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Thread: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

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    Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    Hello,

    We moved into our Upstate NY home with a 16 x 32 inground pool in late 2011. We replaced all of the equipment (Salt Water Pool) and had a new vinyl pool liner installed. The pool service did all of this work and cleaned and maintained the pool all last summer, year 1. This year they opened the pool and did one vacuuming and adjusted the chemicals (added liquid chlorine, algaecide and clarifier) and then we were on our own, primarily to save money.

    To help us after a lot of research we chose the Poolvergnuegen 2-wheel and the pool is spotless on the bottom. I do see a couple of green patches here and there and use the rubber scrubber on the pole to wipe them away. We attached a canister to the cleaner hose to catch debris and that is working very well. We had a number of ferocious storms in the last two weeks and once I skimmed the surface to capture leaves and other tree matter the pool cleaner did a marvelous job.

    We used this site to decide on which house/pool to buy, which equipment to buy and which pool cleaner to buy. We've studied Pool School and watched numerous videos. But we still have a few questions. Here are my questions:

    1) see photo - tree pollen is off the charts and in the am I found this stuff on the surface in the last few days as the weather abruptly changed and hit 90 degrees with high humidity. As you drive around here there are puffy white balls floating in the air. Is normal skimming with pole and basket the correct way to handle?

    2) last year the pool service ran the pump (IntelliFlo Variable Speed) 24/7 at level 2. We don't need or have a heater and the house has solar which meets our needs year round. I still want to conserve electricity to not pay our utility. I've been running the pool cleaner 4-5 hours in early morning at level 4, the pump and salt water generator an additional 8 hours at level 2, and the entire system is off 12 hours a day. Is this protocol wasteful or too little time running the equipment daily?

    3) chemicals - where do I begin? I am no chemist and therefore need simple solutions. I believe the salt levels aren't high enough. I put in 2 bags of salt two weeks ago and the readings never budged. AquaChek test for salt shows less than 1 and has since we took over 3 weeks ago. The pool service said they use the same strip and got a reading of 6.5 (3000 ppm). They told me not to put in more salt. The Pentair SWG has all green lights and shows adequate (4 dots green) levels. Pool service said I have faulty test strips for salt. I also have AquaChek Select (6 readings) and AquaChek (4 readings). Water appears to be low hardness, total chlorine practically zero, free chlorine very low, pH high, alkalinity good, cyanuric acid ideal. Both strips confirm these readings. I know this is a big deal and would appreciate simple, constructive steps to begin to address the problem. In the meantime is it safe to use the pool? I think it is safe.

    4) pump filter - the pump is a year old and ran constantly from Memorial Day to Labor Day a year ago. Could the filter need cleaning? I am sure the pool service did not clean the filter. I've viewed the YouTube movies and seen green algae filled filters that required 3 cleanings before being clean. They suggest this as step 1 before vacuuming and chemicals are added. Again, I know the service scrubbed the pool and they missed a couple of spots. I clean them when I see them. The water is crystal clear, no cloudiness just the puffy tree stuff floating on top. The Poolvergnuegen does not clean algae or water line as you know but I'm capable of that at least.

    So, can two retired women in Upstate NY maintain our own pool and save $75 per week or do we give up and call the pool service? They will continue to open and close the pool for us. Any advice will be much appreciated!
    - Karen
    Attached Images Attached Images
    16x32" IGP Vinyl liner 18,000 gal.
    Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Programmable Pump
    Pentair sand filter hard plumbed.
    Pentair IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel Suction-Side pool cleaner, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    Welcome (back) to TFP since you've obviously been here before!
    (1). Pollen is organic which will consume chlorine just like sunshine. Raise your FC a bit during pollination season to combat it and keep on skimming! Don't add any more of any left over algaecide if you have any. Clarifier is not required if you properly maintain your pool either.

    (2). Let your water quality tell YOU how much it needs cleaning and pump running. Your little green patches you're scrubbing are algae and you should properly put your pool through the shock PROCESS. This is why you have low FC. You can't shock using the SWG and it currently can't keep up with the extra chlorine demand.

    (3) (4). Sounds like you either need to increase your pump/SWG run time or raise your %. Most likely the %. We don't recommend the use of any strip tests except for salt and PH. We need GOOD test numbers to make recommendations for you. Consider ordering one of the recommended test kits in pool school so YOU CAN EASILY take care of your own pool for less than the cost of one week of so called "pool service".

    Please add a signature line to your profile like mine below and tell us about all your pool equipment. Can't recommend what to do about your filter unless we know what type and such. I'd say clean it/backwash right away to be sure
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    Woody beat me but I'm posting it anyway!

    Welcome to TFP.

    1) Yes it is. I would also look at adjusting the pump run time and length if you think it needs it.

    2) The intelliflo is most efficient at about 1000 rpm so I'd try to run it there most of the time. I'd also try to adjust the speed of the pump so that the cleaner runs correctly but not any faster than it needs to.

