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Thread: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct first?

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    Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct first?

    So we're still new to the pool scene and still working on getting the water just right. Part of the problem is, we're in PA and have gotten about 10" of rain in the past month (And more on the way), so some of the work I'm doing is being undone as I have to drain a few inches of the pool here and there.

    Anyway, here are my current numbers. I will preface this - I purchased a ColorQ. I know many do not like this, but I have a hard time interpreting the colors of the tests. The ColorQ has been CONSISTENT in that I've never had an "odd" reading. I would take my water to Leslie's, but sounds like this is useless as well. The pool store I bought my CYA from just had test strips (Surprised me a little), so I figured that was also a waste, but did bring a sample of water in to test after 2 pounds of CYA and they said 30, while the ColorQ said 20. YMMV apparently.

    FC: 2.35 (This is a little low because I had turned down my SWG after adding CYA and letting the pump run for 36 hours - normally in the 4-5 range.)
    TC: 2.57
    pH: 7.4
    TA: 69
    CH: 155
    CYA: 30
    Temp: 78

    Once I got the hang of the SWG and pump times, I had a good FC number (Again, been able to keep it around 4 consistently.) Then I started going after the CYA. I've now added 3lbs to get me to 30. Again, part of the issue is that I've had to drain the pool here and there with the rain, so. . . I just added the last pound I had and will re-check this in a few more days. Looks like I'll be heading to the pool store for more though.

    My thought at this point is to get the CH up. But I also didn't want to be changing too many variables at once. I also have boric acid on order, but figure I'll do that absolutely last. So should I be concentrating on ONLY CYA at this time, or can I also start adding some calcium chloride?

    I've read a few threads stating that calcium chloride can make the pool cloudy for a few days. If that's the case, I want to wait until after the 4th as we're having everyone over (IF it stops raining long enough.) Also seems everyone has an opinon on adding the CC right to the water versus dissolving in a bucket first.

    Last question - I'm showing 2.35 for FC and 2.57 for TCL - this is the largest gap I've seen between them since I started testing. I'm normally around .05-.1 for what I assume we would call CC. Is this an issue or sign that something is starting to brew already?

    Am I on the right path so far? Water looks fantastic! I imagine the boric acid won't make it look pretty, but will help keep the pH stable, so. . .
    Leisure Pools Riv 30, 8500 gal, IG fiberglass, 200 sqft cart filter (Clean & Clear 200), Intelliflo 3HP variable speed pump, Aqua Rite SWG, auto cover, installed 5/2013
    Aquacal Superquiet 110, installed 6/2014
    TFT 100

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    10 ppm is within acceptable range of error on the CYA test.

    I'd say with your TA of 70, you can go ahead and add the boric acid. It's not going to interfere with your addition of calcium later.

    I've had some say my water with borates "sparkles" more than it did before borates. I don't remember anymore.

    I've had calcium cause cloudy water, but it was when my TA was way off. YMMV.
    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: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    Clarification...

    I interpret your CYA additions as a total of 5 lbs.....that means your CYA is 60 in a 10k pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    Dave, It's been raining A LOT here in Pa! I'm betting they have drained water off their pool atleast once every 2 days. It's getting rediculous with the weather here.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    Sorry - I'm at a total of 4 pounds of CYA currently. And I also don't have an accurate capacity of the pool. I've seen lots of people with the same pool saying it's a 14.3k gallon pool. Also found some literature stating that. Also found literature stating 10k. I spoke with my pool installer and he thought it was just under 10k.

    When the pool was installed, the water truck delivered 5500 gallons (Which I'm sure is very approximate.) I then added approximately 2800 gallons (Based on my water meter.) So by my numbers, I'm at 8300. That took the water level to 3/4 of the way up the skimmer opening. Right now, the water level is almost flush to the top of the opening, so looks like I need to dump another inch or two. I'm guessing 10k gallons is what I COULD fit in the pool comfortably. I just can't see 14.3k gallons unless my water meter is off (Which isn't a bad thing!)

    So my original question - should I continue working on the CYA before I do anything with boric acid and/or calcium?

