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Thread: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

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    RenegadeT's Avatar
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    noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    The pool was finished in the late summer, we enjoyed it for a few weekends, tested the water with the red/yellow test kit, but that's about it, it never needed much adjustment. Over the winter, it was uncovered, we skimmed lots of leaves, vacuumed a few times, and had 2 bouts with green algae.

    First round (Thanksgiving) I dumped half a bag of Chlor Brite in, scrubbed with the wall brush, ran superchlorinate for 48 hrs, and the green went away. 2nd time, I brought a sample to Leslie's, they blew my mind with the ABC's of pool chemistry, but basically told me I could get by until pool season by simply increasing pump run time and possibly cleaning out my cartridge filters. Turned out, the filters were pretty nasty, even though the pool co. cleaned then right after construction. With clean filters and 1-2 days of superchlorinate, the water was crystal clear again. But...I had the water analysis sheet, and lots of numbers...got me to researching on the internet, and I found this site.

    So since then, I've been doing some online homework, but would like to run it past the collective experts here. I got Leslie's to run another test today:
    FC 1.5
    TC 1.5
    Salt 2600
    CH 30
    CYA 0
    TA 50
    pH 7.6
    Pho 500

    I knew from the Thanksgiving analysis that there was no CYA in there, report says I need 9lb7oz. Is all solid CYA the same? Its pretty pricey at Leslies, I can get it from Leslies.com cheaper with the online coupon code SAVE15. Walmart didn't have large qty's at the store, but found it online at walmart.com thru Wayfair. Amazon also has the same product, and the online review says it is junk. http://www.amazon.com/Swim-Time-7-lb...=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

    Leslie guy said first thing I need to do is get the TA up, by adding 20lbs6oz of Alkalinity Up (baking soda). I will do that once this rain blows thru.
    Then add CYA, test with my red/yellow kit , not worry about CH or PHOS, maybe bring a sample back to Leslies in a couple weeks.

    Final question...how come the salt level shown by my pool monitor is always higher than what Leslies measures/ They showed 2600, mine says 3000. Over thanksgiving, they showed 1800, I think the pool monitor said 2800 or so. I guess as long as I have good FC, I'm safe.
    TF100 kit, 26k Gallon 18x36 Vinyl inground by Blue Haven Pool, TurboCell T-15 SWG, SmartPure ozonator,
    Hayward SmartFilter cartridge with 1.5hp dual spd. Hayward SmartMax Star Pump.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    We generally put very little faith in pool store testing. I would not adjust anything based solely on their numbers.

    If you truly want you take control, order one of the recommended test kits and read Pool School (button at the upper right of the page) to then fully understand the chemistry better than most store employees.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    To add, 0 CYA is bad because the FC will be lost to the sun very quickly, the SWG will work less at a higher CYA, but that test seems to be the one stores are worst at.

    Also realize phosphates are meaningless and just a way for stores to make money.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    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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    RenegadeT's Avatar
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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    OK, I've got another pool store test result (I know, I know...I'll get my own test kit sometime...an believe me I've been reading up on poolschool since winter).
    I think I'm on the right track, maybe I'm just posting this for my own record. Feel free to comment

    After the last test, I added 18lb of baking soda and 5lbs CYA.

    today...
    FC 4
    TC 4
    Salt 2700
    CH 30
    CYA 30
    TA 80
    pH 7.6
    Pho 2000

    I've added 40lbs of solar salt from Lowe's, could probably add another, and going to add the other 2lbs of CYA I have. Also dialed back the SWG to keep the FC in range.
    TF100 kit, 26k Gallon 18x36 Vinyl inground by Blue Haven Pool, TurboCell T-15 SWG, SmartPure ozonator,
    Hayward SmartFilter cartridge with 1.5hp dual spd. Hayward SmartMax Star Pump.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    If the numbers are to be believed they look sane, just be aware CYA takes up to a week after adding before it fully registers on the test. As to that Amazon review, whoever wrote it obviously did not know this fact.
    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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    RenegadeT's Avatar
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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    FC 2
    TC 2
    Salt 2800
    CH 40
    CYA 40
    TA 70
    pH 7.8
    Pho 300

