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Thread: Be gentle... Its my first time

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    JGDUSC's Avatar
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    Be gentle... Its my first time

    Been reading as much as possible here since we got the pool in May - albeit not soon enough to fall for the ionizer pitch, but enough to know maybe not the smartest thing I ever bought.

    Yes I have a power ionizer that was promised to save me hundreds of dollars a year. To boot I bought it from the pool store and paid 350, when my buddy next door got his a few week later for 250 off of amazon.

    After finding this site I was sickened to read about the problems they can cause. Also being a germaphobe, the fact it doesn't sanitize is ridiculous. I wasn't putting anyting in pool for the first couple of weeks - but after reading the info here I immdiately ordered the test kit, and started adding bleach. Obvioulsy hadn't read enough, cause it took the pool store to tell me to add CYA, but I have it in now.

    I check the ph and chlorine daily. and try to maintain a FC of 2. I get full sun most of the day. My CYA was around 30 but may be a little higher since I used a puck when we went on vacation. Not sure what I should keep this at, any suggestions welcomed. Its been a couple weeks since I have had to pump water out of the pool since the rain has subsided somewhat. ( I was pumping out two three inches a week for a while)

    Ph has been staying right around 7.5ish. TA is usually somewhere between 70-80 when I check it.

    Water clear - no CC.

    Copper levels are .3 or less - the test is a bit subjective. I keep it on the lowest setting-1. Thinking of turning it off and just using the inaccurate thermometer on it. Haven't had any issues with the exception of ever so slightly tinted green hair on my wife so she says. The only question I have before turning it off is I wondering if it is helping me stear clear of algae. I realize it is a waste to have it now but if you have it and keep it low is it possible for the two things to exist.

    The water feels like it dries me out a little. I checked the TDS just for giggles and its like 630. I have some salt left over from the ionizer startup. Does it hurt anything to add?

    The pool doesn't see alot of use. We (me my wife, 8year old, and 3.5 yearold) maybe two three times a week. There isn't alot of debris(thanks to my tree guy). I clean the bugs out of the skimmer frequently, and the pump skimmer has only been cleaned about three times since I have had the pool. I backwashed the filter since I have had to pump out alot of water. If I turn the ionizer off and continue to have to pump out rain water, am I right to assume the copper levels will drop.

    Moving forward to next year, assuming I follow the pool closing rules, and don't use the ionizer next year following only the BBB, can I get by without completely draining the pool?

    I also am trying to confirm a pool store statement. My CH is low than normal - thanks to all the pumping out and I haven't been back to by the expensive stuff from them. I have a vinyl lined AGP. How important is this and should I be checking it. The pool store statement to my neighbor who has the same was "... the water will leach out the calcium from the liner if you don't maintain blah blah." I don't want to mess up my brand new liner.

    Sorry to have rambled, and hopped around. I appreciate any comments and help. Thanks to all of you for your time and dedication to helping those of us in need.
    12,900 AGP, Sand filter,Hayward SPX1515Z2ES Two Speed Motor PowerFlo LX pump, Aquabot Jr, TF100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Welcome to TFP.

    Let me try to wade (pun intended) thru this.

    First, Kudos on getting a good test kit.

    What is your location? It would also be nice if you put your pool and equipment info in your sig, as well as your general location.
    I'll give you a CYA recommendation once I know where you are. it's completely different if your in AK as opposed to AL!

    Turn the ionizer off right now. What brand and model ionizer is it? I'd go ahead and take the pacs out of it if you can.

    You shouldn't have to completely drain the pool but you probably should drain some water or use some sequestrant so the DW's hair doesn't keep that lovely green tint. DW's don't like that for some reason.

    Absolutely do not worry about the CH being low. I have had zero CH in my pool since it was installed and I haven't had a problem at all. It's still as pliable and supple as it was when it was new. I don't know where they get the crazy notions about calcium being leached from the liner.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    JGDUSC's Avatar
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Sorry. Didn't even think about the sig line. I will update soon.

    Located in Lexington SC, or close to Columbia for easier locating. I have a sand filter and Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series 1-1/2-Horsepower. It's 15x30x52 deep.

    Ionizer is http://www.powerionizer.com/Pool_Products.html. Not sure about removing packs but there is some anode that can be replaced. It does have a zero position which I assume would be equivalent to cutting the ions off. Maybe I can sell it on eBay.

