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Thread: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

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    Hottrodd1968's Avatar
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    Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    i just opened my pool yesterday (took the cover off) only to find the water brown and teaming with mosquito larvae. In our haste to remove the cover, leaf and other debris ended up in the pool as well... so I know I have quite a bit of cleaning to do. This is my first pool opening so I have no concrete idea what I'm doing. Been reading many posts here and I got myself a test kit. I guess I need a priority to do list on what needs to be done first... Just feeling a bit overwhelmed. Would I be better off draining the whole thing and starting fresh? can't see the bottom of my pool... or any depth for that matter.

    I don't have any automatic vacuums... Just the classic tri-vac head you hook up to the skimmer and use the pump and filter to clean. I plan to rake and sift out as much as I can get with skimmers/nets. What's next??

    Should I be checking the pool chems? Should I hook up the filter and pump and start those? What about the Mosquito larvae? Am I to SLAM the pool? Do I use bleach? Need some hand holding here.

    Would appreciate any and all advice.
    Cathy...15 x 30 x 54" Sharkline Echelon oval AG 12,600 gallons
    Hayward ReGenX grid element D.E. Filter RG70075XEH
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump series 1.5 hp
    Intex Krystal Clear SWG system for up to 14,000 gallon pools
    TF-100 test kit & speed stir

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    The first thing I would do is post a full suite of test results so we can see exactly where your pool chemistry is at. Also, continue to remove as much debris as you can. This will help regardless of what your starting water chemistry is.

    BTW, nice username!
    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
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    poolnoob.ca's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    Hi Hottrodd, definitely get started on getting the equipment up and running, as you won't be able to do much without circulating water. get the water topped up also if its not already. if you had antifreeze in your lines when the pool was closed, let it flush out to waste if you can instead of letting it back in the pool, if not remove it with a shopvac. others will be along to discuss the chemistry. good luck!
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    Quote Originally Posted by Hottrodd1968 View Post
    Should I be checking the pool chems? Should I hook up the filter and pump and start those? What about the Mosquito larvae? Am I to SLAM the pool? Do I use bleach? Need some hand holding here.
    Yes, you should be checking the pool chems, with one of the suggested test kits, not strips or pool store tests.

    Also, be brushing, skimming, and leaf raking the crud off of the bottom of the pool. Depending on the size of the chunky stuff at the bottom of the pool, your vacuum may or may not help much, yet.... Get your pump and filter into operation.

    Yes, you will need to SLAM, but you can't know what to do until you have test results. The SLAM will kill the mosquitoes.

    Yes, we recommend using bleach as your sanitizer... again, how much is dependent upon the test results. SWG won't be needed until after the SLAM.

    First step after pool results is to check pH and adjust with muriatic acid or washing soda. Then add chlorine to begin the SLAM, following the guidelines posted at this site.

    Post test results and pics....

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    Hottrodd1968's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    Thanks
    I'll open up my new test kit and post those results a bit later. Going to do my best at getting most of the debris out.
    Cathy...15 x 30 x 54" Sharkline Echelon oval AG 12,600 gallons
    Hayward ReGenX grid element D.E. Filter RG70075XEH
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump series 1.5 hp
    Intex Krystal Clear SWG system for up to 14,000 gallon pools
    TF-100 test kit & speed stir

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    Hottrodd1968's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    image.jpg
    Here's a pic of what I'm starting out with.
    Cathy...15 x 30 x 54" Sharkline Echelon oval AG 12,600 gallons
    Hayward ReGenX grid element D.E. Filter RG70075XEH
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump series 1.5 hp
    Intex Krystal Clear SWG system for up to 14,000 gallon pools
    TF-100 test kit & speed stir

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    Defgufman's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    It will turn clear, but it will take some work. Can you post your test results?
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

    Pool School, Pool Math, CYA to FC ratio chart, Testing Kits

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    Alright, it is time to SLAM Your Pool.

