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Thread: Old Pool, New owner *Now with 100% more pictures!*

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    Old Pool, New owner *Now with 100% more pictures!*

    I bought a house a year ago with an older vinyl IG pool. Over the last year I have been using Leslie's testing and advice. I have had 3 bad algae blooms. (dark green swamp water) After the first one, Leslie's recommended Yellow Out and super chlorination (the print out said to use either dichlor or cal hypo. I was sold Chlor-brite: Dichlor?) and it worked like a charm. (albeit a $150 charm). The second time it happened, it didn't work, so they told me to do it again, which I did. Not a bit better. I had a pool service come out and work on it. They told me I was stabilizer locked, they drained over 25% of the pool, and sorted it out over 10 days or so. ($350 using my own chemicals, not counting my water bill).

    After that I tested frequently with Leslie's, they told me everything was fine except my hardness, which I never addressed, since they said it didn't really matter for a vinyl. They started me on Chlorine tabs with a floating dispenser. Shortly after buying the house I had Leslie's Service guy come out to change the sand, and he instead sold me a whole new filter. I probably did need that. The home/pool inspector I used was absolutely ****.

    I assumed my main problem was the massive amount of leaves my pool collects, which I don't stay on top of well enough, so this year I took down overhanging oak branches, and 3 pines (More $$$). Now i only have to empty the skimmer every 3 days instead of twice a day.

    This summer was rough. about a month ago I started noticing algae on the bottom, which after shocking and brushing started the swamp thing again. Yellow out/Superchlorination of course didn't work (it did go a slightly minty green). Leslie's told me to do it again, but I asked if it was going to work this time, so she looked at my sheet again and said oh wait. Your CYA 100. Do water changes. "Surely you aren't using tabs and Dichlor?" Well yes, on their advice I was. And so I swore to never darken their doors again, and actually started learning about what I was using to keep my pool from going green.

    Hi Guys! If you skipped all of that-
    I have a light green pool I'm trying hard not to hate. And I'm now a n00b taking responsibility for my own testing and chemicals. I can't see the bottom of the shallow end. There may be leaves on the bottom, but I've skim vac'd and scooped as well as I can. (I keep up well for 2 weeks, then I go on call for a week and it all goes to heck in handbasket. I'll be back to talk about robots soon.)

    After firing Leslie's I ordered a taylor 2006 and in the meantime I took out my cute frog tab dispense, I have been occasionally shocking with Cal-hypo, I even threw in a few gallons of bleach, and have been brushing every other day. It's stayed light green. The filter is running 24 hours a day. I dropped the water level with a siphon to about 1 ft below the skimmer and refilled.

    First attempt at testing:
    pH is off the scale low.
    FC: 3.8 ppm
    CC: 1.6 ppm
    CYA WAY over the top of the scale 100.

    Why is the cya still going up?

    Should I go ahead and drop the level again? I'm about to get tropical storm karen's assist with dilution/refill. Is replacing half your pool water cheaper than just using more chlorine to account for the high cya? The pool service told me I need to get the water company to put in an irrigation meter. Is this worth doing? I don't usually have to put much water in my pool since I patched that stair leak. Especially this wet summer.

    On the pH question, can I add borax alone to bring it up?

    Honestly, I would hire somebody to do all this for me if I had the money :P . So the basis of most of my questions is "which option is cheaper." sorry! I know pools are a very expensive pet and a part time job.

    HELP!
    In 2012 I bought a house attached to an old 27kgal ig vinyl, sand filter pool.
    Problems ever since.

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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    So many views, so few responses, let me summarize:

    1. what do I do now? SLAM or water change? I'm about to try the CYA test again in the sunlight this time, which I just read is the more accurate way to go. Thanks TFP! Edit: It's still reading above 100, but not as high as it was reading inside.
    2. Do I need to fix pH first? what's the best way to do that? I've always used soda ash up to now, is that the best way to go?
    3. Any one had experience with Irrigation meters? worth the price of installing and maintaining? (With the hope that I have my CYA addiction under control and I won't have to drain my pool every 6 months anymore.)
    In 2012 I bought a house attached to an old 27kgal ig vinyl, sand filter pool.
    Problems ever since.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    My guess is your CYA is much higher then you think it is. I cannot find the test where you cut your pool water 50/50 to find the REAL number. Someone that knows right where the link is will be alone shortly I am sure.

