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Thread: Pool Opening

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Pool Opening

    *sigh*

    So I've creeped on this board for a few years, read the pool school, and use The Pool Calculator to figure out what I need to add, but for some reason every year I can never get my openings correct. So I end up at my local pool store saying..."It's cloudy, now what" Once I get it clear I can maintain my pool no problem.

    I have the 6-way kit from Walmart as well as my HTH Test Strips (I hate them as I can never tell the colors) and the Borates Test Strips, however just a few minutes ago I broke down and bought the TF-100 and am awaiting delivery.

    So on my annual trip to my local pool store (a mom 'n pop store that sells only Bioguard products) I knew some of my numbers, I was sure my CYA was close to 30 (I had just got it up there when the rains came and to prevent my pool from overflowing I lowered the water level, but forgot about it when I was dealing with my sump pump check valve failure and now I need to re-add more water) and my Alkalinity was somewhere between 80 and 90, my PH was somewhere in the 8 range.

    So the results come back, and of course I *need* to buy stuff , but do I really need everything they want me to buy most likely not, usually it ends up me needing to buy 3-5 bags of shock and that solves my problem.

    Their test results says the following:

    CYA: 26 Ideal: 30-200
    Tot Chlorine: 0.3 Ideal: 1-3
    Free Chlorine: 0.3 Ideal: 1-3
    pH: 8 Ideal: 7.4-7.6
    Tot Alkalinity: 89
    Adj. Total Alk: 81 Ideal 125-150
    Tot Hardness: 223 Ideal: 175-225
    Optimizer +: 29 Ideal: 30-35
    Iron: 0.1 Ideal: 0
    Quat: 1 Ideal: 4


    Then they recommend the following:

    2 qts of Pool Magnet Plus (and to use Sparkle Up to aid the filter in removal) - Ok bought the 2 qts but not the Sparkle Up

    22lbs of Balance Pak 100 (I don't think I've ever put 22 lbs of baking soda in my pool ever so I skipped that saying I need to check what I have at home [ about 1 lb left over from last year])

    3.5lbs of Low n Slow - Bought that as my hardware store was out of muriatic acid

    2lbs of Stabilizer 100 - Bought that for good measure

    2 Bags of Burn Out3 (she recommended 4 bags though) - Bought that too cause every year that seems to be my problem every opening.

    32oz of Pool Tonic - Skipped this as during the testing I made the comment "Oh what's this, didn't see this last year, they always seem to come up with something new" and was told its to remove phosphates from the water

    7 lbs of Optimizer Plus and an additional 3.5 lbs of Lo ' n Slow - Skipped that as I'll just wait for the hardware store to have muriatic acid back in stock and get more Borax from Walmart (I wiped them out yesterday)

    So after $138 purchase, I'm left wondering can I buy cheaper products that do the same things?

    Pool Magnet Plus - 2 qts - 1 qt bottle is $29.99 a pop
    Sparkle Up ( I didn't even price this as 2 years ago I got it and know it was one of the more expensive products she sold)
    Pool Tonic (it was either 29 or 26 a bottle)


    I don't have the heart to tell her that I use BBB but I know she knows I used to use HTH products because I did back in the day.

    I feel like I was being scolded by her cause I told her I have cloudy water and her response was "I won't be able to fix cloudy water if you use HTH from Walmart"

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Pool Opening

    I recommend waiting until you receive your TF-100 (they get there really quickly). Once you get it, run your tests, post the results here, and we will get your pool squared away. In the meantime, you can add a little muriatic acid to lower your pH below 8. Use the pool calculator to figure out how much to add based upon your pool size. Dump a small jug of bleach (96 oz.) into your pool after the sun goes down each night until you get your TF-100 and test things.

    Don't return to the pool store unless you need a part or something.

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Pool Opening

    So I received my TF-100 yesterday, unfortunately due to my work schedule, I didn't catch that my water level is really low (we *were* forecasted some bad storms so I lowered my pool water thinking the rain would fill it back up) so before I due any testing I want to be at the right level.

    However, I thought I might read over everything and I have a question (or 2 or 20, i dunno )

    I've had test kits like the K-1000 basic that is inside before with one noticeable difference, they don't come with that sterile hospital gauze smelling pad, so what is it's purpose? Is this to be the "damp cloth" that the Total Alkalinity Test refers to when I should be wiping the tip of the bottle after every drop?