    The more debris you get out of the pool the faster the SLAM will go and the less bleach you will need to use. The more your brush the pool the faster the algae will be killed. In the first few days it is best to test and add bleach every 2-3 hours until the chlorine level starts to hold. Then you can drop back to 2-3 times per day. It is important to read the process thoroughly and don't skip any steps. If you do then you will likely have to start all over again. "Semi"-slamming could go on forever. We see it a lot.
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    Hottrodd1968's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    Just did the tests using TF-100 kit. I should state that although I'm supposed to have close to 13,000 gallons, it currently has 11,500. (15'x30'x 46" is my current depth). Should be more like 52". Will be adding water, but it's currently at 1/3 of the way at skimmer.

    Chlorine drop test... Using R-0870 powder... Solution never turned pink = no chlorine... so I did not move forward with the remainder of that test.
    Calcium hardiness 75 ppm
    Total alkalinity 40
    CYA. Black dot never dissapeared. Filled viewing tube completely, so 0 CYA
    pH 6.8
    Had some copper test strips left over, so did that. It showed 0.5 ppm (really hard to distinguish the colors so it could be within range).

    Don't know what the salt level is like. Still have to connect all the plumbing back together and hook up filter and pump. Going to do that later this evening. I'm not even going to worry about the SWG until the water is clear and manageable.

    Here's my inventory of what I have on hand (given to me by the guy I bought the pool from, so I don't know if these have a shelf life or expiration dates):
    Phos free 67 oz. container
    hth shock 3 x 1 lb. bags
    35 lbs. of 3" chlorine tabs

    Never used any of these things. I wanted saltwater so I filled up the pool last summer with fresh water, 200+ lbs. of salt... and nothing else. I never got a chlorine reading last year which had me concerned (used strip tests) but the water remained clear and the SWG functioned properly. I guess I just got lucky? This year is where I need to really learn about pools... thanks to you guys ��

    What do I get for my slamming session? Liquid bleach? Packaged powder? How much? Wanna have everything on hand so I can attack this problem and start enjoying my pool. Going back to my swamp to fish out more junk!!
    Cathy...15 x 30 x 54" Sharkline Echelon oval AG 12,600 gallons
    Hayward ReGenX grid element D.E. Filter RG70075XEH
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump series 1.5 hp
    Intex Krystal Clear SWG system for up to 14,000 gallon pools
    TF-100 test kit & speed stir

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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    You don't need any of the stuff you have on hand.

    You need to use bleach for SLAM. You will want to raise your PH to 7.2 prior to starting the SLAM. You also need to raise CYA to 30 for the SLAM. Once SLAM is done then raise it to 70-80.

    Don't use your SWG during the SLAM.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    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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    Hottrodd1968's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    Based on post from Azgirl... And looking at pool math, here's what I'm gathering I need.

    Add 23 oz. Washing soda or soda ash to raise pH to 7.2 (should I use soda ash since my TA is low?)
    Do I need to add baking soda to raise TA??
    Add 119 oz. liquid stabilizer to bring CYA to 30??
    How much bleach will I need to SLAM? 10 gallons, 20 gallons?? Looking at the Chlorine / CYA chart on this site didn't clarify things for me. Maybe I'm too frustrated and need to step back.

    Once I get the pump and filter hooked up and primed with DE, should I try and vacuum the pool and clean as much debris before adjusting chem levels? I could rinse the filter clean and prime again with DE to have a cleaner base to work from. Not sure if that would be a good idea.
    Cathy...15 x 30 x 54" Sharkline Echelon oval AG 12,600 gallons
    Hayward ReGenX grid element D.E. Filter RG70075XEH
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump series 1.5 hp
    Intex Krystal Clear SWG system for up to 14,000 gallon pools
    TF-100 test kit & speed stir

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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    After you read the article on Shock Level and Maintain, head over to the PoolMath page at http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html.
    There you can fill in your pool volume and suggested goal levels from TFP, you add your test results in the left column and intended results on the right to see what adjustments need to be made.

