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Thread: New Pool Owner Here-Need some advice please

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    Join Date
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    New Pool Owner Here-Need some advice please

    Hi everyone. Iím new to the forum and have been reading the Pool School articles, but was hoping for a push in the right direction. My 18k gallon SW gunite pool was completed back in November of 2014. Since then, I have done nothing to it in terms of adding any chemicals as my pool builder stated the water is too cold to add anything and nothing will grow. For the most part my water temp is below 65 most of the time and my Hayward SWG generator has not been turned on due to low water temp.

    My first visit to Leslieís was on 01/17/15 and below is their test results:

    FC-0
    CC-0
    Salt 2200
    CH-120
    CYA-0
    TA-100
    PH 8.0
    Acid demand-5
    Phosphates-200

    After getting recommendations to buy over 700 dollars in chemicals to fix my pool, I felt I needed to do more research. So I ordered the TF100 kit and tested my water today:

    FC/CC-0
    Salt-2630
    CH-425
    CYA-Less than .5 (I guess 0)
    TA-120
    PH-8.2

    What do you suggest I do to get things started? My builder added a couple of bags of salt two months ago but it again the SWG has not been running. I am assuming I should get my Chlorine up? Since my SWG cannot be turned on due to low water temp, do I just wait until the weather warms up to start addressing my pool and retest? Any recommendations how I should proceed will be very helpful as I am trying to get a handle on my new pool.

    On another note, when my builder completed my pool, he specifically told us not to brush the pool and nothing needed to be done. Now I notice that I have stains in the plaster that cannot be brushed off. They look like brown dirt stains (I live in the desert and gets very sandy some times). Is there anyway to remove these stains?
    Completed November 2014, 16x32 Rectangular SW Gunite IG Pool, Hayward Equipment, Cartridge filtration, VS Hayward Pump, 8 x 8 Spa, Hayward SWG, Hayward Omnilogic Automation, TF100 Test Kit

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner Here-Need some advice please

    Hi
    Welcome to TFP. You have come to the right place to learn how to take care of your pool.
    Unfortunatley, many pool builders dont know very much about water chemistry. Sounds like yours is in that group.

    Investing in that TF100 test kit is one of the best investments for you pool you will ever make. Congrats on taking the initiative to get it.

    the first thing you need to do, is get the PH down to about the 7.4 range. High PH is never good.
    Use Pool Math to determine how much muriatic acid to use. If you havent used pool math yet, or seen it, its easy.
    At top left, enter the volume of your pool.
    left (now) column, enter your current readings
    In the target column, enter your target readings
    And enter the water temp.
    Then click calculate and pool math will tell you how much of which substance to put in.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Here is a chart of recommended levels so you know where you should be to start with. Use this for your Targets in Pool Math.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...mmended-levels

    What your FC target should depends on the CYA. Here is the FC/CYA chart.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...art-slam-shock

    Next, you want to go ahead and get some chlorine in the pool. Your SWG may well work at 65, but it wont add chlorine quick enough. Especially since you dont have enough salt in the pool.
    Use bleach - regular with no fancy additives just regular old straight bleach as your chlorine source till we get you going.
    On the ingredients of the bleach, you want to notice if it is 8.25% or 6% sodium hypochlorite. Its best if you get 8.25 because then you wont have to add so much to get to your target FC. Walmart is usually the cheapest bleach.

    Next, you want to get some CYA, also called stabilizer and/ or conditioner. It can be had at Walmart and any other place that sells pools supplies. Walmart usually has the best price.

    Add enough CYA to get you up to about 40 to start. That will do fine till weather warms up a bit. The method of adding CYA is to put it on an old sock (a long one) and drop it in the skimmer. Sqeeze the sock periodically to help the CYA dissolve, it takes a while. It will take about a week for it to show up in your test results, so until you can actually test of it, just consider it to be 40 per pool math.

    Dont do anything to your TA yet. Adding MA to lower the PH will likely drop the TA along with it.
    Doint do anythng for the CH.

