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Thread: First year having a pool

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    First year having a pool

    I need help bad.... This is my first year owning a pool and I am so lost... I have a 15FT Metal frame Intex pool with the skimmer attached to the side. I have had it up for about a week and the water has stayed clean til now. I went out this morning to turn the pump on and saw a brown like dust all on the bottom. The ph level is good but the chlorine level isn't even showing up, But I do keep 2 1 inch tabs in the filter and they do dissolve. I clean the filter daily and this morning I noticed the brown dusting all over the filter itself. Now here is probably my biggest problem.. I do not cover the pool at night or when it rains, Is that what I am doing wrong or is there a miracle chemical I can add to it? Like I said before I am so lost and do not want to have to drain it cause it is a 4000 gallon pool... Please help!!!!
    15' X 48" Intex Metal Frame pool with skimmer on side and Type A filter

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: First year having a pool

    Welcome to tfp, Melinda1980

    The brown stuff is almost certainly algae due to not having enough chlorine in the pool. If you get a sample of it, is it slimy? If it is then it is definitely algae.

    In addition to chlorine, those tabs contain cyanuric acid (cya). As you use more and more of them, then your pool will require higher and higher levels of chlorine. Using tabs exclusively means eventually a drain refill is required. See this pool school article: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._chlorine_pool

    You next steps depend on what you want to do.

    I would guess draining and refilling will be quickest. Then follow this method to get started again: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ary_pool_guide so that you don't have to continue to drain/refill in the future.

    If you do not want to drain/refill then we need to know the cyanuric acid level (cya level) so that you know what level Free chlorine (FC) you need to maintain to kill the algae. These require a more extensive test kit. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...kit_comparison
    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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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: First year having a pool

    Most likely you are missing two miracle chemicals, chlorine and CYA. You need to add enough CYA (also known as stabilizer or conditioner) to reach 30ppm for your pool. The CYA will protect the chlorine from the sun long enough for it to do its job. You can use the Pool calculator to determine how much you need to add for your pool.

    I also recommend you purchase a test kit for your pool. Either a TF 50 or an HtH 6 way kit (usually found at Walmart or ACE hardware). You will need current test results to use the pool calculator.

    We do not recommend putting chlorine tablets through the filter. It will shorten the life of the cartridge, and you have to keep the pump running to prevent damage. If you want to use the tablets use a floating dispenser instead. Keep in mind that trichlor tablets will add CYA to the water and cal-hypo tablets will add calcium. We recommend liquid chlorine either from the pool store or plain unscented household bleach, poured in front of the return while the pump is running.

    Read through temporary pool guide the guide for temporary pools [/url] for information on caring for small pools. Keep in mind bleach strength has recently changed from 6% to 8.25%.

    Test your water and post the results here and we will help you determine what to do next.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: First year having a pool

    Thank you so much... Testing water now
    15' X 48" Intex Metal Frame pool with skimmer on side and Type A filter

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    Re: First year having a pool

    ok the only tester I have is the one that you buy at WalMart called (Aqua Chem) It only tests the CL and PH... My PH is in the 7.6 (ideal) range and the CL is not even showing... I do not want to have to drain it, as it is a 4000 gallon pool Can I just vacuum and put a ton of bleach in there? lol
    15' X 48" Intex Metal Frame pool with skimmer on side and Type A filter

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    Re: First year having a pool

    I add more than 4000 gallons a month due to evaporation.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: First year having a pool

    Well if you don't want to drain it (draining likely will not cost much...what is your water source? i.e. well, municipal), then you need to know the cya level. Zea mentioned two kits that can do this:
    Quote Originally Posted by zea3
    Either a TF 50 or an HtH 6 way kit (usually found at Walmart or ACE hardware).
    The HTH 6-way drop based kit will be cheaper and likely available locally, but won't test for FC (free chlorine). Without the FC test, it is still possible to clear the pool, but may take longer and use more bleach. See this link for the shocking process that will get rid of the algae in your pool: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...king_your_pool
    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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    Re: First year having a pool

    Thank you for your help I got in the pool to get a sample of the brown stuff and it is gritty feeling, so maybe dirt? I am going to vacuum and try the floating dispenser. Is there a certain type of chemical I need to use or is it just a guessing game lol
    15' X 48" Intex Metal Frame pool with skimmer on side and Type A filter

