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Thread: New to pool maintenance...

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    New to pool maintenance...

    I'm new to trying to manage my pool after having had a pool guy manage it for 2.5 years but he's selling his business and I wanted to try to do this myself. Everything was fine till the temps started getting above 100 here in AZ. I originally only had test strips and was having trouble reading some of the values accurately. I'll try to outline what's happened lately:

    about 2 weeks ago:
    Pool had been looking ok but not completely clear
    Put 3 tabs in floater
    Backwashed filter

    about 7 days ago:
    Temperature starting rising rapidly outside
    Pool started looking very cloudy with greenish/yellow tint
    Took sample to Leslie's and they said all reading in normal range except CYA was like 100
    Added 2lbs Doheny shock (thought I needed to do this every 2 weeks)
    Ran filter overnight and pool looked a little better in the morning

    3 days ago:
    Temperature was over 100 and the pool turned much greener and could barely see past 3 feet down
    I decided to order LaMotte's ColorQ test kit and purchased PerfectPoolandSpa software
    I didn't have test kit yet but selecting pool is green in program told me to add like 10lbs shock
    I thought that seemed too high so I googled for help and decided on about 4lbs of shock to do a double dose

    2 days ago:
    Water didn't seem to clear up much at all from the shock
    ColorQ test kit arrives
    TC 9.6 (figured this was due to shock 24 hours earlier)
    CC 9.6
    pH 7.5
    ALK 65
    CYA 90 (not sure I did this test correctly first time....didn't know I needed to crush it at first and was searching for crusher and may not have done time right)
    Pool software says CYA too high and I must drain some water and refill to dilute before it will recommend other adjustments
    We called pool store, old pool guy, and guy who installed filter and none of them suggested we drain any water especially since it was hot time of year.
    So I overrode CYA limit in software to see what it would recommend.
    It said add chemicals to raise ALK up to 100.
    Went to Leslie's and described situation. They recommended product called First Aid and I bought some Alk Up.

    Next morning:
    Added recommended amount of First Aid and enough Alk Up for 20ppm increase since I read not to try to do it all at once.

    Yesterday evening:
    Came home and water looked slighting clearer but still really cloudy...couldn't quite see floor at 4 feet depth.
    Repeated ColorQ tests:
    FC 1.6
    CC 9.6
    pH 7.5
    ALK 70
    CYA 100

    So now the software is telling me to add almost 12lbs of shock to cause the chlorine to get to a level to break down the total chlorine number and bring it to zero. I was hesistant to do that without seeking advice and is why I'm here. I don't know if I need to go ahead and drain some water to get the CYA level down first and how much to drain if I do. I'd like to also know if there is a good method to keep it from getting back to those levels again. Any help? I'm about to give up and hire someone again.
    Thanks,
    Gil

    In-ground: 20,600 gallons; Sand Filter 1HP pump; Kreepy Krauler; Solar Breeze Solar Powered Robotic Skimmer; TFT-100 test kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Welcome to TFP!

    The ColorQ measures FC and TC, not TC and CC. I suspect your FC level was 9.6 and TC was also 9.6, meaning that two days ago CC was zero, and now CC is 8.0?
    CC = TC - FC
    Or maybe you have it mixed up some other way? In any case it is important to get that straightened out first, because it has a large impact on the correct treatment.

    Another significant issue is your CYA level. 90 to 100 is too high for CYA. Unfortunately, the only practical way to lower CYA is to replace water. I recommend replacing enough water to get CYA down to around 60.

    CYA is going up constantly because you are using trichlor tablets. You should think about stopping the use of trichlor, as it is only going to create this same problem again.
    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: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Yeah my numbers were TC. When I read the getting started stuff it didn't mention TC so I thought CC meant the same thing.
    Thanks,
    Gil

    In-ground: 20,600 gallons; Sand Filter 1HP pump; Kreepy Krauler; Solar Breeze Solar Powered Robotic Skimmer; TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    I will also mention that when CYA gets to 100, that's the limit. It is possible (and likely) that your CYA is far over 100. Try diluting the pool water 50/50 then test CYA again, and double the result.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    And dichlor too. Stop going to Leslie's. Get a better test kit. Either the tf-100 or Taylor k-2006. You can get either at tftestkits.net Leslie's is notoriously off on testing, especially cya. Follow the advice here and save a whole lot of pool stored money! Until you get a good test kit, and get accurate results, you will be stuck with your pool store and green swamp pool. Trust me, I used to be pool stored. And suffered algae bloom after algae bloom for the first year after buying my house. You HAVE to drain water to get rid of the excess cya! Exactly how much, you won't know until you have accurate cya test!
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    So I just spent $150 2 days ago on what I thought was a good test kit and you're saying it's not? I don't like judging colors with my eyes so I wanted something that does it automatically.

    LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit <- This is the kit I have
    Thanks,
    Gil

    In-ground: 20,600 gallons; Sand Filter 1HP pump; Kreepy Krauler; Solar Breeze Solar Powered Robotic Skimmer; TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    The biggest issue is that the LaMotte won't test FC over 10, and to SLAM the pool you will have to measure higher than that. You could get the separate FAS/DPD test from tftestkits.net for managing chlorine during the SLAM. It is color based, but it is either pink/red or clear. There's no guessing to the FAS/DPD chlorine test.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    I have to admit to knowing nothing about your color q test kit, but I DO know I get accurate results from my Taylor k-2006, and I DO know I have had crystal clear water for over a year since I started using bleach as my sanitizer. And got off the tabs and powdered shock and pH up and phosfree as nd algeacide. And you name it!!!
    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
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3hp Pump--Pentair sand filter

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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrock View Post
    I'm new to trying to manage my pool after having had a pool guy manage it for 2.5 years but he's selling his business and I wanted to try to do this myself. Everything was fine till the temps started getting above 100 here in AZ. I originally only had test strips and was having trouble reading some of the values accurately. I'll try to outline what's happened lately:

    about 2 weeks ago:
    Pool had been looking ok but not completely clear
    Put 3 tabs in floater
    Backwashed filter

    about 7 days ago:
    Temperature starting rising rapidly outside
    Pool started looking very cloudy with greenish/yellow tint
    Took sample to Leslie's and they said all reading in normal range except CYA was like 100
    Added 2lbs Doheny shock (thought I needed to do this every 2 weeks)
    Ran filter overnight and pool looked a little better in the morning

    3 days ago:
    Temperature was over 100 and the pool turned much greener and could barely see past 3 feet down
    I decided to order LaMotte's ColorQ test kit and purchased PerfectPoolandSpa software
    I didn't have test kit yet but selecting pool is green in program told me to add like 10lbs shock
    I thought that seemed too high so I googled for help and decided on about 4lbs of shock to do a double dose

    2 days ago:
    Water didn't seem to clear up much at all from the shock
    ColorQ test kit arrives
    TC 9.6 (figured this was due to shock 24 hours earlier)
    CC 9.6
    pH 7.5
    ALK 65
    CYA 90 (not sure I did this test correctly first time....didn't know I needed to crush it at first and was searching for crusher and may not have done time right)
    Pool software says CYA too high and I must drain some water and refill to dilute before it will recommend other adjustments
    We called pool store, old pool guy, and guy who installed filter and none of them suggested we drain any water especially since it was hot time of year.
    So I overrode CYA limit in software to see what it would recommend.
    It said add chemicals to raise ALK up to 100.
    Went to Leslie's and described situation. They recommended product called First Aid and I bought some Alk Up.

    Next morning:
    Added recommended amount of First Aid and enough Alk Up for 20ppm increase since I read not to try to do it all at once.

    Yesterday evening:
    Came home and water looked slighting clearer but still really cloudy...couldn't quite see floor at 4 feet depth.
    Repeated ColorQ tests:
    FC 1.6
    CC 9.6
    pH 7.5
    ALK 70
    CYA 100

    So now the software is telling me to add almost 12lbs of shock to cause the chlorine to get to a level to break down the total chlorine number and bring it to zero. I was hesistant to do that without seeking advice and is why I'm here. I don't know if I need to go ahead and drain some water to get the CYA level down first and how much to drain if I do. I'd like to also know if there is a good method to keep it from getting back to those levels again. Any help? I'm about to give up and hire someone again.
    Wow. I feel for you. This is how I felt a couple years ago trying to make a SWCG work and getting conflicting advice from 2-3 different pool stores. Luckily I found this website and started taking their advice and taking control of my own pool. Listen carefully to what others suggest and you'll get there -- eventually
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Thanks for the responses. I'm impressed with how quickly and how many responses there were here. I think I do want to drain water out and get the CYA under control first. That's what I was leaning towards but had so many people talking me out of it. I also ordered that Taylor K-2006 so I'll use that when it gets here and compare it with the digital test kit.
    Thanks,
    Gil

    In-ground: 20,600 gallons; Sand Filter 1HP pump; Kreepy Krauler; Solar Breeze Solar Powered Robotic Skimmer; TFT-100 test kit

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    You absolutely want to get CYA in range. That's your biggest problem at the moment, by far.

    I would like to see the test result with a 50/50 dilution of tap and pool water to get a better idea of where your CYA is at.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Welcome!

    You, your pool and bank account will be very happy you came here. Listen to the experts and your pool will be perfect in no time!
    Intex Ultra Frame 26'x52"
    Intex 2,500 gal/hr pump with Unicel cartridge filter.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrock View Post
    Thanks for the responses. I'm impressed with how quickly and how many responses there were here. I think I do want to drain water out and get the CYA under control first. That's what I was leaning towards but had so many people talking me out of it. I also ordered that Taylor K-2006 so I'll use that when it gets here and compare it with the digital test kit.
    After being burned by pool store/guy advice and them siphoning your wallet, it's hard to hear that the first thing you should do is spend more money on a good test kit. But, that's the only time on this forum that you'll hear from anyone telling you to buy something (other than cheap products from wherever you choose to get them, that you actually need). And no one here will tell you to buy something you don't need. TFP is the best advice for pools you can't buy... it's free.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Welcome to TFP! You've come to the right place to get on track and take control of your pool!

