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Thread: Tons of questions from a newbie.

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Tons of questions from a newbie.

    I'd like say first off, this forum is awesome. I live in Southern California

    After reading a few threads regarding UV sanitation, you guys saved me $1500 on that unnecessary tech for our home. So I decided to make an account. Thank you.

    A bit of background, we've lived at this house for 20 years, and have always had a poolman to take care of our pool needs. I personally have never once given our pool, or how our pool works, the time of day in my life until recently.
    But the most important things to understand is no one in our house ever uses the pool for the last 5 years, it's a pure luxury at this point to just sits around looking pretty.

    Long story short, our pool man left the state unnoticed, and he was our primary source for maintaining the chlorine levels in our pool. A month went by, no one noticed he never came to do his work, and our pool turned pure green.
    We brought in another guy and he told us we needed to empty the pool, acid wash the pool, and refill the pool.

    After this entire ordeal, I decided it was a complete waste money to keep paying a poolman anymore, since no one uses the pool. So i started to do some research. I want you to keep in mind, I a complete idiot when it comes to this stuff, so bare with me. And My primary goal is not to keep the pool 100% perfect, but GOOD ENOUGH that algae doesn't grow back again.

    From what I understand there are 5 tests you need to preform

    Free Chlorine Test
    pH Test -> Acid Demand and Base Demand
    Alkalinity Test
    Calcium Hardness Test
    Conditioner Test

    I've figured out that our pool is 22,000 gallons and the spa is 720 gallons. I asked our current poolman we have now, what is the condition of our filter, and he assured me it was at 50% of it's life. So still in working order.

    First question is: How often do I have to do these tests? Please keep in mind that the pool is VERY rarely used if ever at all. Second: How long Am I supposed to leave our water pump running per day? I don't know how fast our water pump runs. I looked all over the equipment to figure it out and never saw the figure.

    Everywhere I look, everyone is constantly recommending the Taylor K-2006 kit. It's not that i'm not willing to get it because I can't figure out how to use it, but more of the fact that it seems more for a professional than someone that just wants keep algae away. I have a feeling that most of you guys are going to simply say if you're going to do anything, you might as do it right. Yes, I firmly believe in this notion if the "something" is something that has a purpose to spend money on. The other thing I read is that the kit only last 1 year before it expires.

    Other questions, if I were to get the kit.
    What products would you recommend I use if the Chlorine levels are too low or too high?
    What products would you recommend I use if the ph is too low or too high?
    '' Alkalinity is too low or high?
    '' Calcium hardness is too low or too high?
    '' Condtioner level '' ?

    I have more questions, but ill leave those till another time until I get a better foundation first.

    Thanks

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Mr Bruce's Avatar
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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    1 Until you really know your pool you should consider testing chlorine and pH every day. After a while that can become less frequent. The full test maybe once a week after you get your CYA where you want and start to get a handle on things.

    2 I would start at 6 hours, maybe back off after time. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...-pump-run-time

    3 You don't know what to do unless you know the state of your pool. A good test kit is not optional unless you want to get "pool stored". Just because the things in the test may expire after a year doesn't mean you get a whole new kit every year. You just replace things as you run out. The refills are cheap.

    4 http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...pool-chemicals

    The process may seem overwhelming at first. Eventually it becomes 2nd nature.
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    Hello SickestGuy,
    MrBruce is right. If you are going to keep the pool algae free and in good shape, then there is not an option to a good and reliable test kit.
    All test kits are not the same, which is why we only recommend the TF100 or the Taylor K2006.

    To start, it only takes a couple of minutes a day of testing and you in quick order, you'll learn what your pool needs.

    you dont have to fully understand the chemistry madness. They really smart folks have already figured that out and provided the recommended levels as MrBruce provided.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...mmended-levels

    Also, figuring out how much of something to add is easy enough. Just use Pool Math. Enter the volume of your pool at top left.
    In the boxes on the far left, enter your test result. The box to the right of that, enter your recommended level, and click the calculate button and Pool math will tell you how much and of what, to add.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    ITs pretty much that simple.
    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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    robdac's Avatar
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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    Welcome!

