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Thread: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

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    Cool Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Hi there!
    A bit of history: We bought a house one year ago with our first ever cement pond. Since we knew nothing about pool ownership or maintenance we got a service and not sure if it was them or an unnaturally rainy summer but we had green and brown pool action with great regularity. In the two months we were with them we were charged almost $500 in chemicals in addition to the visits themselves. that would have been shocking if the pool was blue and clear, but it was not most of the time. Fired the service and got a word of mouth referral for a free lancer. Sweet young man but unreliable and is unable to remember to let me know when he has been by so I don't duplicate his efforts or he mine. Soooo, decided like so many others before me in this forum to became successful at DIY.

    So I just learned from reading TFP that I need to get the TF 100 test kit. All I have right now are the strips. So bear with me until i get more precise testing.
    Pool is light, almost pretty green and cloudy. Yesterday I did the strip I had zero FC and high PH. I shocked the pool with too much shock (3lbs--should have done 2) and added a PH reducer. This am the FC was the highest the strip registered and all the other strip colors were in a range the strip bottle says normal. Pool still light green and cloudy. Cleaned the filter basket, skimmers, did backwash. Set the pool on "brush" and brushed the pool and spa. Left it on brush setting for a couple of hours. Returned to normal function and added algecide. Pool become VERY cloudy and little pockets of "suds" floating on pool surface. Spa has jetties of what looks like yellow brown suds. Tested again with the strips and now the AK is high.
    I know I over chlorinated but other than that what have I mucked up?
    Thanks in advance for your wisdom and input!!!
    21,000 IG plaster
    Hayward Vari-flo XL sand filter
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    AimeeH's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Welcome to TFP

    The first step you need to take is to get your own test kit. The strips really can't be trusted for accuracy.

    I'm probably not far from you as I'm in the Cola area. Read pool school and order a test kit and you'll be on your way to a crystal clear pool.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    northrn's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Welcome!

    So you have been "pool stored" huh? Well, congratulations on deciding to take control of your own destiny. You have already discovered that the key to success is reliable testing. The TF-100 with the XL option (and optional speed stir just cause it's so darn fun!) will get you the most bang for your buck.

    First and foremost, STOP adding powders and potions until you get the proper tools to know what you're adding and why.

    Secondly, the "why" is a great place to start while you're waiting for your test kit delivery.

    Pool School is about to begin! Read every part of it and then read it again. Eventually, it will begin to make sense. There's tons of information and kind people here to help you get back to swimming!

    Points of interest:

    Dictionary to learn to speak the language

    All you ever wanted to know about chlorine

    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    Chlorine/CYA Chart


    Once you get your test kit and run your first set of numbers, post them here please.
    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Thanks Aimee--glad to know you know the lay of Central SC weather. Our pool is also under a cathedral of trees which while lovely adds to the challenges of keeping it nice. I just ordered the kit!!!
    Hi Northernn --hahaha okay no more potions until I get my kit.

    Will post my numbers as soon as TF 100 gets here. Hope it is soon!!!

    Thanks Guys!!!!
    21,000 IG plaster
    Hayward Vari-flo XL sand filter
    Pentair 1HP
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    The suds are the algaecide. It will go away eventually. Follow our methods and you will never need it again. As an aside, algaecide is okay as a preventative, but it doesn't do much good when the pool is green.

    Like scrubbing the bathroom with Lysol disinfects it, but bathing in Lysol won't eradicate an infection.
    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: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Okey dokey! The TF 100 arrived and I did my first chemistry class since oh way too long ago. Gotta say the instructions were stellar.
    Here are the stats:
    Total chlorine: .5ppm
    Total bromide: 1ppm
    *these are done simultaneously, yes?
    Ph: 7.35 units
    FC: 1.5ppm
    CC: .5
    CH: 275 (this never went red, but deep dark pinky red)
    TA:170 (this never went red, but deep dark pinky red)
    CYA: 30

    Pool is very cloudy and green, but not a yuck green, sort of a light green. Two days ago I back washed, cleaned main filter, added two chlorine tabs to feeder, cleaned skimmers. Also added some shock because it was 97 degrees and we were hoping for a dip. Decided against dip until we could test properly. Our pool has five tall trees over it and gets some sun but not all day. After I tested we set it to brush and brushed it.

