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Thread: new owner and a little scared

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    new owner and a little scared

    hey everyone, i just bought a house with a pool and have been religiously reading this forum after an algae out break and me spending $150 for a pool service to clean it up. I've The water has been clear and i've been trying to keep the chlorine level up with pucks and occasional liquid chlorine. I know pucks raise CYA, but my CYA level was pretty low (15) when i started (2 weeks ago), so i figure i can raise the CYA level and keep the chlorine high, win/win until i move in (2 weeks from now). The good news is the water remained clear during this time, but every time i test the FC level remained very low (near 0), even a day after dumping a gallon of 10% chlorine i got from home depot. Here are some details about my pool:

    22k gallons, fiberglass.
    FC: 0
    CC: 0
    CYA: ~30 now
    ph: 7.7 ?

    i am about to order a good test kit, since the above numbers were from deduced from test strips and leslie pool (combination). I figure i need to SLAM the pool since it's not maintaining the FC level, so i'm in the process of doing that now (just dumped 2 gallons of 10% liquid chlorine, and brushed and vacuumed). But there's just so many questions and concerns i have:

    1) I *think* i have black algae in my pool. I see a lot of black dots around stairs and in the middle of the pool. but i also read that with fiberglass pools it's hard to get black algae (although my FC level was pretty low for a couple weeks). I tried brushing it off with nylon brush but it didn't come off. I'm scared to use a metal brush because the local pool guy said it will damage the fiberglass. I'm also scared to rub trichlor pucks on it for the same reason. For fiberglass pools, what's the recommended solution? I just finished brushing/vacuum and adding chlorine for the night to keep SLAMing it, but will that help? how else can i treat this?

    2) I'm going to buy a liquidator to keep the chlorine levels steady, but with all the moving i don't have time to install that yet for another 2 weeks. I stop by the place everyday just for the pool, but it feels like i'm seeing more and more black spots. I'm hoping this SLAM will help prevent that? Should i keep using the pucks to maintain chlorine? i figure i still have some buffer room before going all BBB, since my CYA is technically still low (~30)...

    3) I'm also seeing stains on the bottom of the pool. I just read a couple threads that it might be the metal level, but it doesn't seem like the k2006 test kit tests for metal? How do i know if it is? I will try rubbing vitamin C tablets on it or trichlore pucks, but will it damage the fiberglass? If it is metal stains, what's the easiest why to get rid of it?

    I just have a ton of questions and i'm getting a little overwhelmed and considering just shelling out the monthly fee to hire a pool guy. I read almost every article in pool school. But reading and doing seems so far apart, and there's all the other stuff beyond the basics. This forum gave me the initial courage to try doing it myself (bought vacuum hose, test kits etc, and was about to buy the LQ). i'm hoping you guys will be able to help sustain my courage to continue on. Please help!

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    UN1017's Avatar
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    Re: new owner and a little scared

    Welcome to TFP!

    Don't get frustrated. You have the concepts down pretty well. A good test kit is key. Just order a TF-100 with a SpeedStir and don't look back! The results your are getting from the strips and pool store are likely inaccurate, so I would be cautious on what you add to your pool.

    I don't have experience with fiberglass pools so I won't address those issues but I would be confident in your ability to manually dose your pool before getting too reliant on the Liquidator. Once you beat this initial learning curve, you'll be amazed at how little work it will be to maintain. A pool service will cost you way more in the long run.

    Once you get a test kit and are moved in...things will be much easier.
    15'x30' IG - Roman-style - 14K - Pebble Fina Classico
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    Chlorine/CYA Chart----Extended Test Kit Directions----SLAM

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    Re: new owner and a little scared

    Welcome!! I also don't know enough about the details of fiberglass, so I'll let someone else jump in to answer your questions.

    In general, work on the chemistry first, then figure out stains. If they are metal stains, you're going to want to be positive that your water is clear and the chemistry is correct before you start to do anything to get the stains out.

    Can you put your pool info in your signature? Forum actions --> Edit Profile --> Edit Signature
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: new owner and a little scared

    I can help a little with fiberglass from a sailboat perspective. Stick with the nylon brush, the SS will scratch the gel coat.

