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Thread: Howdy from Chandler, AZ

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    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Chandler, AZ
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    100

    Howdy from Chandler, AZ

    Bought my first house back in April and it came with a pool. As moving is stressful and a busy time I hired a guy to take care of the pool with the expectation that he would train me along the way (he was a friend of the lady of the house). Trying to organize training with him on his busy route was nearly impossible. After a few months of me getting him a little here and a little there.. I finally leveled with him on what he was doing. All he would do is come and dip his test strip, skim off some leaves, and them dump in some MA.

    I was told that my water was old... and I don't doubt it. The previous owner gave me a crash course on how he took care of the pool and it seemed to me that all he really did was backwash and then pour in some more D.E. - as he said, "you just put some more of this in when the water gets cloudy." I don't doubt that he only occasionally tested his water and even when he did it was probably by those the innacurate test strips (I found some after he left which were expired by a few years) and/or taking a sample to the pool store. I say I don't doubt that it was old because the second I didn't take out leaves or a chlorine tablet ran low in the floater... the pool would turn into a swamp. According to the new test strips I bought none of the values were in check (I now have a TF-100). I don't doubt that the system was super low on salt and thus the SWG was hardly into play (I know I personally never tasted the salt in the pool... and when I refilled the pool, I could taste the salt.

    In any case I drained my pool, and the new water has been good. I decided to clean my D.E. filter and my SWG cell just to get a baseline of where I was at with water and equipment (I also had two red lights on the Ecomatic display). I tried to take the cell out and it was so busted up and corroded that the cell broke off - partly because it seemed like it was a POS as well as the fact that the cell body was stuck in the tube with rocks (again, I don't think the previous owner gave a rip). FYI - Also once out it was noticed that the silicone sleeve over the leads was only half there.

    So at this moment I am without a SWG and I am wondering... do I just fork out the $300-600 for a new T-cell or do I upgrade to an entirely new system which potentially easier? I hear that the Monarch systems are "good for people who don't want to bother" but in my eyes I kind of don't like the system setup itself. I don't like the T-cell as it seems brittle and prone to problems such as the problem I had with the cell getting stuck and not allowing the cap to rotate and thus breaking the leads and... well then you are SOL. A system such as the Aquarite seems straight forward - take off the entire unit and clean. The CompuPool CPSC system while still a cell seems better as it slides straight out of the body. Plus others may be equally easy but I haven't really checked on them.

    So here I am now on TFP learning about my pool and what I need to do to get it running smoothly so that my family and myself can enjoy it - oh and for the occasional parties! Glad to see a message board with some knowledgeable people willing to help others enjoy their pools.

    I'm considering redoing all the system components - the main pump, the SWG, and even the DE filter. I'm not sure about the DE filter, but thus far I can say I haven't really cared to clean the filter, add the correct but mysterious amount of D.E., or deal with D.E. itself. Heck, I might even add in a heater since the swimming season is already pretty long here in Arizona and I may as well keep the pool open so I can swim laps in the summer (but I like my water warm-warm!). So if anyone has any advice on the SWG, I'm all ears. (Maybe I should post in the SWG section too?)
    NEW POOL: 11k IGP, Pebbletec, Hayward Pro-Grid 3620 D.E. Filter, 1HP Pentair?/Emerson
    OLD POOL: 12.3k IGP, Pebbletec, Pentair 60 D.E. Filter, 1HP Pentair/Emerson + 1HP Pentair waterfall, Pentair IC40, and borated

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    Aug 2013
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    Chandler, AZ
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    100

    Re: Howdy from Chandler, AZ

    Come to think of it, it sounds kind of funny to suggest that I swim laps in my pool that is only 12.3k gallons. I have a tether system that I use, so I don't need a big pool.
    NEW POOL: 11k IGP, Pebbletec, Hayward Pro-Grid 3620 D.E. Filter, 1HP Pentair?/Emerson
    OLD POOL: 12.3k IGP, Pebbletec, Pentair 60 D.E. Filter, 1HP Pentair/Emerson + 1HP Pentair waterfall, Pentair IC40, and borated

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Howdy from Chandler, AZ

    Welcome to TFP!
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Re: Howdy from Chandler, AZ

    Welcome to TFP!
    Quote Originally Posted by peacefulkancer
    I was told that my water was old...
    This is a common myth...water never gets "old", per-se. It can, however, build up to high levels of CYA and CH that may require a partial drain & refill. Odds are that you are topping off your pool regularly, especially in AZ, so fresh water is frequently being added. Fortunately, the CYA issue can be mitigated by following the practices we teach here. As for CH, even that can be managed in most cases without a drain & refill.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacefulkancer
    I say I don't doubt that it was old because the second I didn't take out leaves or a chlorine tablet ran low in the floater... the pool would turn into a swamp.
    This pool probably had algae living in it that showed itself when chlorine dropped to near zero and "disappeared" when pucks were added. The pucks may have suppressed the algae back into an invisible state but never eradicated it.

    As for which direction to go on the SWG, others will chime in who have more experience in that area. One suggestion I have is, while you are currently without SWG, why not try manually chlorinating with liquid bleach and see how that works for you. If you do not travel much and don't mind tending to the pool a few minutes a day, this will avoid the up-front cost of updating the SWG. If you take an occasional trip and have no one to tend the pool while you are gone, you can temporarily use the pucks. That's what I do and CYA never builds up.
    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.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
    Posts
    100

    Re: Howdy from Chandler, AZ

    I never tested my water with the TF-100 kit so I can't give exact numbers but by the test strips my pool was something like:
    Total Hardness: >500 (not sure what CH was as the test strips don't do that)
    TC: <1
    FC: <0.5
    pH: ~6.2
    TA: 20
    CYA: ? (can't remember, but it was nowhere close to being in check)

    I suppose that I understand all that can be corrected... but as I said I just bought the house recently and kind of wanted to start new (who knows what/who was in the pool previously). On a side note, I will say that those test strips are terrible.

    As for not chlorinating with pucks and instead manually adding bleach - this is in store. I fully plan on using the BBB method. I actually have multiple boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax to add when everything gets situated and fixed. The main reason I am using pucks instead of bleach at the moment is because the previous owner left a bucket of pucks... and I have no liquid bleach (not in any quantity) on hand. Aside from this, I work a lot (on night shift) and everyone at my house has non-verbally declared that the pool is my task. No offense to them but I doubt they know that the pool has anything besides water in it. LOL. Call me lazy, but after working 13hrs the last thing I want to do is test water during twilight.
    NEW POOL: 11k IGP, Pebbletec, Hayward Pro-Grid 3620 D.E. Filter, 1HP Pentair?/Emerson
    OLD POOL: 12.3k IGP, Pebbletec, Pentair 60 D.E. Filter, 1HP Pentair/Emerson + 1HP Pentair waterfall, Pentair IC40, and borated

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