99% or better, it's a go. Any of those box stores should have it.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New member with little pool knowledge

    Cyanuric Acid a.k.a. Stabilizer, is sold under the HTH brand at Walmart - actually an exceptionally good price and it dissolves quickly (via sock method...) It's where I buy the bulk of my CYA before they run out for the season....
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New member with little pool knowledge

    Oh you probably bought Cal-hypo - powder bags? it's all Walmart sells besides liquid chlorine.
    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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    Re: New member with little pool knowledge

    LOL, gotta love Barney.

    Okay, so I added 4 3" tricholor tablets into the pool this morning. There's some bleach laying around that says it has roughly 7.5% available cholorine on the label, but it's been here a while, so I'm sure it isn't that strong anymore. It has been stored indoors for the duration, though.

    I went out to look at my shock... I actually have two different brands. One says sodium-dichloro and the other, believe it or not, says trichloro in a very high percentage. That's the cheap one.

    I'm gonna call the pool store to see if they have a replacement for my strainer cover... I'm not counting on it, but it's possible. I'm sure that's where the filter and pump originally came from, anyway.

    Still waiting on my test kit. The site said it should take 1-3 days to arrive, but I've not received a shipping notice. Wasn't sure it they sent those or not.

    The fiance was mistaken about the pool color. It still looks crystal clear to me. It just started raining, so that should be interesting.

    Thanks for the input, folks!
    24' x 48" round vinyl AG, ~13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    Re: New member with little pool knowledge

    So, it's been a few days. The pool is still clear, to this point. Has a bit of dirt in the bottom, but all is well.

    My TF-100 arrived on Thursday. I tested the water Friday afternoon. Took a while trying to learn how to use all the different tests. Had pretty good luck with all of them except the CYA... I could see the black dot even after putting all of the solution in, but it was assumed that the water had no CYA reading. The 4 3" tricholor tabs are still sitting in the floater, but my pump wasn't operational until Friday when my strainer cover came in. Worked like a charm... pump worked fine, too, but then I discovered one of my hoses had a leak. After a trip to Lowe's, the offending hose was replaced. I'm having some trouble, though... that hose is incredibly hard to install. It's already disconnected from the pump once and leaked out about 4" of pool water before I caught it. I messed with it a bit more trying to get it on better, but the fiance swears that it's coming back off. Is there some sort of trick to applying these hoses? I pushed and pushed on the end connected to the return valve in the pool, almost to the point of caving the side of the pool, but it still isn't on there as far as the old one was.

    I have some 8.25% Clorox I obtained at Sam's Club that I've been putting in every day. So far, so good. I don't have my test results from Friday at my disposal right now ("working"). I'll try to post those later on, if anyones interested.
    24' x 48" round vinyl AG, ~13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New member with little pool knowledge

    Do you have a clamp on the hose to keep it in place? Did you use Teflon tape around the fitting when you put it on?

    Dichlor and Trichlor granules can be found in small containers for use in spas... Ive never seen either in bags at Walmart but that could be a local thing.
    Both will increase the CYA level. You can see how much by using the "Effects of Adding Chemicals" Section of the Pool Calculator.
    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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    Re: New member with little pool knowledge

    Yes, I do have silver clamps with a flathead screw on them for tightening. I did not use Teflon tape... didn't think about that. I have some of that lying around. I might try applying that to the fittings to see if it will help.

    It certainly is tricholor shock. I'll have to post a picture of it... I was quite surprised.
    24' x 48" round vinyl AG, ~13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New member with little pool knowledge

    I had a similar problem, ya try the tape... my problem was the connection was different, thicker or something I didn't replace the hose I replaced the return assembly and couldn't get the existing hose to go up as far so I know exactly what you mean. Tape seemed to do the trick.
    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

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New member with little pool knowledge

    If the hose won't go all the way up the barb, try soaking it in hot water to soften it. Don't forget to slide the clamp on the hose before you shove it on the barb!
    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: New member with little pool knowledge

    I think part of the problem is my fittings aren't "barbs," per say. They are smooth. I replaced the hose with what appears to be an identical one... same color, width, etc. I shall try the tape/hot water tricks to see if I can get a better fit. No longer worrying about my hoses falling off and draining my pool/blowing up my pump will be nice.
    24' x 48" round vinyl AG, ~13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: New member with little pool knowledge

    If your using regular hose clamps you can try these. I use them and have no problems with the hoses coming off.

    I think they clamp better than regular hose clamps.

    http://www.poolpartsonline.com/p-56256- ... parts.aspx


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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