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Thread: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

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    Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Hi, Just joined the forum, having read all the info over the last few weeks. I appreciate you taking a look and helping out. It is a bit of a long back story, so please be patient

    I am from UK, and moved to USA 4 years ago. Originally to AZ, but last 2 years in Florida - because my little girl needs numerous surgeries on her leg.

    With that in mind, 4 weeks ago, she under went major leg surgery where she has 11 metal pins through her flesh and inter her bones on her leg. This means open wounds for the next 8 months. As part of Physical therapy, playing in a pool is recommended, particularly a salt water one.

    I have had a pool company the whole time, but due to the importance of the pool needing to be right, I decided to do some checking. I was never happy with them anyway - they seemed to spend 3 minutes per week at my pool for $120 p/m and I had a big row when they charged me $1200 for a new T-9 cell and install ( at the time I knew nothing about pools , but saw that they cost 300 buck to buy, so asked them to justify the $900 install charge, ended up agreeing on $600). I also noticed that they always put chucks on Chlorine tablets in the pool on a floater thing - did not know why with a SWG pool.

    Anyway, I took a pool sample to a pool place that does free testing, and spent 2 hours with them trying to learn all about pools. My levels were - FC 12, ALK 50, CYA 30, Salt 2200, Phosphates 400 , PH 8.2 , CH 80.

    Firstly, as the Aquabrite said salt was at 3200 - I checked that with Hayward support and PCB seemed broken, so I got that replaced for $400 bucks.

    Through literally 10 trips over 2 weeks to pool store,, each with testing, I added 80lb of salt which raised the level from 2200 to 3200, added gallon of stabilizer taking it to 90, 35lb of Calcium taking CH to 290, Phosfree taking it to 100, 6 cups of acid to drop PH to 7.4. I replaced filter with Leslie PA90.

    After 3 weeks of adjusting and testing , back and forth, these levels seemed good - except FC was still over 10ppm. Could not figure it out, until , I did weekly clean and saw lumps of Chlorine tablets in my skimmer basket - the pool people came round after cancelling them, and put them in there - apparently they did not get the phone message.

    Anyway, I then kept get too varied readings in the pool place , depending on who did the test, from just one day to the next. My gut instinct was that they were not really as knowledgeable as I first thought. Then I started online research , learned all I could and then found this great place

    I bought the Taylor 2006 test kit and am getting different results to the pool place. I also use a test strip as it seems accurate to my eye for FC and PH, do not use it for any of the other readings.

    I have run 5 tests with the Taylor kit and starting to get some consistency. I also bought a high end bacteria test kit, due to importance, because of those open wounds - I tested last week and it was all clear.

    I am not exactly sure on pool size - measured numerous times , but it is free flow shape 3 ft to 6 feet deep , about 30 ft long and 15 ft wide. Pool person who installed new PCB on control panel said it was 15k as that was common in my area of Florida and he looks after many many pools.

    Here are the readings I have been getting last week or so with Taylor test kit:

    FC - 7.5-8
    CC - 0 (although today got VERY faint pink with the single drop for CC test, so less than .5 , probably .2 )
    CYA - 50-60 (Find this test SO hard as I am not exactly sure what the vanishing point is. It goes faint, then if I loo away and focus hard I can see it again, so I add more and more ) it seems SO subjective ! I like the test strip thing as it is clear, at least the shade of orange , changing to pink gives an indication. ) Any thought on how to accurately do this test ? thx
    PH - 7.4 - 7.8 - happy with this and pretty consistent each time. I add about 1 cup of acid per week , and that seems to work
    CH- now at about 475 ppm ! pool people were WAY of on there recommendation on this one.
    ALK - was at 80 for last month, today read 60 - might need to retest, seems odd.

    Yesterday, after reading on here about pool pup running times, I changed my timer from 10 hours per day, to six , and increased the dial from 25% to 45% output. I roughly figured 1 HP pump is about 50GMP , with 15k pool , that is one full cycle per day - is this correct?

    I am not sure what my pool is made out of , I have attached pictures.

    So I guess my questions are:

    Should I mess around with any of these things? Or are my levels pretty much ok ?

    I am thinking raise CYA to 75, and ALK to 90. Then keep FC at about 7 ppm (I would to be a bit over cautious on this, and err towards over sanitized)?
    On the plus side, I have no bacteria, no algae , no stinging eyes anymore and the water is so crystal clear and sparkling, I presume I am doing some things right?

    Please advise on what I need to do. It is so important for my little girl.

    many thanks for reading.

    Simon.
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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Welcome to the forum.

