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Thread: new pool owner doesn't know what to do!

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Oregonia, Ohio

    new pool owner doesn't know what to do!

    Hi my name is Debby. We bought a house last year and inherited a pool. It's an above ground 24x4'4" Intex. It uses a saltwater filter. I have been adding a bag of salt one at a time then testing 24hrs before adding more. I've so far used 4 40lb bags. It has gone from dark green to now looking almost more blue so I think I'm getting there. I would like any input you could give me. I have just a few test strips and here's the readings I have... ppm free chlorine is 0.5, ph is low 6.8, ppm total alkalinity is low 40. the copper is 0.5. I've read that I need to get some better test strips at Wal-Mart. Could you tell me what the name brand is? I just need someone to walk me through this because I know nothing about a pool. Thanks so much for this website.
    Hi my name is Debby. Our pool is an Intex above ground and holds 12,481 gallons of water I believe. It's a 24x4ft 4inches. The model is A25x52 FG0111RO. The filter is a Krystal Clear Model 633T filter pump. Also we have a Krystal Clear Saltwater System Model CS8110. The only readings I have are ... ppm free chlorine is 0.5, PH is 6.8, and Alkaline is 80-120. The reading for copper is 0.2. The pool is green and has been since end of last summer..

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    Mod Squad Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: new pool owner doesn't know what to do!

    Hi Debby, and welcome

    You need a proper test kit as strips are not reliable at all. I would suggest a TF100, or a Taylor K2006. You are likely going to need a fair amount of reagent to perform what we call a SLAM procedure. Because of that and because it's a generally better value, I prefer the TF100. You really need good numbers, and only a proper kit can provide them.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    TF-100 Test Kit, ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Flagstone, 36"SF, Pentair VS Pump, EasyTouch W/Remote, Rheem 400KBTU Htr

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio

    Re: new pool owner doesn't know what to do!

    Hello Debby! Welcome! Best piece of advice right now? The proper test kit (i.e. TF-100 – link below) is the foundation of your pool care. Why this kit? We've learned through personal experience that you cannot reply on pool store testing, test strips, or simple over-the-counter kits. They simply do not read Free Chlorine (FC) or Cyanuric Acid (CYA) levels accurately or to the high levels we need. If you do not have a TF-100 or Taylor K2006 test kit, it should be your #1 priority.

    Post some TF-100 test results when you get your kit and we'll help ensure you are on-track to a crystal clear swimming season! Also take a moment to read the links you see in our signatures. Have a great day!
    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!

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    chiefwej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: new pool owner doesn't know what to do!

    A salt pool does not use salt. Stop blindly adding salt. A specific salt level is put in the pool in once at setup then the SWG (salt water generator) makes chlorine. The salt is not used up in this process. So a salt pool is really a chlorine pool. You need to treat your pool with liquid chlorine until everything is cleaned up and balanced, then you start up the SWG and it works as a salt pool. All this info is available in Pool School (button at the upper right of this page).
    Tucson, AZ
    19k gallon Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS (3 hp) 011018, Super II 2hp (for spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE filter, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    BoDarville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    DFW, Texas

    Re: new pool owner doesn't know what to do!

    Welcome to TFP!

    You will need one of the Recommended Test Kits to properly manage your pool. I use the TF-100 because it's the best value and they have a freshness guarantee. You can order it here: They ship fast - you should have it in your hands in 2-3 days with normal shipping.

    While you are waiting for your kit to arrive, here are some resources to give you an overview of managing your pool using our methods:
    1. ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    2. Chlorine CYA Chart
    3. Recommended Pool Chemicals
    4. Recommended Levels
    5. Pool Math
    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
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Fletcher, OK

    Re: new pool owner doesn't know what to do!

    welcome debby, we will get you going but you really need a TF100 test kit, it will help more than you know PS, K1766 salt test kit and XL option is a must have for you and worth every penny I know, its 100 bucks but it will save you hundreds of dollars in chemicals from the pool store.. The speed stir is not needed but nice to have, it makes testing so much easier
    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 :) **

  7. Back To Top    #7's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Georgetown, ON, Canada

    Re: new pool owner doesn't know what to do!

    Hi Debby, so far everyone has told you to get a test kit, the TF-100, which is true. But we also need to help you learn what you are doing. Everything you need to know is here at TFP. For starters, click on Pool School above and try to read every article, including the "SLAM" process. They will explain pool chemistry and equipment. Then click on Pool Math, that's where you find out how much of what to add to your pool IF needed.

    So far the 160 lb of salt you have added has raised your salt by about 1500ppm, most salt pools need 3000-4000, but there was likely already some salt in the pool, so as chiefwej said, dont add any more for now. The HTH salt strips i use are actually one of the few useful test strips (edit-or the test casey mentioned above)

    I have a feeling you may not understand how the chlorine generator works. At the beginning of the season one adds salt to get up to the recommended level. After that no more needs to be added unless there is major water replacement done. Then the chlorine generator turns that salt into chlorine, which gets used killing germs, then it reforms salt and goes through the process infinitely.

    But to clear a green pool, the generator can not produce the massive amounts of chlorine needed. For that you need to turn off the generator and use liquid chlorine to complete the SLAM process. Then you can resume the generator.

    IF your pH is truly 6.8 (it may be lower, or maybe it's not accurate), it will need to be raised to around 7.2 to start the SLAM process. A top-notch test kit like the TF-100 is required to accurately test all levels so that proper dosages can be used of each chemical.

    Whatever you do, stay out of the pool store. Their test accuracy and advice are equally bad.

    Best wishes
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
    Filter: AstralPools ZX-310 SWCG: AstralPools VX7T
    Heater: Hayward H250FDN Test Kit: TF-100

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