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Thread: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

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    BarbL's Avatar
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    Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    My husband has always wanted a pool, and I can't pass up a bargain, so I figured it was destiny when checking out a local garage sale, I happened upon a used Intex 16' X 42" Easy Set pool for sale.

    Our house used to have a pool so even though the area was a bit grown over, once we got past a little layer of sod, we found a ton of glorious sand. We added literally another ton of sand to the mix, got it leveled out, set up the pool and promptly found a leak in the blow up ring. We got that patched and the pool filled up just in time for the last couple of weeks of terribly cold weather here in Wisconsin. We put the cover on the pool and I set out to figure out what all I should be putting into the pool - the previous owner handed me a bucket and two jugs full of chemical stuff and as I was investigating how to properly keep this pool happy, I came across this site, did a little reading about the BBB method for pool care and hope that I can use that to care for our new-to-us swimming pool.

    Problem 1 - I can not get one single consistent answer as to the actual volume of this pool - I've read it holds anywhere from 3500 to 4500 gallons of water.

    Hubby and I took the cover off yesterday, skimmed a few little pieces of debris out of the pool and started up the filter. Water was crystal clear. Not having enough liquid bleach on hand at the moment, and knowing I needed to "shock" the pool, I used half of a packet of Utikem "One Shot Shock Treatment" that the previous owner included with the pool. I have several more - previous owner said they just put in a pack a week and "let her go." They tried some sort of yellow "Extreme Pool Shock" liquid, but claimed they didn't like it as much and also included two full gallon jugs of that stuff. Previous owner also talked about using some sort of tablets and gave me a couple of floating dispensers for the aforementioned tablets as well.

    I only used half the packet because it said it was for a 10,000 gallon pool and I know I didn't have 10,000 gallons sitting in my backyard blue rubber doughnut.

    I have just received my Taylor 2006 testing kit and tested my water this morning. I came up with the following values (I didn't do all of the tests as I wasn't sure if they were necessary):

    Free Chlorine 5.4
    Combined Chlorine .2
    pH 7.8
    CYA = 0

    This morning I ran out and purchased liquid bleach, Borax and baking soda. I also picked up chlorine stabilizer, but wasn't sure if I should put that in or if this magic shock packet included some (it doesn't seem that way according to my test results, right?) I still have at least five packages of the "One Shot Shock" and two gallons of the yellow liquid shock stuff as well

    What do I do, what should I do now? I read I should have put the stabilizer in prior to the shock so there is my first oops. When I do use the stabilizer, how should I administer it? It seems like I should put it in a sock, since it sounds like it could take forever to dissolve, and keep it in a high flow area, but I am not seeing a good way to secure the sock to the edge of the pool near the filter out-take.

    The water appears slightly cloudy after using the shock, but not terrible.

    Any help or suggestions of where I go from here would be greatly appreciated! I currently keep several fish tanks and can talk about the ammonia cycle and how to keep tanks going without any chemicals, but I am just losing it when it comes to understanding this pool chemistry stuff!
    AG 3,754 Gallon Intex Easy Set Pool
    1000 GPH Cartridge Filter
    Hope I did this right!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Welcome!

    Go back and repeat the tests, although you can skip CYA, since you won't have any unless you add it. You need TA to calculate the acid dosage.

    I don't see a 16 x 42 pool listed on this site: http://www.intexcorp.com/old_site/easy15x42.htm Sure it's not 15 or 18' diameter?

    You need to settle in and really study Pool School.
    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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    BarbL's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Thanks Richard! I will head right out and test again!

    I hate to say it but I did check out pool school - my brain is just so wired for fish-keeping that I am losing it. I'll give it another try!
    AG 3,754 Gallon Intex Easy Set Pool
    1000 GPH Cartridge Filter
    Hope I did this right!

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    BarbL's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Welcome!

    Go back and repeat the tests, although you can skip CYA, since you won't have any unless you add it. You need TA to calculate the acid dosage.

    I don't see a 16 x 42 pool listed on this site: http://www.intexcorp.com/old_site/easy15x42.htm Sure it's not 15 or 18' diameter?

    You need to settle in and really study Pool School.