    Actually, your pool is in very nice shape. Crystal clear water is what we all strive for and you already have it.

    I would tweak your pool like this.....

    1. Test and post just the CH of your fill water. we don't want your CH to go much higher

    2. Elevate your CYA to 70-75. Don't worry about how hard it is and ESPECIALLY don't trust the strips. You'll get better with that test.

    3. Leave your TA alone. It's fine

    4. Assuming a CYA of 70-75, an FC test of 4-6 is fine. Keep tweaking it until it gets stable.

    5. Work on finding out the gallonage of your pool. The closer you can get, the better.

    6. Enjoy your swim season.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Hey Simon,

    Welcome from another ex-pat from the UK. also living in FL. Whereabouts are you?

    Looks like you are doing really well with the Taylor kit and taking control of your pool. I don't run a SWG but I would say CH needs to be brought down as it looks like you have a plaster pool, and the high CH may lead to scaling of the plaster and the SWG cell. Everything else looks spot on.

    One note on pump runtime - keep experimenting. I'm down to 4 hours currently, with temps at 90 - 92F. I have a screened, 15K pool with 1HP too, but do get a fair amount of shade.

    I would leave TA (ALK) where it is unless you start experiencing pH swings or big rises. I run at 70 pretty consistently, with about 15fl oz MA addition a week.

    Just curious (I have a BSc(Hons) in Microbiology - went straight into computers after graduating though!) - what is the bacteria testkit you purchased?

    Mike
    Built 1980, 19' x 30' almost rectangular, screened 15,000 gal, plaster, Hayward DE 3620 filter (currently using cellulose), Emerson 1081 1HP pump, AquaCal Heatwave SuperQuiet SQ110R heater, Zodiac T5 Cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Dave has you covered! I just wanted to welcome you to TFP and congratulate you on taking over your pool! I know it is important your daughter have safe water when she gets in the pool.
    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: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Thanks Dave,

    I will work on pool size - I will get in it and break it into 4 sections to measure - perhaps the ends as a circle/ 2 to give those volumes, and then the two middle sections into rectangles!
    I will ad some stabilizer , again , a good reason to calc pool volume better.
    I was wondering - is it an exact science in terms of 40lb of salt increasing water by 500ppm per 10k gallons ? If so, seeing as I went from 2200 -3200 ppm with 80lb, could I not use that data - which means my pool is 10k?

    thx
    12k SWG pool, free form. 1HP flotec pump, P90 Leslie's filter. Florida. Taylor 2006 test kit. I think plaster, waiting verification from here.

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Hi Mike,

    I am in Palm Beach Gardens. Having screen really cuts down on cleaning efforts (my AZ pool was a nightmare with no screen).

    test kit is Watersafe test strips - pretty expensive considering you only get 10 tests for 25 bucks - I will only use periodically. Attached a pic . It does not tell you which bacteria might be present (but does test for many coliform and non-coliform bacteria) , E.coli, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Shigella, Enterobacteria etc.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    12k SWG pool, free form. 1HP flotec pump, P90 Leslie's filter. Florida. Taylor 2006 test kit. I think plaster, waiting verification from here.

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Looks like you have chosen a quick and easy to use kit, and cheaper than most per test. If your FC levels are good, you should never need to use it but always good for peace of mind!

    Mike
    Built 1980, 19' x 30' almost rectangular, screened 15,000 gal, plaster, Hayward DE 3620 filter (currently using cellulose), Emerson 1081 1HP pump, AquaCal Heatwave SuperQuiet SQ110R heater, Zodiac T5 Cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    So,

    I have measured again. If I break it up into 3 equal lengths of 10ft, I have the shallow end by the steps 10ft long, by 13ft at widest part and 3ft deep = 390 ft3. Next section is 10ft long, by 13ft wide and ave of 3.5 feet deep - 455 ft3 and last section 10 ft long by 10 feet wide (ave) and ave 6 ft deep - 600 ft3. 1445 total ft 3 is just about 12k gallons. make sense?

    It also ties in with the salt rise I saw from 80lb of salt.

    I guess it is better to err towards 12k gal than 15k gal when using pool calculator tool? easier to add than reduce chemicals, right?

    thx
    12k SWG pool, free form. 1HP flotec pump, P90 Leslie's filter. Florida. Taylor 2006 test kit. I think plaster, waiting verification from here.

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    One other thing I was wondering. I was told by a pool person to set control panel once per week to super chlorinate and leave it there, as it will auto switch off after 24 hours. Should I really shock every week? If so, how many days do I need to wait in order to swim in it ? To me, it makes sense to only super CH it if there is over .5 ppm of CC in test, right?

