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Thread: New and I inherited a hot mess!

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    Re: New and I inherited a hot mess!

    Order issue with server problems
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    New and I inherited a hot mess!

    So I will keep this as brief as possible although I could probably write a novel about my pool problems! I'll give you some history and then get to the problem.

    I recently moved in with my b/f who has an inground pool. He set it up last year with help from his Dad, but only kept it open about 2 months. He closed it when we went out of town for 2 weeks in August of last year. Last year he had a really tough time keeping it clean, but the pool was surrounded by about 15 trees which we thought was the issue. We got all but 5 cut down. I still wanted a little shade over the pool so we left some up.

    This year the pool was opened in late May by my b/f. I just recently found out that he had NO IDEA what he was doing all this time. So due to his overwhelming work and school schedule I volunteered to take over. It's been 2 weeks and I still have no idea what I'm doing. I've gotten some great tips on here, but I want to really maintain it properly so we don't have to sink a ton of money into it to repair what we've messed up.
    When I started taking care of it, it was really green. I added algaecide and triple shocked which is what searching the internet told me to do. It cleared the green for the most part, but it was still a light green. After checking the chemicals with the 6 way strips we have I found out we had NO chlorine in it, the pH was bottomed out, the TA was non-existent and the stabilizer was low. I was overwhelmed but decided to tackle the chemicals first to see if the green, which I still assumed was remnant algae would clear up. I don't remember the exact order I did things, but after searching on here and talking to my dad I did the following. Added baking soda to raise the TA, borax for the pH, chlorine tabs and shock for the chlorine and stabilizer. The chemicals started to balance out over the next few days, but the green tint would not go away. We also had what I thought was brown algae clinging to the sides. After researching some more and seeing pics of pool problems it became obvious that the problem was copper. We don't live anywhere near a pool store so I couldn't just go get the water tested to see what the deal was. So I just kept trying to fight it on my own. I made the decision to get a sequesterant the following day. Well, I woke up the next morning and the pool was amazingly clear. It was like a different pool.

    I've been vacuuming daily and skimming the water a couple times a day. We swim a lot so I try to keep it really clean. I've also stopped letting the kids leave their toys and floats in the pool as it seems to get nasty and change colors when they do it. My 3-year-old is bad about playing with the chlorine hopper so my MIL took it out the pool on Monday. We've had a rough week with illness, surgery and other fun things so I haven't been out to check the pool until tonight. It's hard to tell you guys what the levels are because we have those ****ty color strips so I will just give you the value for the color on the strip. Total Hardness was 200. Total Chlorine was about a 2. Free Chlorine was a 1. Bromine was 2. pH was 6.8. TA was 40 and stabilizer was 0.

    I don't get it. I just checked the pool Monday and it was perfect. We haven't had any rain or anything granted I haven't vacuumed in a few days. I've been running the filter for a couple hours a day, but I am not even sure how long to run that. The water level was really low today so I added more water. I figure the chlorine is so low because the hopper was out and we forgot to put it back in. It is in there now. It's got 3 of the 3" tabs in it. That is what the guy at the pool store told us to keep in it last year. My plan is to buy Borax and Baking Soda for the TA and pH. Will increasing the total chlorine and free chlorine increase the bromine? How do I get the stabilizer up?

    I feel like a failure at this. I know this is something I'm going to have to stay on top of to maintain. I let it go for a few days and I am paying for it now. When I add chemicals I don't know what to add first. I do know that when I add something I only add 1 at a time and wait about 5 or 6 hours to see what effect it has had on the pool. Beyond that I am clueless.

    So please be gentle with me. I admit that I have no idea what the heck I am doing. I could kill my boyfriend for letting it go so long unmaintained all because he didn't want to ask for help. At least it is still clear.

    Here are some pics of the progress I've made with it.




    In the 1st pic you can see how green it was. In the 2nd it had that weird teal/green tint to it. It actually looked worse in person than in the pic. The other was tonight. It looks a little cloudy in the pic, but that was the flash. It is actually clear.

    I also have metal stains in the pool and don't know how to get rid of those, but I figured I need to address getting the chemicals maintained first before worrying about that. I've tried looking on this site to get a game plan but it is very overwhelming.

    Thank you in advance for you help! Sorry for such a long post!
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    Lillington, NC
    10k gallons, IG, fiberglass, sand
    100% Noob!

