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Thread: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

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    New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Hello

    I am very new to owning, and taking care of, a pool. And, I have a few issues - to say the least.

    To start with, I'll tell you about my pool, the problems I'm having, then my test results and finally what I've done to attempt (with no success!) to correct those problems.

    My Pool

    1) 1485 gallons
    2) 530 gpr cartridge pump with a type A filter
    3) above ground

    To start with, you should probably know that the pool was filled with stream water (that flows into a pond). This water is a muddy copper red color to start with, but I'm thinking it is also high in some form of algae or bacteria that is red. As I tell you about what is happening, you may come to comprehend! (I hope!)

    With help from this site, I got the pool started on June 26. I had a bit of a problem getting the color to clear, (from muddy copper red) but it eventually became clear after about a week.

    Since then I have been having an issue with red, very fine debris in the bottom of the pool. I have vacuumed the pool 3 days in a row, getting a fine layer of red stuff in the vacuum bag, and clouds of fine stuff coming out of the bag. If a person gets in the pool and stirs this stuff up, it will disappear from the bottom of the pool make the pool cloudy. I've tried to take a picture of it, but it doesn't show well at all. In addition, the filter needs cleaning every three days or so as it gets full of the reddish brown stuff.

    There has also been an issue with TA and pH rising and chlorine just disappearing over night.

    Test Results
    (CC/TC, CH, and CYA not tested as kit does not do these tests)

    I have test results from the past 6 days (I started keeping a chart when the problems started)
    (unless indicated, tests were performed at approximately 2100hrs.)

    07/02
    FC - test: 1-2 target 5 16oz. bleach
    pH - test: 6.8 target 7.5 10oz, borax
    TA - (not tested - kit incapable) (no action taken)

    07/03
    FC test: 0.6-1 target 5 SHOCK 3C 4oz. bleach
    pH test: 7.6 target 7.5 (no action taken)
    TA test: 140 target 70-90 (no action taken)

    On the 4th I did two tests, one at 0930 with no sun on the pool, and one at 2100 at dusk.
    07/04 @ 0930hrs
    FC test: 2-3 target 5 6oz. 1 tsp. bleach
    pH test: 7.6 target 7.5 (no action taken)
    TA test: 90-100 target 70-90 (no action taken)

    07/04 @ 2100hrs
    FC test: 0 target 5 1 qt 1 C 6oz. bleach
    pH test: 7.6 target 7.5 (no action taken)
    TA test: 105 target 70-90 (no action taken)

    07/05
    Unable to test

    Again, on the 6th I did two tests, raising the target FC by one as an experiment.
    07/06 @ 0930hrs
    FC test: 3 target 6 1 C 1oz. 1 t
    pH test: 7.2 target 7.5 6oz 5 tsp borax
    TA test: 140 target 70-90 (no action taken)

    07/04 @ 2100hrs
    FC test: 1 target 5 1 C 4oz. bleach
    pH test: 7.8 target 7.5 (no action taken)
    TA test: 140 target 70-90 (no action taken)

    07/07
    FC test: 0 target 5 1 C 7oz. bleach
    pH test: 7.8 target 7.5 (no action taken)
    TA test: 135 target 70-90 (no action taken)

    07/08 @ 0800hrs
    FC test: 2 target 5 (no action taken)
    pH test: 6.8 target 7.5 5oz. Muriatic acid*
    TA test: 120 target 70-90 (no action taken)

    *31.45% - 20deg. Baume' I am attempting to get the TA back in to target range)

    I also purchased some of Jack's Magic Sapphire and added 2 tsp. last night (07/07) and went out this morning to a very cloudy pool, more so than usual.

    test results indicate chlorine being used up at night
    the red stuff - could it be an algae? A bacteria?
    Why does the pH and TA keep rising?
    and finally
    Why is my water so cloudy??

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance,
    CW

    p.s. (I [i]know[i] that my water testing kit isn't the greatest, but please give me a break, I was lucky to get the pool, there is no way that I can get an expensive testing kit)
    1485 gal Intex 12'dia x 30" deep above ground 530 gph Intex pump type A cartridge filter

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    It is hard to guess what is going on, something seems to be reacting with the chlorine, regardless of what that is the answer is the same, more chlorine, you need to attempt to follow the shock process for your pool pool-school/shocking_your_pool which will be hard to do with the kit you have and without knowing your CYA level. With luck it is a straight chemical conversion going on with the chlorine and not something trying to grow, as to the red, I would say keep cleaning the filters and hopefully in time it will all get removed.

