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Thread: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

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    bellebrit's Avatar
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    New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    Bought an Intex 18' X 48" 6000 gal pool this weekend. Filled it up and did the initial test. The results I got were:
    FC: 0
    PH: 8.4 (highest it would go)
    TA: 240 (highest it would go)
    Contacted a guy who owns a pool maintenance company and was told not to worry about PH because it will go up and down with TA, to just put 2 gallons of MA and the initial dose of Algae Guard, run filter for 12hours and recheck, if it's still high add another gallon of MA.
    I added the 2 gal and the Algae Guard, ran filter for 12 hours checked it again and now all of my levels are at 0.
    I called the guy back and he said give it a day and recheck, but to do the initial shock or from what I've read on here SLAM right away and put in chlorine tablets, after a day if the TA and PH haven't gone up add baking soda. I added the liquid chlorine waited 15 minuted and tested the levels, FA was at 5/10. I left the filter running and went to Leslies to get chlorine tablets. The guy there told me not to use baking soda.
    I tested again this morning with an HTH 3 way test and a Leslies 4way I picked up yesterday. All levels are now at 0. I have a ton of questions but it wouldn't let me post because I'm assuming it was too long. I can use all the help I can get.

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    My plan now is to add baking soda and get TA and PH balanced. Then re shock/SLAM with the liquid chlorine, then put in the chlorine tablets.

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    My questions are:
    I used the calculator and it said put in 140 oz baking soda. Another post had said to sprinkle it on top of deep end. My pools a little unlevel so it's kinda got a deep end, should I just sprinkle it on that side of the pool, should the filter be on when I do this, if so how long should I leave the filter on for and how soon after can I retest?

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    After I get the TA and hopefully PH at same time up, should I reshock/SLAM with the liquid chlorine. If so am I correct that I put in enough to get the levels up to 5/10 then let them lower to 1/4? If I do need to reshock do I fill the skimmer with tablets and put it in right away or do I wait till levels lower to 1/4?

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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    While I'm still new (just got within the month) so take what I say with a grain of salt, and I'm sure if my words are not correct, someone will be along shortly to correct them.

    1. Forget the pool store - other than possibly buy pool toys and liquid chlorine.
    2. Get a better test kit the TF 100 or the K2006
    3. Other than possibly for vacation times - use tablets sparringly
    4. No more chemicals in the pool except Bleach / liquid chlorine - possibly CYA since its a new pool and you probably don't have stabilizer in the water
    5. Read the Pool School
    6 Do the SLAM process
    12x28 Rectangular (13000gal) In-ground plaster pool
    1hp pump
    Cape Coral, FL

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    bellebrit's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    I read on another post something about a sock in the skimmer, what is this?
    Does the chlorine tablets keep the FC at a 1/4 level or will I need to constantly be adding liquid chlorine?

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    The chlorine tablets I got say Sterilizer on them, and says its a stabilizing chlorine tablet. I was told by this pool guy to make sure the skimmer is always full, are you saying not to do that?

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    I kinda added on to my origional post after I posted it so there may be some stuff on there that wasn't before

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    I read the pool school and most of the other pages on this site and it was helpful but I have a lot of questions that I can't find answers to and I want to get it the pool as soon as I can.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Forget everything that you have been told. Unfortunately, most of the so called pool professionals have no idea how to properly care for a pool and are usually skewed by the information they get from their chemical suppliers.

    How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    And then ask questions as they come up.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    bellebrit's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    Also, I read on here that I will be checking the levels daily and adjusting, I'm assuming with liquid chlorine, MA or Baking Soda, is this correct.

    And in reguards to the tablets, I was told that was the stabilizer which is the CYA, do I need to do something else.

    I've got so many different answers from so many different sites and people, but this site the people sound pretty informed so I'm gonna trust what I'm told here as opposed to everywhere else.

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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    The tablets at this point may be ok, but without the numbers of the CYA - hard to say. Remember I'm still learning as well Since you just filled this pool I'm assuming that the water is clearish?

    The Sock thing is (if i'm not mistaken) is for filtration - if you have green, leafy water.

    On the Pool Math - fill in the the suggested goal levels and the pool type to get where your numbers should be and your targets for Shock level.
    12x28 Rectangular (13000gal) In-ground plaster pool
    1hp pump
    Cape Coral, FL

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    It is very difficult to reply to you when you ask many disjointed questions. Try to stick with a few simple questions and build on that after you get answers.

    Did you read the last link I provided? It explains the different types of chlorine. Tablets add chlorine, stabilizer, and lower the pH. The chlorine is consumed, the stabilizer builds up. The FC/CYA Chart shows how the required FC level rises as the stabilizer rises. This is why most people can not rely on only using tablets, unless they plan to dump the pool often and start over.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    I read Getting Started, ABCs, Basic Pool Care Schedule, Chlorine CYA chart, Common Myths, how to chlorinate, did the pool math, and recommended chemicals. Theres is just so much information Im having anxiety. I wrote up a novel at first with my whole story but it was too big to post, haha.

