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Thread: LONG--Questions from a new TFP user on the test kit, etc

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    Join Date
    May 2013
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    LONG--Questions from a new TFP user on the test kit, etc

    Hi TFP,

    I have been a pool owner for 18 seasons now. The pool was here when we bought the house and I have maintained it since then. I have no idea how old it really is. The pool itself could be as much as 28 years but my guess is between 20 and 25 years old. I have upgraded everything over the years so only the structure is original.

    It had Baqucil for the first few years and I always had problems keeping the sanitizer levels up and then started having cloudy water problems plus BQ is very expensive in my opinion. When I replaced the liner in 2005 I went to chlorine and haven't looked back. I used the trichlor pucks and shock. The first few CL seasons were very good and then I started to have algae and cloudiness problems. This winter the cover ripped and a lot of junk got in the pool. It was pretty swampy when I opened it on 5/22.

    I have had to deal with a swampy pool several times over the years but I wanted to do things better this year so I started poking around the internet and discovered TFP. I have been reading the info on this site for about 2 weeks and realized many things were contributing to my problems over the years. I think that CYA buildup is the biggest. I would get my water tested at the pool store and the CYA would just go up and up over time. I remember asking several times about what happens when it got too high. I never got a good answer until TFP. I never knew that the amount of CYA affected the amounts of CL necessary for sanitation and shocking. I 've learned a lot over the past couple of weeks.

    My pool is now clean but cloudy which is where I always seem to be startng in the middle of the summer. I would like a crystal clear pool like I see at everyone else's house. I've decided to go with the BBB method to keep the extra CYA out of my pool. I realize that I need the test kit in order to do the accurate tests necessary for proper maintenance and shcoking.

    Here are my questions:
    (1) I think I want the TF-100 kit recommended by everyone. While it seems pricey that also depends on how many tests I get out of it. Does the TF-100 kit have enough materials to last for the whole season. In my area the season is mid-May through the end of Aug or mid-Sep at the latest.

    (2) What do the reagents cost to replace; i.e. when I want to buy everything new for next year what is it going to cost? A ball park figure is what I am looking for based on a "normal" season of water testing.

    (3) How long does the series of tests take to complete? A recent poster quoted a time of 1 hour to complete the tests. Is this right because that sounds like a long time to me? How long does it take after the initial learning curve is passed?

    (4) I have been using up my Cal-hypo %68 shock. The pool calculator says that this adds CH. Can I assume that it does not add CYA since that is not mentioned? The note on the pool calculator says this "Note: Dichlor and trichlor add CYA and lower pH. Cal-hypo adds CH.

    (5) I have a Hayward automatic chlorinator. I do not want to use pucks anymore but was thinking of trying to use bleach in the chlorinator. I would have to play around with the settings to get the rate correct but I am willing to experiment with this and share the info if it has not already been done. Has anyone done this?

    Here are my numbers. They are from the pool store water test but that's all I have right now:
    Wed 6/5/13
    TC = 4.7
    FC = 4.7
    pH = 7.6
    TA = 105
    CH = 275
    CYA = 30

    My water is cloudy but I can see the bottom and it is getting better each day. I have been doing the DE filter enhancement.

    I guess that's it for now.

    I appreciate any time you can give me on the answers to the above questions.

    Thanks,
    Bill Robertson
    11,300 gal, AG vinyl, 15 x 30 x 3.75 ft Oval, Hayward SL166T, 100 lbs sand, 1 HP Power-Flo pump, single speed, Hayward CL-200 chlorinator (no longer used)
    Pool: Mardi Gras at least 25 y.o., Liner: New in 2014, Filter/Pump: New in 2008, Media: Replaced 5/2013. TF-100 Test Kit w/Speed Stir.
    Mickleton, NJ (South Jersey Philadelphia area)

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: LONG--Questions from a new TFP user on the test kit, etc

    Welcome to TFP!

    1) Yes it lasts a season easily.
    2)The prices are on the site TFTestkits.net. Reagents come with an 18 month guarantee, so you really won't need to replace anything for a couple of years.
    3)5 minutes at the extreme.
    4)Right.
    5)Don't do it. It could be dangerous, and it won't work reliably.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Join Date
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    Mickleton, NJ
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    Re: LONG--Questions from a new TFP user on the test kit, etc

    JohnT:
    Thanks for the answers. For #5, as an engineer I hate to waste a piece of equipment. If I am testing often with the test kit wouldn't I be able to spot a high CL problem from using the Hayward AC. Don't the pucks just dissolve anyway and make "trichlor bleach with CYA" that get dispensed as a liquid from the Hayward AC? That sure what it looks like to me when I open it; there are partially dissolved pucks in a cylinder tank of water, er trichlor bleach w/ CYA about 6 inch dia x 12 inch deep.