    Or dump the whole thing and start fresh from a cleaner water source. If you go this route we can help establish an initial dose level of CYA stabilizer, just consult us on the exact amount to be added and how.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    UN1017's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    With so many variables present...... coupled with the absence of a reliable test kit, this is going to be a real challenge. Don't work so hard trying to get your TA in range. Just adjust the pH and chlorinate as usual until you get everything settled. Also, I don't see any mention of either stabilized chlorine additions or stabilizer added on its own. You need some CYA to protect your chlorine.

    On a side note...the red stuff could be from the iron in your unknown fill water.
    15'x30' IG - Roman-style - 14K - Pebble Fina Classico
    Filter: Jandy CL460 Pump: Jandy Stealth SHPF1.5 SWG: Jandy AquaPure 1400 Cleaner: Jandy RayVac Test Kit: TF-100 w/SpeedStir

    Chlorine/CYA Chart----Extended Test Kit Directions----SLAM

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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Thank you for the quick replies.

    As for totally refilling the pool, nope - can't be done. We needed to borrow our neighbor's water pump to fill what there is already.

    We did add a conditioner/stabilizer when we set up the pool. - I'm sorry I didn't make that very clear! I didn't realize that the stabilizer would disappear/decrease that fast. I thought it would last a while??

    I have ordered a TF-50 Test Kit. After reading the shock process completely , (thank you Isaac-1!) I came to realize that although a bit pricey for my wee pool, the learning process alone will be worth it for when we get a "real" pool. (At this point I have already spent about $30 on kits, what's $45 more )

    When I get the kit, I will run through the tests and see what they say about my pool. If I'm still having issues, I'll post again.

    I did manage to get a picture of the cloudiness of the pool. Although it looks overexposed, it isn't - that is the cloudiness of the water. The picture also shows the "red" stuff at the bottom of the pool. If you'll notice, it clumps together when not disturbed. Once disturbed, it dissipates rapidly, clouds the water, then resettles in clumps again. It can't be vacuumed as the particles are too small and just blow through the filter bag on the vacuum. (This vacuum isn't attached to the pump, it operates with a water hose attached to it.)

    [attachment=0:3sjppi1j]0708131529 (450x338) (450x338).jpg[/attachment:3sjppi1j]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1485 gal Intex 12'dia x 30" deep above ground 530 gph Intex pump type A cartridge filter

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Is your filter the type "D"? If it is, you can get a better filter cartridge made by Unicel or Filbur

    Unicel # C-3302; Filbur # FC-3751.

    These replacements are cleanable, and come with instructions for doing that. Well worth the extra couple of $$ per filter.

    The vacuum that you have needs a lot of help. Try adding several layers of knee-highs to the inside of the bag. That might help decrease the size of particles the bag will capture.
    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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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Some have had good luck using paper towels in their vacuum or filter to trap some of the fine debris. Might see of that helps. A better filter will help immensely. If you do this, you mUST maintain a vigil eye as it can kill your pump if you let the pressures go too high to provide the required cooling to the pump.

    As tot he test kit, the challenge is with a small pool, everything is more critical. if you miscalculate by 10%, you end up with faded swim suits and high chlorine. If you undershoot by 6 oz, you end up with algae. Every error is magnified. The larger the pool, the larger the error range.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    If I may...

    I suspect that there are testing errors.

    It is especially apparent in your TA jumping around like that.

    Regardless, forget about your TA... at least until you get a more reliable kit.

    I think that a lot of your problems are that you are chasing numbers without having all the data available.

    Your fill water may have very high CH, which could be a large part of your problem, and you are not even testing for that.

    You also say that you added stabilizer, but we don't know how much, so we don't know if you are reaching shock levels. And, you are only targeting a FC of 5 which isn't shocking even with a CYA level of 20.

    If you tell us how much stabilizer you added, we could estimate your CYA.

    That will give you a better idea of where to bring your FC level to for a good shock.

    Then, I would just try to maintain a pH of 7.2. That will keep your CSI lower in case you are dealing with a high CH. When a complete set of good numbers come in, more detailed advice may follow.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by waskydiver
    If you tell us how much stabilizer you added, we could estimate your CYA.
    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    If you tell us how much stabilizer you added, we could estimate your CYA.
    waskydiver and techguy - On June 26 I added 5oz./wt. hth stabilizer/conditioner granules. (I think it's pretty cool you both typed the exact same thing.)

