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Thread: PH level before the SLAM

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    Steve-in-VA's Avatar
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    PH level before the SLAM

    Good morning/afternoon all. Newly registered and trying to alleviate some of my frustrations haha.

    Few items to mention before my question: I am ordering a TF-100 test kit today. I've been relying on the my test trips and copper test kit and local pool store testing. I have a Simple Salt System, a copper ionizer for prevention.


    I used my strips and my PH was above the ideal range...8.0 range or higher. Do i need to add the acid to reduce this before adding more shock?

    I've added about a half a jug of muriatic acid a couple days ago and the range was still high. (though not sure how accurate the strips are though.


    I've probably used about 14 bags (lbs) of shock the past few days. pool still green as grass. very frustrating and expensive. its calcium hypochlorite 47.6%, Sodium tetraboarate pentahydrate 20.0% "other ingredients" 32.4% (simple salt shimmer). Also the first day I added 6 bags of shock around 11am (i'm sure the daylight killed that since it was hot and sunny) last night (about 7:30 pm) I added 8 more bags to "really" shock it and this morning I looked at the pool before leaving for work and it didnt look any different (7:30 am) pump runs 24/7. Added new sand to filter over the weekend. vacuumed a lot of the chunks on the bottom of the pool of algae to waste before changing sand. stirred up the bottom with the brush before adding the shock last night.
    21,200 gallon/ 30' vinyl round above ground pool/ 200# hayward sand filter/1.5 hp hayward pump (70gl/m) /
    /self installed pool about 3 years ago - Smithfield, VA- Pool filled with well water -TF100 kit

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    Azgirl71's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    Congrats on ordering your TF 100!
    Don't do anything with PH until you can test with your kit. Strips are not reliable.

    - - - Updated - - -

    No more shock bags! To follow the TFP methods you need bleach.

    - - - Updated - - -

    While waiting for your test kit, do as much brushing and vacuming as you can. Keep the filter running 24/7
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    I'm wondering if some of that "green as grass" coloring is the copper you've been adding via the ionizer. You fill with well water, which is also a good source of metals. Weak Iron rust can tint the water yellowish-orange, which against the blue pool, looks green.

    You may have multiple problems here.

    Bottom line: we know where you want to go; we're there already. My pool hasn't been green in the five years I've owned it, and I can see the drain in the deep end 365 days a year. Probably 363 days a year I can toss a quarter in the deep end and call heads or tails from the deck. What we need to know to give you directions is to know where you are. And a proper test kit is the only way to do that. Test strips and pool store tests just aren't reliable enough.

    When you get the test kit, run the whole battery of tests. Videos of how to run the tests. If any readings seem bizarre, stop and read Extended Twst Kit Directions before you dump the solution out.

    Once you have the readings for us - and tell us how the water looks, too, like how far down can you see - we can guide you.
    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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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    Hey Steve-in-VA, welcome from another new member and long time BBB Method practitioner.

    Listen to what these nice folks on TFP tell you to do and your pool will be sparkly in no time.

    There's one bit of bad news that I'm going to hit you with - in the long run, your Simple Salt System is going to cause you more problems than it is worth. I just did a cursory glance over the website literature and it looks like a system that uses a salt-water chlorine generator in conjunction with a "mineral" system which is nothing more than a Cu ion generator. Cu ions do kill algae and retard its growth (although not nearly as well as chlorine and Cu does little to kill bacteria and viruses) but they are also going to cause you long term problems with possible metal staining, water clarity problems and/or green hair. Also, it looks like the Simple Salt people force you to constantly add their blend of shock packs which is mostly cal-hypo and borax. I'm guessing they sell it at a very nice mark-up in price.

    I don't want to sound dire, but eventually you're going to have to choose between the TFPC Method of pool care or the Simple Salt system. TFPC certainly allows for salt water chlorine generators, but not the kind that incorporate "mineral" systems in them as they are just problems waiting to happen. Also, the constant use of cal-hypo shock is going to build calcium up in your water over long periods of time and it is just not necessary. You can have a clear and sparkling pool by just using simple chemicals - bleach, borax, backing soda and muriatic acid. Add some cyanuric acid stabilizer to your water and that's all you'll ever need. And those chemicals are way cheaper than any "magic" salt/ion system.

    Just something to think about as you get help here for your water problems.
    Last edited by JoyfulNoise; 05-27-2015 at 10:29 AM. Reason: typos
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Steve-in-VA's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    i appreciate the quick responses. Joyful..I have been apprehensive in keeping this system going just by looking at some posts on here. I dont want to have to keep buying this "recharge" system. But you know how it goes with new pool ownership...you take the advice of the "experts". I'm learning they don't know that much especially with turn over rate of the people that work there. So if i can get rid of that expense...GREAT!.