    What are my next steps, kind community?
    Thank you so much!!!
    21,000 IG plaster
    Hayward Vari-flo XL sand filter
    Pentair 1HP
    June 2004
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    How'd you get 7.35 on the pH?

    As an aside, the total chlorine/bromine don't need to be done if you're using the powder test for FC & CC. 1) You aren't using Bromine, so that reading is invalid; 2) You can see for yourself that colormatching isn't that accurate. It should match the other FC reading.

    Now, back to the subject at hand. You're there - you have the test kit, CYA is good, pH is good, you're ready to start dumping jugs! Target 12 on the FC and let poolmath tell you how much bleach to add. Don't neglect to brush and clean behind the light fixture if you can. SLAM instructions.

    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: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Thanks Richard!
    Um dumping jugs of what?
    So straight bleach, like laundry bleach?
    Into the pool itself? Sorry my picture is in the pool dictionary for clueless

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have shock and tabs but no laundry bleach. Oh vey.
    21,000 IG plaster
    Hayward Vari-flo XL sand filter
    Pentair 1HP
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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Jugs of liquid chlorine. Plain unscented laundry bleach from local store, or Liquid Shock (same thing only stronger) from Lowes, Home Depot, Hardware store, or I hate to say it, Pool Store.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Hi Soda City,
    If you look at the ingredients on your shock powder, you will see some percentage for Sodium Hypochlorite.
    If you look at the ingredients on a bottle of bleach, you will see some percentage for Sodium Hypochlorite.

    Sodium Hyochlorite is Chlorine.

    Here is the deal... when you add a stabilized power chlorine, such as the shock, it also raises CYA a.k.a. stabilizer. The higher the CYA, the more chlorine is required to be effective. At some point, the CYA gets so high it becomes unmanageable and the water in the pool must be drained.

    Part of the TFP method of pool care is only adding what the pool needs. Not what any pool store or pool chemical company wants you to put in it. It really is very simple.

    Liquid Chlorine, - bleach - does not contain any unnecessary incredients, and all in all, is much less expensive than pool store products.
    There is no doubt it is the lowest cost source for Chlorine.

    Use regualar old bleach without any fancy scents or all that other stuff. Also, just the cheapest bleach you can find. Bleach usually comes in 2 strenths, regular which is 6 percent Sodium Hypochlorite, and Concentrated which is 8.25 percent. Usually the 8.25 is the best bang for your buck.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Hi everybody, thanks for all the great intel So after I tested the other night we had a powerful, long rainstorm plus my DH mistakenly set the valves wrong and we woke up to a brown murky mess. I hadn't gotten my bleach yet so I caved in and poured in what I did have, granular shock. This turned the pool back to its light cloudy green. This am I did the FC and got 9ppm. Earlier in this thread after I posted my original numbers there was a suggestion that I target my FC to be 12. So I went to the store, picked up six gallons of plain laundry bleach and dumped two gallons. Pool is still green. I tried to do the pool calculator but it is not working for me. I was able to
    enter my gallons and my actually but the goal and now columns read "goal: not set up" and when I put in my actuals in the right column it populated them to the left column. I am sure it is an operator error but I am no stranger to online calculators (mortgage, retirement) so who knows. Anyway I just did the TC daily and it is darker than the highest level of yellow on the daily test tube. Then I did my FC and it is 15. Pool remains light green and cloudy. Ph is 7.5. Any ideas? I am losing my hope that I can DIY this
    Last edited by Soda city; 07-12-2014 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Added how much bleach I dumped
    21,000 IG plaster
    Hayward Vari-flo XL sand filter
    Pentair 1HP
    June 2004
    Spa

