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Thread: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

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    Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Hi all, been lurking for some time now and using info gleaned from you fine folks here, but I am at my ropes end with my pool. I did a drain & refill a few weeks back and have been battling getting things leveled out with respect to my pools water balance. Enter Leslie's Pool Supply...in short, I spent the $$$ on their goods and they've landed me in a bad spot, once again. I think.

    Am I the only one who has had issues getting consistent test results from them? Here is the deal, I have been in there three days in a row to get my water checked so that I can establish some trends with respect to chem usage. Each time it seems some mysterious things are happening with my pool and its water. Spooky stuff as it seems my pool is the only one like it in the world...if you're willing to accept their "expert" opinions. Take a look at my results below and the short narrative that follows each days test results. Note that my pump has been running for the entire three days and water samples pulled at the same spot, at the same depth, at the same time of day, samples were immediately taken to LPS (about 120 seconds from my home), and prior to first sample the pump ran for 24 hours.

    I have also ordered a Taylor K-2006 test kit to bring my testing home.

    Day 1
    FAC - 2.0
    TAC - 2.0
    CH - 200
    CYA - 60
    TA - 50
    pH - 8.0
    Pho - 1000

    Action Taken - Added 18 oz of muriatic acid, the 32.something stuff and then followed approx. 5-6 hours with 12lbs of baking soda.
    LPS Variable - Sal did my testing.



    Day 2
    FAC - 2.0
    TAC - 2.0
    CH - 150
    CYA - 60
    TA - 110
    pH - 7.8
    Pho - 1000

    Action Taken - Added 10 oz of muriatic acid, the 32.something stuff and then followed approx. 5-6 hours with 10lbs of CH increaser.
    LPS Variable - Sal did my testing.



    Day 3
    FAC - 1.5
    TAC - 1.5
    CH - 170
    CYA - 99+
    TA - 110
    pH - 7.8
    Pho - 2500

    Action Taken - Register with TPF and ask for input. Planning to add some more chlorine per Pool Calc., I am using 10% KemTek, and add some more acid.
    LPS Variable - Ana did my testing.



    Day 4
    FAC - 1.0
    TAC - 1.0
    CH - 180
    CYA - 60
    TA - 100
    pH - 7.6
    Pho - 2000

    Action Taken - None, wanted to have one last look at their results.
    LPS Variable - Judi did my testing.


    Thoughts and/or advice?
    Pool: 22K gallon pool with plaster finish.
    Pump: 1HP Pentair UltraFlow
    Filter: Pentair Clean & Clear 320
    Filter Elements: Pleatco PCC-80
    Sweep: Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Advice, yes - stop going to Leslie's. Get your own test kit and be sure of what is going on. Pool store testing is worth whT you paid for it. It's bad on a good day and as you have discovered can jump all over the board on results.

    Remember what the pool Store wants to do, sell you stuff.

    Order one of our recomended test kits (not available locally) and start reading Pool School while you wait for it.
    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: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Arrrrgggh. I cannot even finish reading your original post. You are not alone in your confusion with LPS test results not being consistent. They do drop testing here locally, which is good, but the human tester may be in a rush and may not use the same care as the last guy who did it for you yesterday.

    Step away from the pool store. Stay with us and learn.

    Check out the suggested readings in Pool School and listen to all of the incoming posts over the next few hours.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Lots of thoughts, but first...Welcome.

    FC very low, and CYA very high. Very common with store advice and people who have a pool service.
    It's unfortunate, but we see the same thing a lot. Your moving in the right direction though, and that's most important. The next most important is equipping yourself with the most important tool you'll have in your box. Knowledge. Start adding to it by more time in Pool School, and begin with the ABCs. Other than that, you don't want to add any more Cya containing products to your pool.

    Once you have your kit, you'll be better able to nail down your Cya number, but it looks like at least a partial drain of your pool will be needed to lower it.
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Welcome to the forum. Any more questions about pool store testing results!
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Thanks to all for the warm welcome and the feedback thus far...I am looking forward to getting my test kit and nailing down my chemistry. I'll be sure to provide an update to this thread as soon as the kit arrives.

    Also, my apologies to the mods for trying to submit the thread twice...it was an accident, but still worth an apology.
    Pool: 22K gallon pool with plaster finish.
    Pump: 1HP Pentair UltraFlow
    Filter: Pentair Clean & Clear 320
    Filter Elements: Pleatco PCC-80
    Sweep: Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Hi,
    well, along with 1000s of others here, you seem to have been pool stored and you now also understand why we do not trust them.
    TFP is THE best resource for pool care on the internet, or in person.

