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Thread: Newbie. Please help.

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    Newbie. Please help.

    Hi, I'm a newbie. I have been reading all of the info on here so I have already learned alot. I only have a 3-way test strip right now; FC, pH, TA ...I'm going to go buy a new one here shortly. But right now my levels are reading 0 FC, 7.5 pH, and 180-240 TA. What should I add this morning so that we can still swim today? So far the only thing I've added to the pool is chlorine tablets and shocked it 2 days ago, yesterday the FC was at about 2. How often and when should I run the pump? It says not to run it while swimming, yet I've read it is best to run it in the day, which is when I swim of course.
    Indianapolis IN; 3800 gal.; cartridge; AG; vinyl; not sure of the size pump, came with the Summer Escapes quick set ring pool

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie. Please help.

    Welcome to TFP!
    Quote Originally Posted by inindy
    I only have a 3-way test strip right now; FC, pH, TA ...I'm going to go buy a new one here shortly.
    I would make getting a Recommended Test Kit your first priority (as in ordering it today). Regardless of what kit you go with you will need one that can test the CYA (stabilizer) level. Without it, you are dosing blind and asking for problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by inindy
    So far the only thing I've added to the pool is chlorine tablets and shocked it 2 days ago, yesterday the FC was at about 2.
    First thing I would recommend is ditching the tablets as a chlorine source. Recommend plain liquid bleach instead. How many tablets did you use? Also, do you remember what product you used to shock with and how much? As you will learn, the term "shock" here is a process and not a product labeled as such. Chlorine tabs and some shock products add CYA to the water. CYA is a critical determinant in how much chlorine (FC) is needed to provide adequate sanitation without being overly harsh on your pool's surface and equipment. Without having some idea of what the CYA level is, it is extremely difficult to determine the proper FC level (hence the importance of a good test kit). However, if you can tell us how many chlorine tablets you used along with the type and amount of shock product you used, we can estimate the CYA level (again assuming you started with a fresh fill and added only what you stated above).

    Quote Originally Posted by inindy
    How often and when should I run the pump? It says not to run it while swimming, yet I've read it is best to run it in the day, which is when I swim of course.
    This article will help you determine pump run time: Determine Pump Run Time. Pump and filtration will work the same day or night. Pump should always be run while adding chemicals to the pool and for about 30 minutes afterwards.

    In the interim, I would suggest reading all Pool School articles, but would start with these: ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Basic Pool Care Schedule, Recommended Pool Chemicals, How to Chlorinate Your Pool, Chlorine CYA Chart, The Shock Process. This will provide some insight as to why I'm asking certain questions.
    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
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie. Please help.

    Hi, Welcome to TFP! See if you can find the HtH 6 way test kit instead of strips. Strips will not give reliable results. Since your pool is very small you can drain and refill if the water gets cloudy. Get some regular unscented bleach and add about 2 cups to the water every day with the pump running, about 1/2 hour before swimming. The pumps that come with these pools are underpowered so it helps to keep a little tub of water by the pool to rinse the dirt off your feet before climbing in the pool. Run the pump as much as you can, it can be overnight if you want, or you can run it awhile before and after swimming. If you are going to use tablets you should keep the pump running. Also the CYA in the tablets will build up quickly, and cause you to need greater amounts of chlorine to sanitize the pool.

    Read through Pool School
    Pool School especially the ABC's of water chemistry for more information on how to care for your pool.
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    Re: Newbie. Please help.

    1 or 2 (not sure, hubby did it) 3" hth Super Chlorinating tablets that go into the middle of the filter cartridge. Also, about 5.5 oz. of hth shock 'n swim.
    Indianapolis IN; 3800 gal.; cartridge; AG; vinyl; not sure of the size pump, came with the Summer Escapes quick set ring pool

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie. Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by inindy
    1 or 2 (not sure, hubby did it) 3" hth Super Chlorinating tablets
    These are trichlor tabs. Assuming 2 tablets were added, the CYA level in your 3,800 gallon pool will be around 17.5 ppm when the tablets are fully dissolved.

    Quote Originally Posted by inindy
    Also, about 5.5 oz. of hth shock 'n swim.
    This adds 5.2 ppm FC and 3.6 ppm CH to your pool. Would not add any more of this product - it is simply not needed. Stick with plain unscented liquid bleach as your chlorine source.

    I'm going to stick by my recommendation to get one of the Recommended Test Kits and would strongly suggest ordering it today. It will save you money in the long run by avoiding chemical overdoses and unnecessary products. Until the kit arrives, I would give the pool a daily dose of around 20 oz. of 8.25% liquid bleach. This is the most common concentration available and is sold at grocery stores, warehouse clubs, and Wally World to name a few. Always make sure the pump is running when adding chemicals. It is best to add the bleach in the water stream coming from one of the return jets.

    When your kit arrives, run a full series of tests to get a baseline and we can help fine-tune anything that may be needed based on those 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
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Re: Newbie. Please help.

    OK, I will get the tests done on my water and then get back with you for adjustments. I will use the 20 oz. of bleach until then. Thank you, I appreciate your help.
    Indianapolis IN; 3800 gal.; cartridge; AG; vinyl; not sure of the size pump, came with the Summer Escapes quick set ring pool

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    Re: Newbie. Please help.

    I tested using the hth 6-way test:

    cl .5
    pH 7.5
    TA 400 ppm ...I stopped at 40 drops of the alkalinity titrant when I saw a red swirl but the water never turned completely red
    cya ? ...per the test "fill tube until you can no longer see the black dot" ...I filled it all the way and could see the dot
    TH 530 ppm
    Indianapolis IN; 3800 gal.; cartridge; AG; vinyl; not sure of the size pump, came with the Summer Escapes quick set ring pool

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