    I have found that size pool on a list somewhere that Intex provided, but it didn't give the gallons - the pool is shown here as well:

    http://www.sears.com/intex-16ft-x-42...a=05216738000P

    Redo of tests is giving me slightly different results for the pH and Chlorine -

    pH 7.6
    Free Chlorine 4.0 (pool is now in the sun - would it make that much of a difference in just an hour or so?
    Combined Chlorine = 0
    TA = 310
    Calcium Hardness = 270 (it was looking a bit lavender back at the 230 mark, but was a definite blue at 270)
    CYA - Did not test
    AG 3,754 Gallon Intex Easy Set Pool
    1000 GPH Cartridge Filter
    Hope I did this right!

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Welcome to tfp, BarbL

    Per intex (via a intex swg manual) that pool has a volume of 3754 gallons.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    BarbL's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Welcome to tfp, BarbL

    Per intex (via a intex swg manual) that pool has a volume of 3754 gallons.

    Thank you! Now I have something to put in my signature line once I figure that out!
    AG 3,754 Gallon Intex Easy Set Pool
    1000 GPH Cartridge Filter
    Hope I did this right!

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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Now I have something to put in my signature line once I figure that out!
    Upper left on this screen "user control panel" will get you there.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    BarbL's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by msgtdan
    Now I have something to put in my signature line once I figure that out!
    Upper left on this screen "user control panel" will get you there.

    Thank you! I will get there...I am back in "Pool School" at the moment and *think* I have this figured out a little bit...

    It seems I need to lower my TA and in order to do that, I need to lower the pH using Muriatic acid. I did the acid demand test and found I needed 7 drops of the acid demand test solution to bring my pH sample to 7.2 so I need to now calculate how much of the Muriatic acid to use in my pool to start. Test booklet goes from 400 gallons, to 1000 and then to 5000 gallons (you'd think they would have a special column just for 3,754 gallons!) so I know it will just take some math to get me there (Art major here, but I do have a calculator!)

    Then, I need to provide some aeration to help raise the pH without also raising the TA. So at this point, the industrial-sized box of baking soda I bought will not be needed for much more than baking some, scratch that, baking a LOT of cookies.

    It seems the Borax can be used to raise pH as well - should I be doing both the aeration and the Borax to raise the pH or one thing at a time? What should I be doing about my chlorine and stabilizer as I try and work the TA level down to a more ideal range?

    I'm kind of stumped if this should be a step-by-step process or if I am also working to achieve and maintain proper chlorine and stabilizer levels as I deal with the TA and pH business.
    AG 3,754 Gallon Intex Easy Set Pool
    1000 GPH Cartridge Filter
    Hope I did this right!

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by BarbL
    It seems I need to lower my TA and in order to do that, I need to lower the pH using Muriatic acid. I did the acid demand test and found I needed 7 drops of the acid demand test solution to bring my pH sample to 7.2 so I need to now calculate how much of the Muriatic acid to use in my pool to start. Test booklet goes from 400 gallons, to 1000 and then to 5000 gallons (you'd think they would have a special column just for 3,754 gallons!) so I know it will just take some math to get me there (Art major here, but I do have a calculator!)
    Use poolcalculator.com to calculate your dosing.

    As for lowering the TA, yours is very high, and that will cause your ph to continuously creep up. The easiest way to deal with high TA is to keep a close eye on ph and when it goes up to 7.8 lower it back down with MA to 7.2. This approach will slowly lower you TA. If you are finding that your ph goes up past 7.8 faster then you can keep track of it, then you can be more proactive on lower TA and try the aeration approach, but I would only do that if you are having trouble.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    BarbL's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Quote Originally Posted by BarbL
    It seems I need to lower my TA and in order to do that, I need to lower the pH using Muriatic acid. I did the acid demand test and found I needed 7 drops of the acid demand test solution to bring my pH sample to 7.2 so I need to now calculate how much of the Muriatic acid to use in my pool to start. Test booklet goes from 400 gallons, to 1000 and then to 5000 gallons (you'd think they would have a special column just for 3,754 gallons!) so I know it will just take some math to get me there (Art major here, but I do have a calculator!)
    Use poolcalculator.com to calculate your dosing.

    As for lowering the TA, yours is very high, and that will cause your ph to continuously creep up. The easiest way to deal with high TA is to keep a close eye on ph and when it goes up to 7.8 lower it back down with MA to 7.2. This approach will slowly lower you TA. If you are finding that your ph goes up past 7.8 faster then you can keep track of it, then you can be more proactive on lower TA and try the aeration approach, but I would only do that if you are having trouble.
    Thank you so much, linen!

