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Thread: Pool Advice - Newbie

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    Pool Advice - Newbie

    Hello,

    I recently purchased a home which had an above ground pool (18'x33'x4'). I had been doing some research and decided the first step was to get a test kit to understand where I stand. I purchased the Lamotte Color IQ (hopefully a good purchase).

    On Thursday my first test results were:
    - Free Chlorine / Bromine: 0.02
    - Total Chorine: 0.21
    - pH: 7.6
    - Total Alkalinity: 58
    - Calcium Hardness: 96
    - Cyanuric Acid: 6

    The only local place to purchase chemicals is Canadian Tire, they sell Aquarius products. So I tried to used there app "Water Lab" for iPhone.

    From the above results they said I needed to add:
    1 - 5.5KG of Aquarious Alka-Boost
    2 - 785g of Aquarious Shock
    3 - 1.3KG of Aquarious Pool Water Stabilizer

    I wasn't sure about adding them all at once so I just added #1 on Firday.

    Retested on Saturday:

    - Free Chlorine / Bromine: 0.02
    - Total Chorine: 0.08
    - pH: 7.7
    - Total Alkalinity: 107
    - Calcium Hardness: 114
    - Cyanuric Acid: 17

    I am thinking I should just update the results and add the first product as the app mentions. Any suggestions if I am on the right track or completely out to lunch?

    Sorry if I have missed any info, let me know and I can get it.

    Thank you!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Welcome to TFP!

    You need to be adding chlorine daily, as it will get used up by sunlight.

    You also want to bring up the cyanuric acid level to around 40, which will help keep the chlorine from all vanishing almost instantly.

    Longer term, I suggest you do some reading in Pool School.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Welcome, eh?

    That particular tester is not one of the favorites here, but the ones we like are hard to find in Canuckistan and massively overpriced up there. What you have is still worlds better than test strips. Just be sure to keep those tubes clean.

    The alka-boost did just what it was supposed to. Maybe a little too well, but nothing you need to worry about. As an aside... Baking Soda from the grocery store is exactly the same thing and generally a lot cheaper.

    You need chlorine urgently. The shock is Calcium Hypochlorite. It'll work for you since your CH isn't very high. Plain bleach will work better for daily use.

    You also need the CYA - the stabilizer. All the shock you added will be gone within hours from sunlight.

    Recommended Pool Chemicals will tell you what cheaper substitutes you can use to adjust each parameter and how to add it. Pay attention to the CYA directions - don't just pour the stuff into the skimmer. You can set the CYA in the skimmer and then go ahead and add the shock. No need to wait between those particular two additions. If the water gets a little cloudy, that's just the Cal-hypo. It should dissipate in a few hours. Don't panic.

    Before I forget - what does the water look like? Is it clear, or tinted green, or cloudy, or thick enough to walk on?

    It seems overwhelming now, but once you start testing and adding things and start seeing results, it'll make sense. Major confusion the first two weeks or so is normal. Once you have it balanced and sparkling, the daily routine is about as difficult and time-consuming as brushing and flossing your teeth.
    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: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Thanks for the quick replies!

    Yes finding a non stop test kit was a challenge ��. I added the Shock and Stablizer.

    I purchased http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/so...l#.VVe9T4ZOKrU with come chlorine pucks. Would that be used to keep the chlorine levels up?

    The water itself is clear. I also purchased a vacuum that connects to the skimmer as there is a decent amount of sand in the bottom of the pool.

    I will do another water test tomorrow to check levels.

    I will also have a look at the links recommended. Thanks again, much appreciated.

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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    I did another test in the evening about 4hrs after adding the Shock and Stablizer.

    Free Chlorine: 0 (too low to measure on unit)
    Total Chlorine: 0.06
    pH: 7.6
    Total Alkalinity: 113
    Calcium Hardness: 111
    CYA: 15

    I know the Free Chlorine and CYA are low but am a bit confused between using the Shock and having something like a floating chlorine pucks in the water. Do I need to do both? Would I add the shock and stabilizer again, but this time also put the pucks in too keep the level up. Or did I do something wrong, as the two levels I was hoping to change with the Shock and Stabilizer didn't change.

