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Thread: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

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    Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    Hi everyone! Just discovered TFP a few days ago when researching how to get stains out of my pool. So glad to have found you ( tired of being "pool-stored").

    Here's what I can tell you about my pool:

    24K gallon gunite pool with plaster (pool is 30 years old +/-, plaster redone two years ago)
    DE filter replaced two years ago, pump older than that but can't remember offhand how old

    Had huge algae problem at opening, used algaecide/liquid shock
    Water tested at pool store, TA 52 (added TA Increaser), CH low, added CH increaser, CYA at 32, pH was 8.6 but I was told that fixing one of the other problems (don't remember which) would help with that.

    Retested two days later, pH 8.4, TA 119, CH 211, CYA 12
    Added pH decreaser, also purchased Stain Free and Metal Free to fix metal stains in bottom of pool (didn't help at all). Water looked beautiful but stains didn't!

    Today (tested at home with non-approved TFP test kit):
    Chlorine close to zero
    pH 7.2
    TA 90

    I want to do Ascorbic Acid treatment, but am facing an algae bloom. Added algaecide this morning to try to keep it from getting out of hand. Will order appropriate test kit this afternoon but probably won't get it until the end of the week.

    In what order should I attack these problems? Trying to get everything under control and swim ready by June 7 (party at my house).

    Thanks in advance for advice!!

    Stephanie
    Ft. Wright, KY

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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    Stephanie,
    2 things to tackle out of the gate:
    Order a good test kit (tf100 - see my signature or the link in pool school)
    Read pool school and the abc's of water chemistry

    Once you get your test kit and we have numbers we can trust we will guide you through clearing your pool.

    ... And skip the algaecide it's not needed.

    The only chemistry you will likely use in the near future is bleach ( aka liquid chlorination or liquid shock at the pool store ) and muriatic acid.

    Welcome to TFP!

    Chris


    Just saw that you ordered the test kit already ( missed that ... Sorry ).
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    With the fluctuating cya level ( which it wouldn't without 50% water replacement ) it's impossible to know what your CL level should be ... Much less your slam cl level. ... Typical pool store results, just can't trust them.

    For what it is worth I would try to maintain a cl of 5 until the tf100 arrives. If cya is 12 that will help keep the algae at bay, if cya is 32 you are still in the range of "good"

    Sorry for doing this in multiple posts ... I have a sleeping 3 month old in my arms and am working from an iPad . It's a beautiful Sunday morning.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    I'll add that if it were me I'd tackle the algae/SLAM first (once your test kit arrives) if you want to try to have the pool ready for June 7. The stains might be ugly but they wont hurt anyone. I'd get the water cleared up and beautiful and sparkly first...have a party ...then deal with the stains after that.
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.0 HP pump
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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    + 1 what beens said. Break up that job into two separate issues.

    1. Water quality and maintaining water Quality

    2. Stain removal
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    Welcome to TFP

    I also agree to get the water SLAM'd and balanced first and wait until after the party to do the AA treatment.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    Welcome!

    I can see you've been reading and picking up our lingo.

    I'll just pile on and say clear algae-free water is priority. Those stains might even be organic and they could fade with the high FC levels needed to kill an algae bloom. Of course, they could also get worse if the pool store sold you any copper-based algaecide. Pretty neat trick, huh? Sell you something to create a mess, and then sell you something to clean it!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    Thanks everyone for the replies. I have been reading and trying to learn, but in some ways it's like trying to drink out of a fire hose. Lots of great info and very helpful people. I'm guilty of trying to do everything at once and want to see results immediately (put chemical in, stand at pool's edge waiting to see it work).

    For now I have some chlorine and am ordering a good test kit. That will have to be enough for a few days until my kit comes in. Then the fun begins!

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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    ... I forgot one thing.

    We love pictures!

    And it will help you to see the progress.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    A picture of the stains in the shallow end of the pool. This was last week (Monday?). The scum is from algaecide



    This picture is more or less the same thing, taken today. Again, scum is algaecide (bottle is empty, so no more of that!)



    Last picture is the whole pool, cloudy water and everything, taken today.



    One reason I think these are not organic stains is that I put a tri-chlor puck directly on the stain for half an hour or so and no bleaching at all. That should have been long enough to see some kind of change, yes?




    .

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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    The next thing to try with the stain is to place a vitamin C tablet on a stained area and see if that gets the stain to life in that immediate area.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    If the vitamin c test works it's time for the aa treatment

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...f-metal-stains

    The question becomes do it now ( cl needs to be at or near zero ) or wait until the end of the season when the temp is down and you are less likely to have a massive algae bloom during the aa treatment.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    Okay. Finally got my test kit, assuming I tested correctly, my results are as follows:

    FC 3.5
    CC 0
    CYA <30 (black dot got a little cloudy but didn't disappear before tube was full)
    CH 250
    TA 120
    pH 7.8

    Am I right to say that based on CYA (which is too low), chlorine is okay. Pool water is clear, no signs of algae. TA is high but not to worry for now. pH is high, need muriatic acid to lower, whatever pool math says is the right amount (I haven't plugged in the numbers yet). Any other thoughts/concerns? I'll test frequently in the beginning for practice (and its fun!) and keep an eye on things.

