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Thread: New pool basic information/input

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    robm's Avatar
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    New pool basic information/input

    Hello everyone, this definitely appears to be the very best place to come and learn more about pool care, as the pool store no doubtedly is just trying to upsell the daylights out of us. We have moved into a home in Florida with what appears to be a very clear and clean pool. It has 3 (normal I guess) sized floater feeders and one (small) one with the stabilizer tablets in them, which I have been replacing each time they ran out until I found this forum and learned they can become more of a detriment to the pool than a help. We have been swimming in it with no adverse effects thus far and I have added liquid chlorine at one point as per store employees direction/suggestion. With no more than 6way test strips for initial testing, though I do intend to purchase the K-2006 test kit everyone is speaking highly of throughout the forums. So, without further blathering on my part, this is what I am seeing on said strips:

    *If fields were not labeled the same on these strips as they were on this website, I used my best guess as to what it meant in ()*

    FC - appears on strip to be (very high)20ppm
    CC - (total chlorine?) appears on strip to be (between ok-high) 3-10ppm
    pH - appears on strip to be (low) 6.8
    TA - appears on strip to be (very low)40ppm
    CH - (total hardness?) appears on strip to be (very high)1000ppm
    CYA - (stabilizer?) appears on strip to be (very low)0-50ppm
    Borates - Unknown if these were used prior.

    Was just hoping to see some initial responses from those much more experienced than myself, who's main goal is to get a buck out of my wallet one way or the other.

    Thanks in advance!
    16K Gal With-Spa, IG Plaster, Flotec 1.5hp pump, Cartridge Filter, Zodiac T3 Cleaner.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    First thing I would suggest is getting the TF-100 test kit, it is a better deal than the K-2006: Recommended Test Kits. Also adding the SpeedStir greatly helps when running the tests.

    You are right though, test strips are not going to be very helpful. For example, they are reporting a low CYA, and yet you report using a LOT of trichlor tablets, so I would be surprised if your CYA is not actually too high.

    Some notes about your guesses:
    Total Chlorine = FC + CC
    CH is not really the same as total hardness
    CYA is stabilizer

    I would be hesitant to make any recommendation based on only test strip results.

    How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:

    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    robm's Avatar
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    new pool owner

    Hello everyone, thanks for reading my post! This definitely appears to be the very best place to come for advice/learning about pool care! I have moved into a home here in Florida, and it has what appears to be a clear and clean pool, in the supply box was only 6way test strips which I have used. I DO plan on purchasing the K-2006 everyone is recommending as it seems to be the most comprehensive for the price point. One note is that it has 3 (normal size I guess) floater-feeders and one (smaller) feeder with the stabilizer tablets in them, which I have been replacing as they run out. That is until I read here about how they can become more of a problem than a help. What I am seeking here is just simple advice as to what I can do to improve what seem to be less than desirable test result despite good looking water. So without further blathering, this is what I am seeing on said strips:

    *non-matching fields according to this site were filled in as best as I could guess their meanings in ()*

    Strip Test Results:
    FC - appears on strip to be (very high)20ppm
    CC - (total chlorine?) appears on strip to be (between ok-high) 3-10ppm
    pH - appears on strip to be (low) 6.8
    TA - appears on strip to be (very low)40ppm
    CH - (total hardness?) appears on strip to be (very high)1000ppm
    CYA - (stabilizer?) appears on strip to be (very low)0-50ppm
    Borates - Unknown if these were used prior.

    As you can see there are some extremes here, so I was just wondering what the pool people here thought off the tops of their heads, any and all comments are much appreciated, and I thank you in advance for them!
    We (my family) have been discussing the switch to a salt system next season but that is a story for another post.
    16K Gal With-Spa, IG Plaster, Flotec 1.5hp pump, Cartridge Filter, Zodiac T3 Cleaner.

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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    I agree that the test strips are suspect, but they are probably right about the PH being low. Trichlor tablets lower the PH, and if you haven't been raising the PH regularly all along it is quite likely to be too low now. Keeping PH in range is one of the most important things, you don't want PH going below 7.0, and you don't want to wait too long to fix it if it is already below 7.0.

    Everything else can wait for more reliable test results, but PH seems worth working on fairly soon.

    Also, please don't ask the same question in more than one place.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    Yes apologies, the first time I posted, I did not see my post so I made a second. Yes absolutely I have read all three of those topics, almost all of the pool school topics in fact. I will look at the T-100 set also. Baking soda will help me achieve the proper PH I am looking for then, just a matter of figuring out the quantity to add is my next step? Also, a few days ago, I noticed a fuzz-like looking (almost like dirt) forming on the surface, I quickly grabbed the skimmer net and remove it each morning, am I right in thinking this is the beginnings of algae? It seems to be coming back within hours of removing it, although it does not have any particular feel to it when I touch it. Also am I on the right track to just take the floater-feeders out completely?
    16K Gal With-Spa, IG Plaster, Flotec 1.5hp pump, Cartridge Filter, Zodiac T3 Cleaner.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    Nope. Baking soda raises the TA not the pH. Go back and re-read the 2nd link

    Then you will need to learn to use PoolMath to figure out how much chemical to add for a desired change.

