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Thread: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

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    ChristyMarch's Avatar
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    New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    Hi! We just had a pool built (never had one before so I'm a complete newbie). The pool builder had been maintaining the water to get it up to balance...but they have now handed the pool water care over to us. I have ordered the "big" test kit to get all the info I need which should arrive on Thursday. In the mean time I just have the following results:

    FC: 1
    TC: 1
    CC: 0
    PH: 7.5
    TA: 60

    I inputted the numbers I have into PoolMath. It's saying to Add chlorine and Add baking soda. The pool builders left some Dichlor, should I use that to raise the FC?

    *hopefully my pool info will show up in my signature.
    ~18,000 gal, IG pebble sheen, cartridge filter, Jandy pump, SWG, Ozonator, Polaris

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    We need to know the CYA level before we can say if it is okay to use the Dichlor. If that is what they have been using and if they added some CYA initially, then you have to be careful that the CYA does not get too high.

    What is the CH level? That is important to know if your water is balanced (although I am going to guess this is fine since you have hard water).

    I would leave the TA as is and just start using bleach to maintain at least 2ppm of FC until your kit shows up.

    Too, bad you did not find us sooner as you could have saved your money on that ozonator listed in your signature ... not value added, in fact it will cost you money in electricity and it will require you to add more chlorine because it breaks the chlorine down.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    ChristyMarch's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    Okay, I'll just use regular bleach until I get the big kit and find out the CYA....I'm pretty sure that is what they were using to chlorinate the pool.

    Also, I forgot to mention (but you probably figured it out), there is no salt in the water yet. I guess the pool is to cure for 30 days before we do that...and they said we may as well wait until spring cause SWG only work on warmer water. Is that correct?

    Thanks!
    ~18,000 gal, IG pebble sheen, cartridge filter, Jandy pump, SWG, Ozonator, Polaris

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    I'll second the welcome to TFP!!


    As a new pool owner, 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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    ChristyMarch's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    I've read those 3 plus most of the rest. But, with everything being so new to me, it's taking a bit to really digest the information. I'm going to go back and read them all again now that I'm actually responsible for the pool water chemistry.

    Thanks!
    ~18,000 gal, IG pebble sheen, cartridge filter, Jandy pump, SWG, Ozonator, Polaris

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    Did the pool builder give you any guidelines for chemistry levels required to maintain your warranty? The methods here are the most reliable way to maintain your pool that can be found, but maintaining your warranty takes precedence. Check through your warranty or ask the builder about those requirements.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    zimm's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    Welcome! You're on the right track. 1ppm chlorine is too low, get some more in there until you get the kit tomorrow. 3-4 won't hurt. SWG won't work much on cold water (below 60 I think). If you plan to close the pool for the winter, I would wait on the salt. If you plan to run it all year, I would switch to salt as soon the 30 days are up. Before you add the salt- buy the Taylor test kit for salt- it's so worth it. You'll probably need around 400lbs of salt- I bought Morton's at walmart- way cheaper at $5 rather than $15 at the pool store per 40# bag.
    45'x12' 17k gal, IG plaster, Pool Pilot Nano+ SWG, 1/2hp Whisperflo pump, PAC-FAB TA-60D sand filter, Raypak 266 heater
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristyMarch View Post
    I've read those 3 plus most of the rest. But, with everything being so new to me, it's taking a bit to really digest the information. I'm going to go back and read them all again now that I'm actually responsible for the pool water chemistry.

    Thanks!
    At times it can seem like drinking water from a fire hose. I read the articles many times. On day a light will go on and you will think - Oh, that is how it works..
    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 here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    Different swgs work at different levels. For example, my circupool si-45 is supposed to work above 50 water temp. When I installed it, my temp was 56 and I got a cold water warning until it got a little higher.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
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    ChristyMarch's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    Hi, so I just tested again today.

    FC: .5
    TC: .5
    CC: 0
    PH: 7.65 (it was between the 7.5 & the 7.8 colors)
    TA: 70 (I think it may have been 70 yesterday too).

    About the TA - yesterday I stopped when the test stayed red (6 drops). But today I added one extra drop and it got "really" (truly) red. So, I put down that number. Which is correct?

    Also I have a couple of other questions:
    1) when do you normally test and treat? Today I did it around 3 in the afternoon. Is that okay or should I wait until the sun goes down?
    2) where do you buy your bleach? Does anybody know the best place to buy it in DFW?
    3) what kind of measuring devices (cups, scoops, scales, etc) do you use to put chemicals into your water?