    The secondary concern was the staining. And because I know you like pictures:
    The pool overall



    The most obvious/worst staining:



    There's one big whiter blotch to the right of center in the picture where I put 250 500mg Vitamin C tablets in a sock and let them dissolve over 45 minutes or so. Left a dark gray patch in the middle of a whiter patch in the stain. You can also see the distinct outline of a leaf just below the center of the photo (there are a few other similar "outlines"). Would this lead one to believe I have a lot of scaling and a leaf was on the bottom of the pool so the scale didn't form there? Would the AA treatment be the best choice, or drop the pH to 6.8 and brush like a madwoman? With the party coming up, I don't want to start anything that would leave the water cloudy. I don't think anyone will be swimming, just admiring my crystal-clear water!

    I originally thought the guy who did the replastering did a terrible job (Diamond Brite, lots of mottling, streaks, grey patches, white spots). Now I wonder if it was poor instructions for care after the refill and we should have done a better job with the water balancing. I guess it doesn't matter. It holds water. Maybe with time and good water chemistry we can get some of those stains out.

    P.S. To clear up any confusion in my pool capacity, I found the original drawings of my pool (from 1975, two homeowners ago) which indicates 25,000 gallons. I fixed it in my signature, but older posts say 24k.

    Thanks again for everyone's help. I have certainly learned a lot waiting for my kit and reading pretty much every post on the forum. Not all of them, but close!
    24K gallon IG gunite (built 1976), plaster (Diamond Brite) redone (poorly) 2012
    Hayward EC65A DE filter Taylor K2006-C test kit
    Ft. Wright, KY (Cincinnati area)

    Don't argue. Just get the kit. TF100 or Taylor K2006C

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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    I think the AA treatment is going to be the best course of action. Personally I would wait until after the party, it could take a bit (and algae bloom) to get the pool back under control after being FC 0 for the AA treatment.

    Low pH and brushing like mad will help with scale ... but it really really takes time and a low CSI.

    Bump your CYA up to 40 (small incitements here - add enough to bring it up 10 and test in a week) put the CYA in a sock - put the sock in a skimmer. squeeze it occasionally.

    A little MA to bring your pH down to 7.5

    looks good overall. just some fine tuning
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    Okay, so I have my test kit, am getting comfortable with the process, getting over the need to test EVERYTHING every day (but it's fun!). Here are my numbers today:
    FC 2.5, down from 4.5 this morning and 5.0 the night before (trying to keep it around 5-6 but still learning to finesse this part)
    CC 0 (have not tested anything BUT zero in the week I've had my kit)
    pH 7.0 (brought it down some from this morning's 7.6, but overshot a little, trying to keep it low to help lower TA)
    TA steady at 120
    CH at 260
    CYA 40

    Just back washed the filter because the water is looking a little cloudy in the deep end and I don't know why. Only one swimmer. We got quite a bit of rain the last couple of days, don't know if that's the problem or not. The water had been looking crystal clear. Do I need to SLAM or wait for the refreshed filter to take care of things?

    Also, as I brush (every day that we don't have lightening), grey dust comes off the floor. Not great quantities, just a little every day (I don't vacuum every day, so could be the same dust, I'm just pushing it around).

    Thoughts?
    24K gallon IG gunite (built 1976), plaster (Diamond Brite) redone (poorly) 2012
    Hayward EC65A DE filter Taylor K2006-C test kit
    Ft. Wright, KY (Cincinnati area)

    Don't argue. Just get the kit. TF100 or Taylor K2006C

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    Keep doing what you're doing. If you always seem to come up short on FC, maybe you're not targeting high enough. Since you overshot on pH, I think your pool is smaller than you thought. Just work on fine tuning the dosing and keep brushing. I get an awful lot of dust in my pool that isn't really noticeable until someone stirs it up by swimming or brushing.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    You're chlorine is low. I wouldn't necessarily SLAM but I'd go with an elevated chlorine level of 7ppm for the next few days to see how that clears it up. I would also keep brushing the pool, especially the deep end.
    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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    Re: Newbie trying to solve a few problems

    Thank you for your responses, Richard and Casey. Richard, overshooting the pH was probably user error and not measuring carefully. Good to know I don't need to SLAM quite yet. I'll keep a closer eye on the chlorine and target a little higher for a bit and see what happens. Thanks again!
    24K gallon IG gunite (built 1976), plaster (Diamond Brite) redone (poorly) 2012
    Hayward EC65A DE filter Taylor K2006-C test kit
    Ft. Wright, KY (Cincinnati area)

    Don't argue. Just get the kit. TF100 or Taylor K2006C

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