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Thread: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

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    First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Just bought a house and inherited my first pool. Pool was built in 94 and to my knowledge owner has been using tri-chlor tablets since day one. The first tests I conducted was FC (41ppm) and pH (5.18) and I knew CYA was through the roof. I added Borax right away to raise pH until I could get my test kit. Yesterday I drained approximately 5k gallons to bring CYA down and refilled with soft water. Tests today were:

    FC-36
    CC-1
    CYA-200
    TA-140
    CH-390
    pH-7.2

    I'm trying to get a fresh start so I can do this right. Should I keep attacking the high CYA first and drain more water before adjusting anything else?
    15x30 3.5ft to 7ft, 17.7K gal, IG plaster, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II, 150 sq-ft Hayward Cartridge, Arneson Pool Vac, TF-100 Test Kit, Auto-fill on soft water, Modesto, CA

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    UN1017's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Welcome to TFP!
    Quote Originally Posted by snipeorod
    I'm trying to get a fresh start so I can do this right. Should I keep attacking the high CYA first and drain more water before adjusting anything else?
    Yes. You will need to drain at least 75% of your water to get down to a manageable CYA....if you are truly at 200 CYA.

    You stated that you refilled with soft water. What is the CH level of your normal tap? Your CH is not terribly high so it may be ok to use your normal water source for refilling.
    15'x30' IG - Roman-style - 14K - Pebble Fina Classico
    Filter: Jandy CL460 Pump: Jandy Stealth SHPF1.5 SWG: Jandy AquaPure 1400 Cleaner: Jandy RayVac Test Kit: TF-100 w/SpeedStir

    Chlorine/CYA Chart----Extended Test Kit Directions----SLAM

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    How did you get a CYA reading of 200?
    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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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    I assume you did a dilution on the Cya, but in any event, getting it down should be a high priority. You will have a battle on your hands until you do. Where are you located and do you plan on closing your pool? Knowing your location would help in other instances, so please add that to your sig line.

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Than you for your quick replies. This is a great forum with a wealth of info. I look forward to gaining the knowledge I need to return the favor to others. I am in the central valley in California and do not plan to close the pool at least for my first winter as a pool owner. The soft water refill was not intentional as the last owner mistakenly told me all outside spigots were hard water. I will bypass the water softener the next time I refill to save on regens. The CH on the hard water tested this morning was 60. CYA of 200 was obtained by adding pool water to the bottom line...filling to top line with soft tap water....mixing it and then dumping it to the bottom line...I then added the reagent to the top line. After mixing and adding to view tube, reading showed 100. I then multiplied by 2.
    15x30 3.5ft to 7ft, 17.7K gal, IG plaster, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II, 150 sq-ft Hayward Cartridge, Arneson Pool Vac, TF-100 Test Kit, Auto-fill on soft water, Modesto, CA

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Since the diluted reading was around the 100 mark which you then doubled, your CYA level could easily be above 200. You could dilute yet again, and multiply by 4 to see if this confirms the ~200 number, but the accuracy is reduced each time you do this. You can definitely use the non-softened water for refills.
    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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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Welcome to tfp, snipeorod

    Sounds like you did the cya dilution correctly...and danacc may be right that your cya is actually higher than 200 since a measurement of 100 can actually be higher.

    Regardless you need to lower the cya a lot. Do you have a high water table? If you do, then you will need to be careful or your pool can pop out of the ground if you drain too much at one 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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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    The water table here is 18-25ft deep. I drained about 1.5ft of water and the next drain will probably be the same. Too scared to go any lower lol. Once the pool is full again how long should I expect to recirc the water before I can expect a correct CYA reading? By the way the water actually looks very clear.
    15x30 3.5ft to 7ft, 17.7K gal, IG plaster, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II, 150 sq-ft Hayward Cartridge, Arneson Pool Vac, TF-100 Test Kit, Auto-fill on soft water, Modesto, CA

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by snipeorod
    The water table here is 18-25ft deep. I drained about 1.5ft of water and the next drain will probably be the same. Too scared to go any lower lol. Once the pool is full again how long should I expect to recirc the water before I can expect a correct CYA reading? By the way the water actually looks very clear.
    With dilution, it will be immediate on giving a correct reading. When adding CYA there is a waiting period.

    The high FC is keeping you out of trouble...for the moment.
    15'x30' IG - Roman-style - 14K - Pebble Fina Classico
    Filter: Jandy CL460 Pump: Jandy Stealth SHPF1.5 SWG: Jandy AquaPure 1400 Cleaner: Jandy RayVac Test Kit: TF-100 w/SpeedStir

    Chlorine/CYA Chart----Extended Test Kit Directions----SLAM

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by snipeorod
    Once the pool is full again how long should I expect to recirc the water before I can expect a correct CYA reading? By the way the water actually looks very clear.
    I would give it at least an hour of pump run time before retesting.
    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: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Thanks a million guys. I am draining as I type and should be done draining another 1.5 ft in 30 min. or so. I will post new test results after pool is refilled. I plan on bypassing softener this refill.
    15x30 3.5ft to 7ft, 17.7K gal, IG plaster, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II, 150 sq-ft Hayward Cartridge, Arneson Pool Vac, TF-100 Test Kit, Auto-fill on soft water, Modesto, CA

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by snipeorod
    The water table here is 18-25ft deep. I drained about 1.5ft of water and the next drain will probably be the same. Too scared to go any lower lol. Once the pool is full again how long should I expect to recirc the water before I can expect a correct CYA reading? By the way the water actually looks very clear.
    We are probably in the same boat as far as the water table goes. The Central Valley is not known for being high unless you are close to a body of water. You should be fine with at least a 30% drain. I would even be comfortable with 50%. It's your call though.
    15'x30' IG - Roman-style - 14K - Pebble Fina Classico
    Filter: Jandy CL460 Pump: Jandy Stealth SHPF1.5 SWG: Jandy AquaPure 1400 Cleaner: Jandy RayVac Test Kit: TF-100 w/SpeedStir