    Thanks again for the help.

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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Forgot to add, I also turned on the heater as well today for about a few hours, not sure if that could have anything to do with it.


    33' x 18' x 4' Oval Above Ground Pool (~15700 Gallon)
    Jacuzzi 15LRC-5-S1 1.5 HP Pump
    Sta-Rite T210WF Hi-Rate Sand Filter
    Hayward H400FDN Heater

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Welcome to TFP!

    It is very important that you don't let the chlorine level drop below the minimum legel for your cya level on the Chlorine CYA Chart. Otherwise, you are at risk of algae getting a foothold.

    Here are some intro Pool School articles
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
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    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Shani View Post
    I did another test in the evening about 4hrs after adding the Shock and Stablizer.

    Free Chlorine: 0 (too low to measure on unit)
    Total Chlorine: 0.06
    pH: 7.6
    Total Alkalinity: 113
    Calcium Hardness: 111
    CYA: 15

    I know the Free Chlorine and CYA are low but am a bit confused between using the Shock and having something like a floating chlorine pucks in the water. Do I need to do both? Would I add the shock and stabilizer again, but this time also put the pucks in too keep the level up. Or did I do something wrong, as the two levels I was hoping to change with the Shock and Stabilizer didn't change.

    Thanks again for the help.
    The pucks dissolve slowly. It will take a long time for the CYA level to rise using pucks. The shock will raise the FC quickly, but adds no CYA. Without the CYA, the FC disappears quickly, within hours. If you have the beginnings of algae, FC will disappear even faster.

    The stabilizer will take a few days to dissolve completely. Once it does, it will protect the FC from the sun. So you need to add that. And you need to feed the pool some chlorine every day. It's just like a pet - you have to feed it everyday even if you don't want to play with it today.

    So... if you've added stabilizer, be patient and wait for the CYA to rise. And get more FC in there. Bleach is the preferred source around here. Assume the stabilizer is there even if you don't see it on the tester yet, and add FC to correspond to your calculated CYA level. Chlorine CYA chart.
    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: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Thanks Richard. Makes me feel better. I'll retest again today and tomorrow for the CYA. As far as putting in the bleach to raise the FC, how would I go about calculating the amount needed? Is that what the pool calculator would do? Thanks.


    33' x 18' x 4' Oval Above Ground Pool (~15700 Gallon)
    Jacuzzi 15LRC-5-S1 1.5 HP Pump
    Sta-Rite T210WF Hi-Rate Sand Filter
    Hayward H400FDN Heater

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Shani View Post
    Thanks Richard. Makes me feel better. I'll retest again today and tomorrow for the CYA. As far as putting in the bleach to raise the FC, how would I go about calculating the amount needed? Is that what the pool calculator would do? Thanks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    That's exactly what it does. This long explanation will show you all the features you might miss if you just start using it.
    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: Pool Advice - Newbie

    I added the bleach yesterday. The FC levels have gone up but now the pool is very cloudy. I did sweep the pool yesterday afternoon, but think he sand would have settled by now? I read a post on the site that adding bleach could lower the pH and cause this. So I did another test:

    Sun afternoon:
    Added 1.87 L concentrated bleach (got info from pool calculator)

    Mon May 18 morning test
    Free Chlorine: 0.93
    Total Chlorine TCL: 1.07
    PH: 7.6
    Total Alkalinity ALY: 108
    Calcium Hardness CH: 125
    Cyanuric Acid CYA: 15

    Could it be possible the sand hasn't settled in a day? Or something else I missed.

    Thanks


    33' x 18' x 4' Oval Above Ground Pool (~15700 Gallon)
    Jacuzzi 15LRC-5-S1 1.5 HP Pump
    Sta-Rite T210WF Hi-Rate Sand Filter
    Hayward H400FDN Heater

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Cloudy could just be stuff you stirred up. Essentially, you just dusted the walls. It could also be some algae, but it's too soon to panic.

