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Thread: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

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    bbrock's Avatar
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    I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Hi you all,

    After struggling with the decision if I want to handle the pool versus let the pool guy do it, I think I'm ready to at least try it for a month or two. I'm getting a good deal for pool service, as it's only $50/month and he handles my chemicals weekly, empties my baskets, and Polaris. So, I think it actually may cost me more in chemicals or be roughly approximately $40 to 50/mo., based on what I read at this site from others w/ a 19,000 gallon pool.

    Anyhow, I want to try it as I stated for a month or two. Am going to order my TF 100 kit. Couple questions though:

    1) From what I have been told, my CYA is over 100, I will have to drain 50 to 70% of the pool. This is complicated because of the fact that the plaster is old and delaminated in an area w/ approx a 1 foot diameter spot. Is the drain & refill process going to dry out my plaster and make a crack and delaminate more? I don't want to trade one thing, out of balance chemicals, for more problems with the plaster. I have gotten quotes for resurfacing as far as both an aggregate and with plaster, and whatever surface I go with I have thought about postponing it until the fall/non-swim season. Therefore, I want to get as much usage out of this current plaster as possible.

    2) Do I really need a pool thermometer? I see the pool Calculator asks for temperature, but is that really necessary? Can I use the calculator, which I've played with already, without temperature?

    3) I was reading Jason Lion's "TFPC for beginners." It is a great post summing up much of what the pool school discusses. Found it here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-for-Beginners.

    The question revolves around the mixing of chemicals after they have been added to the pool. It discusses that the pump should be run for an hour with the addition of liquids, 3 to 4 hours for powders, a week for CYA. Do I really run the pump for one entire week 24 hours a day with the addition of CYA?

    4) I am a little concerned about keeping muriatic acid at our home as we have two little ones (actually, I am concerned about keeping all these chemicals here). I have thought about using dry acid instead. Opinions? Is muriatic acidu much more preferable?

    5) After I do the partial drain and fill, do I need to add a metal sequestrant? I have read different posts that discuss this, where as I don't recall reading it at pool school, if I'm correct.

    Thanks a bunch for all the help and this site. You all are awesome! I will post the details of my equipment in my tag line when I have a chance.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    1) You can drain and refill at the same time. It uses a little more replacement water, but can be done so the water level remains unchanged.
    2) No, just guess the temperature. As long as you are within 10 to 15 degrees you will be fine.
    3) Probably not an entire week, but two or three days for sure.
    4) If you use a lot of acid, you want to use muriatic acid. If your pool doesn't need all that much acid, then dry acid is fine.
    5) Only if you know you are going to have metal problems. Most people don't need sequestrant, and it can get expensive.
    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

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Tx Jason.

    Would doing a drain/refill at same time be preferable on my old plaster?

    How do I manage doing this logistically? I mean, how will I know when 50-70% has drained if it is being refilled at same time?

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    I ordered my TF-100 kit, and took FrustratedPoolMom's advice here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...8bottles-OZ%29 by ordering extra FAS-DPD and CYA upfront. By doing so, saved a little on shipping & refill costs on the reagents that will be used the most/fastest. Plus, reading at TFTestKits.net that there is no expiration on the reagents if they are stored properly let's me know it is just smart to get the extra stuff upfront.

    If anyone else is reading and knows if it would be preferable doing a drain/refill at same time on my old plaster, I would appreciate the help. I have to drain almost 75% of the pool, so I am torn between just having it resurfaced now (to save on water), or just partial drain/refill and see how much more life I can get out of the current plaster before I really have to resurface. If I partial drain/refill, I just don't want to create more plaster problems do the pool being dry. It was only until I read Jason Lion's post about simultaneous draining/refilling that I learned of that.

    Sorry if I am repeating myself. Just eager to get everything "right."

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    let's see pictures...
    8,000 gallon, in ground, fiberglass pool with a cartridge filter.