    Also any concerns on the CC?
    Leisure Pools Riv 30, 8500 gal, IG fiberglass, 200 sqft cart filter (Clean & Clear 200), Intelliflo 3HP variable speed pump, Aqua Rite SWG, auto cover, installed 5/2013
    Aquacal Superquiet 110, installed 6/2014
    TFT 100

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    should I continue working on the CYA before I do anything
    Well, yes, but you need to figure out where you are? If you don't know how much is in there, what would you "work on"?

    Post a diagram of your pool or get closer than 10-15k which is too much spread and let's figure out what your current CYA level is......it's meaningful. The CH and borax can wait.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    Where I am? You lost me a little bit. My last test after adding 3 pounds of CYA brought me to 30. I added another pound and probably need to wait another day or two to test again.

    So here's a few shots of the pool. We have the Riviera 30' - below is the image from the Leisure Pools website -



    This is a shot of the Riviera 34 but might help give you a little bit more idea of the shape with the steps, etc. and you can see the dimensions of the "play bench" which are probably accurate to our model.



    And finally, this is our actual pool going in.



    Any estimates are certainly appreciated!
    Leisure Pools Riv 30, 8500 gal, IG fiberglass, 200 sqft cart filter (Clean & Clear 200), Intelliflo 3HP variable speed pump, Aqua Rite SWG, auto cover, installed 5/2013
    Aquacal Superquiet 110, installed 6/2014
    TFT 100

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    Using the pool volume calculator at Pentair's site (http://www.pentairpool.com/pool-owner/r ... olcalc.htm), I picked an oblong pool, and used the following numbers and received 11.4k gallons. This does NOT take into effect the "play bench" area, so I can't figure how Leisure is saying this pool holds 14.3k gallons (Again, we're estimating here, but. . .) I'm going to call HQ tomorrow and see if I can find anyone knowledgeable.

    Deep end: 5.583'
    Shallow end: 3.666'
    Largest diameter: 14.25'
    Smallest diameter: 10'
    Length: 30.166'
    Leisure Pools Riv 30, 8500 gal, IG fiberglass, 200 sqft cart filter (Clean & Clear 200), Intelliflo 3HP variable speed pump, Aqua Rite SWG, auto cover, installed 5/2013
    Aquacal Superquiet 110, installed 6/2014
    TFT 100

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    I would just go with the manufacturers estimate of gallons. Then let your test results be a double check on the numbers. ie. if you enter the number of gallons in the pool calculator, and it tells you to add a certain amount o chemicals to reach goal, you can calculate how far off you are by comparing your test results with the expected result. If you overshot, your gallons are too high, if you undershot, too low. You'll need to use a good test kit to use this method of estimating gallons...

    Color comparator tests are bad. Drop titration tests are good. That is why everyone here recommends the TF100 or the K2006. With the exception of pH and CYA, none of the tests require specific lighting conditions or color comparisons. They are all "titrations" which just require you to count the number or drops you have to add until the color changes. If you can tell the difference between green and red and can count, you can do the test with consistent accuracy.
    8638 gallon 20'x52" Intex ultra frame round AG. 2650 gph Intex Sand Filter. Intex krystal Klear SWG. (newer model that includes copper ion generation) Hayward 1091LX skimmer, Kreepy Krauly lil shark. Taylor K-2006 w/speed stir and sample sizer. New this year, Intex PureSpa - dichlor-> bleach method for sanitizing.
    New pool, 16'x36' (approx 18000 gal) in ground pool, Haywood DE filter

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    Where I am? You lost me a little bit.
    We can't suggest dosages nor can you keep adding stuff to your pool until we figure out your current levels.

    Example......

    #1 - "I want to come over to your house.....can you give me directions?"

    #2 - " Where are you now, then I can give you directions"

    I am confused by your CYA additions....I don't know where you are.

    Secondly, If your manufacturer says XXXXX gallons, that is what you should be using.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    PridgNYC - yes, my next step was going to be based on the 3 pounds of CYA already getting me to 30, and figuring out the difference between that and the last pound I just added. Problem is, I'll bet the water level in the pool has risen another two inches from the rain since adding the CYA! Argh!

