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Thread: Frustrated in Houston

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    Frustrated in Houston

    Hi all
    I live in Houston, TX, and we had a new pool built in later 2013. The first year was great. I followed the PB and pool store's instructions and had really no problem. Given our weather, I never closed the pool. Using an automatic chlorinator with Trichlor tabs, I kept the tabs stocked and tested with the little Rainbow test kit.

    But I noticed that I was starting to see algae growing on walls and steps in April. I shocked the pool and brushed the pool repeatedly, and the stupid tests always showed my chlorine was off the 1-3 chart. The pool store told my wife that the water tested fine and that I should add 4-5 pounds of shock. Instead I searched around and stumbled on this site.

    Now armed with the TF100 test kit (delivered today), I come up with the following results:

    FC = .5 or 1.0
    CC = 0
    TA = 120
    CH = 300 ppm
    PH = 8.2 or higher
    CYA = 90 or 100.

    The pool water is actually clear, but I have seen some small swimming bugs.

    The filter pump runs from about 11 am to 7 pm daily.

    I tested the CYA three times. Granted, it's raining here and so I did the test inside. But whether I do it in direct or indirect light, I still end up around 100.

    I'm about to add some muriatic acid to help bring the pH down. I turned the automatic chlorination to "Off" because I'm worried about the CYA going higher.

    I've got approx. one gallon of bleach on hand and know that I'm going to need more to get the FC up.

    What should my first priority be? Should I be adding fresh water (the pool has an overflow drain) to try to bring the CYA down? Do I bother adding bleach before getting the pH down?

    Thanks in advance for your help. I'm already amazed by the help others are getting on here and have been reading the various SLAM progress reports with great interest.
    15,000 gal, IG plaster, finished Dec. 2013
    Cartridge Filter - Jandy CV460; Pump - Jandy SHPM 2.0;
    Spa; LXi heater; Polaris with PB4-60; UltraPure automatic water cleaner; Three sheer descents powered by Jandy FHPM1.5
    TF-100 test kit; No water restrictions

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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    Welcome, Lando.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    Welcome. Get the PH down first. You may need to see how to dilute the cya test to determine HOW MUCH over 100 your cya actually is using the extended test directions in Pool School. If needed, do a partial drain or drains and refills to get it to a reasonable level before you start a SLAM.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    Welcome!

    The CYA is going to be the biggie. It's too high for everyday and certainly too high to do the SLAM process to eradicate every trace of algae. Start draining water and take advantage of the rain! If you can aim a raingutter downspout into the pool, even better. Get the CYA down. I see no point in adjusting the pH on water you're just going to be dumping anyway. Just don't empty too much at once, lest the pool float up out of the ground and break underground plumbing.

    When CYA is down to something useful, then deal with pH. And then attack the pool with bleach.

    My two cents.
    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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    Azgirl71's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    WoodyP and Richard have guided you as what to do first. I just want to say welcome and congrats on your TF 100 kit.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    Thanks, y'all.
    I diluted the pool water with tap water and tried the CYA test again. Still came up with 100 (50 x 2). I guess that's my likely actual value.
    15,000 gal, IG plaster, finished Dec. 2013
    Cartridge Filter - Jandy CV460; Pump - Jandy SHPM 2.0;
    Spa; LXi heater; Polaris with PB4-60; UltraPure automatic water cleaner; Three sheer descents powered by Jandy FHPM1.5
    TF-100 test kit; No water restrictions

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    jrs_diesel's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    Your not too far off from where mine was last year when we moved in to our house in League City. Ours was 140, and only way to deal with that was a partial drain/fill. That water bill sucked that month, but the we did it in one shot since we don't have a liner to deal with. The water has been really easy to manage since then.

    Definitely take advantage of the free rain water. Don't know where you are at around Houston, but we took over 7 inched of water yesterday, most of it in last night. Completely topped out our pool. How much rain did you get?
    J.R.

    20K IG gunnite pool
    2HP Hayward single speed pump
    Cartridge filter

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    Quote Originally Posted by LandoIV View Post
    Thanks, y'all.
    I diluted the pool water with tap water and tried the CYA test again. Still came up with 100 (50 x 2). I guess that's my likely actual value.
    I'd sure do at least a 1/3 drain and refill----and probably twice. That puts you in the 40-50 range.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    Welcome to TFP!

    Here are some intro Pool School articles to read while you wait for your test kit
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals to maintain your pool.
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    Hi Lando,
    welcome to TFP!

