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Thread: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

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    Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Hi Folks:

    I'm new here. I have never owned a pool before and we've lived in this house for a year. Last year I had a pool guy, two actually and I think they led me astray. The last one told me to close down the pool for the winter and put a tarp on it. Well, I'm going to take care of it myself from now on, using this site and your kind assistance.

    I got all the leaves cleaned out and did my first test today with the TFTestkit, which I bought on your recommendation. I don't know if I should replace the water or not. We did that in early spring last year. We live in Las Vegas, so there's a lot of sunlight coming. My CYA is very high, but it might be OK for this climate and the amount of sun we get. I'm more concerned with CH. Here are the numbers from today's testing:

    FC: 0
    pH: 8.5 (or more)
    TA: 70
    CH: 1500
    CYA: 70
    CC: 0

    Should I drain it and start over? Looking through these boards, it seems the only way to fix the CH is to drain it. What would you do if you were me?

    Thanks very much, in advance, for your kind assistance.

    -Dustin
    11K gal, IG plaster, Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed, 4 cartridge filter, The Pool Cleaner, Heliocol Solar heating

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Welcome to the forum, and great work on getting a good test kit to take control of your pool.

    CYA of 70 is manageable, especially given your climate. It just means you will need to be very, very diligent about keeping your FC above the minimum.

    Step one, get your pH down ASAP. Aim for 7.8 first. Then bring it to 7.4 or so from there. It clould take a lot of acid. Second, add bleach to get your FC up.

    As for your CH, I'll let others chime in on how to handle that.
    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
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    If you believe that CH reading, drain it. There's no other way. You'll end up with massive amounts of scale otherwise. It's like grow-your-own sandpaper that causes rug rash just from brushing against it. It gets very hard to keep the CSI neutral when the water warms up and the CH is above 800; almost impossible. Save some grief, bite the bullet and drain it now. If you end up with water restrictions later on this year you'll kick yourself for not doing it now. Check with the water company - if you have tiered rates, they might exempt you from them if you notify them in advance that you're draining the pool.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Thanks so much Richard and Smykowski. I really appreciate your help. I will test the CH again, just to make absolutely sure it's accurate. If it is, I will drain it on March 17. If not, I'll let you all know here. We have VERY hard water here, so I hope that the CH will be fixed upon refill. My pool guys used tabs which I think contributed to the CH number. I will be interested to see what the numbers are when I refill it with city water and have added nothing to it. Richard, thanks for the tip about checking with the water company. I appreciate it.
    11K gal, IG plaster, Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed, 4 cartridge filter, The Pool Cleaner, Heliocol Solar heating

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Welcome to TFP!

    So test the CH of your tap water if you are curious ... plus the pH and TA. That should tell you where you will start from.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Welcome to the forum Dustin.

    +1 to the above, and please let us know what you find on the new tests. Hopefully your fill water isn't too, terribly bad. Perhaps the pool guy has been adding a dry Chlorine containing calcium.
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    THANKS jbizzle! The tap water. Duh. I should have thought of that. You guys are too good. Thank you Brushpup! I will do another CH test today on the pool and the tap water and let you all know. You're the best. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have found this place and you kind people.
    11K gal, IG plaster, Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed, 4 cartridge filter, The Pool Cleaner, Heliocol Solar heating

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Well, you are most welcome, and we are glad you came and joined the club!

    Pretty soon, this stuff will be so easy, you'll fell like you're cheating.
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Ok. I retested the pool water and got the exact same reading. CH is 1500.

    It gets more interesting after I tested our tap water, which in the desert has a LOT of mineral content. CH is 575 in the tap water. So, even if I drain the pool and refill it, I won't hit the target CH.

    I suppose I could hook up an RO filter to run the tap water through to fill the pool. It would be a SLOW process, but that's the only thing I can think of to get it down to manageable levels. Do you have any other thoughts on this?
    11K gal, IG plaster, Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed, 4 cartridge filter, The Pool Cleaner, Heliocol Solar heating

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    That is about the hardest water I have heard of out of a tap ... so I still am questioning something. What size water sample are you using and how many drops are you putting in?

