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Thread: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

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    Question Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Hello everyone,

    I have an old pool 13,000 gal above ground that I inherited with the house we bought. It has been stagnant for over a year, but we plan to use it this year.

    Some features about the pool:
    It has a Hayward Sand filter, no heater, and I purchased an inline chlorinator which I plan to use 3" triclor tabs in.

    The water is very green and I think a family of frogs have claimed it home. I will be using a sub-pump to attempt to pump out most of the muck from the bottom while putting fresh water in from the top (so the pool never drains, since this is bad).

    I have done alot of reading, so much that I'm completely confused now with what I actually need to do once the water has been flushed, vacuumed, and clear again.

    What I do know is that I need to:
    1. Stabilize PH
    2. Stabilize the Alkalinity
    3. Add around 30ppm CYA (the tablets will raise to the proper levels within a month or two)

    My questions are:
    1. Do I need to shock the pool to bring up the FC right away or will the tablets do this on their own?
    2. I want to try and avoid weekly shocking. I want to believe that this is a marketing tactic just to sell more. So my thoughts on this are, use the tablets until the CYA is higher and do a backwash on the sand filter and refill. This should lower the amount of CYA in the pool back to normal ranges. Recheck the PH / Alk and go on with my life. Am I correct with this logic?
    3. What are others doing so they don't need to shock?

    The use of household bleach is not an option since we will have younger children swimming. There are other chems in household bleach that are toxic.

    Thanks for the help.

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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Signature update with pool info
    Pool Stats: 24" Round Above Ground - Vinyl - 13,500 Gallons | Filter: Hayward Sand S180T | Pump: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix | Testing Kit: TF-100 | Mount Pleasant, Tennessee

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Welcome to TFP!

    The very first thing to do is to get a complete set of water test results.

    If the pool is green now, you will need to SLAM the pool. Instructions are in Pool School.

    There is no need to shock/SLAM unless something goes wrong. It is fairly easy to prevent anything from going wrong by just paying a little attention to the pool each day and following our recommendations.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by eric.mathison View Post
    The use of household bleach is not an option since we will have younger children swimming. There are other chems in household bleach that are toxic.

    Thanks for the help.
    Really? Why? Clorox is approved as a drinking water sanitizer. Here's a thread about your concern: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...s-using-bleach

    The MSDS says:
    Ingredient Concentration Worker Exposure Limit
    Sodium hydroxide
    CAS #1310-73-2
    <0.2% 2 mg/m3 TLV-C
    Sodium hypochlorite
    CAS #7681-52-9
    6-7.35% not established
    None of the ingredients in this product are on the IARC, OSHA or NTP carcinogen lists.TLV-C=Threshold Limit
    If you're insistent that the bleach that hundreds and thousands of us here use is dangerous, then we probably can't help you.
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    If you're insistent that the bleach that hundreds and thousands of us here use is dangerous, then we probably can't help you.
    This is mainly to avoid a heated argument with the wife
    Pool Stats: 24" Round Above Ground - Vinyl - 13,500 Gallons | Filter: Hayward Sand S180T | Pump: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix | Testing Kit: TF-100 | Mount Pleasant, Tennessee

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Then educate the wife that the chlorine in pool store tabs is the same chlorine as the bottle in her laundry room. Perhaps a different concentration but its all the same once added into a pool at the right dose. Salt Water Chlorine Generators are very popular too..and they make the chlorine out the salt added into the pool water. Perhaps have her read the Pool School topics (top button on far right) to get up to speed on pool chemicals. The chlorine is added to the water where it disperses and is in far lower levels safely than if you'd poured it over the kids. Ha Ha

    In my mind, and I'm an educated nurse, chlorine is the absolute best thing to add to my pool! Kills more bacteria and virii more quickly than almost any other sanitizer.
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Okay so from reading the posts, I may sneak Clorox in to Slam the pool at first. I still want to pump / add new water first though as I think this may expedite the slam process since I it will reduce the amount of algae to remove.
    What the Slam post does not mention is CH and TA. Should I raise these to recommended levels first?
    Pool Stats: 24" Round Above Ground - Vinyl - 13,500 Gallons | Filter: Hayward Sand S180T | Pump: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix | Testing Kit: TF-100 | Mount Pleasant, Tennessee

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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    No, get the pH taken care of first because once you're in to a SLAM, the pH test is invalid at high chlorine levels. Then start slamming per instructions here.

