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Thread: New to pool care

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    New to pool care

    We purchased a home with a pool about 3 years ago. Pool was 1 year old at that time. Have always had the guy who built/installed pool maintain it. Wanting to start doing it on my own now to save a little money. Currently, he's having me use Tri chlor tabs in chlorinator and dy-chlor for shocking. After initial opening (roughly 20 lbs of dy-chlor over several days) pool cleared up and remains clear today. However, I am concerned about not getting a reading for chlorine when testing. So I took sample to pool store and below are results:
    TC-.3
    FC-0
    TA-230
    Adj TA-203
    hardness-330
    CYA-91
    PH-7.8
    I plugged all these into the pool math site and it showed I needed 2 jugs of 8.25 bleach to get FC from 0 to 12. We have 4 kids and had lots of swimmers yesterday so I put 3 full jugs (121 oz each) last night. Still tested 0 is morning. I am suspecting the issue is due to the high CYA and I may just need to drain half the pool?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    25x16 rectangular in ground pool with vinyl liner (14,000 gal). Sta-Rite sand filter. 1HP single speed Max-E-Pro pump. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Task's Avatar
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    Re: New to pool care

    Hi and welcome to the forum. I'm not one of the pros on here as I've only been maintaining a pool for the past two years. First things first, stay out of the pool store. Their test results are unreliable and often just flat out wrong. If your CYA is truely 91, you will have to do a partial drain and refill. Unfortunately, you won't know exactly what your CYA is until you get some reliable test results. We recommend one of the test kits sold at tftestkits.net. I personally use the TF100 and highly recommend it. Your CYA is most likely much higher then 91 if you've been using tri chlor for chlorination. Again, you'll need reliabe tests to know for sure. Tri chlor and di chlor are only adding more CYA to the water so stop using those immediately as well. In the meantime, I'd say you should make it a priority to purchase one of the recommended test kits (it will save you loads of money in the long term) and until you received your kit, just add a couple gallons of normal, scent free, household bleach each day until you can get some reliable results.

    You should also click on the pool school link at the top of the forum page and do some reading so you can get a better understanding of the methods taught on this site.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
    TFTestKits, Pool School, ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Chlorine/CYA Chart, PoolMath

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    Re: New to pool care

    I ordered the Taylor K1000 and K2006 for home testing. They are supposed to be here Tuesday. I will then use those and see what the readings are. Is draining the only way to decrease CYA? So I should keep putting bleach in daily or is that just a waste??
    25x16 rectangular in ground pool with vinyl liner (14,000 gal). Sta-Rite sand filter. 1HP single speed Max-E-Pro pump. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: New to pool care

    You're only "wasting" bleach if you add too much of it OVER the level we suggest for your cya level---the excess burns off too quickly. Use the Target level for your cya in the chlorine/cya chart in Pool School. CYA does NOT evaporate. Water replacement is the solution.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: New to pool care

    Draining and refilling is the only way to reduce CYA. There are some products on the market that claim to reduce CYA, however, you will find some reviews of those products in the section "The Deep End" of this forum and the results are pretty mixed. I have yet to read a single review in which CYA was reduced significantly in any of those topics. Draining and refilling is your best option.

    I suggest adding a gallon or two of bleach until your kit comes. I'd lean more toward 2 gallons considering the possibility that your CYA is so high. Once you get some solid test results from your Taylor K2006, we can help direct you a little better.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
    TFTestKits, Pool School, ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Chlorine/CYA Chart, PoolMath

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    Re: New to pool care

    Thanks. I will post my results as soon as I get my kit


    25x16 rectangular in ground pool with vinyl liner (14,000 gal). Sta-Rite sand filter. 1HP single speed Max-E-Pro pump. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: New to pool care

    So...how do pool owners maintain their pools year after year using tri chlor? Do they just drain their pool every year? If it keeps adding CYA and CYA stays in the pool until draining??


    25x16 rectangular in ground pool with vinyl liner (14,000 gal). Sta-Rite sand filter. 1HP single speed Max-E-Pro pump. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: New to pool care

    Welcome to TFP Nate!
    Quote Originally Posted by Nate1975 View Post
    So...how do pool owners maintain their pools year after year using tri chlor? Do they just drain their pool every year? If it keeps adding CYA and CYA stays in the pool until draining??
    Some do drain a large enough amount each year that their CYA stays in check. Often their pool is closed with insufficient FC and over the winter bacteria converts the CYA to ammonia and they start their season with no CYA and a HUGE chlorine demand. Typically though they get along just fine for a while. The water looks ok, a little cloudy maybe but not bad enough to complain. They add items such as algaecides or phosphate remover to keep algae at bay. It works for the most part, and certainly has a nice profit margin for the companies that sell them. Eventually though things start to go south. Their pool turns green and after they throw everything at it they can (usually a nice chunk of change spent at the pool store) they are told they have "chlorine lock" and must drain. Thus the cycle starts over.

    But sometimes those people question the advice and end up here. We teach them that "chlorine lock" is pool store speak for "we don't know". We teach how to test the water for yourself and only add what is needed. Then things start to change. A TFP pool looks different than most, a level of clear that seems almost unreal. A TFP pool smells different. It doesn't have a chlorine smell really, smells more like... water. A TFP pool owner typically also has to buy a new wallet since a lot more money is staying in there than used to be.

