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Thread: The Beckert Pool

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    The Beckert Pool

    Here is our pool:



    It's a pretty fancy gunite pool, it came with the house. It was in pretty bad shape when we first moved in, but has since been remediated. This is our first experience maintaining a pool, so it has been a definite learning process. I'll collect some statistics about our pool, and update this thread with more information soon!
    39' x 15'; 27,000 gallon IG plaster/pebble (gunite); built 2005; Pentair Triton II Commercial TR-100C sand filter; Hayward Perflex DE filter; Hayward Tristar pump powered by a 1.88hp Century dual speed motor; 2 top skimmers, 2 bottom skimmers/drains, 9 returns; heated by sun. TFTestkits TF-100.

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    That is what I like, a new member who shows up with a pretty blue pool - not a swamp. Nice looking pool!!

    Welcome
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    Thanks for the welcome! I've followed your example, and put the details of my pool in my signature!

    The pool did indeed start out as a swamp when we first bought the house, but we eventually got it back in decent shape. It got pretty swampy over the winter too, due to our pool pump breaking. But we've got a new one installed now, and things are back to decent shape once more.

    A couple of questions about your signature:

    1. What does "Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60%" refer to?

    2. What tank does "15 gal Tank" refer to?
    39' x 15'; 27,000 gallon IG plaster/pebble (gunite); built 2005; Pentair Triton II Commercial TR-100C sand filter; Hayward Perflex DE filter; Hayward Tristar pump powered by a 1.88hp Century dual speed motor; 2 top skimmers, 2 bottom skimmers/drains, 9 returns; heated by sun. TFTestkits TF-100.

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post

    A couple of questions about your signature:

    1. What does "Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60%" refer to?

    2. What tank does "15 gal Tank" refer to?
    The Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% is a chemical pump that many of us use to automatically dose our pools with set amounts of chlorine (8.25% bleach in my case). As this model pump is adjustable, I was (I have to change my signature) running it at 60% of its 3 gallon per day capacity, but I have decreased my pump run time so now I run it at 80% for less time to add the same amount of bleach to the pool. Sorry, a little confusing

    The 15 gal Tank is just that, a 15 gallon tank that I keep bleach in that the Stenner draws from

    So with my set up if I fill the tank with bleach it will automatically add bleach to the pool for just shy of a month before I need to refill the tank. I still need to test the water, but so far I have only had to add bleach one time to bring the FC up a little. It is not uncommon for us to go away for 7 to 10 days at a time so I wanted something a little more hands off. Another option would have been a SWCG but they require a higher up front cost and replacement of the cell down the line. I don't mind carrying the jugs of bleach as I only have to do it once or twice a month.

    Your signature shows that you use a "Poolife Accudose Automatic Chlorinator" which utilizes tablets. If you have been doing your homework (reading Pool School) you will realize that most forms of dry chlorine (trichlor/dichlor) add CYA/stabilizer to the pool. Over stabilized pools are the biggest problems we see here. Plus, the tabs for this style chlorinator are expensive. This is an expense you can reduce by using bleach as your source of chlorine.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    The Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% is a chemical pump that many of us use to automatically dose our pools with set amounts of chlorine (8.25% bleach in my case). As this model pump is adjustable, I was (I have to change my signature) running it at 60% of its 3 gallon per day capacity, but I have decreased my pump run time so now I run it at 80% for less time to add the same amount of bleach to the pool.
    Wow, that's pretty cool. We can't afford one of those right now, but it looks like something we'd definitely want to add at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    The 15 gal Tank is just that, a 15 gallon tank that I keep bleach in that the Stenner draws from

    So with my set up if I fill the tank with bleach it will automatically add bleach to the pool for just shy of a month before I need to refill the tank. I still need to test the water, but so far I have only had to add bleach one time to bring the FC up a little. It is not uncommon for us to go away for 7 to 10 days at a time so I wanted something a little more hands off.
    Gotcha. Remind me: does the 8.25% bleach lose potency over time, if you don't use it quickly enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Another option would have been a SWCG but they require a higher up front cost and replacement of the cell down the line.
    What's that? Are you referring to the salt water systems? What do you think of those as compared to traditional chlorination?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    I don't mind carrying the jugs of bleach as I only have to do it once or twice a month.
    Wow so... you have to refill your 15 gallon bleach tank once or twice a month. That's something like 16 bottles of bleach each time at around $3 a bottle... about $50 a month to keep the pool looking good?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Your signature shows that you use a "Poolife Accudose Automatic Chlorinator" which utilizes tablets. If you have been doing your homework (reading Pool School) you will realize that most forms of dry chlorine (trichlor/dichlor) add CYA/stabilizer to the pool. Over stabilized pools are the biggest problems we see here. Plus, the tabs for this style chlorinator are expensive.
    Yes on all counts. We wanted something that could auto-dose the pool, we got an excellent deal on the Chlorinator, and at that time we weren't aware about the long term problems of tablets. As far as I know we haven't run into any of those problems yet though (nor am I yet clear on what those problems are, though I am generally aware that the tablets are bad), and we don't really use the tablets all that often; like you said, they are expensive, and I was less-than-thrilled about how quickly the Chlorinator would use up a load of tablets.

