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Thread: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

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    First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    We opened our pool about four weeks ago. I did a great job last year (first year -- pool was done and opened on Memorial Day). We kept everything in check. I was quite proud of myself.

    HOWEVER, I am finding myself very confused now about what to do. I had knee surgery five weeks ago -- and can't get down to the pool to do my own testing, so my poor husband has to listen to me stand over the deck on my crutches and .

    We have a sport pool -- about 23,000 gallons. Chlorine -- with a Nature2 Fusion System. We live in Maryland -- so not much hard sun yet.

    Last week, I tested again, and found the following:
    FCL and TCL low. They were measuring around 0.2 - 0.4.
    Alkalinity was lower -- around 63.
    CH was lower - around 160.

    I added 2# of scorch, calcium hardness increaser, and alkalinity increaser. I kept the pump running 24x7 (goal was for 24 hours -- but oops -- it ran 24x7 for the next 5 days). I also increased the dial on the Fusion System up to 5 to max it out and try and get the levels up. ???

    I tested two days later -- and everything was in range except for the FCL and TCL -- they were still a little low -- but not bad.

    We tested again on Friday. Everything was BACK DOWN to where it was before. We had some rain over a few days -- so I wasn't sure if that caused it or not. I decided to try and shock (was that a mistake???). Tested again in the AM -- no difference.

    SO -- on Sunday (yesterday), we added more calcium hardness increase and alkalinity increaser and still have the dial at 5 (my little son has kept the 3" tablets loaded).

    Here are my current numbers:

    FCL - 0
    TCL - 0.64
    BR - 5.0
    PH - 7.3
    Alkalinity - 89
    CHardness - 206
    CYA - 38

    What am I doing wrong? It looks like my CH is still a little low...but nothing else seems too far off, right (except the FCL and TCL obviously)? Why is the chlorine not going up.

    PLEASE PLEASE be gentle with me. I am new -- and trying hard. Don't too hard on me!!!

    Thanks!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    What type of pool surface?

    Please add your pool details and location as described HERE as it will help us help you.

    I would throw away the Nature 2 to prevent metals from getting in the pool. Since you are not getting a FC reading (what test kit do you use?), the tablets are not dissolving fast enough ... problem is your CYA is at a good level now and if you keep using the tablets, your CYA is going to get too high.

    Best to use liquid chlorine at this point to raise the FC up to shock level for your CYA. Then perform the OCLT to see if anything in living in the pool which would require you to go through the shock process.

    IF any of that did not make sense, then I suggest re-reading Pool School a few times
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    Thanks for the response!

    What type of pool surface?
    Colored plaster -- pebble finish. Because of this -- I am FREEKY about adding things in fear of bleaching the colored plaster.

    Size of Pool: 23,000 gallons
    IG
    DE Filter
    I think I have a 1.5 HP pump.
    Pool completed on 6/1/2012ish.
    We live in Maryland.

    I have honestly been using the Nature2 just to get the chlorine tabs moving -- and keep them out of the skimmer baskets. We gets LOTS of crazy critters in the skimmer baskets and that freeks me out! I don't want to keep throwing away the tablets because there's another frog in there.

    So, I did read the ABC of Pool Chemistry. I don't understand what the difference between FCL and TCL are. I don't know what the OCLT is....and didn't see that referenced in the ABCs. I even did a search! What is that????

    So -- another thing -- I KNOW it says liquid chlorine in the ABCs -- but I've never used it before. Is that okay with color plaster? What's the difference between that and the powder stuff I mix with the water then pour in? Different chemical combination -- I'm sure, right?

    I have been using the ColorQ Pro for testing. I played and took it in (to make sure I was doing it right) to a pool place (I know -- smack me now, right??) -- and the numbers were almost identical. I have also been using the test strips for validation as well. When I add the drops for the FC -- there is ZERO pink.

    HMMMMMM.....liquid chlorine next????

    I should also state the color of the water is CRYSTAL CLEAR -- it's beautiful. From the deck up above, I can ALMOST read the letters on the drain on the bottom!

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    Keep reading the rest of Pool School. There is an article that explains the different types of chlorine. The OCLT is the overnight chlorine loss test, also in another Pool School article.

    Liquid chlorine is the same as bleach and it is safe in any pool.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    Bought four gallons of liquid bleach (12%). I added three gallons (I should say -- my blue colored plaster is still blue!!! HAHAHA!). I tested about 6 hours after adding the Liquid Bleach (Wednesday PM) -- FC was up to 2.3. Everything else was the same.

