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Thread: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

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    Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Hi,
    I signed up for an account a few days ago and have been reading the threads on the conversion from EcoSmarte to the TFP process.
    I have to say I am very impressed with the knowledge of the people on this website.
    I actually had no plan of making the conversion until I read about the lack of sanitation from the EcoSmarte system on this site.
    I wish I had found this site 2 years ago, it would have saved me a lot of money and headaches.
    Anyway, I have the test kit ordered and it should be here tomorrow.
    I want to get everything I need prior to starting the conversion.
    I had tested the water on Monday but I am not confident with the readings as I was using the same test kit from last year.
    I am pretty sure the copper is >.7 and PH is < 6.8. (I have since turned the EcoSmarte off)
    The water is clear right now. We just replaced the zeobrite (another serious mistake) in the filter with sand.
    I have 6 bottles of 8.25% bleach. I am assuming I may need a lot more based on the SLAM process I read from azgirl's post.
    Questions
    • what brand of metal free do you recommend?
    • Is the first step to reduce the Metal? or raise the PH?
    • We had removed the chlorine tab feeder when we bought the EcoSmarte, will I need to replace it?
    • What else do I need to have on hand when I start this tomorrow afternoon?


    Thanks
    Laura663

    25,900 IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, 300lbs,
    Flotec 1hp, Kreepy Crawly, new liner in 2013
    N. AL

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    The first step is accurate testing when you kit arrives. What I don't like is your high copper level. The only way to get rid of the copper is a water exchange. You can use sequesterants to keep the copper from staining, but that is an ongoing added expense.

    We generally do not recommend a tab feeder as a good choice for daily chlorine additions. Along with the chlorine the tabs feed into the pool they add stabilizer/CYA. The more your CYA level goes up, the more chlorine you need. It is magicians cycle. We tend to recommend liquid chlorine or SWCG.

    As for things to have on hand, you are probably going to need 20 Mule Team Borax to bring that pH up and bleach as your chlorine. We don't like to tell folks to "stock up" until testing shows something is necessary.
    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: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Welcome! You made the first and most important move - to order a test kit of your own. Which one did you order? Until we have those readings, everything would be a guess. Best advice would be to simply brush-up on the TFP website. Review the links in my signature below so that you are armed and ready to go when you get your first set of good test results. Welcome to TFP.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    With copper that high, you should really replace a bunch of water if that is feasible.

    If the water is clear, why do you think you need to SLAM the pool?

    Generally trichlor tablet feeders end up getting people into trouble from the climbing CYA levels. So I would not replace it.

    You just need to run a full set of test results when you get the kit.

    Have you discovered Pool School yet? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    The first step is accurate testing when you kit arrives. What I don't like is your high copper level. The only way to get rid of the copper is a water exchange. You can use sequesterants to keep the copper from staining, but that is an ongoing added expense.

    We generally do not recommend a tab feeder as a good choice for daily chlorine additions. Along with the chlorine the tabs feed into the pool they add stabilizer/CYA. The more your CYA level goes up, the more chlorine you need. It is magicians cycle. We tend to recommend liquid chlorine or SWCG.

    As for things to have on hand, you are probably going to need 20 Mule Team Borax to bring that pH up and bleach as your chlorine. We don't like to tell folks to "stock up" until testing shows something is necessary.


    Thanks Tim
    I'll have my husband drain some of it tomorrow and add more water. Hopefully it will bring it down some.
    If I can get it down to say .4 or .5 would you recommend the metal free then?
    I figure I will be adding water off and on during the summer since it is usually pretty hot and dry here in N. AL
    Laura663

    25,900 IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, 300lbs,
    Flotec 1hp, Kreepy Crawly, new liner in 2013
    N. AL

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Anything about 0.3 is at risk of staining. I would replace a good deal of water (no more than leaving a foot in the shallow end to lower the risk to the liner) ... and maybe twice and then also use a sequestrant ... Metal Free is not one that we recommend I don't think. See: Pool School - Metals in the Water and Metal Stains
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Welcome! You made the first and most important move - to order a test kit of your own. Which one did you order? Until we have those readings, everything would be a guess. Best advice would be to simply brush-up on the TFP website. Review the links in my signature below so that you are armed and ready to go when you get your first set of good test results. Welcome to TFP.

    Hi Texas,
    Yes I have been reading up on the processes the last few days.
    I ordered the TF-1000(?) with the speed stirrer.
    I will post the results as soon as I get home from work.
    Thanks
    Laura663

    25,900 IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, 300lbs,
    Flotec 1hp, Kreepy Crawly, new liner in 2013
    N. AL

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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by Laural663 View Post
    I figure I will be adding water off and on during the summer since it is usually pretty hot and dry here in N. AL
    Keep in mind only dumping water and replacing it lowers your metal levels. Metals don't evaporate with the water in the hot Alabama sun.

    jblizzle has you pointed in the right direction, definitely read the links he posted. Do you have the TF-100 now? If not what are you testing with in the meantime? If you are testing with the TF-100 please post a full set: FC, CC, pH, TA, CH, and CYA.