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    This is an expense you can reduce by using bleach as your source of chlorine.
    That is what I'm working toward at this time, although we don't yet have one of the fancy test kits you guys recommend. Definitely going to get one soon, though. Probably the TF-100.

    So what do you mean by, "200+ when I started: 70 now and slowly going down?"

    And how many posts do I have to make until every post no longer has to go through a moderator before I can see it?
    39' x 15'; 27,000 gallon IG plaster/pebble (gunite); built 2005; Pentair Triton II Commercial TR-100C sand filter; Hayward Perflex DE filter; Hayward Tristar pump powered by a 1.88hp Century dual speed motor; 2 top skimmers, 2 bottom skimmers/drains, 9 returns; heated by sun. TFTestkits TF-100.

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post
    Gotcha. Remind me: does the 8.25% bleach lose potency over time, if you don't use it quickly enough?
    Not really. Leave it in a clear bottle out in the sun and it will, but the lower the % the more stable. The 12.5% stuff is the one that can really go down in potency if not used in a timely fashion.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post
    What's that? Are you referring to the salt water systems? What do you think of those as compared to traditional chlorination?
    SWCG = Salt Water Chlorine Generator - SWCG is chlorination. It creates chlorine as a chemical reaction. You test and keep the chlorine levels similar to a manually chlorinated pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post
    Wow so... you have to refill your 15 gallon bleach tank once or twice a month. That's something like 16 bottles of bleach each time at around $3 a bottle... about $50 a month to keep the pool looking good?
    Yes, plus a bottle or two of muratic acid.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post
    Yes on all counts. We wanted something that could auto-dose the pool, we got an excellent deal on the Chlorinator, and at that time we weren't aware about the long term problems of tablets. As far as I know we haven't run into any of those problems yet though (nor am I yet clear on what those problems are, though I am generally aware that the tablets are bad), and we don't really use the tablets all that often; like you said, they are expensive, and I was less-than-thrilled about how quickly the Chlorinator would use up a load of tablets.
    You are not alone in lack of understanding in this area. Many pool store employees don't understand it. The shortened version is that as CYA (also know as stabilizer) levels go up you have to increase the amount of chlorine you keep in the pool to properly sanitize and oxidize the nasty stuff in the water (see the CYA/FC chart). It's a vicious cycle. Eventually you get to a point that you can't keep the FC high enough and you get algae growing. This when the pool store folks throw their hands up in the air and say "you have chlorine lock, the chlorine no longer works, the only way to fix it is to drain your pool".

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post
    That is what I'm working toward at this time, although we don't yet have one of the fancy test kits you guys recommend. Definitely going to get one soon, though. Probably the TF-100.
    The sooner you get one the better. You habe to know your true CYA number to properly maintain the pool. With your puck feeder I'm afraid your number is going to be very high. Unfortuatly the CYA test is the one the pool stores mess up the most. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post
    So what do you mean by, "200+ when I started: 70 now and slowly going down?"
    When I bought my house and took over the pool my CYA was well over 200. Through partial water exchanges, backflushing and other water additions I have fought it down to 70. When it was at it's highest i had to keep my FC level in the 14 - 17 range to avoid algae growth. With it at 70 my range is now 5 - 8.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post
    And how many posts do I have to make until every post no longer has to go through a moderator before I can see it?
    Not sue on that one.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Not really. Leave it in a clear bottle out in the sun and it will, but the lower the % the more stable.
    Excellent.

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    SWCG = Salt Water Chlorine Generator - SWCG is chlorination. It creates chlorine as a chemical reaction. You test and keep the chlorine levels similar to a manually chlorinated pool.
    Yes, I know. I was curious about what you thought of the two different systems. Is salt really cheaper in the long run? I know about the higher up front cost, not sure about "replacement of the cell down the line."

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    You are not alone in lack of understanding in this area. Many pool store employees don't understand it. The shortened version is that as CYA (also know as stabilizer) levels go up you have to increase the amount of chlorine you keep in the pool to properly sanitize and oxidize the nasty stuff in the water (see the CYA/FC chart). It's a vicious cycle. Eventually you get to a point that you can't keep the FC high enough and you get algae growing. This when the pool store folks throw their hands up in the air and say "you have chlorine lock, the chlorine no longer works, the only way to fix it is to drain your pool".
    Ugh. And yet clearly you don't necessarily have to drain your pool, since your level was at 200+ and is now below 70, and you didn't drain your pool. Still, I reckon we'll steer clear of the tablets until we get a TF-100 and can see what we're dealing with.