    So it is possible to manage a pool using pucks and algae preventatives, many people do it. The TFPC method however, leads to better water quality with lower cost of maintenance. Give it a shot, learn how to use your k-2006 when you get it, and see for yourself. Even if you are new to pool care you will see a difference. When, in the hottest days of summer, everyone else that owns a pool is complaining about their green pool you will be very happy you found this site!
    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
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: New to pool care

    You mentioned ammonia. If it was ammonia issue then would my CYA be low. Is ammonia something I should test for before draining?


    25x16 rectangular in ground pool with vinyl liner (14,000 gal). Sta-Rite sand filter. 1HP single speed Max-E-Pro pump. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: New to pool care

    The telltale signs of an ammonia problem are very low FC, very high CC, and near zero CYA. Although I don't trust pool store results, your numbers don't indicate an ammonia problem. Most likely it is just overstabilization coupled with stuff growing in the low FC environment. Nothing unusual for new members to the site (most of us used to use trichlor too) and once you confirm the situation with your own test results it is fairly straightforward to correct.
    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
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: New to pool care

    So just curious...if I were to keep putting in a jug of bleach every couple days and operate as is could I get by until closing (3 or 4 months) when I have to drain down anyway? Or will I soon see an algae bloom here if not corrected fairly quickly?


    25x16 rectangular in ground pool with vinyl liner (14,000 gal). Sta-Rite sand filter. 1HP single speed Max-E-Pro pump. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: New to pool care

    Very few problems in life get better by ignoring them. Your pool is no different.
    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
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: New to pool care

    I understand the issue needs corrected. Just wondering if it's something that can be managed for now or if I am risking a big mess down the road by not resolving immediately. Again, I am new to this and curious as to why my water has stayed clear even with this issue.


    25x16 rectangular in ground pool with vinyl liner (14,000 gal). Sta-Rite sand filter. 1HP single speed Max-E-Pro pump. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: New to pool care

    Just got my Taylor K-2006 test kit and according to that my CYA is 60. Still no chlorine. Now I am really confused. I was sure that it was going to be sky high and ready to drain pool half way. Now what??


    25x16 rectangular in ground pool with vinyl liner (14,000 gal). Sta-Rite sand filter. 1HP single speed Max-E-Pro pump. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: New to pool care

    The first thing you should do is be thankful you didn't drain half of your pool based on pool store test results.

    Would you mind posting a full set of results so we can give you an idea if there is anything vital to hit first? Assuming everything is in good standing, the next step will be to SLAM your pool: Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain. This will eliminate anything that is growing and allow you to maintain a chlorine reading going forward.

    Please keep in mind that a CYA of 60 is still pretty high, manageable but you do not want it to go any higher. If you are still using trichlor then your CYA is going to rise and you will need to either continue raising your minimum FC level or risk more problems in the future.
    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
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: New to pool care

    PH is 7.8
    Alkalinity is 200
    Do I need to test hardness?


    25x16 rectangular in ground pool with vinyl liner (14,000 gal). Sta-Rite sand filter. 1HP single speed Max-E-Pro pump. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: New to pool care

    Here is the info we are looking for to do a full assessment of your situation. Pool School - Read This BEFORE You Post

    BTW, it is important to keep your chlorine level above the minimum level for your CYA so that your pool is sanitized and algae doesn't start growing. Chlorine CYA Chart

    Here are some of my fave Pool School articles in case you missed any of them.
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals and how to add them.
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
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    Re: New to pool care

    Should I drain down the pool a little so I am starting with a CYA in the recommended range?


    25x16 rectangular in ground pool with vinyl liner (14,000 gal). Sta-Rite sand filter. 1HP single speed Max-E-Pro pump. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: New to pool care

    Nate, after reviewing your last few posts, I see where you received your Taylor K2006, but have not yet posted all the numbers we need to help you. Example, we always need to see: FC, CC, PH, TA, CYA for sure. CH (hardness) is nice to know but not the most important right now since you have a vinyl liner. From your post yesterday, your PH is on the high end of the scale (7.5 - 7.8) You don't want it to go any higher. TA is high at 200. You can use the Poolmath calculator to adjust those down a bit over time with muriatic acid. If you do, don't let the PH get too low. Also, you didn't provide any FC (free chlorine) or CC (combined chlorine) results, and that's critical to know right now.

    Do you need to drain the pool right now? Personally I'd say no. We'll see what others say. It's over the recommended 50, but I don't believe it's at a critical stage right now where you "must" drain. If you did your CYA correctly (perhaps do it one more time to make sure), then at 60 some of it will eventually be lost due to splash-out and just re-filling your pool during the summer. If you removed any/all pool store pucks, tablets, and are NOT using their "bags of shock", then that CYA should not go up any more.
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    Re: New to pool care

    FC is 0 and CC is .5



    25x16 rectangular in ground pool with vinyl liner (14,000 gal). Sta-Rite sand filter. 1HP single speed Max-E-Pro pump. Pool owner since 2013.

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