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Thread: Help in PA

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    Help in PA

    Hello everyone! We bought our home 2 years ago which came with an above ground pool (this is our third summer with the pool). The pool is my responsibility and my husband wants no part in it other than swimming (figures, right?!). I've managed to keep the pool useable, although not perfect, the past 2 summers but have had my fair share of issues (and comments from my husband) and I'm ready to really understand how to take care of it so I can avoid the headaches throughout this summer (and keep the husband quiet!!!). We opened the pool this summer to a swamp, I admit we didn't close it properly because I was just tired of dealing with it by then that covering seemed like a better option, out of sight out of mind. I've been using a simple test kit purchased at Walmart but I just purchased the TF-50 test kit today (I hope that will suffice). So back to the swamp: I've added 8 jugs of generic bleach (4 jugs yesterday and 4 jugs again today) and have been running my pump since 11am yesterday. I brushed the bottom this morning and stirred up what's still there. There's a noticeable improvement in color, its now a lovely shade of blue/green and cloudy beyond anything. I know without my test kit it'll be hard to know exactly what to do next but I can give you the Walmart test kit range if that will help. I'm not very good at chemistry and even had a hard time following a lot of what I read on this site already, so patience is needed! I just want a beautiful pool with minimal headaches!!!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help in PA

    Welcome!

    Until you have a test kit and get some results, don't waste a lot of bleach in it. If you were following pool store advice, you probably chlorinated with pucks and added a bag of "shcok" every week and you may discover that your CYA level is astronomical and a partial drain is needed. And if so, all that bleach you added died for nothing.

    You can amuse yourself by brushing and dragging for leaves and vacuuming blind, The more organic debris you can haul out manually, the faster you'll get the water whipped into shape.

    There's a lot of reading, but don;t be dismayed. Once you have the test kit in your hands and start doing the tests, it will start to make sense. And when you start treating the water and see how each thing you do affects the chemistry, a light bulb will go off and you'll understand. It's very possible that by Fourth of July your pool will be the cleanest it's been since the day you first filled it and that the daily care will only take you three minutes.

    And when your arms tire of brushing, read pool school. Start with

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...etting-started
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ater-chemistry
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...-abbreviations
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...pool-equipment
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...pool-chemicals

    They're pretty light reading -- one has just pictures -- but then you'll be speaking our language.
    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: Help in PA

    I've been referring to this site for the past 3 summer's and never went to a pool store (I understand how terrible they are). I've grown up with a pool and my parents used the BBB method so I always went to them with questions or issues and they guided me. I decided to fully commit and order the better test kit and actually try to understand how it all works. I've read everything here already. I'll post test results when the kit comes in! Thank you for your quick response!
    9,293 gallons, cartridge filter, AG, proline pump

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    Re: Help in PA

    Alright I received my test kit in the mail!! The results are as follows:

    Chlorine: 0
    Hardness: 500ppm
    Total Alkalinity: 40
    PH: 6.8
    CYA: 0

    I suppose that being low is much better than being high so I'm taking that as a positive. Where do I go from here? I imagine the first step is to get my CYA where its supposed to be and then get some chlorine into the pool.
    9,293 gallons, cartridge filter, AG, proline pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by familyof5 View Post
    Alright I received my test kit in the mail!! The results are as follows:

    Chlorine: 0
    Hardness: 500ppm
    Total Alkalinity: 40
    PH: 6.8
    CYA: 0

    I suppose that being low is much better than being high so I'm taking that as a positive. Where do I go from here? I imagine the first step is to get my CYA where its supposed to be and then get some chlorine into the pool.
    Almost. First, fix the pH. Wait --- was the water circulating a while before you tested it? Anyway, pH first. The TA is low, too, but when you fix pH it should help TA, and you can fine-tune things easily enough after it's clear. Once you get to SLAM, there's no checking anything but FC & CC for a while.

    So: pH first. While the Borax/Soda Ash/pH up leftovers from last year are mixing, you can be measuring out enough CYa to get you to 30 into a sock. That gets tied off and set in the skimmer or dangled in front of a return if it's too big to fit in the skimmer without blocking it. After pH had had time to mix, retest it. You may need a second or even a third adjustment if you're below the lowest reading on the tester. Just allow half an hour to mix each time, and a little brushing also helps there. Then, finally, with the CYA sitting in the skimmer and the pH adjusted and the pump running, then you can attack the pool with bleach. With CYA 30, your target is 12 FC. Don't worry that the CYa hasn;t all dissolved yet; your green pool will lower that FC almost as fast as you can pour the bleach.

    Recheck it after an hour and see where you are. If you lost more than half, recheck it every hour if possible. It will go through bleach at an amazing rate the first couple days, and then slow down as the CYA mixes in the water and the algae starts to die off in large numbers.

