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Thread: Complete Newb Needing Help

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    Complete Newb Needing Help

    Hi everyone,

    We just moved into a new house and have "inherited" our first pool. I have been adding granular chlorine and tabs (as recommended by the previous owners) but within the hour, my chlorine reading drops to 0. My local pool store tries to keep selling me $70 bottles of phosphate chemical each time I go since they tell me that my phosphate level is "greater than 2000". I have been lurking here for about a week or so and really need some help. One of the introduction posts said that phosphates may not even matter, so I have started to question them...

    Where do I start? I can't keep a chlorine reading to save my life. I have been using the test strips for water testing (again, as recommended by the previous owners), but just ordered the TF-100 test kit as recommended by the website and it should be here in a few days.

    According to my Aquachek strips, my pH is 6.8, free chlorine is 0 ppm, total alkalinity is 120 ppm, and stabilizer is somewhere around 130 ppm.

    Does anyone have any recommendations?

    I've already learned a ton from the site, and am very appreciative of any help I can get! Thank you!

    jhinton
    jhinton, Middletown, NJ

    22,000 gallons, IG, vinyl pool
    Hayward EC65A DE filter, single speed pump
    single skimmer, single pump/filter, single return (no bottom drain)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    SOOOO glad you stopped listening to the pool store and ordered a good test kit. We are not even going to hazzard a guess to make recommendations based on those test strip results.

    Once you get the kit, post a full set of test results. Likely you need to follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process to clear up whatever is consuming your FC. You may have to replace water first to lower the CYA if these numbers are correct.

    While waiting, start learning by reading Pool School beginning with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Welcome to the forum. Congrats on ordering a great test kit. I'd spend some time reading pool school until you can get your OWN good test numbers. Ignore the phosphates. Be prepared to do some partial drain/refills to lower that cya by half.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Thanks much to both of you already! I have already been through many of the pool school threads and am always finding new ones, so I'll continue in there.

    In the mean time, if I am adding some chlorine daily, is it safe to swim in?

    And your "ignore the phosphates" comment was music to my ears!!
    jhinton, Middletown, NJ

    22,000 gallons, IG, vinyl pool
    Hayward EC65A DE filter, single speed pump
    single skimmer, single pump/filter, single return (no bottom drain)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    We say it is safe to swim if you FC is greater than the minimum listed in the FC/CYA Chart for your CYA level and not above the shock level. Also, you must be able to see the bottom of the pool.

    If you can satisfy those, then it is safe.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    As long as you can clearly see the drain it is safe to swim. You don't want someone to be at the bottom of the pool and not see them.

    As for the phosphates, the way I look at it is Algae is always hungry. If you keep enough pit bulls (chlorine) guarding the refrigerator (phosphates), The algae is going to starve. Doesn't matter how much algae food is present.
    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: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Great, thanks all. I can see the bottom just fine as my water is nice and clear. I'll post test results as soon as my test kit comes in.

    Thanks again! Standing by...
    jhinton, Middletown, NJ

    22,000 gallons, IG, vinyl pool
    Hayward EC65A DE filter, single speed pump
    single skimmer, single pump/filter, single return (no bottom drain)

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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help



    Welcome!

    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Welcome from another newbie!
    25K gal FF; QuartzScapes Barbados Blue; ColorLogic LEDs, ProLogic PS-8, AquaPod, AquaConnect, (3) WhisperFlo 2.5HP pumps, 1HP blower, 3/4HP cleaner pump; Pentair CC 520 cartridge filter; MasterTemp 400 propane, Rainbow 320; UltraPure UV/Ozone; Polaris 280; 7' raised spa by rock waterside; (soon) 62" fire pit, (soon) ODK; 60x40 screen enclosure
    Build - here.

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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Well the my TF-100 kit came today and after about an hour or fiddling around and figuring it all out, I finally have test results. And they are:

    CL: 0
    pH: 6.8
    FC: 0
    CC: 0
    CH: 175
    TA: 90
    CYA: >100 (I lost sight of the black dot half way between empty and the 100 mark...)