    Chlorine/CYA Chart----Extended Test Kit Directions----SLAM

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Drained approximately 1.25ft. Refilled with softener bypassed. Test results are as follows:
    FC-20
    CC-1
    CYA-180 (I would have thought I would have seen a bigger drop but maybe it truly was way over 200)
    TA-160
    CH-290
    pH-7.2
    15x30 3.5ft to 7ft, 17.7K gal, IG plaster, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II, 150 sq-ft Hayward Cartridge, Arneson Pool Vac, TF-100 Test Kit, Auto-fill on soft water, Modesto, CA

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Assuming that your pool walls are vertical down to at least the bottom of the shallow end a 1 foot drain should reduce your volume and therefore your CYA level by about 19 percent. So your 1.25' drain should have reduced your CYA level by about 24 percent.

    IF your current reading of CYA is correct at 180, then draining the 3.5 feet of water in the shallow end should lower your CYA to about 60. If you want it closer to 40 you would need to do an additional 2 ft drain/refill after the 3.5 ft drain/refill. Alternatively, you could drain more than 3.5 ft to begin with and then see where you're at after refilling.
    "The early bird might get the worm, but its the second mouse that gets the cheese." ~ W. Rian Adams
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    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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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    It's looking like my CYA was a lot higher than the 200 my first test gave me. But with all that trichlor puck use maybe that's not unusual. I just completed my third drain and refilling as I type. With today's drain I have drained approximately 70% of the pool capacity. Seems like a lot for such a small change in CYA but let's see what today's results look like.
    15x30 3.5ft to 7ft, 17.7K gal, IG plaster, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II, 150 sq-ft Hayward Cartridge, Arneson Pool Vac, TF-100 Test Kit, Auto-fill on soft water, Modesto, CA

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by snipeorod
    It's looking like my CYA was a lot higher than the 200 my first test gave me. But with all that trichlor puck use maybe that's not unusual. I just completed my third drain and refilling as I type. With today's drain I have drained approximately 70% of the pool capacity. Seems like a lot for such a small change in CYA but let's see what today's results look like.
    While your total amount drained may equal 70% of your volume, multiple drain/refills don't correlate to a 70% drain done all at once.

    For example:

    If you start with 100 CYA, drain 70% all at once, you end with 30 CYA.

    If you start with a 30% drain and refill, you drop CYA to 70. Another 30% drain/refill, CYA drops to 49. A third 30% drain/refill, CYA goes to 34. Finally, it would require another 12% drain/refill to get CYA to 30. So, 30%, 30%, 30%, 12% totaling 102% of your pool volume.

    As you can see, the more you can drain each time the less water it takes, in total, to reach your final goal. Larger drains aren't always possible or recommended however due to several variables such as fill water source, whether or not you have a vinyl liner, have a high groundwater table, plumbing restrictions, local regulations, and even climate.
    "The early bird might get the worm, but its the second mouse that gets the cheese." ~ W. Rian Adams
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    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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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    I wish I could drain it all at once. But for now multiple drain/refills will have to do. Just finished another fill and CYA tested at 120. Even though it's coming down is it really worth getting CYA down now and pay for water I will not use until next summer?
    15x30 3.5ft to 7ft, 17.7K gal, IG plaster, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II, 150 sq-ft Hayward Cartridge, Arneson Pool Vac, TF-100 Test Kit, Auto-fill on soft water, Modesto, CA

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Whether or not you tackle the CYA level now, wait until next season, or do it incrementally between now and then is up to you. The main reason for keeping CYA between 30 and 50 is that at higher levels the amount of chlorine required to defeat an algae outbreak becomes increasingly cost prohibitive. As long as you closely monitor and maintain the proper FC level for a given level of CYA and keep your other chemical levels in check you should have the flexibility to address the CYA level however you prefer. Doing so may not be completely troublefree but with some effort, and luck, it can be done.

    Having said all that, given where you're at now, and a CYA level of 120, I'd just go ahead and do one more drain of 2 feet now to get into a more manageable state. A 2' drain, all at once, should get CYA to about 75. Still not ideal, but infinitely more desirable than 120. If for whatever reason you don't want to carry the process to completion now that would be a fair stopping point for the time being IMO. Your FC range would then be about 6 minimum with a target level of about 9. At those levels you wouldn't have to worry about your pH tests being distorted by a higher FC level. Personally, I'd just finish the job now, be done with it, and enjoy the benefits going forward, but only you can decide whats best for you right now.
    "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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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    Thanks for your comments. I think I will just suck it up and complete the process on Friday. At what point would you consider a water table to be high? Mine is about 18-25ft. It would be nice if I could drain 3ft or more all at one time.
    15x30 3.5ft to 7ft, 17.7K gal, IG plaster, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II, 150 sq-ft Hayward Cartridge, Arneson Pool Vac, TF-100 Test Kit, Auto-fill on soft water, Modesto, CA

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner...New to Forum

    You probably have no issues with the water table. Doing a complete IG plaster pool drain is fine if the weather and climate will allow for the plaster to be uncovered. The plaster likes it much better under water so be cautioned to drain completely only if you can refill quickly and your plaster is re submerged.

    Partial drain/refills are normally much faster and result in not that much extra expense so we tend to encourage the multiple drain/ refills(2 or 3 usually) and that covers all the precautionary things at once.
    Dave S.
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