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Thread: New house, old pool

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
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    New house, old pool

    Totally new to all of this. Looking for opinions on what to do next. Sorry this is so long.

    Quick back story:

    We purchased this house in October. The pool had not been opened for two years previous. We had someone open it about three weeks ago. The filter was a very old DE filter. The pool had been closed correctly and everything (surprisingly) worked as expected. The pool held all of its water for the entire two years and the water was green, but the pool guy said it looked really good for two years.

    After it was opened, we started shocking it. We started with 5 pounds. That did nothing so over the next few days we kept shocking it more and more. Eventually (after 32 lbs) the water cleared completely. Almost too clear. It looked like a giant bathtub. Once cleared, we vacuumed the bottom because it was really gross. After that, the water turned nasty looking again so we added another three pounds of shock. The water turned a really pretty light blue as I believe it should be and has remained that way ever since.

    The old DE filter was a huge pain and needed to be backwashed very frequently, even after the pool was cleared up. We were spending a ton of time and money it. So 5 days ago we bought a new sand filter and installed it. Works like a champ. We did need to backwash once, but that was because we vacuumed the bottom again. Other than that, the pool is staying clear and nice so we moved on to getting the chemicals balanced.

    That's where you all come in

    The test kit we have sucks so we ended up taking a sample to the pool store today. They gave us results and told us what we need to do to fix it. I'm not sure what they said to do is correct so I'm hoping some of the smart people on here can give me some advice on their recommendations.

    Total Chlorine (1.0-3.0): 3.3
    Free Chlorine (1.0-3.0): 2.6
    pH (7.2-7.6): 6.4
    Total Alkalinity (100-150): 40
    Calcium Hardness (200-400): 50
    Stabilizer (30-100): 0

    Recommendation:
    Step 1: Add 20 lb, 11 oz Spectrum Alkalinity Rise
    Step 2: Add 4 lb Spectrum Ph Rise
    Step 3: Add 46 lb Spectrum Calcium Rise (46 lbs???)
    Step 4: Add 9 lb, 9oz Spectrum Stabilizer

    Does this seem right? I'm guessing all this is going to be very expensive. We already have the pH rise, but that's it. And 20 and 46 pounds both seem like a super high amount of chemicals. Do we really need this much?
    16' x 32' In-ground, white vinyl 23,000 gallons
    Hayward S244T sand filter (not sure of flow rate - 45?)
    Hayward 1 HP pump

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New house, old pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    Instead of using Spectrum Alkalinity Rise you can use baking soda, exact same chemical, but much less expensive. Also, while you do need to raise TA, you don't need to raise it that much.

    Yes, raise PH to at least 7.2. There are several chemicals you can use, borax (the laundry booster) is probably your best choice.

    You have a vinyl pool so there is no point in adding calcium.

    You should raise stabilizer (we call it CYA) to at least 30, and this chemical tends to need to be bought from a pool store, though Amazon carries it for a little less than most pool stores.

    While you are working on all that, do some reading in Pool School and order a better test kit
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: New house, old pool

    Thank you for that! And I will certainly start reading in Pool School
    16' x 32' In-ground, white vinyl 23,000 gallons
    Hayward S244T sand filter (not sure of flow rate - 45?)
    Hayward 1 HP pump

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: New house, old pool

    32 lbs of "shock" and you have hardly any CH or CYA. What kind of "shock" was it?
    20,000 gal in-ground plaster pool with sand filter. Replastered recently. Mostly adding bleach and acid. CYA was high when I took over.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: New house, old pool

    Regarding the stabilizer, walmart sells it. I thinks it's 12 dollars for a 4 lb container.
    walmart also has large bags of Arm and Hammer Baking soda in the pool section. 12 lb bag for about 7 dollars. (at least in mine they do).

    Read Pool school and learn the troube free method and you will take back the "gonna be expensive" comment. It isnt very expensive at all if you know what to do and dont let the algae get back in control !!!!

