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Thread: New to TFP - A few questions please? :)

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    Question New to TFP - A few questions please? :)

    Hi all-
    I'm so excited to have found this forum.
    I've had my house for about 3 years. The first two years we used a pool service. Now that I'm a SAHM I'm doing it myself. It's been a learning experience! I'm currently using Tri-Chlor (that's what my pool service used...but they also added liquid weekly) Since I've found your forum and researching I'm thinking of changing over to the liquid chlorine and daily testing. I do use a Taylor K-2006 testing kit.

    It's an in ground free form shaped pool. The pool is about 35 years old. 2 years ago we had the pool resurfaced with pebble and took out the built in spa and converted it to a cabo deck.

    Approx 18K gallons (or so the pool guy thought??)
    Cartridge filter with a 1 1/2 hp pump with a 3/4 hp booster pump to run the polaris. (both the cartridge filter and pumps are about 10 years old. We replaced the filters last year and I clean them out 2 times per year.)

    Here are my stats as of this afternoon:
    FC - 9
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.8
    TA - 110
    CH ? Didn't test today
    CYA - 80

    I run the filter about 8 hours per day. (probably over-kill but I like the look of moving water )
    The FC seems right in line with the CYA....but....I'm concerned about he CYA and the tri-chlor. But the CYA hasn't really increased since I tested it last month. We have had a lot of windy days with high temps lately and I'm replacing water daily which may be why the CYA isn't as bad as it could be.....We have a pretty small bather load. We swim maybe a few times a week. The pool gets sun from about 10am to 3PM....but after 3 it's completely shaded.

    I've never had an algae or cloudy problem. The pool has been pretty easy. I test every couple of days and scrub 2x per week. I did think I had mustard algae last week, but it turned out to be pollen. (Collected in a the basket sock and I held my FC overnight for 2 nights in a row.) So here are my questions:

    1. When switching over to liquid chlorine how will I know how much to add daily? OR do I have to check my cya daily too.

    And how can I lower the CYA? ( i live in Northern CA and a partial drain /refill would be out of the question.....the water authority would be at my house in an instant!!!)

    2. Do I have to wait for all of the TriChlor to dissipate before I start adding in the liquid chlorine?

    3. What do you do when you go on vacation? Can you use Tabs just for the week while you are gone?

    4. Why would my PH always hover around 7.8 no matter what I do? I add acid and it drops for a day and then goes back up to 7.8. And it stays there. My pool is surrounded by Oak trees and my house backs a nature preserve so all sorts of organic material ends up in the pool.

    5. I've read where you all talk about changing your returns to direct flow. I can't do that. The pool has 5 returns...and all but the one dedicated to the polaris are just pipes that end flush with the wall (now covered with beautifully with pebble). Basically they are totally invisible unless the pump is on then you see the movement around them. Is this a problem? Should I be doing something to increase surface or bottom circulation?.....or since there are so many and I have good flow, is it OK? (this has been bothering me since I tried to install a fountain in one and found out I couldn't.)

    Thanks so much!!!!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP - A few questions please? :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Joious View Post
    1. When switching over to liquid chlorine how will I know how much to add daily? OR do I have to check my cya daily too.
    CYA changes very very slowly due to backwash or splashout. Once a month is plenty. Using the CYA value and todays FC reading and the target, poolmath can tell you how much bleach to add. Instructions on using poolmath are here.

    And how can I lower the CYA? ( i live in Northern CA and a partial drain /refill would be out of the question.....the water authority would be at my house in an instant!!!)
    You can't. I use pool water on my lawn and replace it with the irrigation water. It's a slow, slow process. Wait for the rainy season to do a good drain.

    2. Do I have to wait for all of the TriChlor to dissipate before I start adding in the liquid chlorine?
    No. When the last of it's dissolved, pull the floater.

    3. What do you do when you go on vacation? Can you use Tabs just for the week while you are gone?
    Exactly. I drop a floater in the pool and load it up with pucks. That's why it's helpful to keep CYA reasonable, so you have room to do that. Use the search box above for vacation and get more ideas.

    4. Why would my PH always hover around 7.8 no matter what I do? I add acid and it drops for a day and then goes back up to 7.8. And it stays there. My pool is surrounded by Oak trees and my house backs a nature preserve so all sorts of organic material ends up in the pool.
    Probably the fill water is hard and that's where it settles after topoff. Oak trees would tend to make the water acidic, from the tannin, and the rest would just consume chlorine. You can't blame that.

    5. I've read where you all talk about changing your returns to direct flow. I can't do that. The pool has 5 returns...and all but the one dedicated to the polaris are just pipes that end flush with the wall (now covered with beautifully with pebble). Basically they are totally invisible unless the pump is on then you see the movement around them. Is this a problem? Should I be doing something to increase surface or bottom circulation?.....or since there are so many and I have good flow, is it OK? (this has been bothering me since I tried to install a fountain in one and found out I couldn't.)

    Thanks so much!!!!
    Not really a problem. It just makes the skimmer less efficient and doesn't allow you to direct the flow up to aerate or down to improve circulation in the deep end. You're stuck with it, so keep brushing.

    With your high CYA levels, you have to maintain high FC. If you don't, and you get an algae bloom, you're done for the season. You'll never be able to get the FC level high enough to get ahead of the algae, and you won't be able to lower CYA to something reasonable. So pay close attention to that FC/CYA chart!
    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: New to TFP - A few questions please? :)

    Thanks so much! After discussing with my husband I think we are going to suck it up and do a partial water drain/refill and try to get the level down to around 60 or and then slowly reduce it the rest of the way through our splash out.

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    Re: New to TFP - A few questions please? :)

    Good morning!
    So I have started to drain the pool....I figure I will probably have to do this a few times. However I have a question: In theory it seems I could pump and fill at the same time. I have a submersible pump and have put it at one end and the auto fill is at the other end on the surface. Does this make sense or is there some chemistry - water weight thing that I'm missing? The pool is a sport pool with about 6 feet deep in the middle and 4.5 feet on the ends. The rate of pumping out and filling seem to be about the same as my water line has not moved much. Thanks!
    18K Gallon in-ground pebble-tec. Cartridge filter with 1 1/2 hp pump, and a 3/4hp booster for the polaris.

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    Re: New to TFP - A few questions please? :)

    Uggh....Now I'm so confused. I replaced a about a foot of water today ( I know I will have to do this several times to get my CYA down) but I'm having a hard time reading the test. I always thought i was doing it right....but I was in direct sunlight. But if I turn my back to the sun, have the vial in the shade of my body and drop until the black dot is completely gone my results can be anywhere from 65 to 95. (I re-did the test several times with the same solution...and I have already ordered more!) I thought I was at 80 yesterday and I expected to come down to about 75 today. Thoughts on this? Should i keep FC as if the CYA is still 80?
    18K Gallon in-ground pebble-tec. Cartridge filter with 1 1/2 hp pump, and a 3/4hp booster for the polaris.

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    Re: New to TFP - A few questions please? :)

    New numbers:
    FC 5.5 (Added 92 oz of bleach per pool math) to get to 9
    CC 0
    PH 7.4
    TA 70
    CH 200
    CYA - see above. Anywhere between 65 and 95 Not sure which to trust.
    18K Gallon in-ground pebble-tec. Cartridge filter with 1 1/2 hp pump, and a 3/4hp booster for the polaris.

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