    Richard that is awesome to have the pool maintenance down like that...i just need that type of clarity 3-4 months out of the year

    AZgirl...should I vacuum to to waste or filter then backwash frequently?
    21,200 gallon/ 30' vinyl round above ground pool/ 200# hayward sand filter/1.5 hp hayward pump (70gl/m) /
    /self installed pool about 3 years ago - Smithfield, VA- Pool filled with well water -TF100 kit

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    I don't know how the Simple Salt cell looks, but in some of these combo mineral/salt systems, you can remove the copper anode completely and just run it as a salt cell. If not, I would seriously consider removing the entire cell and just replumbing with a straight through PVC pipe. You can send us some pics (use PhotoBucket image sharing service and copy in IMG links) and we can probably see if you can just disconnect and remove it completely.

    If all that seems like too much to deal with right now, then just turn the electrochemical cell off completely (disconnect the control wire if you have to) and run the pool without it. You can use just straight bleach for chlorination and not worry about buying the special chemical packs anymore. The folks here can help you get your pool water cleared up just using bleach alone. Once you get clear, then you can figure out how to get rid of the Simple Salt system. Eventually the folks here on TFP can help you figure out a new SWG system for your pool if you want to go that route.

    And before you ask - having salt in the water while you use bleach to cleanup your pool is perfectly ok. The Cu ions may cause you problems but we'll cross that road when we come to it.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    If you have a lot of debris, yes, vaccume to waste.

    You only want to backwash when your psi raises 20-25% above your clean PSI.
    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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    Steve-in-VA's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    I don't know how the Simple Salt cell looks, but in some of these combo mineral/salt systems, you can remove the copper anode completely and just run it as a salt cell. If not, I would seriously consider removing the entire cell and just replumbing with a straight through PVC pipe. You can send us some pics (use PhotoBucket image sharing service and copy in IMG links) and we can probably see if you can just disconnect and remove it completely.

    If all that seems like too much to deal with right now, then just turn the electrochemical cell off completely (disconnect the control wire if you have to) and run the pool without it. You can use just straight bleach for chlorination and not worry about buying the special chemical packs anymore. The folks here can help you get your pool water cleared up just using bleach alone. Once you get clear, then you can figure out how to get rid of the Simple Salt system. Eventually the folks here on TFP can help you figure out a new SWG system for your pool if you want to go that route.

    And before you ask - having salt in the water while you use bleach to cleanup your pool is perfectly ok. The Cu ions may cause you problems but we'll cross that road when we come to it.
    Yeah I will probably just turn off and unplug the power going to the ionizer. Its just 2 copper rods in line with the return. The salt level does not need to be high i think I am around 800 ppm. Not a FULL salt system.

    That would be great not having to replace that sucker every season... I guess i've been the sucker for buying into it haha

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Azgirl71 View Post
    If you have a lot of debris, yes, vaccume to waste.

    You only want to backwash when your psi raises 20-25% above your clean PSI.

    So with my "clean" pressure around 10-12 psi i need to wait to 30-35? I know I lose a lot of return pressure when it increases close to 20 and I backwash and its full of gunk...
    21,200 gallon/ 30' vinyl round above ground pool/ 200# hayward sand filter/1.5 hp hayward pump (70gl/m) /
    /self installed pool about 3 years ago - Smithfield, VA- Pool filled with well water -TF100 kit

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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    No, if your Clean is 10-12 then backwash around 15-16 or when you notice water flow has slowed down coming from return jet. I tend to ignore my gauge and go by water flow more.
    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: PH level before the SLAM

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-in-VA View Post
    Yeah I will probably just turn off and unplug the power going to the ionizer. Its just 2 copper rods in line with the return. The salt level does not need to be high i think I am around 800 ppm. Not a FULL salt system.

    That would be great not having to replace that sucker every season... I guess i've been the sucker for buying into it haha
    @Steve-in-VA,

    Honestly, without sites like TFP all of us would be at the mercy of "the experts"! The pool builder I know is a great guy, excellent contractor and builds fabulous pools. But I also know that he knows next-to-nothing about water chemistry and maintenance short of how to start up a new pool. His knowledge base is simply what he knows from past experience that "works". There's almost no science behind it.

    800ppm is definitely on the low side. Most residential pool SWCG's operate in the 2500-3500ppm range. For example, my IC-40 woks at 3500ppm salt and generates (optimally) 1.4lbs of chlorine gas per 24 hours of operation. The Simple Salt systems seems to me to not generate much chlorine. If you have the specs or technical literature sometimes it will tell you what the cells hourly production rate is. From there, we could determine if it is even worth plugging it in.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Steve-in-VA's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    @Steve-in-VA,

    Honestly, without sites like TFP all of us would be at the mercy of "the experts"! The pool builder I know is a great guy, excellent contractor and builds fabulous pools. But I also know that he knows next-to-nothing about water chemistry and maintenance short of how to start up a new pool. His knowledge base is simply what he knows from past experience that "works". There's almost no science behind it.

