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Thread: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

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    New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    Hello TFP! (Pool info in Sig)

    Man do i wish I was here LAST year, I struggled with my pool for the last half of the summer fighting to keep it clear... after reading the BBB portion of your Pool School, I am kicking myself for spending on the "name brand" stuff.

    I am here today because I added algicide to my pool and it made it worse... Let me say up front that I am NOT a good pool owner and have been neglecting a lot of what I assumed was "fire and forget" however I think with some support and guidance I can get my pool back to swimming status AND keep it that way...

    Ok on to the questions and information portion of this post, I currently do not have a way to test my water for anything other than the pH and Chlorine which i believe to be the FC level it is made by HTH, it is also a year old (in talking with others I heard this means it might not be giving as good a result as it should) so from what I have been reading I need a way to test FC / pH / CYA at least to figure out how much and of what I need to add. at the moment with the HTH test I am here...

    FC: 2
    pH: 6.8 - 7.2

    Water is very cloudy , milky almost, it was only slightly cloudy last night so I foolishly threw chemicals at it...
    HTH Super Algae Guard
    Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chlorides - 30%
    Dimethyl Ethylbenzyl ammonium Chlorides -30%

    it recommends 4oz per 10k gal I used about that, (for my 5k gal pool told you bad pool owner) though I am thinking in the future I should be measuring more precisely.

    I ran the filter all night (about 10 hrs) and it was worse than last night so I am here

    I want to make the switch to BBB and make my pool clear and awesome again please advise...

    also I know I should invest in a good test kit, would it be worth the drive to walmart to get the HTH 6way test kit that does CYA, or do you think it would be better to order something with more accuracy online and wait for it to be shipped?

    Thanks in advance from a future GOOD pool owner...
    10k Gal, AG Vinyl (Intex 22' Metal Frame), RP2500 pump, Intex B Filters

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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    Get the test kit recommended here. It really is the best way to go. I had to get the Taylor kit, couldn't get anyone to ship the TFT one to Italy, but it is awesome. From what everyone says here the TFT kit is delivered very quickly.
    400,000 Litre in ground infinity pool, with 40,000 litre holding tank (116 235.703 04 gallon). Vinyl liner.
    Two Astralpool Cantabric sand filters, 900mm diameter, each with 550kg of sand.
    Two ESI MP6 1.5kw 3 phase pumps.

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    http://tftestkits.net/

    The TF100 is the best bang for your buck.Get the XL option, and if you can, the SpeedStir as well. You won't regret it!

    Look around here, there are several postings with the better Unicel and Filbur carts. Suggestion: Intex 2650 gph sand filter, or 2500 gph cart filter. Those 1000 gph pumps aren't up to the task, even for a 15 x 42 pool.

    While you are waiting for the TF100, you can get the walmart 6-way, with the understanding that it is very limited, but can get you closer to being on the right track.

    Also, it wold be to your advantage to start reading Pool School, linked on every page, upper right corner. There you will find answers to most of your questions. If you need more help in understanding, don't hesitate to ask here.
    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: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    Thank you for the recommendations! Unfortunately a new pump is out of the question financially I already had to get a new one this year and opted to go for the 1000 instead of the RP800 that the pool came with so I will have to deal with that for now. From all that I have been reading I need the CYA levels pretty much above all else so that I know what the FC levels should be, assuming that I did not add anything to my pool for balancing the CYA would it be safe to assume that there is NONE in it?
    10k Gal, AG Vinyl (Intex 22' Metal Frame), RP2500 pump, Intex B Filters

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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    CYA only comes from granular or liquid CYA sometimes called stabilizer or conditioner, chlorine tablets, and some forms of granular chlorine typically called shock. If you haven't added any of them, you have no CYA.
    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: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    I have used HTH super shock, and HTH 1" chlorinating tablets, but other than those no balancing anything (which I am now kicking myself for), last year when we set the pool up it was mostly in shade and I was able to keep it clear almost the whole season with one super hot weekend causing me to have to scramble to get it clean again, I obviously got lucky...