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New and I inherited a hot mess!

    Hi, welcome to TFP! First off we are going to ask that you make an investment in your pool and purchase a high quality FAS/DPD test kit such as a Taylor K2006 TF 100 . These kits will allow you to test higher levels of chlorine that you will need to complete the slam. It will also enable you to have accurate, consistent test results so you can dose the pool correctly.

    If you do have metals in the water sequestrants based on HEDP, phosphonic acid, or phosphonic acid derivatives are the most effective.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: New and I inherited a hot mess!

    Thanks! I just order the TF-100. I know the strips are ****, but that's all we have ATM and I didn't know what testing kit to get. There are so many options out there it is hard to figure out what is what. I went to the pool place here once and felt like they were trying to screw me over so I have not been back.

    Would I need to do the sequesterant before getting the pH and chlorine in check or after? I'm not sure what problem to address first.
    Lillington, NC
    10k gallons, IG, fiberglass, sand
    100% Noob!

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    April's Avatar
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    Re: New and I inherited a hot mess!

    I have the TF-100 with SpeedStir and love it. I have had a trouble free pool for 2 years. Test kit is worth every penny!!
    18ft Round AG, Vinyl, 100LB Pentair Sand Filter, 1HP, June 2012, TF-100 w/SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New and I inherited a hot mess!

    Welcome to TFP!

    You've made some good progress, with the TF100 we can get it the rest of the way there. When you get the test kit give us some test results.

    Here are some of my fave Pool School articles to check out while waiting for your test kit.
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals and how to add them.
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
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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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    Re: New and I inherited a hot mess!

    While you wait for your test kit, start putting in a gallon jug of plain old regular bleach in each evening. Look for the freshest and highest % that you can get your hands on. And remove any pucks or other chemical stuff you might be putting in there unless one of the experts say otherwise.

    The kit will tell you/the group what you need to do beyond that...
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: New and I inherited a hot mess!

    Welcome!

    Like others have mentioned until your test kit arrives and you can accurately assess the situation there's not much you can do, chemical wise, aside from adding a dose of regular bleach in the meantime just to keep your FC up a little and prevent things from getting worse. There definitely is due diligence. This forum is a huge repository of great information. You'll need to start wrapping your head around all the terms and procedures. Aside from Pool School you'll want to specifically read through the SLAM procedure: Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    SLAMing your pool is how you'll get it under control, once that's done daily/weekly maintenance will be a breeze!
    ~19k Gal, IG Vinyl, Hayward SP2607X10 1hp pump, Hayward S200 Sand Filter, built in 70s, has 8 deep end with diving board, 1 skimmer, 1 return, 1 low hole, Polaris booster pump PB4-60, old Polaris robot not sure model, Rheem P-M266A-EN-C 266,000 BTU heater, solar cover, Taylor K-2006 test kit, Speedstir

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    Re: New and I inherited a hot mess!

    Compared to what you've been through already, maintaining this pool is going to be simple (and cheap) once you get it fully under control. Just follow exactly the instructions the experts here give you. And stay away from the pool store!
    25000 gallon free-form gunite
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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: New and I inherited a hot mess!

    Welcome to TFP!

    +1 to reading the articles that pooldv linked to above. The more you read just those few articles the more it will start to make sense. As you read you'll probably have a million questions but that's what we're here for! Just post any questions here and someone will help.

    Looking for help was the first step in the right direction and finding TFP is a home run!

    Ordering an excellent test kit? Best decision ever!

    I'll second what jeffchap said too. Compared to what you've been dealing with so far, you're going to be amazed at how simple it actually can be when you have the ability to get accurate test results. In the beginning we'll walk you through the process and in no time at all you will have learned how to take care of your pool on your own! Best thing is that you can always ask here if there's something you don't understand or need help with. There are tons of people here who will help.

    So...while you're waiting for that kit to arrive, take some time to read and ask more questions!
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
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    smforte's Avatar
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    Re: New and I inherited a hot mess!

    Impossible....before long we will be calling you Notimpossible.... I was where you are 3 years ago until I stumbled upon this site. I read and read and asked stupid questions. I even cried now and then. Eventually it all fell into place and made since. I haven't had a green pool since! Plus these folks are great and go above and beyond to help!
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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