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Just remember, as you're simultaneously draining and refilling your also draining water you have just put in.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Will get some pics of the plaster/pool when have chance.

    Yes, draining fresh water is the one disconcerting thing I have with doing the simultaneous idea.

    Ultimately, I held off on ordering the extra CYA and FAS-DPD upfront w/ the TF-100. If/when I need refills, I will just order a complete refill kit.

    Tx for the help.
    Last edited by bbrock; 05-26-2014 at 11:17 PM. Reason: spelling error

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Just remember, as you're simultaneously draining and refilling your also draining water you have just put in.
    That is minimized by draining the warmest water off the top at one end and then refilling with colder fill water from the bottom of the pool and at the opposite end.

    Do not think of this process as a one time "I have to get it just right" project. at an average cost of around $6-9/1000gallons, water is not the over-priced commodity that many people assume.

    Drain/refill some of your pool with some common sense math about gpm coming from the siphon and then stop for a day or so and retest CYA. That will tell you how much progress you have made and how much more you need to do.
    Dave S.
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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    From the responses thus far, I can infer it sounds like the simultaneous drain/refill is the smarter thing to do for my plaster. Right?

    Duraleigh, do you mean the gpm coming from the drain line, not the gpm coming from my house to fill?

    Tx.

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Duraleigh (or other members), how do you suppose I "fill w/ cold from the bottom of the poo at the opposite end?" I am trying to think how I could weight down my hose or something.

    So, to switch over to the TFPC system, what are all the chemical supplies I need on hand? Below is a list of what I have, or have questions with. If I am forgetting anything, plz let me know. This excludes of course hardware:
    *Bleach (got some 8.25% from Costco)
    *Baking soda (on hand)
    *Muriatic acid (intend to buy some from Lowe's, Hm Depot, or OSH)
    *re: CH - I already know the tap water has sufficient calcium.
    *re: CYA - Do I need to keep some CYA on hand? Do others? Most likely I am going to do the partial drain/refill because I just have not locked down a pool contractor to resurface my pool. Plus, I would prefer to resurface in non-swim season. Thus, I am just trying to lower my CYA from 100+, to the recommended 30-50. With that in mind, perhaps I don't need any CYA on hand.
    *Do I need to keep borax or soda ash on hand for raising pH? It sounds like most pools have upward pH drift, which would mean muriatic acid is needed on hand.

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post

    Do not think of this process as a one time "I have to get it just right" project. at an average cost of around $6-9/1000gallons, water is not the over-priced commodity that many people assume.
    Boy, am I spoiled by our $2/1000 gallons rate around here! That is as long as I tell them it's going in the pool and they waive the sewer fees (~$30/1000 gallons).

    As far as chemicals:
    Bleach: If you are in need of SLAMing your pool due to clarity, visible algae, high CC readings, etc. You should have quite a bit on hand. 10-20 gallonsor MORE depending on pool volume and CYA level. The higher your CYA, the more you'll need. Regular use... 5-10 gallons depending on how often you want to go to the store or find a good deal.
    Baking Soda: If you have low TA, you'll need some. If you have high TA, you'll need none. But it's cheap (NOT FROM POOL STORE) so have 5 lbs or so on hand.
    Muriatic Acid: This depends on TA and your pH fluctuation, how much aeration you regularly use. I'd have 1-2 gallons at most on hand.
    CH: Usually don't need to add.
    CYA: You shouldn't need any as long as you don't over drain/replace. Can always add more and typically you're not in a rush to add unless you're doing a full drain.

    What to have on hand can vary quite a bit based on test results. That's kinda the point of TFP. Get test results, then figure out what you'll need. Not spend money on stuff you don't need... from the pool store.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Right on JVTrain. Tx.

    TF100 is inbound! Stocking up on more bleach sounds reasonable, as this gets used a lot. Looks like a good enough deal is at my local Costco for a 3 pack of 8.25% bleach for approx., or also at Walmart for a 2 pack of 10% bleach.
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Every time I see this thread title on the index, I get this mental picture.