    From the research I have done the shock does not contain any CYA but the 1" tabs do, but not much... I think at this point it is safe to assume I have a very very low CYA, below 20, according to the Pool calc, I need to bring FC to about 10-11ppm for a shock I have read the SLAMing guide 3 or 4 times now and I am ready to tackle this monster... I think...

    how important is the pH of the water, at last test as I said I was between 6.8 and 7.2 should I try to get this to 7.5 before i SLAM, if I am unable to do so how will this affect the cleaning process, I.E. will it not work as well or at all given the conditions, would I need to use more chlorination?

    also how should i go about adding borax to my pool to get the pH up?

    I'm not trying to skip steps just working with what I have at the moment.
    10k Gal, AG Vinyl (Intex 22' Metal Frame), RP2500 pump, Intex B Filters

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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    I would venture to guess it might be just as well to wait til your tf 100 arrives so you can get accurate test results, instead of relatively blindly dumping chlorine in.

    If you've ordered, it should be about 2 days before you get it. In the meantime, get LOTS of regular bleach.
    8,000 gallon, in ground, fiberglass pool with a cartridge filter.

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    While it is possible to use the OTO kit when you initiate SLAMing your pool, it is not recommended. Reasoning behind this is you could fade your liner, and damage your pump (seals etc) due to over chlorination. Best to get the proper kit.

    The 6-way does have the CYA test in it.

    Check your local store, price should be about $25-$35. However, that would go a long way towards the price of the TF100.
    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: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    By lots of bleach I was thinking about getting enough to get my FC to about 20 from 0 (which would be overkill as far as I know) 3 times over or about 5-6 gallons I figure this will be enough to get me going. Do you suppose that will be enough to get me back to clear?

    Im not sure when i will be able to order the TF-100 funds are tight, at the moment, not even sure If the hth 6 way is in my budget I understand these regents aren't cheap , given this financial situation are there any recommendations for what to do when short of cash?
    10k Gal, AG Vinyl (Intex 22' Metal Frame), RP2500 pump, Intex B Filters

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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    Do you have an estimate on how many 1" tabs you added? And just to double check, you have used no powdered chlorine products in this water or added any stabilizer/conditioner?

    Once we know what you have in there (if we can determine it), then you will have an estimate of what your cya level is and if you should add some more...and what your FC SLAM level is.
    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: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    Is it feasible to drain and refill your pool? Maybe cheaper than Slamming.
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
    AquaPro ECO500 50,000 BTU heat pump
    GLI Whirlwind Solar Cover Reel, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    I would estimate that I have used about 20-30 1" tabs since opening, I have also syphoned off about 1/3 of the water (by mistake due to a hole in my cover) and replaced it about 3 weeks ago so I would assume about 15 tabs before I lost a third of my pool water and about 15 after with no other conditioner. (so if each tab added 1 cya I would be at about 25, approximately) I am under the assumption that they are not quite that strong, I had about 2ppm FC this morning and after a full sun day and no filter action I have FC 0 at the moment, (using OTO to test)... not that its a good indication of how much CYA there is but I figure it wouldnt hurt to mention it. pH is still under 7.

    drain and refill might be possible but if I can avoid doing so I would like to, it costs me around 100 to fill it completely... you might be right about that choice, though I would rather spend the money on the TF-100 instead of refilling the pool... bleach is cheap and the pool isnt black or anything its just murky , which I assumed was from the heat.
    10k Gal, AG Vinyl (Intex 22' Metal Frame), RP2500 pump, Intex B Filters

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    GreatCanadian's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    I have heard some on this forum saying they can get water for free by calling their local council and mentioning the water isn't for sewage or something. I know nothing about that because where I live water is free. Someone here may post more on that. If that's your case a drain and refill would be your best option in my opinion. Hopefully you'll get some more input on this.
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
    AquaPro ECO500 50,000 BTU heat pump
    GLI Whirlwind Solar Cover Reel, TF-100 Test Kit

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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    I would also recommend a Taylor Speedstir. It makes testing a breeze, and fun. I feel like a chemist!
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    What greatcanadian is referring to is the sewage charge that can sometimes be waived since the water is not going back down the drain, but that does not make the water free, it just reduces the price a little.