    What about the powdered shock? Is there a stabilizer issue with that, too?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    The sooner you get one the better. You habe to know your true CYA number to properly maintain the pool. With your puck feeder I'm afraid your number is going to be very high.
    We'll see. Like I said, in practice we haven't been using them all that often. We didn't get the Chlorinator until relatively recently, the tablets are expensive, and I wasn't happy with how quickly the Chlorinator would eat up a load.

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    When I bought my house and took over the pool my CYA was well over 200. Through partial water exchanges, backflushing and other water additions I have fought it down to 70.
    Thankfully we're on a rather plentiful well, so if nothing else we can do pretty much the same thing: Run water in the pool for an hour or more each day, dilute, flush, repeat.

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    When it was at it's highest i had to keep my FC level in the 14 - 17 range to avoid algae growth. With it at 70 my range is now 5 - 8.
    If you have to keep your Chlorine level extra high to stop the algae, is that level too high to swim in?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Not sure on that one.
    Apparently the answer is 5.
    39' x 15'; 27,000 gallon IG plaster/pebble (gunite); built 2005; Pentair Triton II Commercial TR-100C sand filter; Hayward Perflex DE filter; Hayward Tristar pump powered by a 1.88hp Century dual speed motor; 2 top skimmers, 2 bottom skimmers/drains, 9 returns; heated by sun. TFTestkits TF-100.

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post
    Yes, I know. I was curious about what you thought of the two different systems. Is salt really cheaper in the long run? I know about the higher up front cost, not sure about "replacement of the cell down the line."
    Each system has multiple pluses and minuses. The pump just seemed a better fit for my situation

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post
    Ugh. And yet clearly you don't necessarily have to drain your pool, since your level was at 200+ and is now below 70, and you didn't drain your pool. Still, I reckon we'll steer clear of the tablets until we get a TF-100 and can see what we're dealing with.

    What about the powdered shock? Is there a stabilizer issue with that, too?
    All solid forms of chlorine (shock is usually just another name for chlorine) have something you need to watch out for. Either CYA or calcium. Both of which the only way to remove when it gets too high is water replacement. Water replacement is probably a better term as you don't always have to totally drain the pool. In my case over the months I have replaces about 2/3 of the pool water, just in smaller batches.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post
    If you have to keep your Chlorine level extra high to stop the algae, is that level too high to swim in?
    It is safe to swim up to shock level based on your CYA level. When I was running 15 my shock level was in the high 40's I think.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    As far as salt vs pump, I would say I like salt better, but mine was salt when I bought it. Starting from scratch, I would say I would probably lean toward salt since I wouldn't want to lug around all those jugs of bleach every month. I have had to tote 400 lbs of salt to the pool trying to get it back up into the correct range since the previous owner apparently didn't keep it as high as it was supposed to be. After it's in you are done though. Once it's in, it's in. As far as cost, it's probably close to a wash. Depending on the salt system, it may be a little cheaper, but not a whole lot. Replacement cells are $300-750 depending on the brand and size.
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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    I have an IG SWG pool. It has been from the day I built it. Once I found the site and ditched the pool store dodo's my operating expense had decreased dramatically and I feel confident that I can handle anything that happens (which is not much any more). The only thing that my pool "requires" is about 1.75 quarts or muriatic acid every week to keep my ph down. Ph is a by product of turning salt into chlorine gas. I have some leftover over liquid chlorine that I use to be able to run my SWG at 70-80% to save the cell that is a few years old. But other than that nada.
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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Yes, plus a bottle or two of muratic acid.
    Quote Originally Posted by bdex View Post
    The only thing that my pool "requires" is about 1.75 quarts or muriatic acid every week to keep my ph down. Ph is a by product of turning salt into chlorine gas.
    Now, tim5055 doesn't have a salt system, but still needs muratic acid. Is that just generally to get the ph down if it gets too high? My wife seemed to think muratic acid was mostly used to clean the DE filter. Is muratic acid better to use than that "ph down" stuff? Or is it pretty much the same?

    In other news, we sprung for the TF-100 test kit. Should get here around the 21st!
    39' x 15'; 27,000 gallon IG plaster/pebble (gunite); built 2005; Pentair Triton II Commercial TR-100C sand filter; Hayward Perflex DE filter; Hayward Tristar pump powered by a 1.88hp Century dual speed motor; 2 top skimmers, 2 bottom skimmers/drains, 9 returns; heated by sun. TFTestkits TF-100.

