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Thread: Very new pool owner

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    Very new pool owner

    So a little over two years ago I bought a house with an in ground vinyl pool that was in disrepair (read: left empty). Just this summer I finally took the plunge and spent the money to have it resurfaced (the concrete shell had deteriorated) and a new liner installed. This past Monday (July 29) the pool company that did the work did the initial chemical balance and then left, supposedly they're coming back at some point to give me basic training on how to maintain the pool (I know nothing at all about it).

    I've been reading the information on this site about maintaining the pool and have ordered the TF-100 test kit, unfortunately they are on back order so I won't have the kit until next week; so in the meantime I went to Wal-Mart and picked up the drop kit to have on hand. As near as I can tell, here is where I am sitting at present. (Pool specs as best I know should be in my signature)

    Free Chlorine: Kit does not test?
    Total Chlorine: 5-6
    pH: 7.2
    TA: 100
    CH: 240
    CYA: 40


    I don't have a cover yet (should arrive early next week), so I have been doing my best to get out every day with my leaf net and keep as much debris out of the pool as possible, but some leaves and other junk have settled to the bottom (pool vacuum also arrives next week). Any advice on what action I should take at the present time without knowing what my FC level is? It looks like my pH is definitely on the low side, should I just add some borax until I get the TF-100 kit? Or with a Total Chlorine of 5-6 should I assume that my FC is low and also add bleach? I'm hoping to keep from letting the water get too far out of balance before I am able to run proper tests.

    Thanks for any advice!
    IG Vinyl. ~28000 gallons. 1.0 HP Jacuzzi Magnum Plus. Hayward C4030 425 Sq. Ft. Cartridge filter. TF-100 (2012-2015) Taylor K-2006 (2016)

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Very new pool owner

    Welcome to TFP!

    Until your TF-100 comes in (good choice, BTW) , I would maintain a chlorine level of about 5 ppm. Also, do all you can to remove as much debris as possible. Your pH is on the low end of the recommended range and I would let it be for now. Run a full series of tests once your TF-100 arrives and we will go from there.

    In the meantime, here are a few articles I would recommend reading: ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Basic Pool Care Schedule, Recommended Pool Chemicals, How to Chlorinate Your Pool, Chlorine CYA Chart.

    If you are not familiar with the Pool Calculator, I would spend some time with it as well.
    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
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Very new pool owner

    Pool school should cover your basic pool training and is more in depth than you care to know at this point! On a fresh fill your Fc looks fine and I'd let the PH go and most likely rise a bit on it's own. How are you planning on chlorinating the pool?
    How did you ge the initial FC in there? Welcome!
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: Very new pool owner

    I'm not sure what they used initially to chlorinate the pool, I was at work pretty much the whole time they were here doing everything. From the articles I've read on this site, I'm planning to use 6% bleach because I can store it longer than 12% liquid chlorine without losing so much potency, and I prefer to make fewer trips to the store and cool/dry storage space is readily available to me.

    For what it's worth; I live in the Pacific Northwest (US), so the pool will be a seasonal pool only.
    IG Vinyl. ~28000 gallons. 1.0 HP Jacuzzi Magnum Plus. Hayward C4030 425 Sq. Ft. Cartridge filter. TF-100 (2012-2015) Taylor K-2006 (2016)

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Very new pool owner

    6% bleach is fine if you can still find it. That's what I used until the new 8.25% came out about this time last year. The 8.25% may be easier to find (it is here anyway) and it will hold its potency more than long enough, plus it's less bulky. The main thing to remember is to use plain, unscented bleach without any "special thickeners" added.
    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
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Re: Very new pool owner

    So the pool guys came back yesterday and gave my wife the rundown of how to operate things in the pool house (backwash the filter, etc), so I thought we were done with them. But tonight I got home from work and tested my water with my wal-mart drop kit (got an email today indicating my TF-100 shipped so I should have it later this week) and found my total chlorine at 6+ and my ph at 8. I asked my wife about it and apparently they dumped in a gallon of 12% chlorine, and put 3 tri-chlor tabs in the skimmer.

    I pulled the tri-chlor tabs out of the skimmer and pulled back the solar cover a bit so the pool will get some direct sun. Should I do anything else right now? Really wish I had my TF-100!
    IG Vinyl. ~28000 gallons. 1.0 HP Jacuzzi Magnum Plus. Hayward C4030 425 Sq. Ft. Cartridge filter. TF-100 (2012-2015) Taylor K-2006 (2016)

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Very new pool owner

    Welcome to the forum, and hat's off to you for educating yourself. It's obvious you've been studying a bit and we always applaud that. This knowledge puts you way ahead of the game and a good deal ahead of most pool store and even pool service employees.

    Are you sure the pH is now 8.0? If it is, they added something else in addition to what you listed. pH of 7.8 is best for the very high end of the range. Above that, chlorine loses effectiveness and the potential for scaling goes up. The latter is not a great concern in your case (TA&CH) and pool type (vinyl), but you want 7.8 as a max high level. Be sure it is 8.0, and you can reduce it with muriatic acid. Use the Pool Calculator to determine the amount. Be sure all the blocks for volume, pH, TA and Borax are filled in properly. I always suggest adding a touch less than called for just incase your volume isn't right, or the pH is actually a bit lower than you think. With pump running, add the acid by SLOWLY pouring it in in front of a return jet, give it a couple of hours and re-test. Add again if needed. If you are unsure about it in any way, come back and ask, and we will be glad to help you out on it.

    If your CYA is 40, you are good to remove the pucks for now. Since you are just filled up, keeping the bleach added and the TC about where you are, you will be fine until you have a better kit. Don't let it go below 5 if you can help it and it will be just fine. You can dial that in later with the FAS/DPD test in the new kit. Most likely, you will find 8.25% bleach, so make sure you type that into the Calculator when you make an addition. That should cover you for now, but ask back on anything if you need too.
    TFP Moderator
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    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
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    Re: Very new pool owner

    So my TF100 showed up and here are my current numbers.


    FC - 4
    CC - 0.5 or less

    TA - 130
    CH - 210
    CYA - 30 ? (When doing the CYA test should I stop once the "black dot" becomes difficult to discern or should I keep going until it is impossible to see the bottom of the tube at all?)
    pH - 7.8

    So I think overall my levels are pretty good for the time being.

    As a side question: How often should I run the pump? Is it a 24/7 operation or should I be using some other schedule or indicator?


    Thanks!
    IG Vinyl. ~28000 gallons. 1.0 HP Jacuzzi Magnum Plus. Hayward C4030 425 Sq. Ft. Cartridge filter. TF-100 (2012-2015) Taylor K-2006 (2016)

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Very new pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Frayed
    So I think overall my levels are pretty good for the time being.
    I agree.

    I would probably lower your ph to 7.2 since your slightly high TA will continue to cause it to rise. Just lower ph to 7.2 whenever it get to 7.6-7.8 and it will slowly lower TA over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frayed
    When doing the CYA test should I stop once the "black dot" becomes difficult to discern or should I keep going until it is impossible to see the bottom of the tube at all?
    When you can no longer see the dot. Take a look at this link: http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Ch...P?ContentID=44

    Quote Originally Posted by Frayed
    As a side question: How often should I run the pump? Is it a 24/7 operation or should I be using some other schedule or indicator?
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-.../pump_run_time
    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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