    You are making the right move. I used to have the pool frog copper/silver system and never got near the water quality I have now with just liquid chlorine.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    With copper that high, you should really replace a bunch of water if that is feasible.

    If the water is clear, why do you think you need to SLAM the pool?

    Generally trichlor tablet feeders end up getting people into trouble from the climbing CYA levels. So I would not replace it.

    You just need to run a full set of test results when you get the kit.

    Have you discovered Pool School yet? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Hi jblizzle,
    For some reason I thought that was part of the process to do the conversion.
    I know there is no chlorine or FC in it now. When I checked it on Monday it was zero and I added the last bags of the chlorine free shock I had on hand.
    Laura663

    25,900 IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, 300lbs,
    Flotec 1hp, Kreepy Crawly, new liner in 2013
    N. AL

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Well, a SLAM would not hurt as it would ensure there is nothing in the water like Bacteria or Algae hiding.
    Although raising the FC up could make the staining start.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Keep in mind only dumping water and replacing it lowers your metal levels. Metals don't evaporate with the water in the hot Alabama sun.

    jblizzle has you pointed in the right direction, definitely read the links he posted. Do you have the TF-100 now? If not what are you testing with in the meantime? If you are testing with the TF-100 please post a full set: FC, CC, pH, TA, CH, and CYA.

    You are making the right move. I used to have the pool frog copper/silver system and never got near the water quality I have now with just liquid chlorine.

    Hi Donldson,
    No I'll have the kit tomorrow. I still have my test kit from EcoSmarte. The only test I feel confident in the kit is the phosphates and copper test. The PH was <6.8 and chlorine was zero, however the strips and regeants are from last year.
    Laura663

    25,900 IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, 300lbs,
    Flotec 1hp, Kreepy Crawly, new liner in 2013
    N. AL

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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    The first step is accurate testing when you kit arrives. What I don't like is your high copper level. The only way to get rid of the copper is a water exchange. You can use sequesterants to keep the copper from staining, but that is an ongoing added expense.

    We generally do not recommend a tab feeder as a good choice for daily chlorine additions. Along with the chlorine the tabs feed into the pool they add stabilizer/CYA. The more your CYA level goes up, the more chlorine you need. It is magicians cycle. We tend to recommend liquid chlorine or SWCG.

    As for things to have on hand, you are probably going to need 20 Mule Team Borax to bring that pH up and bleach as your chlorine. We don't like to tell folks to "stock up" until testing shows something is necessary.

    Okay, I have 6 gallons of the bleach and I will pick up the 20 Mule team on my way home from work tomorrow
    thanks
    Laura663

    25,900 IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, 300lbs,
    Flotec 1hp, Kreepy Crawly, new liner in 2013
    N. AL

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Things are changing... If you choose to do a substantial water change, which I think is good idea you may not need the Borax.
    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: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Hi,
    Okay I got the test kit today and started the testing.
    This pool is all out of wack.
    When I got up this morning I thought I saw a little bit of algae in the shallow end. I was so tempted to add some bleach. The Kreepy Krawly must have gotten while I was at work.
    While I was doing the tests, I noticed some really nasty slimmy stuff on the side of the pool. I know I am making the right choice doing this change out. My husband didn't agree with me until I made him read the posts from Chem Geek on the lack of sanitation.
    Here are the readings I got.
    Copper - .5 to .7
    Phosphates - 0
    PH - 6.8
    CL - 0
    CH - 575
    TA - this test is really out - i added the R007 & R008 and the sample was already red. I added several drops of the R009 and didn't change the color
    CYA - 20+ - I had filled the tube before I couldn't see the black drop.

    My next step is to contact the city and let them know I am refilling the pool to save on the sewage charge.

    thanks
    Laura663

    25,900 IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, 300lbs,
    Flotec 1hp, Kreepy Crawly, new liner in 2013
    N. AL

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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by Laural663 View Post
    PH - 6.8
    TA - this test is really out - i added the R007 & R008 and the sample was already red. I added several drops of the R009 and didn't change the color
    When the TA test turns immediately red, this not only means the TA is 0 (or negative), but that the pH is very low at 4.5 or lower. This is a corrosive situation for any metal in your pool such as copper pipe in a gas heater. Fortunately you don't have a plaster pool as it would be very bad for that as well, but low pH is also a problem for vinyl pools. So first and foremost is to get your pH and TA up higher, but not too high. I'm guessing that you were constantly adding acid to keep the pH low as EcoSmarte requires (mostly to prevent copper staining) and the TA got used up and the pH crashed.

