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Thread: New to Pool/Spa Ownership and failing miserably...

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    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Central NJ
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    1

    New to Pool/Spa Ownership and failing miserably...

    Hello!

    I recently purchased a home with my boyfriend which includes a large in ground vinyl lined pool and an above ground hot tub, the promise being that I would take care of both (it's not that i'm not trying- I just keep failing). We haven't moved in yet but I am there daily to check the pool and attempt to manage it (please bear with me I am so new to all the terminology and have yet to memorize the pool school links!) The pool is 20' x 40' with a sand filter (i will have to get back to you on the type) and we have well water.

    Things were running smooth for a while but now my pool looks contaminated with mountain dew.

    Just through surfing through some relevant threads, I've learned I need a more reliable testing method rather than the aqua chek strips (open to suggestions!)


    (I went to the pool store because with my aqua chek strips i was getting normal alkalinity, pH and stabilizer readings with NO chlorine despite the filter running 24/7 <- my attempt to get the chlorine up... water was clear but then boyfriend put in phosphate stuff (recommendation from a different pool store to boost chlorine levels?) and a stain remover (previous owners bleached the pool liner and there were some reddish stains on the bleached part (probably cause it's well water?) I've also brushed and vacuumed the pool daily with a little bit of algae but it doesn't seem to be taken over...

    The most recent water reading from sunday was:
    FC: .14 ppm
    TC: .14ppm
    CC: 0ppm
    pH: 7.6
    Hardness: 83ppm
    Alkalinity: 146 ppm
    Cyanuric Acid: 146 ppm
    Copper: .4 ppm
    Iron: .1 ppm

    Pool store told me to put in 48 oz of Les Iron wait 24 hours then put in 25 lbs of hardness control @ 5 pound doses in 30 minute increments and then to retest. I work late so I was unable to get another sample to the pool store before they closed but the water is still green ( i can see to the bottom but it's a smidge cloudy). So now I am screwed cause I can't get another water sample to the store before they close due to work conflicts until Saturday AM...

    What is my best bet to try and get the chlorine up now and the water clear? Should I shock it or continue to leave everything running until Saturday?

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    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
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    43

    Re: New to Pool/Spa Ownership and failing miserably...

    You will need to get one of the kits reccomended here, TF100 is the better deal$. The red stains are probably from iron from your well water. You should get your well water tested. You need to bring your CYA down to 30 by draining your pool. You can use the pool school calculator to figure up how much to drain. Look at the chart for slamming your pool and bring your FC level up with bleach to the reccomended range for your CYA. Start reading pool school. It will probably take reading through it more than once to get a grasp on everything. Lots of knowledge on this site, just take a deep breath and follow the steps provided from pool school and the TFP brain trust and you will be fine. Being in NJ you are probably coming to the end of swim season, keep that in mind it could save you some money.
    *Under Construction* 21K gallon IG Pool/Spa 3'-7', Wet Edge Pebble Prism Matrix
    -Equipment: Jandy 460sqft Cartridge Filter; Aqua pure 1400 SWG; Jandy 2HP VS E-pump; 3/4HP Booster Pump; Polaris 3900; Air Blower; Jandy PDA4; Raypak 406 Heater; Auto Fill; 2 Hayward LEDs in pool; 1 Hayward LED in Spa; 2 Skimmers; 3 Returns to pool; 6 jets in Spa ***TF100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir***

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Location
    DFW, Texas
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    3,840

    Re: New to Pool/Spa Ownership and failing miserably...

    Welcome to TFP!

    If you are going to take control of your pool, you will need one of the Recommended Test Kits. The sooner you get a proper test kit, the sooner you will stop dropping big $ on unnecessary chemicals like phosphate removers and hardness control. These two chemicals probably cost as much as one of the recommended test kits. The test strips you are currently using will not provide the accuracy you need. In addition, pool store testing is notoriously inaccurate. Here's an example: http://www.troublefreepool.com/incon...gs-t61728.html.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinky143
    FC: .14 ppm
    TC: .14ppm
    CC: 0ppm
    pH: 7.6
    Hardness: 83ppm
    Alkalinity: 146 ppm
    Cyanuric Acid: 146 ppm
    Copper: .4 ppm
    Iron: .1 ppm
    The biggest issue I see with your test results is your CYA combined with low chlorine levels. There is a relationship between chlorine and CYA. The higher the CYA level, the more chlorine is needed to maintain proper sanitation. See this chart: Chlorine / CYA Chart. Once you understand this relationship, you will avoid a majority of pool water management problems.

    So my main recommendation (aside from ordering one of the recommended test kits) is to do a partial drain & refill of your pool water to reduce the CYA. If the CYA result is reasonably accurate, you will need to drain & refill about 60% of your pool water as this is the only way to lower CYA. I would recommend doing the drain & refill in increments. Drain no more than 50% of your pool water at one time. Then refill it a bit and drain again to about half-way. The reason for not draining more that 50% at one time is to prevent the pool from possibly floating in case the local water table is high.

    Once you complete the drain & refill, post a full set of test results with your new test kit and we will go from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinky143
    So now I am screwed cause I can't get another water sample to the store before they close due to work conflicts until Saturday AM...
    Pool store testing is free for a reason...they want to sell you chemicals, many of which are not needed as you have already found out. You are far better off getting one of the recommended test kits and taking control of your pool.

    Finally, I would familiarize myself with the Pool Calculator. This will help you determine the proper dosages for managing your pool going forward.
    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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    gatorbrit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Raleigh,NC
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    92

    Re: New to Pool/Spa Ownership and failing miserably...

    Your best bet is to stop going to the pool store. Read Pool School very carefully, and then post questions here.

    You also need to get a good test kit - this is essential and very worth it.

    The folks will help you with a plan - they helped me and my pool sparkles it is so clear.

    But looking at your numbers, it is very likely that you need to drain a good amount of water to reduce your CYA. Your high CYA is going to prevent the Chlorine from doing its job.

    But to reiterate - the pool store people are not your friends.
    18k vinyl IGP, Sand Filter, EasyTouch Control Sys, Pentair Intelliflo, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Rheem Heat Pump.

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