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Thread: Finally taking pool care seriously

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    Finally taking pool care seriously

    I bought a house with an in ground pool 2 summers ago and haven't done much more than watch the pH and chlorine using a basic kit. However, I've ran into several issues last summer and I'm going to meet this head on as it's looking like things are about to get really expensive.

    A little background:

    I've been using 3" Trichloro tabs from In The Swim and some from HTH (I don't know if there's a difference) but this year I'm switching to bleach after a few suggestions from friends of friends and reading the information here. I have a Hayward sand filter than I haven't done anything with except backwash once a week and a Raypak pool heater. I've had an ongoing struggle with low pH ever since I bought the pool and it never seems to rise into the range I'd like to see. I've added a significant amount of HTH pH plus in the past (I think it's basically soda ash? I don't know) and while that has raised it some, the water becomes very cloudy and most people don't want to swim in it. Last year when I was trying to battle this issue the pool seemed to develop a white film over all the surfaces. It came off rather easily but made the bottom feel slimy. I don't think it was algae as I've made sure to keep the chlorine levels relatively high (not sure if high CYA affects this assumption). This year my pump went bad, my heater is leaking and I've noticed corrosion on the screws around the fixtures in the pool so I'm apparently losing the pH battle. Swimsuits have also turned green lately and while others blamed the chlorine, I'm pretty sure that's not the problem after reading some posts.

    Here's the results of my last test as I remember them. I'll check to see if I made any mistakes when I get back home. I'm always worried that I'm doing these tests wrong but it's expensive doing them over and over again... But so is replacing half of my pool equipment. I've started using a Taylor K-2006 kit.

    FC - Around 5
    pH - Hovering around 7.0 but was much lower (I think I've added 10 lbs of HTH pH plus so far this year)
    TA - 90
    CH - 400? (I stopped because I didn't think I was doing this test correctly. No sudden change like other tests)
    CYA - 80-90 (I tried draining some water and refilling but it takes forever. I need to test again)

    I'm mostly just trying to learn more about pool care. I think I'm already going to pay quite a bit for my negligence (especially regarding pH levels).

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    You have made a good first step in getting a good test kit. Good job!

    Now lets work on your numbers. Please read and reread this link. It is a gold mine for what is what and how to fix the levels.

    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals


    Could you please also read and do this for me?

    Pool School - Getting Started

    It is very helpful so we do not have to go back and forth to different posts.


    Let me know if you have any questions. Most of this stuff can be bought at Walmart or Lowes! You do NOT need to go to the pool store!

    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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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Well I'm still pumping the water off of my pool cover as we've gotten a lot of rain recently (apparently rivers can hold water? Who knew?). But I was able to get the information from my equipment. I'm just testing to see if it shows up correctly with this post. Let me know if there's anything I should add.

    One thing I've noticed but never really questioned was the pressure of my system. It's pretty consistently at 50 PSI. Is that too high? The pump I just replaced seemed relatively new so maybe I just burned it up. I try to keep everything clean by emptying baskets and backwashing the filter.

    I'll test the pool this evening to get more current numbers.
    18x36 IG Vinyl (about 25k gallons), Hayward (S244T) 24 Sand Filter, 1.0 HP Hayward (SP2607x10) Pump, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Welcome to TFP!!
    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

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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Welcome!!!


    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
    [It is better to know how to learn, than to know. - Dr. Seuss[/I]

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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Ok, I have some better numbers. The pool is a bit smaller than I thought. About 25k gallons.

    FC is down to less than one. That must've happened since Thursday. I'll need to get that back up tonight.
    pH is up to 7.6 so I feel better about that.
    TA is around 120 (I'm guessing all that soda ash brought it up about 30).
    CH is 400 which is what i had last time. CYA is at 120 which is higher than what I tested before. Either way it's too high.

    So from here my best bet is just draining some water to bring CH and CYA down?
    18x36 IG Vinyl (about 25k gallons), Hayward (S244T) 24 Sand Filter, 1.0 HP Hayward (SP2607x10) Pump, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit.