    Good to know on the titration type test kits - didn't realize that's how they worked. Now I understand when someone said they had to add an extra drop to get the sample "completely" red - that still concerns me a little bit in knowing the difference between a deep ping and "completely" red if that's what's needed. I'm thinking I need to try and find someone local that has a titration test kit that would let me do a comparison.

    Dave - I guess I'll check back in once I test the CYA. My GENERAL question is whether I should be concentrating on one item at a time (Such as getting CYA in line, if it's not there yet), or whether I can also start the process of adding calcium chloride or wait until CYA is good. I'm not asking whether I should be adding more CYA or not as I don't have those results yet.

    On the pool volume, problem is, I've seen two different numbers from the manufacturer. . .
    Leisure Pools Riv 30, 8500 gal, IG fiberglass, 200 sqft cart filter (Clean & Clear 200), Intelliflo 3HP variable speed pump, Aqua Rite SWG, auto cover, installed 5/2013
    Aquacal Superquiet 110, installed 6/2014
    TFT 100

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    The most important test, the FAS-DPD test for chlorine doesn't require differentiation between shades of red, just a change from colorless to pink/red tint. TA requires a complete color transition, but the advanced guide here explains that you just keep adding drops until the color doesn't change anymore, then subtract the last drop (the one that didn't produce a change) from your result. the Speed Stir makes the tests much easier since you don't have to manually swirl the solution between each drop.
    8638 gallon 20'x52" Intex ultra frame round AG. 2650 gph Intex Sand Filter. Intex krystal Klear SWG. (newer model that includes copper ion generation) Hayward 1091LX skimmer, Kreepy Krauly lil shark. Taylor K-2006 w/speed stir and sample sizer. New this year, Intex PureSpa - dichlor-> bleach method for sanitizing.
    New pool, 16'x36' (approx 18000 gal) in ground pool, Haywood DE filter

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    No dice. Have now added a total of 4 pounds of CYA to the pool and we're only at 36. Unfortunately, due to more crazy Philly rain, I had to dump about an inch or two of water from the pool four days after adding the CYA. I did my test five days after adding the CYA.

    So, off to the pool store for more CYA, and I'll be taking a sample of water to have them test it as well.

    Anyone have any concerns with me adding calcium chloride in the mean time to get my hardness up?
    Leisure Pools Riv 30, 8500 gal, IG fiberglass, 200 sqft cart filter (Clean & Clear 200), Intelliflo 3HP variable speed pump, Aqua Rite SWG, auto cover, installed 5/2013
    Aquacal Superquiet 110, installed 6/2014
    TFT 100

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    Don't have the pool store test your water. They are horribly inaccurate, and their ideal levels are not the same as ours. Their recommendations will not be the same as ours, and will only lead to confusion. By the by, CYA is the least reliable pool store test.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    John,

    From what I've read on here (And elsewhere) - I won't disagree with you AT ALL! I'm still using my ColorQ as bible currently (Though, dangerously, after reading more on here, considering a ColorQ.) ANYWAY, with all that said, I did take a sample to Leslie's this morning to see what they'd say. See my thread here for kicks. I was shocked to see just how dead-on they were (Compared to my test, at least) in terms of CYA.

    Thanks!

    my-colorq-versus-leslie-s-taylor-t65256.html
    Leisure Pools Riv 30, 8500 gal, IG fiberglass, 200 sqft cart filter (Clean & Clear 200), Intelliflo 3HP variable speed pump, Aqua Rite SWG, auto cover, installed 5/2013
    Aquacal Superquiet 110, installed 6/2014
    TFT 100

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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    How long are you waiting between adding and testing cya? Cya can take over a week to show.

    13500 gallon AG, build late 90's, Hayward S220T sand filter,1Hp aqua coastal
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    Re: Still in the start-up phase - what should I correct firs

    I tested it at 5 days a few times (But then always again at least 7 days out.) Seeing consistent numbers after 5 days at this point.
    Leisure Pools Riv 30, 8500 gal, IG fiberglass, 200 sqft cart filter (Clean & Clear 200), Intelliflo 3HP variable speed pump, Aqua Rite SWG, auto cover, installed 5/2013
    Aquacal Superquiet 110, installed 6/2014
    TFT 100

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