    Well -- tested again this AM (Friday AM) -- FC is back down to 0. GRRRR. No pink. Here's my total numbers:
    FC - 0
    TCL - .25
    BR - 3.1
    PH - 7.1
    ALY - 82
    CH - 221
    CYA - 41

    CYA is still good. The Pool Calculator is showing I should add only 3 quarts. My numbers were pretty close to what they are now -- and I added three gallons. SO -- I'm wondering if something else is going on -- OR -- should I just add more liquid bleach? If so, how much would you add? 3 gallons or EIGHT?

    Thanks for the help!

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    sroderus:

    If you added 3 gallons of 12% bleach, that should have raised FC by ~ 15-16 ppm. It is possible that the "12%" bleach you are using may have degraded to something much less than that. Higher concentrations of bleach/liquid chlorine degrade faster than lower concentrations. Has the bleach been sitting around for a while? I had that happen when I bought higher % liquid chlorine from a big box store (not a pool store). They were running a sale probably because it had been sitting on the shelf for who knows how long.

    As an experiment, I would get some regular bleach (8.25%) from a grocery store or warehouse club that has a high product turnover and see if that makes a difference.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    Thanks -- I'm open to any advice. I'm still on crutches -- so I want to hit whatever store I can today so my husband can add the chemicals when he gets home from work.

    That is a thought about the bleach. I guess I thought with that much, it should have worked. I did purchase it from a pool store. Man -- I wish they had a test to tell me the % of chlorine!!! If is was low -- I would on them!

    So, any recommendations on dosage? The pool calculator is showing 3 quarts -- but I added three gallons and that raised it to a little over 2 for 1.5 days before it was back down to 0. Maybe I need to get the PH up a little first?????

    Thanks again for your help!

    Sarah

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    You added bleach and it must have killed a lot of stuff to still be that low. You need to be following the shock process and testing and adding more bleach to maintain the correct shock level for your CYA level ... possibly every hour at the start.

    You can not just add bleach once.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    THANK YOU AGAIN for the help. I am honestly scared and don't want to mess up. You are giving me the confidence to do this on my own. I was on the edge of going back to the pool store in the AM. They had me convinced I had a phosphate problem -- and needed a different chemical. AH HA! NOT ME.... I can do this!!!!

    Am I understanding this correctly that since my CYA is at 41 -- I should calculate the amount of liquid chlorine to adjust the level to 16? I am fairly certain I am reading that correctly -- and now understand I need to keep adding and retesting on a constant basis until my levels are sticking.

    The other thing that is confusing is the color. I am sooooo crystal clear. Everything I read leads me to believe I should be green or cloudy....but we are not. SO -- maybe it's something else.

    Thank you again for your patience!

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    Sounds like you are starting to understand
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    I'm also going to do a backwash in the AM as well. Our pressue is good -- but it's been three weeks. Then -- look out bad stuff -- liquid chlorine, here WE COME!

    I'll post an update in a few days on where we are. Thanks again.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    We recommend backwashing when they pressure goes up 20-25% of your clean pressure. Once your water is clear, that could take months.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    Okay, we are ROLLING! I said I would post in a few days -- but I'm excited!

    We did the brushing, ensuring everything was clean, ran the robot to pick up any extra goop on the bottom, made sure there were no leaves floating on the top surface, and added the liquid bleach. Brushed some more. Waited 45 minutes. Tested again. FC = 6.95. TC = 7.95. Waiting another hour before another test.... WE WILL WIN!!

    Thanks for all of the help. AGAIN -- water is TOTALLY CLEAR. I can stand on the deck up above (and off to the side) -- and almost read the letters on the main drain.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    Tested about 45 minutes after the last post -- and FC was already down to 5.2. SO, I made a decision to add another 2 gallons of 12.5% chlorine. My husband was coaching my son's baseball game -- so it was now or 5 hours later. I opted for now.

    He added another 2 gallons (thank you pool calculator!). Tested an hour later -- FC = 9.3. Okay.... Tested again and again. FC dropped to 6.95. Tested again 5 hours after adding the additional 2 gallons. Here's where we are:
    FC = 5.46
    TC = 6.52
    PH = 7.0
    CYA = 39

    Waiting another hour. Making a run back out to get more bleach. I think I'll buy a few extra cases this time.

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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    What kind of test kit are you using?
    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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    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    If anybody has anything to recommend / state that I should do differently (or I'm doing it right) -- I AM TOTALLY OPEN to any comments / suggestions. I'm very nervous.

    John -- we're using the ColorQ Pro.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: First Year Opening -- Not sure what to do

    Okay -- tested last night after the sun went down.
    FC = 9.64
    TCL = High

    Woke up in the AM -- tested again.
    FCL = 8.07; TCL = 9.14.

    Shocking and brushing again then testing away.....

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