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Thread: Need some guidance on what I'm doing right or what I should change...

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Richland, WA

    Question Need some guidance on what I'm doing right or what I should change...

    So I'm familiar with our pool but this is the first year I'm taking care of it 100% (grandfather passed away in Dec) and I think I've got a decent idea of what to do (especially from reading around here) but I was hoping you guys could guide me a little in any improvements or routine's I should be doing.

    First, I've tried my best to balance it and recently added borates. 14 boxes of 20 Mule borax and 4 gallons of 31.45% acid about two days ago. It tested today as...

    FC - 2.5
    CC - 0.5
    TC - 3.0
    Ca - 400
    TA - 130
    CYA - 40
    pH - 7.2

    and borates I think are about 45 ppm

    So I know that FC needs to go up and I plan to do that with bleach (what's my ideal target for a bather load of like two to three adults, should it be above 4ppm? I keep seeing warnings on pool care boxes saying not to enter if it's above 4 but here the range is like 3 to 7 or something...)

    I want to increase the pH to about 7.5 or so also, but kinda want to bring TA down to maybe 100 or 110. I've got the return jets pointed as upward as possible for the last three days and the pump running 24/7. I know it's going to take time to increase pH this way, but any ballpark guesses to how long?

    Do I need to shock it weekly, or with adult only use and maybe two to three times a week with just a couple people could I get away with shocking every other week? How long would it take to reach a safe swim level again after boosting FC to ~16ppm (which is what PoolMath suggests). Also, I've got an automatic cover, should I leave it uncovered for hours/most the day when shocking?

    I have a Polaris 180 that doesn't need a full rebuild but needs a few replacements and adjusted to get it back to good cleaning, however, I don't think that's going to pick up dirt/fine particles. I don't notice them until I brush the pool but then I can see a cloud of fine dust or dirt being kicked up. I've vacuumed once and back washed/rinsed the sand filter (which is at ~20psi, same as when the pool was opened). Think I just need to vacuum a couple more times to remove the dirt or is that something being killed in solution and then dropping out to the bottom? (Though the pool has tested pretty steady for the last three or four days, besides FC dropping from 4.5 to 2.5 in about 48 hours.

    I know I'm asking a lot and probably not providing enough or the right information yet. I'm still learning the actual capacities and brands/models of the equipment with the pool. Before I just always helped my grandpa add chemicals and read the simple color based drop tests. I'm learning fast that there's a lot more to know then just that, and the more you know upfront the easier the season can be for you!
    20,000 gallon in ground plaster pool built 1991.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Need some guidance on what I'm doing right or what I should change...

    Welcome to TFP.

    You've already made the first right step by reading here and asking questions.

    Disregard what the packages say. Those recommendations are for pools with zero CYA and are based on antiquated practices.

    As long as you maintain adequate FC levels per the Chlorine/CYA chart you never have to "shock" the pool. I haven't "shocked" my pool in 5 years. Well, except that night when.... that's a story for another type forum! But there was no chlorine involved.

    There's no telling how long it'll take for the pH to rise enough so that you can add acid to bring it and the TA down. Especially since you've added borates. Don't worry about trying to be too aggressive about lowering it just adjust the pH whenever it needs it and the TA will come down on it's on.

    How is your pool normally chlorinated?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Need some guidance on what I'm doing right or what I should change...


    You've already spotted the one parameter out of range and are fixing it with bleach. It certainly sounds like you have been reading and learning and understand things. It also sounds like you've caught sparklypoolitis and are at risk of becoming a pool snob.

    How about some pictures?
    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!

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW PA

    Re: Need some guidance on what I'm doing right or what I should change...

    Reading the ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry is a great start to understanding your pool water. The Chlorine CYA Chart will guide you with an FC that works with your CYA.

    Welcome to TFP. There are many more informational links in pool school that can help you understand your pool.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Virginia Beach, VA

    Re: Need some guidance on what I'm doing right or what I should change...

    Welcome to TFP Acarney, the guys frequenting the forums here are a great support and a wealth of knowledge. I recently joined up and a first time pool owner and after reading through everything in Pool School multiple times, asking questions and taking the advice offered, its been smooth swimming in crystal clear waters!
    24' Round Above Ground - 13,500 gal, Cartridge Filter, Installed on 5-7-14, First Time Pool Owner! TFP True Believer!

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