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Thread: Beginners question

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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Beginners question

    Hi everyone
    I threw the floating chlorine tablets away. I add the correct amount of bleach (Walmart brand 8.25 sodium hydrochlorite) in the evening per the pool calculator and in the morning I'm at a good 4 which the pool calculator says is my goal. In the evening when I check again it's down to .5. This has happened every day. Am I doing something wrong or is this normal. I'm in Oklahoma and pool is mostly without shade. My ph is perfect. I've had the pool up for nearly a week now. Thanks
    Mike
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners question

    You need to add enough to carry you through until the next time you check. If you're down to .5, and you were at 4 in the morning, you lost 3.5 - which is a bit much.

    For the short term, you need to target something like 8, so it is above 4 when you check again the next evening.
    For the long term, it sounds like you need to raise the CYA level. Can you post a full set of test results and tell us what test kit you used?
    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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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners question

    thanks Richard
    I use the $3 test kit right now from Walmart that you put the five drops in for chlorine and five red drops in for ph. Would a level of 8 still be safe to swim in? Should I put the floating tablets back in to raise the CYA? Thanks again
    Mike
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Re: Beginners question

    You need a good value for the cyanuric acid level.

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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners question

    Is 8 a safe level to still swim in for chlorine levels?
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Re: Beginners question

    Depends, what is your CYA level? Without knowing that none of these questions can be answered.

    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners question

    Two questions where do you buy the recommended pool test kit from and how do you test for CYA level? The best test kits from Walmart doesn't show that it test for CYA levels. If it's less then a week since I filled my pool from city water would that more then likely mean my CYA levels are very low? And if that's the case should I for the time being put the floating chlorine tablet thingy back in?
    Thanks
    Mike
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Re: Beginners question

    8 can be perfectly fine as long as you have at least 20 to 30 ppm cya. You can add granular cyanuric acid if necessary.

    See the link in my signature for the best test kit.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners question

    Quote Originally Posted by Piper Mike View Post
    Is 8 a safe level to still swim in for chlorine levels?
    The safe chlorine level is dependent on the CYA level. Chart 8 might not even be close to safe if the CYA level is astronomical.

    You probably ought to spend a little time in Pool School.
    ABCs will get you speaking our language.
    The first four on this page is need-to-know stuff.

    If you only retain 1/4 of what's on those pages, you'll be in good shape.

    An accurate test kit is essential. With trustworthy results and the help of this board, you can get that pool sparkling like nobody's business and keep it like that all season long for waaaaay less than the pool store will charge.
    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: Beginners question

    You say you've had the pool up for a week. Tell us what you've put in it, including the fill-water source. If it is brand new city water, in all likelihood your issue is needing CYA. If you can tell us how much, of what, you've put in, we can come close on the CYA. Getting a good test kit is still your best next step. Once you get a test kit and play around with the cya/chlorine chart, Pool Math, and go through the Pool School articles, you will be amazed at how easy and fun having a pool is.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Beginners question

    Do a little reading in pool school, the CYA level in your water will be the difference between answering your question "Yes it's fine" or "no it'll bleach your hair and anything else you put in the pool" without that value no one on here can help you. not that we don't want to, just can't be done. also in Donldson's signature is a link for test kits, It is pretty much mandatory to have one of the tf-100 (or equivalent) test kits on that site. also a "learn from my mistake" piece of advice, go for the XL option on the kit and get a speed-stir. I have never seen anyone on here say "I wish I hadn't ordered the extra stuff".
    25.5K gal vinyl IGP 3.5' - 8' depth. 1.5HP single speed A.O. Smith C48L2N134B1 motor on a Hayward SP2610X15 Pump. 40 ft2 D.E. Filter Hayward model EC75A. Hayward Chlorinator model CL200. single skimmer, 2 Returns. TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir.

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    Re: Beginners question

    When you are out and about tomorrow, see if you can pick up some Stabilizer from Walmart - it will be a powder in a jar, probably (if HTH brand). Could be called Stabilizer or Conditioner, but it is Cyanuric Acid (CYA). It acts as sunscreen (sort of) for your chlorine so the sun doesn't eat it up as quickly and it can hang out and keep your water clean longer. In the meantime, dose your pool once in the morning and once in the evening after swimming. Assuming you have very little CYA (if you filled with tap water and only had a tablet in for a short time this is likely), you should shoot for 3 or 4 as your target FC and try not to let it dip below 2.