    For now--------WELCOME! Good for you for taking over your pool care. Once you get on the correct track you will find it MUCH easier to take care of and cheaper. You are well on your way with a good test kit.

    Good luck!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    To test for a presumed high CYA level- mix equal amounts of pool water with tap water (which obviously contains no CYA) and perform the normal CYA testing. Then you DOUBLE the results.

    Then next you need to post a complete set of test results - FC, CC, TA, CH, pH, CYA.

    Stop using anything in the pool other than bleach or higher strength liquid chlorine. You will need to SLAM the pool which is a process of bringing the pool up to a CL level which when *maintained* for a period until all the organics are dead and gone. You might first have to address the pH level and do some draining and refilling but until folks here see your test results its hard to say.

    As you are SLAMing the pool, don't forget to brush the sides and bottom. This disrupts any algae biofilm (a protective layer which hides the algae from the chlorine) and lets the higher chlorine level get to all the problem spots. And net out any debris so there is less organic material to work through.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    Diluting the pool water with tap water, I got 40 for CYA, doubling that, gives me 80. That doesn't quite make sense.

    TA 20 ppm
    CH 90 ppm
    pH 6.8 on my older cheaper test kit that goes under 7.
    CYA 80(?)

    i tried to do a FC, and it never turned pink. I kept shoveling in R0870 per directions, and finally managed the palest pink color. If that's accurate:
    FC 0.2 ppm
    CC 0.4 ppm
    In 2012 I bought a house attached to an old 27kgal ig vinyl, sand filter pool.
    Problems ever since.

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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    If I buy 13 gallons of bleach to get my shock level to 39 (per Pool Calculator), am I going to end up on a terror watch list? :O
    In 2012 I bought a house attached to an old 27kgal ig vinyl, sand filter pool.
    Problems ever since.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieNelle

    i tried to do a FC, and it never turned pink. I kept shoveling in R0870 per directions, and finally managed the palest pink color. If that's accurate:
    FC 0.2 ppm
    CC 0.4 ppm
    On my TF-100 kit, you add the powder to the sample and that is what gives me the pink color. Then as I add the R-0870 drops (counting!) it takes the pink and turns it clear to give me my end point. Is that what you did?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    It says to add two scoops of the powder and it should turn pink. If it doesn't, keep adding the powder until it does, then count the drops of R0871 until it goes back to clear.
    In 2012 I bought a house attached to an old 27kgal ig vinyl, sand filter pool.
    Problems ever since.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    Welcome to tfp, AuntieNelle

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieNelle
    It says to add two scoops of the powder and it should turn pink. If it doesn't, keep adding the powder until it does, then count the drops of R0871 until it goes back to clear.
    Do you have an OTO chlorine test? (vial normally attached to the ph vial)? If you do, test your chlorine with that and let us know the color?

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieNelle
    Diluting the pool water with tap water, I got 40 for CYA, doubling that, gives me 80. That doesn't quite make sense.
    Have you done all of the tests with the bright sun at your back? If not that may be the difference.
    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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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    My Chlorine is too low to register on my old test kit.

    I was reading the CYA in the sun. And I used a 1 mL syringe to dilute it, not guesswork. Definitely a learning curve on the more complex test kits.

    Also I'm in Mobile AL. Anybody know of a good source for liquid chlorine? most of the pool places I tried today were closed. I didn't see it on Home Depot's website. Is it in the pool chem or cleaner's section?
    In 2012 I bought a house attached to an old 27kgal ig vinyl, sand filter pool.
    Problems ever since.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieNelle
    My Chlorine is too low to register on my old test kit.
    So you are saying your OTO chlorine test showed 0? If yes then it makes sense the the fas-dpd test (the one with the powder) also showed 0.

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieNelle
    I was reading the CYA in the sun.
    Was the sun at your back when you did this with the tube at about waist level?

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieNelle
    And I used a 1 mL syringe to dilute it, not guesswork.
    Please detail for us how you did the dilution.
    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.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    I put exactly 3.5 mL tap water in the mixing bottle, then used pool water to fill the rest of the way to the 7mL line, then used the reagent to fill to the 14 mL line.

