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Thread: Opening new (green) pool that flooded twice over the winter

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    ethanhunteg's Avatar
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    Opening new (green) pool that flooded twice over the winter

    First off, I want to say a huge thank you to the writers of pool school and to the stickies and articles i've read thus far. I've learned so much in the past day or so reading. Also, I feel like the pool calculator and BBB is like taking HS chem all over again. I've ordered the membership to this site and am going to use the discount to get the TF100 test kit asap- Now on to my pool.

    We bought the house in the fall and used the pool one time. It was "professionally closed" because we were doing a remodel and were willing to pay to have it done.
    In the spring, we had sort of a cold but wet spring. During a week of especially heavy rain I noticed that the pool was filled up to the brim and we had a huge pool that rose above the safety cover. I peeked underneath and found the liner was bulging out all around the pool. I feared the walls had collapsed with the wet earth. I called another pool store (the local one closes over the winter) and they suggested it was ground water and I had to pump it at least below the coping/near skimmer and simply wait for the liner to settle. I did this but more heavy rains repeated this groundwater issue about a week later in March and again I pumped it down just below the skimmer

    Sure enough they were right and the liner went back down plus a few wrinkles and a few places where its come free of the track.

    Fast forward to opening. We waited too long and opened on May 18th. Again we were clueless and very pool stored. - We are learning now though
    5/18 - Filled from below skimmer but above returns with well water (needs to be tested). At this point its a dark green color, nothing floating but a layer of green on the bottom. Pool store sold us 10 bags of lithium shock and 32oz each of algecide and a metal Sequestrant. I was reading on the bottles and it didn't seem like all this should be added at the same time so I just started with Shock and added the rest the following day. The test strip at the point before chemicals showed mostly 'normal readings' except somewhat high TA and 0 FC. Also was brushing and vacing what i could see. At this point the strip reads PH 7.2-7.4, FC 0, and TA 170-200 CYA 30-50 TH 200 (i know they are inaccurate)

    5/19-5/22 I couldn't afford or didn't want to afford more lithium and started to do some basic reading on similar shock and found dichlor might be good cause it wouldn't effect PH. That and it was less than half as much money. Pool was still greenish and reading 0 FC. I added 5 bags each night on 5/20 and 5/21 and was brushing/ vacing what I can see. Also put the triclor pucks in from last year (what the previous owners used) and figured any chlorine might help the 0 FC level (all the while not realizing i'm cranking up the CYA).

    5/23 I find TFP - I read a ton - and realize what I have done / wasted. So now the test kit is on the way. Let me tell you what a strip reading is (although I know these are poor). FC 0 - PH 6.8-7.2 TA 180+ CYA 30-50 TH 200 (but may be higher as dichlor and triclor were in recently)
    The pool is sort of a hazy or cloudy bluish green but mostly on the bluer side also I noticed as of today I can see to the bottom whereas I couldn't yesterday. I can add pictures if this is helpful


    Questions-
    1. Should I be using the solar cover each day while balancing to help prevent FC burnoff or could it be damaged by other chemicals being somewhat out of whack?
    2. I seem to have low PH and pretty high TA. I tried turning the jets more toward the surface but I do not really think its increasing aeration that much.
    3. At current CYA levels the pool calculator wants me to use 11 or 12 jugs of bleach just to bring it to shock level. This seems like a ton of bleach. Assuming I get this under control, about how much bleach will I expect to be adding to the pool on a weekly basis to maintain FC levels and is this my next step (adding all the bleach)?
    4. On that same note, should I be draining down this weekend, do the repairs to the liner to get it back into the track following the suggestions i've found here, and then fill from well to help lower CYA? (or, the answer to this may be test well water first)

    Again thank you all for your time and expertise. I'm really glad I found pool school and this community.
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 3/4 HP pump, Sand Filter, pool 40yr old, filter 1yr old, liner 6 yr old - in southeast WI

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Opening our new pool and winter rain issues

    ethanhunteg:

    Welcome to TFP

    It appears that you have ordered the TF100 and that it's on its way. Given that's the case, I would hold off on doing much to the pool before you have it as the strips do not provide the precision needed to properly shock the pool. You could be wasting chemicals by either under or overdosing your pool. One the test kit arrives, post a full set of results which would allow us to help you better.

    In the meantime, I would spend the next several days reading and re-reading through Pool School and getting an understanding of the chemistry. When you feel like this and need a break, go out to the pool and see if you can manually remove any debris. Might even stock up a little on bleach. Also, depending on the answer to your question #4 (which I will defer to someone else since I have no experience with vinyl liners), there might be some action you can take on that.

    While we are waiting for the TF-100 to arrive, here's my take on questions 1-3:
    Quote Originally Posted by ethanhunteg
    1. Should I be using the solar cover each day while balancing to help prevent FC burnoff or could it be damaged by other chemicals being somewhat out of whack?
    If you need to shock (which appears likely), I would leave the cover off once you begin the Shock Process until you complete it. This will allow the pool water to breathe while the combined chloramines (CCs) are burned off. Once the pool is clean and you are dosing at maintenance level FC, you can leave the cover in place. When dosing, just flip back the cover so that you can access the return flow and dose with the needed chemicals. Then flip the cover back over the water. BTW, if you do need to shock, I would lower pH (based on the results of the TF-100) to around 7.2 before beginning the Shock Process. Once you start the Shock Process, don't bother testing the pH until you are done and the FC has returned to normal maintenance levels for your CYA. High FC levels during the Shock Process can throw off the pH results and you may overcompensate on adjusting pH.

