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Thread: Another First Time Pool Owner and First Time TF-100 User

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    Question Another First Time Pool Owner and First Time TF-100 User

    First of all, I wanted to say how thankful I am this site exists. I would have had no idea what to do with the pool that came with our new home without it.

    I had the local pool company close the pool up for us last Fall. We had only been in the house for a week and I had no time or idea how to deal with the pool. I also had them come out last Friday and open it back up; while opening, my wife said they did pour a porporri of chemicals in the pool but I was not around to ask exactly what was being put in and why.

    I read up on pool school and quickly realized I needed TF-100 kit as soon as possible. I figured, if I could measure the variables accurately, that was most of what I would need to identify how to fix the problem. The pool opened up greenish and but that did clear after 48 hours or so after opening; I assume the pool company shocked it well upon opening.

    What I have been dealing with since is particularly cloudy water, especially in the deep end.

    While I was waiting on the TF-100 delivery, I did my best to get any leaf or organic matter I could out of the pool. I can't see the deep end, but I blindly vacuumed to waste across the entire pool as best as I could for it being my first time.

    I was able to unbox my TF-100 yesterday and ran every test available. Initial reading came back as....

    FC = 2.5
    CC = 8
    TC = 10.5
    PH = 6.8
    ALK = 90
    CALCIUM = 160
    CYA = UNDER 20 (undetectable)

    I've been stocking up on 12.5% 1 gallon jugs of bleach/shock at Menards since they are on sale (2 for $3.99). So I have been hitting it hard with those. I put in 8 yesterday (4/21) throughout the day.

    I also was worried about the PH being at the very bottom of the test. So I plugged that into the PoolMath calc and added 304 ounces of Borax to attempt to raise to 7.6ish yesterday as well.

    As a final step, I added approximately 6 pounds of CYA from Walmart (dry granules). I put it in socks and put one by a return and one in the skimmer basket.

    So I feel like I added a ton of chemicals yesterday, but they all seemed reasonable given the PoolMath recommendations.

    All that being said, I came home today and immediately dumped in 4 more 12.5% gallons of shock. Then after letting that settle for an hour I retested....

    FC = 6.5
    CC=1.5
    TC = 8
    PH = 6.8
    TA = 90
    CYA = Less than 20 (undetectable)

    I was encouraged to see some level of FC, along with the CC reducing.

    My questions are, will those socks full of CYA work their magic over time? I thought it could take days, and don't want to add too much because, as I understand, it is hard to remove.

    My PH? I was at 6.8 on the initial and after that large (seemed like at least) dose of Borax I am still hitting 6.8 24 hours later? To early to dose again or wait?

    I know this pool was treated with pucks 100% of the year by the previous owner. So I suspected CYA might be a problem. Since it was closed hastily during a home sale and opened up with 0% CYA and cloudy water, could that be ammonia issues (if so does that change my course of action?)?


    I am sorry this is long winded, but I just wanted to provide enough detail to engender some helpful feedback. I am definitely working at trying to clear up the pool, and just want to ensure I am on the right track. I am going out there again tonight to test FC CC and add whatever is needed to reach shock levels of FC.

    I should have mentioned out of the gate that the pump is running 24/7 during all of this.


    Thanks for reading.
    Indiana - 25k Gallon (16' by 36') - Vinyl Liner - A.O. Smith Century Centurion B128 1HP Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Sandra B's Avatar
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    Re: Another First Time Pool Owner and First Time TF-100 User

    Your 96 oz of CYA should raise your CYA to about 30, if you started from zero, so that's enough (for now) to do your SLAM. It can take up to a week for it to register on your test so assume you have 30 and proceed from there. With a 30 CYA, you need to be reaching 12 FC for your SLAM, and keeping it there as much as possible--test and add a few times a day if possible. Be sure and read the SLAM procedures and follow them carefully or you'll waste a lot of bleach and the algae will keep growing...you need to hit it hard, and at a high enough bleach level to kill it.

    But first, let some more expert than me chime in on the borax addition. That much borax should have raised your pH by about 1.3, and your TA by 24, and I don't see where it did either of those things. Did you use the 20 Mule Team borax?

    Do you know how to backwash your filter when the pressure reads about 10% higher than normal? Have you backwashed the filter at all yet, in the pool opening? What is your filter pressure?

    Welcome to TFP...a great place to get help, and you're miles ahead with having and using the test kit already!
    18,000 gallon freeform inground plaster
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump & .75 hp booster pump
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    Re: Another First Time Pool Owner and First Time TF-100 User

    Regarding the Borax, yes I used 20 Mule team borax from Menards. I believe it was nearly 4 boxes that went in. I just dumped the powder directly into the pool; walking around the perimeter as I did. One other question on PH. The test kit only goes down to 6.8, is it possible to have PH lower than that and I just did not detect it?