    Calcium in a vinyl pool isn't as important as say in a gunnite pool. No worries about it or TA during a SLAM.

    You do have a GOOD pool test kit...right? THat actually comes before the SLAM, as common test kits don't usually contain the DPD powder chlorine level test you'll need to monitor higher levels of chlorine required for a SLAM. If you need a test kit-check the link in my siggy line. THat's the one most of us around here seem to prefer.
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    You need to get a full set of water test results, and only then can you know which, if any, of your levels need adjusting.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Chlorine is Chlorine.

    Richard 320 makes the strongest point here. Chlorine Bleach is not only approved as a drinking water sanitizer it is required by law in some instances. Places that cannot supply Chlorinated water by means of a pure Chlorine source such as Gas Chlorine, are required to use another source of it. Many, many Public water suppliers use Bleach instead of Chorine gas to meet that specification. I understand the initial feeling as most of us were raised to fear it, but it is an irrational fear. If you use Pucks, or powdered "pool" Chlorine, you are still using Chlorine, and it's no different.

    As for the TA and CH not being addressed, that is because it does not have a bearing on the SLAM procedure. As mentioned, pH needs to be adjusted first.

    The pucks will not provide a FC residual fast enough to provide shock levels of Chlorine to the pool. As said, you must know what levels you need to adjust before you can procede properly.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    You are right about not shocking. I have never shocked my pool, starting up the 4th TFP season.

    Once you get your pool under control and troublefree you can stop shocking too.
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    I remember the first time my husband suggested using bleach in the pool. Our pool was dark swampy green from being neglected and uncovered all fall/winter/spring and we were trying to figure out what the heck to do with it. Dumping bags and bags of powdered shock in....pouring in algaecide. We were pretty much clueless as to how to fix it. All we knew was that you were supposed to "shock" it to get it clean.

    One day he said, "I wonder if we could just use bleach, isn't it just chlorine anyway?" I looked at him like he was crazy and said, "What??? You can't just pour bleach in a pool!!! That would be crazy!! There's no way that can be ok!"

    But...that got me thinking...could he be right? Is it just chlorine? Wow if that's true that sure would be easier and probably cheaper than all this other stuff we're throwing in. (which wasn't working by the way...)

    I decided to Google it. That's how I found TFPC!

    I was skeptical at first but then I started reading about it. When I found out that most of what the pool store sells is available elsewhere for a better price and without as much junk added to it I was sold! What better than being able to test and know exactly what you need and only add that to the pool instead of all the other potions that are being sold?

    I've been using bleach/liquid chlorine ever since and even right now, as my pool sits out there freezing cold with only a leaf net to cover it all winter, I have a clear sparkling pool that I've been able to maintain all winter with just a little addition of bleach here and there. It's time to re-start my daily routine now that the weather is warming up some and I'll be back to adding about 20oz a day to my sparkling pool.

    Read and research and you'll see. I thought at first maybe it was a bunch of loons here, you know, doomsday prepper types lol but it's science. No voodoo here, just the right ingredients for the job!
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beens View Post
    I remember the first time my husband suggested using bleach in the pool. Our pool was dark swampy green from being neglected and uncovered all fall/winter/spring and we were trying to figure out what the heck to do with it. Dumping bags and bags of powdered shock in....pouring in algaecide. We were pretty much clueless as to how to fix it. All we knew was that you were supposed to "shock" it to get it clean.

    One day he said, "I wonder if we could just use bleach, isn't it just chlorine anyway?" I looked at him like he was crazy and said, "What??? You can't just pour bleach in a pool!!! That would be crazy!! There's no way that can be ok!"

