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Thread: Houston, we have a problem...

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    Houston, we have a problem...

    Howdy all! David here, from the Houston area. I just stumbled onto this web site yesterday, and I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time here. Not sure why I haven't found this before. I belong to quite a number of other forums - autos, motorcycles, home brewing, etc. I've been a pool owner for over 10 years at two different residences. I've always just fumbled around, doing what I thought made sense and following the directions of the local pool store employees. Chlorine tabs here, shock there, algecide when needed. I do just enough to stay 1/2 step ahead of the green monster! Well after 24 hours a member, and several hours of reading, I've already learned quite a few new things. I ordered a complete test kit yesterday. I wanted the TFP-100, but I needed it FAST and wasn't prepared to spend $110 total for overnight shipping. I was able to get the K-2006 with overnight shipping (should arrive on Friday) from Amazon (thank you Prime!) for $60. I assume I can use the refill kit sold here when I run out and just refill the smaller Taylor bottles.

    I realize there is not much to ask here before I can do testing, but in a nutshell I have a nasty green pool due to the weather in Houston finally warming up. I don't do a lot of maintenance over the cooler months, just keep the leaves from getting too thick on the bottom, run the pump about 4 hours a day, clear the skimmer, and keep the auto clorinator full of 3" tabs. I also have a floater with more 3" tabs.

    I cleaned my filters last weekend, which usually results in relatively clear water within a day or two, but I don't seem to be getting much water flow. The pressure gauge is reading 32, which seems higher than normal with clean filters. We had a rainstorm coming in, so I wasn't quite as thorough as usual, so I'll pull them out again on Saturday and clean them off some more. I'll also clean the pump basket again, but what else could be slowing down the water flow? Of course I'm keeping the skimmer basket cleared.

    I'm looking forward to converting over to the BBB method. Would it do any harm to go ahead and dump some Clorox in tonight before my test kit arrives? I'd like to put my Polaris back in the water, but the green water is so thick I can't even tell if there are a lot of leaves on the bottom or not. I had removed most of them with my net about three weeks ago before the weather had warmed up and the water was still clear. Although, with the pump not producing much flow, it may not be able to power the Polaris anyway, so obviously I need to solve that issue first.

    I'll keep reading, but if anyone would like to point me to some particularly pertinent threads, I would be most appreciative. I look forward to meeting some of you on here, and one day being more of a helper as I soak in all the knowledge that is to be found here. Did I mention that I LOVE forums!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    You said your pool is green. That can clog a cartridge filter in a matter of hours. You can put some chlorine in, but it is really not worth it as you do not know how much is needed to get to SLAM level which is a function of your CYA (See the FC/CYA Chart)

    Given your admitted use of trichlor tablets, you will likely find that you CYA is way too high and the first step is going to be replacing water to get that back in check.

    How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    Then start reading about the SLAM Process and these:
    Defeating Algae
    Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW, since you are going to be having to SLAM ... you are going to run out of the FAS-DPD reagents in that kit very quickly. This is one reason we recommend the TF-100 and also the XL option when SLAMMING. You should order some more R-0870 and R-0871 now.
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Welcome to the forum! Best thing you can do at the moment is do everything you can to remove any solid waste from the bottom of the pool (leaves, acorns, beer cans, lawn chairs!) Keep the top skimmed with a leaf net till the test kit arrives to keep from adding to the problem. Expect your cya level to be out the roof and prepare to drain your pool by at least half would be a good guess.
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Thanks for the quick reply! Yes, I've been reading in the Pool school, and I did find the other two posts that you referred to. Hopefully you are right that I just clogged up the filters again very quickly, although I have never seen it happen this fast before, and I have had MANY green pools! I'll just wait until the test kit arrives before I add anything.

    I'll go ahead and order more of those two items. Have you guys ever considered offering your supplies on Amazon? Your prices are fine, but the shipping is outrageous. Those two items alone are over $30 shipped here. I can get them for less than $20 on Amazon and have them in two days.

