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Thread: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

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    Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Hi All,

    I had posted a thread in the "just getting started" forum, but I wanted to post a separate thread as we work through our water chemistry and how things are progressing.

    Last weekend, our first TF-100 test kit arrived in the mail and we ran our initial tests. The results were:

    Date: 3/27/15
    FC: 2.5
    CC: 0
    TC: 2.5
    TA: 250
    pH: 8-8.2
    CH: 500
    CYA: 50

    At this point the water was looking pretty cloudy. Not awful, but certainly not ideal. We went to the pool school calculator, plugged in our numbers and saw we needed some adjustments. We took the chlorine tabs the pool guy (now relieved of his duties) was using out of the pool. Then we went to the hardware store to purchase some muriatic acid and liquid chlorine and went to work.

    After retesting this morning, here is where we currently stand:

    Date: 3/31/15
    FC: 3.5
    CC: 0
    TC: 3.5
    TA: 120
    pH: 7.4
    CH: 400
    CYA: 60

    The water still looks a bit cloudy, but we think it is improving somewhat. We are planning to add some more bleach to the FC higher, but should we be concerned that the CYA has moved higher since our initial test?

    Thanks for your continued help -- so glad we found this forum as we get comfortable taking true ownership of our pool.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Pulling the tablets was a good move. CYA tends to not read for about a week, and that test is the most error prone, and you're within the tolerances of the test. So the CYA rising from 50 to 60 is nothing to get excited about. As long as it doesn't get any higher.

    With CYA 60, your minimum FC level at all times should be 5. That means raising it to 7 or 8 each time you add bleach. The cloudiness may go away, or you might want to take it up to shock level - 24 in your case - for a few days. Check out the SLAM article in pool school for precise instructions. If your pool hasn't gone green, it could be complete in a day or two.
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    First, Welcome, and for posting a great starting lesson for others.

    This is how it should be done. Very good job on taking this all in and running with it. Most excellent!

    I wouldn't worry about the ten PPM Increase of Cya. It is not a laser precise test, and if you've added Cya recently that could explain it as well. Either way, don't be over concerned with that. If you see another 10 PPM increase then maybe we can worry with it then.

    No jumping to conclusions, but hardware store liquid Chlorine often laguishes on shelves and becomes weaker over time just FYI. You'll do as well buying fresh regular bleach from a variety of places where it moves faster. Any bigger name stores are usually good, so just look for plain 8.25% strength.

    You're off to a great start, so bring the FC level up some, and keep a sharp eye on it. Without reading you other thread, this is about all I can add for the moment.
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Some of those numbers are a little suspect. The TA dropping by that much in 4 days is unlikely. Could be the first test suffered from the static in the bottle and was higher than reality.

    The CH dropping by 100 is also unlikely. Although this can be a little tricky to swirl enough ... the SpeedStir helps a lot with this test.

    Other than that, seems like you are getting a good grasp on the chemistry.

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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    First, Welcome, and for posting a great starting lesson for others.

    This is how it should be done. Very good job on taking this all in and running with it. Most excellent!

    I wouldn't worry about the ten PPM Increase of Cya. It is not a laser precise test, and if you've added Cya recently that could explain it as well. Either way, don't be over concerned with that. If you see another 10 PPM increase then maybe we can worry with it then.

    No jumping to conclusions, but hardware store liquid Chlorine often laguishes on shelves and becomes weaker over time just FYI. You'll do as well buying fresh regular bleach from a variety of places where it moves faster. Any bigger name stores are usually good, so just look for plain 8.25% strength.

    You're off to a great start, so bring the FC level up some, and keep a sharp eye on it. Without reading you other thread, this is about all I can add for the moment.
    @Patrick_B - thank you for the warm welcome and kind words. You are correct in that is appears the liquid chlorine we bought appears to be diluted. We bought it because it was marked down in price (now we know why). Once we work our way through this supply we will take your advice and find somewhere the product is moving constantly.

