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Thread: New to pools and need help!

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    New to pools and need help!

    Okay we just bought our very first pool ever...22x52 abg Intex ultra frame pool. We also bought the Intex SWG and used the filter pump that came with the pool (we plan to change this in the future but for start up we used what came with it). I know I did this backwards and so I'm hoping you can help me fix it! Here's what we did:
    We started filling the pool on Friday (6/28) evening around 6pm. Around 9:30pm we thought we had a leak and stopped the water. Got up the next morning only to realize the drain plugs weren't completely closed (yes I know duh!) So we started the water back up around 8am Saturday morning. Later that evening when there was about 1/2 of the pool full we put in two bags of Morton's Pool Salt. The pool was completely full about 9:30am on Sunday so we then put in 4 more bags of pool salt. The recommended amount was 260lbs so we bought 7 bags and only used 6 to start with. I also put about 1/2 of a 4lb bottle of CYA in a sock to start dissolving. We turned on the filter pump and let that run for 24 straight hours (actually it was about 30 since I had to go to work). Last night around 6:20pm we started up the SWG, no errors came on and it was running perfectly. My pool has the greenish tint to it..my husband thinks I am seeing things but I can see a definite tint to the water. My fear is that because I didn't add any chemicals during start up I've already ruined the water.
    Okay so here is what I did wrong...I never tested the water BEFORE adding any chemicals. I just followed the manual for setup and it never mentioned that. Now after reading these forums I realize I did that backwards. So w/ that being said, I purchased testing strips from Wal-Mart (I know you recommend the TF brand but I haven't got that yet). My Total Hardness registers as a 0, My PH is around 7.2 - 7.5 (the colors are not an exact match but it is between those two colors). My FC registers as 0! And my CYA level registers around a 30. I took a sample of the water this morning and plan to bring it to a local pool store during lunch but I'm scared they're going to try to sell me a lot of expensive stuff that I don't need. My question is why in the world is my chlorine level coming up as a 0? There is 240lbs of salt in that pool along with a little over 2lbs of CYA, there should be something measuring right? And also, what is the Total Hardness? That is a complete 0 as well...
    10,000 gallon AG Intex 22x52, standard Intex filter pump & Intex SWG
    put up on 6/28/13 and still haven't swam in it!!!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    Welcome to TFP.

    Don't panic. You didn't RUIN the water. Even if it does have a little green in it you can quickly get rid of it.

    2 lbs of stabilizer would have raised the CYA by about 25 ppm so you reading 30 is pretty close. Especially if you went a little over 2 lbs. Don't add any more until you ascertain whether you have algae or not.

    The first thing to do is get some FC in there using regular unscented bleach. About 2 qts should raise your FC by 4 ppm. Do that as soon as you can.

    Adding salt and CYA won't make chlorine in the pool. And since you didn't add any FC to the pool before getting the swg up and running (I assume it's running) it may not be able to catch up and you may have the start of an algae outbreak.

    Don't worry about the hardness. I have zero hardness in our pool and it's always been that way. You don't need any CH in a vinyl pool. Don't believe it if the pool store tells you that you do.

    You're probably going to need to perform the shock process on your pool. You will need a good test kit in order to do that.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    Thank you so much for your reply! My husband said he did all the hard work getting the pool up and it's my job to get the water right, so of course with my slight case of OCD I have been worrying about this night and day!! I did add I think 2 cups of bleach before we turned on the SWG because I was worried about the green color. I had remembered reading that on one of these forums but could never find the article again and didn't know how much to add so I started with just 2 cups, do you still recommend adding 2 quarts? Also, when I add the bleach, do I need to have the pump and SWG on or turn them off? How long should they run or remain off for and how soon should I test to see if the FC has made it into the water? You say I may need to shock my pool? How to I determine if I do need to do this and what is the process for that?

    Oh and last question...I had read somewhere that when you turn on your SWG some people have ran it for a full 24 hours, I only turned it on for 6 hours (the pump is running for 8 hours starting about 15 minutes prior to the SWG), is this okay or should I go ahead and run for a full 24 hours ?
    10,000 gallon AG Intex 22x52, standard Intex filter pump & Intex SWG
    put up on 6/28/13 and still haven't swam in it!!!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    Yes, you need to go ahead and add the 2 qts. I calculated it at 8.25% which is the new standard strength, so check to make sure what you have is that strength.