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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp View Post
    Welcome to the forum! Best thing you can do at the moment is do everything you can to remove any solid waste from the bottom of the pool (leaves, acorns, beer cans, lawn chairs!) Keep the top skimmed with a leaf net till the test kit arrives to keep from adding to the problem. Expect your cya level to be out the roof and prepare to drain your pool by at least half would be a good guess.
    I know there are a few solids on the bottom, but shouldn't be too bad. It just turned green less than two weeks ago. But hard to pull them out when I can't see them. I back up to a golf course with big oak and pine trees. They are blooming this time of year, so those little squiggly things are falling constantly. I'm emptying the skimmer morning and night, but no one is home all day to do any skimming with a net. Not excited about draining. Between that and all the filter cleaning the water bill is going to be through the roof. Hope I can make up for it in chemical savings. So you guys really don't use those tablets at all? What do I do with my auto clorinator? Just empty it and put the flow setting on the highest level?

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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasGolfer View Post
    So you guys really don't use those tablets at all? What do I do with my auto clorinator? Just empty it and put the flow setting on the highest level?
    Yep, I really don't use tablets. As for your chlorinator, I'd empty it, but open it all the way. That way no water gets stagnant in there. I personally ripped mine out and replumbed it.
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Welcome, to answer your questions, I will not hurt anything to go ahead and add some bleach now, although without continued testing and dosing there is a good chance you will loose any headway it makes before you are ready to start the slam process. Think of this like throwing one bucket of water on a brush fire, it will knock it back momentarily, but in the end will likely make little difference.

    As to your question about offering the TF-100 on Amazon, I have asked Dave the site owner and owner to TF TestKits about this and it seems Amazon wants some absurdly high percentage of the profits for niche product vendors like this, which is unfortunate given Amazons buying power when it comes to low shipping rates. Having said that Dave does ship fast (same or next day usually), I live about 150 miles from you and usually get my test supplies in 2 or 3 days, which I know does not help much when you want it tomorrow.

    Ike

    p.s. If I were you I would just go ahead and bite the bullet and order a full TF-100 kit with the XL option, plus speed stir, if you join this site as a life member you get a discount on it too since I expect you will be out of test reagents for both the CYA and Chlorine tests on your K-2006 before you get the pool cleared up. Or you could just order reagents as you asked about above, but the whole kit is not that much more and you get the box, plus the larger easier to read CYA comparison tube. As to the Speed Stir, once you try it you will ask how you ever lived without it. I have yet to see a single post on here where anyone regretted buying it after trying it.
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Keep the chlorinator for use during summer vacation or long weekends.
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski View Post
    Yep, I really don't use tablets. As for your chlorinator, I'd empty it, but open it all the way. That way no water gets stagnant in there. I personally ripped mine out and replumbed it.
    OK thanks. I'll empty it tonight, and take the floater out of the water as well. I just wish I had found this a couple of days sooner, cause I also dumped two pounds of shock in on Tuesday night.

    Since I probably have this CYA problem, and I'm ordering extra testing reagents, should I also get more R-0013? Not sure how much comes with the K-2006.

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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Do you know what kind of "shock" you used, was it Cal-Hypo or Dichlor? only Dichlor and TriChlor contain CYA. Cal-Hypo adds FC plus Calcium, which can be an issue for people with high CH fill water which I doubt you have. Also CalHypo can temporarily cloud the water so that is another reason we suggest avoiding it when trying to clear up a pool.

    ps see my PS above
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Hi, welcome to TFP! I would wait until your test kit arrives to start the slam process. Adding bleach blindly won't speed up the process any and you've already got a swamp going, so do the tests first. If you need to drain to lower the CYA you will want to do that before starting the slam process.
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    According to the Recommended Test Kits article, the K-2006 can test the CYA about 8 times and the TF-100 about 16 times.
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    Do you know what kind of "shock" you used, was it Cal-Hypo or Dichlor? only Dichlor and TriChlor contain CYA. Cal-Hypo adds FC plus Calcium, which can be an issue for people with high CH fill water which I doubt you have. Also CalHypo can temporarily cloud the water so that is another reason we suggest avoiding it when trying to clear up a pool.

    ps see my PS above
    Thanks. I used this:
    http://www.lesliespool.com/Leslies-P...-Plus-Bags.htm

    I appreciate your suggestion, but as I stated earlier, I already bought a complete K-2006 set. Your suggestion of another full set plus XL kit comes to just a tad under $100 with shipping. I can get extras of the three primary chemicals for $30. I would hope this will be enough to last me well into this swimming season. Maybe by next year I'll be ready for another kit and the lifetime membership/donation.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    That is cal-hypo. Each bag will add 5.5ppm FC and 3.9ppm CH in a 14k gallon pool ... you too can get these numbers at the bottom of PoolMath.