    The Calcium Hardness Test has a note.... "If the pool water contains Copper, add two drops of R-0012 PRIOR to adding R-0011L and continue" How do I know if my water contained copper? Is there a separate test or is the water going to look like a shiny new copper penny?

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    Re: Pool Opening

    The soft pad is there to absorb moisture that might get into the kit. It has no relationship to TA.

    Simply assume you don't have copper unless you have already confirmed (with a copper test) that you do
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pool Opening

    Alright, now that the pool was refilled to the point I could run the pump again, I tested everything and here we go

    No chlorine what so ever
    pH: 7.0
    TA: 100
    CH: 170
    CYA: 50
    Borate: somewhere between 30 and 50 (can I say I hate these color strips)

    The pool was starting to turn blue-green so I figured I needed to start shocking the pool so before I did I plugged the numbers into the pool calculator and found out I needed to add 3.1 boxes of borax, which I did.

    The calculator then recommended my shock level be 16, so it wanted me to add 19 jugs of dollar store 3% bleach....not wanting to haul 19 bottles I figured I'd go to walmart and buy Clorox bleach (9.7 jugs). It's been a year since I've done that and the bottle sizes have changed! So I whipped out my iPhone and hit up the pool calculator and ran into a problem, it doesn't have jug sizes of 121 oz just 128oz But it said I needed 7.3 jugs (even better, but my jug sizes are less) So I started reading the label some more, they are not 6% bleach but 8.25% (5.3 jugs! Now my back is saying "even better still")

    I figure my jugs are smaller so I just won't do the .3 of a jug and add the 5. I go do that and before I went to bed I tested my FC level and it skyrocketed to 28! A tad past my target of 16 (Opps!)

    This morning I wake up this morning, go test the chlorine levels again:

    FC: 22.5
    CC: 2
    pH: 8 (I'm assuming this is off because of the shocking [I forgot to test this after I had added the borax])

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Pool Opening

    Disregard your pH in the presence of High chlorine.

    Pretty big overshoot on the FC (did you find your calc error?) but no harm, no foul at this point.

    Did you have a question?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Did you have a question?
    Is it possible to get the 121 oz bottle size into the pool calculator?

    I had tried clicking the email link on the page but it bounced back saying no user by that name.

    Other than that I've got lots more watching to do....this whole week has been watching of something, at work I had to watch the floor dry (it was being refinished) then watch paint dry, and now watch a pool clear up.... I don't know which one is more fun!

  8. Back To Top    #8
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    Re: Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by dlmtechnology
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Did you have a question?
    Is it possible to get the 121 oz bottle size into the pool calculator?

    I had tried clicking the email link on the page but it bounced back saying no user by that name.

    Other than that I've got lots more watching to do....this whole week has been watching of something, at work I had to watch the floor dry (it was being refinished) then watch paint dry, and now watch a pool clear up.... I don't know which one is more fun!
    The ounces work out right, just not the number of jugs. Just divide ounces by 121 to get number of jugs.
    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!

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Pool Opening

    It's now almost two weeks since I tried to clear up my pool, it's still milky blue, been shocking everyday.

    I keep trying to scrape the bottom of the pool with a leaf net trying to get what I can't see, eventually I stop getting anything substantial so I switch to the vacuum but then my return jet starts shooting out brown/green water which eventually turns the whole pool murky, so then I rinse my filter out and give up for the day till whatever was shot back in the pool settles and I start the process again.

    My question now is, on the pool store report they recommended I add Sparkle Up (DE) to my filter. I have a cartridge filter and on any search on DE I only see things about adding DE to DE filters and some to sand filters. Is DE in a cartridge filter not recommended?

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Pool Opening

    Alright, so here is a new problem.......

    It was raining yesterday, so when I got home I tossed my utility pump in the pool to pump out some of the water (I only intended an inch or two) but then right before I was done I received a phone call informing me my grandfather had passed away, so I left in pretty much a hurry, remembering just to unplug the pump but not remove it from the pool, can you see where I'm headed yet? The water siphoned out to the height of the pump.

    I woke up this morning to find the water has drained to just below the skimmer (luckily I had tied off the pump so it was only a few inches below the water) I can only imagine the damage caused to the pool system pump as there was no water coming down the skimmer hose.