    The above will get you going immediately. So start with this and we can go from there.

    You will need to add salt before you can fire up the SWG. Consult your owner manual for recommended levels. (usually from 3000-4000). Use pool math to determine how much to put in. (wont hurt to wait a few days to start on this. You have enough on your hands already.)

    Regarding the stains, is it something that has always been there or is it new?
    Lets continue with this subject after you have gotten some chemicals into the water. Its probably something that more questions need to be asked. But lets keep it simple for now till we get some of your water parameters in check

    Hope this helps.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    New Pool Owner Here-Need some advice please

    Welcome to TFP !
    First thing you need to do is lower your PH. You run the risk of scaling with it that high. Lower it to 7.5 using muriatic acid. When it rises back up to 8.0 lower it back down. Your going to have to keep an eye on it by testing. The plaster curing process is going to keep raising it. This will slow down overtime.
    Next you need to get some chlorine and CYA in the water. Your going to need bleach and granular stabilizer to do this. So get the bleach and stabilizer to have it on hand.
    Add enough bleach to get your FC level up to 3 ppm. Pour it slowly in front of a return with your pump running.
    Next you need to add the stabilizer. Get this ready so you can add it right after the bleach addition. For a SWG we recommend this level be in the 70-80 ppm range, but let's take it up in steps till your ready to run SWG. Aim for a CYA level of 40. Put the stabilizer in a sock and tie a knot. Drop it in your skimmer basket with your pump running until it's all dissolved. Every now and again give it a squeeze to help it dissolve faster. Don't bother testing for it right away as it can take up to a week to fully register on a test. When it's all dissolved raise your FC up to 5 and don't let it drop below 3. Maintain your FC levels with bleach for now. When your ready to start your SWG up raise your CYA level up to 70-80 ppm using the same sock method.
    Now to figure out how much of everything to add to your water use Pool Math. Make sure to plug in your pool water volume and use your current test results in the now column and plug in your target numbers in the target column.
    Take the time to read the ABC'S Of Pool Water Chemistry in pool school.
    Here is another good article on SWG.
    Any questions you have don't hesitate to ask.
    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 Here-Need some advice please

    Thank you both for the replies. I followed pool math and added Bleach, CYA, and Muriatic Acid to the water this weekend. Should I bother adding the salt now, since my SWG may not be work due to cool water temps? Me being in a rush and not re-reading these replies or the instructions on the bottle for that matter, I added all my CYA directly to the pool (12 lbs). Stupid mistake. I ended up having to brush my pool bottom consistently to ensure that CYA did not clump and ensure it dissolved. I had my pump running the entire time, but was in a hurry to dump the CYA before I left for the day. I think it did end up clogging some pipes, because when stopping my pump to change over to the spa after running for 6+ hours, the pump would no longer circulate. I ended up having to stick a hose down the skimmer to break down any build up of the CYA while also brushing any buildup I saw on the pool floor to ensure everything was dissolved. So far so good, and everything is working. Really dumb mistake. I've been running the pump consistently in both pool/spa to ensure any buildup is dissolved.

    Anyway, the stains started to appear after a month or two after the plaster was finished. Again, being a beginner pool owner and trusting my pool builder, he told us that we did not have to do anything such as BRUSHING! I knew I should have done my own research. I have a feeling that maybe the pool plaster cured with the dirt trapped in it? My whole pool bottom is not the pristine white that I had when they finished the plaster. You can tell there is dirt all over the plaster that does not come off with repeated brushing. Leslie's of course suggested I needed to acid wash my 3 month old pool. I'm thinking that is the only way to get rid of this dirt stain, what do you think?
    Completed November 2014, 16x32 Rectangular SW Gunite IG Pool, Hayward Equipment, Cartridge filtration, VS Hayward Pump, 8 x 8 Spa, Hayward SWG, Hayward Omnilogic Automation, TF100 Test Kit

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    New Pool Owner Here-Need some advice please

