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Thread: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

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    Lightbulb First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Hello there, I just purchased a house ~ 1 month ago and have finally had some time to start fiddling with the pool. So far I haven't done much other than clean the DE filter and chlorinate with trichlor pucks using an automated chlorinator and floater. I have added ~ 4 bags of leslies Power Powder Plus which I understand is adding to my already high CH. Currently the water is very clear and no issues with algae.

    I have now purchased a TF100 test kit and ran my first test this past weekend. Here is where I am:

    FC 1.5
    CC 0.5
    TC 2.0
    CH 700 (2 weeks prior Leslies measured 310 so I am not so sure about my reading)
    TA 40
    CYA 50
    PH 6.8

    I used the pool calculator and added ~ 3.8lbs of soda ash over the weekend, PH is now checking ~ 7.5. I need some guidance on where to go from here. I have noticed that I am really struggling to keep a decent chlorine level - I am routinely getting very low chlorine readings even though my chlorinator is currently set on 4 (out of 5). The FC of 1.5 is the highest I have measured since moving in.

    Details on the pool are in the signature, the pool has been replastered but it is time for another plaster job as there are multiple areas that need repair.
    ______________________________________
    22K In-ground Plaster w/ attached spa - Hayward DE6020 Filter - 1.5HP Primary - 0.75HP Booster - Polaris cleaner - 1991 build - TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    What are you using for a chlorinator, a puck feeder? If so you probably need to stop as you are already at the top of the recommended level for CYA.

    I would believe your reading for CH. If you have read around here much you have probably seen that not much credence is given to pool store testing. 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.

    If your FC is continulsly droping when you have CYA 50 i would look to organics in the water. An Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT) will show if that is the case.

    While talking about chlorine, I'm confused with your chlorine readings. You gave FC & TC while the TF-100 tests for FC & CC using the FAS-DPD (powder turning red) test. Explain how you got the numbers you posted or maybe you are just not comfortable with the terminology.

    How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    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: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Tim,
    Yes I have read through the pool school basics.

    I am currently using a puck feeder and a floater in the pool for chlorination. As mentioned in my original post the puck feeder is almost maxed out on its setting. I did buy some 10% liquid chlorine from the pool store but have not begun using it yet. I only have about 10 pucks left.

    In my original post I reported a FC of 1.5 and CC of 0.5.

    I'll try the OCLT test tonight and report back the results.
    ______________________________________
    22K In-ground Plaster w/ attached spa - Hayward DE6020 Filter - 1.5HP Primary - 0.75HP Booster - Polaris cleaner - 1991 build - TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by J-Mo View Post
    Tim,
    Yes I have read through the pool school basics.

    I am currently using a puck feeder and a floater in the pool for chlorination. As mentioned in my original post the puck feeder is almost maxed out on its setting. I did buy some 10% liquid chlorine from the pool store but have not begun using it yet. I only have about 10 pucks left.

    In my original post I reported a FC of 1.5 and CC of 0.5.

    I'll try the OCLT test tonight and report back the results.
    I must have mis-read the chlorine part...

    As long as you understand the CYA is going up with every puck you use and the only way to get CYA down is by draining water you are good to go. It's possible the puck feeder has a blockage that is keeping the water flow thru it down which would result in not getting the FC up also.

    Let us know how the OCLT works out.
    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: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Your CYA is already approaching the high side recommended levels, so I would stop using the pucks asap and start using bleach (liquid chlorine) to maintain your FC level. After you perform the OCLT to confirm the presence of organics in the pool, you will want to immediately begin SLAM if you fail any of the OCLT pass criteria.

    Once you get your FC loss issue resolved, if interested, you will find there are options to automate FC delivery to your pool without resorting to the use of pucks or granuals that disrupt your pool chemistry over time.
    16x32 DiamondBrite kidney, 12,500 gal. (circa 1985) 3/4hp Hayward SII, Harmsco BF84, Taylor K-2006, Hayward SwimPure Plus / Tcell-15
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    prior 17k gal. vinyl, Sand filter

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Ok so I performed the OCLT test last night. Start of test at 8pm last night I have a 3.5 FC, 7AM this morning it had already dropped to 0.5.

    Based on these results it appears a SLAM is in order - I'm going to go load up on bleach and start the SLAM this weekend.


    Dog House - once I get the pool water under control I will be converting over to a chemical feed pump or SWG for chlorine generation, there is no way I am going to be able to keep up with manual dosing of liquid chlorine.
    ______________________________________
    22K In-ground Plaster w/ attached spa - Hayward DE6020 Filter - 1.5HP Primary - 0.75HP Booster - Polaris cleaner - 1991 build - TF100 test kit

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by J-Mo View Post
    Ok so I performed the OCLT test last night. Start of test at 8pm last night I have a 3.5 FC, 7AM this morning it had already dropped to 0.5.

    Based on these results it appears a SLAM is in order - I'm going to go load up on bleach and start the SLAM this weekend.


    Dog House - once I get the pool water under control I will be converting over to a chemical feed pump or SWG for chlorine generation, there is no way I am going to be able to keep up with manual dosing of liquid chlorine.
    rather than bleach, higher concentration chlorinating liquid (10% - 12.5%) is available in the Houston area and it usually works out less expensive than bleach.