    So as I fill it back up to its right level my question is since I'm sure I have less then the 40 CYA that I had just before I started my shocking process, should I get my CYA back up within range or is a lower CYA possibly better right now to try and maintain a lower FC level for shocking so I won't be placing all that extra money into chlorine and then once complete raise the CYA?

    Appreciate any input.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Pool Opening

    Of course, the first step is to test for what CYA you have...don't assume anything.

    You have not listed a city and state in which you live so a specific CYA ppm suggestion is tough.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Of course, the first step is to test for what CYA you have...don't assume anything.

    You have not listed a city and state in which you live so a specific CYA ppm suggestion is tough.
    Sorry, am in New Berlin, WI

    In years past I've generally kept 30-40 PPM, I know I've done the CYA test before I started the process and was at 50ppm I then had a few series of rainfalls that required me to lower and then a period of evaporation which I had to add. My last test was around 40ppm.

    Currently refilling, once I'm able to run the filter again I'll retest.

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Pool Opening

    So after filling the pool back up to an acceptable level and running the filter for an hour an a half here are the results.

    FC: 5
    CC: 1
    TC: 6

    TA: 170
    CH: 170
    CYA: 45 Was halfway between 50 and 40
    pH: 7.5



    As a side note I believe I've solved the over addition of bleach the first time, when I bought the house and went to the pool store I swear they said it was a 20,000 gallon pool, and I never thought anything about it, infact thats what their test results always have said. I just took some string and ran it across the pool and wrapped that length around a 4 foot "yard stick" and it went around 5 times..... The pool calculator says I hold 9,400 gallons....apparently I've been wasting money big time! I really feel stupid now

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Pool Opening

    What type and size of filter and pump?
    20x40 inground, fiberglass 3 foot down then vinyl.
    33,000 gal
    BBB
    1.95HP Hayward Super II pump
    Sta-Rite System 3 DE 37 sq ft
    Jandy Lite 2 400 Natural Gas heater.

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by jdelana
    What type and size of filter and pump?
    I have a cartridge filter, a hayward SwimPro model SW1750.

    The Pump is a Hayward Power Flow-LX 1.5 HP

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Pool Opening

    Well that should be big enough. If your pool is the size you think it is. I would get the gallons figured out. I had the same problem you are having for years. Come to find out my cartridge filter was too small. It would eventually clean it but it would take about 6 weeks and multiple cleanings. I got a proper sized filter.... over night its clear after 1 shock. And thats it. BBB 1 shock pool is open. Un real.
    20x40 inground, fiberglass 3 foot down then vinyl.
    33,000 gal
    BBB
    1.95HP Hayward Super II pump
    Sta-Rite System 3 DE 37 sq ft
    Jandy Lite 2 400 Natural Gas heater.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Pool Opening

    Well we are almost at 3 weeks now and I can start to see halfway down the wall, been washing the poor cartridge at least once a day. I just want to get in the **** pool (not that we've had great pool weather) and actually use it.

    3 weeks and its almost time for a refill of the R-0871!!!!

    Here's to hoping it doesn't take another 3 weeks to see the bottom half of the pool!!!!!

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by dlmtechnology
    Well we are almost at 3 weeks now and I can start to see halfway down the wall, been washing the poor cartridge at least once a day. I just want to get in the **** pool (not that we've had great pool weather) and actually use it.

    3 weeks and its almost time for a refill of the R-0871!!!!

    Here's to hoping it doesn't take another 3 weeks to see the bottom half of the pool!!!!!
    Point a return down at the deep end. That'll get that cloudiness up in circulation where the filter can grab it.

    Or you might be one of those extremely rare cases where a clarifier or floc is called for. Have you passed the CC and OCLT?
    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!

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Point a return down at the deep end. That'll get that cloudiness up in circulation where the filter can grab it.

    Or you might be one of those extremely rare cases where a clarifier or floc is called for. Have you passed the CC and OCLT?
    1. Done
    2. Not quite, todays CC are at 1 and the loss well, I forgot to go test the water after I added the desired amount, if the calculator was correct in getting back up to 16ppm then this morning I had 13ppm but I can't say for 100% certainty that I went to bed with 16

    I've got the next 3 days off so I'll be able to keep on top of it better

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Pool Opening

    Thank you so much for that tip about moving my return jet. During my filter cleanings my filter wasn't looking as dirty as time progressed, now that I "stirred it all up" the pool has slightly clouded back up but my filter is all gray again when I take it out to hose it down.

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