    But...that got me thinking...could he be right? Is it just chlorine? Wow if that's true that sure would be easier and probably cheaper than all this other stuff we're throwing in. (which wasn't working by the way...)

    I decided to Google it. That's how I found TFPC!

    I was skeptical at first but then I started reading about it. When I found out that most of what the pool store sells is available elsewhere for a better price and without as much junk added to it I was sold! What better than being able to test and know exactly what you need and only add that to the pool instead of all the other potions that are being sold?

    I've been using bleach/liquid chlorine ever since and even right now, as my pool sits out there freezing cold with only a leaf net to cover it all winter, I have a clear sparkling pool that I've been able to maintain all winter with just a little addition of bleach here and there. It's time to re-start my daily routine now that the weather is warming up some and I'll be back to adding about 20oz a day to my sparkling pool.

    Read and research and you'll see. I thought at first maybe it was a bunch of loons here, you know, doomsday prepper types lol but it's science. No voodoo here, just the right ingredients for the job!
    Do you use any tabs or stabilizer as well? This is my main question. Once I get the chemistry stabilized and SLAM the pool, I dont exactly have the time to test and add chlorine each day (not always home), so using tabs will help me get by. I do realize that I will have to backwash some of the CYA out once it raises due to the tabs, but will the FC from the tabs be enough everyday not to shock? Also, how is the CC converted to FC using only tabs? That part is still cloudy to me.

    FYI: I'm ordering the TF-100 test kit today
    Pool Stats: 24" Round Above Ground - Vinyl - 13,500 Gallons | Filter: Hayward Sand S180T | Pump: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix | Testing Kit: TF-100 | Mount Pleasant, Tennessee

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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Getting a kit is one of the best steps to take. Congrats on doing so.

    FC is not converted to CC, actually the opposite, but I'm not sure that's what you mean to ask.

    Once the pool is cleaned up, there will be no need for shocking provided FC levels are maintained. This will be true with all Chlorine sources. Yes, you can use the pucks for a main source, but not exclusively and indefinantely. You will have to moderate by using another form of Chlorine without stabilizer/Cya in it.
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    No tabs for me. Technically I suppose I could use them and just keep draining the pool since mine is pretty small. The thing is, with the cya constantly going up from tabs, the amount of chlorine needed also goes up, until one can't keep up with the other and you get cloudy followed by green.

    I test and add every day (Takes about 5 minutes and it's really simple) You might have to team up with the wife to learn together and maintain together. There are also other options (SWGs(Salt water chlorine generators), pumps that can automate additions daily, the Liquidator) but for me it's easier to just do it each day. (Ok, now that I've been doing it for a couple years I can get away with every other day sometimes since I have learned what my pool needs)

    It's just nice to know what's going on and know exactly what's in there. That's the main reason I don't want to use tablets...I don't want to deal with figuring out how much they're changing the cya day to day or week to week and when I'll have to drain and replace water so I can keep using them.


    BTW, I do have stabilizer/cya in the pool. It's there but not constantly going up. I have it at about 30-35 right now which is just enough to protect the chlorine from the sun and make sure I don't lose too much each day. I just have to make sure I keep my FC at the recommended level for my CYA level and I'm all set.

    Just remember, if I were to use tabs, my CYA level would keep going up. That would mean my FC requirement would also keep going up. That would mean I'd have to retest CYA a lot more often and find out what my new FC level should be. That sounds like a pain in the neck to me (lol) so I am happy to have CYA sit right there and always use the same FC level.

    Hopefully I'm making sense here. It can be a bit confusing at first. With more reading and questioning it starts to fall into place and make sense.
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Okay, so basically the pucks will help, but I will still need to add bleach to the water from time to time to increase FC as it goes down since the tabs won't do this alone. Is the point of using pucks to put just enough Chlorine back in the pool that evaps from the sun daily? I think my problem is that I'm corrupted from all the marketing hype and need that basics laid out to me.

