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Thread: New pool owner

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    New pool owner

    I have been reading the forums for a while and really wanted to post some questions but wasn't ready to do so as I didn't actually have a pool yet.

    We closed on our home last Thursday which included our first pool. My parents had an inground for a few years when I was a teenager but I never really helped with it before going away to college.

    I live in Central Florida (I don't remember if I have updated my location yet)

    A few images of what I have are attached.

    Attachment 33129Attachment 33130

    I have no idea how the previous owner maintained. The water is clear though but because I just took ownership Thursday and had to wait until my TF100 came in, I have done nothing chemical wise. So, whatever the previous owner last did has been it. They also left 0 chemicals behind so my assumption is they had a pool service.

    My first round of test results looked like this:

    FC: 11
    CC: 1.5
    CH: 300
    TA: 80
    CYA: 60

    Granted, this was my first time doing this so I am not sure how accurate these number really are. How bad do these look? I performed the tests in the afternoon (~2pm) and the pump was running at the time. One question I had with the tests was with the color changing aspect of the samples. When adding drops to get the color to change to x, are you supposed to add until it STAYS that color or just changes? With most of them I would add until it achieved the desired color then set it down to move on. I then noticed it would start drifting back to th original color as it wasn't being swirled. Does that mean I need to add more so that it stays whatever color it is supposed to change to?

    I really need help with a few things:

    1. The valves (grey valves in the first picture.) I have no idea what the middle and right valve are for. The left valve controls 3 fan sprayers on the back wall of the pool that spray up. The pool has a vacuum (unsure of model or brand but it doesn't work all that well) that seems to be somewhat controlled by the middle valve. However, if I turn it too far or not far enough the vacuum stops moving. I am really not sure where the valves should be (call me stupid but I am unsure what is "on" and what is "off" here)

    2. When should the vacuum run? All the time with the pump? Everything is currently on a timer and the pump runs for 8 hours per day.

    3. It has rained a lot in the past 3 days and the water level is high. Where should it be and how do I go about draining some water?

    4. Are there any other basic maintenance items I should perform on the equipment? The pressure gauge works. It is at 0 with the pump off then around 10psi with it running.

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    Re: New pool owner

    Your test results look decent. 1.5CC is something to keep your eye on. Normally that would mean it's time to SLAM, but you might want to repeat your tests a couple times to make sure you are consistent. The drops are added until the color change happens. That last drop that makes the sample change color completely is the final drop. If you let it sit afterward, most tests will drift to a different color. But ignore that, you already finished the test.

    1. The middle and right valve are on the inlet side of the pump, so they are on the suction side. One is probably the main drain(s), the other is for skimmer(s). How many drains do you have in the floor of the pool? How many skimmer boxes do you have?

    2. I leave my vacuum plugged in most of the time, but my pool is not screened in. If I were you, I would only plug the vacuum in when there is visible debris on the bottom of the pool. It's sort of preference, you can make your own determinations.

    3. Water level about half way up the opening for the skimmer mouth. Give or take. To drain, look for a drain valve you can hook a hose to. I am not sure I see one in your pictures...

    4. Pressure reading sounds good. You have an inline chlorinator which was meant for pucks. Your CYA reading of 60 is fine, but I wouldn't keep using pucks at this point. It may be handy for when you leave on extended vacation though.
    10,000 gallon in ground diamond brite, Circupool si30+, Hayward C900 cartridge, 1.5hp Flotec single speed pump

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    Re: New pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzard302 View Post
    Your test results look decent. 1.5CC is something to keep your eye on. Normally that would mean it's time to SLAM, but you might want to repeat your tests a couple times to make sure you are consistent. The drops are added until the color change happens. That last drop that makes the sample change color completely is the final drop. If you let it sit afterward, most tests will drift to a different color. But ignore that, you already finished the test.

    1. The middle and right valve are on the inlet side of the pump, so they are on the suction side. One is probably the main drain(s), the other is for skimmer(s). How many drains do you have in the floor of the pool? How many skimmer boxes do you have?

    2. I leave my vacuum plugged in most of the time, but my pool is not screened in. If I were you, I would only plug the vacuum in when there is visible debris on the bottom of the pool. It's sort of preference, you can make your own determinations.

    3. Water level about half way up the opening for the skimmer mouth. Give or take. To drain, look for a drain valve you can hook a hose to. I am not sure I see one in your pictures...

