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Thread: New pool owner learning fast

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    New pool owner learning fast

    Greetings,

    We purchased our home back in August and it has a pool which is about 3 yrs old. The previous owners had a pool service so we continued with them. Things had been ok until about a month ago when I started questioning how our pool was being maintained. About 3-4 weeks ago I noticed the pool water was a little cloudy. The filter pressure was high also in the 27-28 range. So I ventured into cleaning the filter cartridges and taking a water sample to Leslies. Cleaning the filter brought the pressures down to about 12 but the cartridges were pretty stained even after cleaning, several bands broken. The water test from Leslies showed high CYA levels (200+) and high calcium hardness. The guy at Leslies said the pool had probably been maintained with tabs and there was too much CYA in the pool, it would need to be drained. He suggested close to a complete refill. He really didn't try to push or sell me anything. Just stressed the water needs to be diluted.

    Talked to the pool service guy about the cloudy water, they noticed it too and so we looked at the pump, filter etc. He felt that the cartridges needed to be replaced and the water should clear up with new carts. I asked him about the CYA and he said Leslies was off base. He said they routinely keep the CYA levels around 150 and that's fine. So I thought maybe Leslies test was off a bit.

    But after researching here and elsewhere it seems things are not fine. I got the Taylor 2006 test kit to check things myself. I also ordered new Hayward carts which I have not installed yet.

    Here are my test results -

    CYA was difficult. I knew it would be high so I took a 50/50 mix of pool water and tap water but the test level was well below the 100 mark so I took 7ml of that and mixed with 7ml of tap and redid the test expecting to multiply the result by 3. It was close to 100 at that point so I think the CYA was about 300+ (Uggg!)

    FC - 1.5 ppm
    CC - 0 ppm
    pH - 7.8
    TA - 190 ppm
    CH - 600 ppm
    CYA - 300+ ppm

    So now...I cleaned the filter (old ones) and the pressure drops to 14 but within a few days, the pressure is back up to 24. The water is slighty cloudy, no obvious signs of any algae but outside temps have only been in the 50s-60s.

    I'm not sure how to drain the pool but it seems that is the best way to get things back in balance at this point before summer comes and I have a real crisis on my hands. See if this plan seems reasonable:

    1. Ditch the pool guy and his CYA at 150 is ok. (I think I'd be happy if it were only 150 at this point)
    2. Drain the pool at least 75% (not sure how to do that with my equipment)
    3. install the new cartridges with the new water
    4. Test the water and balance based on new test results
    5. Use liquid cholorine going forward, try to follow things here to keep the FC and other parms at a normal level.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Obviously being a new pool owner and having to jump in I have a lot to learn.

    Thanks
    18K gal, IG Concrete (colored), Hayward C3025 cart. filter, Hayward Tristar 2-speed 1.85 HP pump, pool is 4yrs old, Hayward Navigator XL vac

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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Welcome to the site, you are on the fast track to a well maintained sparkly pool. Since you have cart filters you can not drain like a sand filter. You should have a spigot plumbed into your system near your fliter. You can use that spigot to drain your pool but you will also need a diverter valve that goes at the bottom of your skimmer. Another option is to buy or rent a submersible pump and hose to drain the pool. There may be other options but I'm not sure. Post some pics of your pump, filter and valve set up, it will make getting help a lot easier. A pic of your pool would be nice as well.
    it sounds like you are ahead of the game so I would say get the CYA out and new water in and go from there. Might as well stock up on some bleach cause you will need it no matter how you look at it.
    11,872 Gallon IG Shotcrete play pool
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Welcome!

    It sounds like you have it figured out. Firing my pool guy was one of the best things I ever did. The costs of a vacuum, and a couple brushes, and a hose and a new pole were repaid in less than three months. And my pool has never been cloudy or green since.

    One thing, though. From what I'm reading, you took a 50/50 mix and diluted it again 50/50, which means the CYA test results need to be multiplied by 4. Which doesn't make a lot of difference; drained is drained.

    I'd go browse the website for your local water company. If yours is like mine, they'll slap hefty penalties on you for overuse when it's a dry year. With one loophole: you are allowed a pool refill every three years, but you need to contact them in advance so they know and don't ding you and stick a flow limiter on your meter (at your expense!)
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Welcome!

    One thing, though. From what I'm reading, you took a 50/50 mix and diluted it again 50/50, which means the CYA test results need to be multiplied by 4. Which doesn't make a lot of difference; drained is drained.
    Hi, sorry for not getting back right away. Yes, I think you were right. Ultimately, I repeated the test with 1 part pool water and 3 parts tap water. Then did the test and multiplied by 4. Yikes! CYA seemed to be close to 400.... I'm not sure how they didn't have problems last summer with things that way.

