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Thread: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

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    oo3menace's Avatar
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    Question Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    This is my first post here...found this forum after trying to research phosphate problems with pools...needless to say that was after I bought the pool stores $46 jug of Phosfree...

    I have aqua check test strips and I don't know how to post the equivalent #s that everyone always does, but I've ordered a kit from this site tf100 something or another...all areas of the strip are "in range" except FC...and I can't figure it out.

    The backstory...I bought a foreclosed home last year June and the home has a preexisting 24ft round AG vinyl pool...last year was a nightmare dealing with not really knowing how to maintain anything on the pool, to faulty equipment (sand filter w/ a busted valve) to eventually algae problems and the struggle continued until I nearly lost my mind and knocked it down...My wife and daughter were none to happy about my woes with the pool and begged me to give it another season. Fastforward to this season, purchase all new equipment, skimmer, de filter new pump etc.

    Opened it up, green and murky. Connected all the new equipment, "shocked" and let run overnight. I will admit, I used the bagged powder version of shock (remember, still new here...). Water cleared up and there was some debris on the bottom. Test water...no FC? Shock it again and let it run overnight. More gunk on the bottom, vacuumed it up again and "regenerated" the filter (all new de and flushed it out). All the while, the rest of the chemicals are "in range" based on the cheapo test strips. So ph, cya alk all "seem fine".

    Still having trouble with FC levels, my initial voyage to my local pool store to have them test and ask for advice...pool store tests with their strips (has more rows than mine) and he says I have TC but no FC was present. Told me to shock it using 3lbs all at once. So I trot back home, do exactly that and low and behold no FC less than 15-20 min later...again...Now frustrated evermore, head back to pool store with another water sample...this time they test for phosphates and it turns blue in this tube, sells me a $46 jug of stuff and explains what to do...So here I am, did what he said and started googling phosphates only to come upon your site which basically calls me dumb for thinking phosphates has something to do at all with my water...Any thoughts or feedback before I get my kit to get you guys more info?

    The water itself is blue, clear-ish just a tad cloudy, no visible debris or algae forming that I can tell...
    Jon R
    13.5k Gal, AG Vinyl 24ft round
    Hayward DE EC40 & 1hp pump
    Older pool purchased with home last year.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    Welcome!

    You are describing the classic symptoms of a pool with ammonia. Ammonia forms when a certain bacteria is in the pool and conditions are just right and it converts the CYA into Ammonia. This year there has been a lot of it. I think the deep freezes might have done it.

    So the problem is twofold: One, all the chlorine you're adding is used up almost as fast as you pour it in by the ammonia and two, all the CYA is gone, so all the chlorine you add that the ammonia didn't neutralize gets destroyed by the sun.

    The solution is bleach, lots and lots of it.



    The only way you'll get that pool clear (And this may be the last time you have to do this, ever, if you follow our techniques and close properly) is to SLAM it. But to do that properly, you need accurate test results and a FAS-DPD tester, which are in the mail...

    While you wait impatiently... read some success stories to inspire yourself:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...gross-numbers)
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ool-is-winning
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-to-Clean-tale
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...glorious-swamp!
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...28-TFP-Success
    A little encouragement for those with algae and new to BBB
    Frog Filled Green Swamp to Oasis---Work in Progress!!!
    Before and After Pool Pics
    Before and after!
    A final picture set of how well the BBB method works!
    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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    oo3menace's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    Thanks for the welcome...

    Ugh....well that's not the first response I was expecting...So while I wait for the test kit, is there anything I could be doing besides buying stock in bleach?

    Just to be clear...if the ammonia is messing with the FC and the CYA levels, how on earth am I supposed to keep the FC levels up? It seems so counter intuitive. Without CYA, no FC...it's like the chicken before the egg question...does the kit I ordered come with a kit to test for ammonia?

    I thought half the battle was getting the water blue...man was I wrong!
    Jon R
    13.5k Gal, AG Vinyl 24ft round
    Hayward DE EC40 & 1hp pump
    Older pool purchased with home last year.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    Ammonia tests are available at tropical fish stores. You could go buy one for a few bucks and test it at home and know if that's the problem or not for sure. About all it will tell you is that yes, you will need a whole lotta chlorine. Ammonia or just algae, either way, bleach is the answer.
    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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    bridgman's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    That's the great thing isn't it... no matter what the question, bleach is usually the answer
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    Welcome! You're not dumb. You just didn't know and the Pool Store took advantage of that.

    Since we know bleach is usually the answer, You should read this to get started so you can understand. ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry


    We can help you on your way. We can point the direction to go. You, my friend, have to be willing to do the homework (required reading) to learn the TFPC way.
    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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    oo3menace's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    Here is the most frustrating part of all this...the pool is clear. FRUSTRATED...

    Pool clear.jpg

    Pool 2.jpg
    Jon R
    13.5k Gal, AG Vinyl 24ft round
    Hayward DE EC40 & 1hp pump
    Older pool purchased with home last year.

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    oo3menace's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    Test kit came in the other day and finally have some down time to test and here are my results.

    FC - 0.5
    CC - 2
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 110
    CH - 500
    CYA - 50-60? I had trouble with this one for some reason...I repeated it three times and each time I couldn't really tell when the dot was "obscured"...Especially if I was holding it and it was moving just a little bit, so I placed it down on a table instead and got more "stable" results, let's call it.

