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Thread: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

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    New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    Hi all, I'm a new pool owner and have been lurking on TFP.com for a couple months now. I figured I should go ahead and sign up and show some pictures of the progress of my work and to ask some questions.

    Our newly purchased house sat vacant for almost a year before we bought it. We bought in January of this year, but were scouting this house all the way back into May 2014.

    Here are some pictures from back then to give you an idea of what I was starting with a couple months ago.





    I battled the pool for a couple months before discovering the amazing advice here on TFP.com. Since reading up and doing my homework I think I've made a lot of ground.

    Here are two pictures sometime in April I think. It's still really bad.





    But then I started making progress by brushing, scooping with a net, cleaning the filter, and repeating as often as I could. This was beginning of May I think. I could see hints of blue!!



    And this is from last week, when I could finally start to see the bottom regularly. I can now see then lights as well.







    Now, the downside to that little bit of clarity is the unfortunate staining you see in that last picture. I have quite a few areas where there appears to be staining. Is that algea or just some type of stain? I think there are going to be some rust stains no matter what. The roofers apparently felt the need to use the pool as their trash heap because I found whole sheets of shingles and roofing nails in the pool when I began to clean it out.

    I've had the Taylor K-2006 test kit for 2 days now and could use some input and a sanity check from the friendly folks here. I had been using the local P-A-Penny but became dubious after they kept pushing all sorts of chemicals on me that weren't making sense.

    So my first test yesterday by myself with the K-2006 yielded the following results:

    FC - 0
    CC -
    pH - 7.0
    TA - 50
    CH - 350
    CYA - 0

    That was alarming to say the least. From my homework here I knew that FC being zero was a no-no. And I knew I needed to work that pH up towards 7.6-7.8. But that CYA being zero? Is that right??

    So after that test I immediately put in 2.5 gallons of 10% liquid chlorine and took another reading an hour or so later of the FC and CC. It yielded the following:

    FC - 15.2
    CC - 0.8

    I was anxious to see how things stood today when I got home from work and was able to take another reading. Without doing anything between that last test and this one, I came up with:

    FC - 3.6
    CC - 0.4
    pH - 7.0
    TA - 50
    CH - 350
    CYA - 0

    From the beginning I've been keeping trichlor tabs in both skimmers and the floater as well as shocking it pretty aggressively with the 10% liquid chlorine.

    I'm stumped on why CYA would be zero. My pool gets daylight pretty much most of the day. I'd say it gets a solid 9-10 hours of sunlight.

    I stopped on my way home from work and grabbed 7 boxes of baking soda to raise the TA and a box of borax for the pH. I followed the PoolMath guidelines as to what amounts of each to add.

    What do you guys make of my numbers so far and what advice would you give to keep dialing them in?
    2001 Built 17K IG Plaster | Pentair RP200 Cartridge Filter | Hayward 1HP Single Speed Pump | Taylor K-2006 Tester | Polaris Booster & 3900 Sport Cleaner

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    Good work so far! My hunch is your cya was converted by bacteria when it was left to stagnate and that you've unwittingly beat down the resulting ammonia.

    Before adding cya, which is called stabilizer and sold n stores like Walmart, pool stores, on line, etc., can you do a little experiment for us?

    Take a FC reading. Add two gallons of bleach with your pump/filter running. Test again in a half hour to an hour, and tell us how much is left.

    Alternately, you can get an ammonia test from a fish/pet store.

    The reason I am asking this is because we don't want you to add cya if there's still ammonia because the fresh cya nay just also turn to ammonia if you zero out. If you zero out after dosing, that would be a clue.

    Once you're certain your holding chlorine for a bit (it will drop, of course, if its fighting organics and/or being used by the sun) then you can add the cya to 30 ppm (use pool Calc) and follow the exact slam protocol for a few days to be CERTAIN you're in the clear.

    THEN show us if there are still stains or not. You can hold a Puck to them to see if they're organic, and sprinkle some crushed up vitamin c on them.

