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Thread: Newbie but learning

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Newbie but learning

    History - Prior to reading this forum a week ago my method to clean/sanitize the pool was to add approx. 10 TriChlor tabs every week or two in addition to a pound of powder shock (Dichlor) every week or two. I only tested with strips and the cheap electronic tester once a week. Every year I only got a month and a half or so of good swimming out of the pool and the rest of the time I was fighting algae of every kind. I replaced my filter and pump which seemed to help for a while but still needed to drain the pool every other year or it got really out of control. I look back at how much time and money I wasted as was ready to sell the house and forget the pool until I read this site. Now I am invigorated and ready to get with the program.

    These are my readings right now after starting a SLAM

    FC 20
    CC 0
    PH 7
    TA 140
    CH 800
    CYA >200 - I cant tell if this a real reading because there is a lot of turbidity (cloudy white) in the water.

    The high CYA wouldn't surprise me due to the constant usage of Pucks and Powder shock.

    I would love to drain the pool right now but since it is in the middle of the summer I really cant do that so instead I am constantly backwashing and filling with tap water which in my location already has a high CH.


    My plan right now is to continue with SLAM until I pass the test and continue to sweep and backwash which will hopefully flush some of the CYA and turbidity out. Also I am constantly running the aerator while running the filter to hopefully bring the PH up naturally.

    Let me know if I am on the right track.



    Thanks In Advance

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Hello Bhyturie! Welcome to the forum. I'm a newbie too (since the end of May). You're going to love it here.

    Regarding your CYA, there's a way to dilute the test. I believe you use half pool water, half tap water and run the test as normal, then multiply the result by two. If I have the process wrong, someone will correct me later.

    As far as the CH, yeah, it's high, but someone from your neck of the woods can give you better advice than I can.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Welcome to TFP Bhyturie!

    Very rarely, cloudy or murky water can affect the CYA test. To check for this, fill the view tube with straight pool water. If you can still see the black dot clearly, the cloudy/murky water is not affecting the test result.

    I would try the diluted water test (Smeade has it right). If your CYA is really 200 ppm or so, 20 ppm FC is nowhere near the SLAM amount for that level of CYA. If you confirm that your CYA level is as high as you suspect, you will find it much easier to SLAM if you reduce it to around 30-50 ppm. This will mean a significant drain and replacement of water. Backwashing & topping off does reduce CYA but only by a negligible amount. To reduce CYA by the magnitude we are talking about will require a significant drain & refill before things get any worse. Doing this should also reduce CH but, living in AZ with that area's hard water, this will be an ongoing thing you will need to manage. Let's first focus on making sure the pool is clean and algae-free.

    BTW, more information on testing procedures can be found here: Extended Test Kit Directions CYA is described in Post #8.

    Also, it would help us if you would list information about your pool in your signature.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Re: Newbie but learning

    If CYA is ~200 then I guess you'll want to double-dilute the water (dilute 1:1, pour off half, dilute 1:1, pour off half, add reagent, do test, multiply by 4).

    With a bit of luck your pool water won't be cloudy enough after 3:1 dilution to affect the test. If it is, I guess you could dilute a third time and multiply by 8. That should be enough to let you test the CYA level in pancake batter
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    OK - thanks guys for the response. redid the CYA according to the Extended Test Kit Directions and it came up with approx. 190-200. Still way too high so I will start a series of drain and refill operations. Probably a quarter of the pool at a time. Correct me If I am wrong but the combination of PH, TA, and CH brings me to a CSI of 0 so that isn't too bad. Still I will retest after bringing CYA to a more manageable level.

    Chlorine level this morning -

    FC - 21
    CC - 0

    The higher reading I suspect is because I tested last night only after 30 minutes of adding chlorine.

    Thanks Again
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Question for you AZ folks- is this a good job for Reverse Osmosis treatment? Is that available there?
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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Update - I went ahead and rented a 60gpm pump from Home Depot and ran that for 4 hours at the bottom of the deep end. That should equate to over 14000 gallons pumped out. My back yard is flooded - LOL. Its grass so it should be OK. At the same time I had 2 hoses running in the shallow end so that the level would not drop too low during the heat of the day. My plan is to add a gallon of 10% Bleach and run the filter all night and will then test everything in the morning. I'm excited to see what the results will be.
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Bhyturie:

    Sounds like you have a good plan going. BTW, This Chart will show you why it is important to get your CYA to a more manageable level. While some CYA is needed, excessive amounts can make pools harder to manage. Note the increasing levels of chlorine that are needed at higher CYA levels.

    Also, thanks for adding your pool info to your signature.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Thanks BoD - small world. I was just in Fort Worth for the 4th. Saw the fireworks at Colonial CC. Went to Dallas for some touristy stuff. Great towns but the construction on the freeways are awful. Hopefully there is a light at the end of that tunnel ;]
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Update -

    FC - 14
    CC - 0-.5
    PH - 7.0
    TA - 150
    CH - 450

    Water is clear at this point but there are still signs of algae on the walls. I want to start SLAM until OCLT passes.