    Check out the HASA Dealer Locator.
    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: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    10% is running comparable price to store bought bleach around my location, there is a company (NAPCO) about 30 miles from me which sells in bulk. This will be my supply once I get a chemical feed system going. Price per oz of sodium hypochlorite is summarized below.

    Leslie's Liquid Shock - 10% - $0.33/oz
    HEB Bleach - 8.25% - $0.30/oz
    NAPCO (bulk liquid chlorine) - 10% - $0.13/oz
    ______________________________________
    22K In-ground Plaster w/ attached spa - Hayward DE6020 Filter - 1.5HP Primary - 0.75HP Booster - Polaris cleaner - 1991 build - TF100 test kit

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    One other question - for proper FC level during SLAM I am getting conflicting FC shock values. The CYA chart is telling me I need 20FC while pool calculator is giving me 16FC. Which one do I need to go with?
    ______________________________________
    22K In-ground Plaster w/ attached spa - Hayward DE6020 Filter - 1.5HP Primary - 0.75HP Booster - Polaris cleaner - 1991 build - TF100 test kit

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    I would go with the 20 myself. You will find slight differences at times. Best to err on the safe side which is more 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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    First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by J-Mo View Post
    One other question - for proper FC level during SLAM I am getting conflicting FC shock values. The CYA chart is telling me I need 20FC while pool calculator is giving me 16FC. Which one do I need to go with?
    When I look at Pool Math it gives 20 as the shock level for a CYA level of 50. The same shock level as the FC/CYA chart says. 16 is the shock level for a CYA level of 40. 😎
    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: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    I am currently into the third day of SLAMming my pool. The pool is now clear and my OCLT has been improving the past two nights, 1st night I dropped 4.5FC, last night I only lost 1.5FC. Getting closer...
    ______________________________________
    22K In-ground Plaster w/ attached spa - Hayward DE6020 Filter - 1.5HP Primary - 0.75HP Booster - Polaris cleaner - 1991 build - TF100 test kit

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by J-Mo View Post
    I am currently into the third day of SLAMming my pool. The pool is now clear and my OCLT has been improving the past two nights, 1st night I dropped 4.5FC, last night I only lost 1.5FC. Getting closer...
    Keep up the work. It will keep getting better.
    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: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Drop last night was the same as the previous night - 1.5FC. CC is measuring 0.5. Pool is clean, skimmer baskets empty, and I have been brushing daily. Should I keep going? I have seen other posts where people remove lights and clean them, do you think that is warranted here?

    Also in my attached spa there is a small amount of debris (dirt/sand) in the bottom, what is the best way to get this cleaned out? the previous pool owner has a suction hose, do I plug this into the ports on the bottom of the skimmer housing?
    ______________________________________
    22K In-ground Plaster w/ attached spa - Hayward DE6020 Filter - 1.5HP Primary - 0.75HP Booster - Polaris cleaner - 1991 build - TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by J-Mo View Post
    Drop last night was the same as the previous night - 1.5FC. CC is measuring 0.5.
    Should I keep going?

    Also in my attached spa there is a small amount of debris in the bottom, what is the best way to get this cleaned out? the previous pool owner has a suction hose, do I plug this into the ports on the bottom of the skimmer housing?
    Yes, keep going. 1A 1.5 drop indicates there are still organics in the water.

    Stop when



    • CC is 0.5 or lower;
    • You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    • And the water is clear.


    When all three are true, you are done SLAMing and can allow the FC to drift down to normal levels.
    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: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    SLAM complete...I dropped ~0.0FC last night and only dropped about 1.5FC throughout the day today in Houston from 6:30AM to 9pm which is WAAYYYY lower then any measurement to date, CC is 0.0 and the water looks excellent...I thought my water was clear before but now I see what true clean water looks like! Water is getting chilly but I probably have a few more weekends to enjoy it!

    I would like to start some discussion about automated chlorine feeders, is it best to leave this topic here are start a new topic elsewhere in the forum?
    ______________________________________
    22K In-ground Plaster w/ attached spa - Hayward DE6020 Filter - 1.5HP Primary - 0.75HP Booster - Polaris cleaner - 1991 build - TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    It's a new subject not involved with your SLAM, so a new thread should work.
    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: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Just an aside. If you have an attached spa that connects to your pool water, keep a careful eye on the balance in the spa. Spas can get out of whack quickly, and you certainly don't want to mess up your pool water now that it's great!

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner - Need some Guidance

    Just fwiw...I understand your desire to automate chlorine. A few years back when my home and pool were new to me I thought similarly. However, hubby didn't want SWG and I was suspicious of pumps in terms of "trouble free" since I'm not particularly handy.

    3 yrs later I am still manually dosing, but don't mind a bit. Once you're in the habit of getting up, wearing a bleach-proof robe, doing a quck test to confirm nothing is out of order in terms of FC and ph, you will also "know" to free pour the amount you need (in my case, about a half bottle of 12%) -- it literally takes about three minutes, followed by a swim When I go away, I use the automated puck chlorinater (which tops up the cya..,which I keep a bit lower to accommodate.)

    So truly, keeping up is not nearly the hassle once you're in the habit, IMHO. In our case, every 2 weeks we pickup 2 cases of 12% in recycled containers, then trade em back in when done.
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