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Thread: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

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    robf's Avatar
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    Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Hey Everyone!

    Long-time lurker, first-time poster. First a little history. I have been around pools pretty much my whole life. My first real job was at a pool supply store in high school. I played water polo and was on the swim team. I took care of our family's pool. The pool store was an authorized BioGuard dealer and was taught to hate liquid chlorine as it is weak and loses it's strength.

    Fast forward to 2010 when we bought our new house. It had a 37 x 12 play/sport pool with an attached spa. It was a short sale so the house was "as is." The old Teledyne Lars heater was not only broken, but disconnected from the plumbing and was just a rusting hulk. The previous owners had a Clean and Clear 120 installed which was IMHO WAY underpowered even for my little pool.

    Last month we had our pool replastered with the area's most reputable company. They didn't do as good a job as I'd hoped but anything beats the chipped, stained plaster that was existing. Since we have a rectangular shaped pool, we just went with white plaster and their patented "plaster matrix" additive that supposedly helps make the plaster stronger. I new I wanted to change the way I took care of the pools and was fortunate enough to stumble upon this site. I have the TF-100 test kit and have been LOVING not having to spend a million bucks at the pool store!

    My pool was plastered on May 16th and was filled completely on May 17th. We paid to have the company provide the initial water treatment. Unfortunately the guy didn't come out until Monday and thankfully I had found this site and brushed on Sunday but the pool went all Saturday without being brushed. This led to a few minor stains they said I could get out with fine grain wet/dry sand paper.

    Here are my test results as of today (05/30/14):

    OTO: .5
    pH: 8.2
    TA: 110
    CH: 320 (South Orange County water is RIDICULOUSLY hard!)
    CYA: 30
    FC: 1
    CC: 0

    I've been following the protocol for a week now using PoolMath to add my liquid bleach and acid but simply cannot seem to get my pH to stay down (new plaster?) or my chlorine to stay high (CYA too low?) When we moved in, the CYA level (as well as the CH level) were off the chart so I'm nervous about adding too much stabilizer. I'm wondering if my calculations for volume are off. My pool is a 37' long by 12' wide rectangle with a small, attached 3 person spa. The shallow ends are 3.5' and the deep middle is about 5.5'-6'. I used the dimensions and an average depth of 4' in PoolMath and came up with 13,300. Do my calculations seem about right? It's tough with that spa. Here's a pic of my redone pool. I also had them raise the spa wall and put in a spillway along with all new equipment (listed in my signature.)

    NewPool.jpg

    Thanks for all the great info here!
    14,000 gallons, 37' x 12', IG, white plaster, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed, Pentair MasterTemp 400, attached spa, TF100

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Welcome to TFP! Your new plaster is causing your pH to creep. You want to keep an eye on that every couple days and bring it down to 7.2 whenever it hits 7.8. Keep brushing. I'm not sure what the place told you on chlorine additions with your new plaster. I would keep the CYA where it is and just keep the chlorine between 4 at the high end and 2 on the low end. Keep brushing the pool as much as possible!
    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: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm couldn't find an exact question so I'll comment on your test results.

    In the following order, I would....

    1. Lower pH using muriatic acid to about 7.5 Have more muriatic on hand so you can keep adding to maintain your pH below 8.0

    2. Add enough CYA to get to about 50 ppm - this will help retain a bit more of your chlorine.

    3. Add enough chlorine to get to 4-6 ppm and then continue to add chlorine daily so your FC stays between 4-6 ppm.

    That's a beautiful pool!
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Thanks so much guys! I figured the new plaster was causing the pH creep. I appreciate the confirmation.

    I've been brushing it a minimum of once a day. How long should I continue brushing every day? I noticed no more plaster dust several days ago. I typically did it once a week (prior to replastering.) Even though my pool isn't too big, it's a chore brushing all the surfaces every day! It was done twice a day the first week as the company had a guy come out to do it and I would do it before him.

    My main question is do you guys think my volume calculation is correct? It's 37' long by 12' wide. 3.5' deep on both shallow ends and dips to 6' in the middle. I got two different gallon estimates from two different guys from the same company that did our pool! One guy said 14K and change. The other guy said 12K. The PoolMath calculator has me at 13,300 but I'm not sure that counts my little spa. I have my target range set at 4 ppm for chlorine and the next day it is never higher than 2 ppm. The better of my two local pool stores had HASA liquid chlorine on sale so I've been using that. I have some Clorox I got from Target on sale ready to go when the HASA runs out.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond and for all the GREAT info on this site. It is so liberating to not have to shell out the big bucks at the pool stores anymore. The TF-100 kit is amazing and I'm really enjoying taking charge of the pool by myself.
    14,000 gallons, 37' x 12', IG, white plaster, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed, Pentair MasterTemp 400, attached spa, TF100

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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Nice Pool! That sparkly clear water looks great!
    Sounds like you have a grasp on it and congrats of taking control back from the pool store!

    Do exactly what Durleigh recommends. Keep on reading pool school, especially the abc's of water chemistry, and that will reveal why duraleigh recommmended what he did.

    I figure your pool volume to be pretty close to Pool Math. Somewhere around 13.5K gallons, not including the spa. You might figure a couple hundred gallons for that.

    I have the same pump and filter as you do. They rock don't they?
    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 !!

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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Thanks so much, Divin' Dave! I do love the new equipment. So much better than what was originally there! Thanks for helping me out with the volume too! Numbers were never my strong suit so I wanted to be sure I was at least in the ballpark! Have a great weekend!
    14,000 gallons, 37' x 12', IG, white plaster, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed, Pentair MasterTemp 400, attached spa, TF100

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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Keep an eye on that rising pH -- new plaster can effect that for a LONG time. Scale can occur if you don't, and THAT is almost impossible to get rid of.

