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Thread: Introduction and Question

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    Introduction and Question

    Hi everyone!

    I live in North Carolina and currently own a 10 foot by 30 inch above ground vinyl Intex pool. Not much, but good enough for now. I tried to do everything right so I went to the pool supply store right up the street from my house. I brought a water sample with me, which they tested. They then proceeded to sell me $157.00 worth of chemicals for my small pool. I told them I had to check with my husband, but never went back. I only spent $80.00 on the pool itself! So here I am trying to educate myself. I am currently trying to raise the PH levels in my pool. I purchased some "Dupont PH Increaser for Spas". Even though it's marketed for spas, would I still be able to use it in my vinyl pool? Any information would be great! Thanks everyone!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Introduction and Question

    Welcome to TFP!

    Luckily our ideas will work whether your pool is big or small. The increaser will work, but generally small pools struggle to dissolve granular or powdered products and they end up settling on the bottom and damaging the pool.

    I'd suggest you get your own inexpensive test kit at Walmart or Lowe's, and check your water yourself. What is your pH now?
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Re: Introduction and Question

    Thanks for your response! Yes, I have my own little test strips. I bought my own chlorine and have been able to get those levels right. The test strips have six different colored boxes; the middle two are "OK", the first two are too low and the last two are too high. Currently the pH levels have been one of the bottom two. I did notice that when I put some of the pH increaser in last night that one of the spots where the powder settled is now discolored. The pH levels are still low this morning.

    Would you suggest I get some liquid pH increaser? I'm also trying to bring the Water Hardness level up as well. Those are the only two that are too low. Everything else appears to be fine...

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Introduction and Question

    There isn't a liquid increaser. We often recommend the use of laundry borax to increase pH. It's best to dissolve the powdered products in water before adding to the pool, and check a while after adding to make sure nothing settles.

    Don't worry about your hardness. It's only important in concrete pools and occasionally for equipment you don't have. 99.9% of your concern is going to be with chlorine and stabilizer. If you keep those two things correct, you can pretty well ignore everything else with no problems.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Introduction and Question

    Welcome to TFP!

    Firstly: DON'T PANIC. You walked out of the pool store so you are on the right path already. Everything to follow may seem overwhelming at first but it will start to make sense as it goes.

    You are going to get more than a couple responses about your test strips, they are generally discouraged here because they are pretty inaccurate. One that uses liquid drops will be far more accurate.

    What type of chlorine did you get? If it is a powder or tablet, could you read the label and tell us what the active ingredients are?

    Quote Originally Posted by rawellersdick
    Would you suggest I get some liquid pH increaser? I'm also trying to bring the Water Hardness level up as well. Those are the only two that are too low. Everything else appears to be fine...
    You really don't need to bother with your hardness, I wouldn't bother at all. As for pH increaser, the simplest (and cheapest) answer is borax. Look in the laundry aisle. It can be predissolved in a bucket if it isn't dissolving fast enough in the pool.

    Finally, if you could post the test results from the pool place? It can give us an idea how you are doing.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Introduction and Question

    Thanks to the both of you! This is great information. For chlorine, I got "Kem Tek Pool & Spa Care All-In-One Chlorinating Granules". The active ingredient is "Sodium Dichloro-s-triazinetrione-Dihydrate". I bought it at Target.

    So are you saying I should use laundry borax instead? Will the other stuff I bought work OK if I dissolve it in water first as well? Or would you really recommend the laundry borax?

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    Re: Introduction and Question

    Quote Originally Posted by rawellersdick
    Thanks to the both of you! This is great information. For chlorine, I got "Kem Tek Pool & Spa Care All-In-One Chlorinating Granules". The active ingredient is "Sodium Dichloro-s-triazinetrione-Dihydrate". I bought it at Target.
    How much did you get? The shortened name is Dichlor and it is chlorine with a lot of stabilizer (CYA) with it. If you only got a small amount, like a pound or so, use it and that will give you a good boost to your CYA level, but you don't want to use it regularly or your CYA level will go haywire. TFP recommended chlorine: regular unscented bleach. Either plain old bleach from the laundry aisle or liquid chlorine from the pool aisle, they are the same except for the concentration level.

    So are you saying I should use laundry borax instead? Will the other stuff I bought work OK if I dissolve it in water first as well? Or would you really recommend the laundry borax?
    You can use what you have, just in the future if you need more then borax is a more cost efficient solution.

    Some further reading that will help:
    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Recommended Levels
    Guide for Temporary Pools
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Introduction and Question

    Your primary tool to keep your pool looking good is liquid chlorine or bleach. The only difference between LC and bleach is strength. If you have one of the OTO yellow test blocks, add enough LC to get to a solid yellow, 4-5ppm. Check it each day and add enough to get back to the 4-5 ppm.

    Poolcalculator.com will tell you how much to add. Enter your gallons in the top box and choose vinyl, bleach and trouble free in the bottom boxes. The chlorine section will tell you how many ounces to add.
    -- 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: Introduction and Question

    I think I have 2 lbs of the chlorine...I've pretty much been using it everyday. Will it get really screwy if I keep doing that until it's gone?

    Thank you guys so much. You have no idea how helpful you've been.

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    Re: Introduction and Question

    Hmmm...poolcalculator.com doesn't seem to be calculating for me. I attempted to e-mail them, since I figured I was doing something wrong but the e-mail failed to send :\

    My pool holds about 1000 gallons of water...

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    Re: Introduction and Question

    According to the "effects of adding chemicals" section of pool calculator, 2 pounds of dichlor will raise your CYA to 121, which is way too high. You never want to go above 50, or the amount of bleach you need gets to be excessive. How much of that powdered chlorine have you added already? P.S. Try this pool calculator: calc.html
    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.
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    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: Introduction and Question

    Agree with JohnN, you want just about half a pound when you first open your pool and then liquid chlorine/bleach for the rest of the season. You can save the rest for future seasons if you store it in an airtight bag, it should have at least a 2 year shelf life if sealed up.

    So, if you have already used a half pound or more, close it up and put it away for next spring.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Introduction and Question

    I started treating the pool on July 6, I think. I only put in 1/2 oz in daily. There were a bunch of days I missed though since it's been rainy here. So no, I have no used nearly a half lb!

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    Re: Introduction and Question

    I would think you would be fine using ONLY liquid chlorine/bleach and not worry about your CYA. It sound like you have enough. Also the difference between the CYA protect losses and no-CYA losses is a couple ounces . So, unless you are measuring every ounce, you should be fine.

    I would thinkif you bought one box of 10% from the box store (WM HD Lowes) you would be good for the summer. Add a couple ounces each day. poolcalculator says its 1.2 oz of 10% for each 1FC in a 1000 gallon pool. The site only works if you set the settings at the bottom of the page.
    -- 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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