    Right now you need to focus on getting your Ph at 7.2 as noted above. = 85oz by weight of Borax (the laundry booster). 6.8 is the lower limit of the test, so you may be below that and the first dose may not get you to 7.2. Let it mix for 30 - 45 mins, with the pump running and brush it around a little, then test again and dose again as necessary.

    Then to go from 0 to 30 ppm CYA you will need 44oz of stabilizer. Put it in a sock and hang it in the pool near a return squeeze a couple of times a day. It wont show up in the test for a week, so don't test for it yet.

    Then you can start your SLAM using the FC/CYA chart for Non SWG (for now) pools at Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart. As you have no CYA you may want to dose it at a shock level of 8 for a couple of days until your CYA is dissolved. Pool math tells you to go from 0 to 8 FC you will need 130oz of 8.25% bleach, slowly pour the whole gallon in front a return stream. Test and calculate the next addition of bleach every 1 to 2 hours as you can.

    Others may give you better advice on the SLAM level at 0 FC, but 8ppm is what I would shoot for for a couple of days. Once your CYA is dissolved, take your FC to full shock level of 12ppm for the 30ppm CYA.

    Since you have the K2600, you are likely going to need a refill on the FAS/DPD reagents before this is over. Go ahead over to TFTestKits and order the 2oz 0871 and another cansiter of the of 0870 powder. TFTestkits.net

    CHECK your numbers in prior post. You have to input the gallons for your pool at the top, my numbers are based off your current estimate of 11,000 gallons.
    You only want to take the CYA to 30 now, your estimate of 119oz stabilizer is WAY too much for now.
    Last edited by jtaves85mcss; 05-26-2015 at 12:50 PM. Reason: See your numbers above.....
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

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    Hottrodd1968's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    Thanks for the detailed info. It was through the pool math page that I got my numbers. Obviously, I'm doing something wrong as your numbers are quite different. At least I have a starting point right now. Wont be able to do much until I get the equipment hooked up later this evening.

    Any advice on my comment about the filter and vacuuming? Is it worth doing, or futile?

    Also... Should I be adding water to the pool to bring it up to par, or should I SLAM first, then worry about leveling off?
    Cathy...15 x 30 x 54" Sharkline Echelon oval AG 12,600 gallons
    Hayward ReGenX grid element D.E. Filter RG70075XEH
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump series 1.5 hp
    Intex Krystal Clear SWG system for up to 14,000 gallon pools
    TF-100 test kit & speed stir

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    I would go ahead and fill the pool with water. Rake out as much muck as you can, then vacuum and backwash your filter every time the pressure rises 20-25% from clean pressure.

    Use granular CYA instead of liquid CYA it is the same thing only cheaper.

    1. add CYA in a sock in the skimmer or in front of a return
    2. fix PH
    3. rake out stuff
    4. start slamming
    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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    jtaves85mcss's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    OH well nobody else offered a better FC number. Start SLAM now, go with 8ppm as often as you can (2 hours apart, test and dose) for a couple of days then take it to 12 ppm. You want to rake out as much as you can now. You will also need to rake, then brush. Then start vacuuming to waste (if you can with your set up) in a day or two. If you start vacuuming through the filter right away, you will just clog it up. You will need to watch your filter pressure and clean filter frequently when pressure goes up 20-25% over clean psi.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

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    Hottrodd1968's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    Would have been doing that except after I got everything connected, and getting ready to prime the cartridge with the DE, as I'm dumping in my second pound of DE, the filter head starts leaking... Bad O-ring. I thought I could muster through the leak until a replacement was found, but it's not allowing my pump to prime. It just keeps getting better! No one has it in stock, so I've ordered a few of them, as well as O-rings for the pump housing (just in case). Now I gotta wait for those to arrive before moving forward. So I'll wait while the mosquitoes have a field day in my swamp. Live & learn!! Will keep checking back for all the great advice. Using this time to better educate myself on the joys of pool ownership
    Cathy...15 x 30 x 54" Sharkline Echelon oval AG 12,600 gallons
    Hayward ReGenX grid element D.E. Filter RG70075XEH
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump series 1.5 hp
    Intex Krystal Clear SWG system for up to 14,000 gallon pools
    TF-100 test kit & speed stir

