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Thread: Need Help With My Opening

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    Need Help With My Opening

    We inherited our pool seven years ago but it's now 12 years old. I have my pool co. close it and I've been opening it up to now without any trouble. I opened it this year on May 12th but started with a green-brown mess. Did my usual 1 lbs. of shock (K-Mart trichloro-s-triazinetrione 53.5 % for a total of 48.6% available chlorine) and a puck in each skimmer and got nothing. The following Wednesday I dumped 2 lbs. of the same “shock” and nothing really happened. Friday I added another 3 lbs. and at least got it to turn blue but cloudy. All along I've been back washing my DE filter almost daily. Today I went from test strips to a Taylor K-2006 with the following results with the water blue but still cloudy and the top three steps visible in the shallow end:

    FC 5

    CC .6

    PH 7 (my test trip showed this as high so adjusted it at opening. Pool store had it at 7.4 two days ago)

    TA 80

    CH 140

    CYA 85

    Obviously some of these numbers are off. What would be the best remedy and order of execution to clear things up?

    Thanks,
    Rob
    11.5k gal, IG Plaster (2001), 1.5 HP Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump, Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 sqft DE filter

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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    Welcome to the forum. Your tale is not unusual at all and the root cause is the CYA is so high. Because of that you need VERY high levels of free chlorine to effectively shock. The trichlor powder you're using is actually making it worse as that contains CYA and will keep raising it. Sending you in the wrong direction. You'll want to lower your CYA to 30-50 via water replacement.

    See the CYA/FC chart here. You'd need FC minimum 6-7 just to keep the pool from turning green and stuff growing, let alone go through the shock process. To effectively shock you'd need a FC of 31-35.
    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock

    Read everything you can in pool school including the shock process. But before you start the shock process you'll want to replace water to get your CYA to 30-50. Once that's done you can effectively use liquid chlorine (bleach) to achieve shock levels and maintain them until you pass the 3 criteria in the shock process.
    pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    Good news is you're equipped with a test kit to manage your pool and know exactly what your water is.

    1) reduce CYA
    2) perform shock process
    3) enjoy troublefree pool
    18x36 inground vinyl lined, Hayward sand filter and tablet chrolinator, approx 18k gallon

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    To reiterate, use liquid chlorine. Stop using powder. follow the advice above and your pool will clear.
    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: Need Help With My Opening

    Thanks for the quick replies. Clearly I've been lucky all these years. Finally knowing what's really going on is a good feeling. Another thing I'm not sure about is dropping the pool level below the skimmers. If I turn the skimmers off, can I use the waste setting on my filter to drop the pool level? Otherwise, I'll have to siphon using a garden hose like I do some winters (takes a long time). I assume the level needs to go down 2-3 feet?
    11.5k gal, IG Plaster (2001), 1.5 HP Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump, Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 sqft DE filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    yes, use the bottom drain on the waste setting. Keep a foot or so of water in the shallow end if you don't know your water table.
    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: Need Help With My Opening

    Almost have my water replenished and off to get some liquid chlorine. Assuming everything goes fine, I'll adjust the PH if necessary then shock. Just double checking that the slow application of chlorine is near the return jet even though my return is in the shallow end. Just asking because I'm so use to applying powders to the deep end. Also, not sure about the pool calculator's volume accuracy. The blue print for my pool states 11,512 gal., the pool calculator puts it at 14,500 gal. and another online calculator has it at 12,235 gal. It's described on the blue print as caprice shape (kind of kidney shape) so maybe that's throwing it off. Which figure would you use?
    11.5k gal, IG Plaster (2001), 1.5 HP Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump, Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 sqft DE filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    The blueprint. Overtime with dosing, if you are missing targets you should be able to determine if that volume is incorrect.

    You only have one return?
    Yes, slowly in front of return flow is proper chem application.
    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: Need Help With My Opening

    Thanks, I do have two returns but they are both in the shallow end.
    11.5k gal, IG Plaster (2001), 1.5 HP Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump, Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 sqft DE filter

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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    Haven't even gotten to the chemical part yet and already have a new problem. I thought once the water level got above the returns I could prime the pump and run the filter from the bottom drain. Skimmers are off, a lot of frothy stuff was in the pump pot during my priming attempts and even running water down the main line I couldn't get a prime. Do I need to wait until the water level is at the skimmer to get it going?
    11.5k gal, IG Plaster (2001), 1.5 HP Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump, Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 sqft DE filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    You sure the skimmers are off? Sounds like you are def sucking air from somewhere....
    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: Need Help With My Opening

    I turned the skimmers off yesterday when I was dropping the level. I was wondering since air got into the system by having the water level going below the returns maybe that had something to do with it. Guess I'll wait until everything is covered in water and try then. Sadly enough this was the first 100% trouble free opening from a mechanical aspect till now. So, with all that is going on, this IS my worst ever pool opening experience. Hopefully, I've base lined and it will all be up from here!
    11.5k gal, IG Plaster (2001), 1.5 HP Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump, Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 sqft DE filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    Hope so! Silly question but did you open the air release valve at the top of the filter? Try priming the pump with the valve on recirculate first...
    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: Need Help With My Opening

    I did have the valve open. Is the valve also to be opened when running in recirculate? I'm starting to think I should have just turned the pump off last night after removing the water and left it. Instead a switched the setting from waste to filter. Not sure why I did that but seems it opened up the system to air.
    11.5k gal, IG Plaster (2001), 1.5 HP Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump, Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 sqft DE filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    No, recirculate bypasses the filter entirely.
    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: Need Help With My Opening

    Thanks for all of your assistance. The pool is up and running and only about an inch from total replenishment. The frothy water in the pump basket was the result of some sort of sludge (DE?) in the bottom of the basket. No idea how that got there. Anyway, is there a magical amount of time to wait before testing: PH, CYA and starting the shock process?
    11.5k gal, IG Plaster (2001), 1.5 HP Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump, Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 sqft DE filter

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by bstway
    Thanks for all of your assistance. The pool is up and running and only about an inch from total replenishment. The frothy water in the pump basket was the result of some sort of sludge (DE?) in the bottom of the basket. No idea how that got there. Anyway, is there a magical amount of time to wait before testing: PH, CYA and starting the shock process?
    Let it circulate half an hour and do some brushing and it should be well enough mixed to test. If you need to adjust pH, give it half an hour too before retesting, then have at 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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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    Over night my pool finally is starting to clear. Of course, there's always something. When I took my CYA reading I'm sure it was down to at least 50 ppm but felt it was actually 45 ppm. I didn't feel real confident about it since it was done indoors and with cold water, I started the shock process as if the CYA was 50 ppm. This morning after reading some posts on this subject it would seem that my reading would error on being too high. So, I'm continuing the shock process using CYA of 45 ppm level of FC. Besides obviously over thinking this, does this seem like a reasonable approach? Can the CYA test be done during the shock process?
    11.5k gal, IG Plaster (2001), 1.5 HP Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump, Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 sqft DE filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    Yes, repeat the cya test this morning if possible
    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: Need Help With My Opening

    Did the test half a dozen more times with each result the same. The dot starts to get hard to see at 50 but trying real hard I can make it out at 45. So, do you think my CYA is at 45 ppm or 50?
    11.5k gal, IG Plaster (2001), 1.5 HP Pentair Ultra-Flow Pump, Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 sqft DE filter

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help With My Opening

    You shouldn't be able to see it at all. Yours might be 40.
    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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