    Marketing Hype that I know of: Dump hardener, ph up/down, Alk Increaser in your pool at season start. Put in tabs, shock weekly, and put algaecide in when algae appears....
    That's way too much stuff and my thoughts are eventually, you'll need a drain because you'll have too much chems in the water.

    Do you happen to know approximately how much bleach it will take? Or can the calculator here tell you?

    Side note: Anyone have the link to more magnetic bars for the speedstir?

    Sorry for all the questions and thank you for all the help.
    Pool Stats: 24" Round Above Ground - Vinyl - 13,500 Gallons | Filter: Hayward Sand S180T | Pump: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix | Testing Kit: TF-100 | Mount Pleasant, Tennessee

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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beens View Post
    No tabs for me. Technically I suppose I could use them and just keep draining the pool since mine is pretty small. The thing is, with the cya constantly going up from tabs, the amount of chlorine needed also goes up, until one can't keep up with the other and you get cloudy followed by green.

    I test and add every day (Takes about 5 minutes and it's really simple) You might have to team up with the wife to learn together and maintain together. There are also other options (SWGs(Salt water chlorine generators), pumps that can automate additions daily, the Liquidator) but for me it's easier to just do it each day. (Ok, now that I've been doing it for a couple years I can get away with every other day sometimes since I have learned what my pool needs)

    It's just nice to know what's going on and know exactly what's in there. That's the main reason I don't want to use tablets...I don't want to deal with figuring out how much they're changing the cya day to day or week to week and when I'll have to drain and replace water so I can keep using them.


    BTW, I do have stabilizer/cya in the pool. It's there but not constantly going up. I have it at about 30-35 right now which is just enough to protect the chlorine from the sun and make sure I don't lose too much each day. I just have to make sure I keep my FC at the recommended level for my CYA level and I'm all set.

    Just remember, if I were to use tabs, my CYA level would keep going up. That would mean my FC requirement would also keep going up. That would mean I'd have to retest CYA a lot more often and find out what my new FC level should be. That sounds like a pain in the neck to me (lol) so I am happy to have CYA sit right there and always use the same FC level.

    Hopefully I'm making sense here. It can be a bit confusing at first. With more reading and questioning it starts to fall into place and make sense.
    This does make a ton of sense. Thank you!
    And sounds to be much much cheaper than buying $80 worth of tabs (35lbs) each year. I just have the CL200 Inline Dispenser that I have to find another use for or just take it out... Never used... sigh. But I heard to that the tabs are also very acidic, so you have to have PH up on hand as well.

    One more question, I have a sand filter and will need to backwash from time to time which will lower CYA levels as well. How do you deal with this as you have one too?
    Pool Stats: 24" Round Above Ground - Vinyl - 13,500 Gallons | Filter: Hayward Sand S180T | Pump: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix | Testing Kit: TF-100 | Mount Pleasant, Tennessee

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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    Good discussion here, but let's get back to the TFPC philosophy, which should help answer some of these questions.

    There is nothing wrong with using tablets. What we are absolutely against is blindly dumping chemicals in your pool without understanding why.

    If you understand what the tabs are doing to your chemistry, and you understand how to counter their side effects, by all means, do what's best for you.

    While most of us here come across as anti-tablet, the more accurate way of saying it is that 'we are against all the side effects of tablets and dont want to deal with constantly fixing the other parameters, so we'd rather just use liquid bleach/swgs."
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    As I see it, a bag of shock/powder is akin to gallon of bleach. Both contain chlorine, in different percentages.

    The bag contains chlorine ...

    I was looking up facts to answer this question and pulled up the MSDS for Chlorox..LINK and the MSDS for a shock product LINK

    I was kind of stunned at how dangerous the shock is relative to bleach. In a pool, they both become water, chlorine and in the case of shock CYA/stabilizer (and maybe some salt)
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    Re: Old Pool, New Water - What to do?

    In response to your other question about lowering CYA with backwashing, it won't be enough. In a clean pool, the sand filter will get dirty very slowly. I backwash mine once every 4-6 weeks. If you only use tablets, you'll probably need to replace water more often than that.
    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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