    It sounds like you really aren't committed to maintaining the pool yourself and that's okay. But, you need to decide. I had a pool guy once too but when I decided to do it myself it was because I wanted it done right. My pool guy wasn't as good as your former one. That's your first decision. If you follow the program outlined here you only need a few minutes per day plus perhaps thirty minutes one day a week to do it right. But, if you only do it half way it will be very frustrating and you're probably much better off trying to find a pool guy who comes close to following these methods.

    The Taylor 2006 is the minimum kit you will need to follow the methods here. I personally bought the TF-100 because I wanted to support the web site and felt it was also a better deal for me.

    As to the rest of the questions they are all answered with a little reading on the ABC's of pool care. All the what to I add/subtract if X is high/low is covered in depth there by folks far more knowledgable than myself. Click on "Pool School" at the top and start reading there. That's what I did. It will require a time investment on your part to learn something new and grasp the outlined methods and their purpose. For me personally, it was well worth it but it's something I enjoy learning and doing. Like a hobby.

    Once again, welcome.
    11K gal IG screened-in plaster pool w/ spa
    pentair 150 cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump,
    Aquarite AQR15 SWG, AquaCal Heatwave Heat Pump, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    Alright, i'm ordering the Taylor 2006 today, I'll get back to you guys when I get the kit and get some test results, Thanks.

    I see ebay has it cheaper than amazon, Any reason I shouldn't just get it from ebay?

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    Welcome to the forum SickestGuy...

    Where you order the K2006 from shouldn't matter. I suppose it comes down to cost (of the kit, shipping, etc...).
    14,000 Gal IG Pool/500 Gal Attached Spa
    Pentair Whisperflow 1hp Single Speed Pump
    Sta-Rite Posi-Flo PTM-135 Cartridge Filter
    Hayward H400 Natural Gas Heater

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    umpalumpajay's Avatar
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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    its easy to do the kit, it will become really really easy once you realize what and when you need to test things. im on the other side of the valley in west hills by the way - we have it easier because we don't have to "close" and "open" our pools like a lot of these ladies and gentlemen who live in areas that freeze.
    12000g pool + 1000g spa. Jandy 2.0hp epump + separate Jandy pump for Sheer Descent. Jandy CV Cartridge Filter. Jandy Lxi gas heater. Tropical Breeze PebbleTec. Aqualink. Aquapure SWG. Nature 2. The Pool Cleaner 2x. Taylor K-2005.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    I too will say to get the K2006 or better yet the TF-100 (see my signature for the link), but I will also say if you plan on doing minimal interaction with your pool get a salt water chlorine generator, and let it take care of the daily chlorination duties, then you will just need to test a couple of times per week at first to fine tune its operation, and let it run for the most part. You may also have to add acid to adjust pH, how often depends on the pool some may need daily, others weekly, or monthly, a few will need almost none at all.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    Well, with the K-2006, you have no idea how long it has been sitting on a shelf in a store or warehouse.
    The TF-100 is likely fresher and comes with more of the reagents you need and has an 18 month no questions asked guarantee.
    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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  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    A few more basic questions.

    Anyone point me to a way to figure out what type of pool i have? vinyl, plaster, fiberglass?

    And I've also noticed that all the pool thermometers that used to be in our pool and spa have broken. Is there any purpose to having them in your pool to maintain your pool?

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    No real purpose for a thermometer, you can use your toe.

    Post a pic of your pool and we can probably tell. If you have a pool with an integrated spa then it is probably gunite and plaster.
    TFP Moderator
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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

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    Cool, thanks

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    Still havent gotten a response after my pic

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    Looks like gunite/plaster. I think those look like real tiles along the top

    If you reach in the water does it feel like:

    Smooth/silky (think fender of a Corvette) = Fiberglass
    Rubbery = Vinyl
    Concrete = Gunite/Plaster
    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: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    ok, thank you, from what I remember it does feel like concrete. But I just wanted to be sure.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Tons of questions from a newbie.

    Sorry, I missed that. It is definitely a gunite/plaster pool. Very nice looking pool!
    TFP Moderator
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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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