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Thread: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

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    30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    Hello all - I'm new to TFP but have been a pool owner for the last 30 years. The first pool we owned, we had built in 1985 in Southern California - it was about 850 sqft, had an in ground 10 foot octagonal spa, elevated about 4 feet, 2 x 2HP pumps, 1 2 hp blower and a DE filter. Cleaning was done with a suction side cleaner. Then in 1993, we moved to Tucson and bought a house with a pool - built in 1987. Our current pool is irregular shaped and about 500 sqft.

    Picture Looking East
    IMG_1153-1.jpg

    Picture Looking West
    IMG_1154-1.jpg

    Pool and Spa at Night


    Not to rub it in, but the weather was outstanding today as you can tell from the photos.

    Our current equipment consists of a Hayward Ecostar Variable Speed Pump, a Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter and a Hayward Pool Vac. We originally had a heater with our current pool but I finally removed that after never using it (it does get warm here in Southern Arizona). Additionally, I got tired of the pack rats digging holes by our equipment and we had the equipment area paved with bricks.

    My wife loved the spa in California and we committed to having a spa in Tucson. Last year we finally bought an LA Spa H.E.E.T model and love it. Like most, I have been using 3" pucks in a floater most of the time and switch between liquid chlorine and tri-clor for shock. Have seldom had significant algae issues, have never had an outbreak of green algae but have had occasional bouts with yellow/mustard algae which were easily handled by shocking and brushing. Additionally, I have maintained the pool year round. I have been using the standard test kits and test strips. From the 6 element test strips, my pool is currently at the following:

    FC - 5
    TC - 5
    PH - 7.2-7.8
    TA - 120
    CYA - 100

    I understand the accuracy of the test strips is questionable but its the best data I've got right now.

    I have been unaware of the cumulative impact of CYA until I came upon this site. I have read completely the Pool School Articles but have yet to put it into practice but I am seriously considering. Based on what I have read, my expectation changing to the TFP method will be more stable pool chemistry and hopefully less deposits on the tile (probably my biggest problem to date - I hate scrubbing the tile line and also don't like paying $500-$700 to have it sandblasted every other year). The following is an outline of what I plan:

    (1) Have ordered a TF100 kit and expect it this friday. Will take a full set of measurements at that time. Specific direction will depend on results.

    (2) Begin switching to chlorine/bleach this weekend to get a feel for the amount of chlorine our pool will use.

    (3) Given I continue with liquid chlorine, add a Stenner pump and 15 gallon tank to automate the daily usage. Unsure at this time how to provide power to the Stenner pump only when the Ecostar is running (pump scheduling handled in the Ecostar).

    (4) Potentially switch from a suction cleaner to an Oasis Z5 - my expectation would be reduced backwashing required, a cleaner pool and tile line. Our pool is normally fairly clean since I run the current cleaner at least 2 hours every other day.

    (5) Consider whether to use borax.

    That's all for now - and thanks for all those who take the time to assembly all the information available on this web site and answer the near limitless questions that get asked.

    Sincerely,


    Gary
    Last edited by garyengr; 06-04-2015 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Added picture of pool and spa at night
    20,000 gal IG Plaster Irregular Shaped Pool (1987), Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar Pump, Hayward Pro-Grid 60 SqFt DE Filter, Hayward Pool-Vac Ultra, TF100, Speed Stir, Stenner Pump & 15 Gallon Tank, Oasis Z5, and LA Spas H.E.E.T Model

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    Welcome to the forum. What a Heckuva cactus! When you get your test kit, don't be surprised if your CYA is well over 100.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    That's what I was thinking! Biggest cactus ever.

    Welcome to TFP! Great first post!

    Here is a link to Tim's Stenner install thread.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...tall-July-2014
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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    Welcome aboard Gary!

    Good move on getting a good kit. It's usually hard to convince long timers to do that, which is understandable. You'll find no bigger fan of the Robots than me, and the Z5 is a great one. It and the M5 are the ones I champion the most. Beautiful backyard, love the Saguaro myself!
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    Welcome to the site Gary!!

    Like Patrick I am a fan of the M5 (now M500) and the Stenner Pump.

    I'm afraid that when you get your test kit you will find your CH is also high. For you, reverse osmosis treatments are an option to reduce the CYA and CH.
    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: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    If you haven't played around with Pool Math yet, I would do so. It's a great too and especially valuable for folks with plaster pools who want to know how to keep their CSI in line to prevent scaling.

    You're off to a great start with ordering the TF-100. Welcome to TFP!
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    RO if you can find, and afford it.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    Yes, the cactus is big - it was one of the things that we liked about the house when we bought it. It is approximately 30 ft tall (probably 24 ft when we moved here) and has begun growing an arm at 20 ft. It supports a colony of woodpeckers who in the next month will be leaving droppings of cactus on the pool deck and in the pool. I tried to get a picture with the full cactus but had to stand so far back the pool looked like a postage stamp.

    No prejudgements on CYA and CH. Got tired of the calcium build up on the tile line and had the pool drained and filled Feb 2013 - first time we had this done since moving here and likely the first time since the pool was build in 1987. Too bad I hadn't found this site back before we drained and refilled the pool - oh well, lost opportunity. Also believe calcium of our tap water is low as I test for it with the spa kit and it normally checks < 100 ppm when I refill the spa.