    4. Pressure reading sounds good. You have an inline chlorinator which was meant for pucks. Your CYA reading of 60 is fine, but I wouldn't keep using pucks at this point. It may be handy for when you leave on extended vacation though.
    Thank you. I do plan to test again maybe today and compare.

    1. So should the main drain and skimmer valves be "on"? If so, I cannot figure out where on is. The word off is on the handle and my assumption is whatever that is pointed to is blocked off. There is a single drain at the bottom of the deep end and one skimmer box.

    2. Would whether or not I have the vacuum plugged in dictate a change in the valve position? Meaning would I close one if I unplug then reopen once I reconnect the vacuum? Or just put the valves in one position and leave them there?

    3. Where would I look for a drain valve?

    4. I am guessing pucks are in there now. I don't plan to use them but I guess it is good it is working while I learn to do this myself.

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    Re: New pool owner

    1. You can adjust them to suit your likes for water flow. I have a similar configuration as you, where I can adjust flow between skimmer and main drain with the valve. I usually split the skimmer and main drain fairly evenly to create flow top and bottom in the pool. I have the same brand valves. When the little stubby end that has the word "Off" printed on it is pointed toward a pipe, that pipe is blocked off. So in your picture, the valve on the right has the front pipe blocked off, and the valve in the center has both pipes split to flow equally.

    2. I adjust my valve depending on whether I have the vacuum plugged in or not. Too much suction through my vacuum can make it climb the walls and come out of the water. You will have to experiment with your configuration.

    3. Look for anywhere to hook up a hose, or a big ball valve that can be opened. It would be somewhere after the outlet of the pump.

    4. I would get the pucks out soon or your CYA could become too high.
    10,000 gallon in ground diamond brite, Circupool si30+, Hayward C900 cartridge, 1.5hp Flotec single speed pump

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner

    As you have been lurking and reading you understand that your pool will need a constant diet of chlorine to stay clear. In the central Florida climate 60 CYA is almost perfect even if you are using liquid chlorine and can even go up if you switch to a SWCG. Were Iyou I would give it a little time to determine your pools appetite for chlorine. In your area you should have options for chlorinating liquid (i.e. the 10 - 12.5% stuff from pool stores) at a reasonable price. You will probably pay a deposit on a 2.5 gal container and just refill/exchange it at the pool store. Your plumbing is a little tight as it leaves the filter and heads back to the pool. If you wanted to witch to a SWCG you could cut out the puck feeder and probably plumb one in there with little problem. Or, you could install a Stenner pump and just continue using liquid.

    With a new house you will have lots of projects, so like I said, use liquid for a while while you decide what is best for your situation.
    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: New pool owner

    Thank you for the replies. I did not get a chance to recheck yesterday. As tim5055 said, I have a lot of projects going on right now and we are not completely moved in yet.

    I looked around and cannot find a drain at the pump. I do see one on the filter. I really need to get the water level down; can I use the drain at the filter? What would I lose by doing this?

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    Re: New pool owner

    I ran my second round of tests last night. I know I need to be testing more but we are not yet moved in which makes it a bit tough.

    I still need to calculate my pool volume but I did drain some water out after our rains.

    FC: 6.5
    CC: 1
    CH: 250
    TA: 80
    CYA: 40

    Overall though, not much change from the first test. This is, however with me still not adding anything. The puck feeder no longer has pucks in it. CC, CH and CYA have gone down slightly. The water still looks great. I went ahead and added some bleach (8.25%) mainly because I had it and I want to see what effect it has on the numbers. Nobody has been in the pool yet.

    I still cannot figure out the middle and right valves lol. I have them adjusted to the point that the vacuum moves well but that is about it. I cannot figure out which is for the main drain and which is for the skimmer.

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    New pool owner

    Have you taken a PH test ? Don't see the result listed.
    When you do the CC test make sure you move right to it after the FC sample turns clear. I've seen where people wait a bit to do the CC test and that will skew it, get a false reading. The sample will start to turn back to pink if you let it sit for a bit, so have your CC reagent ready to go. Just a heads up.
    Sorry I can't help ya with your valves, but I'm sure somebody will give ya a hand with it. 😎
    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: New pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by pwrstrk View Post
    Have you taken a PH test ? Don't see the result listed.
    When you do the CC test make sure you move right to it after the FC sample turns clear. I've seen where people wait a bit to do the CC test and that will skew it. The sample will start to turn back to pink if you let it sit for a bit, so have your CC reagent ready to go. Just a heads up.
    Sorry I can't help ya with your valves, but I'm sure somebody will give ya a hand with it. ��
    I have tested the ph with each test. The first was around 7.5 the second 7.8.

