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Thread: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

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    Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Hi all!

    This is a long story but i will try to keep the intro short. Around 6 weeks ago i decided it was time to get off the couch and dive into (not literally) the cleanup/startup of our 18x48 Intex pool. Last year we have a great time with this, had a couple of algae outbreaks while i was out of town/on vacation and went through a case of paper cartridge filters (i was rinsing a few times and throwing away). After the season was over, instead of draining the pool and putting it up i decided to leave it up over the South Texas winter. Uncovered... lol Well by February it was black...i mean really gross looking. I wish i would have taken pictures. Mind you this is all Pre-TroubleFreePool discovery. Instead of attempting to filter all of that stuff out of my little cartridge filter (which i felt was on its last leg anyways) We went ahead and drained as much water as we could, leaving about 4 inches of water. This left all of the leaves, sticks and whatever else was in there easily accessible. After scooping out as much as we could and giving up with trying to siphon the rest of the water out we went ahead and refilled the pool.
    At this point, the pool was still a dark dark green. I went ahead and removed the filter element out of the intex baby filter and started dumping 1LB bags of shock in there daily. After about a week we went from dark green to light green. At the end of that week though, the pump sounded really bad...so i decided to invest in a Intex Crystal clear sand and salt system. Found a killer deal on amazon and pulled the trigger. When it finally came in about a week later (the pool still green and still treating with shock bags). I got the salt added and filter setup. Power this puppy on and started running it non-stop. This is about the time i found Troublefreepool.com. After reading through hundreds of pages and dozens of articles, i was very concerned with what i had done up to this point...Especially the CYA levels, of which i had no way of knowing what they were...after what must have been no less then 12 1LB bags of shock. I also read that copper was not that great either so I promptly unplugged the ion generator and left the SWG and filter running 24x7. At this point i yanked all pucks and stopped shocking the pool with Trichlor. I also ordered the TF100 kit.

    Fast forward to today. It finally came in and now i can official start my SLAM, officially abandoning the pour and pray method.

    Here are my first official test results.

    CYA=100 (Not near as bad as i was expecting)
    FC=55.5 (whoa!)
    CC=2
    TC=57.5

    This to me was nuts..i definitely expected the CYA to be high, but the FC? I really thought i would be running low but i guess because the SWG/filter has been running for at least 2 weeks straight it has actually kept the pool at what PoolMath says is the Mustard Algae shock value...I know this is probably not that great for the SWG plates but still..wow....

    At this point i am going to drain approximately 30 percent of the water to get my CYA down to 70 and maintain shock level until the SLAM is completed. There may be a few days between updates on here but please feel free to offer advice on anything you think i have missed.

    Thank all of you for the great information on this site!

    Intex 18x48 Circular Metal Frame Pool (vinyl)
    6423 gallons
    Intex Crystal Clear Sandfilter + SWG (with copper gen disabled)

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    So you're saying it took 111 drops of reagent to get that FC reading of 55.5? Just making sure you did the test right here!
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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Yes sir...111x.5...It was pretty unbelievable to me as well...

    I really thought the SWG would not be able to maintain such a high FC level without help from some liquid clorine. I must have really gone overboard with those initial bags of shock before i started the SLAM. (its been at least 4 days since i put a shock bag in) I will be going out to buy a few jugs of bleach today just in case it drops.

    Thanks for checking that though, i went back and checked my notebook paper just in case
    Intex 18x48 Circular Metal Frame Pool (vinyl)
    6423 gallons
    Intex Crystal Clear Sandfilter + SWG (with copper gen disabled)

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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Good Morning,

    Yesterday i drained approximately 30 percent of the pools water and replaced to lower CYA levels. Had to leave town last night but had someone finish refilling the pool for me. Checked levels this morning.

    CYA=70
    FC=34.5
    CC=1
    TC=35.5

    According to pool math, shock level is at 28 so FC still looks good. My CC is down to 1 so I'm hoping I'm getting towards the end of this tunnel. Unfortunately i did not check PH when i started all of this due to my lack of knowledge, so i really don't have a clue what it is right now, I'm sure ill have some major tweeking coming up after the SLAM is done.


    (Pasting for my own reference)
    You are done when:
    1) CC is 0.5 or lower;
    2) You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    3) And the water is clear.


    Number 1, not yet...Number 2, not going to try until the CC is at .5. Number 3, its still cloudy.

    Thanks for reading!
    Intex 18x48 Circular Metal Frame Pool (vinyl)
    6423 gallons
    Intex Crystal Clear Sandfilter + SWG (with copper gen disabled)

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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Your PH wont read correctly until you get down to roughly 10 on the FC number.
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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Its looking better though isn't it.

    good deal on getting the CYA down.