    Quote Originally Posted by waskydiver
    I suspect that there are testing errors.
    I suspect you may be right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R
    The vacuum that you have needs a lot of help. Try adding several layers of knee-highs to the inside of the bag. That might help decrease the size of particles the bag will capture.
    You're right about the vacuum, I'll pick up some knee highs today!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R
    Is your filter the type "D"? If it is, you can get a better filter cartridge made by Unicel or Filbur
    No, type A. Picked them up at that horrible place called WalMart. (I really hate that place...) Although I just looked up the filter at both Filbur and Unicel and they both have a replacement filter for Intex type A. If anyone is interested here they are as follows:

    Unicel C-4607
    Filbur FC-3709

    Thank you all for your helpful replies!
    As soon as my TF-50 kit comes in, I'll do the tests and see what happens to my pool!
    1485 gal Intex 12'dia x 30" deep above ground 530 gph Intex pump type A cartridge filter

  9. Back To Top    #9
    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    You can get unicel brand filters that fit in the Intex that filter better.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    I just purchased 2 FC-3709 Antimicrobial Replacement Filter from Amazon for only $16.82 (Prime shipping).
    1485 gal Intex 12'dia x 30" deep above ground 530 gph Intex pump type A cartridge filter

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Good deal! You are going to be amazed at the difference in filtering ability.

    One thing you will quickly note about your pool. While it won't take much of any one chemical, the changes will be quite rapid. You will have to keep a very close eye on it.
    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.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Looks like you'd have about 25 CYA given what you added. That would give you a shock level of 11. Let's call it 12 just in case you are off on your water volume.

    I'd still like to keep your pH lower until your test kit comes... about 7.2 with your unknown calcium levels. If you have a very high calcium level, it could be contributing to a very high CSI, which could be contributing to cloudiness. (Although this theory does not fit some of your other observations of the cloudiness being stirred up.)

    Regardless, since you have vinyl, a lower CSI isn't going to hurt, but, over time, a higher CSI could.

    Once you get a full set of readings, it will become possible to tell where you should be.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Added 32oz 6%bleach last night at ~ 2130hrs to come out at 0800 to find the FC @ ~ 6.5. I'm going to leave it that way until the kit comes in. Wondering if the current kit I have just is not accurate!
    TFTest 50 kit expected to arrive tomorrow afternoon via FedEx.
    1485 gal Intex 12'dia x 30" deep above ground 530 gph Intex pump type A cartridge filter

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    The kit came in today, so I did the testing and here are my results:

    FC - 1.5 (using the chlorine drop test)
    CC - 1.0 (using the chlorine drop test)
    ----
    TC - 2.5 (using the chlorine drop test)
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 130
    CH - 50
    CYA - 0? could fill the whole view tube and still see the black dot

    FC using the normal test for chlorine comes up with 2 as a result.

    tests done @ 1530hrs

    It's kinda funny, as I was waiting for the test kit to come in, the water cleared up to be CRYSTAL. I only used bleach during this time. There are, however, still the red/brown clumps in the bottom of the pool which get worse with filter use??? (I actually got some knee highs today and will use them when I vacuum tomorrow.)

    I have not done any chemical adding since I did the tests. I would like some advice as to what I should do now.

    Thank you so much!

    CW
    1485 gal Intex 12'dia x 30" deep above ground 530 gph Intex pump type A cartridge filter

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Is your water still clear ?

    FC at 1.0 and CC at 1.0 you might want to SLAM it. Directions for that are in pool school.

    You need to get some CYA in there also. Shoot for 30 ppm. That will make easier to SLAM. regardless you need some CYA.


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    You could also preform the OCLT test to see if you need to SLAM.


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Uhgh...

    I've been shocking since I opened the pool it seems...

    I just added the stabilizer @ 1930hrs, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow night.

    In the meantime, should I add some bleach to maintain a 3 FC level?

    CW
    1485 gal Intex 12'dia x 30" deep above ground 530 gph Intex pump type A cartridge filter

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Add some bleach, remember CYA takes up to a week after it fully resolves to show on the test so no need to waste CYA test reagent until then, just assume CYA reached your target and dose from there.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  19. Back To Top    #19
    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Since you added the CYA keep an eye on your PH. CYA will lower your PH.


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: New to TFP; New to pools; Lots of problems.

    Ok, try this one on for size - This morning (0800hrs) I added 34oz. of bleach (according to the pool calculator) to raise my FC to 12. Tested it about an hour later and it was 22! Tested it again at noon and it was still 22! Someone help.... this is getting frustrating...
    1485 gal Intex 12'dia x 30" deep above ground 530 gph Intex pump type A cartridge filter

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