    Also good to know we shouldn't be too worried about the CYA #'s just yet...will keep an eye on it obviously.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Some of those numbers are a little suspect. The TA dropping by that much in 4 days is unlikely. Could be the first test suffered from the static in the bottle and was higher than reality.

    The CH dropping by 100 is also unlikely. Although this can be a little tricky to swirl enough ... the SpeedStir helps a lot with this test.

    Other than that, seems like you are getting a good grasp on the chemistry.

    Please add your pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you.
    thanks @jblizzle - thanks for the heads up on the #'s...could be static or could be user error as we are just starting out administering these tests. I'm sure we will get better over time as we get more experience. Will look into the SpeedStir.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Pulling the tablets was a good move. CYA tends to not read for about a week, and that test is the most error prone, and you're within the tolerances of the test. So the CYA rising from 50 to 60 is nothing to get excited about. As long as it doesn't get any higher.

    With CYA 60, your minimum FC level at all times should be 5. That means raising it to 7 or 8 each time you add bleach. The cloudiness may go away, or you might want to take it up to shock level - 24 in your case - for a few days. Check out the SLAM article in pool school for precise instructions. If your pool hasn't gone green, it could be complete in a day or two.
    @Richard320 - thanks for the reply. We are going to add more chlorine to get the FC higher and I hope we don't have to SLAM the pool. With the FC at 3.5 and adding more today I'm hopeful we can get that higher and avoid the swamp (although the weather is getting warmer here quick).

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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    I would try elevating the FC up to 9 or 10 for a couple of days, see what happens. You may be just on the edge and have the ability to recover without a SLAM. Won't hurt to try.
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    I would try elevating the FC up to 9 or 10 for a couple of days, see what happens. You may be just on the edge and have the ability to recover without a SLAM. Won't hurt to try.
    Thanks @Patrick_B - we will boost the FC higher and see where that gets us...I'll keep you updated

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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Excellent! Let's see what happens. If it's on the edge as I mentioned, you'll see positive results quickly.
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    Excellent! Let's see what happens. If it's on the edge as I mentioned, you'll see positive results quickly.
    We boosted the FC up to 8.5 yesterday afternoon and let the pump run for a good 6 hours before we shut it off. This morning, we tested the FC before we left for work and it was still 8.5. Was going to check again after work and see if we need to add more to get the FC back up to the 9 ish range as we work through this.

    I want to say the water looks roughly the same -- pretty good but still a bit hazy (cloudy). In other words not terrible but not optimal. Is this justification to SLAM the pool or should we just see how this plays out for a few days?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Seems like you passed the OCLT, so whatever was in the water might be mostly dead now and just need more filtration.

    I would just keep the FC slightly elevated for a couple days and run the filter more. What kind of filter do you have?

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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Seems like you passed the OCLT, so whatever was in the water might be mostly dead now and just need more filtration.

    I would just keep the FC slightly elevated for a couple days and run the filter more. What kind of filter do you have?

    Please add your pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you.
    Thanks @jblizzle - I just updated the signature as you suggested.
    28k gallon AG pebble sheen, Pentair Triton II Sand Filter, Intelliflo 3HP, SWG, TF-100 test kit, spa
    Pool installed 2005/2006 (we bought house in summer 2014 so our knowledge of pool history is limited)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Sand filters can be slow at clearing the cloudy.

    When was the last time this happened: Deep Cleaning your Sand Filter

    After the cleaning, you could try to Add DE to a Sand Filter
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Sand filters can be slow at clearing the cloudy.

    When was the last time this happened: Deep Cleaning your Sand Filter

    After the cleaning, you could try to Add DE to a Sand Filter
    We bought the house in June of last year and the pool was installed in 2005 or 2006 by the previous owners. I have no way to know for certain if this was ever done; HOWEVER, if the maintenance and upkeep around the rest of the house is any indication I am 99.99999999% sure this was never touched by the previous owners.