    So I decided to get it over with while the weather wasn't too hot. Called the utility company and fortunately, I just had to let them know I needed to drain. I rented a pump from Home Depot. It took me 6.5 hours but I got it done. Checking with some pool companies here, pop-out doesn't seem to be a concern. Water table is a ways down.

    So the pool is refilling now. I cancelled my pool service today also.

    At this point I picked up some Kem-Tek 10% liquid chlorine from Home Depot. Not sure if I should add any now or wait until I can get the pump and filter going.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice and help on this site, I probably would not have taken this on without all the information available here.

    Thanks
    18K gal, IG Concrete (colored), Hayward C3025 cart. filter, Hayward Tristar 2-speed 1.85 HP pump, pool is 4yrs old, Hayward Navigator XL vac

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    New pool owner learning fast

    You can wait to it's filled to add your chlorine. If it's bothering you with no chlorine in there you can add some . Wouldn't hurt a thing. Are you filling from a garden hose ?

    After she's filled get your chlorine in there. Adjust PH if needed and add stabilizer.

    Taking charge of your pool yourself is a smart move.

    Good job ! 👍
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Quote Originally Posted by pwrstrk View Post
    You can wait to it's filled to add your chlorine. If it's bothering you with no chlorine in there you can add some . Wouldn't hurt a thing. Are you filling from a garden hose ?

    After she's filled get your chlorine in there. Adjust PH if needed and add stabilizer.

    Taking charge of your pool yourself is a smart move.

    Good job ! ��
    I'm by no means an expert, but he seems to be at the same point I'm at. I replaced 80% of my water and needed to add cya. I had some leftover trichlor pellets from the previous owner that I'm using to get my cya to an acceptable level then back to bleach/liquid chlorine.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Quote Originally Posted by Enzman View Post
    I'm by no means an expert, but he seems to be at the same point I'm at. I replaced 80% of my water and needed to add cya. I had some leftover trichlor pellets from the previous owner that I'm using to get my cya to an acceptable level then back to bleach/liquid chlorine.
    Hmmmm. If you replaced 80% of your 400 CYA-laden water, you have 20% left. .2 *400 leaves 80 ppm, which is still pretty darn high! I suspect you won't need much, if any, of that trichlor to raise CYA. If you do need some, be sure to keep an eye on PH, because trichlor is acidic. Look at Effects of Adding Chemicals down at the bottom of http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html to see the pH shift.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    New pool owner learning fast

    I shouldn't have said to add stabilizer until he retested and see where it was. My bad !!
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Hi all,

    So I've got my pool refilled, pump and filter are running and I've added some liquid chlorine to the water. Filter cartidges are new, pressure at a steady 10. It's amazing how light the new ones were compare to the old ones. Even after they dried out the old ones were much heavier with "stuff". My navigator is zipping around the pool with the improved flow now.

    So here are my test results after the refill. Must say it's nice to see crystal clear water in there.

    FC - 4 ppm
    CC - 0 ppm
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 110 ppm
    CH - 80 ppm
    CYA - 0 ppm

    I was surprised that the CH was so low, I thought the water would be "harder". So, it looks like I need to bring up the CH and the CYA. I was thinking to get some CYA and Calcium product to bring those up. Is there a best product to use? I saw some mentioned on the recommended chemicals page.

    Thanks
    18K gal, IG Concrete (colored), Hayward C3025 cart. filter, Hayward Tristar 2-speed 1.85 HP pump, pool is 4yrs old, Hayward Navigator XL vac

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    New pool owner learning fast

    Definitely get some stabilizer in there. You can use pucks to reach the CYA level you want to shoot for. When you get to that level STOP using them. Pool math at the bottom, effects of adding chem's will tell you how much each puck will raise your CYA level. They are acidic so they will lower your PH also.

    The other option is to use granular stabilizer. Put it in a nylon stocking and hang it in front of a return. Run pump until it's all dissolved. It can take up to a week to fully register on a test. Use pool math to determine how much to use to reach you target level.

    What ever method you use for your CYA make sure you adjust your FC level for your CYA level and don't let it fall below the minimum FC level. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...art-slam-shock

    As for the calcium I've never had to use a calcium product so I will defer that to an expert. Pool school has info on that also.

