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Thread: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

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    Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Hi. Complete newbie here in need of some help. My husband and I recently bought a house that came with a rather large (at least to me) above ground pool. The previous owners filled the pool for our home inspection, so water has been sitting in the pool since late January. In the last couple of days, the water has begun to turn green as the weather gets warmer. We just figured out the sand filter/pump, but that's as far as we have gotten. Basically, we have very little idea what we are doing and no manuals or anything were left behind for our edification. We ordered the TF100 test kit, but it hasn't arrived yet. What additional items/quantities should be purchase to be prepared for the upkeep of our pool? We'd like to purchase supplies to be ready soon. Any pointers/recommendations for getting started once we have the test kit are appreciated.

    http://tftestkits.net/TF-100-Test-Kit-p4.html
    Supercal
    18,000 gallons, above ground pool, vinyl liner. Swim Pro SW256T Sand Filter, 80GPM, 35 GMP/ftsq
    More than 3 years old
    Well water

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Welcome to TFP!

    You are going to need bleach ... A lot of it ... to follow the SLAM process to clear up the pool. Until you have test results, everything else is unknown.

    Have you read Pool School yet? That may help with your understanding the chemistry.

    Congrats on the pool, while it is daunting at first, soon it will be easy to maintain and fun to enjoy.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Welcome to TFP ! 😎
    You've already made a big step in the right direction with ordering the TF100 kit ! When the kit comes post up a full set of test results for us and we'll get you on your way to clearing your pool up.
    In the meantime do some reading in pool school. Read the SLAM process and follow it to the T.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ntain-shocking
    Here is another one to read.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...nate-your-pool
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ater-chemistry
    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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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Welcome to the forum!

    The guys above have you covered. The only thing I'd emphasize is read read read. There's a lot to learn, and it wilp take multiple times through pool school before it starts to stick. Spend your time waiting on the kit absorbing as much info as Pool School and the user threads in the forum have to offer.
    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
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Yep... read Pool School front and back several times and it will seem as clear as your pool!

    Also, for any excess bleach you may have left over, keep it in a cool dark place so it doesn't degrade until you use it. I keep mine in the basement.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Welcome to the forum. You are certainly off on the right foot. You can't manage a pool properly without knowing what's in the water.

    Take Pool School in small doses and don't let all the info overwhelm you. The ABC's are fundamental, and always a good place to start.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Thank you so much for all your replies. My test kits arrived today. Is it important to have the water circulating in the pool before I test?

    Thanks!
    Supercal
    18,000 gallons, above ground pool, vinyl liner. Swim Pro SW256T Sand Filter, 80GPM, 35 GMP/ftsq
    More than 3 years old
    Well water

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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Yes, you need to circulate the water before testing, if possible. I'm 99 44/100% sure you have no chlorine, but we need the rest of the numbers. If all they did is fill it, your CYA should be zero.

    Go to Costco/WalMart/Kroger/etc. and STOCK UP on bleach. I wouldn't be afraid to tell you to bring home a dozen of the large bottles just to get started.

    Make sure whatever bleach you buy is 8.25%, and is not "outdoor", "fresh scent", "no slosh", or anything like that. JUST PLAIN BLEACH.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    So, ran the pump for about 8 hours and then tested. pH is a bit over 8.2. What's the best way to lower it? I was reading about Muriatic acid...do I have to get that from a pool supply store?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and yeah...no chlorine. I bought 10 big jugs (felt conspicuous) of 8.25% bleach. Thought for sure people thought I was cleaning a crime scene!
    Supercal
    18,000 gallons, above ground pool, vinyl liner. Swim Pro SW256T Sand Filter, 80GPM, 35 GMP/ftsq
    More than 3 years old
    Well water

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    You can buy muriatic acid at most hardware stores too. STUDY on how to SLAM the pool in pool school before you start.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Great. I will definitely read up. I did a couple other tests.... TA was 180, CH 350
    Supercal
    18,000 gallons, above ground pool, vinyl liner. Swim Pro SW256T Sand Filter, 80GPM, 35 GMP/ftsq
    More than 3 years old
    Well water

