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Thread: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Hi! I am very glad to have found TFP. We've had an above ground pool that we bought used and have been enjoying for the last few years.

    Figuring out what amount of chemicals to add to my pool and how to interpret testing has been a challenge. I have done the best I could with limited information and periodic struggles with the green monster, though have always managed to get the pool back to clear. The last year we had the pool up I tried using bromine, with no real direction on how to do it. Somehow the pool stayed clear, but I am not sure why, because it doesn't seem I ever had enough bromine in it (I seem to remember using algaecide and shocking regularly).

    This year I decided to do some extended research and was delighted to come upon your site. All of a sudden, many of the questions I have always had are being answered! I love Pool School and have read all the basic articles. I have ordered the TF testkit 100 and should get it by next week.

    Here is where I am at now. I am giving up on bromine for this year. I would like to get a SWG but can't afford it at this point in time. So it is back to chlorine. Until I get the new test kit, I tested with my old test kit (Aqua Chem). I am not sure how helpful it is because the chemicals are at least a few years old. What I got was FC 0, PH 7.2, TA 40, CH 0. Don't have a way to test CYA right now.

    My question is, what should I do while I wait for the new test kit? I know I need to be adding chlorine/bleach. I am not sure if I should try to raise the PH or add stabilizer or raise total alkalinity without knowing if my test kit is accurate.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Hi Robyn and welcome! For now, the best thing to do is to simply add about 1/2 gallon of bleach a day to your water to maintain your FC and keep things "at-bay" for now. No sense adding more chlorine than that for now since we don't know your CYA. When you receive your kit, post your new numbers and we'll go from there.

    Oh, and since you will need to SLAM, try to keep your PH at 7.2. That's the ideal starting point for SLAM. Also remove any pucks or tablets you may have in there (if any), and do not put any more store products (algaecide, bags of sock, etc) in the pool either. We look forward to assisting you more! Welcome!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and read and re-read the SLAM page (link below) along with the Chlorine /CYA chart also below. You will be referencing those throughout the SLAM.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Welcome to TFP!
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    HELLO! You are going to love it here! We have you so covered you will save money and time! Here is a good link for you about changing over to chlorine.

    While you are waiting for your test kit go price shopping to find your best price for bleach/chlorine. Some find it at Walmart with their greater value plain bleach. Others find it at their pool store. Sams has a good price on their 3 pack of bleach. Shop around. Make sure it is fresh and check the % to make sure it is worth while.

    Kim
    Last edited by kimkats; 06-11-2015 at 05:22 PM. Reason: Took the link out. It was the wrong one.
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Welcome to TFP!

    Quote Originally Posted by RobynA
    I am not sure if I should try to raise the PH or add stabilizer or raise total alkalinity without knowing if my test kit is accurate.
    Since your kit is on order and you'll likely have it in a day or two, I wouldn't fiddle with anything right now. Just add ~ 1/2 gallon of 8.25% bleach per day until your kit arrives. When your kit arrives, test and post the results.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    I'll just say welcome

    I have no clue how the residual Bromine in the water is going to affect things. Hopefully someone who knows will chime in.
    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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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Here is a good link for you about changing over to chlorine.

    Pool School - Convert Your Baqua Pool to Chlorine
    The procedure above is for converting a pool using Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB, not bromine. Do not follow that -- it won't work.

    When you used bromine in your pool did you use bromine tabs or did you just add a sodium bromide (granules) product and then add an oxidizer such as chlorine or non-chlorine shock (MPS)?
    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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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    The procedure above is for converting a pool using Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB, not bromine. Do not follow that -- it won't work.

    When you used bromine in your pool did you use bromine tabs or did you just add a sodium bromide (granules) product and then add an oxidizer such as chlorine or non-chlorine shock (MPS)?
    + 1

    Not the same thing at all.
    TFP Moderator
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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Thanks everyone!

    Just to be clear, I used the bromine two years ago. I live in northwest Washington and so our pool is only a summer pool, so we just put it up for this year. So no need to worry about bromine, none used this year.

    Also, haven't used any products in the pool yet this year, so will just add the bleach and wait for the test kit to arrive, probably middle of next week. Oh, and I'll keep checking the PH as well.

    So far, the water is still sparkling clear, but no one has used it yet.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    The issue is that "once a bromine pool, always a bromine pool" because the bromine when used/consumed becomes bromide salt and when you add an oxidizer such as chlorine it gets used up back to chloride and turns bromide to bromine. In other words, when you add chlorine it becomes bromine.

    The only way to get rid of the bromine from your pool is either through a water change or if you didn't use bromine tabs and didn't use too much bromine, you may be able to outgas it over time through aeration.
    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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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Thanks chem geek. I do understand that once a bromine pool always a bromine pool.