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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    The way I got to 7.35: the color landed between 7.5 & 7.2; the directions said to average the two. Thanks though because I need all the help I can get!!!!
    21,000 IG plaster
    Hayward Vari-flo XL sand filter
    Pentair 1HP
    June 2004
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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Well I owned a pool for only 2 months, and started getting pool stored but then found this board. I have to day that those pool people at the store either have no clue or enjoy taking you for a ride. I learned all I could and was even able to fix a leaky pump thanks to this place. There is hope, just do the SLAM and it will work. Then follow BBB. I have to admit that after I cleared the green, I was cloudy for a long time and it urked me off and I was inpatient so I used a clarifier to help the sand filter. After that I have had no problems and the pool is great. Don't give up.
    Circa 20,000 gal IGP, 12 years old, Hayward SP2607X10, 1 hp single speed pump, Hayward S244T Sand filter, vinyl liner, using Aquacheck test strips and Taylor K-2006 Test Kit, 1 skimmer, 1 bottom drain, 2 jets (near stairs and on the opposite deep end)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Quote Originally Posted by Soda city View Post
    Hi everybody, thanks for all the great intel So after I tested the other night we had a powerful, long rainstorm plus my DH mistakenly set the valves wrong and we woke up to a brown murky mess. I hadn't gotten my bleach yet so I caved in and poured in what I did have, granular shock. This turned the pool back to its light cloudy green. This am I did the FC and got 9ppm. Earlier in this thread after I posted my original numbers there was a suggestion that I target my FC to be 12. So I went to the store, picked up six gallons of plain laundry bleach and dumped two gallons. Pool is still green. I tried to do the pool calculator but it is not working for me. I was able to
    enter my gallons and my actually but the goal and now columns read "goal: not set up" and when I put in my actuals in the right column it populated them to the left column. I am sure it is an operator error but I am no stranger to online calculators (mortgage, retirement) so who knows. Anyway I just did the TC daily and it is darker than the highest level of yellow on the daily test tube. Then I did my FC and it is 15. Pool remains light green and cloudy. Ph is 7.5. Any ideas? I am losing my hope that I can DIY this
    Goal is just suggested ranges. You set it up down below, with pool surface and chlorine source. Target is what you want.

    Better instructions for poolmath are here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ool-calculator
    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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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    PoolMath is a great little tool, but I always wish the pool surface selection as well as how one is chlorinating decision seems like it should come right after the place you enter your pool size... just seems more logical to me, LOL.

    If you feel confident about your pool size (21,000g), use the PoolMath application and type in your gallons at the top and input your current test results in the "now" spot on the left side of each test....then zip down to the bottom and enter whose parameters you want to follow (suggestion: go with "TroubleFreePool.com", select "plasterl" as your surface and pick how you'll be chlorinating your pool). Then go back up to the top again and you'll see a range for each chemistry test's goal based on your type of pool, etc. Input into the target box on the right side of each test something midway in between the goal ranges listed within the same section. The PoolMath ap will then guide you in how much bleach, CYA <aka "Stabilizer"> and other things you need to add.

