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Thread: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

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    Post Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Hi all -
    I thought I'd document my saga with the pool that came with our new house. When we first bought the house, my wife hired a pool guy that was recommended by one of her co-workers. After noticing his bills were routinely 2-4 times as high as his quoted rate, it was time to take over. I knew from the constant shocking and piles of tablets in the floater that our CYA had to be high, so that was the first thing I tested when I got my TFT-100.

    CYA 100. Did a 1/2 dilution test, and confirmed the 100 reading, so it wasn't nearly as bad as I had thought. Unfortunately, I had to leave town for a few days, so I left the floater and the tablets in the pool for when I got home. As soon as I landed, I started draining the pool. As it was refilling, I thought I'd look in the filter and do a deep-clean of the sand. Unfortunately, with everything hard-piped, I knocked it all out of whack taking the multi-port valve off.

    Several trips to Home Depot (and Leslies) later, I have re-plumbed the filter with union fittings, emptied the sand, inspected the laterals, replaced the sand, and got everything back together with a new pressure gauge from tftestkits. (with only minor leaks - ordered a new o-ring and lube from amazon to remedy that)

    Meanwhile, the pool has filled up, and we re-test CYA. Between 30 and 40. Pool is clear, add some bleach according to pool math, dump a bucket of ice on my head (stupid social media), and pat myself on the back.

    Only a couple of days later do I re-read pool school to find that I should have slammed immediately after re-filling.

    We start the slam. First some dry acid. (Worth the expense to not need my wife to deal with muriatic when I'm not home) Then lots of bleach. I had naively believed that this would be more of a "quick slam" since the water was so beautiful and clear, but so far, that is not the case.

    I don't have my notes with me, so I can't give you the actual test results, but last night's OCLT was 2-3ppm lost. I did a thorough vacuum, brush, and backwash last night, so that might account for it.

    The tough parts about this are:
    1) We finally hit our stretch of 100+ degree days here in tulsa, and the pool has been out of commission. (It has been a VERY mild summer for us so far)
    2) I have color deficient vision (red/green), so I don't really trust my eyes for the crucial FAS/DPD tests. I'll do them to make sure I'm keeping FC above slam level, but I rely on my wife to do the last test each night and the first one in the morning. Sometimes her numbers seem a little crazy. (one morning her FC was 3ppm higher than what I had found the night before.)
    3) I know it's only been a few days, but the slam feels like it's taking forever. I also know that I have no basis for this complaint since I've read several accounts of multi-week slams, but I'm ready to be done!

    I guess I don't have any real questions here, just wanted to document my progress somehow.
    Thanks for reading,
    Aaron
    Aaron, Tulsa OK
    28k Gal, IG gunite/plaster, 300lb Heyward Sand filter, 1hp pump (original w/newer motor) downhill from pool so it's mostly below the waterline. Built in mid 80's, Dolphin dx5 robot, TF-100 wtih speedstir.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    I am not sure I understand your concern in #2: The FAS-DPD test you have to watch the color change from pink (or whatever color you see) to clear. The TA test might be the bigger concern as it changes from green to pink/red.

    Keep the faith ... SLAM process works, just may take longer than you hope.
    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: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Hi Aaron, and welcome. I'll tell you a few things which may make you feel a bit better; at least it works for me as it makes me realize my particular issue is an issue others are having/have had.

    1) You''ll see/hear this a gazillion times on this site. The SLAM is "a process, not an event". I am in the the "process" of a SLAM. If it were truly an "event " I would have been done 4 days ago instead of being on Day 5, lol.

    2) I'm sure you've heard the expression, "don't judge a book by its cover". Your pool's "cover" is its appearance. 5 days ago my pool was cloudy/hazy/visible algae; I've seen MUCH worse, but it was not good. If you would have dropped by and saw my pool you would have commented, "what's happening here?", and if you were wearing your trunks and had planned on taking a dip, you would have for sure "ran for the hills".

    On the flipside, if you dropped by right now, you would comment, "Holy Cow (or some stronger language, lol) your pool looks great!" You would then head for the steps to prepare to take a dip. I would; however, stop you because the CC is above .5. The point is---clear looking water is just that, clear looking water. It's the contents of the book (its pages) that are most important, just as it's your pool's contents (its water balance) that count most.

    3) Trust your pool chemistry. Like you, I too am getting away from my pool store to put control in my hands. I recently got my first "real" test kit and its an eye opener to say the least. Just for fun, I've still been getting pool store readings for comparison, and I can tell you they are not similar. They are probably "good enough" if I had an emergency and HAD TO use them, but even then that's only because I use the same person to run my test and am confident that person knows what they are doing. BUT, under normal ops, you are WAY BETTER OFF with your own kit. Worth every penny you'll spend IMHO.