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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Hey Irishfan,

    yes, you need to drain water to get the CYA down. As you know it will also bring down the CH.
    Regarding CH. There is no need to maintain CH levels in a vinyl pool. There is no chemistry that happens between vinyl and calcium. So dont worry about that one.

    You need to keep your FC in the correct relation to the CYA, otherwise, you are going to have a significant algae problem soon, which will cost lots more money.
    Everything else is ok except for the FC.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Yes use pool math to see how much you should drain.

    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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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Thanks for the help. It seems strange that this CYA issue never mentioned by the pool store or on any of the chemicals. But that must all just be part of maximizing profit.

    Once I get my CYA down to reasonable levels. Is it very difficult to maintain those levels using only bleach? Will I need to add some stabilizer occasionally as I lose water from cleaning the filter?

    Also, I'm still curious about the pressure of my system. Is it best to just look online for some specs on each piece of equipment? I know the chlorine feeder says a max PSI of 50 so I'm still worried that it is too high. But I'm not sure how to drop it besides keeping everything clean of debris.
    18x36 IG Vinyl (about 25k gallons), Hayward (S244T) 24 Sand Filter, 1.0 HP Hayward (SP2607x10) Pump, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit.

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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Most pool stores don't recognize the relationship between CYA and Free Chlorine despite it being essential to what we teach here and what has been proven to work thousands of times over for our users here and available scientific research on the topic. The reason this is the case is that distributors are often the educators of pool store management and by extension, the employees. Selling shock, tablets, algaecide, clarifier, Pho$-free is the the best interest of the distributor NOT pool owners.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Quote Originally Posted by Irishfan View Post
    Thanks for the help. It seems strange that this CYA issue never mentioned by the pool store or on any of the chemicals. But that must all just be part of maximizing profit.

    Once I get my CYA down to reasonable levels. Is it very difficult to maintain those levels using only bleach? Will I need to add some stabilizer occasionally as I lose water from cleaning the filter?

    Also, I'm still curious about the pressure of my system. Is it best to just look online for some specs on each piece of equipment? I know the chlorine feeder says a max PSI of 50 so I'm still worried that it is too high. But I'm not sure how to drop it besides keeping everything clean of debris.
    I think the CYA knowledge issue is a combination or ignorance of the science as most pool employees train new pool employees on the job. They learn bad habits. There is some level of maximizing profit, but probably not as much as people might think. The science behind the effects of CYA in the pool are fairly recent, heck only in the mid 70's did they figure this stuff out and start publishing peer reviewed papers. You gotta give them time to adapt

    I started last pool season with CYA over 200, but was lucky I had no algae. I was able to keep my FC where it needed to be and watch the CYA. Slowly by aggressive filter cleaning, many partial drain and refills as well as harvesting rainwater from roof gutters I got it down to 50. We have had a wet spring, so it actually got down to 40. I floated tabs this week to get it back to 50. I guess that the long way of saying you need to watch it because it will drop with splashout.
    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

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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Welcome aboard. You're in good hands here.

    Like you, I had no idea chlorine levels were dependent upon CYA/stabilizer levels before I came here. My pool store just used a dipstick, put it in a machine, and the computer spit out how many hundreds of dollars I needed to spend. I found out while I was SLAMing my pool that the fine folks at my pool store had, at best, a tenuous grasp on the effect of CYA on necessary FC levels...

    50 psi at the filter gauge is quite high, IMO. My sand filter typically runs 10-11 psi, and I backwash when it gets to 12-13 psi. How long do you backwash for, and do you rinse before turning your multiport valve back to 'Filter'? When you replaced your pump, you didn't "Super Size" it, did you?
    25,000 gallon freeform gunnite/plaster, built in the 1970s/80s; Sta-Rite 9463004 575-lb. sand filter; Sta-Rite DuraGlas/Max-E-Glas (P2RA5F-125L) single-speed 1.5 HP pump, manufactured 12/1993 (1M93M).
    Helpful links: TFTestKits; Pool School; ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry; Chlorine/CYA Chart; PoolMath; SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Quote Originally Posted by COBrien View Post

    50 psi at the filter gauge is quite high, IMO. My sand filter typically runs 10-11 psi, and I backwash when it gets to 12-13 psi. How long do you backwash for, and do you rinse before turning your multiport valve back to 'Filter'? When you replaced your pump, you didn't "Super Size" it, did you?
    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome.