    I would take the floaters out and just use bleach ... and get that kit ordered ASAP.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    Unfortunately I must wait till the end of the month before I can order that T100. But I did see there Borax as the solution thank you, but my alkalinity is also low according to this "Test" and I remember reading the baking soda will raise that up. I will have to check out the poolmath as I had not yet. Just a bit overwhelmed by all the information I need to take in to get everything balanced and good to go! Thanks again!
    16K Gal With-Spa, IG Plaster, Flotec 1.5hp pump, Cartridge Filter, Zodiac T3 Cleaner.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    The problem is you do not know if the TA is 0, 20, 40ppm etc ... so how do you know how much to raise it?

    With the pH you can add borax until you get a reasonable pH and that will also raise the TA some as well.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    Well, on the strip its saying 40ppm for TA. Poolmath is requesting 225oz of baking soda and 88oz of borax! wow! Maybe I am doing this wrong, I am unsure but I double checked and it looks like what I have punched in here is accurate as far as the strip goes anyway.
    16K Gal With-Spa, IG Plaster, Flotec 1.5hp pump, Cartridge Filter, Zodiac T3 Cleaner.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    You can not adjust TA and pH independently. I get the same numbers as you with a TA target of 100 (I would only raise it to 70) and a pH of 7.5

    Just get the pH in range and deal with the TA when you get a good test kit.

    OR (and I hesitate to even suggest it since the results are barely better than your test strips) find a local pool store that does Taylor drop-based water testing and get a second opinion.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    yea I went to the local pool store and they suggested alkalinity increaser and more tabs...as well as phosphate remover, clarifier, etc... I am disappointed to say the least after reading up on things here lol. money-money-money, right?
    16K Gal With-Spa, IG Plaster, Flotec 1.5hp pump, Cartridge Filter, Zodiac T3 Cleaner.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    Do you have the results from the pool store? Post them up. I certainly would not buy any of the stuff they are trying to sell to you though. No need for clarifiers, algaecides, or phosphate removers ... they are all a waste of money.

    The test kits are pricey, but they are an investment that will save you money on unnecessary chemicals almost immediately.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    I do not have the sheet anymore ill have to fill another vial and take it back up there, probably tomorrow, fortunately its free for the test. Will post ASAP thanks! Yes I learned a lot so far just reading all the different topics. Will have to read and re-read to retain more each time for sure. My family is looking at me funny when I say "We must go to the local store and get baking soda, borax, and bleach, instead of the pool store, funny stuff."
    16K Gal With-Spa, IG Plaster, Flotec 1.5hp pump, Cartridge Filter, Zodiac T3 Cleaner.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    You are one of the few cases where you actually NEED all three Bs ... most people never need baking soda or borax. That is one reason we are trying to get away from the BBB name and now refer to it as the TFPC method.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    I am still unable to make it to the pool store to get the free test done very very busy with the new house and all (its a fixer upper). I came outside this morning to a surprise though. The water itself is still very clear and clean looking aside from the surface of the pool water was what looks like a film of (dirt)? It was not slimy to the touch, but still worried me, so I immediately removed all I could see with the skimmer net, then proceeded to clean the filter as I do each week, normally the filter washes out a white milky looking water, as it did this time, but I noticed some green on the filter...I feel like I am headed for some serious trouble, or maybe paranoid? I did start brushing the sides though, each week, maybe this is part of it. I am still having to wait till the end of the month to order the T100 and get some reliable numbers to post, just wondered what your thoughts were. Its just so darn scary not knowing what is really happening!thanks.
    16K Gal With-Spa, IG Plaster, Flotec 1.5hp pump, Cartridge Filter, Zodiac T3 Cleaner.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    You are certainly heading for trouble since you are trying to operate completely blind. Are you adding chlorine every day?

    You should only need to clean you filter when the pressure rises 20-25% over the clean pressure.
    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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  17. Back To Top    #17
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    Re: New pool basic information/input

    I am adding some each day yes, although today I ran out, and am really hoping it was just dirt blown in from me scrubbing and sweeping the deck the day before. Will post pool test results in 9 days, once I have a way to get all I will need to get everything up and running towards a TFP! I am eager to start maintaining the pool properly for sure.
    16K Gal With-Spa, IG Plaster, Flotec 1.5hp pump, Cartridge Filter, Zodiac T3 Cleaner.

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