    I see a suntanned guy wearing shorts, flip-flops, and a big straw sun hat lying face down in a muddy ditch along a lonely road with a telescoping pole stabbed through his back.

    "I told him I didn't want him to add phos-free, but he did it anyway. So I ditched him."
    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: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Lol!!!!!
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
    Intermatic P1353ME digital timer w/freeze sensor
    CircuPool Si-45 SWCG System
    Polaris 280 vacuum/Polaris PB4-60 boost pump
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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Great one Richard320!

    Here r some pics if it helps at all. Pump is running, so may not be able to really make out the plaster wear/age to well. The main delaminated area is to the right and down of the light. Another pic shows the filter 450 or 550. Again, I don't know which one I have.





    - - - Updated - - -

    Not sure why the pics aren't there. I followed the instructions for adding photos from flicker.
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Looks like you've linked to an album, not the individual pictures. If I directly paste the links they are all: https://www.flickr.com/photos/124991...7644867806422/ They should have a filename.jpg after the last "/"
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    For the time being, if I follow Pool School's recommended chlorine level for a CYA at 100 (while I do not have my TF100 yet I have been told that it's probably 100+), it says I should keep it between 7 to 12. How do you even measure chlorine levels that high? The OTO kit I do have can't read it that high, rather just to 5.
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Quote Originally Posted by bbrock View Post
    For the time being, if I follow Pool School's recommended chlorine level for a CYA at 100 (while I do not have my TF100 yet I have been told that it's probably 100+), it says I should keep it between 7 to 12. How do you even measure chlorine levels that high? The OTO kit I do have can't read it that high, rather just to 5.
    You need an FAS/DPD test, which is part of the TF 100:

    http://tftestkits.net/TF-100-Test-Kit-p4.html

    If you ordered it yesterday, it might be there tomorrow or the next day.
    8,000 gallon, in ground, fiberglass pool with a cartridge filter.

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    Re: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Quote Originally Posted by bbrock View Post
    For the time being, if I follow Pool School's recommended chlorine level for a CYA at 100 (while I do not have my TF100 yet I have been told that it's probably 100+), it says I should keep it between 7 to 12. How do you even measure chlorine levels that high? The OTO kit I do have can't read it that high, rather just to 5.
    On the OTO (yellow) chlorine test:

    Blinding tweety-bird yellow is about 10. School bus yellow is about 12-13. Hunter orange is around 18, up around 25 it starts to look pumpkin orange.
    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: I'm on board; want to ditch pool guy

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    That is minimized by draining the warmest water off the top at one end and then refilling with colder fill water from the bottom of the pool and at the opposite end.

    Do not think of this process as a one time "I have to get it just right" project. at an average cost of around $6-9/1000gallons, water is not the over-priced commodity that many people assume.

    Drain/refill some of your pool with some common sense math about gpm coming from the siphon and then stop for a day or so and retest CYA. That will tell you how much progress you have made and how much more you need to do.
    Anyone got an idea how I fill with cold water from the bottom of the opposite end? How do I keep the hose down? A couple lg bricks or something?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Tx for breaking down the colors Richard. I have gotten a darker yellow on the OTO, so I was always curious how that lined up # wise.
    19k gal IG plaster, built '70s, probably resurfaced in '80s-'90s; Blue Haven Hayward filter C4520BHMB (Filbur FC-1275 cartridges); Hayward MaxFlo sp2302 VSP 1.5hp; 6 solar panels 288. sq. ft. total (142"x47.5" ea.) on 1 story hm; Pentair Compool LX220 Solar Controller; FlowVis flow meter; Maytronics Dolphin S200; AG 300 gal AquaTerra spa; TF-100 & Speedstir; gone: Pentair Challenger 3/4 HP 1 speed; Polaris 280

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