    Thanks so much for helping me out. I feel like I have a billion questions.
    ~18,000 gal, IG pebble sheen, cartridge filter, Jandy pump, SWG, Ozonator, Polaris

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    All tests are done until the last drop causes not further color change and that drop does not count. So, your TA is 70ppm.

    1. Does not really matter. The pump needs to be on at lest 30-60 minutes before you test and after you add any chemicals. Good to try to be consistent with the time
    2. Lots of threads discuss this, try the search. I think there was even just a recent thread in the last few days.
    3. I don't use any as there is rarely ever a need to be that exact. Plus you are handling the chemicals less if you pour directly into the pool. I just estimate by the 1/4 bottle or so for the liquids.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristyMarch View Post
    3) what kind of measuring devices (cups, scoops, scales, etc) do you use to put chemicals into your water?

    Thanks so much for helping me out. I feel like I have a billion questions.
    I'm with Jason. I pour directly to the pool. I figure if I'm a little off I'm make it up tomorrow when I test.

    As away with the questions. Folks around here have a billion answers, we just need to match them up.
    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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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    You are off to a GREAT start!

    I get my chlorine from the ACE Hardware just up the road. The Pinch a Penny has it for a couple of dimes cheaper BUT it is further away so not worth gas or time. Some people find that their local Walmart has the best price for them. Just make sure to know the %. Walmart=8%, most (not all) pool stores=11%.

    I can't wait to see YOUR results with your test!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    ChristyMarch's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    Okay, I got my "big" test kit in and here are my results:

    FC: 0.8
    CC: 0.2
    pH: 7.8
    TA: 80
    CH: 390
    CYA: 30

    Yesterday, I added about 96 oz of bleach. I guess it worked a bit, but I was aiming to get to a target level of 3. Besides add more bleach, what should I do? And, do I need to be concerned with the CC level?
    ~18,000 gal, IG pebble sheen, cartridge filter, Jandy pump, SWG, Ozonator, Polaris

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    A little muratic acid to bring hte pH down a smidge. Also, it appears you are using 25 mL sample for 0.2 ppm accuracy. You can go ahead and use 10 mL sample for 0.5 ppm accuracy. It will save you reagents and is close enough for us.
    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 here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    I will jump in also with a welcome. Looks like another Texan with a pool. TA, CH, CYA look fine for right now. I would bring the ph down a little. That would be your most hazardous chemical to use. Just treat it with respect. Defiantly need to get some chlorine in. Don't sweat the .2 cc's. Might not hurt to do an over night loss test. Also start using the 10 ml sample for your chlorine. It will save on your regents. Good luck and ask questions. That's what TFP is here for. When it's time to dial in your swcg you can bump your CYA up to cut down run time on your cell.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    You are SO far ahead of the other newbies it is great!

    Did you check with your PB about warranty needs for your pool for him?

    You need to get and keep your FC up. I add mine in the late afternoon (after the sun is off of the pool) so that the chlorine has all night to do it's stuff.

    Add chlorine and let the pump run for 30 mins. to mix it in.

    Hugs!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    ChristyMarch's Avatar
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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    I'll talk to my PB today about the levels to maintain my warranty.

    I didn't add MA yesterday because, though a tad on the high side, I thought the pH was within the limits. But, I was just checking the Pebble Tec website and they recommend 7.4 to 7.6. So, I'll do that this afternoon if the test shows it's still high.

    Next question: should I be doing all the tests (CH, CYA, TA, etc) daily or can I just do a subset of them on a daily basis? I read the pool care schedule article, but I wasn't sure if I can start on this schedule already or if I should do stuff daily for bit until I get the hang of things.

    Thanks for all the help & advice!
    ~18,000 gal, IG pebble sheen, cartridge filter, Jandy pump, SWG, Ozonator, Polaris

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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    CL should be daily. To start out I would also do PH and TA every few days. Keep a log and you will soon see your pools personality. Every pool is a little different. CH should not move much unless your makeup water is very hard. CYA should not move if you embrace the TFP method. CYA is not found in drinking water so unless you add it with tabs, shock, or by itself, it should remain steady. I test for that at the beginning and end of season. With a new pool your ph will probably rise as the pool cures, so stay on top of it. That's where the log comes into play. When you start running the swcg it will also add to the ph rise.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: New here and new pool owner: Am I doing this right?

    My advice is slightly different. I'd do pH and FC/CC daily, and do TA and CH weekly. CYA can be done less often, and with a major water change, as your CYA shouldn't change very much. With a new build, your pH, TA, and CH may change more rapidly at first, so you'll want to know where they are at all times.
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