    Add those items PoolMath tells you to add and retest about an hour later, except don't rush to re-test the CYA because it won't show up on the test for about a week so save your reagents for later testing. If the new tests come back a bit higher than you expected, your pool volume might be over estimated, and likewise if lower than expected your volume may be larger than thought. You'll get the hang of that and will be able to narrow it down quickly. Another option is to go to the very bottom of PoolMath and use the section that allows you to find out if you put x amount of y chemical in the pool (remember to have your pools volume entered at the top) what can you expect it to do... very useful!
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Wow YippeeSkippy, that did the trick! Pool math now working. So that's the good news. The bad news is given my numbers it's not recommending I do anything. I think I just need to read a bunch of threads here on the topic of green and cloudy & find my path.
    Thank you for the great clarification on pool math!!!!!
    21,000 IG plaster
    Hayward Vari-flo XL sand filter
    Pentair 1HP
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Now that you've got PoolMath conquered, its time to conquer the green beast. I'd suggest reading up on how to perform a SLAM procedure. That's not a "one time dose of chemical in a bag that the pool store sold you called shock" but rather a process of raising your chlorine level up to a specific level (based on your pool's CYA level) and through frequent testing and additional doses of more chlorine maintaining that "kill level" until the green is gone. Algae apparently are prolific little buggers and multiply readily (that's the CC portion of your testing). You want to kill them off faster than they can multiply. As they are killed, they use up the chlorine so you'll be replenishing it frequently to *maintain that level*. Testing and replenishing are best done hourly at first, then you'll see that the testing and replenishing will dwindle down as you see your pool maintains its FC longer and the CC is gone.
    THEN.. you just have to wait out your filter cleaning out the dead bodies...that sometimes takes a bit.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Happy Sunday afternoon everybody! I trust you are having fun this lovely summer day in your pools and I hope to get there soon!
    Something weird is going on. I read how to SLAM and essentially started that yesterday. I had FC of 9 yesterday morning. Added two jugs of bleach midday. Tested early evening and got my target of FC 12, YAY. This morning @
    10am FC was still 12. That is weird, isn't it? From everything I have read it should have gone down. CYA still 30. Back washed, cleaned filter added two jugs of bleach (just because ) and swept pool and spa. Like a jug head I erred and set valves to brush spa instead of brush pool. Did another test 4.5 hours later FC is 21!!!! CC is testing 0.Yikes. Put pool on normal filter. My original CC was .5 which according to SLAM is where I can stop slamming. So does it appear to be my sand filter is just taking a while to clear out the dead bodies? Should I keep an FC goal of 12 until I am blue or let it begin to normalize since my cc is now 0 and the FC does not appear to be getting consumed?
    Pool is very cloudy and bright green, like grocery store margarita mix
    A bit off topic: I bought a HUGE container of Chlorox pool tabs before I realized I didn't necessarily need them. They seem to contain just bleach and algaecide. Can I use these when I get to maintenance or should I throw them out?

    Thank you for all the guidance
    Last edited by Soda city; 07-13-2014 at 02:03 PM. Reason: Describe pool appearance
    21,000 IG plaster
    Hayward Vari-flo XL sand filter
    Pentair 1HP
    June 2004
    Spa

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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Maintain FC 12 until pool clears up, backwash when filter pressure increases by 25% from baseline.

    The MSDS of the tablets indicates >=95% trichlor for the 1" tabs and >98% trichlor for 3" tabs with no other specified ingredients.
    We do not recommend the use of trichlor for routine maintenance as trichlor contains CYA which builds up. However, you could keep them for use during vacations as long as you take the effects into consideration.

    See how to chlorinate your pool.

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    Re: Newbie to pool ownership and hoping to fly DIY soon

    Hey folks!
    So I haven't posted because my SLAM got a bit messed up with having to be out of state. DH skipped testing, brushing and dumping for several days, so the "true" SLAM began on July 20. I retested CYA again that day and came up again with 30, which made my FC goal 12. For 9 out of 13 days we maintained @12 or above and brushed daily. Intermittently our am FC fell to <12 four mornings.
    Question: did that make the SLAM "stop"? I.e. Do we count our days as when we are always above the SLAM so that set us back?
    On day 13 I was getting suspicious that something was askew, so tested CYA (hadn't been doing the weekly test panels as I read no need to during SLAM). The CYA was at that point 40, which translates into an FC goal of 16.
    Question: how could our CYA get raised if absolutely nothing except good ole laundry bleach had been added in the
    time since the first two CYAs which were both 30?
    So for the last six days we have aimed for a FC of 16. We had a 2 day trip out of town so missed a day of dumping and brushing. When we returned we had FC of 9. Brushed, dumped, skimmed, cleaned skimmers, back washed but wonder if that 24-36 hour period set us back to "start"?
    The pool was never a swamp but every day I sweep there are billows of yellow green clouds. On the bright side, today it was the clearest and bluest yet, but ****e I feel this pool should be blue and sparkly by now.
    Other intel: our pressure gauge was broken from the beginning so I called the pool store to come out and fix it. They ethically counseled me that a $100 service call for a $15 gauge was silly; then asked when the last time our sand got changed. Told us every five years is a good schedule to change out the sandIt is a ten year old pool and the previous owners bought in 2007. They kept immaculate records of everything and there was no record of a sand change, so the pool store did the sand change and put in a new pressure gauge. We hold at PSI 12.

    Any wisdom is appreciated!
    21,000 IG plaster
    Hayward Vari-flo XL sand filter
    Pentair 1HP
    June 2004
    Spa

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