    We really have had any green green but a slight tint I think when they got in when I had the chlorine a little higher than normal. Thanks for the help.
    12,900 AGP, Sand filter,Hayward SPX1515Z2ES Two Speed Motor PowerFlo LX pump, Aquabot Jr, TF100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Please understand that having the chlorine higher than normal is not the reason for the green hair. It's strickly the copper in the pool. Very high chlorine will cause it to drop out of suspension and be more prone to staining but it's completely the coppers fault.

    That was an entertaining read. They add metals and then have you put sequestrant in the pool to remove the metals. Yeah, that makes sense.

    I'd recommend removing the unit completely. and switching to liquid chlorine (aka bleach).
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    That was an entertaining read. They add metals and then have you put sequestrant in the pool to remove the metals. Yeah, that makes sense.
    LOL, how true!

    I have a friend who just had a pool built. He fell prey to the copper-based ionizer despite myself and others advising against it. Just a matter of time before he asks us why hair keeps turning green and/or why these stains suddenly appeared. I've already promised myself not to say "I told you so".

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Kudos on getting a good test kit.
    +1 on that!
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    I know copper is the culprit having read all I could find about it here, but I thought the chlorine and copper equals bad. High as you said causing it to drop out. What sequestrant would you recommend. Any suggestions on the CYA level? I included the location info above and have update my sig info. Thanks
    12,900 AGP, Sand filter,Hayward SPX1515Z2ES Two Speed Motor PowerFlo LX pump, Aquabot Jr, TF100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Jacks is what's normally recommended, but I'd think seriously about replacing some of the water before commiting to a life of sequestering.

    At your location a CYA of 50 ppm should be about right.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Quote Originally Posted by JGDUSC
    What sequestrant would you recommend.
    Sequestrants based on HEDP, phosphonic acid, or phosphonic acid derivatives are the most effective. ProTeam's Metal Magic and Jack's Magic The Pink Stuff (regular), The Blue Stuff (fresh plaster), and The Purple Stuff (salt) are some of the top sequestrants. You can also find many other brands with similar active ingredients, some of which are noticeably less expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by JGDUSC
    Any suggestions on the CYA level?
    For a non-SWG pool, 30-50 ppm is ideal for most locations. Should not let it go higher than 80 ppm though. You may have to experiment a little to find the sweet spot for CYA vs. normal chlorine loss due to sunlight.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Okay. I may just add some and wait it out the rest of the year. Close it down and then begin replacing water next year upon opening. As I mentioned above I haven't had any issues but once, and it was barely noticeable. Having had plenty of rain, its easy to pump out whats in there. In conducting the CYA test from the kit it says to wait until the the dot is not visible. But it seems a little subjective. (I love the tests where there is a drop and a color change. Newbie proof.) Seems like I read somewhere to do it outside with back turned to sun. I have been doing in my shop. Any other tips? Anything I can do to make the water feel softer? It seems like my ph is spot on but the water seems to dry me out a little. I have a bunch of salt left over. Can that hurt anything?

    Seems like I remember a link to a page where there are recommendations for your FC based on CYA. Are there other factors that should be considered.

    The whole reason we were excited about the ionizer was we didn't want the chemicals since our daughter suffers from extreme eczema. Nothing with the BBB should effect that correct?
    12,900 AGP, Sand filter,Hayward SPX1515Z2ES Two Speed Motor PowerFlo LX pump, Aquabot Jr, TF100 test kit.

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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Well replacing my some of my water wont be a problem. Last night we got 3 inches of rain in about 45 minutes. I am assuming as I pump it out the copper will eventually become diluted. Guess the filter will be nice and clean too!

    Anyone have suggestions on what to do after such a downpour? Assuming I will just check everything after I get it back to operating level and adjust as necessary.

    Guess its a good thing. I have only put about three total pucks in the pool since we owned it, in addition to the CYA I added directly at startup. Checked it last night and it was up to fifty. Hard to believe those little pucks added that much. Was only about thirty previously.
    12,900 AGP, Sand filter,Hayward SPX1515Z2ES Two Speed Motor PowerFlo LX pump, Aquabot Jr, TF100 test kit.

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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    By the way,I apologize for not having read the before you post info. Before the rain came last night I was

    FC - 2.5
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 80
    CH - 140
    CYA - 50

    Not sure what its gonna be when I get home and pump out three inches.
    12,900 AGP, Sand filter,Hayward SPX1515Z2ES Two Speed Motor PowerFlo LX pump, Aquabot Jr, TF100 test kit.

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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Get your FC up ASAP.

