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Thread: New and Just Starting

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    New and Just Starting

    Hi, new pool owner here. I inherited a bad one to start off with lol. I have an above ground book 24 round with sand filter. It's been neglected for at least 2 years. I started Wednesday trying to get it right. I've gotten most of the leaves and debris out blindly. It's to the point where I may get a leaf or two on a couple of passes. However there is a lot of brown gunk that swirls around, but can't see to try and vacuum the bottom and risk messing something up. I have the cheap test kit for now and here are my current readings:

    CL - .5
    pH - 7.0
    Alkalinity - 120
    Hardness - 200
    CYA - 30

    This morning my CL was at 3 and pH at 7.8. Alkalinity was at 80. Hardness unchanged and CYA at 30 as well. I went the pool store (I know rookie move) and was told all I needed was to add baking soda to get my pH up and I would be fine. We'll I did and my pH and Alkanity went up, but chlorine just dissappeared.

    So my question is how to I keep my pH and Chlorine stable? I have 8 tablets in the chlorinator now and 3 in the pool floating. I've used 7 lbs of granulated shock up until this point.

    I read in pool store to use Borax for pH, Baking soda for Alkanity, and bleach for chlorine. Should I stop using the granulated shock and switch to bleach now or what? Just a little lost on what to do since pH and CL are not stable.

    First pic is when I started and did nothing. 2nd is from yesterday, not much change today.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Welcome!

    Those pucks you added are very acidic, that's why the pH is dropping.
    Those pucks also add CYA, which you want, but not so much just yet.

    The sludge in the bottom of the pool and the algae that has the water green is what's using up your chlorine. You will never get FC to hold until you kill the algae off faster than it can reproduce. It didn't turn green in two days, it won't get clear again in two, either. Consider how long it takes to spill a glass of milk against how long it takes to clean it up. Same principle.

    Other will no doubt chime in soon with lots of links to pool school articles and exhorting you to SLAM the pool. I'm too weary of that constant repetition, so I'll do what I prefer. Go read some of the threads in Recovering my old inspirational links - Page 2 and scroll through and look at the before and after pictures. You'll see it can be done. Just do what they did and you can have what they have.

    Depending on what test kit you have, you might be able to just add TFTestkits.net to round things 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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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Let me second that welcome! Take lots of pics now because we want this to be another success story in a week or two. Wow! Okay, here's some info to get you rolling:
    Priority #1 - 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. See the TF-100 link below.

    Understand the you will need to SLAM (link below), but here is the meat & potatoes of it:

    Please understand the TFP method does not simply "shock" or "super-chlorinate" a pool as typically advised by the local pool store. We do what's called "SLAM". SLAM is significantly different than an overnight “spike” in chlorine, and can take a few days (perhaps even a week or two) to properly complete. The recommended test kit is extremely important to properly conduct a SLAM.

    SLAM is the term used when we “Shock” our pool to a higher “Level” of Free Chlorine (FC) and “Maintain” it that way until 3 objectives are met:
    1. Water is clear
    2. You do not lose any more than 1ppm of FC overnight (that's the OCLT)
    3. CC (Combined Chlorine) is <.5
    ** You MUST meet ALL 3 items above to properly do a SLAM. Simply “spiking" the FC higher than normal isn't SLAMming, therefore there’s a good chance your algae will return.

    To prepare for a SLAM, you should do the following:
    - Adjust PH to 7.2 - 7.5; don’t worry about it after that during the SLAM
    - Ideal CYA should be 30; the higher the CYA, the more bleach required (TF-100 test kit required for this)
    - Have a good amount of “regular” liquid bleach on-hand to keep your FC high at all times

    Use the Chlorine/CYA chart (link in my sig) to bring your FC up to the proper SLAM level rating based on your current CYA and make sure it stays there (MAINTAIN) until you meet ALL 3 criteria listed above! That may take just a few days or even a week or two! That is absolutely critical for success.

    At the same time, continue to run your pump 24/7. Remove any “muck” and debris, scrub all parts of your pool to expose any algae, and vacuum/clean (or backwash) filter as necessary. You may have to do this several times. It's a lot of babysitting, but with patience and consistency, you will succeed.