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    jtaves85mcss's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    Do you have a multiport valve on the set up? If so, you may be able to set it to 'recirculate' to bypass the filter for now. Post up a few pics of your equipment pad as we are going to want to see them at this point. Note: you should post them through links to a photo hosting site like photobucket.

    EDIT: You might try some plumbers silicone on the o-ring. If nothing else, rake what you can and then dump one gallon of bleach each day and then brush the thing all the way around two times until every day you can make the repairs. Only one gallon of bleach a day.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

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    Hottrodd1968's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    I don't have a multi port with the current setup, so I can't bypass. Tried the silicone route, but the ring was too stretched out of shape to make it work... It's too dark for a pic now, but will put one up tomorrow. I do have a larger Hayward DE filter and pump (I believe it's 1.5HP) that a friend gave to me (it was from an Inground pool setup), but it's just overkill for my purpose... so I've been told. I will upload info on those tomorrow to see what you guys think.
    Noted on the bleach. Will go ahead and add a gallon per day and do my best to clean it out. More concerned about the Mosquitos at this point than anything else. Thanks again for checking back and posting. Comforting to know I'm not stranded in the abyss
    Gratitude!
    Cathy...15 x 30 x 54" Sharkline Echelon oval AG 12,600 gallons
    Hayward ReGenX grid element D.E. Filter RG70075XEH
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump series 1.5 hp
    Intex Krystal Clear SWG system for up to 14,000 gallon pools
    TF-100 test kit & speed stir

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    Hottrodd1968's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    So it's been a few days since I started my plea for help. I finally got my O-ring and got the filter and pump running. Here's what I've done so far...
    Dumped a gallon of bleach yesterday to kill some mosquito larvae (though I don't think it made a difference)
    Got myself a leaf bagger... What an awesome contraption. Can't see the bottom, but what I've pulled so far can outfit an oak tree.
    Added water to the pool to bring it to proper level.
    Have not tested water again... We have a heavy rainstorm coming tonight into tomorrow, so it seems futile to add chems as of now, right??
    Just planning on running pump and filter until the rain passes... At least it can filter out some debris. Stopped cleaning up leaves... We have high winds and neighboring trees are still shedding.
    Here's what I've got on hand right now...
    Got 5 gallons of 8.25% bleach, 3 boxes @4 lbs each borax, a container of pH Up (as back up), 5lb container of staibilizer.

    Should I do anything now, or wait until the rain has passed? Should I continue to run the filter? Worried that the psi is going to go up and require regenerating... I can do it for a few hours, but I guess I should shut it off during sleeping hours??
    Back to needing a little hand holding again...
    Cathy...15 x 30 x 54" Sharkline Echelon oval AG 12,600 gallons
    Hayward ReGenX grid element D.E. Filter RG70075XEH
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump series 1.5 hp
    Intex Krystal Clear SWG system for up to 14,000 gallon pools
    TF-100 test kit & speed stir

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Brown mess at opening... Newbie needing a little hand-holding

    Hey there, HR,

    Work around the rain when it's convenient and you don't get too wet. It is an urban myth that rainfall ruins pool water chemistry.

    It normally has no affect whatsoever and even a real frog-strangler will usually only make moderate changes.

    PS - I really like your questions. They are thoughtful and precise. You are gonna' use a LOT of chlorine but your pool will be crystal clear. Keep listening to the good advice you are getting and we'll all stay with you right up to sparkle day!

    PPS - That DE filter is gonna' get a workout with your gunky pool. Don't get discouraged as you start the SLAM and have to backwash a lot!!
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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