    If t vitamin c turns the stain white, then its metal staining. We'll tell you what to do, but first focus on completing a verified slam

    Congrats to your nee home and hard work to date. We'll get you sorted pronto so you can n joy it soon!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    Thank you SW for the advice and feedback! I will run with it and report back.

    I did did forget to mention in my original post that I have replaced about 6K gallons of water over two separate maintenance events in the last 10 days (~4K and then ~2K). I borrowed a buddy's hose and manual vacuum and vacuumed to waste a lot of crud on the bottom of the pool. I used a flocculant to drop down a bunch of nasty foamy brown substance that was on the surface. That also removed A LOT of the cloudiness that was persistent for months.
    2001 Built 17K IG Plaster | Pentair RP200 Cartridge Filter | Hayward 1HP Single Speed Pump | Taylor K-2006 Tester | Polaris Booster & 3900 Sport Cleaner

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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    I am a new TFPer and want to follow your thread to learn, but I also want to say excellent job so far. You've come to right place and these guys will help you out -get your pool in the best shape ever!

    Be ready to learn and ask questions. This honestly couldn't be a better forum!


    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: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    So I was anxious to see what the test results would be today after a full day in the sun. I was curious if my FC was going to be present at all and what my CC looked like. And what of the pH and TA since I added borax and baking soda? Did they have any real effect?

    To recap, my readings looked like this yesterday evening around 1800 hrs:
    FC - 3.6
    CC - 0.4
    pH - 7.0
    TA - 50
    CH - 350
    CYA - 0


    Today, at 1700 hrs I took the following readings:
    FC - 2,0
    CC - 0.4
    pH - 7.3
    TA - 90
    CYA - 0

    It appears the borax did indeed start to raise the pH. Is that the complete effect of the borax? Or will it continue to creep up for a few days? The baking soda obviously had an effect -- raising the TA from 50 to 90.

    I was so pleased to see the CC hold steady at .04 and to still see some residual FC. With as much sun as this pool gets, and the fact I have zero CYA, is it logical to only lose 1.6 ppm of FC over a 24 hour period?

    I have yet to get an ammonia test. I will look at picking up one of those tomorrow.

    Is it too early to try a OCLT?

    As an aside, my replacement filter cartridge came in today. I pulled the original one I've been working with the past few months and popped the new one on and WOW! The filter pressure went from 34 PSI to 20! Sweet! I was cleaning that original one every day, sometimes twice a day at stretches. Glad to be done with that!
    2001 Built 17K IG Plaster | Pentair RP200 Cartridge Filter | Hayward 1HP Single Speed Pump | Taylor K-2006 Tester | Polaris Booster & 3900 Sport Cleaner

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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    You're doing great! And making good progress! Keep up the good work!


    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: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    You need to SLAM, your PH is perfect to start a SLAM... you seem to be holding FC but it is being consumed by something...

    Take your CYA (stabalizer) to 30 using pool math, put it in an old sock and hang it in front of the return... once you do this just know its there, it will not show up on the test for a week..

    you want to stay above your SLAM/schock level of 12 with a cya of 30, try taking it to 15 and test as much as you can, if it falls to 12 before 24 hours raise it to 16... the trick is to stay above 12

    You are done when:
    A. CC is 0.5 or lower;
    B. You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    C. And the water is clear.

    When all three are true, you are done SLAMing and can allow the FC to drift down to normal levels.
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    Well today was the most promising day I have had as a pool owner. The water finally has that sparkle to it.

    I shocked it last night and brought the FC to 15. This morning I woke up and the reading was 13. Each time the CC is less than 0.5, which a good thing.

    I made it to the store and got some CYA to put in a skimmer sock. To get to 30 ppm of CYA Pool Math called for 4lb 6oz. I bought a 7lb bag and estimated as close as possible to the prescribed amount. Will it take about a week for that to completely dissolve and register on a test? I only have 2-3 more CYA test in my kit and I'd like to test when I'm likely in the proper range.