    (6) Question I just thought of. The pool calculator shows how much bleach to add to bring FC to a certain level based on CYA, etc. How much liquid bleach is consumed in a normal week? I know this depends on a lot but let's say for my pool when water is balanced correctly and we are only in maintenance mode; how much bleach would be needed per day or week to maintain a FC = 3 with CYA = 30 for a 10,700 gal pool?

    Thanks,
    Bill
    11,300 gal, AG vinyl, 15 x 30 x 3.75 ft Oval, Hayward SL166T, 100 lbs sand, 1 HP Power-Flo pump, single speed, Hayward CL-200 chlorinator (no longer used)
    Pool: Mardi Gras at least 25 y.o., Liner: New in 2014, Filter/Pump: New in 2008, Media: Replaced 5/2013. TF-100 Test Kit w/Speed Stir.
    Mickleton, NJ (South Jersey Philadelphia area)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: LONG--Questions from a new TFP user on the test kit, etc

    5) Adding bleach to a trichlor tablet feeder is extremely dangerous and can result in chlorine gas being produced or even an explosion. Even if the tablet feeder was 100% free of trichlor it wouldn't even begin to work with bleach/liquid chlorine as it depends on the tablets dissolving slowly to work at all, and would feed all of the bleach in minutes.

    6) You typically use 2 ppm of chlorine per day, though that will vary a fair bit depending on CYA level, amount of shade the pool gets, and several other factors.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
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    Re: LONG--Questions from a new TFP user on the test kit, etc

    I test my pool and hot tub using the speed stir in about 8 mins, that's a complete test. Most days i just test chlorine and PH, i always test chlorine with the powder so it takes a little longer than drops but still i'm done in less than 2-3 mins for both pool and hot tub.

    I reference the instructions every time too LOL.

    I'm going to time myself to make sure what i'm telling you is not exaggerated, i hate when i exaggerate.
    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

    Secret Weapon for Pool Chemistry Testing

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    Re: LONG--Questions from a new TFP user on the test kit, etc

    5.) I Use my tablet feeder as the injection point for my bleach (on a Stenner peristaltic pump). Of course there are no tablets in it anymore and I thoroughly washed it out before I hooked up my peristaltic pump to it. No explosions.

    See this thread - new-stenner-convert-t54737.html
    15,000 gallon colored plaster in-ground with spa-spillover
    Hayward Tristar 2-speed 1.5hp main, Hayward Tristar 1 speed 1hp water feature
    Hayward Cartridge Filter C4030 & Tiger Shark
    Hayward ProLogic Automation & Hayward 400k BTU Heater
    Stenner 45MPHP10 Peristaltic Pump

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    Jenischmeni's Avatar
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    Re: LONG--Questions from a new TFP user on the test kit, etc

    From a newbie to chemical testing using the TF-100, the first test did take me an hour. Each subsequent test took a lot less longer. Within several days, I had down to being able to do it in under 10 minutes.

    It's a steep learning curve. Once you know and understand what you're doing, it cranks out pretty quickly! I was terrified at first and watched the video before, during, and after attempting the first test.

    It's like anything. The first one is the hardest.
    Central Indiana, 7200 gallon, IG fiberglass, L250 Jacuzzi sand filter, Hayward H150 gas heater, Pentair fiber optic light - installed '06. AOSmith 1.0hp pump, CPSC-24 SWG - installed '13. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: LONG--Questions from a new TFP user on the test kit, etc

    You are SO in the right place!

    I got the test kit last year in July BEFORE I put in the pool. I did order extra R-0013 (CYA reagent), R-0671 (FAS-DPD Titrating Reagent),R-0890(DPD powder) as those are the things you cannot buy in town and use the most.

    It takes me AT MOST 5 mins. to do the test. In fact it takes me longer to walk out to the pool and get the water then walk back inside then it does to do the test. I choose to do my testing in my kitchen. Once you do it 3 or 4 times it is easy and fast!

    Once you learn your pool (2 or so weeks) you will be able to tell what you need to do by just looking at it! I still test to make sure but only about every 3 days. If it rains or we have a big group of people I will test right after just to be on the safe side.

    GOOD LUCK!
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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