    On the filter, yes (I think). The filter has consistently ran at around 10-12 PSI. I read to backwash after 5-10+ PSI increase, but I haven't seen anything near that yet. It is still running at around 10 PSI. I did backwash it prior to the chemical work just to know that it had been done. One thing I am not 100% confident in is the pressure gauge. Like I said it normally reads 10-12, but sometimes I will go out and see it at 6-8 with explanation as to why? I ordered a new gauge from TFkits today to ensure I have a proper/functional gauge. I have been emptying the skimmer bucket everyday due to the pollen this time of year.

    Thanks for your feedback and help.
    Indiana - 25k Gallon (16' by 36') - Vinyl Liner - A.O. Smith Century Centurion B128 1HP Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Another First Time Pool Owner and First Time TF-100 User

    The pH mystery is pretty easy. Anything below 6.8 reads as 6.8, so you may have been at 6.2 or something. And pH is logarithmic, like the richter scale. 7 is 10 times higher than 6, 8 is 100 times higher than 6. So it's not a striaght-line progression where a certain amount of borax will always give the same pH rise.

    Super high CC could be a false reading from one of the non-chlorine "shock" powders called potassium monopersulfate. . It could also be that your CYA degraded over the winter into Ammonia, which requires a whole lot of bleach to break it down. Almost to the point of using it as fast as you can pour. Whichever scenario, the fact that CC is going down and FC is holding is good.

    CYA takes about a week to register on the test, even after it's all dissolved. So just figure it's there and save the reagent and check it again after a week.

    You should fix the pH and then ignore it while your are doing the SLAM process. With calculated CYA of 30, shock level is 12 FC, and the pH test is inaccurate. So we suggest you ignore it until the SLAM is finished.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Sandra B's Avatar
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    Re: Another First Time Pool Owner and First Time TF-100 User

    Does your test kit have the R-0006 base demand reagent? If so, run your pH test, then add the base demand drops to get yourself up to about 7.4 and let us know the drop count. This will test whether you are way below where you think you are.
    18,000 gallon freeform inground plaster
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump & .75 hp booster pump
    Aquapure SWG
    Pentair Triton II sand filter
    Legend pressure-side vacuum

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    Re: Another First Time Pool Owner and First Time TF-100 User

    Thank you both very much for your feedback, definitely helpful.

    I just did another chlorine test and FC = 18 and CC = 3. It's getting late here so I am going to let it sit at that for the night and then revisit the PH testing again tomorrow.

    This is the first time I have tested a FC level that came back at or above shock levels; so that is definitely encouraging.

    Thanks again.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    You should fix the pH and then ignore it while your are doing the SLAM process. With calculated CYA of 30, shock level is 12 FC, and the pH test is inaccurate. So we suggest you ignore it until the SLAM is finished.
    One question on this though, I feel like I am definitely 100% into the SLAM process now based on the amount of bleach I am adding into the pool. Is it OK to address the PH at the same time or should I wait until the SLAM completes?
    Indiana - 25k Gallon (16' by 36') - Vinyl Liner - A.O. Smith Century Centurion B128 1HP Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Another First Time Pool Owner and First Time TF-100 User

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierOverkill View Post
    Thank you both very much for your feedback, definitely helpful.

    I just did another chlorine test and FC = 18 and CC = 3. It's getting late here so I am going to let it sit at that for the night and then revisit the PH testing again tomorrow.

    This is the first time I have tested a FC level that came back at or above shock levels; so that is definitely encouraging.

    Thanks again.

    - - - Updated - - -



    One question on this though, I feel like I am definitely 100% into the SLAM process now based on the amount of bleach I am adding into the pool. Is it OK to address the PH at the same time or should I wait until the SLAM completes?
    You can't trust the pH reading when the FC is above 10. So you either have to let FC drop tomorrow to test pH and adjust it, or keep killing algae and deal with the pH when it's over with. Your pool is vinyl, so you don't need to worry about etching plaster, at least.

    Oh - I forgot to add Welcome to your first post.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Another First Time Pool Owner and First Time TF-100 User

    Thank you both for your reassurance that I was on the right path. The pool is looking great now and a 2nd round of Borax balanced out my PH. CC is holding at less than 0.5; I'll being the tests soon to see if I can stop the SLAM.
    Indiana - 25k Gallon (16' by 36') - Vinyl Liner - A.O. Smith Century Centurion B128 1HP Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Another First Time Pool Owner and First Time TF-100 User

    Good work! TFPC is great!
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