    If switched to super CH, is there any calculation I can use to calculate how many hours it will take to reach super CH level (I guess what 25ppm?) and then how long it will take to settle back down to my 6-7ppm FC range. thx
    12k SWG pool, free form. 1HP flotec pump, P90 Leslie's filter. Florida. Taylor 2006 test kit. I think plaster, waiting verification from here.

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Pool Person is completely incorrect. Do not raise your FC value to shock or SLAM unless there is a need. The over .5 ppm CC's is an indicator but not a given. The OCLT test (in Pool School) confirms that you have organics in your pool and then it's time to SLAM.

    Good TFPC folks here often go years without SLAMming and then, you shouldn't use your SWG to do it. It really is not capable. You should use liquid chlorine.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Makes sense.

    I plan on doing that test. But want to bring my fc down a bit first , so I can measure .2ppm per drop on test instead of .5ppm per drop. Uses up too many drops right now to try the .2ppm testing accuracy. Thx
    12k SWG pool, free form. 1HP flotec pump, P90 Leslie's filter. Florida. Taylor 2006 test kit. I think plaster, waiting verification from here.

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Ok , did a retest, and have the most accurate readings now:

    FC- 8
    CC - 0
    CYA - 45/50
    TA - 70
    PH - 7.6
    CH - 525

    Pool calculator says my CSI is -0.02 , that is good right?
    It also says I should replace 1/3 of my water to bring CH down. Do I really need to do that, will that not then effect all my other readings?

    I will add 104 oz of liquid stabilizer tonight.
    12k SWG pool, free form. 1HP flotec pump, P90 Leslie's filter. Florida. Taylor 2006 test kit. I think plaster, waiting verification from here.

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    If your pool was filled with the same water you will be adding then that will not help bring the CH down. You would have to fill with water that has no CH or at least very low. Have you tested your fill water?
    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: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Oh, I see. I have not tested fill water!!

    I just assumed it was so high because I added about 35lb of calcium to my pool 3 weeks ago, on the advice of the pool store. Will test fill water. brb
    12k SWG pool, free form. 1HP flotec pump, P90 Leslie's filter. Florida. Taylor 2006 test kit. I think plaster, waiting verification from here.

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    My Fill water is 100ppm CH. So I guest if I drained 40% of pool and filled , that would bring the calcium down.

    However, is that going to throw all the other balances out? And therefore, is it really worth bringing the calcium down to 350/400 from 525 when you consider how everything else is almost where I want it?

    thx
    12k SWG pool, free form. 1HP flotec pump, P90 Leslie's filter. Florida. Taylor 2006 test kit. I think plaster, waiting verification from here.

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Yes, if you replace water it is going to change everything else ... your CYA and salt will drop by 40%, pH and TA may change, etc.

    Your CH is not really too terribly high, so I would let it ride for now, maybe replace water in the winter. Just keep your pH in range and your CSI near 0.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Ok. Plus, it is coming to rainy season in FL , so will be plenty of fresh water coming along soon.
    12k SWG pool, free form. 1HP flotec pump, P90 Leslie's filter. Florida. Taylor 2006 test kit. I think plaster, waiting verification from here.

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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    That is certainly true.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    Hi,

    Added the liquid stabilizer last night and ran pump overnight , now readings are (have couple of questions):
    fc - 8
    cc - turns VERY slightly , hardly noticeable pink with the 5 drops for the test, then goes clear again with the one drop of the 8071 (what shade of pink indicates CC and does the light shade with the fact it goes clear again with just one drop of the agent, mean it is just a trace - less than .5?)
    CYA - 80
    TA - 85
    PH - 7.6 - what should I get this down to (7.2/7.3 ?)
    CH - 525 - decided not worth ruining all the work I have done, by diluting pool to get this down

    Other that reducing my dial from 40% output to what 30% (what drop to get from 8ppm to 6ppm ) or is it just trail and error?

    Also , what is the advantage of having 6ppm FC instead of current 8? what effect on other balance numbers does higher FC have?

    thanks for ongoing help !
    12k SWG pool, free form. 1HP flotec pump, P90 Leslie's filter. Florida. Taylor 2006 test kit. I think plaster, waiting verification from here.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Torrid journey - need a sanity check

    If the CC clears in one drop, call it 0.5ppm and forget about it.

    SWG output is trial and error.

    The higher FC will not hurt anything.The SWG will not work as hard if it is lower though.
    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
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