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Thread: Uneducated pool owner, looking for education.

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    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Southern California
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    Uneducated pool owner, looking for education.

    Hello everyone,

    I am looking for guidance on how to nurse my pool back to health. I am a long time pool abuser as I didn't know about this site or the wonderful TF-100, and in the past have relegated my pool care to the occasional poolman or staff at Leslie's. My pool/spa is about 10 years old, plaster, D.E. filter, salt system that hasn't worked for well over a year, heater that hasn't worked for longer than that. Unfortunately, I don't know how many gallons the pool is, but plan on getting that information soon. All equipment is Hayward. Filter runs for 8 hours (don't know if that's necessary, but that's from Leslie's). I manually brush and vacuum the pool.

    My plaster appears to be pitted, have calcium deposits, as well as stained with a few spots of "rust" and other spots that appear to be "bleached" out (probably from someone adding too much chlorine or acid in one spot at once). I usually get a yellow/gold algae in shaded areas for a few months throughout the year, but this year was the worst as it was throughout the entire pool.

    Christmas came early this year when I received my TF-100 today and tested my water with the following results:
    FC - 4
    PH - 7.2
    TA - 120
    CH - 700+
    CYA - 100+
    CC - 0

    I plan on retesting the CH soon, but don't want to use up the test kit in the first week or two.

    I only tested the CH on the fill water which was 200.

    From searching around, I believe I need to drain most (65%+) of my pool to bring the CH levels down. I am hesitant to do that for fear that I will refill and get the chemicals fixed only to have to drain it and have the plaster redone. I can deal with the stains, but the pitting and apparent calcium deposits seem to be more of a problem. I know without pictures its hard to give advice on the condition of my plaster, but I hoped someone could tell me the calcium could be fixed and brushed away and that the plaster isn't necessarily in need of refinishing. I have called for an estimate to re-plaster, but don't expect them to tell me it's not needed.

    So I guess my question is, am I wasting my time and money until I drain the pool and get the CH level fixed?

    I should add, about 4 months ago I got my salt system up and running (or so I thought), and it said there wasn't any salt. Two bags of salt later it was still telling me I needed more. At that point a sample was sent to Leslie's who told me it was waaaay over. I don't recall the exact numbers, but waaay over. Is there copper in the salt? Could all that salt be giving me these results and could it be the salt on the plaster?

    Thank you. I appreciate any advice.
    18K gal, plaster, 2HP Hayward single phase, Hayward D.E filter 120 flowrate, Turbo Cell T-15 (not working)

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Uneducated pool owner, looking for education.

    Welcome to the forum!

    The fact that you have the TF100 in hand means you're on your way to taking control of your pool. While your CH is high, the bigger problem I see is your CYA level. If it's reading over 100 (which is the upper limit of the test), the sky is the limit. I would suggest redoing the test with half pool water and half tap water (then multiplying the results by 2) to give you an idea of where you're at and how much you'll have to drain to get your CYA in line. That will also help with CH.
    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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    chiefwej's Avatar
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    Re: Uneducated pool owner, looking for education.

    Welcome!
    If you are really looking for an education, look for the button on the upper right of this page labeled "Pool School". Everything you need to know about pool care is there. You will need to read and reread it all several times before it all begins to fit together and make sense. But, once you do understand it, it's really pretty easy to maintain a Trouble Free Pool. Everything you will ever need to know about pool care is right here on this site.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Uneducated pool owner, looking for education.

    I guess I'm not the only one up late. I appreciate the quick responses. I just checked the CYA with the method described and it was 200 (100x2). So I guess I have a starting point. I will look at "Pool School" and additional advice on getting these levels in check.
    18K gal, plaster, 2HP Hayward single phase, Hayward D.E filter 120 flowrate, Turbo Cell T-15 (not working)

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    Jeetyet's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    Re: Uneducated pool owner, looking for education.

    Unfortunately, even with your diluted sample you're still at the upper limits of the test. In order for you to get even close to a ballpark estimate of your actual CYA you would have to do some further dilution. However, since even a CYA level of 200 would require a drain/refill of about 65% to get to the recommended range (for a SWG, even more if you won't be using it), you may as well save your reagents until after draining.

    Your actual CYA level is probably well above 200, so you'll most likely find you're going to have to do multiple drain/refills before your CYA is in range. I'll have to let others advise you as to whether it would be okay to drain a large quantity all at once or better to do incremental drain/refills. Since your pool is plaster I "think" you'd probably be okay IF you don't have a high water table but wait for someone with more experience to comment.

    And welcome to the forum!
    "The early bird might get the worm, but its the second mouse that gets the cheese." ~ W. Rian Adams
    .
    Relative's IG Vinyl | 16x32 | ~18,600 gals | Hayward 3/4hp Pump | Hayward S244T Filter | Pentair Model 300 Chlorinator (not used) | Polaris 180

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