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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    In the SLAMming intructions, it says to run the filter 24/7. What type of running should it be doing? I'm assuming it should be on filter and not just recirculate??
    Supercal
    18,000 gallons, above ground pool, vinyl liner. Swim Pro SW256T Sand Filter, 80GPM, 35 GMP/ftsq
    More than 3 years old
    Well water

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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    And, we have 0 chlorine and CYA was <20 (I could still see the dot when the cylinder was full.
    Supercal
    18,000 gallons, above ground pool, vinyl liner. Swim Pro SW256T Sand Filter, 80GPM, 35 GMP/ftsq
    More than 3 years old
    Well water

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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    I guess I will jump in here also. First welcome to the forum. You came to the right spot for help and it looks like you are well on your way. To answer your last question about filter settings. It really depends on how your water looks and what kind of filter you have. You have a sand filter so you can run it in filter mode. With a green pool and carts or a DE filter, it's time consuming because they load up so fast. That's when recirculate would help. The MA does not have to come from the pool store. Just check the % on the bottle. My Lowes has MA in the pool section that's so called "safe". It's about half the strength as what's found in the paint isle and the full strength stuff is cheaper. Read read and read. You will learn a lot, taking care of a trouble free pool sounds hard but it is easy to learn if you take it in small chunks. It's about learning YOUR pools personality. They are all a little bit different. Learn to keep a log when you do your test. Then you will start to see a trend and you might not have to test as often.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by Supercal View Post
    In the SLAMming intructions, it says to run the filter 24/7. What type of running should it be doing? I'm assuming it should be on filter and not just recirculate??
    Yes, you should be filtering, and keeping an eye on the pressure. It will rise as Algae is killed and the caught in the filter.

    Usual rule of thumb is to backwash once the pressure gets about 15-20% above running clean pressure. If you don't know what that is, take note of the pressure right after you backwash and use that as your guideline. Do you have equipment to vacuum with yet?
    TFP Moderator
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    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    The pool has a hose vacuum that attaches to the pump. We haven't quite figure out how to use it yet. Right now we are trying to get the pH down so we can SLAM it. After 2 doses of Muriatic acid, it's down to 7.8 and we just have it on recirculate. I'm going to test again in a few more hours to see if the pH has lowered any more.
    Supercal
    18,000 gallons, above ground pool, vinyl liner. Swim Pro SW256T Sand Filter, 80GPM, 35 GMP/ftsq
    More than 3 years old
    Well water

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    If the pool is very green, then starting the SLAM on recirculate can reduce the frequency of cleaning the filter. Once the pool turns white when the algae is dead, then filter it out.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Yep I agree you can start the SLAM on recirculate. It will save on back washing in the beginning. This method works well if you have a cart or DE filter as they will need a lot of back washing or cleaning if it's a cart. You have a sand filter which is a little more forgiving in that regard. It's your call if you choose to filter it right away or not. 😎
    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: Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    Ok...we go the pH where it needs to be to start SLAMming. But I'm confused about CYA. I've read and reread. Our CYA is below 20 and we have 0 chlorine. Do I need to ADD CYA to the water before I add bleach? Do I start without CYA and add it later if needed?
    Supercal
    18,000 gallons, above ground pool, vinyl liner. Swim Pro SW256T Sand Filter, 80GPM, 35 GMP/ftsq
    More than 3 years old
    Well water

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Newbies in search of help and tips for getting started

    I would add enough stabilizer to get your CYA level to 20. Use pool math to determine the dosage. The reason I'm saying to add stabilizer is I don't know what the SLAM level is for zero or below 20 CYA level.
    Add the stabilizer via a sock or nylon stocking and hang it front of a return with the pump running until it's dissolved. Don't bother testing for it just assume it's there. Your SLAM level will be 10.
    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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