    4) The above 3 things, combined with voicing your concerns/comments on this site and allowing the experts to assist you, will get you to the promised land, which is essentially to have a TFP! Disclaimer: I am not (YET) one of those experts, BUT I'm learning more each passing day. My pool for sure is WAY BETTER than it was 5 days ago, and will be even better once this SLAM is over. Will the SLAM end today? - No; tomorrow? - probably not. All I know is that its moving in the right direction at a pace commensurate with the CC's I've allowed to take up residence there in the first place.

    Hope this helps Aaron. The SLAM will end when it ends. Until then it helps to remember, "patience is a virtue". That always brings me "off the ledge", lol.
    Blaise - 24k gal, IG vinyl, 1.5 HP Centurion pump, Sta-rite System 3 sand filter, Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Thanks guys. I'm not really complaining about the process. Anything worth doing is worth doing right. I just ran home over lunch to test and add chlorine. The pool actually looks better than yesterday. We had gotten complacent about vacuuming and brushing since the previous homeowners dropped off the repaired dolphin, but I can see that it's more of a between-cleanings tool.
    Thanks,
    Aaron
    Aaron, Tulsa OK
    28k Gal, IG gunite/plaster, 300lb Heyward Sand filter, 1hp pump (original w/newer motor) downhill from pool so it's mostly below the waterline. Built in mid 80's, Dolphin dx5 robot, TF-100 wtih speedstir.

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Well, looks like we'll be at it another day.
    Last night: FC =18.5
    This morning: FC= 15.5 or 16.5 (she ran multiple tests)

    An odd note: This morning as I checked out the pool, I noticed my pressure was in the backwash range (above 15psi bc my normal post-backwash pressure is 12psi) After a nice long backwash and rinse, I notice my pressure had only dropped to 14psi. Did I just not backwash long enough?
    Aaron, Tulsa OK
    28k Gal, IG gunite/plaster, 300lb Heyward Sand filter, 1hp pump (original w/newer motor) downhill from pool so it's mostly below the waterline. Built in mid 80's, Dolphin dx5 robot, TF-100 wtih speedstir.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Keep after it! Scrub down those ladders and remove lights and scrub them down with diluted bleach too. Dig out the algae where it likes to hide.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    I still haven't figured out how to remove the light. I am getting the brush into the stepholes of the ladder fairly well. How unsafe is it to get in the water when you're at or slightly above SLAM level? (to get to the light)
    Aaron, Tulsa OK
    28k Gal, IG gunite/plaster, 300lb Heyward Sand filter, 1hp pump (original w/newer motor) downhill from pool so it's mostly below the waterline. Built in mid 80's, Dolphin dx5 robot, TF-100 wtih speedstir.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    It is fine. In reality it is still likely less active chlorine than in a public pool.
    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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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Quote Originally Posted by abmorse1 View Post
    I still haven't figured out how to remove the light. I am getting the brush into the stepholes of the ladder fairly well. How unsafe is it to get in the water when you're at or slightly above SLAM level? (to get to the light)
    It's likely a Pentair style light. There is one phillips head screw at 12 o'clock. If you remove that screw (don't drop it!), the light will tip outward and you can lift out of the pool. If the screw won't loosen, try tightening slightly first, then loosening. There should be enough wire coiled around the back of the light to reach the pool deck. This can be done without getting in the pool, depending on arm length.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    From post #3 above, Lion22 says :
    Trust your pool chemistry. Like you, I too am getting away from my pool store to put control in my hands. I recently got my first "real" test kit and its an eye opener to say the least. Just for fun, I've still been getting pool store readings for comparison, and I can tell you they are not similar. They are probably "good enough" if I had an emergency and HAD TO use them, but even then that's only because I use the same person to run my test and am confident that person knows what they are doing. BUT, under normal ops, you are WAY BETTER OFF with your own kit. Worth every penny you'll spend IMHO.
    No one is going to take care of you like you will. When its your body or your money, or something that you worked hard to get, you will take care of it the best you can.

    Just hang in there Aaron, it may take a few more days, but you will be so glad you did. We all want you to succeed and learn what to do and how to do it when you have an issue with your pool. Feel free to always come back and ask questions as there are some very very talented and intelligent people here.
    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)

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    HOLY $#!7!!!!!!
    So I decided to brave the SLAM level+ water, grab some tools and a mask, and see how to remove the light. It turns out that it needed a hex key. Fortunately I've assembled some Sauder furniture in the past, so I have some disposable ones. When I got the light out, it was like looking at the rocks on the shore of a lake. It was GROSS! Plus, as I brushed the recess out, it turned the water green for a 6-foot radius around the area. Needless to say, I showered, then gave the rest of the pool a good brushing, and added another 3ppm of bleach. (it was around slam level already)
    I don't think we'll be trying another OCLT tonight.
    Aaron
    Aaron, Tulsa OK
    28k Gal, IG gunite/plaster, 300lb Heyward Sand filter, 1hp pump (original w/newer motor) downhill from pool so it's mostly below the waterline. Built in mid 80's, Dolphin dx5 robot, TF-100 wtih speedstir.