    In general, rain doesn't affect your chemical balance much, because the volume of water is very small relative to the bulk pool water (even 3"). I think you need to up your FC target a little cause you're playing with fire in letting it get so low.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Roger that. Will be done soon!

    What do most do when going away from pool for vacation. I will be away from the pool for 4 days. Just pump up the chorine?
    12,900 AGP, Sand filter,Hayward SPX1515Z2ES Two Speed Motor PowerFlo LX pump, Aquabot Jr, TF100 test kit.

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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Just got back from a 5 day vacation last week. All I do is raise it to shock level and put the solar cover on. With that scenario, my FC loss goes down to about 1ppm per day or less. Came back to the same crystal clear water as I left (as usual).
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Following up on some of the above. The ionizer is gone. About ten to eleven inches(?) of water replaced -somewhat untentionally. 4" of rain Friday was taking a while to pump out, got busy with other things( including popping a top) and took out all the water to bottom of skimmer. Comfounded at my stupidity, I moved the pump to backwash with the hose running to settle everything ran for a few seconds. I shut the pump back down, unpluged so that the time wouldn't bring it on until I got it back to operating level. Getting late I went in and had dinner, shower, and laid down informing my wife to make sure I didn't fall asleep cause the water was running. I dozed in and out and she finally went and turned it off. I awoke the next morning excited to see the what the level was so I could get the pump turned back on. Much to my dismay, when I checked the skimmer, the water level was below it. What??? Do I have a leak. Water couldn't have siphoned out via the water hose. Boom! There was the handle still in backwash mode. No wonder it was taking so long for the water level to rise last night and I got tired of waiting. Cant feel any stupider than that. Turn the water back on and wait. Hopefully the water bill won't be too bad. Got 2.5+ inches last night to boot. Gotta pump that out as well when I get home.

    Tested before rain yesterday and I was at
    FC 4.0
    CC0.00
    pH 7.5 ish
    TA 70 (was at 60 day before calculator called for 3lbs baking soda - added half gonna do other or more based on results this evening)
    CH 80
    CYA 40ish
    Pool water crystal clear and cold.

    Question - Who knows if the swimming season is over thanks to record lows( highs been in the mids 60's here till yesterday) Forecast is high 80 but night time lows of mid 60s - seems any progress during the day will be lost at night. Hard to believe it was at 91 a week ago today. I haven't added any borax to the pool yet. My copper levels seem to be reduced a good bit .015 or .15 what ever the second lowest level is on test kit.(Assume will be lower after I remove another 2.5 inches today)

    Is there any reason to wait until next year pool opening to go through the borate adding procedure? Any special considerations with my pool having the copper. Haven't added any sequestrant cause really hasn't been a need. Thanks!
    12,900 AGP, Sand filter,Hayward SPX1515Z2ES Two Speed Motor PowerFlo LX pump, Aquabot Jr, TF100 test kit.

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    JGDUSC's Avatar
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Did I say something wrong above or post in the wrong place?
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    You did nothing wrong. We spoil people by usually answering questions so soon after a post, but even we take a break sometimes!

    Personally I haven't added borates and really don't plan to. I don't see the benefit in it unless you have a pool that you're constantly having to fight the pH. Even then I'd be more prone to try and figure out why it's rising and do as much as I could to correct that before considering borates.

    Having said all that, I'm probably not the best guy to answer your question, but... I'd wait till next year because you'll drain some of them out if you winterize your pool and even if you don't you'll lose some of it during the winter.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    I added borates last year. It made the pool sparkly. I have not bothered this year.

    I would focus on getting everything else done first. It has been suggested that borates are what you do when you are looking for something to do. They help in a few cases but in general, they don't need to be played with.
    -- Guy --
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Season over? In some areas... Maybe but it's 100 here with overnights in the 70s with70% humidity.
    -- Guy --
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    JGDUSC's Avatar
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    Re: Be gentle... Its my first time

    Yeah I am spoiled. Member of too many forums and addicted to instant gratification they can provide. I dont necessarily want any more to deal with but don't want to be missing out on anything either. Hoping the season isn't done but this cool weather is putting a damper on my summer buzz. School started back so the free time in the evenings isn't quite as free, but I just want to get in the darn thing to justify my constant attention to it. Hopefully a few warm days will make it worthwhile.
    12,900 AGP, Sand filter,Hayward SPX1515Z2ES Two Speed Motor PowerFlo LX pump, Aquabot Jr, TF100 test kit.

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