    Whats the preferred method to bump TA, while keeping pH in check? I'm a little confused about recommended TA levels. Leslies shows 80-120, PoolPal app shows 90, but the FAQ http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...mmended_levels shows 60-80 (in which case I'm fine). If I dump in 12lbs baking soda, the TA will go up, but also the pH, then I'll have to add acid.
    TF100 kit, 26k Gallon 18x36 Vinyl inground by Blue Haven Pool, TurboCell T-15 SWG, SmartPure ozonator,
    Hayward SmartFilter cartridge with 1.5hp dual spd. Hayward SmartMax Star Pump.

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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    Leave your TA alone. It's fine.

    How much did they charge you for the phosphate remover?....or is their testing that bad?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    RT,
    I don't want to be a smart-*****, but you need to choose what source you will be using to maintain your pool.

    Pool Stores give you numbers and test results for free, and you get what you pay for. Each tech there will do things differently. And at nearly every visit you will be told what else you need to buy. They have to get you to spend. It keeps them in business. That is their objective.

    Your objective is to maintain a great pool, easily and cheaply. Your objective is the opposite of the Pool Store's.

    Please, note that the people who have created and maintain this site (with all the information they provide you for free) have next to nothing to gain from you, if you follow their directions.

    And the apps you find out there are created by others doing the best they can for whatever purpose they have, based on whatever numbers they believe are best. Those apps are not necessarily bad, but likely different. So, certainly it would be easy to get confused, getting recommendations from different sources.

    So you can bounce around from one source to the other: The Pool Store, apps, the internet.

    Or you can settle here at TFP, save money, time, and stress, and have a safe and sparkling pool, which just might be your objective. It's totally your choice.

    To get the answers to your questions, and to learn to take charge of your pool, you must read POOL SCHOOL (white button, top right of every page takes you there). I guarantee it will take several readings of it to assimilate all the information, but soon keeping your pool perfect will be as easy as driving your car.

    People are here to learn, and to assist.
    You can help yourself by learning what to do. Spend some time in Pool School and you will take control of your pool, with confidence and success.

    RT, I was taught to maintain pools over 40 years ago, and it was simple then; it was before the chemical companies were selling tons of additives through Pool Stores, and in fact, there weren't even many Pool Stores then.

    TroubleFreePool uses those time-tested principles of simplicity to maintain your pool. Easy and cheap! Just follow the steps. Read and learn; do it the easy way. It works!
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

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    RenegadeT's Avatar
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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    I'm all onboard with the BBB method, and I've real pool school many many times. I am a noob, I'm trying to learn as much as I can to make an informed decision. My pool looks great, crystal clear, the red/yellow test kit shows its perfectly dialed in. The engineer/perfectionist in me wants to interrpret the numbers from the poolstore results. Its kind of neat to go to the pool store, browse everything they have for sale, while they run the tests. I realize they are trying to make money, I would hope they don't give less than accurate test resuts to make more money. I could see uneducated technicians screwing a test up, dunno though, I would think the pool store would make the testing 'idiot-proof'.

    Now the phosphates...I was pleasantly surprised when they dropped for 2000 to 300. Reading pool school, I know that my FC is good enough to sterilize the pool, and algae will not form. I did not add anything, could the testing be that bad? I was curious about that too.
    TF100 kit, 26k Gallon 18x36 Vinyl inground by Blue Haven Pool, TurboCell T-15 SWG, SmartPure ozonator,
    Hayward SmartFilter cartridge with 1.5hp dual spd. Hayward SmartMax Star Pump.

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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    Quote Originally Posted by RenegadeT
    The engineer/perfectionist in me wants to interrpret the numbers from the poolstore results.
    If you are truly a perfectionist, you will realize that the pool store numbers are not accurate.