    Just follow the SLAM article.
    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: Help in PA

    Listen to Richard and fairly soon you'll be having a:


    Sorry... couldn't resist.
    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: Help in PA

    No the water hasn't been circulating for about 2 days, our pump died (of course it did!!) and we just got a new one last night. My test kit arrived about an hour ago and I didn't want to do anything to the pool until I figured out what it was I needed to do! I'm off to purchase Borax and stabilizer (in powder form). Thank you for your quick responses!
    9,293 gallons, cartridge filter, AG, proline pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    Listen to Richard and fairly soon you'll be having a:


    Sorry... couldn't resist.
    The image doesn't show.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by familyof5 View Post
    No the water hasn't been circulating for about 2 days, our pump died (of course it did!!) and we just got a new one last night. My test kit arrived about an hour ago and I didn't want to do anything to the pool until I figured out what it was I needed to do! I'm off to purchase Borax and stabilizer (in powder form). Thank you for your quick responses!
    Don't add anything until the water has been circulating and retested. Those readings are subject to change!
    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: Help in PA

    ok! I'll let the pool run for the night and check it first thing in the AM.
    9,293 gallons, cartridge filter, AG, proline pump

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Help in PA

    Doh!

    No punchline on a terrible image joke. Here you go!
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by familyof5 View Post
    ok! I'll let the pool run for the night and check it first thing in the AM.
    Not necessary. an hour or so should be plenty.
    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: Help in PA

    Let pump run for an hour and re-tested. Everything is the same with the exception of PH which is now looking more like 7.2.
    9,293 gallons, cartridge filter, AG, proline pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by familyof5 View Post
    Let pump run for an hour and re-tested. Everything is the same with the exception of PH which is now looking more like 7.2.
    Then you're ready to go! Measure out some CYA granules in a sock and start dumping bleach. If you start tonight, the sun won't rob any of your chlorine.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl
    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: Help in PA

    Hello Neighbor! Not exactly neighbors but from PA!

    Start the SLAM tonight like Richard suggested! You can tie the sock of CYA off to the telescopic pole and let it hang in front of the return while you sleep tonight or throw the sock in the skimmer basket and it'll be dissolved tomorrow morning, just make sure the pump runs all night. Check the CYA in a week but SLAM to the CYA you have just added to the pool. Do NOT let up on the SLAM at all. If you ordered the TF50, I'd order more of the reagents to check for FC R0871 I think it is. You will run out. You should have gotten the TF100 but that's ok. I'm so glad you at least got the 50!

    I feel you on the husband just swimming in the pool bit! Here is what mine does...



    I do everything else!
    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: Help in PA

    I can't wait until my pool looks like this, Casey! I added the CYA in a sock and also brought the Chlorine up to slam level. Took a reading of the chlorine this morning and the results are:

    FC: .9
    CC: .1
    TC: 1

    I added more liquid shock to get me back up to slam level! I'll keep this up until my pool passes all the tests needed to stop the slam process!

    I must admit actually doing the test myself and knowing what each chemical I'm adding is doing to the pool is like a breath of fresh air! I was nervous at first but it really isn't hard to do or understand!!
    9,293 gallons, cartridge filter, AG, proline pump

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    Re: Help in PA

    How often should I be checking the chlorine levels during the slam process? I'm a stay at home mom so I could check it hourly but I think that may be excessive!
    9,293 gallons, cartridge filter, AG, proline pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by familyof5 View Post
    How often should I be checking the chlorine levels during the slam process? I'm a stay at home mom so I could check it hourly but I think that may be excessive!
    Actually, the more often you check and add, the faster it will clear. I agree, though; it hardly seems worthwhile to top off if it only needs a cup of bleach. You'll have to decide for yourself how often you want to do it.

    This is a battle to the death. Once you knock your opponent down, you just keep kicking until all the algae is dead. Don't let it rest. Don't let it get back up.

    There seems to be an arithmetic error on your readings from this morning. The readings should be a multiple of .2 or .5. Yours aren't.
    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: Help in PA

    I re-checked my math! (I have an 8 week old and sleeping at night isn't not in his routine yet!) I was multiplying by .05 and not .5! So my FC was 9 and my CC was 1 giving me a TC of 10. I guess I added more chlorine than I should have this morning (I hope that won't cause harm, my pool is in the sun all day so perhaps it'll be ok)! I will hold off checking the levels again until this afternoon then.
    9,293 gallons, cartridge filter, AG, proline pump

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    Re: Help in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by familyof5 View Post
    I re-checked my math! (I have an 8 week old and sleeping at night isn't not in his routine yet!) I was multiplying by .05 and not .5! So my FC was 9 and my CC was 1 giving me a TC of 10. I guess I added more chlorine than I should have this morning (I hope that won't cause harm, my pool is in the sun all day so perhaps it'll be ok)! I will hold off checking the levels again until this afternoon then.
    I am SLAMMING right now and am jealous! I wish I could get to an FC of 9! I am still at 0-0.5...there is hope for us all!
    33,000 gals, DE, IG, plaster, Purex Triton FNSP 60 filter, Pentair Super Flo 2hp, Pentair MinMax Heater

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    Re: Help in PA

    Just check chlorine levels:
    FC: 15.5 (due to wrong math this am.. clearly before my coffee!!)
    CC: .5
    TC: 16

    Just going to let the pump run and try to bring down my FC number. Pool is blue but cloudy!
    9,293 gallons, cartridge filter, AG, proline pump

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