    Most RO filters do not have the capability to fill an entire pool. Softeners are often used for top-off water to prevent the CH from rising, but not for a full fill.
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Ok. I'm using a 10mL sample, from the bottom of the meniscus. Using the TFTestkit that you all recommend. I put in 10 drops of R-0010, mix, then 3 drops of R-0011L and then start adding R-0012 until the color turns blue, counting the drops. Pool water was 60 drops and 23 drops for tap water. Would that be correct?
    11K gal, IG plaster, Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed, 4 cartridge filter, The Pool Cleaner, Heliocol Solar heating

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    That seems right. How fast are you adding drops? And you are swirling continuously right?
    The SpeedStir helps a lot with this test in particular.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    I'm adding the drops about one a second. I didn't have the SpeedStir yesterday, but I got it in the mail today and used it for the tests today. Yep. Swirling continuously.
    11K gal, IG plaster, Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed, 4 cartridge filter, The Pool Cleaner, Heliocol Solar heating

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Well, you got the best equipment and seem to be doing it right ... just really high CH.

    You are going to have to keep close tabs on you pH and keep it in the lower 7s to avoid calcium scaling on the pool surface ... surprised you do not have it now.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Ok, so I'm assuming I need to do a 100% drain and refill. I actually can run a hose from my water softener. Should I make that one of the sources of new water and the city water (CH:575) the other source of the water or do it all city water?
    11K gal, IG plaster, Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed, 4 cartridge filter, The Pool Cleaner, Heliocol Solar heating

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Have you checked to see if RO treatment is available in your area for pools? Calsaway.com is one provider that covers a large area in AZ. Maybe they could help you find out if there is an RO service in your area. Or the local pool service companies should/might know.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustin1047 View Post
    Ok. I retested the pool water and got the exact same reading. CH is 1500.

    It gets more interesting after I tested our tap water, which in the desert has a LOT of mineral content. CH is 575 in the tap water. So, even if I drain the pool and refill it, I won't hit the target CH.

    I suppose I could hook up an RO filter to run the tap water through to fill the pool. It would be a SLOW process, but that's the only thing I can think of to get it down to manageable levels. Do you have any other thoughts on this?
    You won't reach target levels with a tap refill, but it would be well worth it to get it to a more manageable 575-600. You would have to get a relatively large RO unit to make up enough water to top off the pool. Getting one large enough to refill even half would be impractical. Your home softener may have enough capacity to take care of top-offs, but not enough to fill the pool in a practical and timely manner.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    That is about the hardest water I have heard of out of a tap ...
    Mine is 700-720, and I am hoping to be able to truck enough to adjust my first fill to 450 or so.


    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    Have you checked to see if RO treatment is available in your area for pools? Calsaway.com is one provider that covers a large area in AZ. Maybe they could help you find out if there is an RO service in your area. Or the local pool service companies should/might know.
    Welcome to the forum
    +1 on this. If you can obtain an RO service for the pool after refill, this may be your best option. It's exactly what I would do if at all possible.
    AZ and CA seem to be the states where it is most available, and I would sure look into it if I could.
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Thank you SO much Brushpup and Butterfly!! An RO service is not available in Las Vegas, but it should be. That give me food for thought.

    For the time being, I will drain as much as I can and refill. We DO have a pool filling service here and I'm going to see if they can bring RO water. That would be super sweet and much faster than doing it with tap, not to mention better quality water.

    You all are so amazingly supportive and kind here. Thank you SO much!!
    11K gal, IG plaster, Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed, 4 cartridge filter, The Pool Cleaner, Heliocol Solar heating

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie pool owner, opening pool. I need some advice.

    Don't mention it! We love helping out where we can. I'm surprised a little, but I think in time this service will beome more and more prevalent in many more markets. Let us know what you find, hopefully they can bring some better water of some kind.
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