    Here is the best advice you are going to be given for a few days.

    1. Never go back to Leslies, or any other pool store for testing
    Get your own RELIABLE test kit here www.tftestkits.net Get the TF100, its the best bang for the buck.
    This is be The Best investment you will ever make for you pool, along with just a little bit of time to learn how to do the right thing.

    2. Your Ph is suspect of being a tad high.
    Pool Math says you need to add 46 ozs of MA to get you down to about 7.5
    I recommend you do that tomorrow.

    3. You need to manage your Chlorine while you are waiting for the test kit to arrive,
    Your FC is way low and you are subject to algae at any time. Lets assume your CYA is anywhere close to 60ish.
    Your recommended FC level will 7.
    Add a gallon and a half of yor Kem Tek 10%

    4. Each day until your test kit arrives, add about 35 ozs of Kem Tek.

    If you do this, your pool will not go green while waiting for your test kit.

    5. Recommend you read Pool School - ABC's of pool chemistry and ask questions here if you need clarification, or advice.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ater-chemistry

    6. Familiarize yourself with recommended levels
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...mmended-levels

    7. Familiarizde yourself with the Chlorine/CYA chart
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...art-slam-shock

    8. Play around with Pool Math and learn how to use
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Good luck, and I look forward the story you are going to tell us about how trouble free and inexpensive it is to manage you pool using TFP method of doing it.

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot. WHen you tell us that story, pics of your shimmering pool will be required


    - - - Updated - - -

    no worres about double posting. The first 2 posts every poster ever makes require a Mod to approve it. Sometimes we are slower than we like to be, so double posting happens on occasion. Our apologies to you for not being quicker.


    Quote Originally Posted by CGSteve View Post
    Thanks to all for the warm welcome and the feedback thus far...I am looking forward to getting my test kit and nailing down my chemistry. I'll be sure to provide an update to this thread as soon as the kit arrives.

    Also, my apologies to the mods for trying to submit the thread twice...it was an accident, but still worth an apology.
    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: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    The one test you want to run daily (at least during the swim season) is FC using one of the recommended kits already mentioned. It will bounce (get consumed) daily as a normal function of doing its job of sanitizing the pool. In addition, sunlight will consume chlorine. CYA is a buffer that will help protect the chlorine from sunlight (FC/CYA Chart).

    As long as you maintain the recommended levels of chlorine for your CYA, you will not have to worry about phosphates.

    A couple of other resources:
    1. ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    2. Basic Pool Care Schedule
    3. Recommended Pool Chemicals
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    lucy0909------------being new to the forum, you might want to take a peek at the chlorine/cya chart in pool school. You will see that an FC of 2.0 is woefully inadequate for a CYA level of a minimum of 60 noted by the OP. The current FC levels are not....."good".
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by lucy0909 View Post
    New to TFP but have some advice anyway.

    Leave the pool alone for about 3 days. Your chemistry is bouncing and pools will do that. When chemistry bounces, the owner is literally chasing it's tail. You'll never have a clear concise readings. As long as your FC levels are good and steady, you don't have to worry about going green.

    I noticed your phosphate levels jumped. Do you live in a rural area or is there fertilizer being used on your (or nearby) lawn? If the phosphate level is REALLY that high, then you could need to use a phosphate reducer on a regular basis. I'd check the phosphate level again in about a week.
    We don't worry about phosphates. Reason being, is that we focus on killing and preventing algae with proper chlorination. If there is no algae, or it is dead, it cannot use the phosphate for nutrients, no matter how high the phosphates are.

    As Woody mentions, his FC/Cya level will allow Algae to Bloom with vigor at that low level of 2.
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    With respect to the phosphates, there is no run-off of any type going into my pool. I have a corner lot that backs up against a dry riverbed and the prevailing winds are constantly blowing stuff into my pool. Usually it's not big organics like leaves, but more like dust and lighter organic materials from blooming trees and flowers.

    I think I am going to let my pool settle out some before doing anything beyond adding some chlorine and MA to stave off any blooms; that said, my pool water is a cool 68 degrees so I also get the benefit of having a slower rate of reaction compared to the normal summer temps of 80-82 for my water.
    Pool: 22K gallon pool with plaster finish.
    Pump: 1HP Pentair UltraFlow
    Filter: Pentair Clean & Clear 320
    Filter Elements: Pleatco PCC-80
    Sweep: Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel

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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Mark for later. Great info here


    DFW, TX
    34K gal WetEdge Chlorine Pool w/OK Flagstone Coping
    Jandy Flow Pro Variable, DE 60 Filter, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    @CGSteve, welcome.