    The only way for you to truly achieve accuracy and the balance you are looking for based on what you have read here will require you to purchase one of the two tests recommended here.
    AGP: 27' x 52" : 17,500 gallon
    300 lb. Sand Filter (75 gpm) / 1.5 hp pump
    Full Sun ~ All Day

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    Arbitrary drop in phosphates? That should give you a lot of faith in their testing
    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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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    I don't go to the pool store any more. When I browse their selection, I get nauseous thinking about the money wasted every day.
    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: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    some times I think people are too hard on pool stores. you can't paint them all with the same brush. the pool store I frequent is very knowledgeable and helpful. they know I treat my pool with only liquid chlorine and they understand why. the truth is that a lot of pool owners are looking for a magic bullet to solve all their problems and are not willing to take the time to learn proper pool maintenance.
    24,000 gallon ig fiberglass pool
    1 hp hayward pump
    hayward sand filter (250 lb)
    madisonville, ky

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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    some times I think people are too hard on pool stores.
    You know, I used to think so, too. For the first 4 years or so, I defended pool stores mostly because I have been a small businessman for about 37 years and I understand how tough it is.

    I just can't do it any more. The horrible advice MOST of them give and the equally horrible testing (did you notice the precipitous 1700 ppm drop in RenegadeT's phosphates? (RT, phosphates don't drop like that, you are getting bogus testing)) have led me to the inescapable conclusion that pool stores are not the place to learn about pools.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    The important thing to understand is that most pool stores are just ignorant of the chemistry. They're working with what the chemical supplier gives them, they aren't intentionally trying to swindle you.
    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: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    RT, et al,
    I believe that Pool Store employees, for the most part, have been taught the Pool Store way of testing, of maintaining, of remedying. That's what they know, that's what they do. And they are not all the same, though the majority are.

    I don't think it's malicious, I think it's mostly misinformed. Plus, past experience tells them what they must do to keep their business going.

    I have friends who own a Pool Store. They've always been completely up front, always given me detailed explanations and multiple options to remedy pool issues as they arose. They acknowledge that there are different ways to maintain pools, and they particularly strive to support each pool-owner in his/her chosen method.

    Most pool owners aren't interested in the 'whys & hows'; they want their pools to be someone else's responsibility. And frankly, they pay dearly for that choice.

    The knowledge acquired here on TFP gives us the ability to choose to be self-reliant around the pool; to do and to buy only what is required.
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    Speaking of pool-store testing... I'm new here, as well, but one thing I have learned at this site (along with so much more over the last two weeks) is that CYA does not drop. Yet, I had my water tested at a pool store last week -- waiting for my TF100 to arrive -- and my CYA was 20; two days later it was 30; and now it's 20 again. That seems highly suspect, being that I haven't drained any of my water. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but if a target CYA is 30-50 (preferably 30), why would a pool-store "expert" tell me to add one pound of CYA to a 4000-gallon pool if my current CYA is 20, and the bottle claims such a dose will raise CYA by about 30-50? Wouldn't that make my CYA 50-70? Am I wrong about this one? Ugh... Can't wait for my test kit to arrive.

    By the way, as soon as my daughter's wedding is over, I'll be making a donation to this site. I feel as though I've taken a summer college course over the past two weeks free of charge. My husband and I have learned so much, we intend to buy a very large pool next year. Why waste so much new-found knowledge? ; )

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    Quote Originally Posted by PakiII
    Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but if a target CYA is 30-50 (preferably 30), why would a pool-store "expert" tell me to add one pound of CYA to a 4000-gallon pool if my current CYA is 20, and the bottle claims such a dose will raise CYA by about 30-50? Wouldn't that make my CYA 50-70? Am I wrong about this one? Ugh... Can't wait for my test kit to arrive.
    Well, they also think nothing wrong about a CYA of 200ppm. You will quickly realize that the recommended values you find on this website are different than most pool stores or even pool equipment. You will be much better off cutting ties and trusting your one kit ... the best one in the industry.
    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!

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: noobie, needs to dial in the pool

    "Well, they also think nothing wrong about a CYA of 200ppm."

    Why, because the customer will have more problems that require more of their products to "fix"?

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