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Thread: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

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    Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    I have just taken over maintaining my pool this past week after using a pool guy for 2 1/2 years. It has been warm here in in SWFL the last couple of weeks and I think my pool was on the borderline of having problems when I started. The pool had a film on the surface and some bubbles that we have not seen before and the water is somewhat cloudy. My first test on 1/2/15 showed FC of 0.5, PH of 7.1, and CYA of 50. I added bleach, washing soda, and a small amount of stabilizer according to PoolMAth's recommendations. The SWG seemed to make the bubbles worse, so a turned it off (based on another post here). The next day the test results were about the same (FC 0.5, PH 7.2, CYA 52). I decided to just tackle the chlorine issue and added more chlorine. After adding that FC went up to 7 and the pool is looking better. Yesterday I turned the SWG back on as the bubbles were gone and the FC was 3. Here are my test results this morning:

    FC - 2.0
    CC 0.5
    pH - 7.3
    TA - 80
    CH - 200
    CYA - 50

    So it looks like there are 4 areas of concern- low FC, low PH, low CH, and low CYA. Which issue is the most critical? Should I attack them one at a time or all at once?

    Thanks in advance,

    Tim
    Ft. Myers, Florida

    15,000 gallon IG pebble, cartridge filter, SWG open year round, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Welcome!

    For a start, focus on Chlorine. You pH is fine for now, and I would suggest doing a full and complete SLAM process on your pool. Click on the link in my sig, ask questions if you need too, but this is where I would start. Leave everything else the way it is now and get started on that ASAP. FC is typically the biggest issue people have when they run into trouble, and your situation will be easy to straighten out. Let us know how to help.
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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Your pH is fine, and so is the CH.

    I'd leave the CYA alone for the moment, because you may need to SLAm, and it's easier at the lower CYA. CYA is easy to raise, not so easy to lower, so don't get too eager to raise it.

    That leaves FC. You do need to raise it to the appropriate level for your CYA, and I'd also advise performing an overnight loss test. If it passes, turn up the run time on the SWG. If it doesn't, then you'll need to perform the Shock Level and Maintain process to kill whatever is using up your FC.

    When things clear up and settle down, then see about raising CYA. pH will no doubt rise on its own, and the CH will also increase slowly with evaporation and refill.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Thanks for the reply. My CYA is around 50 which is below the lowest chart level for a SWG (60). Should I target the CYA=60 shock level of 24?
    Ft. Myers, Florida

    15,000 gallon IG pebble, cartridge filter, SWG open year round, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Are you testing your own water?

    The above recommendations are spot on.

    Taking care of your own pool is a gratifying job. Congratulations and welcome to TFP!
    14K Freeform Gunite w/60% Blue Quartz plaster, Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS Pump + Booster for Cleaner, Aquacal Heat Pump

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by timinswfl View Post
    Thanks for the reply. My CYA is around 50 which is below the lowest chart level for a SWG (60). Should I target the CYA=60 shock level of 24?
    Again: I'd leave the CYA alone for the moment, because you may need to SLAM, and it's easier at the lower CYA. CYA is easy to raise, not so easy to lower, so don't get too eager to raise it.

    You are not just raising FC to 24 once. You might end up keeping it there for days or weeks, and the difference between 20 and 24 could end up being substantial amounts of bleach. The SWG cannot raise FC fast enough for the SLAM, you'll need to use some other source.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Just saw your post Richard after I submitted my reply. So I should I add some chlorine now, then run an OCLT tonight to see if I need to SLAM, correct?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes I am testing my own water with a TF-100 kit.
    Ft. Myers, Florida

    15,000 gallon IG pebble, cartridge filter, SWG open year round, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Richard,

    I think you misread my post. I was not talking about doing anything with CYA. I was asking what is the shock level of FC for a CYA of 50 which is below the bottom of the chart.

    Tim
    Ft. Myers, Florida

    15,000 gallon IG pebble, cartridge filter, SWG open year round, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by timinswfl View Post
    Just saw your post Richard after I submitted my reply. So I should I add some chlorine now, then run an OCLT tonight to see if I need to SLAM, correct?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes I am testing my own water with a TF-100 kit.
    Yes. You want whatever bleach you added to be well-mixed when you take your before reading.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Ok, added some liquid chlorine and will do the OCLT test tonight/tomorrow and report back.
    Ft. Myers, Florida

    15,000 gallon IG pebble, cartridge filter, SWG open year round, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Based on your first post, a SLAM is warranted regardless of the OCLT. It won't hurt, and it won't be overkill. Slime, bubbles, cloudy water needs a SLAM.