    I didn't do anything all day besides add the CYA and just now took another test to see where things stood. My FC was 5 and my pH is 7.3. Since my CYA is only just now being raised from 0 is my FC loss correct? And that pH! It looks like the 4lb 7oz box of borax only raised it .3 on the pH scale. I was hopeful the pH would come on up a little higher.

    Is it okay to add more borax to continue raising the pH even though my TA is at 90? That TA is ideal correct? How much would enough borax to raise the pH to 7.6 effect the TA?

    Thanks again to all the helpful folks out there. The advice has been great and effective.

    Here's a few pictures from today. They don't quite capture the clarity I'm finally seeing. The stains are coming into focus now!





    2001 Built 17K IG Plaster | Pentair RP200 Cartridge Filter | Hayward 1HP Single Speed Pump | Taylor K-2006 Tester | Polaris Booster & 3900 Sport Cleaner

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    ........."I shocked it last night and brought the FC to 15. "

    I'm trying to understand WHY you took the pool to 15 FC without ANY cya in it?
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    Good question Woody.

    I incorrectly read advice from Casey to take it to 15. She advised that assuming the CYA was 30, which it is not yet. That was a lapse on my part.
    2001 Built 17K IG Plaster | Pentair RP200 Cartridge Filter | Hayward 1HP Single Speed Pump | Taylor K-2006 Tester | Polaris Booster & 3900 Sport Cleaner

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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    PH can be raised by aerating without adding borax. This method will not raise the TA. However, if you are about to SLAM, then your PH is fine where it is.


    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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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    Quote Originally Posted by kramer2k View Post
    Good question Woody.

    I incorrectly read advice from Casey to take it to 15. She advised that assuming the CYA was 30, which it is not yet. That was a lapse on my part.
    Ok...........I just wanted to know who to whack over the head. Come to find out........it's YOU!
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    Hello to another Florida person!

    What a pretty pool and home!

    Funny to be "stalking" the home since 2014! Seems to be worth it!

    For the stains try putting a puck on one of them and see what happens. Leave it on for about 5 mins. If that does not do anything try for 10 mins. Do not go longer than 15 mins. though.

    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: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    I am so sorry..

    You missed the line right above it that said add stabilizer to take your CYA to 30 and SLAM at 15fc for that CYA level..

    and she is a he too funny, made me laugh
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    poolnoob.ca's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    Hi Kramer, i dont see that anyone has mentioned yet, it looks like you are using 25ml water samples for your chlorine tests. It is acceptable to use a 10ml sample to save reagents. That will give you a reading in 0.5 increments which is accurate enough. You asked about how long the effect of borax would last, for most chemicals the total effect will be seen in 30 to 60 minutes with good water circulation. After that, what you see is what you get. The exception is CYA as it takes up to 1 week to register. Keep up the good work!
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    Love the pictures.
    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 Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    I have good news to report on the levels and the stains. The FC continues to stay pretty stable from day to day. I've been adding just around 50-70 oz of liquid chlorine (10%) in the evenings to hold steady around 5 ppm and so far so good. The CC continues to stay at zero most of the time, and it creeps into the .2-.5 range occasionally -- but no higher. The pH is holding at 7.3, so I'm going to add a little borax to try and raise that towards 7.6 if I can. I do have a spa return that probably aerates a little, but I'm not seeing any noticeable increase in the pH from that spa supply fountain.

    I spent Saturday scrubbing the stains and am seeing great results. I used a wire brush and the rust stains are gone! They were all likely a result of the roofing nails that made their way into the pool some months ago. And the black/green stains -- while I do not know exactly what they are -- responded well to scrubbing too. There are a few areas still left to attack, but at least I know a little elbow grease is all it will take to knock them out.
    2001 Built 17K IG Plaster | Pentair RP200 Cartridge Filter | Hayward 1HP Single Speed Pump | Taylor K-2006 Tester | Polaris Booster & 3900 Sport Cleaner

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner Intro & Questions [w/ Pics]

    Elbow grease is a wonderful thing! I am glad you are seeing progress!

    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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