    Looking forward to getting the TF100 and understanding where we are at.


    Thanks,

    Gary
    Last edited by jblizzle; 04-29-2015 at 10:34 AM. Reason: fixed bird name
    20,000 gal IG Plaster Irregular Shaped Pool (1987), Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar Pump, Hayward Pro-Grid 60 SqFt DE Filter, Hayward Pool-Vac Ultra, TF100, Speed Stir, Stenner Pump & 15 Gallon Tank, Oasis Z5, and LA Spas H.E.E.T Model

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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    That's what I was thinking! Biggest cactus ever.

    Welcome to TFP! Great first post!

    Here is a link to Tim's Stenner install thread.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...tall-July-2014
    Thanks, I have actually already found that post and have read it. Didn't know what a Stenner pump was before finding this site. Have already picked out a pump (45MPHP10 and 15 gallon UV Gray from USWatersystems.com) and tank but am waiting to confirm chlorine usage over a period of time before buying.
    20,000 gal IG Plaster Irregular Shaped Pool (1987), Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar Pump, Hayward Pro-Grid 60 SqFt DE Filter, Hayward Pool-Vac Ultra, TF100, Speed Stir, Stenner Pump & 15 Gallon Tank, Oasis Z5, and LA Spas H.E.E.T Model

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    I have found that my CH climbs about 120ppm every year due to evaporation. So having to replace the water every 3-4 years to keep the CH reasonable is just going to be a fact of life. There is not much to be done for the buildup on the tile though ... just too dry here and too much evaporation that leaves the deposits. I have considered buying a setup to do the blasting myself. Should not cost more than paying someone to do it once.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    If you haven't played around with Pool Math yet, I would do so. It's a great too and especially valuable for folks with plaster pools who want to know how to keep their CSI in line to prevent scaling.

    You're off to a great start with ordering the TF-100. Welcome to TFP!
    Thanks, I have already played around with Pool Math - seams like a great tool - and have saved it to my HD for off line usage.


    Gary
    20,000 gal IG Plaster Irregular Shaped Pool (1987), Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar Pump, Hayward Pro-Grid 60 SqFt DE Filter, Hayward Pool-Vac Ultra, TF100, Speed Stir, Stenner Pump & 15 Gallon Tank, Oasis Z5, and LA Spas H.E.E.T Model

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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Welcome to TFP!!!

    I have found that my CH climbs about 120ppm every year due to evaporation. So having to replace the water every 3-4 years to keep the CH reasonable is just going to be a fact of life. There is not much to be done for the buildup on the tile though ... just too dry here and too much evaporation that leaves the deposits. I have considered buying a setup to do the blasting myself. Should not cost more than paying someone to do it once.
    So your bursting my bubble already - following TFP will not reduce/get rid of my calcium buildup on the tile. Oh well, wasn't a deal breaker anyway. I've done just about everything other than acid wash to get rid of the scale - scraped with razor blades,scrubbed with pumice, scrubbed with the red abrasive bar from Leslie's and had it sand blasted. Sand blasting was the easiest - I got to drink beer and watch/supervise. All the others, I would lose interest when half way done.
    20,000 gal IG Plaster Irregular Shaped Pool (1987), Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar Pump, Hayward Pro-Grid 60 SqFt DE Filter, Hayward Pool-Vac Ultra, TF100, Speed Stir, Stenner Pump & 15 Gallon Tank, Oasis Z5, and LA Spas H.E.E.T Model

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    By keeping the CSI on the lower side, you can help reduce the build-up some. I think borates can also help some (I have yet to try it). But, you can not stop it.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    Welcome to TFP. You are about to watch your pool take on a transformation.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    Welcome to the forum!
    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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    Re: 30 Year Pool Owner - New to TFP

    This is an update to my previous post. The TFP method has been working great for me. I have installed a Stenner and tank to automate chlorine dosing. Unfortunately, not all is rosy. Several commented on my first post about the big Saguaro we had by our pool. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I noted that one of the arms had rotated about 50 degrees and 2 of the other three were also moving. I called in a Saguaro expert to see what we could do. After looking at it for awhile, he asked if I would be happy swimming with Saguaro pieces, I told he no. He then said "Then the only recourse is to remove it". This Saguaro is North of 150 years old. The problem seems to be due to the large number of trespassers who have taken up residence in the Saguaro over the years, and they did not maintain the property in the condition when they arrived. So ... I put up an eviction notice and had the company remove the Saguaro. I took time lapse photos every minute and put together the following video. (The only camera I had readily available that could do time lapse was my old Olympus E10).



    Miss the big Saguaro already and some of the less rowdy trespassers.


    Gary
    20,000 gal IG Plaster Irregular Shaped Pool (1987), Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar Pump, Hayward Pro-Grid 60 SqFt DE Filter, Hayward Pool-Vac Ultra, TF100, Speed Stir, Stenner Pump & 15 Gallon Tank, Oasis Z5, and LA Spas H.E.E.T Model

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