    Once the FC drops to normal SLAM level, and you have <.5 CC, then do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test.
    If you dont pass, keep the FC and SLAM level.
    If you do pass, let the FC drift down to normal level and maintain it from there and you will be home free!
    Divin Dave,
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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Did a mid day test and everything is the same with the exception of the FC dropping by .5. Also decided to double check my CYA test and I'm pretty sure it's still 70. Of all the tests that one seems the hardest to nail down. It's so hard to tell if the black dot is still there or if it's your imagination. ��
    Intex 18x48 Circular Metal Frame Pool (vinyl)
    6423 gallons
    Intex Crystal Clear Sandfilter + SWG (with copper gen disabled)

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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxgod View Post
    It's so hard to tell if the black dot is still there or if it's your imagination. ��
    As a fellow newbie I know exactly what you mean! At least you can pour the solution back in the bottle and imagine over and over again until you imagine it right.
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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Quote Originally Posted by robdac View Post
    As a fellow newbie I know exactly what you mean! At least you can pour the solution back in the bottle and imagine over and over again until you imagine it right.
    There is somewhat of a time limit though ... you should try to do all your CYA testing within about 5 minutes before the solution may start to break down.
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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    There is somewhat of a time limit though ... you should try to do all your CYA testing within about 5 minutes before the solution may start to break down.
    Interesting, I didn't know that. The next time I do the test I'll deliberately wait after I get my valid reading and see how it changes over time.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Well, I do not think that suddenly the solution will turn clear. But you should try to be done with the test within 5-10 minutes of mixing it up. I am not sure if anyone has spent the time to test this.

    Here is the thread where I was told this ... I never tested the time limit
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...l=1#post502665
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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    If waiting 20 minutes gives me a number I like more I just may wait (just kidding) I have definitely been doing it 2-3 times to make sure I'm in the ballpark. I think next time I will have the wife record independent number then average them out.
    Intex 18x48 Circular Metal Frame Pool (vinyl)
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    Intex Crystal Clear Sandfilter + SWG (with copper gen disabled)

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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    TFTestkits also sells a reagent solution just to help you get comfortable with the CYA test. The solution is a known cya of 50, so if you use this for your test and also get a reading of 50 you know you're seeing it correctly.

    I just wish it came in a smaller bottle as once I confirmed my testing abilities I didn't need the rest. <----Suggestion to Dave
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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxgod View Post
    If waiting 20 minutes gives me a number I like more I just may wait (just kidding) I have definitely been doing it 2-3 times to make sure I'm in the ballpark. I think next time I will have the wife record independent number then average them out.
    With practice, this test gets easier to determine, but it isn't about ultra precision. Don't fret over it too much.
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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Hi everyone, sorry I haven't updated for a few days. I'm still slamming the pool at this point.

    FC=34.5
    Cc=.5
    Tc=35

    Pool was still cloudy and failed an overnight test so I was scrubbing down the pool to see if this would help. While doing so I found that in the very center, Out of reach of every net and brush was a pile of rotting leaves and other debris. I went ahead and scooped as much as I could and brushed and cleared. We will see how it goes now. Unfortunately my brand new Intex klean and clear sand and salt is not sounding so good after running 24x7 for all of this time. Motor is getting hot and noisy. Intex is shipping me a new motor and control but overall I am pretty disappointed in the fact that it is having trouble already

    One more thing. Because of the cya level and the amount of chlorine I am using (mostly from the SWG) I have gone through a LOT of reagent. Feels like I have enough for 3 or 4 more tests. I have already ordered the XL refill. But measuring 28-35 FC is killing me! That's a lot of drops.
    Intex 18x48 Circular Metal Frame Pool (vinyl)
    6423 gallons
    Intex Crystal Clear Sandfilter + SWG (with copper gen disabled)

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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Personally, if it were me, I'd replace more water to lower the cya to save on Bleach and reagents.
    I have the same pool as you btw.
    With such a small pool it wouldn't be that hard to bump the cya back up to the recommended level for your swg once you were done with the SLAM.

    That's my opinion at least...
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    You need to shut the SWG off while SLAM'ing the pool. Has it been running this whole time?
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Re: Pool Startup - From Swamp to TFPC Sparkly (Hopefully)

    Yes, and from what I read it is fine for maintaining slam conditions, using bleach as necessary.

    From the SLAM bible, "The SWG, tablet dispenser, injection pump, or Liquidator can be very helpful in the follow up stages to maintain FC at shock level, but for the initial couple of chlorine applications, you need to use another chlorine source."

    The issue I am having is with the actual pump motor starting to go out (sounds like a bad bearing). Pretty sure these pumps weren't made to run 24x7 for more that a day or 2. That probably goes for the SWG too. I figure I have a year of warranty on this thing and paid 220 bucks online so I'd better make the most of it. Next year will probably spring for some "quality" equipment.

    Beens: I think I'm going to take your advice on lowering the CYA some more until the SLAM is complete.
    Intex 18x48 Circular Metal Frame Pool (vinyl)
    6423 gallons
    Intex Crystal Clear Sandfilter + SWG (with copper gen disabled)

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