    Take a look at the ABCs of water chemistry. It's a good start to understanding what's going on with your water. --> http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ater-chemistry

    You're definitely on to something with fixing that CYA level. The relationship between Chlorine and CYA is very important to understand. Adding shock powders and tablets is a sure way to get your CYA sky high. The problem with that is the more CYA you have the more Chlorine you need! Unfortunately the only way to get rid of it is to replace some water. Always be careful with draining....most people do a few drain/refill cycles if they need to get the CYA in range.

    Like robbie said, the CYA test can be done with a 50/50 dilution of pool water and tap water to help you to test numbers higher than 90-100. That's as far as the tests go and it's often higher. This method of testing is explained in the Extended Test Kit Directions (scroll down to #8 it explains what to do if CYA is 90 or higher) -->http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...Kit-Directions

    I am not sure how the test kit you have works for CYA so I'm not 100% sure this applies? It does apply to the K-2006 and the TF-100 kits.

    Once you have a result you can use pool math to find out how much water you are looking at replacing to get to your target. --> http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ool-calculator (this explains how to use!)


    If you have any questions at all you can post them right here in your thread and someone or a whole bunch of someones will do our best to answer and explain and help! We like helping people. Almost everyone here has been where you are and we love to help people to get to know (and love) their pools.

    It can be overwhelming at first but there's just a few basic principles and when they click that light will go on and you'll say.. "I had no idea it was so simple!!"

    Welcome again and definitely...don't give up!
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    I find it truly amazing that nearly every time I am in the pool store, someone is getting their water tested.

    I hear the salesperson (hint: Sales) telling the customer "Your CYA is fine, its about 100 and your pool is green. You need to shock the pool. This powder will add the chlorine you need to shock you pool. Add four bags and come back tomorrow" (for four more...)

    Each time you add chlorine, as a powder, you are likely add as much stabilizer as chlorine. The chlorine will be gone in a day or two but the CYA will be there until you get off the LPS merry-go-round, remove the CYA (drain/fill) and only use non-stabilized (aka liquid) chlorine. Yes, you can use cal-hypo but it costs more and has other side effects.

    The cost of getting off the LPS ride? a test kit and knowledge. The ~$70 test kit may actually cost less the one trip to the LPS for their magic powders and liquids that only ensure that you will be back tomorrow..for more. The test kit will last at minimum a season and may last longer than that.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Hello and welcome!
    Don't give up! Maintaining your own pool is a lot easier than you think. Spend some time reading in Pool School and things will slowly start to make sense.

    As far as what you might want to do first is find out just how high is your CYA. If you need to drain some water (and you probably do) you need to know what your CYA level is to know how much water you need to replace. As mentioned above CYA testing is measurable only up to about 100. If it is above 100 you need to dilute it with water that does not have any CYA in it (tap water).
    14K Gallon IG Gunite Pool built in 2005, Century Centurion 1 1/2 HP Pump
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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Ok I've rented a submersible pump. It looks like it's rated to drain half the pool in 2 to 3 hours. I've been cautioned about the plaster cracking. It's 100 here today. I was thinking I could wait till the sun is really low then pump it down halfway and start refilling and hopefully have it back up before it gets hot tomorrow. Is that a bad idea?
    Thanks,
    Gil

    In-ground: 20,600 gallons; Sand Filter 1HP pump; Kreepy Krauler; Solar Breeze Solar Powered Robotic Skimmer; TFT-100 test kit

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Welcome to TFP, very close neighbor!!!

    If you are going to use a sump, I think that is about the best you can do. I would start draining as soon as the sun is off the pool and then fill with multiple hoses to fill it quickly and hopefully avoid plaster damage.

    Did you ever confirm your CYA level to know how much water you need to replace?

    Another option, slower although safer, would be to drain and refill at the same time. Likely wanting to fill at the bottom and drain from near the top. But, you would not want to use that big of a sump pump.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Well the K-2006 test kit will take a few days to get here. Using the ColorQ test I just got FC 6.89 TC 7.51 CYA 108. I didn't bother with the other readings since I'm about to drain water. The CYA test for this kit uses some type of tablets dissolved in the water for the test.
    Thanks,
    Gil

    In-ground: 20,600 gallons; Sand Filter 1HP pump; Kreepy Krauler; Solar Breeze Solar Powered Robotic Skimmer; TFT-100 test kit

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool maintenance...about to give up

    Got ya.

    So after this experience ... are you planning to change your signature from "Using stabilized chlorine tabs in floater"?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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