    I typically backwash for 2-3 minutes and rinse for a minute before turning it back to filter. I try to do this once a week but sometimes it becomes every other week if I'm not using the pool much... I've never opened the filter up so I don't know what the sand looks like, just that the backwash is running clear.

    As far as the pump size goes, I just let the pool store decide what to use and it looks similar to what I had before (which was also running around 50 PSI). It's 1 HP and I think my pool is about 25,000 gallons. I know they're well established for pool installations in our part of the state so I didn't see a reason to be concerned they they weren't concerned. They've been opening and closing the pool since I've owned it and since the pool was installed as far as I know. I just haven't read anything mentioned numbers that high.
    18x36 IG Vinyl (about 25k gallons), Hayward (S244T) 24 Sand Filter, 1.0 HP Hayward (SP2607x10) Pump, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Quote Originally Posted by Irishfan View Post
    I typically backwash for 2-3 minutes and rinse for a minute before turning it back to filter. I try to do this once a week but sometimes it becomes every other week if I'm not using the pool much... I've never opened the filter up so I don't know what the sand looks like, just that the backwash is running clear.
    We recommend back-washing based on pressure change, not the calendar. Back-wash when the pressure rises 20 - 25% over the clean pressure.

    Funny, but a slightly dirty sand filter works better than a clean one.
    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

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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    We recommend back-washing based on pressure change, not the calendar. Back-wash when the pressure rises 20 - 25% over the clean pressure.

    Funny, but a slightly dirty sand filter works better than a clean one.
    That was just the recommendation of the pool store. They also suggested that I run it 12 hours a day which seems like it might be overkill except for when the pool is being heavily used.... And a 20% increase in pressure is the max on the gauge so I might need to figure out when it's running so high.

    I haven't done much research on the equipment so I'll start there.
    18x36 IG Vinyl (about 25k gallons), Hayward (S244T) 24 Sand Filter, 1.0 HP Hayward (SP2607x10) Pump, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Irish, Please do something for me..................go out and turn off your pump. Does your gauge go down to 0?

    If it does then turn your pump back on and see what the pressure it at and how fast it gets there.

    Let us know what happens with this.

    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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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Irish, Please do something for me..................go out and turn off your pump. Does your gauge go down to 0?

    If it does then turn your pump back on and see what the pressure it at and how fast it gets there.

    Let us know what happens with this.

    Kim
    Now that I think about it, the gauge looked like it had cracked in the past and been "repaired". I didn't even consider that the gauge itself might be broken... I don't remember what it read when I turned the pump off so I'll check that tonight.

    Thanks.
    18x36 IG Vinyl (about 25k gallons), Hayward (S244T) 24 Sand Filter, 1.0 HP Hayward (SP2607x10) Pump, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Can't wait to see what you find!

    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    go to tftestkits.net and get a fantastic, high quality, oil-filled pressure gauge for the low, low price of 11 bucks. right?
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Finally taking pool care seriously

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Can't wait to see what you find!

    Kim
    So I checked on the gauge. It is at 50 PSI while running and about 38 PSI when I turn it off so I'm fairly certain I need a new gauge.

    I did look at the oil filled ones mentioned above but the -4 F scares me. It can get colder than that up here and usually does. Will that be a problem?

    Ive also started the long slow process of draining and refilling my pool (I'm doing it in a couple partial refills, I have to replace over half the water if I used the calculator right). Fixing CYA is a pain but it sounds like it's relatively easy to maintain once you get it corrected.
    18x36 IG Vinyl (about 25k gallons), Hayward (S244T) 24 Sand Filter, 1.0 HP Hayward (SP2607x10) Pump, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit.

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