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Thread: New pool owner

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    TN.Eric's Avatar
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    New pool owner

    Hello TFP,

    We bought a new house in April that has a small 5300 gallon in-ground pool, see avatar. We live just south of Nashville TN, and the pool has never been closed for the winter. The previous 2 owners just let it run all winter, I understand it is a common practice here in TN where things don't freeze that much.
    Pump was set to run 24/7 as the previous owner had moved out of town. Anyway the day we moved in (4/6) my kids just had to get into the pool which was clear and looked OK to me so I said go for it, but warned them it was pretty cold.
    They had a short swim which satisfied them.

    4/6 added 2-3 inches of water per-recommendation of previous owner as it was getting low.
    4/7 The 1/4 inch flex lines to the chlorine feeder broke and the pump drained to the pool to the bottom of the skimmer (no floor drain in the pool)
    I repaired that and put about 5 inches of water in again.
    4/11- I took a water sample to a pool store and found may of the levels to be low FC-0 CC-0 PH-6.7 TA-0 CYA-36 Calcium Hardness 152
    4/13-4/15 - Raised TA and CH by adding chemicals bought at pool store ($25)
    4/16 - Added "conditioner" (stabilizer) about 1-2 pounds tried to mix with water it did not really dissolve. added second half about 4 hours later. This chemical was left by the previous owner.
    4/17 - Water tested again at pool store: FC-0 CC-0 PH-7.8 TA-110 CYA-45 CH-150
    Shocked with 1 bag of 'ShockWave' from pool store and remain CH from 4/13 (total 5 lbs)
    4/21 - tested water with AquaChek Test strip FC still 0 - Shocked again with 2nd bag of 'ShockWave' from pool store.
    4/28 - Started to suspect the Hayward CL220 chlorine feeder was not working, did some quick diagnostic work but did not determine much
    5/10 - Test at pool store FC-0 TC-0 CC-0 ph-7.6 TA-56 CYA-30 CH-248 added 7 cups of baking soda to raise TA
    5/11 - Total disassemble of Chlorine feeder discovered no water coming into the feeder, and bottom of feed caked with about 1 inch of chlorine, attempted to remove the chlorine stuck to the bottom by chipping it out. Keep feeder disconnected plan to take to pool store for advise.
    I had discovered TFP on the 9th and begain reading, do more reading on BBB method.
    5/12 - Bought some 8.25% bleach and poured about 2/3 of a 128 oz bottle in that evening
    5/13 Took Chlorine feeder to pol store got little to no help other than they said keep cleaning out the junk in the bottom. Took it home and cleaned it, then discovered the incoming fitting was a check valve swapped incoming and outgoing fittings so water can flow in and can not back flow in from the output side. Installed the feeder again and put in some pucks, set to FULL. That evening I shocked pool several times (still testing with AquaCheck test strips between) ended up putting in about 15-20 oz of shock over 3 applications based on test strip results.
    5/14 Morning I finally had a chlorine reading on my test strips (about 1)
    5/15 Morning check with test strips FC-5 PH-8(aprox) TA-150 CYA-30-50 (the range specified for that color)

    The water has always been clear I've seen it be a bit hazy on rainy days (we had 2-3 days of rain in a row) since we've moved in

    My kids are hoping to swim Friday night this week, there is a Jandy heat pump on the system that so far I have not turned on and the water is by-passing it. Will probably turn it on tomorrow to raise the water temp a bit it's been around 75 per the thermometer in the pool. Anyone got any idea how long it will take the Jandy to warm the water up?

    So with that history here are my questions:

    What do I do now, I know I need to order a test kit plan to do that ASAP so I can better monitor all of this.
    How often/long should my pump run (Specs in my signature)?
    I like the idea of the BBB method and plan to go that route, so I assume I should turn the chlorine feeder to off so it is not adding chlorine on a regular basis?
    When would it be appropriated/necessary to run the chlorine feeder? Vacation, out of town for a day or 2?
    Pump system has a Nature 2 Express cartridge on it, previous owner said he liked it and that it allowed him to keep the Chlorine lower (feeder was not working as far as I can tell). What are your thoughts or suggestions on it? Do I spend $70 on a new cartridge or not? If not do I simply remove the existing cartridge and just leave the housing empty?
    Why was this pool not green when I bought the house if it is has no chlorine for an extended time? Did the Nature 2 have enough residue in it (it was from last season as I understand) to maintain the pool?

    Thanks is advance,

    Eric
    12x25 5300 gal, IG fiberglass, 3/4 HP Hayward Super Pump (SP2605X7) FR-50.76 GMP, Sand filter (S180T) FR-45 GMP. installed 2005, CL220 Auto Chlorine feeder, Nature 2 Express Filter(not in use), Jandy Heat Pump (AE-Ti), Tiger Shark Pool Cleaner, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Sitr

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool pwner

    Quote Originally Posted by TN.Eric
    So with that history here are my questions:

    What do I do now, I know I need to order a test kit plan to do that ASAP so I can better monitor all of this.
    How often/long should my pump run (Specs in my signature)?
    I like the idea of the BBB method and plan to go that route, so I assume I should turn the chlorine feeder to off so it is not adding chlorine on a regular basis?
    When would it be appropriated/necessary to run the chlorine feeder? Vacation, out of town for a day or 2?
    Pump system has a Nature 2 Express cartridge on it, previous owner said he liked it and that it allowed him to keep the Chlorine lower (feeder was not working as far as I can tell). What are your thoughts or suggestions on it? Do I spend $70 on a new cartridge or not? If not do I simply remove the existing cartridge and just leave the housing empty?
    Why was this pool not green when I bought the house if it is has no chlorine for an extended time? Did the Nature 2 have enough residue in it (it was from last season as I understand) to maintain the pool?

