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Thread: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

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    Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Hi everyone. My husband has been in charge of the pool for the past 5 years we've had it, and now I'm taking over the water quality part of the pool maintenance. He has used the local pool place. Every summer, our pool has been ok until about mid July - then it turns green and we fight a green pool until we give up and close it in the fall. During the fight of the green water, we've thrown "shock" into the pool, sometimes "drop out," and then vacuumed it, but it never gets where I like it and it drives me crazy. So, I decided there must be a better way and I found you. (I discovered you last summer when he was out of town - I turned our pool from green to blue and then clear (yea!) using bleach, but didn't have a test kit yet and when he came home, he went back to business as usual.) Anyway, I received the kit today. We started opening the pool a couple of weeks ago but we've had so much going on that we have mostly just spent a ton of time removing green gunk from the bottom of the pool. It was the thickest we've ever seen. We have a mesh pool cover - I'm going to want advice about that later so we can have an easier opening, but that will be a post for a later day.

    For now, we have blue cloudy water - was green yesterday but we added "shock" to it b/c that's what we had and needed to do something.

    Here are the readings I got from the kit today:

    Cl - >/= 10
    pH 7.5
    FC = 7 ppm
    CC = 3
    TC = 10 (while I was reading the instructions for Cal, the water turned back to pink a little - is that normal? I added 2 more drops and it returned to clear, so TC might be 11)
    Cal = 225
    TA = 90
    CYA - did nothing. I'm not sure what was supposed to happen here. The water/chem mix was clear. Was it supposed to turn color? Because it was clear, I filled up the tube and could easily see the black dot.

    I have read the "getting started" page and the SLAM page, but I'm still not sure what to do next.

    Do I need to add stabilizer? Or was there something you think I missed in doing that test? Is there anything else I should be doing?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
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    Southeast KS, Unpainted plaster gunite, 22,000 gal, sand filter, Polaris pool sweep

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Ignore that the FAS-DPD turned back to pink. That is normal and meaningless.

    Sounds like your CYA is zero and given your high CC number, you may be yet ANOTHER victim of bacteria converting your CYA into ammonia.

    You should use PoolMath to dose the FC up to 10ppm, wait 30 minutes and test the FC and CC again.

    Just read your fist paragraph, sounds like a typical summer for someone who uses trichlor tablets and dichlor "shock" where the CYA climbs higher and higher, but the FC is not raised accordingly ... which results in a green pool.

    So, keep scooping out anything in the pool, and adding bleach targeting 10ppm and testing every 30 minutes or so. When the CC drops, add 30ppm of CYA and continue the SLAM Process.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Darn it, he beat me to it.

    Yeah, sounds like ammonia. Bad year for it this year, maybe something with the cold snaps. Anyway... bleach and more bleach frequently, until it starts holding FC, then move on to a conventional slam with some CYA additions and bleach.

    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: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    OK. Thank you. So, if I'm doing pool math right, it looks like I need to add 137 oz or 6% bleach. Does this seem correct?
    Southeast KS, Unpainted plaster gunite, 22,000 gal, sand filter, Polaris pool sweep

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Quote Originally Posted by KristenNScott View Post
    OK. Thank you. So, if I'm doing pool math right, it looks like I need to add 137 oz or 6% bleach. Does this seem correct?
    Are you sure it's 6% and not 8.25% bleach?

    But yes, you used poolmath correctly.
    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: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Ummm. I didn't look at what kind of bleach we had, and just went with the default. Now I see how I can change it, and I do have 8.25% bleach. We put the bleach in and then a quick-moving storm came through and dumped 4 inches of water in 1/2 hr. Going to go test now and see where we stand.
    Southeast KS, Unpainted plaster gunite, 22,000 gal, sand filter, Polaris pool sweep

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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Just want to clarify - as I am adding more chlorine to get it up to 10 ppm and testing/retesting, do I only need to be retesting FC, CC, and TC for now? Or just FC until I get it up to 10 ppm and after that also test for CC/TC?

    Current numbers:
    FC = 5.5 ppm
    CC = 1.5
    TC = 7
    Southeast KS, Unpainted plaster gunite, 22,000 gal, sand filter, Polaris pool sweep

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    I would test FC and CC ... you should see the CC dropping and the FC holding.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Just wondering how hubby took being fired from Pool Boy status? Will you retrain him in the future?