    1st on teh shopping list should also be one of the recommended test kits. The Taylor K2006 or the TF-100. The price of the TF 100 is slightly higer, but it has much more testing regents and you can do wayyy more testing than with the Taylor kit. So cost wise over time, the TF 100 is the better deal. By Far.

    enjoy the pool and we look forward to seeing your clear blue sparkling pool. By the way, the water IS supposed to be Crystal Clear, like a bath tub, and not a hazy blue color. The hazy blue is caused by billions of solid particles suspended in the water. Your filter will filter that out over a matter of a few days.

    Now my observation of your Test Results, I am only going to comment on the FC, Assuming the results are correct, however being pool store tests, they are highly subject to accuracy.

    TC - FC = CC (Combined Chlorine) is 0.7 which is too high. CC should be below 0.5. Think of combined chlorine as a soldier which has died in battle. It succumbed battling the enemy, which is something organic in your water. Most likely algae. If CC is greater than 0.5, then there are too many dead soldiers and there is some organics still living in it and the pool needs to be SLAMMED (slam is the TFP word for shock).

    Stay on top of ridding your pool of the algae. Shocking is not a 1 or 2 time shot and then forget about it. You must constantly maintain proper Free Chloring level to keep killing it until you get it all. When CC drops below 0.5, and you can pass the overnight chlorine loss test, then you are in good shape.

    Hopefully by the time you read this, you will have read enough of Pool School to at least recognize some of it. If not, keep reading!!

    good luck!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: New house, old pool

    Quote Originally Posted by SwimAustin View Post
    32 lbs of "shock" and you have hardly any CH or CYA. What kind of "shock" was it?
    The first 24 lbs was PoolBrand Quick Dissolving Shock and the rest was Aqua Chem Shock Xtra Blue. Are these bad brands to buy?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Divin Dave,

    Thank you so much for the information. How much shock is recommended at this point? Should I throw in another 5 lbs and see what happens? Or less since the pool is no longer green? And should I do that before I try to fix any of the other chemical levels?
    16' x 32' In-ground, white vinyl 23,000 gallons
    Hayward S244T sand filter (not sure of flow rate - 45?)
    Hayward 1 HP pump

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: New house, old pool

    So I just read the instructions on SLAMing the pool. I'm still a little confused. According to the chart, I'd need to bring the FC to 10. How do I know how much bleach will do this (If I chose to use bleach instead of actual chlorine) and where do I actually put the bleach? Is the bleach better than using the powered shock that I have?
    16' x 32' In-ground, white vinyl 23,000 gallons
    Hayward S244T sand filter (not sure of flow rate - 45?)
    Hayward 1 HP pump

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: New house, old pool

    at pool math on the tab at the top. Once you set your pool size and desired target, it will tell you how much you need. Pay attention to these guys, they definitely know what they are doing. You definitely need a good test kit. Pool stores are very unreliable with their testing. Won't be long before you have a trouble free pool.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New house, old pool

    Welcome to the forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by saranicole View Post
    Should I throw in another 5 lbs and see what happens? Or less since the pool is no longer green? And should I do that before I try to fix any of the other chemical levels?
    Our philosophy here is never to put something in the pool unless the pool needs it, and then you put in exactly what it needs. Like bradwell said, you would use PoolMath to do the calculations for you and then dose the pool. In your case, you would add enough washing soda or borax to bring your pH up to 7.2, add enough baking soda to bring your TA up to 70, add enough CYA to bring it up to 30, then enough liquid bleach to bring it up to 12. You would then test and dose as often as necessary to keep the FC level at (or slightly above) 12 for as much time as it takes to clean the pool.

    Chlorine is chlorine is chlorine. Whether you use pucks, powders, or liquid, once it hits the pool, it becomes FC to keep the pool clean. The difference is that solid forms of chlorine will affect the other parameters of your chemistry, while liquid will only raise chlorine. If you haven't yet, take a look at the link in my signature. That article in pool school helps to explain it.
    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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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: New house, old pool

    +1

    Bleach is real Chlorine, it's just in liquid form, and it comes in different strengths. Use the Pool Math as advised and you'll be fine.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    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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