    If those 1 inch tabs are ~1/2 ounce each, then in the end with 1/3 drain/refill they have only added about 12.5 ppm cya. You can continue to slowly add 24 more which will get your cya up to 30 ppm.

    Disclaimer: The following approach should not be used with high value or higher volume pools.

    Since you have the OTO TC chlorine kit, you can use that to attempt to do a partial SLAM process. One method is to measure FC with the OTO test when it is measurable 0-5 ppm, then you increase FC up to 10 ppm by adding the amount calculated in the poolcalculator.com (for 12.5 ppm cya). Then measure with the OTO chlorine test regularly until the chlorine level drops again (down in the 0-5 ppm range, preferably 5 ppm), then redose the chlorine level back up to 10 ppm. It is not efficient, and sometimes not effective (like when clearing a swamp or when CC is high), but sometimes can work. You will not be able to easily confirm OCLT or CC, but at least you may get the water clear. It will help to get the cya level up to at least 20 ppm to protect your chlorine from the sun while you "SLAM" it.

    The good news for small pools like yours is, if this approach doesn't work, you can just do a drain/refill. And in the unlikely event of damage to the liner, you are not out a ton of money.

    Before doing that though I would get your ph up to 7.2 using borax.
    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: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    Ok I will get my hands on some borax and try to raise the CYA with the tabs, (slowly) I got ahold of the 6way and tried to test the CYA filled the tube at 30 and could see the dot with little trouble so I am guessing the 12.5 estimate is pretty close... I tried to test hardness but the tube stayed blue... we dont have hard water here is this something I should be worried about? also my TA was only about 20 (yikes) so I am guessing I should also add some baking soda to fix that issue...

    Thanks for the advice... do you just add the borax straight to the pool , no dilution with pool water or anything?
    10k Gal, AG Vinyl (Intex 22' Metal Frame), RP2500 pump, Intex B Filters

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    Quote Originally Posted by Cordova
    I tried to test hardness but the tube stayed blue... we dont have hard water here is this something I should be worried about?
    Then you CH is 0 and you don't need to worry about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cordova
    also my TA was only about 20 (yikes) so I am guessing I should also add some baking soda to fix that issue...
    Yeah, I would get it up to 60 using baking soda, then adjust ph from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cordova
    do you just add the borax straight to the pool , no dilution with pool water or anything?
    See this pool school article for how each chemical should be added to the pool: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...pool_chemicals
    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: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    What's with all the speedstir endorsements? It's not that hard to swirl a little beaker and add drops from a dropper. It's not difficult at all. Plus, the little magnet you drop into the sample probably adds more uncertainty to the test than swirling the sample manually. Furthermore, it cost like 30 bucks! I'm surprised they aren't sold at the counter of every pool store.
    20K gal. IG. vinyl. 21" Hayward sand. 3/4 hp

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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    Well it certainly doesn't add uncertainty to the test. It's as convenient as heck!
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
    AquaPro ECO500 50,000 BTU heat pump
    GLI Whirlwind Solar Cover Reel, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: New to TFP, and a bad pool owner..

    Quote Originally Posted by Irishterrier74
    What's with all the speedstir endorsements? It's not that hard to swirl a little beaker and add drops from a dropper. It's not difficult at all. Plus, the little magnet you drop into the sample probably adds more uncertainty to the test than swirling the sample manually. Furthermore, it cost like 30 bucks! I'm surprised they aren't sold at the counter of every pool store.
    It's especially helpful when you SLAM.....

    swirling a vial while dropping 40 - 50 drops in it. Carpal Tunnel syndrome
    8,000 gallon, in ground, fiberglass pool with a cartridge filter.

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