    In order to know for sure whether you need to shock or not you need to run an OCLT (see sig for info) and to do that you have to have the FAS-DPD test. I encourage you to go ahead and order a good test kit. At least the TF-50, but I'd go ahead and get the TF-100.

    You need to run the swg however long it takes to maintain the FC at the level for your CYA. You can use either the Pool Calculator or the Chlorine/CYA chart to figure that.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    Here's how to shock your pool:
    pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    Did you happen to fill from a well?

    I would go ahead and add the two quarts, then perform the OCLT (if you have a test kit that will work with this)
    pool-school/overnight_fc_test
    It will be better to know if you need to shock before you go through the process.

    Bama beat me to it, but I'm going to post anyway so you get a warm, fuzzy feeling.
    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: New to pools and need help!

    Woohoo, you guys are awesome!!
    Okay, so put in 64 oz of regular unscented bleach, like Clorox regular bleach (not concentrated right?). Then check my FC levels from there? Or do you recommend doing the OCLT test first?
    I do plan on purchasing the TF-100, have already found and bookmarked the site, just haven't had a chance to do it (I can't do that type of stuff at work and only have an ipad at home, not a real good excuse but hey i'm trying )
    I did not use well water, we only have city water here where i'm at in TX.
    My other concern was to make sure I have enough salt in the water. The SWG did not tell me "low salt" but as I understand, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I am hoping that the pool store can help me for today until I can purchase the TF-100 w/ the salt test (told you I already looked at it).
    I really appreciate the help & i'm sure you guys get tired of answering all the newbie question, but you have no idea how helpful it is !
    I'm going to the pool store during lunch, in about 20 minutes, so i'll post back what results they tell me. Thanks again!
    10,000 gallon AG Intex 22x52, standard Intex filter pump & Intex SWG
    put up on 6/28/13 and still haven't swam in it!!!

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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    You need to add the bleach, then follow the steps in the OCLT. Where in Texas are you? (just curious).

    My SWCG will tell me when there's not enough salt. I did have to calibrate it though, so I do still recommend you test the water. It used to tell me it was low although I had 4500 ppm in the pool. A pool leak solved that problem for me though.
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    I am in Southeast Texas - Beaumont area. About 90 miles east of Houston. I live very close to the LA border and the coast! You live in TX?
    10,000 gallon AG Intex 22x52, standard Intex filter pump & Intex SWG
    put up on 6/28/13 and still haven't swam in it!!!

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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    Okay, the pool store was a bust. I didn't know the water had to be 2 hours of less, I've had it with me since I left for work this morning (about 4 hours). Anyway, they gave me something to fill up and I can drop it off in the morning. Now, I did go and purchase a 3qt jug of Clorox Bleach (it says 6% sodium hypocholornate or whatever on it). Now you said to put 2qt in there so I will do that tonight. Do I need to turn off my pump and SWG while pouring in the bleach or leave it running? Also, how long after I put the bleach in should I retest for chlorine?
    I am going to do the bleach stuff tonight, bring my water back to the pool place in the morning and go from there. This weekend I'll go over to my mom's and purchase the TF-100. Is there anything else I should be trying to do in the mean time?
    10,000 gallon AG Intex 22x52, standard Intex filter pump & Intex SWG
    put up on 6/28/13 and still haven't swam in it!!!

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    How to add bleach

    I asked on my previous question (under just getting started) but never got a response. I will be adding 2 qts of bleach to my pool tonight..do I need to leave the pump and SWG on or turn them both off? My system is set to run for 8 and 6 hours, respectively, starting at 6:15pm so it will be on by the time I get home and pour in the bleach.
    I have read pool school and other articles on here but either I overlooked it or it just doesn't say when and how to add the bleach.
    10,000 gallon AG Intex 22x52, standard Intex filter pump & Intex SWG
    put up on 6/28/13 and still haven't swam in it!!!

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    Re: How to add bleach

    Pour slowly near a return, pump on. SWG doesn't matter.
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    I merged your topics so we can keep up with everything. Lets keep it all together here.

    As Robbie said, pour it in front of a running return. Since you got 6% go ahead and add the whole jug.
    Test the FC after about an hour and see where you are. Post back the result.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    Okay - got my results from the pool store.
    They said my water was very acidic so I don't have algae.
    My chlorine level is 0 !
    CYA level is 0 !
    3200 for salt
    PH 7
    Alkalinity is 40

    I put in 3qt of 6% bleach last night. I have a sock with approximately 2lbs of CYA still dissolving (put in Sunday and about half is gone).
    Pool store recommends I need to add 1 gallon of stabilizer (or put in the remaining 4lb jug I have). 6lbs of Alkalinity Plus (aka baking soda) and 3lbs of shock. Please help me, do I follow these recommendations or what do you recommend?
    10,000 gallon AG Intex 22x52, standard Intex filter pump & Intex SWG
    put up on 6/28/13 and still haven't swam in it!!!