    SLAM That Pool!
    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: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Haha. He didn't get fired. He quit. I think I had convinced him of the merits of the TFP method, but he didn't want to mess with this level of testing. I am a reluctant pool owner - never wanted a pool, but here we are. Kids love it so that makes it worth it. I'm actually having fun doing the testing. Is that weird?
    Southeast KS, Unpainted plaster gunite, 22,000 gal, sand filter, Polaris pool sweep

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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Quote Originally Posted by KristenNScott View Post
    Haha. He didn't get fired. He quit. I think I had convinced him of the merits of the TFP method, but he didn't want to mess with this level of testing. I am a reluctant pool owner - never wanted a pool, but here we are. Kids love it so that makes it worth it. I'm actually having fun doing the testing. Is that weird?
    I see the onset of an acute case of Sparklypoolitis. I'm afraid it is incurable. It will also likely spread to your children, and they will become Pool Snobs.

    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: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Update and just making sure I am still on track.

    Here is what has been happening. Yesterday I had to go out of town. Before leaving, here were my results:

    FC 9.5
    CC 1

    I added the little amount of bleach that Pool Math told me to and left town. While gone, my husband brushed sides of pool and ran pool sweep b/c we had a bunch of leaves that had fallen in from the storm the night before.

    When I returned and tested at 7:00 pm, this is what I had:
    FC 1
    CC .5

    Added the bleach Pool Math told me. Before bed, this is what I had:
    FC 10.5
    CC .5

    This morning, my husband collected pool water - probably around 6:30 or 7:00. I'm not a morning person. So, I tested it around 10:00 and this is what I had:
    FC 8.5
    CC .5

    Went out and looked. The water looks very clear, but I could see stuff on the sides so I brushed the pool and now the water is cloudy blue again. Tested at 11:15 and got these results:
    FC 6.5
    CC .5.

    I'm getting ready to add the amount of bleach that Pool Math tells me to.

    Here are my questions.

    1) It seems good that my CC is staying at .5, but is it normal. I would think that as FC is going away, I would see CC going up - especially during the overnight hours. Also it is a very overcast and cool day today if that makes any difference.

    2) Should I turn on pool sweep to keep water stirred up to encourage the fine powdery stuff I see when I brush to make its way to the filter? Will the filter eventually take care of all that?

    3) Our pool needs to be resurfaced. Does that factor into anything besides it looking yucky?

    Thanks for all your help!
    Southeast KS, Unpainted plaster gunite, 22,000 gal, sand filter, Polaris pool sweep

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    You can not wait that long to test the FC (or the pH) so your OCLT is not valid.

    FC does not always change to CC.
    Yes run the cleaner and get the water filtered.
    Rougher surface gives algae places to hide, so should brush more.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    So, in which direction would the numbers be wrong. My CC has been consistent for several tests in a row so you think the FC may have been higher or lower than the results showed? What is the guideline for how long the water can be held before testing?

    Thanks. I'll get the pool sweep going. I imagine I also need to be back-flushing the filter fairly frequently?
    Southeast KS, Unpainted plaster gunite, 22,000 gal, sand filter, Polaris pool sweep

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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    I also need to be back-flushing the filter fairly frequently?
    Backwash when the pressure rises 25% over clean filter psi.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Don't wait more than a few minutes for pH and FC. Likely the FC will drop, no idea what the pH would do.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    Out of curiosity, during one of my tests today, I tested, saved the water and tested it 4 hours later and got the same FC result. I'm not testing pH right now since I've been working on the SLAM and I read that isn't accurate once that process has begun.
    Southeast KS, Unpainted plaster gunite, 22,000 gal, sand filter, Polaris pool sweep

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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    I just realized that I have messed something up. I have not added CYA. I was thinking that I wasn't supposed to do that until SLAM is complete, but I just went back and re-read what you've told me, and I see that I was supposed to add it once I got the CC down. I hope I haven't "broken" anything. I will add now.

    My most recent numbers were FC 7 and CC .5.
    Southeast KS, Unpainted plaster gunite, 22,000 gal, sand filter, Polaris pool sweep

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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    So, I just added CYA, but I only had 1.75 lb and it looks like I need about 7lbs. Is this something that I should run out to WM for tonight or wait until tomorrow? How urgent is this? (Freaking out a little)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Nevermind - it's a moot point b/c I just looked online and it says they are out of stock at my local WM. We're in a small town and there isn't anyplace else to go tonight. My only other option to get CYA in the pool is to turn my chlorinator back on with the pucks in it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Help me Obe Wan Kenobi - you're my only hope.
    Southeast KS, Unpainted plaster gunite, 22,000 gal, sand filter, Polaris pool sweep

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    Re: Switching to TFP method - first time to test using kit -

    CYA is certainly non-urgent. However, you use up more chlorine than you need to without it so get it in there as soon as you can.....just don't need to get a speeding ticket when you go.

    Save your pucks.

    CYA is readily available online, too.
    Dave S.
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