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Thread: Phosphates Question

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    lex179's Avatar
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    Exclamation Phosphates Question

    Ok, so my husband and I are new to the pool world and have been hearing it's a bad spring for pools in Michigan this year.

    We learned about a week ago that we had phosphates in our pool. They were up to about 3000. We put in the amount of Phos free that our pool store suggested, but what we didn't know was that when we vacuum we had to vacuum to waste (we're newbies...) So our water became cloudy and we haven't been able to hold any chlorine in the pool (which was the case when we found out about the phosphates). We have since vacuumed it (the correct way) about 3 times. The water is still a bit cloudy, however it is getting clearer, but this morning i saw more sediment on the bottom to be vacuumed up. We put in 4 gallons of liquid chlorine last night as there was none in our pool earlier in the day when we took a sample to our pool store.

    My question is, how long should this take and are we doing the right thing?

    We do have a sand filter and a gunnite pool if that matters.

    Thank you!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates Question

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Unfortunately you found us too late. Phosphate levels are meaningless and just something the pool stores are using to help their profits. AND ... as you have discovered, this magic potion often causes even more problems.

    To clear up the pool, you need to follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process and to do so properly, you need to invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits and cut ties with the pool store
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Phosphates Question

    OK the breakdown:
    1: Order the TF100 - it's in my signature, no the pool store won't carry one of the kits we recommend.
    2: Take any pucks out of the feed or floater - they are just going to make life harder.
    3: Every evening while waiting on your kit pour 1 gal of bleach (liquid chlorine ... liquid shock ... bleach ... all the exact same stuff in slightly different dilutions) in front of a return to disperse it in the pool. This will help keep the algae at bay while you wait for the kit. (reserve the right to modify the amount based on the volume of your pool)
    4: Check out pool school - big blue button above. Particularaly the ABCs of chemistry and CYA/Chlorine relationship.
    4: When you test kit comes in post up a full set of results here. CYA is the most important as it is the indicator of how much CL you should be dosing with.
    5: we will help you through the SLAM and to understand your pool


    Welcome to TFP!
    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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    lex179's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates Question

    You guys are extremely helpful! I have looked around on some forums before (we've had quite the adventure with this pool since we had it opened) and a lot of them bash pool stores and their scams. I'm staring to believe it's true!

    Does this testing kit you suggest tell us the exact levels of where things are at? I guess that's the hardest part for me is how do i determine what exactly my levels are (which was where the pool store came in handy). Our pool store has one of those automatic spin testers which gave us a read out of everything.

    We will put some more chlorine in tonight. Our pool is 27,000 gallons.

    We will also take a look at the pool school link as well.

    We are a pretty smart couple (mainly my husband as he is the true brains being an engineer) that would could figure all this our on our own eventually, we're just having some trouble getting off the ground. It was nice and clear (after three weeks of being green) then we were told to add that phosfree stuff....then i feel like we're back to square one.

    Thank you both for your help! Super appreciated!!!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates Question

    Yes the test kit will tell you the levels you need to know. Just because they have a computer spitting out numbers to 2 decimal places does not mean the results are correct ... and you do not need to be that precise anyway.

    I think you will quickly be on your way to a trouble free summer if you invest in the test kit, do a little reading, and ask questions if you have any.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates Question

    Your own testing once you have an awesome kit such as the TF-100 (hint hint) will totally make pool store testing irrelevant. Well... pool store testing is pretty irrelevant already but testing yourself is much more convenient, accurate and empowering. Both you and your husband read as much Pool School as you can handle... then read some more. Questions are great! You'll get great answers that actually make sense from the great folks here.
    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: Phosphates Question

    Most of the time the pool store is just plain wrong ... especially on CYA which is the primary indicator of what your CL level should be. By wrong I mean very very wrong, we have had members report CYA of 100 when it was actually 0 and 0 when it was 250.

    The accuracy of the test is far more important than the level of precision, and the TF-100 is as accurate a test kit as money can buy.
    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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