    You do need to replenish the bleach to get the FC level up. That's a daily thing, just like feeding the dog. How much CYA did you add and what did you target? Whatever you targeted, use that as the CYA level to set the FC level.
    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: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Okay I'll give it more time, was a bit of a scare this morning. Going to pickup more bleach today. Didn't realize I was going to need so much . I'm hoping once I get the levels right I can just add to keep it there, right now just trying to get it up there.

    I had added ~700g of stabilizer. I was targeting CYA of 40. I will need to add about 1.5Kg more. I also had back washed yesterday, I know now I cannot do that.

    Should the bleach be diluted and added slowly or can I just be poured into the pool? I will add the CYA in the skimmer basket slowly.


    33' x 18' x 4' Oval Above Ground Pool (~15700 Gallon)
    Jacuzzi 15LRC-5-S1 1.5 HP Pump
    Sta-Rite T210WF Hi-Rate Sand Filter
    Hayward H400FDN Heater

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Shani View Post
    Okay I'll give it more time, was a bit of a scare this morning. Going to pickup more bleach today. Didn't realize I was going to need so much . I'm hoping once I get the levels right I can just add to keep it there, right now just trying to get it up there.

    I had added ~700g of stabilizer. I was targeting CYA of 40. I will need to add about 1.5Kg more. I also had back washed yesterday, I know now I cannot do that.

    Should the bleach be diluted and added slowly or can I just be poured into the pool? I will add the CYA in the skimmer basket slowly.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You should go back and read the link I posted titled Recommended Pool Chemicals.
    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: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Thanks! Missed the section on bleach the first time.


    33' x 18' x 4' Oval Above Ground Pool (~15700 Gallon)
    Jacuzzi 15LRC-5-S1 1.5 HP Pump
    Sta-Rite T210WF Hi-Rate Sand Filter
    Hayward H400FDN Heater

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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    So I think by this evening I should have all the chemicals balanced to the correct numbers, thank you for all your help Richard.

    This may be a silly question but once that is done, is it safe to go swimming in or is there anything else I should be checking?

    There is still a decent amount of sand in the pool I am going to try a vacuum out.

    Thanks again.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Shani View Post
    So I think by this evening I should have all the chemicals balanced to the correct numbers, thank you for all your help Richard.

    This may be a silly question but once that is done, is it safe to go swimming in or is there anything else I should be checking?

    There is still a decent amount of sand in the pool I am going to try a vacuum out.

    Thanks again.
    If
    The water is clear enough you can see the bottom
    The pH is between 7.2 and 7.8
    The FC is above minimum but below shock level for your CYA
    The water is warm enough that you can stand it

    Then you can go swimming. All over America this weekend, millions of people will be getting in pools in worse shape than yours.
    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!

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Hi Richard. Thanks for the reply.

    I don't know if I am having an issue or just need more patience. I've had the CYA up at around 30-40 for the past 2-3 days and have been adding bleach as recommended by the pool calculator but I just can't seem to get the FC up in numbers.

    Latest test:

    Free Chlorine: 0.77
    Total Chlorine TCL: 0.99
    PH: 7.5
    Total Alkalinity ALY: 105
    Calcium Hardness CH: 98
    Cyanuric Acid CYA: 35

    I've again added bleach to get the FC up and some more stabilizer to get CYA to 40 (goal). Is there anyway to test to see if I have some other issues. Or maybe the bleach I am using isn't as high concentration as I think (Clorox concentrated) it doesn't mention the % on the bottle but online has a 8.25%.


    33' x 18' x 4' Oval Above Ground Pool (~15700 Gallon)
    Jacuzzi 15LRC-5-S1 1.5 HP Pump
    Sta-Rite T210WF Hi-Rate Sand Filter
    Hayward H400FDN Heater

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Rule of thumb: if they're ashamed to list the strength on the bottle of bleach, you don't want it.

    And there is a test to see if it's the sun or some organics consuming FC. It's the overnight loss test.
    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!

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Pool Advice - Newbie

    Thanks Richard, I'll do that test now. I had a look more closely at the "sand" the robot cleaner is picking up and it definitely is more than sand. Thinking algae... =(

    I'll read up on the SLAM to prepare for tomorrow.

    Here is a link to a picture of the stuff it is picking up:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/lmk1mn2wji...Pool2.JPG?dl=0

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