    Considering the filter is having it's 10 year anniversary this year, I think doing the deep cleaning is likely excellent advice.
    28k gallon AG pebble sheen, Pentair Triton II Sand Filter, Intelliflo 3HP, SWG, TF-100 test kit, spa
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    I would certainly do it so you know what you are starting with

    Make note of the clean pressure after you do the cleaning ... then backwash when it rises 20-25% over that.
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    So after this weekend, we seem to have an interesting setup. I realized as I was starting to investigate the deep cleaning for the sand filter, that our filter doesn't have a multiport at all. It seems to have a "T" value, which is honestly quite difficult to push and pull (up and down - up position is for normal filter and pushing down is for backwash). As far as I can tell, there is no rinse setting with a T value, it's just filter or backwash.

    In any event, we proceeded to deep clean the sand filter. This went fine in terms of taking apart the filter and getting into the guts of the thing. At this point, the hose is in the filter and water is being added and filling up. After several minutes, the water level seemed to stop rising. After further investigation, the really nasty water first being dislodged from the sand due to the deep cleaning was somehow heading down the standpipe and appeared to be making its way into the pool. We were (and still are) confused as the pump was off during this entire process.

    We were obviously a bit upset with this, but we made a quick workaround by pulling out the hose and then covering the open standpipe with a ziploc baggie and a rubber band to stop the flow into the pool. We put the hose back in and cleaned the sand for over an hour. It was still a bit cloudy at this point but better than it was when we started.

    At this point we looked in the pool and it was the worst we've seen it. The past 3 days we've been running the filter nonstop and consistently adjusting the chemistry since all that filter junk really messed with our numbers. I had to backwash the filter after about 12 hours but not again since. As of yesterday, our numbers were back inline and the pool was pretty good although still not the clearness we are hoping for.
    28k gallon AG pebble sheen, Pentair Triton II Sand Filter, Intelliflo 3HP, SWG, TF-100 test kit, spa
    Pool installed 2005/2006 (we bought house in summer 2014 so our knowledge of pool history is limited)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Hmm, that is an interesting point about the deep clean that may not be properly addressed regarding the water flowing back toward the pool if you have a simpler push/pull backwash valve.

    Hopefully you will see rapid improvement in the water clarity with the resettled and clean sand bed.
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Thank you for posting.

    Basically, the filter was not isolated from the pool. I'll make a change to the tutorial so that if the plumbing is still hooked up, then valves need to shut off, etc., to prevent this from happening.
    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
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski View Post
    Thank you for posting.

    Basically, the filter was not isolated from the pool. I'll make a change to the tutorial so that if the plumbing is still hooked up, then valves need to shut off, etc., to prevent this from happening.
    Thanks @Smykowski...it's a great tutorial; thank you for posting.

    I still can't make it add up though...if the pump was off, how would the dirty filter water flow back to the pool?
    28k gallon AG pebble sheen, Pentair Triton II Sand Filter, Intelliflo 3HP, SWG, TF-100 test kit, spa
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    How did you fill the filter to do the deep clean? From the top?

    Also, where is the equipment in relation to the pool? Above or below the waterline?
    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
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    Re: Our New Pool and Pool School - First Day of Class

    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski View Post
    How did you fill the filter to do the deep clean? From the top?

    Also, where is the equipment in relation to the pool? Above or below the waterline?
    Yes, from the top and the equipment is above the waterline...so I guess gravity is the culprit.

    There's a series of valves in the setup...not sure which one I would have needed to turn to prevent what happened. At least we found a working solution with the ziploc and rubber band.
    28k gallon AG pebble sheen, Pentair Triton II Sand Filter, Intelliflo 3HP, SWG, TF-100 test kit, spa
    Pool installed 2005/2006 (we bought house in summer 2014 so our knowledge of pool history is limited)

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