    Let me make sure I have this right. I will calculate how much of the Muriatic acid to use to lower my pH to 7.2 to start here and then keep a strict eye on the pH and use the Muriatic acid to keep lowering the pH should it creep above 7.8? I won't worry too much about actually raising the pH using Borax or anything else because my water's TA is so high that the pH is going to rise on its own anyway. So my battle here is to keep my pH lower and I shouldn't need anything to raise it, at least until if, and when, my TA ever gets that low.

    When will be the best time to check my pH and how often should I be doing that?

    I'm still a little confused about the whole "shocking" my pool versus maintaining good chlorine and stabilizer levels. Since this pool was freshly filled and will be taken down every fall and refilled in the spring/summer, was that initial shocking even necessary? I am wondering if I should add the correct amount of stabilizer for my pool at this point.
    AG 3,754 Gallon Intex Easy Set Pool
    1000 GPH Cartridge Filter
    Hope I did this right!

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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    I usually check my PH every time I check FC. If you look at my sig you'll see my fill water has high TA, I don't worry about it too much. I keep my PH in range and I'm under 140 ppm TA now and it will keep coming down.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    BarbL's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by msgtdan
    I usually check my PH every time I check FC. If you look at my sig you'll see my fill water has high TA, I don't worry about it too much. I keep my PH in range and I'm under 140 ppm TA now and it will keep coming down.
    Thanks msgtdan!

    My plan is to test everything again around sunset, add in the Muriatic acid at that point, add any additional bleach needed, along with the stabilizer and see how everything looks in the morning. I can see that the pool calculator is going to be well-used here!

    Hopefully the combo doesn't have my pool bubbling over by daybreak
    AG 3,754 Gallon Intex Easy Set Pool
    1000 GPH Cartridge Filter
    Hope I did this right!

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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by BarbL
    I'm still a little confused about the whole "shocking" my pool versus maintaining good chlorine and stabilizer levels. Since this pool was freshly filled and will be taken down every fall and refilled in the spring/summer, was that initial shocking even necessary? I am wondering if I should add the correct amount of stabilizer for my pool at this point.
    Good question. Since you mentioned in your first post that the pool is cloudy, it is likely that you need to do the shocking process. The idea is that you raise and hold the FC level high enough to kill the algae/organics until they are gone. For now I would get enough cya in your pool to get to 20-30 ppm and also start the shocking process. You do not let your FC drop down to the maintenance level until you pass all three criteria simultaneously that are in the shocking process pool school article (also in my sig).
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    BarbL's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Could the cloudiness have been caused by the shock product I used initially? I ask because the pool looks clear now after a day out in the sun - it was clear before I started as well and then I added the "One Shot" stuff last night, it looked slightly cloudy last night - not terrible, I could still easily see the liner "tiles" throughout without issue, and it was less cloudy this morning. Now it is looking nice and clear again, not a trace of cloudiness, green and nothing feeling slimy. If only my TA weren't so terrible!

    I guess since I have to do the Muriatic acid addition, I may as well just go on and shock this pool properly too. Wish this were as easy as fish tank chemistry!
    AG 3,754 Gallon Intex Easy Set Pool
    1000 GPH Cartridge Filter
    Hope I did this right!

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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    It is easy once everything is balanced

    I had a green pool and I am a first time pool owner(pool put in in Dec2012)

    Now I feel like I've been doing this for years
    It's that easy with a good test kit like the TF-100
    14600gal, In-Ground Fiberglass, Haywood s244t Sand Filter, Jandy Apure35 SWG,
    Haywood 2 speed 1hp pump, Haywood Pool Shark, TF-100 Test Kit http://tftestkits.net/
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    Never been Pool Stored Thanks to TFP

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    BarbL's Avatar
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    Re: Total Pool Newbie Could Use A Little Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by SkyKid
    It is easy once everything is balanced

    I had a green pool and I am a first time pool owner(pool put in in Dec2012)

    Now I feel like I've been doing this for years
    It's that easy with a good test kit like the TF-100

    That's pretty much what I tell everyone about keeping virtually maintenance-free, chemical-free fish tanks too The chemistry behind this is just completely opposite of what I do for for my fish tanks and pond that I was thrown for a bit of a loop. I think I have it now and hopefully soon I will be enjoying a swim - if the mosquitoes don't carry me off first
    AG 3,754 Gallon Intex Easy Set Pool
    1000 GPH Cartridge Filter
    Hope I did this right!

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