    Thank you for the tip. I am still figuring out the testing so I have to read the instructions for each one which may skew things slightly.

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    New pool owner

    Forgot. Here's another tip. Your PH test will also be skewed, will read a false high when FC levels are 10 or more.
    When your PH gets to 8.0 lower it with muriatic acid. 😎
    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: New pool owner

    Last nights test:

    FC: 12
    CC: 1
    CH: 275
    TA: 80
    CYA: 60
    PH: 7.5

    So, the bleach I added the night before raised FC, lowered PH some and raised CYA. As I mentioned, I still do not know my pool size (took some dimensions last night) and added the bleach to really see what is affected. My pool is an in-ground, plaster pool. My goal numbers I am just picking from the middle of the ranges here so something like this:

    FC 5
    pH 7.5-7.8
    TA 80
    CH 300
    CYA 40

    Or should I be going for different values?

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner

    Bleach does not raise CYA

    pH may be off due to your FC above 10

    To answer your question, I think I would keep CYA at the upper end of the recommendation as you are in FLA
    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: New pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Bleach does not raise CYA

    pH may be off due to your FC above 10

    To answer your question, I think I would keep CYA at the upper end of the recommendation as you are in FLA
    Most likely due to my inexperience right now with performing the steps. What I am taking away from all of this right now is that while somewhat inconsistent, my CYA readings are still in an acceptable range. I need to keep an eye on/adjust FC and CC a bit and/or get better at running the tests.

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    Re: New pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Blivit79 View Post
    Most likely due to my inexperience right now with performing the steps. What I am taking away from all of this right now is that while somewhat inconsistent, my CYA readings are still in an acceptable range. I need to keep an eye on/adjust FC and CC a bit and/or get better at running the tests.
    It takes a little time to master the tests. For the CYA test do it a few times. Mix the solution, slowly pour it into the tube and get a reading. Then pour it from the tube back into the bottle and do it again. When I was learning I did it four or five times to get a consistent number. Heck, I even had my wife do it a few times to see what she saw as the reading.

    You are running your FC a little high. Even with a 60 CYA 5 is your minimum, so if you target 7 - 8 you can get below the 10 so you can get a better pH reading.

    It would help us if you would narrow down where in FLA you are and add the following information to your signature

    • The size of your pool in gallons
    • If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground)
    • If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
    • The type of filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) and, if you know, the brand and model of the filter.
    • If you know, please tell us the brand and model of the pump, and mention if is it a two speed or variable speed pump.
    • Date of pool build/install, particularly important if less then a year old.
    • What kind/model of water test kit you are using
    • Other significant accessories or options, such as a spa , SWG, or cleaner
    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: New pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    It takes a little time to master the tests. For the CYA test do it a few times. Mix the solution, slowly pour it into the tube and get a reading. Then pour it from the tube back into the bottle and do it again. When I was learning I did it four or five times to get a consistent number. Heck, I even had my wife do it a few times to see what she saw as the reading.

    You are running your FC a little high. Even with a 60 CYA 5 is your minimum, so if you target 7 - 8 you can get below the 10 so you can get a better pH reading.

    It would help us if you would narrow down where in FLA you are and add the following information to your signature

    • The size of your pool in gallons
    • If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground)
    • If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
    • The type of filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) and, if you know, the brand and model of the filter.
    • If you know, please tell us the brand and model of the pump, and mention if is it a two speed or variable speed pump.
    • Date of pool build/install, particularly important if less then a year old.
    • What kind/model of water test kit you are using
    • Other significant accessories or options, such as a spa , SWG, or cleaner
    Signature and location updated.

    I am not intentionally running FC high; or at least not trying to. It is high now I think due to the bleach I added yesterday. I only added bleach because I had done nothing to the pool in almost a week (save for running the pump and vacuum daily.)
    ~16000 gallon in-ground gunite. Pentair 160316 cartridge filter. Testing with TF100. Baracuda G3 cleaner.

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