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Thread: A complete pool newbie. HELP!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Mesa, AZ

    A complete pool newbie. HELP!

    I owned a pool 25 years ago. Decided I didn't want the headaches of taking care of it and paid a pool service to do it for me. Needless to say I learned absolutely nothing about pool care. Fast forward to a month and a half ago. New job. One of the many job requirements is maintaining a 150,000 gallon pool. My only "training" was on how to use the test kit. Everything else I've had to learn pretty much on my own. I just completed CPO certification on Wednesday. While the course was informative it didn't really cover as much of what I needed to learn about water chemistry. I can measure pool gallons, filter size etc like a pro though! To be fair I was the only one in the class with less than 3 years of pool experience. They were surprised I was sent with so little experience. They couldn't really gear the class for one newbie.

    I've done a lot of online searching but can't seem to find any straight answers. A LOT of theory and background but no answers. I'm trying to learn what chemical changes have what effect.
    I had my pool water tested Friday and all was good except CYA was at 10. I don't have the printout here at home so don't remember what everything read. I test 4 times a day and try to maintain ph @ 7.5, alk @ 90. The boss is strict at keeping the alkalinity at or above 90. That can sometimes require adding up to 25 lbs of bicarb 2-3 times a day. (25lbs raises reading 10 points in my pool). My biggest concern is that I'm seeing chlorine levels change throughout the day. Morning reading is usually 4.6-4.8 and by 3:00pm it can be as low as 1.2. I have a BECSys5 controller and sometimes I'll change the ORP setpoint from 760 to as high as 800 for an hour or so before I go home to raise the chlorine at least a little. Is that a bad idea? That 3+ point swing is what concerns me. Is it anything to worry about? Am I just being anal? We use a Pulsar4 chlorinator with cal-hypo. I would think the chlorinator and BECS controller should be able to keep it stable. The chlorinator is thoroughly cleaned every two weeks so a restriction is most likely not an issue. Would changing ph setpoint from 7.5 higher or lower help stabilize ch readings during the day? Is all that bicarb I'm adding having any affect on chlorine?

    Sorry for the long first post. I just wanted to give as much info as possible. I'll be using this site on my work computer now too so I should be able to update numbers and info as requested.

    Thanks for any help guys!

    150,000 gallons.
    IG plaster.
    Sand filters.
    Pulsar 4 chlorinator, Cal-hypo
    10 months old.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Twin Cities, MN

    Re: A complete pool newbie. HELP!

    Welcome to tfp, Turbojoe

    As you probably know from reading the forum, we are geared toward residential pool owners. That not to say we can't help you, but requirements of commercial pools can be different then residential pools.

    A couple of questions to start with:
    1. Is the pool inside or outside?
    2. What are your states requirements on maximum cya levels?
    3. How many bathers do you have/day?

    If you haven't already, I would start by reading through pool school, the link is always towards the upper right of page.

    CPO classes tend to be lacking on good chemistry so you may want to look at this posts:
    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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