    Ignore phosphates. If you use our methods, you'll never need to think about them. I have no idea what my phosphate levels are, and I don't care.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Good plan Steve. That will be some help until your kit arrives. Once you've run the samples you'll know what you need. Ask all the questions you need too, and we'll be here to help.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by bblackburn View Post
    Mark for later. Great info here
    Welcome to TFP!

    Feel free to post your own thread whenever you're ready.
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Okay, before I added any chlorine or MA today, I took a sample and ran it in just for fun. I talked with the store manager and she ran my sample this time...

    Day 4
    FAC - 1.0
    TAC - 1.0
    CH - 180
    CYA - 60
    TA - 100
    pH - 7.6
    Pho - 2000

    Action Taken - None, wanted to have one last look at their results.
    LPS Variable - Judi did my testing.


    I've added this to my initial post to keep it tidy...
    Pool: 22K gallon pool with plaster finish.
    Pump: 1HP Pentair UltraFlow
    Filter: Pentair Clean & Clear 320
    Filter Elements: Pleatco PCC-80
    Sweep: Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel

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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Not bad, but you've increased the FC? Running low there, so you'll want that up ASAP.

    Watch the pH for increase with the 100 TA. Fine for now, just keep an eye on it. Ought to be good until your kit arrives. Use the pool math for a Chlorine dose. You want 5 minimum and shoot the target for 7.

    An off topic side conversation on phosphates has been moved here. JasonLion

    Lucy, we hope you will continue the discussion about Phosphates and other issues you see in the Link Jason Lion created just above. We cant have an argument in the middle of someone's thread and be helpful without being a huge distraction.
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Alright, here is the news...my test kit (K-2006) came in today and I rehearsed the steps about a gazillion times before actually doing any tests. For the sake of redundancy, I did all tests twice to check for any potential errors from the first run. It looks like the local LPS has a bit of error in their tests, or perhaps it's error from going too quick and from different people doing the tests? No matter, I have my own kit now and I am pleased to provide a look at what my numbers look like...


    Day 1 With New Test Kit
    FC - 1.8
    CH - 260
    CYA - 50
    TA - 170
    pH - 8.0

    Action To Be Taken - Looks like I am going to add 170 ounces of 10% chlorine and then work on adding 170 ounces of MA & aerate until my TA drops to around 90. I'll use the sheer descents for the aeration process.

    Any other advice?
    Pool: 22K gallon pool with plaster finish.
    Pump: 1HP Pentair UltraFlow
    Filter: Pentair Clean & Clear 320
    Filter Elements: Pleatco PCC-80
    Sweep: Poolvergnuegen 2-Wheel

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    You got it nailed!

    -Find TFP-done!
    -Order GOOD test kit-done!
    -Ask questions on TFP-done!
    -run own test (or two to make sure)-DONE VERY WELL!
    -post results-done

    Add the chlorine and rerun your test after the pump has run for 30 mins. Make sure it it is where it needs to be. If not add some.

    Add the M.A. run the pump for 30 mins. and retest.

    "feed" you pool chlorine every day (I do mine just at dusk to let it work with out worrying about the sun.)

    I am SO glad you found us BEFORE the algae found you!

    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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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by CGSteve View Post
    Alright, here is the news...my test kit (K-2006) came in today and I rehearsed the steps about a gazillion times before actually doing any tests. For the sake of redundancy, I did all tests twice to check for any potential errors from the first run. It looks like the local LPS has a bit of error in their tests, or perhaps it's error from going too quick and from different people doing the tests? No matter, I have my own kit now and I am pleased to provide a look at what my numbers look like...


    Day 1 With New Test Kit
    FC - 1.8
    CH - 260
    CYA - 50
    TA - 170
    pH - 8.0

    Action To Be Taken - Looks like I am going to add 170 ounces of 10% chlorine and then work on adding 170 ounces of MA & aerate until my TA drops to around 90. I'll use the sheer descents for the aeration process.
    Any other advice?
    Yes, give yourself a pat on the back for taking the Bull by the Horns and wrestling him into submission. Good Job Man!!

    The rest of your "Pool Care Life" is going to be easy for you now. Don't be shy about asking questions if you need too, we'll be here.

    The TA reduction may take a little while, but don't worry about that. You can target a reduction to 7.2 pH every time and it will help. Keep the FC up, and don't fail on that one. Test your FC frequently at first using the FAS DPD until you can predict what it will be with reasonable accuracy. This will come faster than you think it might.
    TFP Moderator
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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie With Concerns - Leslie's Free Testing

    Congratulations!

    You now know more about maintaining your pool than the "pool expert" summer-help clerk at Leslie's
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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