    If you are going to nearly immediately change significant amounts of your water, then do that as the fill water will have TA in it and will help somewhat restore the pH. That way, you won't waste money adding chemicals only to replace the water. However, if you aren't going to do some water exchange very soon, then you should add the pH/TA raising chemicals. You have a choice here. You can use Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (careful: NOT the laundry detergent) from the grocery store which is the same identical chemical as found in pH Up products (so you can see if your pool store is less expensive, but it's very unlikely) or if you were planning on adding borates to your pool you could use a combination of 20 Mule Team Borax plus some baking soda.

    I'm estimating that it will take roughly 20 cups of Washing Soda (or pH Up) to get your pH up into the 7's and that your TA will then be around 50 but this very much depends on how much carbon dioxide is still in the water. You should not add this all at once. Add 4 cups at a time until your pH gets into the 7's (wait about a half hour between additions if you have reasonable circulation in your pool). Always add concentrated chemicals slowly over a return flow with the pump running.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Quote Originally Posted by Laural663 View Post
    When I got up this morning I thought I saw a little bit of algae in the shallow end. I was so tempted to add some bleach. The Kreepy Krawly must have gotten while I was at work.
    While I was doing the tests, I noticed some really nasty slimmy stuff on the side of the pool. I know I am making the right choice doing this change out. My husband didn't agree with me until I made him read the posts from Chem Geek on the lack of sanitation.
    By the way, a copper-only system such as EcoSmarte should primarily be seen as an algae inhibiting system so it is ironic that in spite of the copper in the pool you still get some algae. The slime may be Pseudomonas aeruginosa where copper does not affect some phenotypes.

    As for sanitation, even with a better disinfecting copper/silver combo system we don't try and scare people into thinking that they are putting their lives at risk -- the way that "alternative" sites try to do against using chlorine. The risks in typically low bather-load residential pools are rather low even if there isn't any disinfectant (the same cannot be said for spas, however, nor for high bather-load pools as with many commercial/public pools), but when one looks statistically at hundreds to thousands of pools then the differences become much more important. Gastrointestinal illness is not fun. And yes, there are some rarer but much more dangerous diseases that can occur when there is not adequate disinfection (and on hot tub sites I've spoken personally to several people with such serious problems as hot tub lung and Legionnaire's Disease).

    We promote chlorine disinfection not because we believe that one must get to zero risk, but rather that a properly managed chlorine pool can simultaneously get such risk to extremely low levels while also keeping side effects of such chlorine usage to a minimum. It's all about rational balance.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Thanks Chem geek,
    I removed a significant amount of water in the last 2 days and tested everything yesterday and today just to see if I am seeing any differences in the balance.
    I really didn't see any changes in any of the readings from the initial one. I am starting to think my copper testing kit may not be reliable.
    I was so worried about a problem with algae bloom I put 2 gallons of bleach in the water last night just in case I used the pool math calculator with the readings I got yesterday.
    I did get a FC reading of 1 this afternoon.
    Here are the readings I got this afternoon.
    CU .5
    PH <6.8
    C 0
    FC 1
    CC 0
    CH - adding the R10 and R11l turned the water pink not read. the R12 turned it purple no blue.
    TA R0007 & R0008 turned the water red.
    CYA - The dot never disappeared
    That is strange what you said about the TA. I have rarely added any acid in the two years we have had this system. I had no idea the low PH was bad for my liner. I had to replace it because the pool store had me shock it extremely high a couple of years ago and it started to ripple.



    Okay in your post you said to add the Arm & Hammer washing soda. I have some Soda Ash. I probably have had it a while. Can I still use it?

    The water is crystal clear right now.
    thanks
    Last edited by Laural663; 05-31-2015 at 08:04 PM. Reason: added comment on PH and TA
    Laura663

    25,900 IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, 300lbs,
    Flotec 1hp, Kreepy Crawly, new liner in 2013
    N. AL

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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Yes, the Soda Ash is the same chemical. Go ahead and use it, especially since the TA and pH are still low. Go slow so you don't overdo it, but get started right away.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    I am moving towards the soda ash now.
    thanks
    Laura663

    25,900 IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, 300lbs,
    Flotec 1hp, Kreepy Crawly, new liner in 2013
    N. AL

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    Re: Converting from EcoSmarte to TFP

    Good evening
    Well I added all soda ash I had on hand last night. It came to a total of about 16 cups.
    I checked the PH this morning and didn't really see any movement.
    I bought all the super soda wash Wal-Mart had at lunch today. When I got home started adding the soda wash. I added about 5 cups and waited about an hour and a half and ran the PH and TA test. Still no movement on the PH. TA was 30.
    So I am making progress.
    I added 4 more cups.
    I've added a total of about 24 cups of soda
    Should I be monitoring anything else?
    should I go ahead and work the pool math and add chlorine?
    The pool is still clear but we have had alot of rain since yesterday.
    Laura663

    25,900 IG Vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, 300lbs,
    Flotec 1hp, Kreepy Crawly, new liner in 2013
    N. AL

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