    What do you all recommend I do to start off? I have been reading pool school quite a bit and have learned a lot already. I'm guessing the CYA is way higher than it should be, so does that mean I have to do a partial drain?

    Then what?

    - - - Updated - - -

    And thank you for all the welcomes! I'm excited to have found this group and everyone seems so helpful and welcoming!
    jhinton, Middletown, NJ

    22,000 gallons, IG, vinyl pool
    Hayward EC65A DE filter, single speed pump
    single skimmer, single pump/filter, single return (no bottom drain)

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Redo the CYA test using the dilution method described in the Extended Test Instructions. Then you will have a better idea just how high it is and, yes, how much water you need to replace.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Ah... A good tip. I didn't know about the "extended tests"

    I redid CYA test once and it was still below the 100 mark. So I did again, but this time split the water twice instead of once and got 60, which I now multiplied by 4 (because I halved the half, which means I have to double the double) to get 240... Using the poolmath calculator, that means I have to drain 81% of my pool to get from 240 to 45...?
    jhinton, Middletown, NJ

    22,000 gallons, IG, vinyl pool
    Hayward EC65A DE filter, single speed pump
    single skimmer, single pump/filter, single return (no bottom drain)

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Your right on track...

    Now since you have an IG, you will have to do this in stages. If you take too much water out your liner will float and shift due to the water table. Someone with more knowledge than I will give you more insight than i can because i have an AG.
    Randy H.

    Intex 18' X 48"
    G.A.M.E. Sandpro 75 Sand Filter (Single Speed 3/4 HP, 75 lbs sand, 2650 GPH, 7-way valve)

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    You have to leave least 1 foot of water in the shallow end, so you likely have to do 2 or 3 partial drains.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    A good way to determine how much you are draining and refilling is to measure the water level in the shallow end then use that minus 1 foot as the depth in pool math and the width and length to find the volume of this part of your pool. Then, divide that volume by 22000 to determine the total % of the water you're replacing each time. That should give you a fairly good idea of what you're looking for for the last drain and refill to get you to the number you want to target.
    Whoops, just noticed no bottom drain. You can only drain it to just above the bottom of the skimmer opening. Or alternatively, you can rent or buy a submersible pump. to drain it to a ft remaining in the shallow end.
    One other option that might work for you is a simultaneous drain and refill. You'll be draining it faster than refilling it. Make sure your hose goes to the bottom of the pool.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Alright! So when I get home tonight, I should have a full pool after the third drain and refil cycle. Each cycle has taken a very long time as I have neither a bottom drain nor a permanant sewer line connection. By my calculations, I should have somewhere near 50 ppm CYA which I'll check to confirm.

    Assuming that my CYA level is normal, is my next step a SLAM?
    jhinton, Middletown, NJ

    22,000 gallons, IG, vinyl pool
    Hayward EC65A DE filter, single speed pump
    single skimmer, single pump/filter, single return (no bottom drain)

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Run a full set of test results and post them up.
    Then following the SLAM process is likely a good idea to be sure your water is clean and clear.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Ok, will do. My pool is fairly green at this point because I have not been adding anything to it since I have just been emptying it.
    jhinton, Middletown, NJ

    22,000 gallons, IG, vinyl pool
    Hayward EC65A DE filter, single speed pump
    single skimmer, single pump/filter, single return (no bottom drain)

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Well, that clinches the need to SLAM

    Just check the CYA and also the pH. Need to lower the pH before starting.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Complete Newb Needing Help

    Stats:

    CL: 0
    ph: 7.2-7.5
    CYA: 45
    TA: 60
    CH: 100

    So ph is good, so SLAM time?
    jhinton, Middletown, NJ

    22,000 gallons, IG, vinyl pool
    Hayward EC65A DE filter, single speed pump
    single skimmer, single pump/filter, single return (no bottom drain)

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