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    Re: First year having a pool

    As stated above, you really need to know your pool's full balance before you randomly add chemicals. If your CYA is already high, a floater and tabs are going to make it even higher.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: First year having a pool

    If it is gritty, then it might just be dirt getting into the pool. Do you have a way to vacuum?
    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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    Re: First year having a pool

    ok so when I felt of it, it was gritty feeling but the vacuum is not getting it up which it could be just the vacuum itself cause it is the one that came with the pool and has to use the water hose on it.... So I am gonna use a brush and see what it is like after that...
    15' X 48" Intex Metal Frame pool with skimmer on side and Type A filter

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    Re: First year having a pool

    ok so I brushed the bottom of the pool and it all came up.... Now my water is a little cloudy. I am on my way to the pool store now to test my water by them, which will cost $20.00 but I need it... I have one more question, should I run my pump 24/7?
    15' X 48" Intex Metal Frame pool with skimmer on side and Type A filter

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    Re: First year having a pool

    Run your pump 24/7 until your water is cleared.

    Instead of paying the pool store $20, why not order your own test kit, which will honestly be more reliable than the pool store?
    http://tftestkits.net/Test-Kits-c4/
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: First year having a pool

    ok so the test that was ran at the pool store told me the same thing as to when I ran the test...... I thought they were reliable?? Should I just dump 2 gallons of bleach in it and see what happens?
    15' X 48" Intex Metal Frame pool with skimmer on side and Type A filter

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    Re: First year having a pool

    1 gallon of plain 6% bleach will raise your FC by 3.7, so yes 2 gallons would be ok.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: First year having a pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Melinda1980
    Should I just dump 2 gallons of bleach in it and see what happens?
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R
    1 gallon of plain 6% bleach will raise your FC by 3.7, so yes 2 gallons would be ok.
    No, 2 gallons of 6% bleach will raise a 4600 gallon pool 28 ppm FC, and 2 gallons of the now more commonly available 8.25% bleach will raise the pool 37 ppm FC either which is way too much without us knowing your cya level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melinda1980
    ok so the test that was ran at the pool store told me the same thing as to when I ran the test...... I thought they were reliable??
    Pool stores tend to be unreliable. Did they measure your cya level?
    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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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: First year having a pool

    Hmmm. I must have input the info wrong into poolcalculator. Sorry for the misinformation.

    I was sure I put the proper gallons in, and checked everything before posting that. Evidently not.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: First year having a pool

    Ok so I used the pool pool calculator last night, added the 33 oz of bleach like it said, kept my pump on all night and this morning my water is clear, no brown stuff on bottom and the CL and PH are at ideal level. I am one happy swimmer lol... Thank you all so much for your help
    15' X 48" Intex Metal Frame pool with skimmer on side and Type A filter

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: First year having a pool

    I would keep FC up for a few more days to help ensure you have gotten rid of the algae. Whenever you get a readable value on your OTO chlorine tester (it only reads up to 5 ppm, after that it just gets darker yellow until it changes to orange) then dose back up to about 11 ppm, that takes bout 42 ounces of the 8.25% bleach (which raises your 4600 gallon pool about 6 ppm FC...I am guessing at a 20 ppm cya level).

    I would still recommend buying the HTH 6-way drop based tester locally so that you can check your cya level. Since you have been using pucks (do you know how many?), you may have quite a bit in the pool and my above guess at the cya level may be quite off.

    If you continue to have problems, you may still want to do the drain/refill and then keep track of how many pucks you use to start up and stop using them when your cya gets to 30-50 ppm and switch to using bleach to chlorinate daily.
    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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    Re: First year having a pool

    So in the beginning of my wonderful first time as a pool owner I was like Because the pool store really didn't want to help unless I was going to buy their EXPENSIVE chemicals. Alright since my last post, I have read through the pool school and wondered about the BBB method, and it has been about a week since I first tried it and let me tell you I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! I can now float in my pool with my beer without stressing over if the water is gonna turn again (I am a HAPPY swimmer now) I have however went back to the pool store to look at pool toys and decorations and was so happy to tell them (when they asked if I needed help with chemicals they sale) No thanks, I only use TFP advice Thank you so much, You all GREAT
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    15' X 48" Intex Metal Frame pool with skimmer on side and Type A filter

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