    Gorgeous pool!
    TF-100 Test Kit, 28,000 gallon IG , 3M quartz plaster '09, 48 sq ft DE filter, Heat Siphon SX5HP heat pump '09, Polaris 360 '10, Protect-A-Child safety fence

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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Thank you so much Maria. I'm testing every day and really trying to keep that pH down. I knew the new plaster was going to cause a rise but wasn't prepared for the amount of rise or longevity. I have purchased four gallons of acid and am going to continue testing daily until I get it dialed in per all the great advice on here!

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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Expect pH to rise for a year possibly due to the new plaster. Though the rate of rise will slow down to a normal level. Your spa spillway will add aeration therefore adding somewhat to your pH rise. A SWCG will too because of aeration but I don't think you have one. (Can't see your sig because in in Tapatalk.) I know you are using chlorine now but wasn't sure if you were still in the no salt for new plaster period. BTW- unless you have soft stone nearby a SWCG is great at chlorinating more automatically.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Thanks bmoreswim! No SWCG. Just me adding liquid chlorine every day! The company that did our replaster was the highest rated company in our area. I was not happy with their work. The "Initial Water Treatment" as they called it was $450 and they didn't come out to brush until two days after the pool was filled. Consequently, I've noticed some rough spots in the creases where the bench meets the wall in the pool and a couple of other places. I'm out there brushing every day and testing and adding things as PoolMath directs. I don't mind working on the pool as it relaxes me and I really enjoy testing and cleaning it. It is relaxing and takes me back to my youth. I feel much better after finding TFPC and adopting the methods here. Having you and others tell me the pH increase is normal has set my mind at ease as well.
    14,000 gallons, 37' x 12', IG, white plaster, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed, Pentair MasterTemp 400, attached spa, TF100

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    And its comments like this that make us keep doing what we do.
    Quote Originally Posted by robf View Post
    I feel much better after finding TFPC and adopting the methods here. Having you and others tell me the pH increase is normal has set my mind at ease as well.
    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 !!

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    robf's Avatar
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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Divin Dave, the wife, son and I swam today and I enjoyed a few cool, refreshing, adult libations pool side. The first one was dedicated to the fine folks here at the TFP community who have already done so much to help me with my pool. Now I'm debating whether I should get the speed stir now or wait until I need some more reagents! Decisions, decisions!
    14,000 gallons, 37' x 12', IG, white plaster, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed, Pentair MasterTemp 400, attached spa, TF100

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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Speed stir rocks!!! makes testing so much easier. Speed measurer is nice too, no more looking sideways at the cylinder to get the right level of pool water. My testing procedure is... pour water into cylinder, drop speed measure in (usually 10ml side) and remove, drop pill in and place on speed stir, add heaping spoon of powder, then start counting drops allowing a second or two between drops for proper mixing. The light makes seeing the color change super easy....
    8638 gallon 20'x52" Intex ultra frame round AG. 2650 gph Intex Sand Filter. Intex krystal Klear SWG. (newer model that includes copper ion generation) Hayward 1091LX skimmer, Kreepy Krauly lil shark. Taylor K-2006 w/speed stir and sample sizer. New this year, Intex PureSpa - dichlor-> bleach method for sanitizing.
    New pool, 16'x36' (approx 18000 gal) in ground pool, Haywood DE filter

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    robf's Avatar
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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Now I'm thinking I have to order it sooner than later!
    14,000 gallons, 37' x 12', IG, white plaster, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed, Pentair MasterTemp 400, attached spa, TF100

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!



    Sounds like you had an excellent afternoon!

    Enjoy!

    Quote Originally Posted by robf View Post
    Divin Dave, the wife, son and I swam today and I enjoyed a few cool, refreshing, adult libations pool side. The first one was dedicated to the fine folks here at the TFP community who have already done so much to help me with my pool. Now I'm debating whether I should get the speed stir now or wait until I need some more reagents! Decisions, decisions!
    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 !!

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    robf's Avatar
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    Re: Old Skool Vet New To TFPC!

    Hey everyone! I wanted to check back in to let you know how much I've been enjoying testing my newly plastered pool with the TF100 and using Clorox to keep my FC levels up! I wanted to post my most recent test results this morning to see what the experts think. My pool is still requiring lots of acid and I've been struggling keeping the FC level up. Here are my results:

    FC: 3.5
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.6
    TA: 80
    CYA: 35
    Temp: 78
    CSI: -0.05

    The pool water is crystal clear and NEVER looked better. I've been swimming my laps 2-3 times a week and the wife and kid have been using it. We also fire up the spa once or twice a week. I was shooting to keep my FC at 3 but every time I'd try to keep it there, it would only stay for a day then it would drop down to 1.5 or so. I now plug in 7 in Pool Calculator to try and keep it on the higher end. My pH has never crept above 7.8 but I add acid a minimum of every other day if not every day.

    I just put the recommended CYA amount in a knee high in the skimmer to try and boost the CYA up to 40. I'm hoping since it is super sunny here and the pool gets sun for most of the day that that is the reason why my FC drops so much every day.

    The TA has constantly been dropping. I dumped in the recommended amount of baking soda a few weeks ago and it raised it to 100 but now it's back down to 80. Another weird thing is that my CH started around 300-320 (We live in SoCal where the water is HARD!) Now it is down to 250. I don't really understand the CSI and just want to be sure that the plaster isn't trying to leach calcium from the water. Should I put in more baking soda or wait until the pH stabilizes more. The pool was finished filling on May 17th.

    Thanks again for all those who run/moderate this site. You guys have made my life so much easier!
    14,000 gallons, 37' x 12', IG, white plaster, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed, Pentair MasterTemp 400, attached spa, TF100

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