    Another option for adding Stabilizer is to add it in the form of a powder called Dichlor, which is stabilizer PLUS chlorine - so it does double duty. The idea is you sanitize with Dichlor until you get your CYA up to 30 or so and then you stop using the dichlor (so as not to let your CYA get too high) and sanitize with only liquid bleach (which is chlorine only, no sanitizer). Read the temporary/seasonal pool school article for all the info needed to maintain your Intex. Happy Swimming!

    And, as to safety at "8" - if you have 20 CYA (and you may not have that high), Shock Level would be 10 FC - it is safe to swim up to shock level. That said, if I had very little kids I would just keep it at 3 or 4 and dose multiple times a day (morning and then after each swim session).
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners question

    I filled the pool up Saturday afternoon and in to early Sunday afternoon. I'd guess that I put in just less then 6500 gallons. I filled it with the hose. Which I get my water from the city and not a private well. Since starting to fill it I had one of those floating thingies in it and on Monday night I started to put 8.25% Walmart brand bleach in based on the pool calculator as to how much to put in it. On Monday night I placed 24 oz. in and last night I put 35 oz in and tonight I put 35 oz in and then after Richard said to get it up to 8, I put another 32 oz in tonight. I also took the floating thing out this afternoon. It's still out now. I did go thru the school twice now. I guess I must be missing something.
    Thanks
    Mike
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners question

    Sounds like all you're missing is stabilizer. And a test kit

    I wish I'd known it was a fresh fill - we could have saved a lot of typing! You can put that puck floater back in - even jacking FC to 8 won't help maintain the FC level all day long without any stabilizer. Add stabilizer and continue using bleach and just let whatever's in the floater dissolve all the way. Hang onto those pucks and the floater, for vacations. They'll last years if you keep them dry.
    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: Beginners question

    You need cya to get your bleach to last longer. You can add it by using tablets (Pool Math) will help you know how much each tablet adds of FC and CYA (I have never used tabs so I am no help here). Or you can buy stabilizer and add it by hanging it off the side of the pool in a cotton sock on a string - again, consult Pool Math to see how much to add - you should target 30 to start with. Or you can add it by using Dichlor as your sanitizer/cya mix. I always just do the Stabilizer separately because I've never wanted to mess with figuring out how long a tablet takes to dissolve and how much cya/FC is in one -- so I just add the Stabilizer in a sock and use liquid bleach to sanitize. Any of the combinations above will work - the key is to get CYA in at a level of about 30 and to keep your FC level between the maximum and minimum values for your current CYA level (use the CYA/Chlorine Chart). Post back with questions -- you'll get it, I promise. Doing it a few times (taking a test; using Pool Math to calculate what you need to add; seeing how the water acts after a day of heavy swimming versus no swimming,etc). Keep with us and you'll love it in no time!
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners question

    Thanks everyone
    I'll get the stabilizer tomorrow after work. If I may ask one more question? How do I know how much to add tomorrow if I don't know what my CYA level is? Even if I order the test kit tonight I won't get it tomorrow to test. Is there a safe about to add?
    Thanks again so much for all your help
    Mike
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners question

    Plug numbers into poolmath and target 30. psst - 26 oz by weight or 3 kitchen measuring cups. Whatever amount the pucks add won't throw you off too much.
    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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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners question

    Is a Taylor Complete FAS-DPD Pool Water Test Kit K-2006
    A good one to buy? The $16 shipping seems very high and I found the above kit on Amazon. Any thoughts?
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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    Re: Beginners question

    That test kit is likely overkill for you as I believe all you really need is the ability to test CYA, pH, Free Chlorine, and Combined Chlorine. Especially if you will be taking your intex down seasonally and starting each year with new water. The trouble is, to get the FC and CC tests, you need to get a test kit better than Walmart sells. So your options are to get the Taylor kit that has FAS-DPD; find a pool store that will sell the individual components; buy a big kit from TfTest Kits; or buy some individual components from TFTest Kits. Whichever way works best for you to get those four tests (at a minimum) is what you need to do. Getting the other test stuff like calcium, TA, etc is fine, and sort of fun to play with. But for a seasonal pool I believe it is not imperative.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Piper Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Beginners question

    Thanks. My plans are to keep it up all year. It doesn't usually get below 40 in the winter. Some days it drops below freezing.
    Thanks again
    Mike
    Intex ultra frame 26'x52" above ground pool
    Intex ultra 18'x46" above ground pool retired

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