    I read it correctly in the sun the last two times. (Over 100, then 40 after dilution.)
    In 2012 I bought a house attached to an old 27kgal ig vinyl, sand filter pool.
    Problems ever since.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    Yeah that is an odd result. Are you sure when you got 40 (80) that the dot was totally gone? Thinking the dot is gone when it is still slightly visible is a common mistake.
    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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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    You can buy bleach at walmart or any store really. Just make sure you get plain bleach. Walmart bleach works just fine. Check to see what store has the best price. Make sure to check the % of the bleach to make sure you are comparing the same %.

    I get mine from the local Ace Hardware store.

    Good luck!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    So tomorrow I have several hours in a row. Start by raising pH, then SLAM based on the assumption that CYA is at least 90?
    In 2012 I bought a house attached to an old 27kgal ig vinyl, sand filter pool.
    Problems ever since.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    I'd start by draining and replacing about 50% of the pool water. That will lower the CYA to around 45. Otherwise, you are going to need a lot more bleach. After that, re-test, adjust pH if needed, and then SLAM.
    Outdoor 14,000 gallon IG plaster pool built in 2000 with spillover spa, 2 hp WhisperFlo pump with MagneTek motor, Sta-Rite cartridge pool filter with 300 ft2 filtration area and 0.33 gpm/ft2 filtration rate, Aquabot Rapids 4WD robotic pool cleaner, Raypak digital gas heater, and Intermatic mechanical timer located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex

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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieNelle
    Honestly, I would hire somebody to do all this for me if I had the money :P . So the basis of most of my questions is "which option is cheaper." sorry! I know pools are a very expensive pet and a part time job.

    HELP!

    I'm going to jump in here for a bit of a morale boost..

    First... I second the drain/replace some water suggestion. Sounds like no matter which reading you use your CYA is still too high and why require yourself to use more bleach if you don't have to?

    Second..as far as pools being very expensive and a part time job... well that's pretty much only if you follow the pool store's advice. (which you just found out the hard way!)

    Just for a little reference, my pool is small...being an above ground intex pool but...since I have gotten my water balanced properly, all I do is add about 20 oz of bleach a day which is about 2.5 cups. That is it. No joking. Not expensive. My CYA is between 40 and 50. I hate that test! My pool seems to be happy as far as TA/PH and I haven't had to add anything but bleach since I started BBB earlier this year. It takes about 5 minutes each day to go out and get my water sample, test it and add some bleach.

    So...you're on the right track! Once you get your CYA to a manageable level and get through the SLAM you will see how simple it can be!

    There are lots of very helpful and knowledgeable people here that can help with more specifics but I just wanted to try to give you some encouragement.

    Good luck!!
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.0 HP pump
    Hayward Pro Series S166T Sand Filter
    Original Intex Floating Skimmer

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    I siphoned to about half the shallow end depth. And brushed the walls and floor between deluges. I'm about to start putting water back in.

    Back to the pH question: If my TA is still 20ish and my pH is 6.8ish, do i need both baking soda AND borax or soda ash (per pool calc)?

    Since I'm adding so much hose water do I need to put some bleach in today? I may not be able to start the pump until tomorrow morning.
    In 2012 I bought a house attached to an old 27kgal ig vinyl, sand filter pool.
    Problems ever since.

  19. Back To Top    #19
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieNelle
    Back to the pH question: If my TA is still 20ish and my pH is 6.8ish, do i need both baking soda AND borax or soda ash (per pool calc)?
    Fill it up and see where it is at. Do you know what your fill ph and TA are?

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieNelle
    Since I'm adding so much hose water do I need to put some bleach in today? I may not be able to start the pump until tomorrow morning.
    [ Post details ]
    You can probably get by without until tomorrow...but it you want to slowly pour it around the peremeter and then brush brush brush to stir it in.
    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.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Old Pool, New owner

    Cya 70 today, after the pump had only been circulating for 2 hours or so. They really don't give you much reagent for that test.

    Fc is 2.6
    Cc is 0.2
    PH is 6.8

    Don't have time to run TA right now. I'll post with that this evening.
    In 2012 I bought a house attached to an old 27kgal ig vinyl, sand filter pool.
    Problems ever since.

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