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    I know I'm all over the place I appologize, my husband just kinda decided to buy a pool and I'm the one stuck doing everything, and I'm so overwhelmed.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    You would have much better understanding of the pool with one of the Recommended Test Kits ... too bad you have now apparently bought 2 inadequate ones.

    You can leave the tablets in a floater (do not put them in the skimmer), but you need to get the FC up to 2ppm with bleach ASAP and to prevent stuff from growing. Also lower the pH with muriatic acid into the 7s. Beyond keeping FC in the water and pH in range, there is not much else that you need to worry about immediately.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    Ok, sorry, again, I'm just gonna start at the beginning and see what you say.

    I filled the pool with the garden hose and tested it (with I'm assuming an inadequate test strip?)
    When I did the initial test TA and PH were as high as the test would go.

    I was told not to worry about PH just TA because the PH depends on the TA, first off is this correct?

    I poured the 2 gal of MA in, retested this morning and right now all of my levels are at 0, what should I do first?

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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    First, test strips are absolutely worthless, so I am not really sure how to advise you.

    No that is not correct. You should ignore TA and only focus on pH.

    2 gallons to muriatic acid????? That is WAY too much. With a pool your size, you likely should never add more than about 3 cups of muriatic acid (assuming it is 31%).

    Do you have anything besides test strips? You pH has to be VERY VERY low now.

    One of the beliefs we hold is to NEVER add anything to our pool unless you know exactly what it is going to do.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    A pH 8.4 was high so adding acid was the right thing to do, BUT NOT 2 GALLONS! According to PoolMath adding 2 gallons of Acid with a TA of 240 would lower your pH to 5.9, which is dangerously low! A mere 26 oz of 31.45% acid would have taken it from 8.4 to the proper 7.5! 256 oz is nearly 10x's as much!

    You'll at least need a 2-way OTO/pH test kit to fix the pH problem. Adding Borax will raise the pH. According to PoolMath it could take up to 240 oz of Borax to get back to 7.5 pH. I would start with 50oz, let circulate for 30 minutes and re-test.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    Kinda the opposite with regards to pH and TA. pH is very important to adjust and should be adjusted first. TA is something you can tinker with once pH and FC (free chlorine) are in control.

    In order of importance to get a handle on first:
    #1 CYA, you need to know this to then know how much FC you should always have in your pool.
    #2 pH, this needs to be adjusted when your FC is less than 10, which it always is when your just maintaining your pool, but may be higher if you're dealing with algae
    #3 FC, this keeps your pool algae and bacteria free

    Other numbers are also VERY important but starting with those is enough to get you going. In order to have accurate results for those numbers and the rest requires a rigorous test kit that you can perform yourself for routine testing. Get one of the Preferred Test Kits (the TF 100 is a sure fire bet) and you can go from there. And when your kit is on the way dive into Pool School and ask more questions.
    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
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    All I have is strips, we had gotten an HTH 6 way test kit from Walmart, but there was nothing telling you how to use it or anything with a color chart to compare to see what the levels were so I returned it. I don't have a whole lot of money, but I will be getting one of the kits recomended on here, I just really don't want to have to wait till I order it online. But I have a 4 yr old so if you recomend me waiting and getting a good test kit I will, Id rather be safe than sorry. I know it said it's hard to find in store but are there any stores that might carry them that I can check with?

    I though it was too much MA but I had no clue and trusted the guy, I heard that stuff can mess up the liner if theres too much.

    Can I use baking soda to raise it or will I need to go buy something else?

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    I wish I would have known about this website before I added the MA. I found you guys the day after I did it.... Now I'm freaking out that I ruined my pool.

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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    No. Baking soda will also raise TA, which you don't want. Go to Walmart ASAP and get a cheap 2-way test kit and 4 boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax from the laundry isle.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    The TF 100 is the one I'm planning on getting. Any stores that may carry them?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    I agree with Jesse, get a Taylor OTO/pH 2-way test kit. And buy a LOT of borax.
    Then when you can order the TF-50 test kit, since you will have the OTO/pH test already.

    The TF kits are ONLY available at tftestkits.net (and poolsupplyworld.com on the West coast) ... the owner of this forum, Dave, designed and sells the kits.
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    Ok I'm heading to Walmart now, should I put the Borax in as soon as I get it? And how should I do it?

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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    Quote Originally Posted by bellebrit View Post

    Can I use baking soda to raise it or will I need to go buy something else?

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    I wish I would have known about this website before I added the MA. I found you guys the day after I did it.... Now I'm freaking out that I ruined my pool.
    Your pool should be fine. Slow down and take your time. You probably want to get it done ASAP but slow and steady will win the race. Get the 20 Mule Team Borax in the pool very soon as JesseWV says and mix it up really well. Then do some reading in Pool School and you'll be ready to get it a sparkling pool in no time.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner In need of Serious HELP.

    Walmart may not have the Taylor OTO/pH kit. You should never add anything without testing first and using PoolMath to know how much to add. Although in this case, you WILL need to add a lot of borax (or washing soda/soda ash).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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