    We have an above ground pool that is taken down and put away for the winter, then set up again in the summer and filled with fresh water. Being in the Pacific Northwest, there is a small window for an above ground unheated pool, basically June through September (when we are lucky!). Last year was a cool summer so we didn't even put it up, looks to be the opposite this year!
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Ok, got my new test kit, have been doing the minimum. No bleach added Wednesday.

    Here are the results: K1000 test kit chlorine .5 ppm & PH 6.8. Other tests FC .5, CC 1.5, TC 2.0 CH 50, TA 40, CYA 0.

    Could someone walk me through how I start "fixing" the pool. The water looks clean, very small amount of dirt in small spots on the bottom.

    I know I need to get the PH up before I start slamming the pool and would appreciate recommendations on the best way to do that.

    Also, since there is no CYA present, I know I need to raise the levels. If I can't find the solid cyanuric acid in town and have to order it, is it okay to start with adding liquid CYA and how should I do that?

    Also, should people stay out of the pool the whole time I am slamming?

    Thanks so much.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Robyn, here are some answers to your questions:
    - In preperation for your SLAM, you want the PH at 7.2 and CYA as close to 30 as possible. Increase PH with washing soda or soda ash. Use the poolmath calculator based on your pool volume to determine the exact amount; the CYA is increased with granular stabilizer in a sock near a return, or liquid stabilizer (more expensive)
    - Usually you can find the granular stabilizer at Wal-Mart (got some last night), or local home improvement stores. You can get it at a local pool store too if needed. If you have to add liquid, just pour it in wihth your pump running for 30 min.
    - It is safe to be in the water as long as your water is between the minimum FC level and you SLAM FC number. Once you go "over" the SLAM FC level, you should not be in the water.
    - While you want your CYA close to 30 to SLAM, continue to add about 1/2 gallon of liquid bleach per day just so things don't get worse.

    Hope this helps.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Yes, I am going to do that today. Thanks.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Disregard this post, pump was sitting on something that was making it rattle. All fixed now! So I am adding my chemicals now.

    Okay, new problem with adding chemicals. My pump is making a funny clanking noise so I don't think i should run it until I can get someone to look at it. Hopefully our land mate can do that tomorrow morning. Can I at least add bleach, by pouring it in around the pool and then mixing it up with a pole? We are coming up on a very hot weekend and everyone is going to want to be in the pool. If I dissolve the borax first, can I add that in the same way?

    Thanks.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Robyn just in case your pump messed up or you cannot turn it on-----------------make sure you have a straw broom. That makes a great stirrer if you need it for the pool.

    I am glad it was an easy fix!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Thanks for the suggestion Kim. I do have a couple of straw brooms around.

    I do have a question about the CYA. Texas Splash, you said to put the CYA in a sock near the return. In pool school I read to put it in a sock in the skimmer basket ( Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals ). My return is low down on the pool so there is no real way to attach the sock near that. Right now I have it inside of the the skimmer basket, to the side (so it doesn't fill the whole basket and slow down the flow of water through the skimmer).
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    CYA in skimmer-if you need to backwash right after adding it you will flush most of it out. BUT if I am reading your filter right it looks like it is a cartridge filter so you should be good.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    RobynA's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Yes it is a cartridge filter. Thanks.
    Robyn A
    16' D round AG vinyl pool (set up in June and taken down in Sept every year), 5300 gallons, 200 sq. ft., Splash Pak Element Filter System (cartridge), with a Magnetek 1081/1795 Century Pool Jetted Tub Motor, single speed. Filter system dated Feb. 1995.
    Used pool. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: New to TFP, what do I do while I wait for my new test kit

    Being in a sock in the skimmer, it will mostly dissolve and not get caught as much in the filter. That's how I add CYA in my pool (though I use an old T-shirt in the skimmer) and I have a cartridge filter. I'm usually able to dissolve it running the pump continuously and it only takes less than a day.

    If one pours CYA directly into the skimmer to get caught in the filter to dissolve, it will dissolve MUCH more slowly. How slowly depends on the type of filter. Cartridge filters would be the slowest since they have the lowest per filter area flow rate of any filter. With 48 GPM through my 340 square foot oversized cartridge filter, the water velocity through the filter area is less than 1/4" per minute. Compare that to the effective filtration area for a sand filter of 3-4 square feet, so 100 times faster water velocity (2 feet per minute or 0.4" per second) or a DE filter of 30-50 square feet so 7-11 times faster water velocity (about 2.5" per minute). The water velocity through a skimmer at 15 GPM and 6" diameter is 123" per minute (2" per second) though the flow will be restricted going through a sock or T-shirt (but is still much faster than through the cartridge or DE filters -- the sand filter is somewhat more comparable).
    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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