    Okay, that's a lot for now. But order the test kit, read-up on SLAM, and let us know as soon as it arrives. We'll help every step of the way.
    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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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Thanks for the reply guys. I have been looking and searching on this forum and through google since Wednesday to full understand what im doing. Apparently I didnt get it lol.

    Texas Splash thanks for the informative reply. Do I have to order online or will the local pool store have the kit in stock? Also, just to make sure that I am doing the pool math correctly it said I needed my FC level to 12. So if my FC is 0 now and goal is 12 it tells me 348 oz of bleach. Which is 3.6 gallons correct?

    thanks again I am determined and willing already told my daughter I would so no turning back now, right? lol

    One last thing. Is there a way besides a leaf rake to get this debris from the bottom? I have the leaf vacuum, but it seems faster to use the rake. Im sure if I could vacuum the algae from the bottom it would help, but dont want to get leaves as I cant see to know if they are gone.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Not sure about the dose. It depends on how big your pool is. But yes, you used poolmath Now and Targets correctly.

    There is a device called a leaf gulper that uses a garden hose to suck up leaves. Tons of images on google, not sure why we don't have one in the visual encyclopedia. But the leaf rake works pretty good too.

    I might recommend vacuuming to waste, but I have no idea what type of filter you have, so I don't know if that's even a possibility. It helps us tremendously if you fill out your signature.
    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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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New and Just Starting

    You're correct in that you have to order the TF-100 (or Taylor K2006) on line. Most agree you get more value with the TF-100 (reagents). You are also correct that if your CYA is 30, the FC SLAM level would be 12. Be cautious though as we have seen many times CYA readings from pool stores or other vendors are not accurate, so your FC level may change when you get your own test kit. I didn't see your pool capacity (gallons) above, you I couldn't validate on the calculator, but a 10K pool would need 178 oz of 8.25% bleach. So if your pool is larger, it could very well need that much. Buy more though, you will use it and a lot more as you SLAM.

    As for the leaves and muck - yes, use the rake or netting, anything you have. Since you probably can't see the bottom, be careful what you suck-up to avoid any clogs. Some people get creative and have lots of tricks to getting debris up as long as it doesn't hurt the liner. I hope this helps. If you have more questions, please ask.
    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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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Ok updated signature, sorry about that!

    I am going to get 12 gallons of bleach tomorrow and some Borax to get pH up where it needs to be.

    Taylor Troubleshooter Dpd Pool Test Kit Taylor Swimming Pool Accessories 45-1110 - Newegg.com - Will this kit be sufficient?

    Richard, I have this one - Poolmaster HDX Leaf Vacuum-68205 - The Home Depot
    However, the bag fell of today and had to buy a leaf rake today to get it out, lol. Seems quicker to use leaf rake.
    24" Round Above Ground 14000 Gallons, Pentair Sand Dollar Filter, 1.5 HP Pump, K-2006 test kit

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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeffner View Post
    Ok updated signature, sorry about that!

    I am going to get 12 gallons of bleach tomorrow and some Borax to get pH up where it needs to be.

    Taylor Troubleshooter Dpd Pool Test Kit Taylor Swimming Pool Accessories 45-1110 - Newegg.com - Will this kit be sufficient?

    Richard, I have this one - Poolmaster HDX Leaf Vacuum-68205 - The Home Depot
    However, the bag fell of today and had to buy a leaf rake today to get it out, lol. Seems quicker to use leaf rake.
    That kit isn't complete. It won't test Calcium Hardness or CYA and it only measures FC up to 5. And not well, at that. The recommended kits are in Pool School - Test Kits Compared

    With a sand filter, if you have a way to connect a conventional vacuum head and hose to your skimmer, you can move the filter valve to waste and it will suck the crud off the floor and expel it right out the backwash port. No filter clogging, just gone. You'll also lose a few inches of water in the process, but you'd lose a bunch backwashing that filter, too.
    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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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Thanks Richard. That test kit question had me chasing my tail.
    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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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Richard you sir are the man. It does have a waste setting on it, but the waste goes out into a 1 inch pvc pipe underground about 7 feet away. Shouldnt be anything besides leaves as far as I know in there thats all the rake and vacuum picked up anyways. Just wanna make sure nothing is going to clog up that way.