    Everything else looks good to me.
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Quote Originally Posted by pwrstrk View Post
    As for the calcium I've never had to use a calcium product so I will defer that to an expert. Pool school has info on that also.
    So I've added calcium chloride and now my CH tested at 200. I probably have enough left to raise it to 250. So should I go ahead and add it?

    Thanks
    18K gal, IG Concrete (colored), Hayward C3025 cart. filter, Hayward Tristar 2-speed 1.85 HP pump, pool is 4yrs old, Hayward Navigator XL vac

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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Normally, I would say no, just let it come up on it's own. But, if you are certain you have only enough left to take it to 250 go ahead.

    With your fill water at 80, you won't cycle up the CH that fast, so in your case, It wouldn't hurt.
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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Quote Originally Posted by Brushpup View Post
    Normally, I would say no, just let it come up on it's own. But, if you are certain you have only enough left to take it to 250 go ahead.

    With your fill water at 80, you won't cycle up the CH that fast, so in your case, It wouldn't hurt.
    Well, I added the rest of the calcium chloride I had and it brought the CH up to 220. So, I guess I should probably add a little bit more?

    Thanks
    18K gal, IG Concrete (colored), Hayward C3025 cart. filter, Hayward Tristar 2-speed 1.85 HP pump, pool is 4yrs old, Hayward Navigator XL vac

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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    If it were me, I'd let it ride. Buying more will be a good deal more than you have to have most likely. Keep the pH in the 7.5-7.8 range and let the CH increase very slowly on it's own. I'd rather be where you are than over range on the high end.
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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Quote Originally Posted by Brushpup View Post
    If it were me, I'd let it ride. Buying more will be a good deal more than you have to have most likely. Keep the pH in the 7.5-7.8 range and let the CH increase very slowly on it's own. I'd rather be where you are than over range on the high end.
    ok, Thanks

    One more question... as I've been adding liquid chlorine over the past two weeks I've had to add muriatic acid to keep the pH down. Everytime I add chlorine, let it bring the FC level back to my target, then the pH is a little high like 8.0 and I have to add acid to bring it back down. I'm assuming this is pretty much normal at this point. The TA at last check was 110. I was just surprised that I've gone through a gallon of the 15% acid in the last 2 weeks. Everything looks ok though.

    Thanks
    18K gal, IG Concrete (colored), Hayward C3025 cart. filter, Hayward Tristar 2-speed 1.85 HP pump, pool is 4yrs old, Hayward Navigator XL vac

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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    The rise in pH with liquid chlorine is normal, but a gallon/2weeks seems a bit excessive; especially in winter. I'm using about a gallon/month+ for 25K gallons.
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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    The rise in pH due to liquid chlorine is temporary. The pH will drop back down as the FC is consumed. Bleach is basically pH neutral in pools.

    Test the pH and FC, adjust both as needed, but no reason to test the pH again right after.
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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatic View Post
    The rise in pH with liquid chlorine is normal, but a gallon/2weeks seems a bit excessive; especially in winter. I'm using about a gallon/month+ for 25K gallons.
    Thanks. The acid I'm using I picked up at Home Depot. It's the Kem-Tek pool one http://www.kem-tek.com/kemtek_produc...muriatic-acid/ and I looked at the box again, it's actually 14.5%. So it's not the stronger "contractor strength" one that Kem-Tek makes also. Anyway, I'll keep an eye on things and see how it goes.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    The rise in pH due to liquid chlorine is temporary. The pH will drop back down as the FC is consumed. Bleach is basically pH neutral in pools.

    Test the pH and FC, adjust both as needed, but no reason to test the pH again right after.
    Would there be a best time to test the pH?
    18K gal, IG Concrete (colored), Hayward C3025 cart. filter, Hayward Tristar 2-speed 1.85 HP pump, pool is 4yrs old, Hayward Navigator XL vac

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Same time you test the FC daily.
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    Re: New pool owner learning fast

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    The rise in pH due to liquid chlorine is temporary. The pH will drop back down as the FC is consumed. Bleach is basically pH neutral in pools.
    With bleach at pH 11.5-12.5 and the amount we're adding, I’m curious why the upward shift is only temporary. I’m not doubting you (yet ), but if the end result of our addition is neutral, were assuming at some point the Clorox is converting / creating an acid (hypochloro-is-ic-ous? Acid). I'm certainly seeing a very steady upward drift in my pool; I feel it’s too much to attribute to loss of CO2 (spa spill over / returns). I’m sure the sun has something to do with the changes in hydroxyl ions. Either way I guess I’ll go back and confirm my TA and maybe lower it a bit anyhow and then go back to pool school and figure out why I’m wrong in my thinking
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
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