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Thread: First time pool user

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    clayton nc

    First time pool user

    Hello I have been reading quite a bit on your forum but still have several questions and still fee "lost". we purchased a 12x30 metal frame intex pool and put it up this weekend, we intend to take it down at the end of each season. I went to the pool school tab and read about seasonal pools and tried to follow the directions as best I could but our local walmart did not have ANY of the items suggested to use except the 2 way tester which tests ph and chlorine.

    I did my first test Sunday evening and the PH was high and chlorine at 0. I added PH increaser by Clorox pool and spa (only option at walmart) and added powdered chlorine (also by clorox) per directions to get levels where they need to be. I adjusted and re-tested and both levels were fine.

    I re-tested last night and the chlorine level was bascially back to 0 and ph was good.

    I am at a loss...can someone please help me get an idea of what I need to do? Where to start?

    In the pool school it says to get CYA up to do I continue to test this with a 2 way tester? Also is there something I can use besides CYA if not available around me or do I have to order online?

    Also, how can I keep my chlorine level from being fine at night to dropping to zero, or is this due to lack of CYA?

    I can retest again tonight if you need numbers. I can't afford to buy a very expensive tester right so I will have to make the 2 way work if I can!

    Thank you!
    12x30 intex metal frame round pool

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Columbia, SC

    Re: First time pool user

    Welcome to TFP!!

    If the pool is in the sun, you will loose all the chlorine every day until you get CYA in the water to protect it. But remember, even with CYA you will be adding some chlorine each day.

    Until you get a test kit, you are going to have to keep track of what you add to the pool and calculate it via Pool Math. I'm not saying every WalMart has it, but most have a seasonal pool section, usually by the back door to the garden area. This is where you would find CYA if they have it.

    If not, you are looking for any solid chlorine product (tabs or granules) that have Trichlor or Dichlor on the list of ingredients. Those both contain and add CYA to the pool. At the bottom of pool math there is a calculator to see what effects certain additions to the pool will have. If you use Trichlor or Dichlor you will have to track how much and calculate your CYA level that way. Not perfect, but as close as you are going to get without a test kit.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio

    Re: First time pool user

    Welcome! Most important and probably why you are confused ....The proper test kit is everything. Why? Because we've all learned (from personal experience) you cannot reply on pool store tests, test strips, or simple over-the-counter kits. They don't read Free Chlorine (FC) or Cyanuric Acid (CYA) levels accurately or to the high levels we need. We strongly urge that you order a recommended test kit like the TF-100 link below. It will save you a lot of time and headaches. Right now, any testing you are trying to do is really almost guessing with those test products. So lets do this for now assuming you get a real test kit ordered:
    You need some CYA (stabilizer). It protects the good chlorine (FC). Suggest using the poolmath calculator link below, plug-in your pool volume, and CYA "NOW and TARGET" numbers. Since you already put some powdered chlorine in your pool, try a target CYA of 30 for now.

    As for FC, it WILL disappear quickly because you have no CYA to protect it, but you need some. So again, using the poolmath calculator, try to put enough liquid bleach in your pool to start right around 2ppm. Later when you get CYA it will go slightly higher.

    That's your biggest focus right now to prevent an algae outbreak. If you order the kit today, you might have it by the weekend.

    This is just to get you started. Also take a moment to read the other links in my sig below. They are the foundation for everything you need to do. Welcome!
    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
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: First time pool user


    Without any CYA to protect the chlorine from the sun, you will lose it all in a couple hours of daylight. There is no substitute for CYA. It is what it is. Walmarts generally sell it. So do Lowes and Home Depot, any pool store, and a lot of hardware stores. The other option is to chlorinate with dichlor or trichlor powders or pucks. They will slowly raise CYA levels. Can you check the label on that powdered clorox stuff and tell us what it is? If you bought dichlor or trichlor, we could figure this out.
    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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