    800ppm is definitely on the low side. Most residential pool SWCG's operate in the 2500-3500ppm range. For example, my IC-40 woks at 3500ppm salt and generates (optimally) 1.4lbs of chlorine gas per 24 hours of operation. The Simple Salt systems seems to me to not generate much chlorine. If you have the specs or technical literature sometimes it will tell you what the cells hourly production rate is. From there, we could determine if it is even worth plugging it in.
    yeah I'll probably just cut off the power to it, since it's kinda of useless if I'm going this route. I'm glad during my last "leak" issue I installed new hard pvc piping with shut off valves at the skimmer & return (had thick hoses at first). This new set up make maintenance soooo much easier. So when I get a chance I will remove the ionzier tube and put hard pipe in its place. Might put the thing up for sale on my local CL see if anyone else wants it since I just turned it on a couple days ago.
    21,200 gallon/ 30' vinyl round above ground pool/ 200# hayward sand filter/1.5 hp hayward pump (70gl/m) /
    /self installed pool about 3 years ago - Smithfield, VA- Pool filled with well water -TF100 kit

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    PH level before the SLAM

    Glad to hear you made some good mods to your pool. After you get the water all cleared up you can do lots of great research on TFP about automated chlorination options. SWCG's are great but there's also the option of installing a Stenner pump to do direct bleach injections. Search on "The Liquidator" to see what others have done. You can even eventually automate acid injection as well but I'm sure that, right now, you'd just like to have clear water.

    Keep posting results and progress. Azgirl71 and Richard320 are the TFPC experts and they'll have your water looking awesome in no time!


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Steve-in-VA's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    Well it looks like I won't have my kit til the '4th or 5th . What should I do in the mean time


    21,200 gallon/ 30' vinyl round above ground pool/ 200# hayward sand filter/1.5 hp hayward pump (70gl/m) /
    /self installed pool about 3 years ago - Smithfield, VA- Pool filled with well water -TF100 kit

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-in-VA View Post
    Well it looks like I won't have my kit til the '4th or 5th . What should I do in the mean time


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Wait and read lots of TFP posts?

    There's not much you can do without a test kit. I have seen some posts where some recommend adding a consistent dose of bleach each day (depends on your CYA) while waiting. Other than that, I don't think there's much you can do.

    If you have a good phenol red pH test, then you could get your pH down to the proper starting point for a SLAM.

    POP = Pool Owner Patience


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Steve-in-VA's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    What is a good PH level for SLAMming


    21,200 gallon/ 30' vinyl round above ground pool/ 200# hayward sand filter/1.5 hp hayward pump (70gl/m) /
    /self installed pool about 3 years ago - Smithfield, VA- Pool filled with well water -TF100 kit

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    Read this article - SLAM - Shock, Level and Maintain for details. The details are all in there. Focus on getting the process right and getting the chemicals you will need in place. If you do SLAM, you will need to stock up on bleach so a good use of your time while waiting for your test kit is to check out bleach prices in your area.

    To calculate and compare, take the cost of the bleach and divide by the (volume of bottle X percentage of bleach). Sometimes, a larger bottle of 8.25% Clorox for a lower price per bottle can be a better bargain than a more expensive bottle of higher strength chlorine that you can get at pool stores. It's worth doing the comparison because, in some instances, people have used dozens of gallons of bleach to SLAM their pools (typically the icky green/black water pools that come with short-sale home purchases and have been covered and uncared for for years).
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Steve-in-VA's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    I've been checking out bleach prices. Ollies around here has liquid chlorine with 12.5% for $2.99 plus I have a 15% off entire purchase coupon


    21,200 gallon/ 30' vinyl round above ground pool/ 200# hayward sand filter/1.5 hp hayward pump (70gl/m) /
    /self installed pool about 3 years ago - Smithfield, VA- Pool filled with well water -TF100 kit

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    Steve-in-VA's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    .


    Not sure if you can see this picture or not. Trying to upload through tapatalk


    21,200 gallon/ 30' vinyl round above ground pool/ 200# hayward sand filter/1.5 hp hayward pump (70gl/m) /
    /self installed pool about 3 years ago - Smithfield, VA- Pool filled with well water -TF100 kit

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    Steve-in-VA's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    I took this on Monday after being told to add calcium


    21,200 gallon/ 30' vinyl round above ground pool/ 200# hayward sand filter/1.5 hp hayward pump (70gl/m) /
    /self installed pool about 3 years ago - Smithfield, VA- Pool filled with well water -TF100 kit

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    Steve-in-VA's Avatar
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    Re: PH level before the SLAM

    But still looks this green after all 14 lbs of shock I put in it between Monday and Tuesday.


    21,200 gallon/ 30' vinyl round above ground pool/ 200# hayward sand filter/1.5 hp hayward pump (70gl/m) /
    /self installed pool about 3 years ago - Smithfield, VA- Pool filled with well water -TF100 kit

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