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Mine was like that too, although w/o the 6 foot radius you had, lol. Being at SLAM level I'm sure helped in that what I could not wipe up and did float away was pretty much white/dead once it got a full dose of SLAM level water! In hindsight, I should have removed the light from the get/go. With all that was going on in my head with the overrun of algae and getting the SLAM started, it quite honestly totally slipped my mind. In fact, this thread is what made my say, to quote your opening above, HOLY $#!7!!!!!! I forgot the light! Anywho, all is well now. I chalk it up to yet another learning experience.
    Blaise - 24k gal, IG vinyl, 1.5 HP Centurion pump, Sta-rite System 3 sand filter, Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Ran home over lunch to add chlorine, and everything I stirred up last night has settled to the bottom. Tonight, should I vacuum to waste, or like normal and let the filter do its thing?
    Aaron, Tulsa OK
    28k Gal, IG gunite/plaster, 300lb Heyward Sand filter, 1hp pump (original w/newer motor) downhill from pool so it's mostly below the waterline. Built in mid 80's, Dolphin dx5 robot, TF-100 wtih speedstir.

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Where are you FC-wise? You started at 100 CYA, correct? As a reminder, I am present SLAM myself, and am also learning as I go. What I do know though thru this site is you need to get your FC up to "kill mode" based on your CYA. FYI, I have been backwashing daily since I began my slam, and I have a sand filter as do you. I just vac'd to waste for the first time 2day, but did not have a whole lot---just a few worms, some dirt, handful of leaves, but figured I could kill 2 birds by vac-ing and lowering my CYA by getting rid of some water, lol.
    Blaise - 24k gal, IG vinyl, 1.5 HP Centurion pump, Sta-rite System 3 sand filter, Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Quote Originally Posted by abmorse1 View Post
    Ran home over lunch to add chlorine, and everything I stirred up last night has settled to the bottom. Tonight, should I vacuum to waste, or like normal and let the filter do its thing?
    You can vac to waste or vac on filter. Unless it's a whole lot of debris, filter is fine. Just watch your filter pressure.

    Those lights are pesky hiding spots that get forgotten. Gross but satisfying to root the algae out.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Things are looking good today. I vacuumed all the crud to waste last night and then brushed everything down. After a quick vacuum and brushing today, the pool is as clear as I've ever seen. I need to give the niche another brushing and clean off the outside of the light fixture housing. That'll be a challenge, because the cord barely allows it to sit on the deck. I'm planning on having my wife do the OCLT tonight, so we can (hopefully) let the FC drift down and start balancing the other numbers. (been keeping FC at 16+ since I started the slam)

    On backwashing: I've been backwashing when my pressure reads 15psi, as my normal post-backwash pressure is 12psi.
    Aaron, Tulsa OK
    28k Gal, IG gunite/plaster, 300lb Heyward Sand filter, 1hp pump (original w/newer motor) downhill from pool so it's mostly below the waterline. Built in mid 80's, Dolphin dx5 robot, TF-100 wtih speedstir.

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Finally passed the OCLT this morning. Now I can let the FC drift down and see where my other numbers are.
    Aaron, Tulsa OK
    28k Gal, IG gunite/plaster, 300lb Heyward Sand filter, 1hp pump (original w/newer motor) downhill from pool so it's mostly below the waterline. Built in mid 80's, Dolphin dx5 robot, TF-100 wtih speedstir.

  18. Back To Top    #18
    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    You did pass the other criteria to stop correct ?
    CC's of 0.5 or less and crystal clear water. 😎
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Correct. All three criteria have passed.
    The CCs have never been above 1, and have mostly been at 0.5 or below.
    I THOUGHT the water was clear when I started, but the bar has risen on how I define "clear" throughout this process.

    I can't say which makes me more excited:
    1) We can swim again in this hot weather
    2) I don't have to vacuum and brush every day anymore (although it was so windy last night that I'll have to vacuum again today anyway
    3) I won't have to drive home at lunch to add bleach every day. (although my dog did like the extra visits)

    I'll post the results of a full battery of tests when I get home tonight.
    thanks TFP!
    Aaron, Tulsa OK
    28k Gal, IG gunite/plaster, 300lb Heyward Sand filter, 1hp pump (original w/newer motor) downhill from pool so it's mostly below the waterline. Built in mid 80's, Dolphin dx5 robot, TF-100 wtih speedstir.

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    Re: Taking over a pool, SLAM in progress

    Quote Originally Posted by abmorse1 View Post
    I THOUGHT the water was clear when I started, but the bar has risen on how I define "clear" throughout this process.
    My favorite when people discover what truly clear water actually is!
    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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