    DISCLAIMER: I don't know if I performed all of the tests correctly, it was my first time...
    Jon R
    13.5k Gal, AG Vinyl 24ft round
    Hayward DE EC40 & 1hp pump
    Older pool purchased with home last year.

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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    With a CYA that high, you should replace some water to bring your CYA level down to 30... especially since you are battling ammonia. You are going to need a lot of bleach. To start off, I suggest picking up about 20 jugs at Costco or Wal-Mart's generic brand. No scented, no outdoor, no splashless, etc... just plain bleach preferably the 8.25% stuff. The FC will probably disappear immediately after you add it, so testing frequently and adding more chlorine frequently is very important. You will probably be making several trips to get more bleach, but don't despair because you are on track to having sparkly water all season long and your wife and daughter will be happy
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    oo3menace's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    How do I pump to waste with a DE filter? Do I just turn the pump on with the drain valve open or let gravity do the work? I have ball valves after the skimmer and before the return jet...Thanks.
    Jon R
    13.5k Gal, AG Vinyl 24ft round
    Hayward DE EC40 & 1hp pump
    Older pool purchased with home last year.

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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    Sorry, I can't give you recommendations on how to pump to waste because I would need to see your plumbing setup. I have a multiport value that allows me to pump to waste.
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    Quote Originally Posted by oo3menace View Post
    Test kit came in the other day and finally have some down time to test and here are my results.

    FC - 0.5
    CC - 2
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 110
    CH - 500
    CYA - 50-60? I had trouble with this one for some reason...I repeated it three times and each time I couldn't really tell when the dot was "obscured"...Especially if I was holding it and it was moving just a little bit, so I placed it down on a table instead and got more "stable" results, let's call it.

    DISCLAIMER: I don't know if I performed all of the tests correctly, it was my first time...
    If you did the tests correctly, the 2 CC is worrisome.

    The 500 CH is probably not really that high, you just need to mix a lot with that test. A lot. Either you mix a lot or it doesn't react 100% so you add more drops to get the color to change, and then it seems high.

    50-60 CYA isn't horrible, just higher than it needs to be. It means that the minimum FC you need to maintain will be higher, although daily consumption will be about the same. It also means that SLAM level has to be higher. If you're trying to destroy ammonia only and not algae, it could be done in a day, now that you can test.

    That being said, that water looks inviting. Before you go draining a bunch (and no, via backwash isn't a good idea) why not watch the videos and repeat the FC & CC and CYA tests? http://www.youtube.com/user/TF100TestKit

    If you do decide to drain, just use a garden hose or the vacuum hose and start a siphon. Push the hose in slowly holding it vertical so the air gets pushed out, cap the end with your hand, and haul it out and over and below the water level in teh pool.
    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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    oo3menace's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    I watched the videos the first time I did it...nothing seems to have changed or help me...still struggling with the dot and the light pink.

    FC Still at 0.5
    CC to be honest, maybe 1.5-2? I still have a hard time with how light pink it is to clear...When I add the reagent it definitely goes light pink and it takes 2-3 drops to get clear...I tried using natural light and then turned the lights on in a dark room...and it seems once I let it sit for a little bit it goes light pink again? Is that normal?
    CYA still between 50 and 60.
    Jon R
    13.5k Gal, AG Vinyl 24ft round
    Hayward DE EC40 & 1hp pump
    Older pool purchased with home last year.

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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    For CC test, do not let the test sit for a while. Once is it turns clear, it is clear, it tends to turn pink again if you let it sit. Do make sure that you swirl the test tube after each drop.

    I also use a bright light and white sheet of paper to help me tell when it goes from pink to clear. The bright halogen lights above my stove is my go to place since my eyes are getting worse
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    oo3menace's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    So I did the CC test again making sure I was continously stirring and in front of a good light source. CC was 1.
    Jon R
    13.5k Gal, AG Vinyl 24ft round
    Hayward DE EC40 & 1hp pump
    Older pool purchased with home last year.

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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    Not to cause trouble...but here we go.

    If we think this is Ammonia - how is his CYA so high if the creation of Ammonia "eats" the CYA ?
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    oo3menace's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    OK, so let's assume CYA is closer to 50 (wife redid the test and we got 50)...based on the CYA chart my shock level is 20. So Pool Math says I need to initially add 4.1x96oz jugs of bleach to attain that level from 0.5FC to 20FC...sound right?

    After I add the bleach, how long do I wait to test again? 1 hour?
    Jon R
    13.5k Gal, AG Vinyl 24ft round
    Hayward DE EC40 & 1hp pump
    Older pool purchased with home last year.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    The dose sounds correct if it's 8.25% bleach.

    If you suspect ammonia, you can test as soon as 30 minutes and it will be significantly lower. Or wait an hour. Your call.
    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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    oo3menace's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    Thanks Richard, yes it is 8.25% bleach.



    That was my first run yesterday to Wally World...my guess is others have the same idea because the shelf was pretty empty and I cleaned out the rest.

    I'll retest at 30 and report back...Thanks for all the help!
    Jon R
    13.5k Gal, AG Vinyl 24ft round
    Hayward DE EC40 & 1hp pump
    Older pool purchased with home last year.

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    oo3menace's Avatar
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    Re: Second season, new equipment, poor results...

    Tested 1 hour later:

    FC - 8
    CC - 0.5

    So back to Pool math, I should add 2.5x96oz jugs of bleach. Will retest in 1 hour.
    Jon R
    13.5k Gal, AG Vinyl 24ft round
    Hayward DE EC40 & 1hp pump
    Older pool purchased with home last year.

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