    Thanks is advance,

    Eric
    Welcome!
    Yes, order a test kit. Now.

    Try running the filter 8 hours a day. After a week, if it looks clear, try 7 the next week. If it looks hazy, turn it up. Every pool is unique, you'll just have to experiment. There is a much longer explanation in Pool School.

    Shut the chlorine feeder off and save it for vacations. Unless testing shows CYA is low enough that you can safely add some. But that's doubtful.

    Leave the Nature2 off. Don't refill it. It adds metals to the water and they don't evaporate. You run the risks of staining the pool and having greenhaired children.

    The pool may have been treated with algaecide, or phosphate removers, or overdosed with bleach recently to get it ready for sale. Also, algae doesn't grow well in cold water.

    Go order a test kit and study Pool School - including the additional readings on alternative sanitizers and whatnot - until you feel like this:
    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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    TN.Eric's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner

    Thanks for the info, should I run the pump 8 hour in row or would two 4 hour shifts be better? I was thinking run it early in the morning and perhaps mid afternoon. Just occurred to me, is it better to run it at night or day time? Questions, questions, and more questions keep swirling around my head.... I saw a post where someone said they bought 12.5% bleach anyone know where to get that? The Kroger brand my wife bought was pretty good at 8.25%.
    12x25 5300 gal, IG fiberglass, 3/4 HP Hayward Super Pump (SP2605X7) FR-50.76 GMP, Sand filter (S180T) FR-45 GMP. installed 2005, CL220 Auto Chlorine feeder, Nature 2 Express Filter(not in use), Jandy Heat Pump (AE-Ti), Tiger Shark Pool Cleaner, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Sitr

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner

    Looks like the Determine Pump Run Time article in Pool School was updated recently. Worth another read.

    Although I have cut way back on the pump run time since converting to BBB, I am experimenting this year with running it only when adding chemicals and letting run just 30 min after that, and when I am vacuuming. Of course, I will make allowances for when I have pool parties or after severe storms that leave higher than normal levels of debris in the water. Early results look good using this method. Will continue and see how it goes.
    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
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by TN.Eric
    Thanks for the info, should I run the pump 8 hour in row or would two 4 hour shifts be better?
    Multiple shifts is probably better. You give the skimmers a chance to grab floating junk before it sinks to the bottom.
    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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    TN.Eric's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner

    Thank you Bo and Smykowski,
    I did read the Pump Run Time and many of the other articles in Pool School last night, once a realized the Complete Table of Contents had a bunch more reading user it.
    I'll get out and make some adjustments to the timer settings tonight. I like the idea of a 'clean pool' in the morning so if I want to have breakfast by the pool it will look nice, then a second run time later that day/afternoon. Luckily I don't get much debris in the water, except for worms and Centipedes that appear overnight.

    My pool needs to be re-caulked where the tiles around the pool meet the concrete I was planning to use some 'mortar' caulk any suggestions? Matching the color of the finish on the concrete would be impossible I think so it will have to be just gray.

    Thanks
    12x25 5300 gal, IG fiberglass, 3/4 HP Hayward Super Pump (SP2605X7) FR-50.76 GMP, Sand filter (S180T) FR-45 GMP. installed 2005, CL220 Auto Chlorine feeder, Nature 2 Express Filter(not in use), Jandy Heat Pump (AE-Ti), Tiger Shark Pool Cleaner, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Sitr

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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner

    Get the test kit asap, don't put it off, you need a proper test kit.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
    Foam Cove, Taylor K-2006 kit, BBB method, 8'X20' Fafco Sunsaver Hard Plumb, DIY Fountain, Margarittaville Fiji


    My Build: one-man-one-pool-and-one-deck-agp-pics-t37172.html
    My Build 'To-Do' List for other DIY'ers: my-pool-build-list-t40249.html?hilit=list

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by TN.Eric
    My pool needs to be re-caulked where the tiles around the pool meet the concrete I was planning to use some 'mortar' caulk any suggestions?
    I need to do this as well. I'm planning on using a polyurethane-based sealant.
    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
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    TN.Eric's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner

    Great minds think alike I bought some LOCTITE Gray Polyurethane Specialty Caulk from Lowe's to use. Started the process yesterday by removing all the old caulk, but of course after that we had a few thunderstorms roll through so I will try to re-caulk tonight.

    Got my test kit a few weeks ago and my pool has been humming along nicely.

    Got a few questions:
    What causes the CYA to drop (what uses it up) I had to add some about 2 weeks ago to get it back up to 40, it0 had dropped to about 20 from 30 where it had been.

    My CC is always .5 every week when I test is that OK or normal?
    I've been keeping my FC between 2-4 it has spiked up as high as 5 and fallen to 0 on occasion (short periods of time) as I work to figure out how much bleach and how often to add it.

    PH is staying between 7.3 and 7.6 this month. Right now my pH color is slightly different from the 7.5 mark, I'm not 100% sure if I am over or under 7.5 but I think over slightly.

    TA has been between 100 - 130 currently 100 based on yesterdays test which is down 20 from a week ago. Correction needed?

    Recap of yesterdays results:
    FC 2
    CC .5
    pH 7.5
    TA 100
    CH 250
    CYA 40

    Thanks
    12x25 5300 gal, IG fiberglass, 3/4 HP Hayward Super Pump (SP2605X7) FR-50.76 GMP, Sand filter (S180T) FR-45 GMP. installed 2005, CL220 Auto Chlorine feeder, Nature 2 Express Filter(not in use), Jandy Heat Pump (AE-Ti), Tiger Shark Pool Cleaner, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Sitr

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