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    It is much better to use, and it's usually really cheap too. I pay $6/gal, and use about 20 ounces a week for my 34k gallon pool.
    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    Ph up and down are pool store humor and profit. Or for people that are afraid to use MA. (And baking soda)
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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckert View Post
    Now, tim5055 doesn't have a salt system, but still needs muratic acid. Is that just generally to get the ph down if it gets too high?
    this is what this site is all about, the transfer of knowledge.

    MA is great for pH down, but as was stated it cuts into pool store profits.

    Mine rises because my primary return form the filter is a waterfall.

    Waterfall = aeration = pH rise

    A goo kids pool party will do the same thing, splashing is aeration and you will get pH rise

    Now, it also is used for cleaning like the wife said.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    A small update...

    With winter behind us, we are working on getting the pool back in shape again, and preparing to SLAM it. Used my fancy test kit to check various levels, and was quite surprised to find that the CYA reads zero!

    Now, the general feeling I get on the forum is that CYA is bad... but I also see various things advising that you do want a CYA of at least 30, possibly higher in an outdoor pool. I figured we wouldn't try to adjust the CYA at this point until after we're done SLAMing. Thoughts on this?

    Members will be pleased to learn that Old Man Winter took out our automatic chlorinator (water froze inside it and burst the valves), so it's now been removed from the system. We had quit using it anyway, so no biggy.

    Currently working on getting the pH right (super high right now) before we commence to SLAM.
    39' x 15'; 27,000 gallon IG plaster/pebble (gunite); built 2005; Pentair Triton II Commercial TR-100C sand filter; Hayward Perflex DE filter; Hayward Tristar pump powered by a 1.88hp Century dual speed motor; 2 top skimmers, 2 bottom skimmers/drains, 9 returns; heated by sun. TFTestkits TF-100.

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    CYA, like every thing else is not a evil on its own. It's only "bad" when you don't understand it and it gets out of control.

    You need it, but in moderation. It protects the chlorine from the UV Rays of the sun.

    Having CYA "disappear" over the winter is not an unheard of situation, but when it happens the CYA is sometimes converted to ammonia. Do not be surprised if you use lots of chlorine quickly during your SLAM as if you do have ammonia you will be destroying it with the chlorine.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    I'd recommend you add CYA to a level of 30 ppm for your gallons then SLAM at that level for it. The more direct sun a pool gets, the higher you can run your CYA level. Mine in Texas is either 50 or 60 with the minimums and target values set for those levels as an example for you,.
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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    I would recommend you post up a full set of test results. Then add bleach to target shock level, 30 minutes after that do the FC and CC test again and report back.

    If the CYA is 0 that could mean it was converted to ammonia and will show up as high CC ... I would fix that before adding more CYA.
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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I would recommend you post up a full set of test results. Then add bleach to target shock level, 30 minutes after that do the FC and CC test again and report back.

    If the CYA is 0 that could mean it was converted to ammonia and will show up as high CC ... I would fix that before adding more CYA.
    This exactly. CYA of 0 would seem to point to another issue.


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    Re: The Beckert Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp View Post
    I'd recommend you add CYA to a level of 30 ppm for your gallons then SLAM at that level for it. The more direct sun a pool gets, the higher you can run your CYA level. Mine in Texas is either 50 or 60 with the minimums and target values set for those levels as an example for you,.
    From what I've read you have to wait a week after adding CYA to the pool, before you can get an accurate reading of what your new CYA level is. Do you think it's worth waiting on the SLAM, to get the CYA up?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I would recommend you post up a full set of test results. Then add bleach to target shock level, 30 minutes after that do the FC and CC test again and report back.
    Prior to adding any bleach, the pH was high (8.2+) and the TA was 60 (which seems to be the lower end of what's acceptable) Added muriatic acid and got the pH down to 7.5, since it was recommended to get the pH squared away prior to SLAMing. Got ready to test the FC, but the extended directions recommended doing a OTO TC test first for comparison, to eliminate the chance of a false zero. The OTO test indicated zero TC, which (if I'm understanding the equations right) means that FC and CC must also be zero.

    So, using zero for FC, plugged the numbers into the poolmath calculator, and added 407oz of bleach. Perhaps I should have retested earlier, it's been several hours. Just did another OTO TC test, and it's indicating less than 0.5 for TC, which to me indicates that FC and CC must also be essentially zero. I guess all the chlorine burned up just that quick!

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    If the CYA is 0 that could mean it was converted to ammonia and will show up as high CC ... I would fix that before adding more CYA.
    Interesting. But unless I'm mistaken, that doesn't seem to be the case.
    39' x 15'; 27,000 gallon IG plaster/pebble (gunite); built 2005; Pentair Triton II Commercial TR-100C sand filter; Hayward Perflex DE filter; Hayward Tristar pump powered by a 1.88hp Century dual speed motor; 2 top skimmers, 2 bottom skimmers/drains, 9 returns; heated by sun. TFTestkits TF-100.

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