    3) You really need a good test kit. For once I agree with the pool guy. It appears that the strips are bad. I can't stress enough how much a good test kit with a good salt test will make your life easier. Strips are not good enough to maintain the pool for very long and as you've already seen they can go bad quickly.

    4) What size filter do you have? What type filter do you have? At any rate, the filter should be cleaned at least once a year, either upon opening or closing.

    Two (or even one) retired person can easily maintain that pool and save money. Start by getting a good test kit and reading Pool School again concentrating on chemical balance.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    Thank you for your INSTANT replies!

    1) test kit - see picture attached. Should I order any extras or just the TF-100 for $68.00?

    2) I will post my information later today (equipment, pool size etc) below my signature.

    3) I assume your agreement with the pool service was to not add more salt and nothing else.

    4) I'll remove automatic Pool Cleaner and run pump and SWG 24/7 at rpm suggested. Bottom of pool is clean. Three weeks ago the pool service backwashed multiple times (four times at least) five days after shocking the pool. I know too much backwashing reduces the salt.

    5) I'll skim and clean rigorously today, swim daily, order the new test kits and report back on the test results once I get the kit.

    Thank you again for your guidance.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    16x32" IGP Vinyl liner 18,000 gal.
    Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Programmable Pump
    Pentair sand filter hard plumbed.
    Pentair IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel Suction-Side pool cleaner, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    Since your water appears to be clear, you likely do not need the XL option. But, the SpeedStir really does make the testing faster and easier. I like the K-1776 salt test, but the strips are easier and will still give you a decent sanity check on the salt level.
    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
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    In your case I'd order the TF-100 and the Taylor salt test. Personally I'd get the SpeedStir too (In fact I did).
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - first quick test results

    Hi again,

    I ordered the TF-100 Test kit with Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer and Taylor K-1766 Salt Test as optional items. Received it today and the K-1766 Salt Test is backordered. I thought I should do the Basic K-1000 Total Chrlorine and PH Test. The results can't be good on the chlorine side. The water on the left side remained clear after putting in the the 5 yellow drops. The pH test on the right came out to 7.2 after putting in the 5 red drops. I'm not sure how to interpret these readings - where do I go from here?

    The SWG is now blinking red at level 2. When I used the automatic pool cleaner over the weekend I ran the pump at level 4 and the red light turned green. And, over the weekend (93 to 96 degree weather for three straight days) the pool was crystal clear. As I mentioned in my initial post, I put in 2 bags of salt about 2 weeks ago. Should I do any other tests while waiting for the K-1766? Thanks in advance for you advice.

    Unsalty Karen
    16x32" IGP Vinyl liner 18,000 gal.
    Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Programmable Pump
    Pentair sand filter hard plumbed.
    Pentair IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel Suction-Side pool cleaner, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    Test everything and post it up. Until you figure out the the SWG issue, you need to be using bleach to maintain adequate FC.

    How does the water look?
    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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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    Jason,
    Pool looks perfect - crystal clear. I will go through all the tests as I am able to tomorrow and will post the results. Yes, I agree I have a SWG issue. Not sure about the bleach though -- have never heard of that before
    Thanks,
    Karen
    16x32" IGP Vinyl liner 18,000 gal.
    Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Programmable Pump
    Pentair sand filter hard plumbed.
    Pentair IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel Suction-Side pool cleaner, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    If you are more comfortable if I call it liquid chlorine that the pool store sells, I will ... but it is exactly the same thing. If you do not understand that, please read Pool School.
    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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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - liquid chlorine

    Jason,
    Just go to the pool store and ask for liquid chlorine? Get one of those 5 gallon jugs? I'll purchase it, but I assume I should do all the tests prior to dumping it in the pool. I have re-read everything in Pool School but see no reference to bleach, but thanks for the information. I had no idea.
    Karen
    16x32" IGP Vinyl liner 18,000 gal.
    Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Programmable Pump
    Pentair sand filter hard plumbed.
    Pentair IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel Suction-Side pool cleaner, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir

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    Join Date
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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    Welcome to TFP
    Pool IG, 20'x30'x5', 15,000 gals, QuartzScapes NPT Tahoe Blue, Sundek Classic Texture, DE Hayward Pro-grid DE7220 , Pentair erosion auto CH, Main PMP Century 1.5hp , Polaris 280, booster PMP Century 3/4hp, Electronics PNL timer/light Pro Logic Model AQL2-SS-RF w/Remote CNTL

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    There are many threads that discuss the cost comparisons of different liquid chlorines. The laundry stuff used to be 6% but is now switching to 8.25% and the stuff sold for pools is usually 10% or 12.5% ... same stuff different strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by PatandKaren
    I have re-read everything in Pool School but see no reference to bleach, but thanks for the information. I had no idea.
    A quick look in Pool School finds bleach mentioned in these articles:
    pool-school/pool_water_chemistry
    pool-school/types_chlorine_pool
    pool-school/recommended_pool_chemicals
    pool-school/defeating_algae
    pool-school/mustard_algae
    pool-school/shocking_your_pool
    pool-school/baqua_chlorine_conversion
    pool-school/temporary_pool_guide