    Personally I would be hesitant to put a puck directly on for more than a couple of seconds. From a slam perspective it and rigorous brushing should take care of the black algae.

    Bad news is you may wear out a couple of nylon brushes, and be prepared to find bristles in your pool and filter for a while.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: new owner and a little scared

    Have you scraped the black spots with a fingernail and rubbed it on white paper yet? Try that and see if it leaves a green color on the paper, that will determine if it is black algae. You might have read this link, http://www.troublefreepool.com/content/180-Black-Algae, about black algae already but give it another read. If you confirm that the spots are black algae then we will go from there, otherwise they might just be some type of stain forming which seems more likely being that you have a fiberglass pool.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Re: new owner and a little scared

    Thanks everyone. a good night sleep and waking up to all your supportive comments makes me feel better already! I ran by the the place before work to quickly check the numbers with aqua check test strip (ordered my k2006 and waiting for it!). The FC looked good, between 10-20, and total chlorine was definitely on the high side, but i assume that's because of SLAMing? Will it come down on its own or should i keep SLAMing until it comes down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski View Post
    Welcome!! I also don't know enough about the details of fiberglass, so I'll let someone else jump in to answer your questions.

    In general, work on the chemistry first, then figure out stains. If they are metal stains, you're going to want to be positive that your water is clear and the chemistry is correct before you start to do anything to get the stains out.

    Can you put your pool info in your signature? Forum actions --> Edit Profile --> Edit Signature
    ok one thing at at time. stains can be dealt with later! I'll update my signa

    Quote Originally Posted by ping View Post
    Have you scraped the black spots with a fingernail and rubbed it on white paper yet? Try that and see if it leaves a green color on the paper, that will determine if it is black algae. You might have read this link, http://www.troublefreepool.com/content/180-Black-Algae, about black algae already but give it another read. If you confirm that the spots are black algae then we will go from there, otherwise they might just be some type of stain forming which seems more likely being that you have a fiberglass pool.
    ok i'll try this smudge test tonight after work. hopefully it's not black algae!


    Quote Originally Posted by karmabiker
    I can help a little with fiberglass from a sailboat perspective. Stick with the nylon brush, the SS will scratch the gel coat.

    Personally I would be hesitant to put a puck directly on for more than a couple of seconds. From a slam perspective it and rigorous brushing should take care of the black algae.

    Bad news is you may wear out a couple of nylon brushes, and be prepared to find bristles in your pool and filter for a while.
    thanks, i'll stick with the nylon brush for now

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    Re: new owner and a little scared

    For now I would try to keep the chlorine on the higher side and brush as much as you can until you get the K-2006 test kit. I would not run it 24/7 until you get your test results and then we can offer some better advice.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Re: new owner and a little scared

    ok, i smudged some things off the black spots on a white paper. i don't think it looks green, but i can't exactly tell, can you guys help tell me if this is black algae or not?

    This is the stairs


    Here are some on the side of the pool


    Here are some samples smudged from the stairs




    test kit coming Tuesday!
    In ground, fiberglass, 22k gallons

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    Re: new owner and a little scared

    Also, from the looks of my main pump it looks like it's pretty old:


    I was trying to decode the label to find the flow rate, but i'm not sure what to look at:


    I looked online and this seemed to be my pump:
    http://www.inyopools.com/Products/00200017039432.htm

    here's a clearer label:


    can someone help me find the flow rate?

    When do i know i need a new pump?

    and also, based on the pictures of the previous post, is that black algae?
    In ground, fiberglass, 22k gallons

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    Re: new owner and a little scared

    The wet end of the pump is just about indestructible. The motor side on the other hand ... A lot of folks are swapping out the motors for energy efficient 2 speed motors and getting super fast ROI.

    I have the same challenger pump in a 2hp model and swapped the motor for a 2 speed. The new motor paid for itself in about 8 months in reduced electricity usage @ 10 cents a kWh.

    Not sure that is black algae, but I think it is algae. Time to slam.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: new owner and a little scared

    To directly answer you question it is time for a new pump when it stops pumping water.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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