    For your stains you could try putting a trichlor puck on the stain for 15 minutes or so. If it lightens it, it's organic. If it's organic SLAM level FC and brushing the stains may remove them. To tell if it's a metal stain you can put some vitamin C tablets on it and that would confirm that type of stain. What type of brush do you have ?
    Also don't ever just dump or broadcast CYA or any other granular stuff in you pool. Use the sock method I mentioned in my previous post to add CYA as you saw what can happen. Mistakes happen. Now ya know better.
    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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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner Here-Need some advice please

    Hi Sw,
    you might have got luck with CYA. Pouring directly into the pool could have resulted in some severe discoloration. It likely could also have clogged up your filter. Sounds like you avoided a couple of potential significant issues. Next time, use the sock for goodness sake!!! hahaah

    Regarding the stains. Generally you do not get stains from dirt. It sounds like calcium scaling is what happened. it can happen fairly quickly if water gets out of balance like yours did.
    Is it only on the walls, or bottom or both?

    When the water chemistry is off, calcium can precipitate out of the water and deposit itself on the plaster. One of the indicators that points to this happening is your high PH that you mentioned, and apparently it has probably been that way for a while since your PB told you not to do anyting, which was not good advice.

    the new plaster in your pool will continue to cure over the next year or so. As plaster cures, it causes PH to rise, and fairly quickly. You need to check your Ph every day and dose with MA to keep it in check religiously.

    Not sure if it would do you any good to brush now or not... you might give it a try. If plaster dust comes off teh walls when you do, then keep brushing the whole thing a couple times a day for the next couple weeks, or until there is no more dust being brushed off.

    Really the only way to rid the pool of the scaling in any reasonable amount of time is to do an acid wash, as the pool store suggested. That means draining all the water, and washing the whole plaster surface with Muriatic Acid and then refilling it.

    Regarding the salt. If you are going to consider draining the pool and doing the acid wash any time soon, then dont add it. But if you are not going to drain the pool, then its fine if you go ahead with that. It wont hurt anything and salt doesnt evaporate out, or go anywhere, unless the water is drained or rain causes some overflow.

    With your water temp in the 60's like you say, the SWG will likely start producing chlorine. Its typically not till the water temps reach near 50 that the water is too cold.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: New Pool Owner Here-Need some advice please

    Yes, I think I avoided a even bigger mistake if I discolored the pool. But I was very thorough in brushing to help dissolve the CYA. I also cleaned up and hosed down all the baskets, and cartridge filters just to be sure. Funny thing is I read both posts and had the sock idea in my head, but completely forgot since I was in a rush to leave and wanted to ensure the bleach I just but in didn't evaporate. Any chance you think I did any permanent damage to anything?


    Perhaps you are right about the calcium build up. I will try to determine using the calcium and or tricholor puck as the other poster suggested. I just spent thousands on my new pool, so I think I'll wait on the acid wash. I wish the builder would have given me some general directions, but oh well what can you do.

    Okay I will add the salt as I don't plan to drain the pool anytime soon.

    So now that I've gotten the Bleach, CYA, Muriatic Acid and Salt in, any other steps I need to take to get my pool stabilized?

    Thanks again.
    Completed November 2014, 16x32 Rectangular SW Gunite IG Pool, Hayward Equipment, Cartridge filtration, VS Hayward Pump, 8 x 8 Spa, Hayward SWG, Hayward Omnilogic Automation, TF100 Test Kit

  8. Back To Top    #8
    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    New Pool Owner Here-Need some advice please

    Just keep an eye on things by testing PH and FC daily for a while and adjust accordingly. Wait a week to test for your CYA. What level did Pool Math say the 12 lbs of CYA would take it to ?
    Your doing fine !
    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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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner Here-Need some advice please

    The stain tests that pwrstrk suggested are definitely good idea.

    Keep testing your pool daily for FC and Ph and adjust them as needed to keep them in recommended range.
    On saturday, I would recommend running a full set of tests. This will give CYA enough time to register well and give the pool a chance to get used to its new "proper" water manager!

    Post up a set of test results on Saturday and we'll go from there.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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