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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    Acid has nothing to do with algae. I love pool stores 7 isn't all THAT bad, so don't panic regarding their "very acidic" comment. It may be a little low for the pool, but 7 means "neither acidic nor caustic" - 7 is the dead center of the pH scale. I hope they meant soda ash to raise pH, not baking soda. I'd like to know your TA number though.

    Of course they tried to sell you shock. They love selling shock.

    Just add bleach to bring your FC to 3.

    EDIT: The CYA you added was a solid, in a sock in front of a return. It can take a week for this to show up on your tests, so for now just keep track of what you've added and keep plugging this into poolcalculator.com.

    And now I read the comment they made again and see that they ARE recommending your TA to come up using baking soda. I don't see the TA number, did they even measure it? But keep in mind that's not intended to raise your pH... it will some, but only slightly.
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    Saying you don't have algae because your water is acidic is crazy! By the way 7 pH is neutral not acidic or alkaline.

    You should have some CYA in the water, but it's probably not enough for the test to detect yet. Are you squeezing the sock whenever you go by it?

    At 40 ppm your TA (alkalinity) is low so you need about 5 lbs of regular old baking soda. Don't waste money on alkalinity plus, It's the exact same stuff.

    Let's see; they say you don't have algae but they want you to add 3 lbs of shock? Why would that be? Money in their pocket perhaps??

    Anyway, don't follow their advice. Follow what you read and are told here.

    Go ahead and add 2 gallons or 1½ large jugs of 6% bleach or 1½ gallons or 1.6 large jugs of 8.25% bleach.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    Darnit Dave, you saw it and I didn't. I completely overlooked that TA number.
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    I don't think she necessarily stated I don't have algae because it is acidic, she just asked if it was still green and I said no and then she said I probably don't have algae..I have been squeezing the sock at least 2 times per day. It was a long tube sock full of CYA and it's almost gone now so I'm really confused as to why the reading is still zero!
    I think her reasoning for saying shock is because I don't have chlorine, I'm not sure, this is all new to me!

    My confusion/concern is that I added 3 qts of bleach at 630pm last night and have had a little over 2lbs of stabilizer in there since Sunday and both readings are zero..I mean it should have read something, I pulled the water within 12 hours of adding the bleach and before any sunlight got to it. So you're saying add MORE bleach, baking soda and no CYA, then retest? I'm just confused as to why the 3qts is doing anything...

    I just want to swim in my pool!!!!!
    10,000 gallon AG Intex 22x52, standard Intex filter pump & Intex SWG
    put up on 6/28/13 and still haven't swam in it!!!

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    It is common for CYA to not show up on tests for several days, up to a week. Just consider it in there, and adjust your numbers in pool calculator accordingly.

    It is fairly common to lose FC rapidly during the day with no CYA. BUT, I'm a little concerned that you MIGHT have another problem. I recommend performing the OCLT to ensure you do not have another problem you need to deal with.
    pool-school/overnight_fc_test
    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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  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: New to pools and need help!

    Okay I am ordering the TF-100 today but I'm sure it will be next week before it comes in, so no OCLT test for me anytime soon.

    For the time being, I will assume CYA is present so tonight I will had (per the pool calculator) the following:
    1. 65oz / 2 qts 6% bleach
    2. 98oz / 6lbs of regular arm & hammer baking soda

    And your certain that just adding more bleach (without any more CYA despite the #) will give me FC?
    I also learned last night that the testing strips I have are worthless. All the readings were wrong so I have no choice but to bring my water back to the pool store for testing until I get a better test kit
    10,000 gallon AG Intex 22x52, standard Intex filter pump & Intex SWG
    put up on 6/28/13 and still haven't swam in it!!!

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: New to pools and need help!

    I am absolutely positive adding bleach will raise FC. Now, how long it stays there is what I can't tell you. It depends on CYA level, how much sun the pool gets, and most especially if the pool is clear of organics. If there is algae in the pool, it will continue to be rapidly consumed.

    Can you get a CC test result?
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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