    Dpd Test Kit Complete Taylor Swimming Pool Accessories 45-912 ARRAY - Newegg.com
    Will that kit work? Sorry the numbers don't match up for the kits recommended on those links. I need to order from newegg to get the rush delivery which is why I am referencing from there.
    24" Round Above Ground 14000 Gallons, Pentair Sand Dollar Filter, 1.5 HP Pump, K-2006 test kit

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    Re: New and Just Starting

    newegg shows nothing when FAS-DPD is used as a search term.

    Just order from tftestkits.net It'll ship tomorrow and you'll have it probably by Wednesday. Get the XL option now, so you don't end up like so many "I ran out of powder" threads.

    If the waste pipe clogs, it's nothing a plumbers snake or a drain king can't blow 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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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Just figured I'd update a bit.

    Wife is getting supplies while I am at work and is going to get the pH up by the time I'm home from work.

    Local pool store claims they have the test kit in stock, so if they do will be starting Slam tonight.

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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Ok, I have 2 questions if anyone could answer.

    Does rain do anything to the SLAM process? Rain in the forecast for the next week.

    Second, after I backwash my psi is 10. When I wake up its about 17 and the blower isn't blowing very hard. After I backwash it drops back to 10 and blows what seems to be normal. Just want to be sure that's how it's supposed to function. Ive had to do it 3 times in one day over the weekend.
    24" Round Above Ground 14000 Gallons, Pentair Sand Dollar Filter, 1.5 HP Pump, K-2006 test kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeffner View Post
    Ok, I have 2 questions if anyone could answer.

    Does rain do anything to the SLAM process? Rain in the forecast for the next week.

    Second, after I backwash my psi is 10. When I wake up its about 17 and the blower isn't blowing very hard. After I backwash it drops back to 10 and blows what seems to be normal. Just want to be sure that's how it's supposed to function. Ive had to do it 3 times in one day over the weekend.
    Rain will have very little effect unless it's a major downpour that causes overflowing.

    What you're describing with filter flow and pressure is normal and expected. The filter's doing what it's supposed to - grabbing stuff out of the water so you can backwash it away. Once you get a real algae slaughter going it might need backwashing even more frequently, and then the intervals will stretch out as you gain the upper hand. Once it is cleared, the filter has to hardly do anything and you may go months between cleanings.
    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 and Just Starting

    Well that's good to hear l. Only lost 3 FC over night but didn't get to brush during the process last night due to rain. Guess the real test will be while I'm at work today. If not rain I'll be brushing around trying to see the bottom before I vac no telling what's down there.
    24" Round Above Ground 14000 Gallons, Pentair Sand Dollar Filter, 1.5 HP Pump, K-2006 test kit

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    Re: New and Just Starting



    Ok, so test kit will be here tomorrow. Been using Aquatec strips in the mean time keeping it above 10 while I waited. However, it has stayed this color since Monday now with no change. Is that normal?

    Also, I have gotten virtually all the leaves I can maybe one or two every now and then. And vacuum to waste the gunk on the bottom just sprays out clear now.

    I know you can't tell me anything specific without test results, but figured I'd see some clarity in the water by now. I have no idea what the white foam is either.
    24" Round Above Ground 14000 Gallons, Pentair Sand Dollar Filter, 1.5 HP Pump, K-2006 test kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New and Just Starting

    You're probably not reaching shock level for your CYA level yet. Generally, a pool will go blue-gray in a couple days if things are done right. Without the right test kit, you just don't know. At least it's not getting worse. That foaming means something is happening.
    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 and Just Starting

    OK, so should I add anymore bleach tonight or just wait for kit?
    24" Round Above Ground 14000 Gallons, Pentair Sand Dollar Filter, 1.5 HP Pump, K-2006 test kit

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Wait. You're just stuck in a holding pattern without the prerequisite FAS-DPD tester.
    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!

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: New and Just Starting

    Ok here are my numbers with K-2006

    FC: 15.8
    CC: 2
    pH: 7.2
    TA: 160
    CH: 70
    CYA: could see dot all the way

    Haven't added bleach since yesterday around 4 pm.
    24" Round Above Ground 14000 Gallons, Pentair Sand Dollar Filter, 1.5 HP Pump, K-2006 test kit

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