    In this situation it's best to leave Cya where it is, because raising it will require a higher level of FC to do the same Job. Salt Pools need higher Cya, but worry about that later once this is all done. :thumbsup:
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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    I had a drop of 1.5 ppm so I will start a SLAM today. Is my shock FC level 20 or 24 (based on my CYA of 50)?

    Tim
    Ft. Myers, Florida

    15,000 gallon IG pebble, cartridge filter, SWG open year round, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by timinswfl View Post
    I had a drop of 1.5 ppm so I will start a SLAM today. Is my shock FC level 20 or 24 (based on my CYA of 50)?

    Tim
    20.

    While you're using bleach, consider your pool to be non-SWG and use the chart here or poolmath. Just as a point of interest, if you're worried about the CH, you could use Cal-hypo as your chlorine source and it will raise CH by 3 for every 5 FC you add. The downside is, adding a bunch of cal-hypo at once frequently causes cloudiness. And if you need a lot of explanation about using it, you'd be better off sticking with bleach.

    Don't forget that the SLAM process includes brushing. Do not neglect hiding places like behind lights and beneath ladder rungs.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Started SLAM and just checked FC and it was higher than my target at 24.5. I have a kidney shaped pool with a "tanning shelf" and steps, so it was hard to estimate- I think I overestimated the volume. I will drop it down to 14,000 gal for the next calculation, as that is what PoolMath is giving me based on the FC I achieved. I have been running the pump and the Hayward Navigator as well as brushing the sides, steps, and tanning shelf. BTW the PH was 7.5 before starting the SLAM, I did not re-test CYA.
    Ft. Myers, Florida

    15,000 gallon IG pebble, cartridge filter, SWG open year round, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Higher is not a terrible thing, as long as it's not out of this world. What was it exactly or did you not complete the drops to test above 24.5? Brush often and make sure to remove ladders and light fixtures if removable. Brush out those niches and scrub ladders with diluted bleach solution. Get ALL those nooks and crannies!
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    I added 2 2/3 gallons of 10.5% liquid chlorine. This raised the FC from 3 to 24.5 (49 drops using TF-100 test kit) when testing about an hour after the addition. No ladders and have been brushing where the Hayward doesn't reach.
    Ft. Myers, Florida

    15,000 gallon IG pebble, cartridge filter, SWG open year round, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Don't worry at all about several PPM higher for the SLAM. That's going to work in your favor actually. Just keep after it like you are, and do your best not to let FC fall below 20. If you bump to 25 sometime it's more than OK rest assured.
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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Last night at 10:30 FC was 25 and this morning at 7:30 it was 23, so at least one more day of SLAMming. CC is 0.5 and the pool is looking really good, so I think I am getting close.

    Something I forgot to mention before was over the last 6 months my pool has had too high of a salt level. The SWG was saying low salt and the pool guy kept putting more salt in until I suggested the SWG may be reading the salt level wrong and he tested the water instead and found the salt level was over 5000. I had the SWG module tested and it was bad so I replaced it, but left it turned off until the salt level came down. The pool guy used chlorine instead during this time. The salt level is now close (3900) to what it needs to be, but it still is high enough that if I turn it on, it runs for a while and then shuts itself off. I did add some replacement water a few days ago which may drop the salt level a little more. But now that I am doing the pool care, I want to get the level down to 3500 so I can utilize the SWG as intended. Rather than draining some water, can I just add water and let the overflow drain take out some extra saltwater?
    Ft. Myers, Florida

    15,000 gallon IG pebble, cartridge filter, SWG open year round, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Yes, you can flood it to the drain and get the same result as anything else when replacing water...say like backwashing. Dilution is the only solution for salt decrease, so you're on the right track.

    Keep Slamming and remember there are three criteria you must pass before it is complete. Don't be surprised if it takes several more days. Every SLAM is different, so you will have to let it play out and see what happens. Good job on it though, sounds like it is going your way for sure.
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    Re: Issues after starting my own pool maintenance

    Just curious how it's going Tim...
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