    Quote Originally Posted by ethanhunteg
    2. I seem to have low PH and pretty high TA. I tried turning the jets more toward the surface but I do not really think its increasing aeration that much.
    I would focus more on pH than TA. Also, I would let the TF-100 see how high the TA really is. TA is basically an indication of the water's ability to buffer pH changes. Once people start swimming, the water will get churned up and aerated. This will raise pH. I would test pH at least several times per week unless you are shocking (see above). When pH gets near 7.8, I would reduce it down to around 7.2 with Muriatic Acid (MA). This will also lower TA. Once your pH stabilizes, there's really no need to fiddle with TA.

    Quote Originally Posted by ethanhunteg
    3. At current CYA levels the pool calculator wants me to use 11 or 12 jugs of bleach just to bring it to shock level. This seems like a ton of bleach. Assuming I get this under control, about how much bleach will I expect to be adding to the pool on a weekly basis to maintain FC levels and is this my next step (adding all the bleach)?
    You're right, it is a lot of bleach. This question is hard to answer precisely. Every pool is different. When shocking, you will need to test several times a day. The amount of chlorine consumed between each test is variable, but it will start off high and gradually reduce as the pool get cleaned up. You can trust the Pool Calculator on the dosing amounts based on your FC and CC test results.
    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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  3. Back To Top    #3
    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Opening our new pool and winter rain issues

    Bo gave you great advice, and I want to second the "wait for the kit" motion. Frankly, anything you do until you get the kit is a wild guess. A few days waiting on shipping won't make it that much worse.
    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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    ethanhunteg's Avatar
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    Re: Opening our new pool and winter rain issues

    So the test results are in (TF-100)

    I got clear liquid after putting in the powder reagent for the FAS/DPD. I believe that is = TC 0 (FC 0 and CC 0)
    TA 160
    CH 250-300 (reason i say this is because it started purple instead of red - so somewhere between 25 and 30 drops it was "blue" instead of "purple but it was sort of hard to tell)
    CYA 30? This test is tough. I could barely see it at 50 and it was impossible to see the dot at 30. So well go with 30 if i'm reading that right
    PH 7.5

    So it looks like the PH has come up (or the test strips are inaccurate) by pointing the jets up the last 5 or 6 days. I think the other numbers are close enough that they can be left alone. Let me know if that's wrong.

    I can still see the bottom but the pool is more green and less clear then it was at the end of last week. Correct me if i'm wrong but I think doing the shock with a goal of passing the OCLT and a clear pool is the prescription. If CYA really is 30 then pool calc would have me add 4.7 gallons of bleach (for goal of 12 to shock according to chart) and if it really were 50 then it would have me add 6.2 gallons for a goal of 16 FC. Unless i can place a lot more confidence in my CYA test by some guidence here I'm thinking i should shoot in the middle and assume a goal of FC 14 for now = 5.4 gallons. This make sense?
    Then assuming I clear up, pass oclt I should leave cover off until FC drops back to the 2-6 range then start using cover and just start daily maintenance using pool-school/basic_pool_care_schedule right?
    Thanks again
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 3/4 HP pump, Sand Filter, pool 40yr old, filter 1yr old, liner 6 yr old - in southeast WI

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    ethanhunteg's Avatar
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    Re: Opening our new pool and winter rain issues

    So I'm a bit confused.
    Per the pool calculator I added 443 oz of 8.5% bleach to bring FC to 14
    I was only able to test it an hour later and now I'm at
    FC .5 (so one drop)
    CC 1 (two drops)

    Is it possible in the hour I was forced to wait to test it (I ran out of time after adding bleach as i'm working from home today) that it consumed that much?
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 3/4 HP pump, Sand Filter, pool 40yr old, filter 1yr old, liner 6 yr old - in southeast WI

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    ethanhunteg's Avatar
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    Re: Opening new (green) pool that flooded twice over the win

    So I measured with both tests again when I got some time at lunch and seemed to confirm that FC and CC were low (drop test and color one)
    I've added what bleach i had left (approx 300 oz of 8.25) which pool calculator said should get me back to 9
    I measured about 10 minutes after adding it and got FC = 11 and CC = 1

    I plan to buy more bleach right after work, test and try to raise to target 14 asap
    Please let me know if i'm doing anything wrong or have overlooked anything in the last few posts
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 3/4 HP pump, Sand Filter, pool 40yr old, filter 1yr old, liner 6 yr old - in southeast WI

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Opening new (green) pool that flooded twice over the win

    Seems like you are doing it correctly, you need to test and re-raise the FC back to shock level as often as you can. It is certainly possible for the FC to drop that rapidly if there is something in the water consuming it.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    ethanhunteg's Avatar
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    Re: Opening new (green) pool that flooded twice over the win

    So I finally had a chance to do the OCLT last night. I probably could've done it a few nights earlier but just never had the chance to be home on both ends of it. I got <1 drop in the FC and have .5 CC. Being that the pool is the clearest i think I've ever seen a pool I think I'm in pretty good shape
    The plan now is to let the FC burn off to the appropriate level based on (pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock) and (pool-school/recommended_levels) which looks to be about FC = 5. Once i get down in that neighborhood i'll start using the solar cover.
    I know from pool school that FC =<0 is not safe to swim but what FC is it no longer recommended to swim on the high side?
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 3/4 HP pump, Sand Filter, pool 40yr old, filter 1yr old, liner 6 yr old - in southeast WI

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Opening new (green) pool that flooded twice over the win

    It is safe to swim when the FC greater than the minimum listed for your CYA level and when the FC is less than the shock level for your CYA.
    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!

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