    I would not get another full kit. Just get the extra FAS-DPD and CYA reagents that you will likely need this year.

    Note: I guarantee you would get better customer service from Dave (owner of tftestkits and this forum) than from someone at Amazon if you run into a problem.
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    That is cal-hypo. Each bag will add 5.5ppm FC and 3.9ppm CH in a 14k gallon pool ... you too can get these numbers at the bottom of PoolMath.

    I would not get another full kit. Just get the extra FAS-DPD and CYA reagents that you will likely need this year.

    Note: I guarantee you would get better customer service from Dave (owner of tftestkits and this forum) than from someone at Amazon if you run into a problem.
    Thanks, and duly noted. I'm sure once I have been here a little longer I will have the same loyalties that you do now.

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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    hmmm, I did my first CYA test with that kit this week and it requires 7 oz of the reagent per test. Perhaps there is a "half dose" test for CYA but I can't imagine getting 8 tests out of it. That's 56 oz of reagent.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Yeah, I think the ~8 tests is VERY optimistic. You just need to mix the reagent 50/50 with the pool water. So if you know your CYA is high, you could use less of the reagent.

    Wait, I don't think you need 7oz regent to mix with 7 oz of pool water ... that would give you a sample bigger than a can of Coke

    EDIT: OK I had to check what was going on here ... you actually use 7 mL which is ~0.25 oz for each test. The K-2006 comes with 1.5 oz so you should get 6 tests out of it unless you use a smaller sample.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasGolfer View Post
    Thanks, and duly noted. I'm sure once I have been here a little longer I will have the same loyalties that you do now.
    I understand your reluctance ... but look at what you have now spent $60 for the K-2006 plus $20 for some refills and you still can do fewer FAS-DPD and CYA tests than the TF-100 and you do not have the OTO chlorine test.

    Personally I am not sure there was really a need to overnight the kit, but that was your decision. These kits are heavy and shipping is not cheap.

    No matter, you will have a great test kit regardless of where you got it
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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Welcome.

    Many many people on this forum from Houston and the surrounding areas.

    Read Pool School and then read it again. Get the **** out the bottom and the top of the pool while you wait for your test kit. Then test and start plugging away.

    One thing I noticed is that when you get the pool chemistry dialed in, not much to it to keep it maintained properly.

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    Re: Houston, we have a problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    That is cal-hypo. Each bag will add 5.5ppm FC and 3.9ppm CH in a 14k gallon pool ... you too can get these numbers at the bottom of PoolMath.

    I would not get another full kit. Just get the extra FAS-DPD and CYA reagents that you will likely need this year.

    Note: I guarantee you would get better customer service from Dave (owner of tftestkits and this forum) than from someone at Amazon if you run into a problem.
    So, as I'm starting to understand things a little better, this particular shock, which is 73% cal-hypo, is actually a pretty good (acceptable?) product to use for my SLAM. Correct? I mean, I've already bought it and have it on hand, so I might as well use it, right?

    While waiting for my test kit to arrive (sometime today) I'm playing around with the Pool math calculator, putting in some possible scenarios so that I can do some shopping and have enough supplies, especially chlorine on hand. If it turns out that my CYA is high, and I can get it down to 60 by draining some water, and my FC is 0, calculator says I need 507 ounces of 8.25% chlorine to bring it up to shock level. That's over 4 jugs! For just the first application! And I should expect to do this 4-5 times, or more? Does this sound right (possible)?

    As an alternative, I could use 62 ounces (just under 4 bags) of cal-hypo. Bleach is $3 a jug at Walmart, and the shock is about $4.50 a bag when bought in bulk, so the cost differences aren't that immense, especially considering the inconvenience of buying 15-20 jugs of chlorine. So I guess my question is, if I don't mind spending a bit more, is it perfectly okay to use the cal-hypo for my SLAM? Or even a combination of both cal-hypo and bleach?

    Thanks!

    EDIT: I mis-remembered! The cal-hypo is actually less than $3.50 a bag, so CHEAPER than bleach.

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