    Perhaps you may want to read Pool School again ... you will always learn more every time you read it.
    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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    Join Date
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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    It sounds like the water flow to your swg is low. What is the pressure on your sand filter? Have you tried back washing to lower the pressure and see if that helps?
    Purposed new pool at home being built- 20x40 vinyl pool, 20ft vinyl covered steps, Automatic cover, 6 ft sheer decent, 4 lighted deck jets, lime stone coping, easy touch, heat pump, SPA- 8x8 fiberglass shell, limestone steps surrounding
    previous home- 16 x 32 IG Vinyl- Install- Mid June 2011. 3ft Shallow 8ft Deep/ Totally Hayward 1HP pump/ 250 pound Sand/ AquaPro800 Heat pump/ Blue Hampton Liner/ 2 Intellibrite LED Lights/ Polaris 360/ 4 Deckjet II's/ 3ft concrete Apron/ 800 sq ft Paver Patio

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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - sand filter psi

    Hi again,

    The psi on the sand filter is 32. This morning the water level is slightly above the skimmer. I cranked the pump up to level 4 and sure enough eventually the SWG red lights turned all green - no flashing. There is a new development - water line has a scum line which is beige color and very thin. The pool cleaner runs on level 4 and the pool is clear and pristine as usual but some tree pollen needs skimming off. I will do all the tests in the kit this afternoon and post results.

    Thanks again for your helpful comments and questions.

    Karen
    16x32" IGP Vinyl liner 18,000 gal.
    Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Programmable Pump
    Pentair sand filter hard plumbed.
    Pentair IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel Suction-Side pool cleaner, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    Just an FYI, the puffy tree stuff, if it looks like a cotton ball with a tiny seed in it, is from Cottonwood http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populus_sect._Aigeiros

    I just used a regular old scrub brush to quickly remove my scum line around the pool, easiest down from in the water...
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
    Test Kits - Pool Calculator - Chlorine/CYA Chart - Pool School

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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - crystal clean pool

    The pool is all clean top and bottom now and the SWG lights are all fine. I will perform all the tests tomorrow and report back as I have guests and the mad scientist needs privacy to do the chemistry thing.

    Thanks again, all.
    16x32" IGP Vinyl liner 18,000 gal.
    Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Programmable Pump
    Pentair sand filter hard plumbed.
    Pentair IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel Suction-Side pool cleaner, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Maintaining pool first year - First Test Results

    Hi all,

    Here are my first test results including the backordered K-1766 which came today.

    1) K-1766 (17 x 2 = 3400)
    2) K-1000 (Chlorine = 1, Bromine = 2, pH = 7.5)
    3) Chlorine Drop Test (Free Chlorine = 1.5pp, Total Chlorine = 1.5pp)
    4) Total Alkalinity Test (11 = TA of 110)
    5) Calcium Hardness Test (24 x 10 = 240)
    6) CYA Test (25)

    The stirrer was wonderful and I'm very glad I got that as an optional item as well as the K-1766.

    Water is crystal clear today - perfect weather for our guests and us to swim today. The psi of the sand filter is 32. Any advice would be appreciated but with the K-1766 results I feel much better about the salt levels in the pool. I'm still not sure why lowering the pump speed from level 4 which the pool cleaner requires to any lower level results in flashing red lights: one for low flow and the other bouncing from green to red for salt levels. If I leave it at 4 I get all green, no flashing, and 4 green dots for salt levels.

    Thanks,
    Karen & Pat
    16x32" IGP Vinyl liner 18,000 gal.
    Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Programmable Pump
    Pentair sand filter hard plumbed.
    Pentair IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel Suction-Side pool cleaner, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - general questions

    Since the water sounds clear, you just need to get the CYA and FC up to recommended levels:
    pool-school/recommended_levels
    pool-school/water_balance_saltwater_generator

    Sounds like you are not getting enough flow to the SWG on lower speeds ... that pressure seems awfully high BTW ... do you get good flow back to the pool? When was the last time you backwashed the filter?
    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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    Re: Maintaining pool first year - First Test Results

    All the baskets are clean and the pool cleaner works great at level 4. Last year we ran pump 24/7 at level 2 and all was good. I will backwash tomorrow and remove pool cleaner and see how it goes. I was reluctant to backwash since the pool service backwashed it repeatedly 1 week after closing (like 5 times).

    Thanks for the links. I'll study up on them.
    16x32" IGP Vinyl liner 18,000 gal.
    Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Programmable Pump
    Pentair sand filter hard plumbed.
    Pentair IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel Suction-Side pool cleaner, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir

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