    Question - should I worry about the low PH at this point. I see if I raise it to 7.2 the CSI will stay close to 0.

    Thanks

    - - - Updated - - -

    Forgot CYA - now 80. a little high but I think manageable at this point as long as I stay away from pucks.
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    In answer regarding to RO question above - Short answer is yes - Personally I considered this option but decided I couldn't wait for the "enquire with company-haggle price-schedule service" process - who knows how long that would take. We are already on the backside of summer and I want to get as much out the pool as possible this year. so I decided to Drain-Refill-Drain-Refill-Drain-Refill. The backyard was a little swampy afterwards but the high heat should solve that issue fairly quickly. So far so good..
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Hi Bhyturie, Welcome to TFPC! It looks like you are on your way and getting great information. You are correct that an 80 CYA is still high. If possible, I would try to get that down closer to 60 or less for your location and warm climate. Any FC reading over 10 is going to affect your PH reading. Here is what I would do:
    1. Drain until CYA comes down more
    2. Let your FC reading come down to allow proper PH adjustment
    3. SLAM pool until all 3 criteria have been accomplished
    4. Go swimming and enjoy the water

    With a plaster pool you need to be concerned with CH also. Good luck and hope you enjoy your pool this season!
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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Update - last night poured 3 gallons of 10% Bleach into the pool which according to the Pool calculator should have bumped it into shock level. Tested FC again this afternoon and it was back down to 17. Wow The sun and whatever is growing in the pool devoured that chlorine quickly. I will be adding additional according the calculator to bring back to shock level and recheck tomorrow.

    It did rain last night so that might be another reason for the drop in FC
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    OK Last night I poured another 2 gallons of 10% Bleach. That's all I had. Tested again tonight and FC was back down to 17... The pool is crystal clear at this point but there is still some black algae on the walls. I am scrubbing that with a metal brush nightly to break open the protective layer. Still seems like a lot of Chlorine loss in one day for 2 days in a row.

    Does this sound normal to you guys?
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie but learning

    After you pour the bleach in it seems you are waiting quite a long while before re-testing (evening pour, not re-testing until following afternoon).
    This makes me wonder if you are in fact actually reaching your targeted SLAM level or not? \You need to re-test about an hour later to see if you raised your FC enough. And if necessary re-dose then and there as often as you can.
    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

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Tested last night approx. 30 minutes after adding the bleach and got a reading of 25. retested this morning prior to the sun hitting the pool and got a reading of 33 FC. Pool looks great. Black algae spots are slowly dissipating.
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    FC is at 25 tonight. I am tempted to start letting the FC drop. the pool looks great (few black algae spots) and the wife and dog are hounding me to open the pool LOL. OCLT tomorrow will tell the tale. Fingers are crossed.

    PS - got my speedstir today - Love it.
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Update - OCLT passed. Plan is to drop FC to 9 and retest all levels. After retest I will use PoolMath to maintain a CSI as close to 0 as possible. CH will be higher than optimum probably 500+. With that in mind I am thinking I will target for a CYA of 80, TA of 150, and PH of 7-7.6. Once PH reaches 7.6 I will add acid to bring the PH back down to 7. Aeration is my method of bringing PH up. Very slow process but I can live with that. As long as CSI is within .5 and -.5 I should be OK right?

    Water is beautiful and I have opened the pool to the family since FC is below SLAM levels. Tonight FC is at 15.
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Update - Pool is very clear and backwash has not been necessary since the last update. With this clear water comes some unfortunate realizations that I wish to share so that others may learn from my mistakes.

    A couple of years ago I bought a device that works as advertised. essentially you fill this plastic device with pucks and it sinks to the bottom. When the pucks are out it floats to the top then you know it is time to add more pucks. See the picture.

    Unfortunately this is what it did to the plaster at the deep end of my pool. The black mark is not algae or any type of organic growth. Instead it is bare concrete. That's right.. this device wore away the plaster and I have no option left except to re-plaster the pool.

    Since my pool is 30 years old it is time to do it anyways but I get the feeling that others should be made aware of this possibility with this device.



    20140717_060205114_iOS.jpg20140717_060326609_iOS.jpg
    Last edited by Bhyturie; 07-17-2014 at 01:41 AM. Reason: pics
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Newbie but learning

    Update - Out of 0871 reagent. its on the way but until then I am still sticking to plan of letting FC drop to 9 and adjusting from there. Testing with Aquacheck electronic device with strips until then.

    TC - 12
    PH - 7.9

    Loss during sunny days is essentially 2 ppm. No loss during yesterdays 24 hours. Cloudy all day - I tested 2 hours after a 1 hour rain including hail in PHX.

    I cant wait till I can definitively test for PH after FC is less than 10. I suppose that is where POP is essential.
    19000 Gallon IG Plaster. Hayward S244T Sand Filter. Pentair Superflow 1.5 HP Pump. Originally built in 1984. Taylor K-2006

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