    I agree with the others. Your CYA is going to be a monumental problem if you dont get your CYA down.
    get your ph down first, then do a partial drain and refill. With all of the rain we've had, dont t'drain more than 1/3 of the water.
    With the ground as saturated as it is, more than 1/3 drain ain't a good idea.
    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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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    I'm going to echo what others have already said, start the drain/refill to get that CYA down and read the ABC's of pool water chemistry.
    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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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    Update:

    Today's test results
    CYA 40
    PH 8.2
    TA 100
    CH 175

    Didn't test FC because I haven't added any since I turned the autochlorinator off.

    Quickly learned after adding muriatic acid that the pool is NOT 20,000 gallons. So, had to run to the store to get borax/washing soda.

    Now have pH to 7.2. Just added 27 ounces of washing soda.

    Hopefully in an hour I can start the SLAM.
    15,000 gal, IG plaster, finished Dec. 2013
    Cartridge Filter - Jandy CV460; Pump - Jandy SHPM 2.0;
    Spa; LXi heater; Polaris with PB4-60; UltraPure automatic water cleaner; Three sheer descents powered by Jandy FHPM1.5
    TF-100 test kit; No water restrictions

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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    So, question about my SLAM:

    Here are the details -
    Date/Time Tmp pH FC CC TA CH CYA Action
    5/13/2015 6:00 PM 83 8.2 1.0 0 120 300 100 Added muriatic acid
    5/14/2015 7:00 AM 83 7.8 DNT DNT DNT DNT 90 Pump out water; new fill
    5/16/2015 10:00 AM 83 7.8 DNT DNT DNT DNT 70 Pump out water; new fill
    5/17/2015 7:00 AM 83 8.2 DNT DNT 100 175 40 Added muriatic acid
    5/17/2015 9:00 AM 83 6.8 DNT DNT DNT DNT DNT Added 1 box Borax
    5/17/2015 10:30 AM 83 7.2 DNT DNT DNT DNT DNT Added 27 ounces washing soda
    5/17/2015 11:30 AM 83 7.8 DNT DNT DNT DNT DNT BEGIN SLAM: Added 363 ounces 8.25% bleach
    5/17/2015 1:00 PM 83 DNT 16.5 0.5 DNT DNT DNT No action
    5/17/2015 3:45 PM 82 DNT 14.5 0.5 110 DNT DNT Added 57 ounces of bleach
    5/17/2015 5:20 PM 82 DNT 16 0 DNT DNT DNT No action
    5/17/2015 7:00 PM 82 DNT 14.5 0.5 DNT DNT DNT Added 57 ounces of bleach
    5/17/2015 9:20 PM 82 DNT 18 0.5 DNT DNT DNT No action
    5/18/2015 6:15 AM 82 DNT 16 0.5 DNT DNT DNT Added 7 ounces of bleach
    5/18/2015 4:20 PM 84 DNT 10 0 DNT DNT DNT Added 136 ounces of bleach
    5/18/2015 8:45 PM 83 DNT 13.5 0 DNT DNT DNT Added 79 ounces of bleach
    5/19/2015 6:30 AM 82 DNT 17.5 0.5 DNT DNT DNT No action
    5/19/2015 6:20 PM 85 DNT 5.5 1 DNT DNT DNT Added 243 ounces of bleach; brushed pool
    5/19/2015 7:30 PM 85 DNT 19.5 1 DNT DNT DNT No action
    5/19/2015 9:10 PM 85 DNT 19.5 0.5 DNT DNT DNT No action
    5/20/2015 6:20 AM 83 DNT 17.5 0 DNT DNT DNT No action

    My question concerns the 2.0 loss in FC overnight. My water looks pretty good, but there is obviously something still there. And I've continued to push the FC levels up to shock levels. I've been brushing the pool at least once a day, and I thought I might be getting close to done with the SLAM. Until yesterday, we've had mostly overcast skies and scattered showers, but yesterday we got significant sun, which I expect contributed to the large FC drop during the day. I think I've also figured out that the pool is still not as large as I thought. Our PB said it was 15,000, but when I use that size for PoolMath, my FC levels end up over the target.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?
    15,000 gal, IG plaster, finished Dec. 2013
    Cartridge Filter - Jandy CV460; Pump - Jandy SHPM 2.0;
    Spa; LXi heater; Polaris with PB4-60; UltraPure automatic water cleaner; Three sheer descents powered by Jandy FHPM1.5
    TF-100 test kit; No water restrictions

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    Have you checked behind the light? That's a common place for algae to hide.
    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!

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Location
    Houston, TX
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    Re: Frustrated in Houston

    I have not. I'll have to do that when I get home. Thanks!
    15,000 gal, IG plaster, finished Dec. 2013
    Cartridge Filter - Jandy CV460; Pump - Jandy SHPM 2.0;
    Spa; LXi heater; Polaris with PB4-60; UltraPure automatic water cleaner; Three sheer descents powered by Jandy FHPM1.5
    TF-100 test kit; No water restrictions

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